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Former President Donald Trump speaks to reporters with attorney Todd Blanche at the end of the day at Manhattan criminal court as jury selection continues in New York, U.S., April 18, 2024.

Jabin Botsford/Pool via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Trump jury formed, A 911 for 911, Croatia’s coalition crunch begins, New nets chop malaria in half, Netflix numbers soar

12: And then there were twelve. A dozen jurors, plus one alternate, have been selected in Donald Trump’s criminal “hush money” trial in New York. This comes after two jurors were dismissed on Thursday – one of them resigned over fears she had been targeted publicly by a FOX news host, while the other was sent home over prosecutors’ suspicions he had lied on his juror questionnaire. Five more alternates will be selected on Friday.

4: Who do you call when the emergency is that 911 itself is out? People in four US states had to wrestle with that conundrum on Wednesday night after their emergency call systems went down. No cause was given for the outages in Nevada, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas, but federal officials have warned that the move to digital systems in recent years has raised the risk of cyberattacks.

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Croatian Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party chief Andrej Plenkovic attends an election rally in Zagreb, Croatia, April 14, 2024.

REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

Croatia heads to the polls in contentious election

Croatians vote on Wednesday in one of the most contentious parliamentary elections that the Balkan country, an EU member, has seen in years – and Russia is at the heart of the kerfuffle.

The governing center-right Croatian Democratic Union party, or HDZ, which has held power almost continuously since Croatia’s independence in 1991, is facing a stiff challenge from a center-left coalition led by the Social Democrat Party.

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Morocco line-up during the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match against Portugal in Doha, Qatar.

Jose Breton via Reuters Connect

What’s it worth to crush it at the World Cup?

Whether or not underdog Morocco beats France in the World Cup semifinals on Wednesday, one thing is sure: Becoming the first African or Arab nation to get this far in the biggest sporting event on the planet stands to get Morocco more than on-field glory in Qatar.

The Atlas Lions probably didn't expect to have such an amazing run, but their overperformance is no coincidence. It’s the fruit of decades of heavy investment by the kingdom in developing its players as part of Morocco’s broader sports diplomacy.

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Putin would rather die than admit defeat in Ukraine, says former Croatian president
- YouTube

Putin would rather die than admit defeat in Ukraine, says former Croatian president

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović knows a thing or two about Vladimir Putin, who she met multiple times when she was Croatia's president. So, how does she see the future of Russia's war in Ukraine?

It's not looking good.

In a Global Stage livestream conversation held at United Nations headquarters, Grabar-Kitarović says that Putin is unlikely to back down from a "special military operation" driven by what the Russian leader sees as Western humiliation during the Cold War.

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Members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualification playoff semi-final soccer match between Scotland and Ukraine.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Ukraine eyes a Qatar ticket, CAR abolishes executions, Croatia gets into the ‘Zone, Conservatives romp in South Korea

1: With their homeland ravaged by war, Ukraine’s national soccer team is putting up a stunning fight of its own at the World Cup qualifiers – the “yellow-blues” are now just one win away from qualifying for a ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year. They play Wales on Sunday.

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Annie Gugliotta

What We’re Watching: Ethiopian emergency, Euro bubbly war, US Fed vs inflation

Things go from bad to worse in Ethiopia. Ethiopia's embattled PM Abiy Ahmed has imposed a state of emergency and called on ordinary citizens to take up arms, after a swift advance by the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front put the rebels within striking distance of the capital, Addis Ababa. For a year now, Abiy's forces have been at war with the TPLF over the militant group's demands for the Tigray region to have more autonomy from the central government. The TPLF ran all of Ethiopia for decades, but they lost power after a popular uprising led to Abiy's appointment in 2018. The current conflict has seen possible war crimes by all sides, but the allegations against Ethiopian government forces in particular have prompted the US to revoke the country's preferential trade status, effective next year. All of this puts Abiy in a very tough position: last November he launched what he thought would be a quick war to squelch the TPLF, but now he is losing ground badly and could soon lose a critical source of economic support. Does he pull out the peace pipe or look for bigger guns? It seems like ages ago this guy won a Nobel Prize, but no heroes are safe these days. And with neighboring Sudan in political turmoil as well, things are looking dicey in the strategically-significant Horn of Africa.

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