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Municipality workers remove debris from the streets after flooding in Sheikh Jalal district, Baghlan province, Afghanistan May 12, 2024.

REUTERS/Sayed Hassib

Hard Numbers: Devastating floods, COVID reporter released, Catalonia votes, Swiss contestant wins Eurovision

315: At least 315 people in northern Afghanistan have died in severe floods that also injured over 1,600 others, wiped out thousands of homes, and devastated livestock herds that feed the region. Aid agencies expect chaos. It’s been a bad month for floods worldwide — similar inundations in southern Brazil and Kenya have killed hundreds in recent weeks.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Ukrainian people with Orthodox Easter message, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, at the Saint Sophia cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine April 23, 2022. Picture taken April 23, 2022.

Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Ukraine’s bloody Easter Sunday, China on the dark side of the moon, Afghanistan loses last woman diplomat, Madonna’s massive show

3: On Sunday, Ukraine marked its third Orthodox Easter under Russian attack, as Moscow’s forces targeted villages in the East with a drone barrage that killed six people. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (of Jewish descent) asked his compatriots to be “united in one common prayer” on the steps of Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral.

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Peter Navarro, who served as U.S. then-President Donald Trump's trade adviser, talks to the media before turning himself in at a federal correctional institution to begin his prison sentence for defying a subpoena from a panel that investigated the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, in Miami, Florida, U.S.

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Hard Numbers: Former Trump adviser goes to jail, Cambodia bans musical car horns, DRC suffers M23 siege, Afghanistan endures dire drought

4: Peter Navarro, a former adviser to Donald Trump, has been sentenced to a four-month prison sentence for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. Navarro was deeply involved in Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss in the run-up to Jan. 6. Before surrendering, Navarro held a press conference claiming political persecution and maintaining he had “executive privilege” regarding his conversations with Trump.
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A training of the fire division, guided by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (not pictured), is held in North Korea, March 18, 2024, in this picture released on March 19, 2024, by the Korean Central News Agency.


Hard Numbers: Kim Jong Un takes aim, Pakistan launches deadly airstrikes, Sunak’s asylum-seeking plan proves costly, BOJ raises rates, Death toll rises in Haiti

186: Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: On Monday, North Korea responded to a visit to South Korea by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken by firing short-range ballistic missiles from Pyongyang an estimated 186 miles into the Sea of Japan. North Korea’s military has recently staged military maneuvers in response to annual US-South Korean joint drills.

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PA via Reuters Recently arrived Afghan citizens take part in a cricket match with members of Newport Pagnell Town Cricket Club in Buckinghamshire, organised by the club as a gesture to welcome them to the UK.

If the Taliban builds a cricket stadium, will the world come?

The Taliban – which likes to use stadiums for public executions – now has ambitious plans to build a cutting-edge new sports facility for something else: cricket.

Afghanistan is cricket-crazy. Their underdog team pulled off a series of upsets at last year’s world cup – a momentary distraction from the country’s withering economic crisis. And although the squad still plays under the flag of the US-backed pre-Taliban government, they have powerful fans in Kabul – including Anas Haqqani, a Taliban official associated with a notorious terrorist group bearing his name – who provide political cover.

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An Afghan security force personnel keeps watch near his check post in Parun, capital of Nuristan province, Afghanistan November 20, 2016.

REUTERS/Hamid Shalizi

Hard Numbers: Landslide tragedy in Afghanistan, Credit card mega deal, Debt default in Niger, Gun violence in New Guinea, EU takes on TikTok, Chinese New Year blowout, Japan crazy for food carts

25: Twenty-five people have died and twenty homes were destroyed in a landslide triggered by heavy rain and snow in eastern Afghanistan's Nuristan province. Harsh winter weather, difficult terrain, and a lack of resources are hampering rescue efforts for those still trapped.

35,300,000,000: Capital One will merge with credit card network Discover in an all-stock deal valued at $35.3 billion dollars, expected to close in late 2024 or early 2025. The merger would render the combined firm the largest US credit card company by loan volume, but consumer advocates say the deal raises antitrust concerns.

519,000,000: The West African nation of Niger has defaulted on another debt payment, bringing its total debt default to $519 million since a military coup last July, according to the West African monetary union debt management agency UMOA Titres. Niger’s recent missed payment of $22 million is but the latest challenge faced by the Sahel nation, including suspended international aid, closed borders, and a possible currency change.

26: Twenty-six people were killed in a tribal ambush in a community dispute in Papua New Guinea's Highlands region. The area has traditionally struggled with violence, but a recent influx of illegal firearms have made clashes more deadly.

6: The EU could take a big bite out of ByteDance, parent company of social media giant TikTok. The company could be subject to a fine of 6% of its global turnover if found to have violated EU online content rules, particularly regarding the protection of minors and advertising transparency.

474,000,000: Now that’s a holiday! During China’s eight-day Lunar New Year celebrations, Chinese travelers were on the move, taking 474 million domestic trips, up 19% from 2019, and splashing out spending of 632.7 billion yuan (US$87.9 billion), up 7.7% from pre-pandemic levels.

100,000: Japan's latest craze? Snagging a bullet train food cart for your kitchen or canteen. After Central Japan Railway decided to discontinue the use of its 50 iconic snack-mobiles, it was swamped with nearly 2,000 bids at $100,000 yen (US$666) a pop, proving that the race for train memorabilia is just as fast-paced as the shinkansen line itself.

10 images that captured 2023

With 2023 in our rearview mirror, here are some of the images that defined the tumultuous year: from Fulton County, Georgia to Gaza City,

Feb. 5: Spy Balloon Downed

Feb. 5: Spy Balloon Downed

Credit: Sipa USA via Reuters

Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 recover a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Feb. 5, 2023.

Feb. 10: Earthquake shakes Turkey and Syria

Feb. 10: Earthquake shakes Turkey and Syria

Credit: Umit Bektas/Reuters

An aerial view shows damaged and collapsed buildings in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake in Hatay, Turkey February 10, 2023.

March 23: France protests pension changes

March 23: France protests pension changes

Credit: Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Reuters

Riot policemen stands amid clouds of tear gas as more than 70,000 people protest in Toulouse against French President Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to raise the national retirement age and change pension benefits. March 23th 2023.

May 6: King Charles III coronated

May 6: King Charles III coronated

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

King Charles III waves as he leaves the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, following his coronation, May 6, 2023.

Jun. 7: Canadian wildfires

Jun. 7: Canadian wildfires

Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

People ride bicycles at 6th Avenue as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada blanket New York City, New York, U.S., June 7, 2023.

Aug. 24: Trump mugshot

Aug. 24: Trump mugshot

Credit: Reuters

Former U.S. President Donald Trump in a police booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, August 24, 2023.

Sept. 25: Milei’s chainsaw

Sept. 25: Milei\u2019s chainsaw

Credit: REUTERS/Cristina Sille

Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei holds a chainsaw next to Carolina Piparo, candidate for Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, during a campaign rally, in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 25, 2023.

Oct. 7: Noa Argamani kidnapped

Oct. 7: Noa Argamani kidnapped

Nova music festival attendee Noa Argamani reaches out to her boyfriend, Avinatan Or, as they are kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, 2023.

Oct. 9: Gaza’s children bombed

Oct. 9: Gaza\u2019s children bombed

Credit: IMAGO/Medhat Hajjaj/apaimages via Reuters

A child at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City rests after surgery, having been wounded in an Israeli attack. October 9, 2023.

Oct 23: Afghanistan's historic Cricket World Cup win

Oct 23: Afghanistan's historic Cricket World Cup win

Credit: ANI via Reuters

Hashmatullah Shahidi celebrates Afghanistan's victory against Pakistan. Oct 23, 2023

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Russia leaves nuclear test ban treaty in show of public posturing
Russia leaves nuclear test ban treaty in show of public posturing | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Russia leaves nuclear test ban treaty in show of public posturing

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Stockholm.

What can be done by Europe or others to help the 1.7 million Afghan refugees that are now being expelled from Pakistan back into Afghanistan?

Well, sorry to say the answer is not very much can be done. We are delivering humanitarian aid to some extent, and the UN is there to Afghanistan, but to take care of or to help substantially 1.7 million people that are expelled from Pakistan is going to be very difficult. Relationship with the Taliban regime is virtually non-existent, so it's one of these tragedies that are happening at the same time as we have the Gaza War and the Ukraine War.

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