Hard Numbers

65 million: About 65 million apartments, more than 20 percent of all apartments in Chinese cities, are unoccupied, according to a new study. That's cause for concern in a country where housing, construction, and related industries account for up to one-third of economic growth.


5 million: In India on New Year's Day, 5 million women and girls created a 385-mile long human chain "in support of gender equality." They have the support of the center-left local government, but not of Narendra Modi's ruling BJP, which depends on support from Hindu nationalists.

41: In the 2016 US presidential election, 27.3 percent of eligible voters chose Trump, 28.5 percent chose Hillary Clinton, and 3.3 percent chose other candidates. Nearly 41 percent chose not to vote. As new candidates position themselves for 2020 presidential bids, their biggest challenge isn't to win arguments but to motivate people to show up on Election Day.

0: There were zero attempted coups d'état in the world in 2018, just the second year without a coup attempt in the past 70 years. (The other was 2007.) Maybe that's because today's leaders make governance look unappealing.

The 10-year challenge might actually be an attempt to improve facial recognition technology.

It's Tech in 60 Seconds with Nicholas Thompson!


And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

"Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." So said Winston Churchill in November 1947, a time when Soviet Communism was beginning to offer the world a new alternative.

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My high school history teacher Dr. Cohen once told me, as we shuffled through the school cafeteria, that computers would one day make socialism viable. Given that the Soviet collapse had already happened, and that Super Nintendo still seemed vastly more magical than anything you could put on your desk, this seemed far-fetched.

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WHAT WE'RE WATCHING

Syria ISIS attack A suicide bombing in Syria claimed by ISIS killed 14 people including four Americans this week. Two questions we'll be watching: Will this attack impact the pace of President Trump's ordered withdrawal of US troops from Syria, and is the bombing part of a broader ISIS strategy to launch a wave of new attacks as US troops depart?

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