Hard Numbers

$16 million: Brazilian police seized $16 million worth of cash and luxury watches from the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president when he landed in the country last Friday. Just last year, Teodoro Obiang, who is also the country’s vice president, had his exotic car collection and sprawling Paris mansion seized by French authorities. Around 76 percent Equatorial Guinea's population lives in poverty.


30,000: The Trump administration will cap the number of refugees that can settle in the US at 30,000 in 2019. That’s the lowest since the US refugee resettlement program was created in 1980 and a third fewer refugees than the US agreed to let in this year. Some perspective: The United Nations estimates that on average around 44,000 people around the world were forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict and persecution last year.

54: By 2022, 54 percent of all workers will have a “significant” need to boost their skills to deal with advancing technology, according to a new World Economic Forum survey, with over a third requiring additional training of up to six months. Governments around the world are grappling with how to prepare their workforces for the jobs of the future.

44: If current trends hold, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will account for 44 percent of all people living in extreme poverty by 2050, according to a new Gates Foundation report. Today, they are home to around a fifth of the world’s poorest.

23: Ethiopian authorities said at least 23 people were killed during unrest that flared after members of the country’s Oromo ethnic group ransacked homes and businesses of members of other ethnic minorities. Renewed violence could scuttle Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to pursue a policy of reconciliation that has been greeted with optimism around the world.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said that NATO was experiencing "brain death," citing a lack of coordination and America's fickleness under Donald Trump as reasons to doubt the alliance's commitment to mutual defense. NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – was formed in the wake of World War II as a counterweight against Soviet dominance in Europe and beyond. Its cornerstone is that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all. But disagreement about burden sharing has gained increasing salience in recent years. In 2014, the bloc agreed that each member state would increase their own defense spending to 2% of their respective GDP over the next decade. But so far, only seven of 29 members have forked out the money. Here's a look at who pays what.

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 200 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least eight Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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More Brexit shenanigans: Britons this week saw Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson endorse Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in upcoming elections. As a special bonus, they got to see Corbyn return the favo(u)r with a formal endorsement of Johnson. Most viewers in the UK will have understood immediately that these are the latest example of "deep fakes," digitally manipulated video images. The more important Brexit story this week is a pledge by Nigel Farage that his Brexit Party will not run candidates in areas held by the Conservatives in upcoming national elections. That's a boost for Johnson, because it frees his party from having to compete for support from pro-Brexit voters in those constituencies.

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80: More than 80 percent of the electronic voting systems currently used in the US are made by just three companies, according to a new report which warns that they are regulated less effectively than "colored pencils."

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