Hard Numbers: Qatar and Iran ink some deals, Hong Kong’s budget, global methane undercount, review undermines Pegasus claims

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani meets with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Doha.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani meets with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi, in Doha.

REUTERS

14: Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi signed 14 agreements with Doha during a visit to Qatar this week. The arrangements include cooperation on visas, trade, aviation, and culture. Tehran reportedly wants to build the world’s longest tunnel connecting the Iranian port town of Deyyar to its Qatari ally through the Gulf. Let’s see how the Saudis respond to the proposal …


22 billion: To try and boost its ailing economy, Hong Kong just released a new $22 billion budget that will include personal tax breaks as well as subsidies for struggling businesses. Along with China, Hong Kong is still pursuing a “zero-COVID” policy, which is putting a huge strain on businesses.

70: Countries have been underreporting their combined methane emissions by around 70%, a revelation the International Atomic Energy Agency has called “alarming.” Methane emissions, one-quarter of which come from agriculture, are the biggest contributors to climate change after carbon dioxide — and 80 times more potent in warming the planet.

23: An investigation by Israel’s Justice Ministry found that police did not use sophisticated spyware to illegally hack politicians, activists, and other persons of interest. The review found that in most cases – 23 out of 26 – there was no indication of hacking, and that warrants were obtained to target the other three.

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