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.

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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