Hard Numbers: Armenians flee Nagorno-Karabakh, GOP debate falls flat, Evergrande stock drops, tragedy strikes Iraqi wedding, Commander strikes again
50,000: A torrent of at least 50,000 ethnic Armenians have fled Nagorno-Karabakh after Azerbaijani forces occupied the hotly contested enclave last week. The refugees constitute approximately one-third of the pre-war Armenian population. Among those fleeing was Russian-Armenian billionaire Ruben Vardanyan, who Azerbaijan’s border guard service said Wednesday it had arrested.
200,000: A 30-second spot at last night’s Republican debate ran advertisers around $200,000 – not cheap, but less than half the $495,000 the same time slot cost during the first debate. The network clearly expected fewer viewers to tune in for the second round, probably because polls show the lion’s share of GOP voters know they will back Donald Trump.
19: Massive Chinese property developer Evergrande saw its stock price fall 19% on reports that its chairman has been placed under police surveillance. The company has lost an astonishing 99.9% of its value since a 2017 peak and is in the midst of a government-supervised restructuring, fueling fears of liquidation.
100: Over 100 people died and scores more were injured late Tuesday when a fire swept through a wedding party in Qaraqosh, a small town in Iraq's Nineveh region. It is just the latest tragedy to strike the tight-knit community of Assyrian Christians — one of the most ancient ethnic groups in Iraq — which was forced to flee between 2014 and 2017 by the Islamic State.11: President Joe Biden’s dog Commander has bitten yet another Secret Service agent in the 11th known incident in which the canine has harmed people at the White House. Biden’s other dog, Major, was sent to live with friends in Delaware after displaying similar aggression, but he's not the only president to have had a misbehaving pet: America’s most animal-crazy president, Teddy Roosevelt, notoriously had a badger named Josiah who bit legs constantly – “but never faces,” according to the president’s son Archie.