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800,000: Flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala, the worst in a century, has displaced some 800,000 people and killed more than 350. Officials have put estimates of storm damage at nearly $3 billion.


700,000: South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants to set up rail links with the North, a project that could create more than 700,000 jobs in South Korea over the next five years, according to the IBK institute. Moon, whose approval rating has hit its lowest level since he took office in 2017, is eyeing the economic dividends from détente with Kim Jong-un.

90: More than 90 percent of Ethiopians hold a favorable view of the newly installed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, according to local research firm WAAS International. That may well make Mr. Abiy – who has pledged broad reforms and pulled off a historic peace overture with neighboring Eritrea – the most popular leader in the world.

37.3: Since being thrown behind bars, Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has only seen his popular support grow. Recent polls give him 37.3 percent of voter intentions – a 5 percentage point bump from the previous month – ahead of October’s pivotal election. The closest contender is far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro with 18.3 percent of voter intentions.

5: The Venezuelan government moved this week to create a new currency, the “Sovereign Bolívar,” by simply wiping away five zeros from its existing legal tender. Not bad if you compare it with Hungary, which shed 29 zeros from its currency between 1945 and 1946, and Yugoslavia, whose currency dropped 27 zeros from 1990 to 1994.

Pop quiz: what percentage of plastic currently gets recycled worldwide? Watch this video in Eni's Energy Shot series to find out and learn what needs to be done to prevent plastic from ending up in our oceans. Plastic is a precious resource that should be valued, not wasted.

This Monday, March 8, is International Women's Day, a holiday with roots in a protest led by the Russian feminist Alexandra Kollontai that helped topple the Tsar of Russia in 1917. More than a hundred years later, amid a global pandemic that has affected women with particular fury, there are dozens of women-led protests and social movements reshaping politics around the globe. Here we take a look at a few key ones to watch this year.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny shocked the world last year when he recovered from an attempted assassination plot by poisoning — an attempt that bore all the fingerprints of Russian government. Then he shocked the world again by returning to Russia and timing that return with the release of an hours-long documentary that catalogued the Putin regime's extensive history of corruption. Virtually no one, therefore, was shocked when he was immediately sentenced to a lengthy prison term. Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and expert on authoritarian regimes, believes there was a method to Navalny's madness. "His decision of '….I'm going to do something that harms me personally, but is going to be a lesson for Russians. I'm going teach a generation of Russians how to be brave.' I mean, not very many people would have the guts to do that."

Applebaum's conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World, airing on public television stations nationwide starting Friday, March 5. Check local listings.

It's not like things are going well in Mexico.

COVID has killed more people there than in any country except the United States and Brazil. Just 2 percent of Mexicans have gotten a first vaccine jab, compared with nearly 24 in the US. The Biden administration made clear this week that it won't send vaccines to its southern neighbor until many more Americans have been vaccinated. Mexico's government has cut deals for doses from China, Russia, and India.

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A body blow for Pakistan's Prime Minister: Imran Khan suffered an embarrassing defeat this week when members of the National Assembly, the country's lower house, voted to give the opposition bloc a majority in the Senate. (In Pakistan, lower house legislators and provincial assemblies elect senators in a secret ballot.) The big drama of it all is that Khan's own Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party holds a lower house majority, which means that lawmakers supposedly loyal to his party voted in secret for opposition candidates. Khan's allies claim that PTI members were bribed to support the opposition, and the prime minister says he will ask for a lower house vote of confidence in his leadership. That vote will not be secret, but even if he survives, the political damage is done. Without a Senate majority, he has no chance of passing key reform plans, including constitutional amendments meant to centralize financial and administrative control in the federal government. Khan has, however, refused to resign.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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