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Hard Numbers: Undercounted US COVID deaths, India boosts Maldives, England's COVID antibodies, Namibia rebuffs Germany

Hard Numbers: Undercounted US COVID deaths, India boosts Maldives, England's COVID antibodies, Namibia rebuffs Germany

200,000: At least 200,000 more people have died in the US since March than in previous years during the same time frame, according to analysis conducted by the New York Times. This means that official government data is undercounting COVID-19 deaths in the US by at least 60,000, the Times says.

500 million: India has pledged $500 million towards a bridge project in the Maldives that would link the capital Malé to nearby islands. Investment in the island nation, which has become a key part of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, reflects New Delhi's attempt to counter Beijing's influence in the region amid an intensifying rivalry between the two powers.

6: Nearly six percent of all people in England (3.4 million residents) contracted COVID-19 by the end of June, according to new research which tested 100,000 people for coronavirus antibodies. At least 13 percent of all people living in London have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, a sign of the vast scale of the outbreak in England.

10 million: Namibia has rebuffed a compensation package from Germany — totaling a reported 10 million euros — aimed at compensating the African nation for crimes committed there during German colonial rule (1884-1915) resulting in tens of thousands of indigenous deaths — often referred to as the 20th century's first genocide. Local media reports that part of the dispute is about using the term "reparations," with Germany favoring a less "evocative" term such as "healing the wounds."

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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On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

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Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

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In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

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Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream