Hard Numbers: Record-high carbon levels, Chinese property taxes, US hits Russia on “homeless nationals,” German IS conviction
149: The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached a record-high 413.2 parts per million in 2020, 149 percent above pre-industrial levels. A new report by the UN weather agency released ahead of the COP26 climate summit found that last year's lower emissions due to COVID-related lockdowns had no impact on the overall amount of greenhouse gases causing global warming.
5: China will conduct a five-year pilot program to test a nationwide property tax in parts of the country. Xi Jinping wants to rein in speculation in the real estate market following the Evergrande debt crisis and to redistribute wealth more equitably under his much-touted "common prosperity" vision.
1,200: Russians hoping to get a US immigrant visa in Moscow will now have to travel 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) to apply at the US embassy in Warsaw, Poland. Washington has classified Russians as "homeless nationals" — who can only solicit visas in third countries — in response to the Kremlin recently limiting the number of American diplomats it will accredit to work in Russia.10: A German woman who joined the Islamic State in Iraq was sentenced to 10 years in jail for letting a five-year-old Yazidi girl she and her IS husband had purchased as a slave, die of starvation. The woman was arrested in Turkey in 2016 and later extradited to Germany, where she was tried under universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity.