Hard Numbers

3.1 billion: For every dollar increase in the price of oil, Saudi Arabia nets an extra $3.1 billion in government revenue, according to Rapidan. The US decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal, which may send oil prices rising, could provide a welcome boost to the bank account of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


66: Italy has now gone 66 days without a government since elections in March. The two anti-establishment parties shaking up Italian politics — Five Star and Lega — can’t agree to govern together, and both say they would reject a technocratic caretaker government appointed by the president. They both prefer fresh elections, an outcome that is now growing more likely every deadlocked day.

59: According to a new survey of 27 countries by BBC/Ipsos Mori, some 59% of people say that their countries are “more divided” politically and socially than they were ten years ago. Two-thirds of Europeans say so, the highest of any region in the world.

40: Argentina’s Central bank jacked up its interest rate to a whopping 40 percent earlier this week in a so-far unsuccessful bid to stop a slide in the national currency. Other emerging market currencies such as the Turkish lira, the South African rand, and the Indian rupee have also come under pressure as the US raises interest rates and fear of trade war rises.

44: This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took his second trip to China in just 44 days. With more than 90 percent of North Korea’s trade dependent on China, you can bet Beijing is making its voice heard as negotiations heat up on the Korean Peninsula.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?


Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

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In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

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