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Hard Numbers: "Rampant" human rights abuses in Idlib, UK unemployment bailout, Ethiopian clashes continue, Arizona tops global COVID list

Hard Numbers: "Rampant" human rights abuses in Idlib, UK unemployment bailout, Ethiopian clashes continue, Arizona tops global COVID list

52: Pro-government forces in Syria committed gross human rights violations against civilians during the recent military campaign to take back war-torn Idlib province, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The new UN report cites 52 separate attacks that led to vast destruction of infrastructure and civilian deaths.


30 billion: The British government has pledged 30 billion pounds ($37.7 billion) to address the country's pandemic-induced unemployment crisis. The scheme, similar to models adopted by many continental European countries in recent months, offers cash bonuses to employers who bring back furloughed workers.

239: At least 239 people have been killed in protests in Ethiopia following the murder last week of a popular singer named Hachalu Hundessa, who had called for the empowerment of the Oromo, the country's largest ethnic group.

1: If the US state of Arizona were a country, it would be number one in the world for racking up new daily COVID-19 cases, after recording an average of 3,300 new cases per million people over the past week. Arizona is followed by Florida, South Carolina, and Bahrain.

The role of the public library has evolved over time. As we move online at an even faster rate, knowledge, entertainment and opportunities for education and employment are found on the internet. Those living in well-connected, affluent places may have come to take internet access for granted. But there is a digital divide in the U.S. that has left people at a disadvantage – particularly since the arrival of COVID-19.

Finding ways to overcome that divide in a sustainable, community-led way could help bring the benefits of the internet to those who need it most. One solution is to use technologies such as TV white space to facilitate wireless broadband – as Microsoft's Airband Initiative is doing. To read more about Microsoft's work with public libraries, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Who does Vladimir Putin want to win the US election? Given the Kremlin's well-documented efforts to sway the 2016 vote in Donald Trump's favor, it's certainly a fair question. And while there's no solid evidence that Russian interference had any decisive effect on the outcome four years ago, the Trump administration itself says the Kremlin — and others — are now trying to mess with the election again.

So let's put you in Vladimir Putin's size 9 shoes as you weigh up Donald Trump vs Joe Biden while refreshing your own personal PyatTridsatVosem (FiveThirtyEight) up there in the Kremlin.

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"The 'American exceptionalism' that I grew up with, the 'American exceptionalism' of the Cold War…I do think has outlived its usefulness." Those words coming from Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top State Department official under President Obama, indicate how much the world has changed in the past few decades. Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: How a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy

Less than a week out from Election Day, 66 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and many of those are people who are voting "early" for the first time because of the pandemic. In fact, the early vote total alone this year is already equal to nearly half of all ballots cast in the 2016 general election, suggesting that 2020 turnout could reach historic levels. Most important, however, is how things are playing out in key battleground states where the outcome of the US election will be determined. In Texas, for instance, a huge surge in early voting by Democrats this year has raised the possibility that a state which has been won by Republican candidates since 1976 could now be up for grabs. Here we take a look at early voting in battleground states in 2020 as compared to 2016.

In a national referendum on Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new constitution. But, why are people in this oasis of political stability and steady economic growth in South America willing to undo the bedrock of the system that has allowed Chile to prosper for so long?

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