Hard Numbers

217,000: Every day, 217,000 people rise out of extreme poverty globally, 325,000 more people gain access to electricity, and 300,000 to clean drinking water.


107: Germany’s ruling parties have been unable to form a coalition for 107 days, the longest period the country has gone without a government since its reunification in 1990. When Germany sneezes, does Europe catch a cold?

41: The informal sector — the part of the economy where people work/employ without declaring it to the government — comprises 41 percent of the GDP of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s a massive amount of untaxed income and unregulated working conditions.

2: US life expectancy has fallen for two years in a row for the first time in more than half a century. The biggest increase in mortality was registered among 25- to 34-year-olds, in part because drug overdoses among this group have increased 50% since 2014.

1: About one million Indians enter the workforce every month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to create 10 million jobs a year but has delivered only a few hundred thousand — will voters remember that in the 2019 general election?

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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