Hard Numbers: HK vote hopefuls out, US economy tanks, Chileans dip into pensions, Russian mercs in Belarus

12: The pro-Beijing Hong Kong government has disqualified 12 pro-democracy candidates from running in September's parliamentary election, where the opposition was expected to win a majority of seats. The list includes high-profile activists like Joshua Wong and also Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy lawmaker who recently discussed China's new security law for Hong Kong on GZERO World with Ian Bremmer.


32.9: The US economy contracted by 9.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, an annualized rate of 32.9 percent for 2020, the sharpest decline in America's history. The coronavirus pandemic has obliterated many US businesses and made unemployment surge above 15 percent, and the economic crisis may get even worse if more states reimpose lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19.

1 million: More than 1 million Chileans started lining up on Thursday to withdraw up to 10 percent of their pension funds. The government has passed a controversial new law allowing citizens to tap into part of their state-mandated retirement savings to mitigate the impact of the pandemic-fueled economic crisis.

33: Belarus has detained 33 Russian private security contractors, accusing them of being mercenaries aiming to disrupt the country's upcoming presidential election. It's the latest sign of a growing rift between two authoritarian presidents — Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko and Russia's Vladimir Putin — who used to be close allies but are not getting along lately.

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