Hard Numbers

2.6 million: More than 2.6 million people in North Korea, or over 10 percent of the population, live under slavery, the highest number for any country in the world according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index. The report’s definition of slavery includes victims of traditional slavery, human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, and the sale and exploitation of children.


250,000: Sondos Alqattan, a Kuwaiti social media star known for beauty tips, made news this week with an Instagram post complaining about a new law that gives Filipino guest workers one day off each week and allows them to refuse to surrender their passports to their employers. More than 250,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait, most as maids or domestic helpers. Guest-workers in the Middle East have suffered sometimes deadly abuse at the hands of their employers in cases that rarely make headlines.

17,000:There are nearly 17,000 active criminal cases against members of Pakistan’s outgoing PML-N party for breaking election rules. That compares to just 39 against members of Imran Khan's PTI party.

141: Zimbabwe’s elections may be much fairer than in the past, but the government still has its thumb on the scale. The ruling party, Zanu-PF, recently announced pay hikes for civil servants (17.5 percent), police (20 percent) and soldiers (22.5 percent). And a fingerprint ID system hasn’t erasedfrom the rolls a voter aged 141.

120: The military and civil cyber-security market grew from $3.5 billion in 2004 to $120 billion in 2017. The conflicts of the future will be fought in invisible trenches.

Paper was originally made from rags until the introduction of cellulose in 1800. Since then, it has transformed into a "circular" industry, with 55% of paper produced in Italy recovered. It no longer just comes from trees, either. Some companies produce paper with scraps from the processing of other products like wool and walnuts.

Learn more about this rags to riches story in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

Donald Trump can still win re-election in November, but foreign governments read the same polls we do. They know that Joe Biden heads into the homestretch with a sizeable polling lead — both nationally and in the states most likely to decide the outcome. Naturally, they're thinking ahead to what a Biden foreign policy might look like.

They're probably glad that Biden gives them a half-century track record to study. (He was first elected to local office in 1970 and to the US Senate in 1972.) The six years he spent as ranking member, then chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his term as co-chairman of the Senate's NATO Observer Group, and his eight years as Barack Obama's vice president tell them that he's essentially a "liberal internationalist," a person who believes that America must lead a global advance of democracy and freedom — and that close cooperation with allies is essential for success.

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On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer explores the escalating tension between the world's two biggest geopolitical and economic players—the US and China. With guest Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, Bremmer discusses the modern history of China after the fall of the Soviet Union and why another Cold War might be inevitable.

Watch the episode.


On the GZERO World Podcast, Ian Bremmer explores the escalating tension between the world's two biggest geopolitical and economic players—the US and China. With guest Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, Bremmer discusses the modern history of China after the fall of the Soviet Union and why another Cold War might be inevitable.

Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and Vladimir Putin gather via Zoom for a meeting of the Pandemic Presidents. But who's the top Corona King of them all? #PUPPETREGIME