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Hard Numbers: US jobless record, Forza Chinese bots, Afghan prisoner swap, and an EU wrist slap

Hard Numbers: US jobless record, Forza Chinese bots, Afghan prisoner swap, and an EU wrist slap

46.3: As China was delivering crucial medical supplies to hard-hit Italy in March, the uplifting hashtag #forzaCinaeItalia, which means "Go China and Italy!!" appeared to go viral, with help from Chinese official accounts. Turns out, around 46.3% of posts using the tag were pushed out by bots.

10.4: As the US economy goes on life support, around 10.4 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last two weeks of March alone. In February, unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent — economists warn we could be at 15% before long.

3: The European Court of Justice ruled Thursday that three EU countries – Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic – had violated a bloc-wide mandate to absorb a certain amount of the asylum seekers who arrived in the EU at the height of the migrant crisis back in 2015. The ruling, however, appears to be mostly symbolic.

100: Afghanistan's government began the process Thursday of exchanging 100 Taliban prisoners for 20 of its own security personnel held captive by the insurgent group. This is the first in a series of prisoner releases negotiated as part of a broader US-Taliban peace deal.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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The United States has never been more divided, and it's safe to say that social media's role in our national discourse is a big part of the problem. But renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher doesn't see any easy fix. "I don't know how you fix the architecture of a building that is just purposely dangerous for everybody." Swisher joins Ian Bremmer to talk about how some of the richest companies on Earth, whose business models benefit from discord and division, can be compelled to see their better angels. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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