HARD NUMBERS

60: More than 270 million tons of waste are recycled around the world each year, according to the World Bank. That’s equivalent to the weight of 740 Empire State buildings. But at the end of last year, China announced it would drastically cut the 60 percent of plastic waste exported by the world’s richest countries, dramatically upending the global recyclables market.


31: NATO is set to launch the combat phase of its biggest military war game in decades, an exercise that will involve 50,000 personnel, 10,000 vehicles, 250 aircraft, and 65 ships, including the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier strike group. Thirty-one countries, the 29 NATO members, plus Finland and Sweden, will take part. Russia is not pleased.

23: Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world. An average of nearly 170 people were killed each day in 2017, including a young black man once every 23 minutes.

0.5: A total of 869 people from the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saharan countries were detained along the US-Mexico border in 2017, or about 0.5 percent of total apprehension in Mexico and a smaller percentage of the US total. President Trump has claimed the “migrant caravan” making its way from Central America toward the US southern border includes an unspecified number of “Middle Easterners.”

Brazil's governors take on Bolsonaro: We've previously written about the tensions between local and national governments over coronavirus response, but few places have had it as bad as Brazil. As COVID-19 infections surged in Brazil, the country's governors quickly mobilized – often with scarce resources – to enforce citywide lockdowns. Brazil's gangs have even risen to the occasion, enforcing strict curfews to limit the virus' spread in Rio de Janeiro. But Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, has mocked the seriousness of the disease and urged states to loosen quarantines in order to get the economy up and running again. "Put the people to work," he said this week, "Preserve the elderly; preserve those who have health problems. But nothing more than that." In response, governors around the country – including some of his allies – issued a joint letter to the president, begging him to listen to health experts and help states contain the virus. The governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic powerhouse, has even threatened to sue the federal government if Bolsonaro continues to undermine his efforts to combat the virus' spread.

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The major outbreaks of coronavirus in China, Europe, and the United States have garnered the most Western media attention in recent weeks. Yesterday, we went behind the headlines to see how Mexico and Russia are faring. Today, we'll look at three other potential hotspots where authorities and citizens are now contending with the worst global pandemic in a century.

Start with India. For weeks, coronavirus questions hovered above that other country with a billion-plus people, a famously chaotic democracy where the central government can't simply order a Chinese-scale public lockdown with confidence that it will be respected. It's a country where 90 percent of people work off the books— without a minimum wage, a pension, a strong national healthcare system, or a way to work from home.

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In the end, it took the coronavirus to break the year-long deadlock in Israeli politics. Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu will still face corruption charges, but he has yet another new lease on political life, as he and political rival Benny Gantz cut a deal yesterday: Bibi will continue as prime minister, with Gantz serving as Speaker of the Knesset, Israel's parliament. After 18 months, Gantz will take over as prime minister, but many doubt that will ever happen.

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With large parts of the American economy shuttered because of coronavirus-related lockdowns, the number of people filing jobless claims in the US last week exceeded 3.2 million, by far the highest number on record. Here's a look at the historical context. The surge in jobless claims, which may be an undercount, is sure to cause a spike in the unemployment rate (which tells you the percent of work-ready people who are looking for a job). At last reading in February, unemployment was at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. Economists warn that it could reach 5.5 percent in the near term. Even that would be far lower than the jobless rates recorded during previous economic crises such as the Great Depression or the Great Recession. Have a look.