Hard Numbers: Viva Zapata

30,000: According to the UN, just over 30,000 refugees have reached Europe by boat across the Mediterranean so far this year. That compares with 114,000 for all of 2018, 171,000 in 2017, 363,000 in 2016, and more than 1 million at the height of the crisis in 2015.

4.25: Turkey's central bank slashed interest rates by a whopping 4.25 points this week, the biggest cut in 17 years. This is an important story because it shows just how desperate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to boost the local economy out of a recession that threatens his political popularity.

37,900: About 37,900 people held jobs in American newsrooms in 2018, according to Pew. In 2008, the figure was 71,000. Only a fraction of those journalists have been re-hired by digital media outlets.

10: Remember Franky Zapata, the former jet ski champion and inventor riding a hoverboard while carrying an assault rifle above the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris? Franky attempted this week to cross the English Channel on that board in 20 minutes at an average speech of about 87 mph at an average height of about 50 feet above the water. But 10 minutes into the flight, Franky got very wet. He says he'll try again. #TheRealRonObvious

Microsoft announced earlier this year the launch of a new United Nations representation office to deepen their support for the UN's mission and work. Many of the big challenges facing society can only be addressed effectively through multi-stakeholder action. Whether it's public health, environmental sustainability, cybersecurity, terrorist content online or the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, Microsoft has found that progress requires two elements - international cooperation among governments and inclusive initiatives that bring in civil society and private sector organizations to collaborate on solutions. Microsoft provided an update on their mission, activities for the 75th UN General Assembly, and the team. To read the announcement from Microsoft's Vice President of UN Affairs, John Frank, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Over the past eight days, the US-China relationship got notably hotter. None of the new developments detailed below is big enough by itself to kill hopes for better relations next year, but collectively they point in a dangerous direction.

US jabs over Hong Kong: On September 14, the US State Department issued a travel warning for the city because of what it calls China's "arbitrary enforcement of local laws" by police. The US is closely monitoring the case of 10 people detained by China while attempting to flee to Taiwan by boat. China's response to US criticism of its new security law in Hong Kong remains muted. That could change if relations deteriorate further.

More Show less

Trump is willing to give up Wisconsin for Belarus' democracy? When multilateralism hits the Zoom calls, we can't really tell what's real and what's not. #PUPPETREGIME

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on how the pandemic has influenced climate action:

Has the pandemic helped or harmed efforts to tackle climate change?

More Show less

In a new interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, conducted on the eve of the 2020 General Assembly, UN Secretary-General António Guterres confronts the challenges of leading a multilateral organization in an increasingly nationalistic world. "I am not naïve," he tells Bremmer. "I know this is going to be a very tough ideological battle."

Watch the episode: UN Secretary-General António Guterres: Why we still need the United Nations

How has the pandemic influenced climate action?

Business In 60 Seconds