Hard Numbers

$13.5 million: Over three days in August, suspected North Korean hackers made off with $13.5 million in an elaborate heist from India’s Cosmos Bank. It’s the latest in a string of attacks against financial institutions by a group suspected of links to Pyongyang, which is hungry for access to hard currency.


6.7 million: China’s internet police received 6.7 million reports of illegal or false information in July, according to official data. Chinese laws dictate that “rumor-mongers” can be charged with defamation and sentenced to up to seven years in prison. That’s one way to combat fake news.

$1.3 million: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa netted $1.3 million from an auction of cattle and game animals from his livestock holdings over the weekend. Ramaphosa’s earnings contrast strongly with the outlook for his country, which in the second quarter of the year slipped into recession for the first time in nearly a decade, according for figures published yesterday.

9,000: Burmese General Min Aung Hlaing, a prolific Facebook user who was banned from the social network after a United Nations report called for him and other military leaders to face charges of genocide against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority, has resurfaced on VK, a Russia-based Facebook rival. As of last week, his new account had attracted around 9,000 followers, compared with 2.8 million followers on his main Facebook page before he was banned.

1/2: Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday revealed a plan to cut the number of government ministries in the Latin American country by more than half, part of a broader belt-tightening intended to restore investor faith in the country. The value of the country’s currency has fallen more than 50 percent this year amid mounting concerns about whether Argentina will be able to pay its dollar-denominated debts.

How much material do we use to send a package? Too much. Does recycling help? Yes – but not really. Packaging material often accumulates as waste, contributing to its own "polluting weight." To solve our packaging dilemma, Finland came up with RePack: a "circular" solution for the reuse of material.

Learn more about RePack in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

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Donald J. Trump and CorOnaVirus decide to hit the road together across the USA. Will DJT and COV discover they are more alike than different? Will their interests diverge? #PUPPETREGIME

Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on US politics.

Where are US-China relations in this battle over TikTok and what is happening?

Well, this may seem like a minor deal. It's a video sharing app that the president has given 45 days to sell to a US entity or get banned in the United States. But along with WeChat, these are two of China's most successful technology companies that the US has now banned from entry into the United States and potentially banned from being used on operating systems that rely on US software inside China. So, this is a huge escalation in the geotech war between the United States and China. China for a long time has not allowed Google and Facebook and other American applications to be fully operative inside their borders. And now the US is stepping up against Chinese technology companies. The reason is that there's concerns among the US government about these tech, these apps data security practices. Members of the military, high ranking government officials aren't allowed to have these on their phones because there's concern about what China does with the data that they can harvest from those phones. This is a real warning sign to other Chinese technology companies that they may not be welcome inside the American market unless they can prove in some way, they are totally independent from the Chinese government and the Chinese military. Expect a lot of escalation in this area over the coming months and years.

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In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.