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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.


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