Hard Numbers: The world gets set to vote, Myanmar rebels make gains, Uganda nabs terror boss, Israel’s Cabinet tangles over West Bank taxes, Jury convicts SBF
40: If you love to “get out the vote,” then next year is your time to shine. No fewer than 40 different countries, representing more than 40% of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP, will go to the polls in 2024. Some of the standout elections include those in Taiwan, India, Mexico, Indonesia, Russia, possibly Ukraine, the European Parliament, and the United States.
4: Myanmar’s military junta has lost control of four towns along the Chinese border, including a key trade hub, as ethnic militias in the area ramp up their insurgency against the government. Beijing on Thursday called for a cease-fire in the conflict, which the UN fears has displaced thousands of people.
6: Ugandan forces say they’ve captured the leader of an Islamic State-linked insurgent militia in a raid earlier this week that killed six of his henchmen. The commander is accused of murdering two foreign tourists and their guide in a national park several weeks ago.
30: After a heated Israeli cabinet debate about whether to release tax revenue that it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, the government agreed late Thursday to transfer the funds -- but there's a catch. At least 30% of the money, a portion destined for bureaucrats in the Gaza Strip who are still on the PA payroll, will be withheld. The decision was a compromise between hardliners who wanted to withhold the funds entirely because the PA hasn't explicitly condemned Hamas and pragmatists who thought it unwise to further weaken the PA at a time of rising West Bank unrest.
7: On Thursday, a New York federal jury found crypto exchange FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of stealing billions of dollars from customers, convicting him of all seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. He now awaits sentencing -- set for March 28, 2024 -- and faces up to 115 years in prison.