Hard Numbers

1: There were more than 33,000 murders in Mexico in 2018. But there is just one store where it's legal to buy a gun in the entire country. Perhaps the guns used in many of these homicides are entering Mexico from somewhere else. #ElNorte

3 million: Milan's La Scala opera house announced this week it will return a more than €3 million donation to Saudi Arabia in response to an Italian public outcry over the kingdom's human rights record. Accepting the donation would have forced La Scala to accept the Saudi culture minister as a new member of its board of directors.

2.1 billion: Of the world's 7.7 billion people, 2.1 billion still lack consistent access to safe drinking water at home, according to the latest World Water Development Report, published each year by the United Nations.

394,603: Never pick a public fight with a smart satirist. On Monday, Congressman Devin Nunes of California filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter, claiming the company should pay damages for allowing parody accounts like @DevinCow to make fun of him. Mr Nunes' cow, which uses bovine puns to insult the offended lawmaker, had about 7,500 followers on Monday. Thanks to publicity generated by the lawsuit, which experts say will be quickly thrown out of court, the cow began to gain a bigger audience. As of this writing, Congressman Nunes had 394,565 followers, and his cow had about 598,000.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?


Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

More Show less

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

More Show less

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO was experiencing "brain death," citing a lack of coordination and America's fickleness under Donald Trump as reasons to doubt the alliance's commitment to mutual defense. NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – was formed in the wake of World War II as a counterweight against Soviet dominance in Europe and beyond. Its cornerstone is that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. But disagreements over sharing the cost of maintaining military readiness have caused friction between the alliance's members in recent years. In 2014, the bloc agreed that each member state would increase their own defense spending to 2% of their respective GDP over the next decade. But so far, only seven of 29 members have forked out the money. Here's a look at who pays what.