Hard Numbers

$13.5 million: Over three days in August, suspected North Korean hackers made off with $13.5 million in an elaborate heist from India’s Cosmos Bank. It’s the latest in a string of attacks against financial institutions by a group suspected of links to Pyongyang, which is hungry for access to hard currency.


6.7 million: China’s internet police received 6.7 million reports of illegal or false information in July, according to official data. Chinese laws dictate that “rumor-mongers” can be charged with defamation and sentenced to up to seven years in prison. That’s one way to combat fake news.

$1.3 million: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa netted $1.3 million from an auction of cattle and game animals from his livestock holdings over the weekend. Ramaphosa’s earnings contrast strongly with the outlook for his country, which in the second quarter of the year slipped into recession for the first time in nearly a decade, according for figures published yesterday.

9,000: Burmese General Min Aung Hlaing, a prolific Facebook user who was banned from the social network after a United Nations report called for him and other military leaders to face charges of genocide against the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority, has resurfaced on VK, a Russia-based Facebook rival. As of last week, his new account had attracted around 9,000 followers, compared with 2.8 million followers on his main Facebook page before he was banned.

1/2: Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday revealed a plan to cut the number of government ministries in the Latin American country by more than half, part of a broader belt-tightening intended to restore investor faith in the country. The value of the country’s currency has fallen more than 50 percent this year amid mounting concerns about whether Argentina will be able to pay its dollar-denominated debts.

Scientists, engineers and technologists are turning to nature in search of solutions to climate change. Biomimicry is now being applied in the energy sector, medicine, architecture, communications, transport and agriculture in a bid to make human life on this planet more sustainable and limit the impacts of global warming. New inventions have been inspired by humpback whales, kingfishers and mosquitoes.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

The drumbeat for regulating artificial intelligence is growing louder. Earlier this week, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google's parent company, Alphabet, became the latest high-profile Silicon Valley figure to call for governments to put guardrails around technologies that use huge amounts of (sometimes personal) data to teach computers how to identify faces, make decisions about mortgage applications, and myriad other tasks that previously relied on human brainpower.

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January 27 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi extermination camp. But even as some 40 heads of state gathered in Jerusalem this week to commemorate the six million Jews who were killed, a recent Pew survey revealed that many American adults don't know basic facts about the ethnic cleansing of Europe's Jews during the Second World War. Fewer than half of those polled knew how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and close to a third didn't know when it actually happened. Here's a look at some of the numbers.

1: The Greek parliament has elected a woman president for the first time since the country's independence some 200 years ago. A political outsider, Katerina Sakellaropoulou is a high court judge with no known party affiliation. "Our country enters the third decade of the 21st century with more optimism," Greece's prime minister said.

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A quarantine in China– Local authorities have locked down the city of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak of a new and potentially deadly respiratory virus that, as of Thursday morning, had infected more than 540 people in at least six countries. Other nearby cities were also hit by travel restrictions. Rail and air traffic out of Wuhan has been halted. Public transportation is shut, and local officials are urging everyone to stay put unless they have a special need to travel. Wuhan is a city of 11 million people, many of whom were about to travel for the Chinese New Year. We're watching to see whether these extraordinary measures help stem the outbreak, but also to see how the people affected respond to the clampdown.

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