Hard Numbers

50,000: Ongoing Yellow Vest protests in France saw some 50,000 people take to the streets across the country last Saturday, up from 29,000 the week before.

The Yellow Vest movement shows little sign of wavering, despite President Macron's decision to backtrack on the controversial tax proposal that initially sparked the wave of discontent.

50: In more than 50 villages across India, people have petitioned the government to change town names they view as bizarre, embarrassing, or even racist. In some cases, these changes have involvedreplacing names perceived to carry the Islamic cultural vestiges of the Mughal empire that ruled India for centuries with Hindu-inspired words.

32: Civilian gun ownership increased by 32 percent globally in the decade through 2017, rising to a total of 857.3 million guns, according to the Small Arms Survey research project. Firearm possession has increased steadily in Europe, in part in response to heightened perceptions of insecurity, though European gun-wielding still lags behind the global average.

8: Nearly eight people die every day commuting on the suburban railway system in Mumbai, India due to overcrowding that often sees trains filled at three times their recommended capacity. A new $3.3 billion underground replacement is expected to carry an estimated 1.6 million riders a day when it opens in 2021.

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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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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