Hard Numbers: Zimbabwe's Capital is Parched

16: On Monday, 16 Latin American countries endorsed economic sanctions on members of Venezuela's government as part of a growing effort to increase international pressure and oust its leader, Nicolas Maduro. The group – which includes Argentina, Colombia and Brazil – stopped short of support for a military intervention.


81: Public confidence in those who hold positions of power in the US is waning, with 81 percent of Americans agreeing that members of Congress act unethically "some" or "all or most of the time," according to a recent Pew poll. Over a third of those surveyed think that powerful people who behave unethically don't face serious consequences.

2 million: More than 2 million people in and around Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, were left without water on Monday after authorities cut off the taps, citing shortages of foreign currency to import treatment chemicals. This raises new fears about disease after a recent cholera epidemic and a longstanding drought that has devastated the country's crops.

16,000: US companies have lodged more than 16,000 requests for exemptions from the $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods that the Trump administration imposed last year. Of those, 63 percent have come from just one company, Minnesota's Arrowhead Engineered Products Inc., which imports car parts and other items now taxed with a 25 percent tariff that's set to rise next month.

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.

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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?

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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

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