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Hard Numbers: Testy US Supreme Court hearing, India's COVID milestone, Mexico invests in vaccine, Nigeria's deadly squad

Demonstrators for and against President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett gather outside the US Supreme Court on the first day of Senate confirmation hearings

4: The US Senate started four days of hearings Monday for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. The contentious hearing kicked off despite the fact that several Republican senators who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which conducts the hearing, tested positive for COVID-19, while the Republican chair of the committee refused to get tested.


7 million: As of Sunday, India had recorded more than 7 million confirmed coronavirus cases. That is the second highest tally in the world, after the United States. India's rate of COVID deaths per 100,000 people is more than eight times lower than in the US, even though its population is only about three times as large.

160 million: Mexico, currently suffering the world's highest rate of deaths among confirmed COVID cases, has paid $160 million to secure vaccines from the World Health Organization's COVAX international vaccine distribution initiative.

82: Nigeria has dissolved its feared "Anti-Robbery Squad" after days of protests over the force's brutal methods. Amnesty International had documented at least 82 instances of the squad carrying out killings, mock executions, and torture in recent years.

A decade ago, Bank of America established the Global Ambassadors Program with Vital Voices, and the results are phenomenal. We've provided 8,000 hours of training and mentoring, engaging 400 women from 85 countries and helping women around the world build their businesses.

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, US President George W. Bush demanded that Afghanistan's Taliban government surrender Osama bin Laden and end support for al-Qaeda. The Taliban refused.

On October 7, US bombs began falling on Taliban forces. NATO allies quickly pledged support for the US, and US boots hit the ground in Afghanistan two weeks later.

Thus began a war, now the longest in US history, that has killed more than 3,500 coalition soldiers and 110,000 Afghans. It has cost the American taxpayer nearly $3 trillion. US allies have also made human and material sacrifices.

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US and Russia buy time to talk arms control: Americans and Russians are close to agreeing on a one-year extension of their last remaining nuclear arms control agreement. For months the two sides have been unable to settle on terms to extend the New START treaty, an agreement limiting long-range nuclear weapons that was hammered out by the Kremlin and the Obama administration back in 2011, and expires next February. One of the main points of contention was the Trump administration's insistence that Russia bring China into any new arms control pact. But Beijing has no interest in capping its nuclear arsenal at levels far lower than what the US and Russia have, while the Kremlin says that if China is part of it, then other Western nuclear powers like the UK and France should join as well. But those disputes will be shelved now, as Moscow and Washington have agreed to freeze their nuclear arsenals for one year and to keep talking about an extension in the meantime. Of course, the Kremlin — which proposed the one-year extension as a stopgap — can't be sure just whom they'll be talking to on the US side after January…

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It almost didn't happen — but here we are again. US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden face off tonight in the final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.

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Three years ago, long before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, a different kind of virus spread around the world: a piece of malicious software code launched by a nation state. It paralyzed computer networks in hundreds of countries, disrupted global shipping, forced pharmaceutical factories to shut down, and inflicted an estimated $10 billion of economic damage.

On the physical battlefield, a widely accepted set of rules, backed by international law, governs conduct, with the aim of protecting soldiers and civilians. Establishing common rules or guardrails is much harder in cyberspace, where borders can't be easily defined and the tools and tactics of combat are always changing. But it has never been more urgent.

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