Hard Numbers: The shrinking Amazon, US views on #BLM, Boko Haram attack, the UK economy's bad case of COVID

10,000: Under Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's push to develop the Amazon, more than 10,000 square kilometers of the rainforest were destroyed last year. That's an area equal to the size of Lebanon, and it's a 34 percent increase over 2018. So far this year, destruction of the Amazon is already up 55 percent. The Amazon's vast absorption of greenhouse gasses is critical for limiting global warming, scientists say.


53: Two weeks of nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd have moved a majority (53 percent) of Americans to support the Black Lives Matter movement for the first time, according to the pollster Civiqs. Before Floyd's death, the figure stood at 48 percent, the highest mark on record at the time.

11.5: The UK economy will shrink 11.5 percent this year, the worst of any major economy, says the OECD, a group of advanced countries. And that's the optimistic case, which assumes no "second wave" of coronavirus. If another wave breaks, Britain's GDP would contract 14 percent. Analysts say that the UK's economic dependence on services has made it especially vulnerable to coronavirus-related shutdowns.

81: Boko Haram jihadists are suspected in an attack on a village in Northeastern Nigeria that left at least 81 people dead on Tuesday. The terror group has killed more than 30,000 people over the past decade, in a conflict that has displaced more than 2.5 million. With governments around the world distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, the group has recently increased its attacks.

Civil rights activist Janet Murguía joins the 'That Made All the Difference' podcast to discuss her upbringing as the daughter of immigrant parents and how that experience informs her life's work advocating for Hispanic-Latino civil rights and battling systemic inequality.

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"Go ahead, take it," President Putin says to you.

"Take what?" you ask.

"This Covid vaccine," he continues, turning a small syringe over in his hands. "It's safe. Trust me. We… tested it on my daughter."

Would you do it? Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting that a lot of people will say yes. On Tuesday he announced that Russia has become the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine, and that mass vaccinations will begin there in October.

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20.4: The UK economy is now officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years, after British economic growth plunged by 20.4 percent quarter-on-quarter from April to June 2020. The quarterly decline — attributed to the economic crisis fueled by the coronavirus pandemic ­— is double that of the US and second only to Spain's in Europe.

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Vietnam vs coronavirus (round 2): After going three months with no local transmissions of COVID-19, Vietnam is worried about a resurgence of the disease after a recent outbreak in the coastal city of Da Nang that has already spread to 11 other locations throughout the country. Authorities in Vietnam — widely considered a global success story in handling the pandemic thanks to its aggressive testing, contact-tracing and quarantines — believe the Da Nang outbreak is tied to an influx of domestic tourism there after lockdown restrictions were recently eased by the government. As a precaution, they have converted a 1,000-seat Da Nang sports stadium into a field hospital to treat the sick in case local hospitals become overwhelmed. More than 1,000 medical personnel, assisted by Cuban doctors, have been sent there to screen residents, and the capital Hanoi plans to test 72,000 people who recently returned from Da Nang. Will Vietnam prevail again in its second battle against COVID-19?

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"First off you have to say, it's not just one epidemic. There are many outbreaks. All epidemiology is local, just like politics," former CDC director Dr. Frieden told Ian Bremmer. He expressed concerns that, although COVID-19 is relatively under control in the Northeast, outbreaks continue to rage across the South and Southwest. The real failure, Frieden argues, is at the federal level where nearly six months into a pandemic Washington still lacks the data required to understand the virus' spread, let alone control it.