Hard Numbers

One: After last week’s diplomatic breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the situation in the first phone call that the two leaders have ever held.


6,000: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri promised to take selfies with 6,000 women if his party won Sunday’s legislative elections. Early results show that his party suffered big losses, but under Lebanon’s sectarian system, Hariri, who is a Sunni Muslim, is still the most likely person to be Prime Minister. Say jebne! (Cheese!)

11: A Mexican mayor is eleven times more likely than an ordinary citizen to be murdered, according to a specialist at the University of San Diego. Between 2010 and 2017, 42 of the country’s mayors were killed, 12 in the state Oaxaca alone. Violence is one of the key issues ahead of the country’s presidential election in July.

55: More than half of Afghanistan’s population — 55 percent — now livesbelow the poverty line, according to a national survey. That’s up more than twenty points since 2008, according to a study done by the Afghan statistics bureau. The increase is tied to deteriorating security conditions, particularly since the withdrawal of NATO troops between 2012–2014, as well as reductions in international aid.

75: Around 75 percent of Iranians say that the nuclear deal that Tehran signed in 2015, in which the country was promised greater access to global markets in return for ending its nuclear weapons programs, hasn’t actually improved their living conditions.


How will our cities and lives change in the future? What about a structure with a roller skating rink above a swimming pool, made out of transparent solar panels that power the entire park? This was the innovation invented by Eni's young researchers based on Luminescent Solar Concentrators, developed through Eni's research.

Watch the latest episode of Funny Applications, Eni's video series that imagines new uses for technology.

For 30 years, citizens of Hong Kong have gathered in Victoria Park on the evening of June 4 to honor the peaceful protesters massacred in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on that date in 1989. It has been the only public Tiananmen commemoration permitted on Chinese soil.

This year, the park was surrounded by barricades to keep people out. The officially stated reason for the shut-down? Crowds spread coronavirus. (In this city of more than 7 million, COVID has so far killed four people.)

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In an interview with GZERO World host Ian Bremmer, Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok, an outspoken pro-democracy advocate, expresses his concerns that the current "draconian" laws China's leadership is forcing upon his city has expedited the end of the "one country, two systems" policy established in 1997.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Big news, of course, that former Secretary of Defense Mattis comes out with a public statement basically calling Trump's rule, his actions, unconstitutional and unfit for office, more divisive than any president he's ever seen.

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French protests over racial injustice: The George Floyd protests in the United States have sparked solidarity demonstrations around the world, with people flocking to US embassies in Berlin, London and elsewhere to express their outrage. But they have also inspired other countries to reexamine racial justice within their own societies. In France, where street demonstrations are practically a national pastime, thousands of people have gathered in support of the family of Adama Traoré, a 24-year old black man who died in police custody back in 2016. At least 20,000 Parisians demonstrated Wednesday, despite coronavirus bans on public gatherings. Protesters adopted similar language to the Floyd protests, demanding accountability for the officers who violently pinned down Traoré during a dispute over an identity check, leading to his death. Renewed focus on this case, which has become a potent symbol of police brutality in France, comes as coronavirus lockdowns have recently stoked tensions between the police and the mostly-minority residents of Paris' banlieues (low-income suburbs).

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