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Hard Numbers

The CrowdStrike statement is being displayed on a smartphone in this photo illustration.

Jonathan Raa / Sipa USA

21: A massive Microsoft outage linked to a software update from the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike has disrupted banks, media outlets, airports, hospitals, and other businesses worldwide. Multiple major US airlines grounded flights early on Friday as a result. CrowdStrike says it has identified the issue and deployed a fix, as its shares dropped as much as 21% in the pre-trade market.

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Semiconductor chips are seen on a printed circuit board in this illustration picture taken February 17, 2023.

REUTERS/Florence Lo

500 billion: Well there’s one thing Donald Trump and Joe Biden managed to do together this week: crush the value of stocks in companies that make semiconductors. Leading chip-makers lost more than $500 billion in value on Wednesday. This followed a report about the Biden administration considering tighter restrictions on exports of chip technology to China and Trump suggesting that Taiwan, a major semiconductor manufacturer, should pay for its own defense.

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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro looks on during his swearing-in ceremony as caretaker president following the death of President Hugo Chavez in Caracas March 8, 2013.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

102: Ahead of presidential elections set for July 28, Venezuelan authorities have arrested at least 102 people linked to the political opposition this year, according to Foro Penal, a local legal aid non-profit. Three-quarters of them were jailed after the official presidential campaign period began on July 4. On Wednesday, police arrested the security chief of opposition leader Marina Corina Machado. Polls show strongman President Nicolas Madurotrailing badly ahead of the vote.

6: Authorities said Wednesday that traces of cyanide were found in the blood of six Vietnamese nationals, two of whom had dual US citizenship, in a luxury suite of a Grand Hyatt in Bangkok. The group was last seen alive on Monday by a waiter delivering room service. Police say there was a possible financial motive related to an investment … and that the suspected perpetrator is among the six dead.

5: Greece’s most-visited archaeological site, the Acropolis, was closed for five hours by the Ministry of Culture on Wednesday amid a brutal southern European heat wave. Wildfires, meanwhile, are proving difficult to contain amid the extreme heat and led to the closure of a major border crossing between Greece and North Macedonia for several hours on Wednesday.

200: Another 200 Kenyan police officers joined the UN-backed mission in Haiti this week to support local authorities against the violent gangs who took over the capital city of Port-au-Prince in a joint offensive last February. The Kenyan-led mission also expects new arrivals from Jamaica, Bangladesh, Chad, and others to help grow the force to 2,500 personnel in the coming weeks.

361: In the EU parliament later today, MEPs will decide whether to confirm Ursula von der Leyen as Commission president in a knife-edge vote that will either result in another five-year mandate for the EU executive’s first female leader or tip the bloc into a temporary crisis. Despite no other candidate standing, it looks like she will just barely, if at all, get the 361 votes she needs.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) leaves the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York after the second day of deliberations after an indictment for an alleged 16 counts of conspiracy on July 15, 2024, in New York City. Menendez is charged with using his political influence to benefit Egypt in exchange for compensation, a scheme orchestrated by his wife and by three business co-conspirators, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes who are charged with similar crimes relating to payments made to Menendez on Monday September 25, 2023 the Senator denied all allegations and that the $500,000 found in his house by agents is an old fashioned way of safeguarding money against emergencies.

John Lamparski via Reuters Connect

16: Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was found guilty on Tuesday of all 16 counts in his federal corruption trial, including bribery, acting as a foreign agent (a first for a US senator), and fraud. Prosecutors said “he put his power up for sale,” lending support in exchange for money, gold bars, and other bribes in a yearslong scheme. He faces decades in prison when he’s sentenced on Oct. 29.

1: One person was killed Tuesday in violent anti-government protests that resumed in Kenya less than a week after Kenyan President William Rutodismissed most of his cabinet to demonstrate his commitment to make radical changes to the demonstrators. The protests first broke out last month – 39 people were killed, and demonstrators breached the Parliament building – in response to a deeply unpopular finance bill that aimed to raise $2 billion in taxes to offset worsening economic crises. Ruto backed down from the tax, but protesters are still demanding that he resign.

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Intuit logo displayed on a phone screen and a laptop keyboard are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on October 30, 2021.

Jakub Porzycki via Reuters Connect

1,800: Intuit, the company behind popular financial software Quickbooks and Turbotax, announced a mass layoff of 1,800 employees — about 10% of the company — with plans to rehire the same number with a renewed focus on AI. The firm has an AI-powered financial advice tool, called Intuit Assist, in which it plans to invest heavily. That new investment might be necessary: A recent Washington Post review of Intuit’s AI assistant called it “awful” — not only “unhelpful” but also “wrong” much of the time.

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Former President of Peru Alberto Fujimori attends a trial as a witness at the navy base in Callao, Peru, in 2018.

REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

3: Well, name recognition won’t be an issue … Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, an authoritarian rightist who held power in the 1990s, plans to run for president again in 2026. Last year, the ailing 85-year-old politician was released early from a 25-year jail sentence for human rights abuses committed by his regime. His daughter, Keiko, has unsuccessfully run for president three times. If he does enter the race, it will be a test for Peruvian law, which bars any candidates convicted of corruption: The elder Fujimori has been convicted of graft not once, not twice, but three times.

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Chinese pilots deplane from a JH-7 fighter-bomber in preparation for the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, known as Airshow China 2012, in Zhuhai city, south Chinas Guangdong province, 10 November 2012.

Oriental Image via Reuters Connect

30: Taiwan’s defense ministry recorded 30 Chinese combat jets and seven warships in the skies and waters around the islandon Saturday and said it was monitoring “waves” of missile tests in Inner Mongolia province. These are the third large-scale maneuvers around Taiwan this week.

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