Hard Numbers

5: In Russia, the latest polls suggest there’s a good chance that none of Vladimir Putin’s seven opponents will receive more than 5 percent of the vote in this weekend’s presidential election. But will Putin achieve his goal of capturing 70% of votes and generating 70% turnout?


14: In Indonesia, police have arrested 14 members of a self-proclaimed cyber-jihadist network known as the Muslim Cyber Army. The group is accused of running an online operation designed to provoke religious and ethnic tension by spreading fake news about gay citizens, alleged communists, and the country’s Chinese minority. They also like to publish defamatory material about President Joko Widodo.

24: In Venezuela, a country trapped in economic crisis, a university study has foundthat nearly two-thirds of people surveyed said they had lost an average of 24 pounds (11 kilos) in body weight in the past year. About 20 percent of citizens depend on monthly government food deliveries for their survival.

910: In Syria, “extreme and indiscriminate violence” killed 910 children in 2017, a 50 percent increase on 2016 and the most of any year since the war began, according to UNICEF.

0: While per capital income has more than doubled in the US since 1972, subjective measures of well-being, like happiness, remain unchanged, according to the UN’s 2018 World Happiness Report. Health crises — from opioids to obesity — haven’t helped.

Ferrera Erbognone, a small town in the northern Italian province of Pavia, is home to one of the most cutting-edge computing centers in the world: Eni's Green Data Center. All of the geophysical and seismic prospecting data Eni produces from all over the world ends up here. Now, the Green Data Center is welcoming a new supercomputing system: HPC5, an advanced version of the already powerful HPC4. Due to be completed by early 2020, HPC5 will triple the Green Data Center's computing power, from 18.6 to 52 petaflops, equivalent to 52 million billion mathematical operations per second.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

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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