Hard Numbers

1.4 billion: President Trump continues to threaten to close the US border with Mexico to resolve what he says is a national emergency created by illegal immigration into the US. More than $500 billion in goods — some $1.4 billion a day — crossed that border in 2018, according to the US Commerce Department.

77,000: Since a failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has detained 77,000 people and suspended or fired more than 150,000 civil servants and members of the military. But this week's local election results, in which Erdogan's party lost control of Istanbul, Ankara, and other major cities, shows that even the harshest of crackdowns can't ensure lasting political dominance.

40: In North Korea, 11 million people, about 40 percent of the population, are undernourished. Chronic malnutrition has stunted the growth of an estimated 20 percent of the country's children. The UN has called on the US to help with food aid despite the lack of progress toward denuclearization of North Korea.

45: Last December, Japan's parliament passed a bill that creates a mandatory 10-day holiday from April 27 to May 6 to mark the imperial transition from Emperor Akihito to his eldest son, Naruhito. A recent poll revealed that 45 percent of respondents in Japan "felt unhappy" about the long vacation, with just 35 percent saying they "felt happy," presumably because costs for travel during this period have spiked, and closed schools leave children at home with parents.

Is WhatsApp safe?

WhatsApp had a crazy hack! Hackers were able to get on your phone just by calling it. That's been patched but it's a reminder nothing is ever completely safe in 2019.

Why didn't Uber's IPO perform as promised?

Because they're losing tons of money. Because Lyft didn't do that well. Because their expansion into international markets, where they planned to go, has been harder than expected. Tough times at Uber.

Will cutting Huawei off from American technology hurt?

Trick question! Will it hurt Huawei? Yes, definitely. Will it hurt the American companiesthat supply Huawei? Yes definitely. Will it hurt consumers everywhere? Probably. Unless it changes the dynamics of the U.S. - China trade relationship in such a way that helps everybody, which is possible.

Should more cities ban facial recognition technology?

There's a tradeoff between privacy and safety. San Francisco just blocked facial recognition technology to help privacy but I think most cities are going to care more about their police departments being maximally effective and will choose safety.

In recent years, the accelerating cross-border flow of migrants fleeing violence and poverty has remade the politics of Europe and the United States. A startling new study from Stanford University warns that the conflicts we've seen to date may just be the opening act of a much larger and more dangerous drama.

Here's the study's argument in brief:

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President Donald Trump again dramatically escalated the stakes in the US-China rivalry on Wednesday with a move that made headlines in the US while landing like a grenade in Beijing.

The US Commerce Department announced yesterday that Huawei, China's leading tech company and already the source of major controversy, has been added to a list that prevents US tech suppliers from selling to Huawei without a license. That's even more important than the executive order, also published yesterday, that bans US telecom companies from using Huawei equipment.

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Voters in Australia head to the polls tomorrow to elect a new government. Though few outsiders closely follow politics in this country, this election tells interesting stories about three of the most important issues in today's world: Immigration, climate change, and managing changing relations with China. It's also a country with a steady economy—but lots of political turnover.

Consider:

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