Hard Numbers

41,000: Caste-based crime in India has increased by 25 percent since 2010, reaching 41,000 incidents in 2016, the latest year for which data is available. One factor contributing to the rise in violence is a backlash against lower castes who are increasingly advocating for more rights.


440: For the low price of $440, a Japanese firm will quit your job for you. The startup, Exit, hands in job resignations for people too embarrassed to face their bosses in person. While Japan's labor markets might be getting a bit more flexible, its work culture remains strict and traditional.

98: US soy bean exports to China have fallen by an astounding 98 percent since the start of the year, as Beijing targeted the industry in retaliation to the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods. It doesn't look like a resolution between the US and China is in sight, after the two sides traded barbs at the APEC summit over the weekend.

60: Since sweeping to power in March, support for Italy's two major populist parties has risen from 50 percent to 60 percent. Remarkably, the far-right League, which was once a Northern secessionist party, has seen its support grow to 20 percent in the South. Even though party chief Matteo Salvini was once caught on a video comparing southerners to dogs, he's successfully rebranded the party as a defender of all Italians against immigrants and the EU.

Imagine losing your child in their first year of life and having no idea what caused it. This is the heartbreaking reality for thousands of families each year who lose a child to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Despite decades-long efforts to prevent SUID, it remains the leading cause of death for children between one month and one year of age in developed nations. Working in collaboration with researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Auckland, Microsoft analyzed the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data on every child born in the U.S. over a decade, including over 41 million births and 37,000 SUID deaths.

By pairing Microsoft's capabilities and data scientists with Seattle Children's medical research expertise, progress is being made on identifying the cause of SUID. Earlier this year, a study was published that estimated approximately 22% of SUID deaths in the U.S. were attributable to maternal cigarette-smoking during pregnancy, giving us further evidence that, through our collaboration with experts in varying disciplines, we are getting to the root of this problem and making remarkable advances.

Read more at Microsoft On The Issues.

Why is the monthly jobs report so important to the markets?

Well, the jobs report is issued every month by the Labor Department, the first Friday of every month, and it really is a key economic indicator. The report surveys 150,000 businesses and government agencies around the country, and the unemployment rate surveys 60,000 households. The jobs report basically signals output, consumer spending. So, as you can well imagine, the stock markets rise and fall based on the jobs report.

Was there anything unexpected in last week's November jobs report?

So overall, that report was, as some economists said, a blockbuster. 266,000 jobs were created in November. That was the second highest total so far this year. The unemployment rate dropped slightly to three and a half percent. That's the lowest rate in nearly half a century.

William Hague: What is my prediction for the election?

Well, I think that conservatives will definitely have a bigger lead in votes over the Labour Party than at the last election, two years ago. Now that should give them a majority in the House of Commons. But then there will be tactical voting between Labour and Liberal voters against the Conservatives. And there are many undecided people at the last minute. So, I would go for a small conservative majority, maybe around 20 seats, which is also what some of the most sophisticated pollsters have said.

David Miliband: Who do you predict will win the UK elections?

I'm very careful about predictions, especially about the future, as someone famously said. The polls are pretty clear that this has been a dismal campaign, an unpopularity contest in all sorts of ways in which the lesser of two evils is perceived by the voters to be a conservative vote. So, the polls are giving a range of possibilities from a hung parliament right through to a large conservative majority. Obviously, I don't know who's going to win. My tour around the country last week gave me a real sense, a yearning really, for a better choice, for better choices, for more fronting up by the parties, because both parties have done a job of avoiding some of the hardest choices. And so, I predict that whoever wins, there are some very difficult choices ahead. And the sooner that politics is about what you're asking for as well as what you're offering. As Tawney said, after Labour lost the 1931 election, "we offered too much and asked too little." The sooner politics is about shared endeavor, the better for the country.

After a months-long investigation into whether President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine's president into investigating his political rivals in order to boost his reelection prospects in 2020, House Democrats brought two articles of impeachment against him, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Click here for our GZERO guide to what comes next.

In the meantime, imagine for a moment that you are now Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader and senior member of Donald Trump's Republican Party. You've got big choices to make.

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