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

In the southern Italian region of Basilicata, home to the Val d'Agri Oil Centre known as COVA, hydrocarbon processing has undergone a radical digital transformation. COVA boasts one of the world's first fully digitized hydrocarbon plants, but why? Two primary reasons: infrastructure and information. Val d'Agri has the largest onshore hydrocarbon deposit in mainland Europe. The site is expansive and highly advanced, and the plant features a sophisticated sensor system built to capture massive amounts of data. Maintenance checks, equipment monitoring, inspections and measurements are tracked in a fully integrated digital system designed to prevent corrosion and ensure cleaner, more sustainable natural gas processing.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

For a president gearing up for a fierce re-election fight next year, President Trump has a lot to worry about. Democrats are now taking more of the US political spotlight. The latest opinion polls don't look good for him. There are signs that the strong US economy, Trump's top selling point, may begin to wobble.

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Chinese Pigs – Beyond a trade war with the US and unrest in Hong Kong, now Chinese officials are wrestling with an even more basic political problem. Pork is the favorite meat for many of China's 1.4 billion people, and some analysts treat pork consumption as an important indicator of the financial well-being of China's middle class. A serious outbreak of African Swine Flu is expected to push pork prices 70 percent higher over the second half of this year, which will hit ordinary Chinese pockets hard. By some estimates, half of China pigs have been culled, but there are also reports that some farmers have avoided the expense of slaughtering infected pigs, raising fears that the disease will continue to spread. The central government takes this problem seriously enough to call on local officials to boost large-scale hog farming. So far, China's "Year of the Pig" is just not going well.

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Buy or sell: The iPhone

I'll make both arguments. First, buy. The new iPhone 11 didn't blow people's mind. But it's a pretty good phone. But what is most impressive is they lowered the prices on many of their phones and they offer a really good trade ins. So you can take your old iPhone, trade it in, get a discount on a new one. It's a pretty good deal. On the other hand, if the question is more: Is the iPhone still the unadulterated leader in innovation? Maybe not. The event was not quite as transformative as some of these events have been.

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1.2 million: Surging jihadist terrorism in Burkina Faso has pushed the country to the brink of humanitarian crisis, as attacks displace people from their homes and destroy critical infrastructure and hospitals. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1.2 million Burkinabe are threatened with famine and malnutrition, and access to healthcare has dwindled. Experts say the violence is a spillover from the scourge of jihadism in neighboring Mali.

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