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Hard Numbers: US sets another COVID record, Europe's vaccine distro timeline, migrants drown off Dunkirk, Melbourne's enduring lockdown

A member of the medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) pushes a stretcher outside the CHR Sambre-Meuse hospital, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Auvelais, Belgium October 28, 2020

500,000: The US recorded 500,000 new COVID-19 cases over the past week, the highest 7-day total since the start of the pandemic. At least 20 states recorded their highest ever seven-day averages of new cases during that period. Meanwhile, the Trump administration released a press release Tuesday noting some of its key accomplishments, which included "ending the pandemic."


4: At least four people were found dead in waters of the coastal city of Dunkirk, France, after attempting to cross the English Channel by boat. Despite efforts by French and British authorities, migrants — many of whom sought asylum elsewhere in Europe after fleeing conflict and instability in Yemen, Eritrea, Chad, Sudan, and Iraq — have long used France as a launch pad to reach the UK.

111: After 111 days, Melbourne, Australia, has lifted one of the world's longest lockdowns, paving the way for some 5 million people to reopen businesses, meet in small groups, and dine out. The opening came after the city recorded zero COVID cases on Monday and Tuesday for the first time since June.

50 million: As Europe grapples with a horrifying uptick in COVID-19 cases, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, said Wednesday that, according to the best-case scenario, around 50 million vaccine doses would be delivered to the EU per month starting next spring. On October 23 alone, at least 225,000 EU residents tested positive for COVID-19, the highest daily rate on record.

Dating and debates, music festivals and dance classes, work and education – an increasing amount of our social interactions now take place online. With this shift to virtual venues, ensuring kindness and respect in everyday interactions and encounters is more important than ever.

The digital space has become a fundamental part of the national and international conversation, and has also, at times, become a breeding ground for bullying, trolling and hate speech. There is a clear need for more "digital good" to ensure that online encounters have a constructive impact on everyone involved. To learn more about digital good and what it means, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

As the global vaccination race heats up, the most populous country in the world is trying to do three very hard things at once.

India, grappling with the second highest confirmed COVID caseload in the world, recently embarked on what it called "the world's largest" coronavirus vaccination campaign, seeking to inoculate a sizable swath of its 1.4 billion people.

That alone would be a herculean challenge, but India is also making hundreds of millions of jabs as part of the global COVAX initiative to inoculate low-income countries. And as if those two things weren't enough, Delhi also wants to win hearts and minds by doling out millions more shots directly to other countries in its neighborhood.

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26,000: Efforts by the Australian government to keep the pandemic at bay have harmed the country's agriculture sector, which relies on foreign workers to tend to crops and cultivate the land. Australia had a deficit of some 26,000 farmworkers because of entry restrictions in recent months, Agri businesses say, resulting in tens of millions of dollars worth of wasted crops.

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When America's top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was last on GZERO World in the fall of 2019, just weeks before the pandemic hit, he saw the country's the anti-vax movement as concerning, but still a fringe issue. What a difference a year makes, with one in five Americans saying today that they're reluctant to take the COVID-10 vaccine. Why has vaccine hesitancy grown so much?
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Millions of people leave their home countries each year, fleeing conflict or violence, seeking better work opportunities, or simply to be closer to family. What proportion of those people are women? In many of the countries that are home to the largest migrant populations, a majority, in fact. While many women leave home for the same reasons as men (social instability or economic opportunity) gender-based violence or persecution often play a special role in women's decisions to pick up stakes and move. Here's a look at the gender breakdown of some of the world's largest migrant populations.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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