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Hard Numbers: The Spaniards are Going Home

89: In South Korea, 89% of consumer payments are now cashless, and paper money is becoming increasingly rare in Chinese cities. Here's an interesting look at what happens when cash disappears.

47 million: Spain's population grew in 2018 to 47 million, its highest point ever. The growth comes from an influx of migrants from North Africa but also from other European countries. In addition, the number of Spaniards returning home last year topped those who left the country for the first time in at least seven years. This population surge is fueled in part by a national economic growth rate that's forecast at double the Eurozone average in 2019.

76: According to a new survey from Gallup, 76% of US adults say immigration is good for the country — the highest figure to date by just one percentage point. But 23% say immigration is the country's most important problem — also the highest figure ever by one point.

0: The masses headed for this weekend's famed Glastonbury Music Festival are in for a surprise. Just two years ago, the Glastonbury crowd consumed one million plastic bottles. This year, that number will be zero as event organizers take the festival green. No word yet on what all those people will be drinking from.

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Not everyone celebrates the US holiday of Thanksgiving, but we've all got something to be grateful for in this awful year, right? So as Americans gather around the table — or the Zoom — to give thanks on Thursday, here's what a few world leaders are grateful for at the moment.

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Joe Biden has had one of the longest political careers in American history, but his most important act is yet to come. Can decades of experience in Washington prepare him to lead the most divided America since the end of the Civil War?

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe


With President Trump and most of the Republican Party still refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden has won the election, it seems pretty likely that the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed Washington for at least the past four years is not going anywhere any time soon. How will President-elect Biden deal with Donald Trump once the latter is, eventually, out of the White House? And how will Biden deal with Mitch McConnell and a Republican party hellbent on opposing him? "If you get past the theater for a second," suggests Biden biographer and New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos, "you see that there is something deeply different in the relationship that Biden has with McConnell that Obama never had with McConnell." Osnos' conversation with Ian Bremmer is featured on GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists plead guilty: The name Joshua Wong has become synonymous with Hong Kong's once-dynamic pro-democracy movement. But the democrats' momentum has all but fizzled since Beijing imposed a draconian national security law back in May, outlawing secessionist activity and criminalizing foreign influence in Hong Kong. Now Wong, who was instrumental in the 2014 pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement," is pleading guilty in a Hong Kong court to organizing and taking part in pro-democracy protests that gripped the semi-autonomous city for much of 2019. He and his two co defendants — all of them in their 20's — have been remanded until sentencing, scheduled for December 2, and are likely to face prison terms of various lengths. Wong, for his part, said he decided to switch his plea to "guilty" after consulting with his lawyer. (Knowing that the trial would mostly be a sham, the trio decided to plead guilty in order to speed up the process, according to reports.) This internationally watched court case comes as Beijing has increasingly cracked down on Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp in recent months, prompting the US to impose sanctions on Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, and several Western governments to terminate special economic relationship with the city. To date, there have been more than 2,000 prosecutions linked to last year's protests.

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The 2020 US Election

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