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.

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As protests over the police killing of George Floyd raged across the country, there have been more than 125 instances of journalists being shot with rubber bullets by police, arrested, or in some cases assaulted by protesters while covering the unrest.

Foreign news crews from Germany and Australia have been caught up in the crackdown. Australia's Prime Minister has even called for an investigation. Some of these journalists have simply been caught in the crossfire during surges of unrest, but video and photographic evidence reveals cases where police have deliberately targeted reporters doing their jobs.

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DRC's new Ebola wave: On the verge of eradicating an Ebola outbreak in the country's east which began back in 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has now identified a fresh wave of cases in the northwestern city of Mbandaka. The disease, which has a fatality rate of 25 – 90 percent depending on the outbreak's character, has already killed five people in recent weeks, prompting the World Health Organization to issue a grim warning that a surge of new cases could occur there in the coming months. (Ebola has an incubation period of about 21 days.) This comes as the central African country of 89 million also grapples with COVID-19 and the world's largest measles outbreak, which has killed 6,779 people there since 2019. In recent weeks, officials from the World Health Organization predicted that the DRC's deadly Ebola crisis, which has killed 2,275 people since 2018, would soon be completely vanquished.

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1.6 billion: Uganda's president said pandemic-related travel bans could cost his country $1.6 billion in tourism revenues this year. At the same time, with many Ugandan emigrants out of work in other countries hit hard by coronavirus, Uganda risks losing much of the $1.3 billion that they send home every year in remittances.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

First of all, from the global perspective, taking what we have here in New York City, obviously the biggest problem is America's leadership, America's ability to lead by example, which has been eroding now really for, you know, certainly a decade plus, but much more quickly now.

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