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Hard Numbers: New York blizzard, foreign aid groups ditch the Taliban, stranded Rohingya, US consumers’ spending spree

A restaurant is covered in ice during a winter storm in Buffalo, New York.

A restaurant is covered in ice during a winter storm in Buffalo, New York.


28: At least 28 people in western New York died over the holiday weekend after a deadly blizzard left thousands of homes without heat and many residents stranded on roads in apocalyptic conditions. A deadly arctic freeze continues to pummel parts of the US and Canada.

5: Days after the Taliban banned women from attending university and from working for non-government organizations, five international NGOs suspended operations in Afghanistan. What’s more, a UN official said that the organization could stop humanitarian aid deliveries to the country if the ban is not reversed.

58: Around 58 Rohingya refugees – stranded at sea for a month in a rickety boat – have drifted onto a beach in Aceh province, Indonesia, with several requiring medical care. This comes after the UN last week pleaded with states to rescue another vessel carrying 150 Rohingya migrants stranded off an Indian island in the Bay of Bengal.

8: This year’s holiday retail sales in the US could rise by as much as 8% from 2021 – when Americans set another spending record – according to the National Retail Federation. Despite efforts by the Fed to rein in inflation, higher borrowing costs have so far not had a big impact on consumer spending habits as wages remain high.


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