HARD NUMBERS

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.

That's Bank of America's new target in its Environmental Business Initiative in order to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy.

Here's how it will drive innovation to address climate change.

On Tuesday, a major US intelligence report said the top threat to America right now is China. A day later, John Kerry, the Biden administration's "climate czar," got on a plane to... China.

Such is the drama of ties between the world's two largest economies these days.

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More than a dozen COVID-19 vaccines have been fully approved or are currently in early use globally, and COVAX, the global initiative started last year by the World Health Organization and other partners, is pushing for equitable access to vaccines for all. But most of the half billion jabs given so far have gone to citizens of wealthy countries, with half going to the US and China alone. What's the problem with so-called vaccine nationalism? Ian Bremmer explains that besides the clear humanitarian concerns, the continued global spread of COVID increases the risk of new mutations and variants that can threaten the entire world, vaccinated or not.

Watch the episode: Vaccine nationalism could prolong the pandemic

Should wealthy individuals and nations shoulder more of the burden in addressing climate change? Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert argues that Big Tech leaders like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk should shift more of their focus to fighting for our own planet's survival, instead of space exploration. "We're doing as much as we can to make life difficult on planet Earth for ourselves. But there's virtually nothing we could do to make it as difficult as life on Mars, where there's, among other things, no oxygen." Kolbert, the author of Under a White Sky, discusses why it's so crucial for a few rich countries to bear most of the climate burden, since they're also the biggest emitters. Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is featured in the upcoming episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television stations starting this Friday, April 16. Check local listings.

In recent days, Northern Ireland has seen some of its worst street violence in over a decade. The anger has subsided a bit this week, but post-Brexit fears leave many uncertain about their future in a deeply divided land with a long history of political violence between Irish republicans and UK unionists.

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Fighting climate change is about making the planet get less hot. The more quickly countries slow down their carbon emissions, the faster that'll happen. All the more important for the nations that pollute the most — but not all of them are on board. Although the majority, including China, are setting future targets to go Net Zero, India doesn't want to commit (yet) to when to stop burning fossil fuels to spur economic growth. We take a look at when the world's top polluting economies intend to go carbon-neutral, compared with their share of global emissions, of renewable energy as a source of electricity, and percentage of global coal consumption.

Peruvian runoff: Perú's presidential election is going to a runoff in June between two surprise and polarizing contenders, each of whom won less than 20 percent of votes in a highly fragmented first round. Pedro Castillo, a far-left union leader and teacher who benefited from a late surge in the polls, will battle rightwing populist Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the country's imprisoned former strongman. Castillo wants to rewrite the constitution to weaken the political influence of the country's business elite and maybe to allow the state to nationalize parts of the mining sector to pay for social programs for the poor. Fujimori wants to use mining revenues to create jobs by investing in infrastructure and healthcare. The runoff will probably be a national referendum on Fujimori, a divisive figure running for the top job for the third time. No Peruvian president has ever left office without facing corruption charges, but Fujimori already faces several — and she'll avoid jail time if she wins.

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900 million: Egypt has impounded the Ever Given, the ship that recently blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week, until its owners pay some $900 million in compensation for losses and the cost of the rescue operation. The blockage of this major naval chokepoint caused severe disruption to the global maritime shipping industry.

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