HARD NUMBERS

230,000: Every year, South Korea drafts more than 230,000 young men into mandatory military service, but athletes and traditional musicians are often given exemptions. While some people now want to extend that privilege to the country’s wildly popular K-Pop stars, the defense ministry prefers to do away with the exemptions altogether: decades of low birth rates have made it hard for the army, which defends one of the most militarized borders on earth, to fill its ranks.


 

190: Colombia’s historic 2016 peace deal with the FARC rebel group ended half a century of conflict, but the state has been slow to re-establish control in areas surrendered by the guerrillas. As drug traffickers and other militants have moved in, they have come into conflict with local community leaders and social activists – more than 190 of whom have been murdered this year. That’s already more than twice the annual total from 2016.

 

100: UN officials warned this week that Yemen could face the worst famine the world has seen in 100 years within the next three months if Saudi-backed airstrikes aren’t halted. Between 12 to 13 million civilians are at risk of starvation.

 

60: Over the weekend, President Trump quietly signed a bill that will expand US foreign aid to countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas by $60 billion. The bill, which creates a new foreign aid agency that will provide loans to companies operating in developing nations, is seen by many a deliberate move to counter China’s expansive One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims to deliver $1 trillion in investment.

 

5: Indian authorities desperately seeking to trap a killer wild tigress are turning to a chic solution: luxury perfumes, which have been shown to attract felines. Chanel No. 5 is evidently a big hit with big cats, but for the time being they are using Calvin Klein Obsession because it is cheaper. The tigress in question has killed more than a dozen people and evaded capture for months.

How much material do we use to send a package? Too much. Does recycling help? Yes – but not really. Packaging material often accumulates as waste, contributing to its own "polluting weight." To solve our packaging dilemma, Finland came up with RePack: a "circular" solution for the reuse of material.

Learn more about RePack in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

A steady increase of violence in the Sahel region of Africa over the past eight years has imposed fear and hardship on millions of the people who live there. It has also pushed the governments of Sahel countries to work together to fight terrorists.

The region's troubles have also captured the attention of European leaders, who worry that if instability there continues, it could generate a movement of migrants that might well dwarf the EU refugee crisis of 2015-2016.

But is Europe helping to make things better?

More Show less

Donald J. Trump and CorOnaVirus decide to hit the road together across the USA. Will DJT and COV discover they are more alike than different? Will their interests diverge? #PUPPETREGIME

Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on US politics.

Where are US-China relations in this battle over TikTok and what is happening?

Well, this may seem like a minor deal. It's a video sharing app that the president has given 45 days to sell to a US entity or get banned in the United States. But along with WeChat, these are two of China's most successful technology companies that the US has now banned from entry into the United States and potentially banned from being used on operating systems that rely on US software inside China. So, this is a huge escalation in the geotech war between the United States and China. China for a long time has not allowed Google and Facebook and other American applications to be fully operative inside their borders. And now the US is stepping up against Chinese technology companies. The reason is that there's concerns among the US government about these tech, these apps data security practices. Members of the military, high ranking government officials aren't allowed to have these on their phones because there's concern about what China does with the data that they can harvest from those phones. This is a real warning sign to other Chinese technology companies that they may not be welcome inside the American market unless they can prove in some way, they are totally independent from the Chinese government and the Chinese military. Expect a lot of escalation in this area over the coming months and years.

More Show less

In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says that the single most important step to reopening schools in the fall is to control infection in the community. But as of now, too many communities across the United States have lost control of the Covid-19 virus. Opening schools will only become a possibility once a majority of people start practicing the "Three 'W's" ("Wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance") and local and federal governments enforce stricter protective policies. The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, August 7, 2020. Check local listings.