Hard Numbers: Locusts swarm again, Americans refute death toll, vaccine race, diamond diggers die

18: There are currently 18 locust swarms ravaging northern Kenya, as part of the second wave of locusts now plaguing East Africa. Authorities warn that if the crop-devouring insects continue to multiply in the coming months, a humanitarian crisis could quickly develop in a region where millions already rely on food aid to survive.


67: Most Americans – some 67 percentdon't believe the official US coronavirus death toll. Forty-four percent of those surveyed say the current toll of 70,100 is an undercount, while 23 percent think the number is inflated. Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to think the number is too low.

4: As the global competition to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 intensifies, four Chinese companies have already started testing vaccine candidates on humans. That means China now has more companies at this advanced trial stage than the US and UK combined. However, China's vaccine industry has long been accused of poor quality standards.

25: At least 25 diamond diggers working in the Liberian town of Masakpa, near the border with Sierra Leone, are presumed dead after a mine they dug collapsed. Despite efforts to weed out Liberia's "blood diamond" trade, diamonds are still mined and sold for millions in West Africa before being traded for weapons.

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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.

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600,000: French authorities said 600,000 residents downloaded its new coronavirus contact tracing up within the first few hours of its release. The app, which aims to prevent a second wave of infections in that hard-hit country, has stirred controversy in France amid concerns that the data it gathers could be abused by the government to surveil people.

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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.

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