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Ukrainians visit a monument to Holodomor victims during a commemoration ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the famine of 1932-33, against a backdrop of Russian drones attacking Kyiv.

Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto

Hard Numbers: Russian drones, Malagasy election, Ireland's clashes, China's illnesses, breakaway iceberg

75: Russia launched its biggest-ever drone attack on Kyiv on Saturday, firing 75 Iranian-made Shahed drones at the Ukrainian capital, and all but one were shot down. President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack, noting that it came on the commemoration of the 1932-1933 Holodomor famine, engineered by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, which killed several million Ukrainians.

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Israelis protest in front of the Ministry of defense to free hostages taken by Hamas terrorist on October 7th 2023.

Raphael Gotheil / Hans Lucas via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Gaza hostage talks continue, Brazilians bake, Thais toke, Record-scratch in Madagascar election

50: Negotiations to release some of the Hamas-held hostages in Gaza continued Wednesday, as Qatari mediators reportedly sought the release of 50 civilians in exchange for Israel agreeing to a three-day cease-fire. Hamas kidnapped more than 230 people during its Oct. 7 rampage. For more on the challenges facing hostage negotiations, here are comments from somebody who knows a thing or two about the subject.

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Pro-Palestine protesters march in London.

Balint Szentgallay via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Pro-Palestinian protests rock London, Machado prevails in Venezuela, drone shortage woes, Madagascan opposition, joint aerial exercise with Asian allies, a great Great Lake discovery

100,000: In London, 100,000 protesters chanted “Stop bombing Gaza” and waved Palestinian flags as they marched from Hyde Park to Whitehall on Saturday. Officials asked Brits to be mindful of the Jewish community, with Metropolitan Police reporting a 13-fold uptick in reports of antisemitic offenses this month compared to last year.

93: Industrial engineer Maria Corina Machado declared victory in the opposition's presidential primary in Venezuela late Sunday. With 26% of ballots counted, she had 93% of the vote. The question now is whether Nicolás Maduro will allow Machado — who's been officially banned from running for office — to challenge him in the 2024 presidential election.

10,000: Ukraine loses 10,000 drones a month in its war with Russia and is now facing a shortage of parts due to export restrictions by China. Concerns about the impact on Ukrainian defense capabilities have prompted a search for alternatives made elsewhere, including by domestic startups.

50,000: Madagascar’s opposition parties held a rally with 50,000 people to protest what they call an “illegitimate” election process ahead of general elections in November. Last month, the country’s constitutional court dismissed appeals to have President Andry Rajoelina’s candidacy declared void over his dual French nationality, angering opposition politicians who say voters do not want “foreigners” running the country.

1: South Korea, the United States, and Japan have held their first joint aerial exercise in the face of an escalating North Korean nuclear threat and a recent visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Pyongyang. South Korea and Japan host 80,000 American troops and are key American allies in the region.

128: A documentary about the invasive quagga mussel’s impact on the Great Lakes led to the discovery of a 128-year-old shipwreck. Filmmakers came across the Africa, a steamship that went missing in October 1895 while carrying coal from Ohio to Ontario, on the bottom of Lake Huron.

An artillery fire competition in North Korea.


Hard Numbers: North Korea lashes out, Cuba accepts US aid, UK/EU inflation skyrockets, Madagascar FM fired, MPs want Truss out

350: North Korea has fired more than 350 rounds of artillery shells at a buffer zone that was established in 2018 to ease tensions over the disputed border with South Korea. Kim Jong Un is furious about Seoul's latest military exercises, which include joint drills with US and Japanese forces.

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