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Hard Numbers: Hungry Syrian kids, biodiversity pledge, Taiwanese singers face fines, jobless South Africans

Syrian children eat inside their tent in a refugee camp near the Turkish border. Reuters

700,000: An additional 700,000 Syrian children may go hungry this year due to the combined effects of the war-ravaged country's economic implosion, as well as coronavirus restrictions, pushing the total number of food-insecure kids in Syria to over 4.6 million, according to Save the Children. Two thirds of surveyed children have not eaten any fresh fruit in three months.


64: Leaders from 64 countries and the European Union have pledged to enact stronger environmental protections ahead of this week's (virtual) UN Summit on Biodiversity, including commitments to eliminate plastic buildup in the oceans by 2050. The leaders of some of the world's top polluting nations — the US, China, India, Russia, and Brazil — did not sign up.

17,000: Two Taiwanese singers face government fines of up to $17,000 each for having "violated cross-strait regulations" by performing a mainland Chinese patriotic song in a state television gala celebrating China's national day on October 1. Ouyang Nana and Angela Chang, who have a huge following in mainland China, performed alongside artists from Hong Kong.

20.5 million: Roughly 20.5 million South Africans were not economically "inactive" (out of work, whether looking for a job or not) in the second quarter of 2020, four times the number registered from January to March. The pandemic has shattered South Africa's economy, which recently suffered its deepest quarterly decline since the 1960s amid one of the strictest lockdowns worldwide.

Urbanization may radically change not only the landscape but also investors' portfolios. Creating the livable urban centers of tomorrow calls for a revolution in the way we provide homes, transport, health, education and much more.

Our expert guests will explore the future of cities and its implications for your wealth.

Learn more.

In a national referendum on Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new constitution. But, why are people in this oasis of political stability and steady economic growth in South America willing to undo the bedrock of the system that has allowed Chile to prosper for so long?

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"Instead of simply embracing China, we have to draw clear lines about where China can legitimately pursue its interests and where we are going to push back." According to Anne-Marie Slaughter, who was a top State Department official under President Obama, a President Biden would do well to avoid blaming Beijing for the pandemic. There will be plenty else, aside from pointing fingers, for the two countries to worry about. She talks to Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: How a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. This is the last week before elections, have only lasted for two years, cost billions of dollars. We're sick of it. We're ready. We're ready to get past this. What do we think is going to happen?

Well, let's be clear. Biden is way ahead, and it's hard for incumbents to lose. They tended to win in the United States. They need to be unpopular and unlucky to lose, but Trump does seem to be checking both of those boxes. He's never been enormously popular. He has a pretty narrow base that is very strongly supportive of him, some 38 to 42% back and forth, but a narrow band, which has been pretty consistent for most of them the last four years, but he's also been massively unlucky. Unlucky, how?

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We live on an (increasingly) urban planet. Today, for the first time in human history, more than half of the world's population (55 percent) lives in cities. By 2050, that figure will rise to more than two-thirds, with close to 7 billion people living in urban areas. Cities have always been centers of opportunity, innovation, and human progress. But they are also often on the front lines of the major political and social challenges of the day. Here are three areas in which that's true right now.

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