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Hard Numbers: New COVID hotspots, India's property disputes, black representation on corporate boards

Hard Numbers: New COVID hotspots, India's property disputes, black representation on corporate boards

2: Over the past 14 days, the number of countries that have reported a rising number of new coronavirus cases was twice as large as the number reporting a slowdown in case growth, according to a New York Times analysis. While the pandemic is slowing in early epicenters across Asia, Europe, and the US, new hotspots are fast emerging in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Developing countries are especially vulnerable.


80,000: As pandemic-related lockdowns in India forced millions of migrant workers to return to their home villages, property disputes are flaring up as the cash-strapped returnees squabble over resources. Officials in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh recorded 80,000 property dispute cases in the first three weeks of May. That's nearly double the total number of cases between January and April.

37: According to a study by the media company Black Enterprise, 187 of the S&P 500 companies — about 37 percent — did not have a single black board member in 2019. That was a two percentage point improvement from the preceding year.

74: In a reflection of the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus crisis on people of color in the United States, 74 percent of black voters polled by the Financial Times said they'd taken a financial hit as a result of the pandemic, against 58 percent of white voters. A quarter of black respondents said they had lost their jobs, compared to 19 percent of white ones.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream