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.

Scientists, engineers and technologists are turning to nature in search of solutions to climate change. Biomimicry is now being applied in the energy sector, medicine, architecture, communications, transport and agriculture in a bid to make human life on this planet more sustainable and limit the impacts of global warming. New inventions have been inspired by humpback whales, kingfishers and mosquitoes.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

The drumbeat for regulating artificial intelligence (AI) is growing louder. Earlier this week, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google's parent company, Alphabet, became the latest high-profile Silicon Valley figure to call for governments to put guardrails around technologies that use huge amounts of (sometimes personal) data to teach computers how to identify faces, make decisions about mortgage applications, and myriad other tasks that previously relied on human brainpower.

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January 27 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi extermination camp. But even as some 40 heads of state gathered in Jerusalem this week to commemorate the six million Jews who were killed, a recent Pew survey revealed that many American adults don't know basic facts about the ethnic cleansing of Europe's Jews during the Second World War. Fewer than half of those polled knew how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and close to a third didn't know when it actually happened. Here's a look at some of the numbers.

1: The Greek parliament has elected a woman president for the first time since the country's independence some 200 years ago. A political outsider, Katerina Sakellaropoulou is a high court judge with no known party affiliation. "Our country enters the third decade of the 21st century with more optimism," Greece's prime minister said.

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A quarantine in China– Local authorities have locked down the city of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak of a new and potentially deadly respiratory virus that, as of Thursday morning, had infected more than 540 people in at least six countries. Other nearby cities were also hit by travel restrictions. Rail and air traffic out of Wuhan has been halted. Public transportation is shut, and local officials are urging everyone to stay put unless they have a special need to travel. Wuhan is a city of 11 million people, many of whom were about to travel for the Chinese New Year. We're watching to see whether these extraordinary measures help stem the outbreak, but also to see how the people affected respond to the clampdown.

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