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Hard Numbers: Polish culture wars, Burkina Faso refugees, US jets for Taiwan, big loss for Norway

Hard Numbers: Polish culture wars, Burkina Faso refugees, US jets for Taiwan, big loss for Norway

67,800: The town of Tuchow in southern Poland will receive $67,800 in government funding after losing access to EU financial assistance for declaring itself "free of LGBTQ ideology." LGBTQ rights have become a flashpoint of Polish culture wars, with the ruling Law and Justice party pushing for what it calls "pro-family" policies in rural parts of the country despite EU threats to withdraw funding if such towns discriminate against LBGTQ people.


1 million: About one million people are now displaced due to increasing violence in Burkina Faso, where jihadist groups and a trigger-happy army are wreaking havoc on the local population. On top of climate change, which is making droughts more intense and frequent, now now the coronavirus pandemic has aggravated an already dire humanitarian emergency in the country, one of the poorest in Africa.

66: The US Air Force has agreed to sell 66 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan. The sale comes amid rapidly deteriorating ties between the US and China, which considers Taiwan part of its territory, and just a week after the US made its highest-level visit to the island since recognizing the People's Republic of China in 1979.

$21 billion: Norway's sovereign wealth fund lost 188 billion kroner ($21 billion) in the first half of 2020 as a result of plummeting stock prices worldwide due to COVID-19. Close to 70 percent of the fund — where the Norwegian state invests its oil revenues — is held in stocks.

Pop quiz: what percentage of plastic currently gets recycled worldwide? Watch this video in Eni's Energy Shot series to find out and learn what needs to be done to prevent plastic from ending up in our oceans. Plastic is a precious resource that should be valued, not wasted.

Ten years ago this week, a powerful earthquake off the coast of eastern Japan triggered a tsunami that destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, resulting in the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. A decade and dozens of decommissioned reactors later, nuclear energy still supplies about 10 percent of global electricity, but its future remains uncertain amid post-Fukushima safety concerns.

As more countries pledge to curb emissions to mitigate climate change, nuclear could serve as a clean(ish) and reliable source of energy. But investing more in nuclear comes with tradeoffs.

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This Monday, March 8, is International Women's Day, a holiday with roots in a protest led by the Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai that helped topple the czar of Russia in 1917. More than a hundred years later, amid a global pandemic that has affected women with particular fury, there are dozens of women-led protests and social movements reshaping politics around the globe. Here we take a look at a few key ones to watch this year.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hey everybody. Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week, life looking better every day in the United States, coronavirus land. But I thought I'd talk about, this week, all of this cancel culture that everyone's talking about right now. If you're on the wrong political side, your opponents are trying to shut you down and you take massive umbrage. I see this everywhere, and it's starting to annoy.

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"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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