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A Russian Soyuz rocket is carried to the launching pad at Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome on the territory of the former Soviet Kazakhstan on December 18.

STR New via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Russia shoots down space resolution, US economy sputters, Nigerian prisoners make slippery escape, Ecuador gets lifeline

13: A UN Security Council resolution reaffirming a long-standing prohibition on arms races in outer space got 13 votes in favor this week, but it was shot down by a single veto from UNSC permanent member Russia. Moscow says it wasn’t necessary to support a resolution that merely reaffirmed a 1967 treaty that Russia is already part of, but the US ambassador to the UN asked, “What could you possibly be hiding?” In recent months, the US has said it believes Russia is developing a new space-based, anti-satellite weapon.

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Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa looks on as his wife Lavinia Valbonesi (not pictured) takes part in a referendum that asks voters to support mostly security-related questions to fight rising violence, in Guayaquil, Ecuador April 21, 2024.

REUTERS/Santiago Arcos

Ecuador votes to get tough on drugs

Ecuadorians showed overwhelming support for a government crackdown on drug-related violence in referendums this weekend in what could become a regional trend. Quito won support for joint police-military patrols, extradition of wanted criminals, tighter gun control, and tougher punishments for murder and drug trafficking, among other measures.

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What will Israel's invasion of Rafah look like?
What will Israel's invasion of Rafah look like? | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

What will Israel's invasion of Rafah look like?

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How will Iran respond to the attack on their consulate in Syria?

An Israeli strike that killed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leader of Iran in Syria. So on the one hand, Iranian citizen, high-level military official. On the other hand, not in Iran itself, in Syria supporting proxy attacks. Clearly the Iranians have been willing to push hard using the leverage they have in the so-called acts of resistance to engage in strikes against civilian shipping, against Western military capabilities, and against Israel.

The Israelis are showing that they will attack wherever they think fit against them, but Iran has been reluctant to allow this to potentially lead to escalation in a direct war against Iran, which is why it's hard to imagine the Iranians engaging in direct strikes against Israel itself. Ballistic missile strikes from Iran into Israel. So in other words, if you're going to hit Israel, you try to use proxies or you try to hit Israelis outside of Israel itself. Israeli diplomatic facilities, for example, that's where I think you're more likely to see escalation. Escalation seems almost certain from the Iranians, but containing it also is something the Americans and Israel are trying very, very hard to do and that continues to be the case like when we saw the American servicemen killed in Jordan a couple months ago.

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Banknotes of the new national currency Zimbabwe Gold, ZiG for short, are presented at a press conference of the Central Bank of Zimbabwe. Due to high inflation, Zimbabwe's central bank has introduced a new currency that is primarily linked to gold, but also to a number of other precious metals and foreign currencies.

Columbus Mavhunga/dpa via Reuters Connect

Hard numbers: Zimbabwe’s new bills, Ecuador in hot water, Russian dam failure, Ukraine’s air defense, Island-sized lottery.

70: Zimbabwe is rolling out the ZiG, a new currency pegged to gold and foreign cash. The government hopes to curb the freefall of its erstwhile dollar, whose value has declined by over 70% since January. People have three weeks to exchange the old notes for the new currency.

2: Two countries, Mexico and Nicaragua, have cut ties with Ecuador following a police raid Friday on Mexico’s Quito embassy that resulted in the arrest of Ecuador’s former vice president, Jorge Glas. Glas had been staying in the embassy seeking asylum since December, when a warrant was issued for his arrest. President Lopez Obrador responded angrily, calling the raid a “flagrant violation of international law,” and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega followed suit, referring to it as “reprehensible."

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Soldiers keep watch in the militarized Litoral prison, part of the measures taken by Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa to crackdown on gangs, during a media tour in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Feb. 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Santiago Arcos/File Photo

Ecuador to vote on emergency measures amid spiraling violence

Ecuadorians will get their say on a slew of emergency measures meant to combat skyrocketing murders in their country — but they’ll have to wait more than two months.

A court has set April 21 as the date for a referendum on expanding the army’s powers, tightening control over guns and prisons, and raising penalties for trafficking.

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Daniel Noboa

Noboa wins, but Correa remains at heart of Ecuador’s political crisis

On Sunday, Ecuadorians elected their youngest-ever president, businessman Daniel Noboa, amid deep political rifts that exacerbate a growing security crisis in the small Andean nation.

Ecuador has become a major export route for drugs destined for Europe, and cartels brought their bloody tactics across the borders of Colombia and Peru. In July and August, three politicians, including outspoken anti-drug presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, were assassinated in separate incidents. The number of violent deaths in Ecuador doubled to over 4,600 between 2021 and 2022 and is set to break another record this year.

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Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Windham, NH.

REUTERS/Reba Saldanha

Hard Numbers: Trump’s bond, Saudis target Ethiopian migrants, missing in Maui, Ecuadorians’ pro-Amazon vote

200,000: Former President Donald Trump's bond in Georgia has been set at $200,000 ahead of a Friday deadline to turn himself in. As part of his release conditions, Trump, who is reportedly set to surrender for processing on Thursday, is banned from using social media to intimidate witnesses.

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Ecuadorian presidential candidate Luisa Gonzalez speaks during a presidential election night event, in Quito, Ecuador, on Aug. 20, 2023.

REUTERS/Karen Toro

González leads, but a runoff looms in Ecuador

After an election marred by a high level of violence, including the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavencio, Ecuadorian voters have set the stage for a runoff between left-wing candidate Luisa González and political outsider Daniel Noboa, the scion of a major banana business. With 75% of the votes tallied, González leads Noboa 33% to 24%.

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