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Hard Numbers

10,000: Over the past year, 10,000 Afghan security forces were killed, making it one of the most violent periods for the war-torn nation. About 10 civilians were killed every day on average in the first 9 months of 2017, according to the UN. Fifteen years on from the US intervention there, the country remains wracked by violence and instability, with slim prospects of improvement.


716: The Trump administration plans to request a $716 billion dollar defense budget for 2019, a 13 percent increase from 2017. To put that in perspective, the US will spend more on defense than the next dozen countries combined. In fact, the proposed increase between 2017 and 2019 alone, $82bn, is more than Russia’s entire defense budget.

48: As many as 48 million of Twitter’s active users — nearly 15 percent of the Twitterverse — are automated accounts designed to simulate real people. The company claims that number is far lower, but the point remains: social media has become a decisive platform for commerce and politics — and its increasingly defined by people who aren’t even people.

34: Thirty-four percent of Latin Americans were considered middle classin 2015, the latest year for which data is available, up from 21% in 2003. The heightened expectations of this group — in terms of clean government, economic growth, and public safety — are both a driving and disruptive force in a massive election year for the region.

0: North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un has met zero world leaders since taking power in 2011. He hasn’t even had a sit-down with his closest ally, Chinese President Xi Jinping. When thermonuclear war is on the agenda, a little face time could go a long way.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no doubt that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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