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50 million: China wants to be a football superpower by mid-century. To that end, President Xi Jinping is pushing ahead with a 50-point plan that envisions 20,000 training centers, 60,000 new fields, and 50 million players in the country by 2020. China, with 1 billion people, has qualified for the event just once (in 2002). Uruguay, with a population of 3.4 million, has qualified 13 times since 1950 and won the tournament (once) during the same period.


42,000: The Philippines’ blunt-spoken president, Rodrigo Duterte, has announced he wants to give 42,000 guns to community leaders for use in killing drug traffickers. Human rights watchdogs say Duterte’s scorched earth “drug war” has already led to thousands of extrajudicial killings of dealers, addicts, and traffickers. Pouring 42,000 weapons into that situation — what could possibly go wrong?

79: South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, who was elected in part on a promise to improve relations with North Korea, has seen his approval skyrocket to 79 percent, according to Gallup Korea. That’s the highest rating that any democratically-elected leader of Korea has ever had at this point in their presidency.

70: In Yemen, Saudi-backed forces have been waging an assault on the port city of Al Hudaydah over the past week, which is controlled by Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014. Any interruption of sea access to Al Hudaydah could worsen what is already the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, as 70 percent of the humanitarian aid that reaches Yemen travels through the port.

66: fresh poll on the Trump administration’s policy of separating thousands of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants from their children — and we note that Messrs MillerKelly, and Sessions all say it’s a policy even if Homeland Security Sec’y Nielsen’s says it is not — shows that 66 percent of Americans oppose the practice. But a slim majority of Republicans (55 percent) supports it, muting GOP criticism of the White House as Trump heads to Capitol Hill to discuss immigration reform with Republicans later today.

Microsoft released a new annual report, called the Digital Defense Report, covering cybersecurity trends from the past year. This report makes it clear that threat actors have rapidly increased in sophistication over the past year, using techniques that make them harder to spot and that threaten even the savviest targets. For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware. Given the leap in attack sophistication in the past year, it is more important than ever that steps are taken to establish new rules of the road for cyberspace: that all organizations, whether government agencies or businesses, invest in people and technology to help stop attacks; and that people focus on the basics, including regular application of security updates, comprehensive backup policies, and, especially, enabling multi-factor authentication. Microsoft summarized some of the most important insights in this year's report, including related suggestions for people and businesses.

Read the whole post and report at Microsoft On The Issues.

On Tuesday night, you can finally watch Trump and Biden tangle on the debate stage. But you TOO can go head to head on debate night .. with your fellow US politics junkies.

Print out GZERO's handy debate BINGO cards and get ready to rumble. There are four different cards so that each player may have a unique board. Every time one of the candidates says one of these words or terms, X it on your card. First player to get five across wins. And if you really want to jazz it up, you can mark each of your words by taking a swig of your drink, or doing five burpees, or donating to your favorite charity or political candidate. Whatever gets you tipsy, in shape, or motivated, get the bingo cards here. It's fight night!

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GZERO Media, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Eurasia Group, today hosted its second virtual town hall on the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges of its distribution.

The panel was moderated by New York Times science and health reporter Apoorva Mandavilli and featured Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Vaccines & Human Immunobiology, Lynda Stuart; Eurasia Group's Rohitesh Dhawan, Managing Director of Energy, Climate & Resources; Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman; and Gayle E. Smith, the president & CEO of ONE Campaign and former Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Watch the full video above.

Donald Trump's presidency has irked a lot of people around the world. And in fairness, that's no surprise. He was elected in part to blow up long-standing assumptions about how international politics, trade, and diplomatic relations are supposed to work.

But while he has correctly identified some big challenges — adapting NATO to the 21st century, managing a more assertive China, or ending America's endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — his impulsive style, along with his restrictions on trade and immigration, have alienated many world leaders. Global polls show that favorable views of the US have plummeted to all-time lows in many countries, particularly among traditional American allies in Europe.

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How was it that after decades of infighting, European nations were able to come together so quickly on an economic pandemic relief package? "I'm tempted to say because of COVID-19…because the triggering factor for the crisis was not the banks…not the bad behavior of some policy-makers somewhere in the region. It was actually this teeny tiny little virus..." European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde tells Ian Bremmer how a microscopic virus spurred the greatest show of international unity in years.


Watch the episode: Christine Lagarde, Leading Europe's United Economic Pandemic Response

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