Hard Numbers: Iran's death clip, COVID soap operas, Afghan jailbreak, police unions and Democrats

Hard Numbers: Iran's death clip, COVID soap operas, Afghan jailbreak, police unions and Democrats

7: A person dies of COVID-19 every seven minutes in Iran, according to the country's state TV broadcaster. Iran was one of the first countries hit by the pandemic after China, and has so far officially registered more than 300,000 cases and close to 18,000 deaths. A new BBC report says the real death toll may be three times as high as the official numbers.

29: At least 29 people have been killed in a wild gun battle between guards and Islamic State fighters at a prison in Jalalabad, Afghanistan which began when the militants crashed the facility's security perimeter with a car bomb on Sunday. Authorities are now trying to find hundreds of Islamic State and Taliban fighters who have escaped from the facility.

6.6 million: In the second quarter of this year, more than 6.6 million people tuned in to the Mexican TV channel Televisa during its prime time slots for soap operas and melodramas. That's up a whopping 33 percent from the same period last year, and it's thought to be the result of pandemic-related stay-at-home orders. The boost comes just in time for TV soap operas which have been losing love to Netflix and other streaming services for years.

55 million: Since 2012, US police unions — which are generally hostile to police reform — have given at least $55 million to the campaigns of candidates running at all levels of government, the Financial Times has found. Most of the top recipients of police money in Congress are Democrats.

"I think there are certain times where you have tectonic shifts and change always happens that way."

On the latest episode of 'That Made All the Difference,' Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia, shares his thoughts on the role we all have to play in bringing our communities and the environment back to health.

For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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In an interview with Eurasia Group Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, Nicolas de Rivière cautions against an overly halcyon view of the UN's history. The Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations explains that throughout its 75 years the organization has confronted adversity. This moment is no exception, but "we have no other choice" than cooperation in order to address today's biggest crises, he explains. Rivière also discusses the global pandemic response, a need for greater commitments to climate action, and a recent move by the US to push for renewed sanctions against Iran.

One of the biggest threats to 21st century international peace is invisible. It recognizes no borders and knows no rules. It can penetrate everything from the secrets of your government to the settings of your appliances. This is, of course, the threat of cyberattacks and cyberwarfare.

During the coronavirus pandemic, cyberattacks have surged, according to watchdogs. This isn't just Zoom-bombing or scams. It's also a wave of schemes, likely by national intelligence agencies, meant to steal information about the development and production of vaccines. Attacks on the World Health Organization soared five-fold early in the pandemic.

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Malaysian political drama: Malaysia's (eternal) opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim says he finally has enough votes in parliament to be appointed prime minister, seven months after the coalition that was going to support him collapsed amid an internal revolt that also forced out 95-year-old Mahathir Mohamed as head of the government. Two years ago, Mahathir — who governed Malaysia from 1980 to 2003 — shocked the country by running in the 2018 election and defeating his former party UMNO, which had dominated Malaysian politics since independence in 1956. After winning, Mahathir agreed to hand over power to Anwar — a former protégé with whom he had a falling out in the late 1990s — but Mahathir's government didn't last long enough to do the swap. Will Anwar now realize his lifelong dream of becoming Malaysia's prime minister? Stay tuned for the next parliamentary session in November.

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