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Hard Numbers: The Billion-Dollar Hacker

80: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo estimates that the US had already sanctioned more than 80 percent of Iran's economy even before new sanctions came into force this week against the country's Supreme Leader and other politicians. The screws are certainly tightening, but the US is also running out of things to sanction.

2137: The computer science field is so dominated by men that, at current rates of progress it would take until the year 2137 for the number of papers written by women to equal those written by their male colleagues, according to a new study cited by Steve Levine at Axios Future.

71: A poll from the crucial US swing state of Florida finds that 71percent of the state's voters (and 85 percent of local Democrats) not only believe in climate change, but want to see the government take concrete measures to address global warming. That makes sense: over the past year, roughly a third of Floridians have had to invest in protecting their homes better against weather-related events.

1 billion: It's no secret that North Korea engages in hacking and cyberattacks in order to get money, but a UN report estimates that between 2015 and 2018, a single North Korean hacker netted more than $1 billion for the Hermit Kingdom. For context, the FT notes that Pyongyang was clocking about $500 million a year in arms sales in the mid-2000s.

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Not everyone celebrates the US holiday of Thanksgiving, but we've all got something to be grateful for in this awful year, right? So as Americans gather around the table — or the Zoom — to give thanks on Thursday, here's what a few world leaders are grateful for at the moment.

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Joe Biden has had one of the longest political careers in American history, but his most important act is yet to come. Can decades of experience in Washington prepare him to lead the most divided America since the end of the Civil War?

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe


With President Trump and most of the Republican Party still refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden has won the election, it seems pretty likely that the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed Washington for at least the past four years is not going anywhere any time soon. How will President-elect Biden deal with Donald Trump once the latter is, eventually, out of the White House? And how will Biden deal with Mitch McConnell and a Republican party hellbent on opposing him? "If you get past the theater for a second," suggests Biden biographer and New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos, "you see that there is something deeply different in the relationship that Biden has with McConnell that Obama never had with McConnell." Osnos' conversation with Ian Bremmer is featured on GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: What you still may not know about Joe

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists plead guilty: The name Joshua Wong has become synonymous with Hong Kong's once-dynamic pro-democracy movement. But the democrats' momentum has all but fizzled since Beijing imposed a draconian national security law back in May, outlawing secessionist activity and criminalizing foreign influence in Hong Kong. Now Wong, who was instrumental in the 2014 pro-democracy "Umbrella Movement," is pleading guilty in a Hong Kong court to organizing and taking part in pro-democracy protests that gripped the semi-autonomous city for much of 2019. He and his two co defendants — all of them in their 20's — have been remanded until sentencing, scheduled for December 2, and are likely to face prison terms of various lengths. Wong, for his part, said he decided to switch his plea to "guilty" after consulting with his lawyer. (Knowing that the trial would mostly be a sham, the trio decided to plead guilty in order to speed up the process, according to reports.) This internationally watched court case comes as Beijing has increasingly cracked down on Hong Kong's pro-democracy camp in recent months, prompting the US to impose sanctions on Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, and several Western governments to terminate special economic relationship with the city. To date, there have been more than 2,000 prosecutions linked to last year's protests.

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