Hard Numbers: US economy’s dead-cat bounce, Myanmar fake news on Facebook, French MEP on hunger strike, Ivorian presidential hopefuls
7.4: The US economy grew by 7.4 percent in the third quarter, the largest jump in history. Given the pandemic-induced beating that America's GDP took in the previous quarter, any reopening was bound to be big. In fact, economists have a macabre term for this: "a dead-cat bounce" (even a dead cat will bounce if you drop it from a high enough window).
99.4: In Myanmar, 99.4 percent of social media users are on Facebook. Just days before the country's general election, the company is struggling to contain a deluge of fake news items, including rumors that Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's de-facto leader, has died from the coronavirus. In 2018, Facebook was implicated in the military's attempted genocide of the country's Rohingya minority.
0.01: A French lawmaker in the European Parliament is on a 15-day hunger strike over insufficient EU funding for health and climate change research. Socialist Pierre Larrouturou is calling for a 0.01 percent tax on financial transactions that he believes could raise 50 billion euros ($58.5 billion) per year for the bloc's budget.4: Only four candidates are running for president in Saturday's election in the Ivory Coast, the world's top producer of cocoa beans (from which chocolate is made). One of them is the incumbent, Alassane Ouattara, who is in the race after a controversial court ruling allowed him to stand for reelection despite a constitutional two-term limit.