Hard Numbers

25: More than 25 percent of emerging and developing market economies are expected to grow at a slower pace in per capita terms than their rich-world counterparts over the next five years, leaving them only further behind in terms of living standards. #GrowingDivide


40: Nearly 40 percent of US factory jobs have disappeared since 1979. #HollowMiddleClass

10.6: Germany’s foreign-born population reached a record 10.6 million in 2017, an increase of 5.8 percent from 2016. Refugee arrivals have leveled off, but immigration from eastern EU countries is climbing at an above-average rate. #ChangingIdentities

40 vs 60: There are now more physical barriers at European borders than at any time during the Cold War, and it’s not just a European trend. According to a 2016 report in The Economist, since the fall of the Berlin Wall more than forty countries around the world have built fences against more than sixty of their neighbors. #Walls

47 and 77: In November 2016, the United Nations warned that while automation and innovations in machine learning threaten 47 percent of all existing jobs in the United States, the number is 65 percent in Nigeria, with a population of 140 million people, 69 percent in India, home to more than 1.3 billion, and 77 percent in China, a country of 1.4 billion. #HereComeTheRobots

Last week, in Fulton, WI, together with election officials from the state of Wisconsin and the election technology company VotingWorks, Microsoft piloted ElectionGuard in an actual election for the first time.

As voters in Fulton cast ballots in a primary election for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates, the official count was tallied using paper ballots as usual. However, ElectionGuard also provided an encrypted digital tally of the vote that enabled voters to confirm their votes have been counted and not altered. The pilot is one step in a deliberate and careful process to get ElectionGuard right before it's used more broadly across the country.

Read more about the process at Microsoft On The Issues.

The risk of a major technology blow-up between the US and Europe is growing. A few weeks ago, we wrote about how the European Union wanted to boost its "technological sovereignty" by tightening its oversight of Big Tech and promoting its own alternatives to big US and Chinese firms in areas like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and her top digital officials unveiled their first concrete proposals for regulating AI, and pledged to invest billions of euros to turn Europe into a data superpower.

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Communal violence in Delhi: Over the past few days, India's capital city has seen its deadliest communal violence in decades. This week's surge in mob violence began as a standoff between protesters against a new citizenship law that critics say discriminates against India's Muslims and the law's Hindu nationalist defenders. Clashes between Hindu and Muslim mobs in majority-Muslim neighborhoods in northeast Delhi have killed at least 11 people, both Muslim and Hindu, since Sunday. We're watching to see how Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government responds – Delhi's police force reports to federal, rather than local, officials.

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Ian Bremmer's perspective on what's happening in geopolitics:

What are the takeaways from President Trump's visit to India?

No trade deal, in part because Modi is less popular and he's less willing to focus on economic liberalization. It's about nationalism right now. Hard to get that done. But the India US defense relationship continues to get more robust. In part, those are concerns about China and Russia.

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27,000: The Emir of Qatar has decreed a $27,000 fine and up to five years in prison for anyone who publishes, posts, or repost content that aims to "harm the national interest" or "stir up public opinion." No word on whether the Doha-based Al-Jazeera network, long a ferocious and incisive critic of other Arab governments, will be held to the same standard.

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