HARD NUMBERS

300: A drunk man has become the first person charged with sexual aggression under a new French law against street harassment. The man in question slapped a woman's backside and made lewd remarks about her appearance on a bus outside Paris. He was fined €300 and sentenced to three months in prison for sexual aggression against the woman and an attack on the bus driver.


 

67: Ahead of the upcoming US midterm elections, a few congressional races are considered “toss ups,” races that are too close to call. But when you hear that one party needs to win almost all the toss ups to win a majority of seats, that’s not as unlikely as you might think. Historical research shows that a clear majority tend to break toward a single party. In fact, over the past 10 US national elections, one party has won at least 67 percent of all toss up races.

 

256: The area under coca cultivation in Colombia reached a record high last year of 422,550 acres, according to a new UN report. That’s a 256 percent increase since 2013. Health-related cutbacks on crop spraying, poorly implemented crop substitution plans, and the entrance of narco traffickers into regions surrendered by FARC guerillas have all contributed to the surge.

 

30: According to a new study, just 30 percent of Americans with some college education think globalization has “mostly helped” the United States. The number is 45 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree, and 57 percent of those with post-graduate degrees.

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 Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known.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