HARD NUMBERS

90: The World Health Organization has found that more than 90 percent of the world’s young people, around 1.8 billion children, are exposed to toxic air pollution today. That’s a time bomb for health implications in many countries around the world.


 

70: A large majority (70 percent) of Mexicans who participated in a referendum on whether to continue building a new international airport voted to scrap the project. The only problem: just one percent of Mexico’s electorate participated in the vote, which was backed by President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador but not officially sanctioned by the government.

 

1.25: Today, Uganda is home to 1.25 million refugees, or about 3 percent of its total population, making it one of the world’s most welcoming countries. Rural Ugandans, whose experience of displacement after a brutal civil war in the 80s, have been remarkably accepting of those fleeing violence in neighboring South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Kongo, and Burundi.

 

1: Around 70 percent of U.S. firms operating in southern China are considering either delaying or ending investments there as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing grow, according to a new American Chamber of Commerce survey. Of these firms, only 1 percent say they have plans to establish new manufacturing bases in North America.

 

2/3: Since 1990, China has accounted for two-thirds of those lifted out of poverty globally.  It has also contributed just under two-thirds to the global increase in military spending over the same period.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

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For many, Paul Rusesabagina became a household name after the release of the 2004 tear-jerker film Hotel Rwanda, which was set during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Rusesabagina, who used his influence as a hotel manager to save the lives of more than 1,000 Rwandans, has again made headlines in recent weeks after he was reportedly duped into boarding a flight to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, where he was promptly arrested on terrorism, arson, kidnapping and murder charges. Rusesabagina's supporters say he is innocent and that the move is retaliation against the former "hero" for his public criticism of President Paul Kagame, who has ruled the country with a strong hand since ending the civil war in the mid 1990s.

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From climate change to connecting more people to the Internet, big companies like Microsoft are seeing an increasing role within multilateral organizations like the UN and the World Health Organization. John Frank, Microsoft's VP of UN Affairs, explains the contributions tech companies and other multinational corporations are making globally during this time of crisis and challenge.

7: Among the 10 nations showing the highest COVID-19 death rates per 100,000 people, seven are in Latin America. Weak health systems, frail leadership, and the inability of millions of working poor to do their daily jobs remotely have contributed to the regional crisis. Peru tops the global list with nearly 100 fatalities per 100,000 people. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia are also in the top 10.

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Episode 4: The World Goes Gray

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