HARD NUMBERS

2 million: The demilitarized zone that stretches for 155 miles along the 38th parallel between North and South Korea is estimated to hold up to 2 million landmines. Teams from the two countries this week began their first joint-clearance operation in more than a decade, part of the still-fragile thaw between Seoul and Pyongyang.


 

45: A Chinese naval vessel approached “within 45 yards” of a US destroyer near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Sunday. The encounter, which US authorities described as “unsafe and unprofessional,” comes as the worsening trade dispute between the two countries has led to a rise in tensions, including a recent decision to scrap a planned visit to Beijing by US Defense Secretary James Mattis.

 

1: Despite a growing list of people, companies, and countries that are subject to sanctions, so far in 2018, the US Treasury Department office in charge of sanctions has brought just one new enforcement case, related to the unauthorized sale of telecommunications services in South Sudan. Overall, the number and size of judgments pursued by the US Office of Foreign Asset Control has been on the wane since 2014, when it imposed $1.2 billion of fines in 23 cases.

 

1/4: The 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, which hit peak intensity 100 years ago this autumn as millions of soldiers demobilized after World War I, infected a quarter of all people alive in the world at the time. Some estimates put the pandemic’s total death toll as high as 100 million – more people than were killed in World Wars I and II combined.


How will our cities and lives change in the future? What about a structure with a roller skating rink above a swimming pool, made out of transparent solar panels that power the entire park? This was the innovation invented by Eni's young researchers based on Luminescent Solar Concentrators, developed through Eni's research.

Watch the latest episode of Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new uses for technology.

For 30 years, citizens of Hong Kong have gathered in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4 to honor the peaceful protesters massacred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on that date in 1989. It has been the only public Tiananmen commemoration permitted on Chinese soil.

This year, the park was surrounded by barricades to keep people out. The officially stated reason for the shut-down? Crowds spread coronavirus. (In this city of more than 7 million, COVID has so far killed four people.)

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In an interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy advocate, expresses his concerns that the current "draconian" laws China's leadership is forcing upon his city has expedited the end of the "one country, two systems" policy established in 1997.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Big news, of course, that former Secretary of Defense Mattis comes out with a public statement basically calling Trump's rule, his actions, unconstitutional and unfit for office, more divisive than any president he's ever seen.

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French protests over racial injustice: The George Floyd protests in the United States have sparked solidarity demonstrations around the world, with people flocking to US embassies in Berlin, London and elsewhere to express their outrage. But they have also inspired other countries to reexamine racial justice within their own societies. In France, where street demonstrations are practically a national pastime, thousands of people have gathered in support of the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year old black man who died in police custody back in 2016. At least 20,000 Parisians demonstrated Wednesday, despite coronavirus bans on public gatherings. Protesters adopted similar language to the Floyd protests, demanding accountability for the officers who violently pinned down Traoré during a dispute over an identity check, leading to his death. Renewed focus on this case, which has become a potent symbol of police brutality in France, comes as coronavirus lockdowns have recently stoked tensions between the police and the mostly-minority residents of Paris' banlieues (low-income suburbs).

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