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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.

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Live digital event | Time for nature: Turning biodiversity risk into opportunity | Wed, Dec 14 | 8 am EST

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Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

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