HARD NUMBERS

130,000: North Korea maintains a Gulag-style network of political prisons, which currently hold as many as 130,000 inmates. Many of those incarcerated are not only people accused of political wrongdoing but their family members as well. Trump just sat down with one of the most ruthless and brutal leaders on earth.


68: Can we be friends after all? A small study commissioned by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that 68 percent of North Korean respondents within the country did not see the United States as an enemy. Striking, despite the fact that reliable and candid polling is difficult within a totalitarian system.

48: While US Republicans picked North Korea’s Kim Jong-un as the most threatening world leader, Donald Trump topped that list for Democrats, with 48 percent signaling out their own president for that unenviable title, according to a recent poll. ​

2–3–12: North Korea has the world’s second largest economy (China) on its northern border, the third largest across the sea (Japan), and the 12th largest to the south (South Korea). Should Kim pursue an economic opening as part of a deal to draw down his nuclear program, there’s no shortage of economic opportunities right on his doorstep(s.) ​

7: After US President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972, it still took seven years for the US to normalize relations with Beijing. A reminder that even the most momentous diplomatic breakthroughs are rarely achieved in one summit (or even one administration) alone.

The Business and Market Fair that recently took place in Sanzule, Ghana featured local crops, livestock and manufactured goods, thanks in part to the Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP), one of Eni's initiatives to diversify the local economy. The LRP program provided training and support to start new businesses to approximately 1,400 people from 205 households, invigorating entrepreneurship in the community.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

It's been two months since President Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a bloody Turkish offensive in that region. (See our earlier coverage here.) What's happened since? A guide for the puzzled:

No "end date" for US troops in Syria – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this week that the United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria. Back in October, President Trump pledged to withdraw the roughly 1,000 American troops deployed there. Since then, some American troops have left Syria altogether, while others were redeployed to defend nearby oil fields from ISIS, as well as from Syrian government troops and Russia. Now, there are roughly 600 American troops dispersed around Syria, and the remainder have been deployed in Iraq to stave off a potential ISIS resurgence. It's not clear if any troops have returned to the US. When asked about the chaotic comings and goings of US troops in Syria in recent months, the commander of US Central Command said frankly: there's no "end date" for American troops stationed there.

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Turkey's government has captured many thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its operations in northern Syria. Many of these prisoners have already been deported to some of the more than 100 countries they come from, and Ankara says it intends to send more. There are also more than 10,000 women and children – family members of ISIS fighters – still living in camps inside Syria.

These facts create a dilemma for the governments of countries where the ISIS detainees are still citizens: Should these terrorist fighters and their families be allowed to return, in many cases to face trial back home? Or should countries refuse to allow them back?

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What's the difference between Alphabet and Google?

Well, Google is the search engine, YouTube, all the stuff you probably think of as Google. Alphabet is the parent company that was created four or five years ago. And it contains a whole bunch of other entities like Jigsaw, Verily - the health care company that Google runs, Waymo - the self-driving car unit. Also, it's important to know Google makes tons of money. Alphabet, all that other stuff loses tons of money.

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The collapse of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria has given rise to a host of new challenges for governments around the world. Turkey has captured thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its offensive in northern Syria, many of whom are foreign nationals who left their home countries to fight with the Islamic State. To date, non-Middle East countries have mostly opposed ISIS fighters returning home, leaving them, and their spouses and children, in legal limbo. Here's a look at where these foreign fighters come from.