Hard Numbers: Japan's tourism troubles, lockdown delays cost lives, violence in South Sudan, Nigerians lack access to water

99.9: Japan has recorded its steepest drop in tourism in over fifty years, with just 2,900 foreign nationals entering the country last month, a dip of more than 99.9 percent compared to the previous year. Consider that in 2018, the last year for which comprehensive data is available, around 7 percent of Japan's total GDP came from tourism.


300: At least 300 people were killed in South Sudan's Jonglei state in recent days amid ongoing clashes between rival communities. Violence between warring ethnic groups has intensified in recent months despite the signing of a treaty earlier this year aimed at ending the state's enduring civil war.

36,000: Delays in implementing lockdowns across the US to curb the spread of the coronavirus cost tens of thousands of lives, according to new data released by Columbia University. If residents in hard-hit places like New York City, New Orleans and Detroit were ordered to stay home one week earlier, at least 36,000 lives would have been saved, researchers say. Two weeks earlier would have spared 54,000.

60 million: Living through a pandemic is trying, but living through a pandemic when you don't have easy access to clean water is extremely difficult. Some 60 million Nigerians, a third of the population, have to leave their homes to access clean drinking water, complicating efforts to maintain effective sanitation and hygiene needed within families to curb the virus' spread.

Visit Microsoft on The Issues for a front-row seat to see how Microsoft is thinking about the future of AI and work; sustainability; cybersecurity and elections; accessibility and more. Check back regularly to watch videos, and read blogs and feature stories to see how Microsoft is approaching the issues that matter most. Subscribe for the latest at Microsoft on the Issues.

As protests over the police killing of George Floyd raged across the country, there have been more than 125 instances of journalists being shot with rubber bullets by police, arrested, or in some cases assaulted by protesters while covering the unrest.

Foreign news crews from Germany and Australia have been caught up in the crackdown. Australia's Prime Minister has even called for an investigation. Some of these journalists have simply been caught in the crossfire during surges of unrest, but video and photographic evidence reveals cases where police have deliberately targeted reporters doing their jobs.

More Show less

As anti- racism protests rocked US cities in recent days, thousands of people gathered in cities around the world in solidarity. In some instances, demonstrators assembled outside US embassies — in Berlin, London, Paris, and elsewhere — to condemn the police killing of George Floyd. In others, crowds inspired by the Floyd demonstrations gathered to protest systemic racial injustice in their own societies. Here's a look at where demonstrators have taken to the streets in recent days.

This week, Ian Bremmer is joined by analyst Michael Hirson to take the Red Pen to an op-ed by New York Times Opinion columnist Bret Stephens.

Today, we're marking up a recent op-ed by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, entitled "China and the Rhineland Moment." And the subheading here is that "America and its allies must not simply accept Beijing's aggression." Basically, Bret is arguing that US-China relations are at a tipping point brought on by China's implementation of a new national security law for Hong Kong. And he compares this to Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland in 1936, describes it as the first domino to fall in Beijing's ambitions.

More Show less

DRC's new Ebola wave: On the verge of eradicating an Ebola outbreak in the country's east which began back in 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has now identified a fresh wave of cases in the northwestern city of Mbandaka. The disease, which has a fatality rate of 25 – 90 percent depending on the outbreak's character, has already killed five people in recent weeks, prompting the World Health Organization to issue a grim warning that a surge of new cases could occur there in the coming months. (Ebola has an incubation period of about 21 days.) This comes as the central African country of 89 million also grapples with COVID-19 and the world's largest measles outbreak, which has killed 6,779 people there since 2019. In recent weeks, officials from the World Health Organization predicted that the DRC's deadly Ebola crisis, which has killed 2,275 people since 2018, would soon be completely vanquished.

More Show less