Hard Numbers: US sets mass killing record in 2019

38: The amount of pure alcohol that the average Russian adult consumes annually has fallen a whopping 38 percent to 11.1 liters since 2007, thanks mainly to better public health policies. Russia, which used to be #1 in the global boozing rank, is now ninth, behind countries including France, Ireland, Czech Republic, and Lithuania (which is now in the top spot.)

79: A truck bomb in the Somali capital of Mogadishu killed at least 79 people on Saturday. The powerful Islamist militants of al-Shabaab, who oppose the weak, UN-backed national government, are believed to have carried out the attack, Somalia's worst in two years.

41: This year, the United States suffered more mass killings, 41 in total, than in any other year on record. The attacks, most of which were carried out with firearms, killed 211 people. A "mass killing" is any incident in which four or more people (excluding the perpetrator) are killed.

10: The population fell in 10 of the European Union's 28 member states last year, all of them in Eastern and Southern Europe. Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Lithuania each lost more than 0.5 percent of their people in a single year. Emigration and low birthrates are to blame, while political and social resistance to immigration continues.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the Eastern European countries named had lost 5 percent of their population in a single year. The correct figure is 0.5 percent.

The world is at a turning point. Help shape our future by taking this one-minute survey from the United Nations. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN is capturing people's priorities for the future, and crowdsourcing solutions to global challenges. The results will shape the UN's work to recover better from COVID-19, and ensure its plans reflect the views of the global public. Take the survey here.

As the coronavirus pandemic has plunged much of the world economy into turmoil, you've probably heard a lot about what might happen to "supply chains," the vast networks of manufacturing and shipping that help create and deliver all those plastic toys, iPhones, cars, pills, pants, yogurt, and N95 face-masks you've been waiting on.

The future of global supply chains is an especially important question for China, the world's manufacturing powerhouse. Some countries and companies now worry about relying too much on any single supplier for consumer and medical goods, let alone one where the government hid the first evidence of what became a global pandemic and sometimes enforces trade and investment rules in seemingly arbitrary ways. The US-China trade war — and the vulnerabilities it reveals for manufacturers — certainly don't help.

More Show less

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Got through the Fourth of July. Pretty rough one for 2020 here in the United States. Still in the thick of it as we see caseload exploding in the United States. But really, the virus is all about developing markets right now. Poor countries around the world very soon, with the exception of the US and the UK, all of the top 10 countries around the world in terms of coronavirus caseload will be poorer countries. Let's keep in mind, these are countries that test a lot less, which means the actual numbers, in the United States the experts are saying probable likelihood of total cases is about 10x what we've actually seen in the US, in emerging markets and most of them, it's more like between 20 and 100. In other words, this is really where the virus now is.

More Show less

Many countries around the world — mostly democracies in the Americas, Asia, and Europe — have condemned China's recent move to implement a draconian new security law for Hong Kong that in effect ends the autonomy granted to the territory when it reverted from British control to Chinese rule in 1997. However, last week 52 countries expressed support for China's decision at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Most of these countries either owe China a lot of money or are relatively authoritarian regimes themselves — but not all of them. Here's a look at the China-debt exposure and freedom rankings of the countries that took Beijing's side on the new Hong Kong law.

0: The trial in the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi opened in a Turkish court on Friday, but 0 of the 20 Saudi agents accused of the gruesome murder were actually in the courtroom. Saudi Arabia says its own closed-door trial over the slaying was sufficient, and has so far refused to extradite the suspects to Turkey, where Khashoggi was killed.

More Show less