HARD NUMBERS

300: Last week the Merriam-Webster dictionary released a revised official word list for Scrabble that includes 300 new entries. Among those of international interest are “qapik”, an Azerbaijani monetary unit that takes its name from the Russian kopek; “bokeh”, a Japanese term for the out-of-focus parts of a photograph; and “schneid”, a word of German origin meaning a terrible losing streak, particularly in cards or sports – example: Germany’s 2018 World Cup team (too soon?)


 

90: Political violence has surged in South Africa, where as many as 90 members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have been gunned down since 2016. In most cases, the hits were ordered by fellow party members squabbling over resources or exacting revenge against anti-corruption whistleblowers.

 

60: Mexico’s left-wing president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised to cut the presidential salary by 60 percent to about $5,700 a month. Mr Lopez Obrador, who swept to victory atop a wave of popular frustration with a detached political class, has also made a point of travelling on commercial airliners, and says he’ll sell the swanky presidential jet after he takes office in December.

 

20: The are currently 20 female heads of state or government in the world. That’s more than double the number from 2005, according tothe UN, but it’s still only about 6% of all global leaders.

 

5: Every second, five more people join the global middle class – identified as those who earn between 11 and 110 dollars a day. Around 3.6 billion people, more than half the earth’s population, count as middle class today according to a new study. The number will surpass 5 billion by 2030, with the overwhelming majority of new entrants coming from Asia.

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, answers the question: Are CEOs getting real about climate change?

The answer, yes. Why? One, it's personal. Many have watched with horror the wildfires that took place recently. Others have even been evacuated. And for some, the snow set in Davos, they experienced incredibly mild temperatures that laid all to quip that climate change really has arrived. But the other reasons are a growing understanding of the nature of climate change.

More

Welcome to the eleventh parliamentary elections in Iran's 40-year history.

Want to run for a seat? You can…if you're an Iranian citizen between the ages of 30 and 75, hold a master's degree or its equivalent, have finished your military service (if you're a man), and have demonstrated a commitment to Islam. Check all these boxes, and you can ask permission to run for office.

Permission comes from the 12-member Guardian Council, a body composed of six clerics appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and six jurists that Khamenei appoints indirectly. If the Council says yes, you can win a seat in parliament. If they say no, you can't.

This parliament, also called the Majlis, does have real power. It approves the national budget, drafts legislation and sends it to the Guardian Council for approval, ratifies treaties, approves ministers and can question the president. The current Majlis represents a wide range of values and opinions.

More

As the head of a leading management consulting firm, global managing partner of McKinsey & Company Kevin Sneader has an inside view into the challenges facing the world's top executives. Every Thursday, Sneader will address questions about key issues like attracting and retaining talent, growing revenue, navigating change, staying ahead of the competition, and corporate responsibility – all in 60 seconds.

GZERO's Alex Kliment interviews New Yorker correspondent and author Joshua Yaffa. The two discuss Yaffa's new book, Between Two Fires, about what life is like for Russians today. They also sample some vodka at a famous Russian restaurant in NYC, of course!