Hard Numbers

88: Last year, the number of Venezuelan asylum applications in the US surged88 percent to 27,629. That’s three times the number of applications from any other nationality, according to the US government. This will pose a challenge for the Trump administration, which has sought to tighten asylum requirements but has also sharply criticized, and sanctioned, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.


53: The frozen expanses of Antarctica are governed by 53 different countries under an agreement that dates back to 1959. For most of that time things have gone pretty smoothly, but as a growing number of countries set up scientific research centers on the continent, disputes are now emerging over environmental protection and access to potentially lucrative natural resources under the ice.

3.17: China surpassed North America to become the world’s largest movie market during the first quarter of 2018, grossing $3.17 billion during that time, fueled mostly by several huge domestically-produced box office hits. The box office take in North America reached just $2.85 billion during that time.

2: Taiwan has now lost two of its diplomatic allies in less than a month, with Burkina Faso’s announcement this that it’s cutting ties with the island. (The Dominican Republic did the same just weeks ago.) With Beijing dishing out cash around the world, the self-ruled island that Beijing officially considers part of China is becoming increasingly isolated.

In the end it wasn't even close. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won a stunning victory in the UK's snap elections yesterday, taking at least 364 seats out of 650, delivering the Tories their largest majority since 1987.

Johnson read the public mood correctly. After three years of anguish and political uncertainty over the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union, he ran on a simple platform: "Get Brexit Done." In a typically raffish late-campaign move, he even drove a bulldozer through a fake wall of "deadlock." Despite lingering questions about his honesty and his character, Johnson's party gained at least 49 seats (one seat still hasn't been declared yet).

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This holiday season, how concerned should I be about smart toys and their vulnerability to hacking?

You should be concerned both, that Internet connected toys can be hacked and also that they have shoddy privacy practices. And then the voice files of your kid talking to their teddy bear will end up in the cloud, accessible to all kinds of creepy people. On the other hand, Internet connected toys are great. Kids need to learn about technology. So, tradeoffs.

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David Miliband: Now that Boris Johnson has won a majority in the House of Commons, what's going to happen to Brexit?

If only Brexit could get done in 60 seconds? Because the result of the general election obviously means that Britain will leave the European Union, but it does nothing to clarify our future relations with the European Union. The Johnson victory is undoubtedly a very strong one, and he will try and interpret it as a victory for himself and for the Conservative Party and the attraction that they offer to Labour voters.

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Once a widely heralded human rights champion who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for advancing democracy in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has now taken up a different cause: defending her country from accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Yesterday was the court's final day of hearings over that country's military-led crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim minority in 2017, which left thousands dead and forced more than 740,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Here's what you need to know about the proceedings.

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