Hard Numbers

179,000: An analysis by the Trade Partnership, a consultancy, predicts that higher prices for steel and aluminum under the Trump administration’s new tariffs will create 33,000 jobs in industries that produce these metals, but destroy as many as 179,000 jobs in industries that consume them. Trade policy is always a trade-offs policy: which blue-collar votes does Trump value more — those of steel makers or, say, auto makers?


98: The USA has supplied major arms to 98 states since 2013, according to SIPRI. Exports to governments in the conflict-torn Middle East accounted for half of those exports, by volume. More broadly, the Middle East accounted for a third of all global arms imports during that period. While cyberwarfare looks like the biggest challenge of the future, conventional weapons are still wreaking plenty of havoc in the world’s deadliest region.

73: Per capita GDP in Russia rose by 73 percent between the beginning of Putin’s first term as president in 2000 and 2016. This, coupled with his forceful reassertion of Russia’s global role, accounts in part for Putin’s high popularity as he heads for re-election this Sunday. But most of those economic gains were achieved more than a decade ago, and Putin has still failed, so far, to achieve his objective of matching average incomes in Portugal.

50: In China, by contrast, the economy has grown by more than 50 per cent, to $13.1tn, since President Xi Jinping took power five years ago. Some 66 million new urban jobs were created, and 68 million people left poverty during that period. Now that Mr. Xi is preparing to stick around for a while, can he continue to deliver the economic Chinese Dream that he has promised?

8.9: If Ghana hits a projected growth rate of 8.9 percent this year, it could be among the fastest growing economies in the world, outpacing tech-giant India and eclipsing Ethiopia as Africa’s economic star. But there are big questions about whether the tiny West African nation’s dependency on commodities (oil and cocoa) are a boon or a burden for sustainable growth and job creation.

The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace launched in 2018 with the commitment of signatories to stand up to cyber threats like election interference, attacks on critical infrastructure, and supply chain vulnerabilities. Last week, on the first anniversary of the call, the number of signatories has nearly tripled to more than 1,000 and now includes 74 nations; more than 350 international, civil society and public sector organizations; and more than 600 private sector entities. These commitments to the Paris Call from around the world demonstrate a widespread, global, multi-stakeholder consensus about acceptable behavior in cyberspace.

Read More at Microsoft On The Issues.

What changes now that the U.S. softened its position on Israeli settlements?

Well, I mean, not a lot. I mean, keep in mind that this is also the administration that moved the embassy to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv. Everyone said that was going to be a massive problem. Ultimately, not many people cared. Same thing with recognition of Golan Heights for Israel. This is just one more give from the Americans to the Israelis in the context of a region that doesn't care as much as they used to about Israel - Palestine.

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Bolivia's polarizing interim president: After Bolivian president Evo Morales and his deputies were pushed out of office for rigging last month's presidential election, little-known opposition Senator Jeanine Añez took office as interim leader. Añez has promised to guide the country toward a "national consensus" ahead of new elections in January, but she's already risked deepening political divides. On day one, she lugged a giant bible into office, in a perceived swipe at Morales, who had elevated popular indigenous traditions that the ultra-conservative Ms. Añez once called "satanic." She's also abruptly reoriented the country's foreign ties toward Latin America's conservative governments. On her watch, at least eight pro-Morales protesters have been killed by the authorities. Morales himself, exiled in Mexico, says he's the victim of a coup and wants to run in the elections. Añez says he's barred, but his MAS political party still controls both houses of congress and has to be a partner for any smooth transition. Some compromise is necessary, but things don't seem to be going that way.

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2,887: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now broken a century-old record to become the longest serving PM in Japan's history, at 2,887 days. It's a stunning feat for a premier who made a political comeback after quitting in 2007 due to a series of embarrassing scandals.

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