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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.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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The United States has never been more divided, and it's safe to say that social media's role in our national discourse is a big part of the problem. But renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher doesn't see any easy fix. "I don't know how you fix the architecture of a building that is just purposely dangerous for everybody." Swisher joins Ian Bremmer to talk about how some of the richest companies on Earth, whose business models benefit from discord and division, can be compelled to see their better angels. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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