HARD NUMBERS

37: Sub-Saharan Africa will account for 37 percent of the world’s births by 2050, according to UN forecasts, up from 27 percent today and 16 percent in the 1990s. The surging birthrate will make Africa’s population the fastest-growing on the planet in coming decades, putting pressure on the continent’s governments to provide economic opportunities, health care, and other essential services for more than a billion new citizens.


 

34: Donald Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday clocked in at 34 minutes, longer than the 15 minute voluntary time limit set by the UN, but roughly in line with other recent UN speeches by US presidents. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro set the record for the longest officially-timed speech at the UN -- 4 hours, 29 minutes -- in 1960, though Indian statesman VK Krishna Menon once spoke for nearly eight hours over the course of two days (and one hospitalization!) in 1957.

 

32: Turkey’s foreign minister said the country has already spent $32 billion feeding, sheltering and educating refugees, including more than 3.5 million Syrians displaced by the country’s long civil war. A looming Syrian assault on a rebel stronghold near the Turkish border threatens to swell those refugee numbers further.

 

5: After serving a 30-day jail sentence, Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny was free for just five seconds before being taken back into police custody on charges of organizing illegal street protests. Amnesty International estimates that Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner who has become the highest-profile domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has served 110 days in jail over the past year, mostly for administrative infractions.

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 Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known.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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