Hard Numbers: Trump's low COVID trust, Facebook blocks Thai critics, Africa beats polio, tourism loses big

Hard Numbers: Trump's low COVID trust, Facebook blocks Thai critics, Africa beats polio, tourism loses big

31: Only 31 percent of Americans say they trust President Trump on the coronavirus pandemic, compared to 46 percent for his opponent Joe Biden, according to a new poll. Trump has been under fire for playing down the importance of COVID-19, touting the benefits of untested drugs to combat the disease, and claiming that the US is doing a good job on the pandemic despite leading global cases and deaths.


500,000: More than half a million new users have joined a new Facebook group created by a Thai activist who openly criticizes the monarchy, until recently a taboo subject in Thailand. The group was set up by another dissident just hours after the social media giant complied with a government order to block access to a similar Facebook group with over a million members.

0: African health authorities have declared the continent free from the wild poliovirus. However, Africa has not yet completely eradicated the so-called vaccine-derived polio virus, a rare mutated form of the disease that is in fact caused by the vaccine against the wild poliovirus.

320 billion: The global tourism industry lost about $320 billion in the first five months of 2020, as tourist arrivals have more than halved around the world and more than 120 million tourism-related jobs are still in jeopardy. "Tourism has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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From climate change to connecting more people to the Internet, big companies like Microsoft are seeing an increasing role within multilateral organizations like the UN and the World Health Organization. John Frank, Microsoft's VP of UN Affairs, explains the contributions tech companies and other multinational corporations are making globally during this time of crisis and challenge.

7: Among the 10 nations showing the highest COVID-19 death rates per 100,000 people, seven are in Latin America. Weak health systems, frail leadership, and the inability of millions of working poor to do their daily jobs remotely have contributed to the regional crisis. Peru tops the global list with nearly 100 fatalities per 100,000 people. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia are also in the top 10.

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