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Hard Numbers: Hong Kong protests resume, support for Italy's Lega party slides, governments hoard PPE

Hard Numbers: Hong Kong protests resume, support for Italy's Lega party slides, governments hoard PPE

80: At least 80 countries and territories have enforced export restrictions on medical equipment such as face masks and ventilators in recent months. This protectionist trend is threatening global supply chains and ramping up prices for much-needed gear, the World Trade Organization warns.

300: After a curb on public gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 halted the activities of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement earlier this year, around 300 people flouted social distancing rules Sunday, calling for "revolution" and demanding the release of 15 pro-democracy protesters recently arrested.

17: Seventeen people, including 12 park rangers, were killed Saturday in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an attack that DRC officials blamed on a Rwandan rebel group. Logging, poaching, and spillover violence from Congo's civil wars have made the park, Africa's oldest nature reserve, a hotspot of conflict between rival militias.

25.4: National approval ratings for Italy's far-right Lega party have recently slipped nearly 6 points to 25.4 percent, on account of Lega-run regional governments' poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the party's traditional strongholds in northern Italy.

Pop quiz: what percentage of plastic currently gets recycled worldwide? Watch this video in Eni's Energy Shot series to find out and learn what needs to be done to prevent plastic from ending up in our oceans. Plastic is a precious resource that should be valued, not wasted.

Ten years ago this week, a powerful earthquake off the coast of eastern Japan triggered a tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. A decade and dozens of decommissioned reactors later, nuclear energy still supplies about 10 percent of global electricity, but its future remains uncertain amid post-Fukushima safety concerns.

As more countries pledge to curb emissions to mitigate climate change, nuclear could serve as a clean(ish) and reliable source of energy. But investing more in nuclear comes with tradeoffs.

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This Monday, March 8, is International Women's Day, a holiday with roots in a protest led by the Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai that helped topple the czar of Russia in 1917. More than a hundred years later, amid a global pandemic that has affected women with particular fury, there are dozens of women-led protests and social movements reshaping politics around the globe. Here we take a look at a few key ones to watch this year.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week, life looking better every day in the United States, coronavirus land. But I thought I'd talk about, this week, all of this cancel culture that everyone's talking about right now. If you're on the wrong political side, your opponents are trying to shut you down and you take massive umbrage. I see this everywhere, and it's starting to annoy.

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"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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