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Migrants trek through the Darien Gap towards the border with Panama.

Yader Guzman / Hans Lucas

Sexual assault spikes in the Darién Gap

Some 460,000 migrants – triple last year's number – have made the treacherous, 10-day trek through the Darién Gap, the jungle linking Panama and Colombia and the only land-based pathway connecting South and Central America, this year. The vast majority were fleeing the economic crisis and authoritarian rule of Venezuela.
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A parade participant in a Winnie the Pooh costume waves a Chinese flag before the Lunar New Year parade in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York, U.S., February 12, 2023.

REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

Hard Numbers: HK cancels Winnie the Pooh, French torch Bordeaux town hall, Indigenous voice for Oz, Darién Gap crossings soar, CAR hearts China/Russia

0: That's how many Hong Kongers can watch the in-theaters-only slasher film “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” after the movie’s distributors pulled it from cinemas. The honey-loving bear has been in the crosshairs of Chinese censors since this photo of Xi Jinping and Barack Obama went viral almost a decade ago.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: How does El Salvador's prison rate stack up?

El Salvador made headlines in recent days after President Nayib Bukele released photos of gang members being corralled into the country’s new mega-prison – a sprawling complex that will eventually hold 40,000 inmates. It’s the latest development in Bukele’s massive – and very popular – crackdown on gangs, in which Salvadoran authorities have locked up almost 2% of the adult population. (Never mind that US officials have recently accused Bukele of colluding with the very gangs he says he’s trying to stamp out!) El Salvador now has the highest prison rate per 100,000 people in the world – but how does that compare globally? Here we take a look at the countries with the highest official prison rates.

A demonstrator holds up a mock mouse head during a protest against inflation in Panama City.

REUTERS/Erick Marciscano

What We're Watching: Panama protests, US-Taiwan drama, Russia-Ukraine grain deal

Protests paralyze Panama

In yet another example of how inflation caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine is stoking social upheaval around the globe, the Central American country has been paralyzed for weeks by protests over the high cost of food and gasoline. The demonstrations began in late June, fueled by footage of lawmakers partying with $340 bottles of whisky, and they have continued despite the government’s move to lower gasoline prices over the weekend. Now, with highways partly shut by protesters, food, and fuel shortages are worsening, and the government is rationing electricity to parts of the country because fuel trucks can’t get through. For decades, Panama has been relatively stable, owing to revenue from the Panama Canal and the fact that its currency is pegged to the US dollar. But as the Panamanian salsero Rubén Blades once noted, life is full of surprises: the pandemic crushed GDP by nearly 20% in 2020, and the recovery has been slow, with the jobless rate remaining above 12%. Meanwhile, inequality ranks among the highest in the region, and activists say corruption is rampant, even though the country returned to democracy in 1990 after Uncle Sam’s heavy metal ouster of dictator Manuel Noriega.

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Trump speaks during a campaign rally when he was US president in Jacksonville, Florida.

REUTERS/Tom Brenner

What We’re Watching: GOP mulls Trump 2.0, UK leadership race heats up, energy crisis could get worse

Republican voters divided on Trump 2024

US Democrats seem to have soured on President Joe Biden, but are Republicans ready to turn their backs on former President Donald Trump? The short answer is: it’s complicated. A fresh New York Timespoll shows about half of GOP voters don't want Trump to run a third time in 2024, but the other half do. The main takeaway is that Trump's once-formidable hold over the Republican Party has waned somewhat since (tumultuously) leaving office in January 2021, yet he still wields considerable influence with the base. Since hardcore Trump fans are more likely to turn out for primaries, he has been busy endorsing candidates for November’s midterm elections, so far with mixed results. The big test for Trump's stature within the GOP will be whether his picks can win in the general — especially the battle for control of the Senate, which Republicans are eager to flip (and only need one seat to do so). Meanwhile, there's growing chatter that Trump may announce his reelection bid before the midterms, which he hopes will freeze a potentially crowded GOP field in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now gaining on him.

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GZERO World

What We’re Watching: Draghi’s gamble, new hotspot for US-bound migrants, Russia-Ukraine water wars

"Super Mario" takes his chances: Less than five months after becoming Italy's consensus prime minister, Mario Draghi's coalition government is on shaky ground over Draghi's proposed judicial reforms. "Super Mario" — as he's known for saving the Eurozone as European Central Bank chief during the financial crisis — wants to dramatically speed up Italy's famously slow courts. But his push to reduce judicial backlogs is opposed both by the populist 5-Star Movement, the coalition government's biggest party, and by prosecutors because many cases could be scrapped before reaching a verdict. Draghi, upset that this resistance is stalling his other initiatives to cut Italian red tape, has decided to roll the dice anyway: he'll put his plan to overhaul the courts to a no-confidence vote in parliament. If Draghi wins, he gets the reforms passed without debate; if he loses, the PM technically has to resign, but he'll keep his job because he has enough votes even if the 5-Star Movement bows out of the coalition.

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