GZERO Media logo

Hard Numbers: Israel's bonfire breakup, China's second wave, Tequila's pandemic boom, UK economy's collapse

Hard Numbers: Israel's bonfire breakup, China's second wave, Tequila's pandemic boom, UK economy's collapse

320: Police in Israel arrested 320 worshippers of a 2nd century Jewish mystic after they rioted against a coronavirus-related prohibition on visiting his tomb. The annual Lag Ba-Omer festival usually draws thousands of people for days of praying and dancing around bonfires. This year, it drew people to jail.


13: China's northeastern Jilin region, which borders North Korea and Russia, has emerged as the potential source of a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country. With 13 locally-transmitted cases reported, partial lockdowns have already been imposed

60: As Americans drink up while locked down, Mexico's tequila distillers are toasting to a huge export boom: US sales of the spirit jumped 60 percent in April. The industry, which employs 70,000 people, is a rare bright spot for Mexico – the IMF says this year the country will suffer the biggest GDP hit of any large Latin American economy except Venezuela.

5.8: The British economy shrank by 5.8 percent in March, the sharpest decline since the government started tracking monthly data in 1997. With the economy paralyzed by lockdowns, the Bank of England forecasts an overall contraction of 14 percent this year, the largest annual drop since 1701.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

More Show less
Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on what corporate business leaders are thinking during the global coronavirus crisis

Should big business care about small business in these times?

The answer is yes and for many reasons. First, small business is the lifeblood of our economies. 45% of employment in emerging countries and 70% in the OECD comes from small and medium enterprises. Moreover, these enterprises have been badly hit by the crisis. Surveys indicate as many as 50% of European small to medium enterprises feel they may not survive over 12 months. While SMEs are relying on government support, larger companies do have a role to play. After all, this includes prioritizing small business and procurement by locking in demand for multiple years, thus facilitating access to good credit, paying receivables to small business in time and where possible, ahead of schedule. Cash flow matters most when you're small. Looking out for small businesses that have lower resilience. For example, financial institutions can lend more and in doing so, ensure deeper customer relationships in the future.

In his latest Financial Times op-ed, Martin Wolf argues that the US global role is at stake in this election and that a Trump re-election would undo America's legacy of democratic leadership in the world. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Jeffrey Wright grabbed the Red Pen to argue that a Trump presidency exists in part because of Americans' rejection of the US's post-war leadership role, and these feelings run deeper than the article suggests.

Today, we're taking The Red Pen to a recent op-ed published in The Financial Times from my good friend, the chief economics commentator Martin Wolf. Martin argues the global role of the United States is at stake on November 3rd, and that a Trump reelection would undo America's legacy of democratic leadership in the world. There's been a lot of this sort of thing recently. I know, we did it once, but if we do it twice, it's all over and I'm not there. To be clear, we don't totally reject what Martin is presenting in this piece. Rather, we'd argue that a Trump presidency exists because there were feelings that were present in the United States before he came along and they run a lot deeper than the article suggests. In other words, it's really not all about Trump.

More Show less

"The top priority will be to announce to the world that the United States they've known for decades is back." Former top Obama diplomat and current CEO of the think tank New America Anne-Marie slaughter predicts an American revival on the global stage if Joe Biden wins the presidency. But at a time when the United States has never been more divided, can any nation, even the world's most powerful, be a global leader if it cannot even keep its own house in order? Ian Bremmer's conversation with Slaughter is part of a new episode of GZERO World.

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

UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal

Why big business should help small business - and how

Business In 60 Seconds