Hard Numbers: Sudan’s Protesters Score Again

1,600: US-led coalition air and artillery strikes killed more than 1,600 civilians during the offensive to oust ISIS from the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2017, according to Amnesty International and monitoring group Airwars. The coalition has set the number of civilian casualties at 180.

18: A 2018 report from Freedom House, a democracy watchdog, noted that 18 countries (so far) now use Chinese-made intelligent monitoring systems and 36 have received training in topics like "public opinion guidance," a euphemism for censorship. The list of countries includes the UAE, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kenya, and Germany.

94 trillion: The world will need $94 trillion in investment in roads, water systems, and telecom infrastructure by 2040, according to the G20's Global Infrastructure Hub. China's Belt Road Initiative will contribute about $1 trillion in investment, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (Hat tip to Fareed Zakaria).

3: Three generals, all of them closely aligned with Sudan's deposed dictator Omar Bashir, have resigned in the face of mounting public protest. This is the latest sign that, at least for now, the balance of power in Sudan remains with demonstrators rather than the military.

Ferrera Erbognone, a small town in the northern Italian province of Pavia, is home to one of the most cutting-edge computing centers in the world: Eni's Green Data Center. All of the geophysical and seismic prospecting data Eni produces from all over the world ends up here. Now, the Green Data Center is welcoming a new supercomputing system: HPC5, an advanced version of the already powerful HPC4. Due to be completed by early 2020, HPC5 will triple the Green Data Center's computing power, from 18.6 to 52 petaflops, equivalent to 52 million billion mathematical operations per second.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

A few days ago, the New York Times published a bombshell report on the Chinese government's systematic oppression of Muslims in Western China. The story was about many things: human rights, geopolitics, Chinese society – but it was also about technology: Beijing's repression in Xinjiang province is powered in part by facial recognition, big data, and other advanced technologies.

It's a concrete example of a broader trend in global politics: technology is a double-edged sword with sharp political consequences. Artificial intelligence, for example, can help develop new medicines but it can also support surveillance states. Social media helps nourish democracy movements and entertains us with cat memes, but it also feeds ISIS and 4Chan.

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Increasingly violent anti-government protests in Hong Kong have dealt a major blow to the city's once booming economy. Tourism – an economic lifeline in that city – has dropped, and retailers are suffering from a sharp decline in sales. Now, six months since the unrest began, Hong Kong has recorded its first recession in a decade, meaning its economy has contracted for two consecutive quarters. Here's a look at how Hong Kong's quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth has fared during the past two years.

Tehran's Next Move: "We don't want an Islamic Republic, we don't want it," was the chant heard among some protesters in Tehran over the weekend after the government announced a 50 percent fuel price hike meant to fund broader support for the country's poor. Under crippling US sanctions, the country's economy has plummeted, unleashing a "tsunami" of unemployment. What started Friday as nationwide economic protests took on a political coloring, as protestors in some cities tore up the flag and chanted "down with [Supreme Leader] Khamenei!". The unrest seems to be related, at least indirectly, to widespread demonstrations against Tehran-backed regimes in Iraq and Lebanon as well. Economically-motivated protests erupt in Iran every few years, but they tend to subside within weeks under harsh government crackdowns. So far, the authorities have shut down the internet to prevent protestors from using social media to organize rallies. But Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps has warned of more "decisive action" if the unrest continues.

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