35,000: Over the past two years, around 35,000 people from across Africa have converged in a lawless region along the border between Niger and Algeria seeking nothing less than a pot of gold. Niger’s largest artisanal goldmine, Tchibarakaten, has become the site of an African gold rush, as those seeking money to send home or fund the increasingly expensive journey across the Mediterranean have flocked to the remote region in droves.

10: After a reshuffle this week, women hold 10 of 20 cabinet posts in Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government. The shake-up, which included the appointment of the country’s first female defense minister, comes amid a broader political opening that has seen the release of thousands of political prisoners and the end of Ethiopia’s 20-year conflict with Eritrea.

3: Australia’s Senate defeated a motion declaring that it is “OK to be white” by only three votes this week. The motion, put forward by the leader of Australia’s right-wing One Nation party, echoed a phrase used by white nationalists, and was intended as a swipe at “anti-white racism.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the level of support for the motion “regrettable,” while the government attributed the close vote to an administrative error.

0: Two years into the Trump presidency, the US has yet to appoint ambassadors to both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The recent flare up between the countries over the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi highlights outstanding staffing gaps in US embassies around the world, as it has fallen on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to travel to both countries in an effort to ease tensions.

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 Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known.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

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?

Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

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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 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 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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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 disagreements over sharing the cost of maintaining military readiness have caused friction between the alliance's members 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.