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XIÁN, CHINA- In the photos, people visit the scenic place of the city wall of Xi'an in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, northwest China, on March 4, 2020.

Liu Xiaoming / Xinhua / Latin America News Agency

Hard Numbers: Chinese cities lift home-buying restrictions, Humanitarian aid ship sets sail, Car gun theft triples, Opposition wins in North Macedonia, Malaysia introduces orangutan diplomacy

230 million: On Thursday, officials in Hangzhou and Xi’an, cities with a combined population of more than 25 million people, lifted all restrictions on buying new homes. The moves are part of a push by many Chinese cities to bolster the country’s sagging property market. The announcements drew more than230 million views on the social media site Weibo.

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A student of National University of Malaysia walks past displays of the country's "Stripes of Glory" flags at its campus in Bangi outside Kuala Lumpur August 22, 2007.

Bazuki Muhammad via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Microsoft takes Malaysia, Massive (and unknown) startup, Safety first, Don’t automate my news

2.2 billion: Microsoft has its eye on Southeast Asia. The computing giant announced it’ll pour $2.2 billion into Malaysia’s cloud infrastructure over the next four years and will establish a national AI center with the government. This investment is the latest in a string of Microsoft infusions in local economies to help develop AI: In the past month, the company announced a $2.9 billion investment in Japan, $1.7 billion in Indonesia, and a new data center in Thailand, plus a $1.5 billion stake in the UAE firm G42.

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Hundreds of Muslim activists gather to protest in solidarity in the wake of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip outside the US embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 20, 2023

Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Malaysia backs Hamas, Democrats win key races, fighting in Ethiopia's Amhara region, South Africa’s highway terror, Europe invests in space

77 billion: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim jeopardized his country’s $77 billion trade relationship with the United States this week by coming out hard in support of Hamas, with which Malaysia has long maintained ties. Anwar, who compared the group to Nelson Mandela, could run afoul of the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act and invite US sanctions on his country — but the rise of the Islamist PAS party and the fragility of his multi-ethnic coalition are pushing him to appeal to such sentiment despite his reputation as a liberal reformer.

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FILE PHOTO: Philippine Navy welcomes the arrival of Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force ship for a two-day goodwill visit upon its arrival at the South Harbor in Metro Manila, Philippines April 26, 2018.

REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Japan looks south to bolster its security

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is in Manila Friday for a summit with Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as Tokyo attempts to draw closer to partners in Southeast Asia to hedge against China.

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Police close Lincoln Street leading to Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant after deadly mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine, U.S. October 26, 2023.

REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Hard Numbers: Mass shooter kills in Maine, Mexico slammed by sudden hurricane, UAW makes deal with Ford, South African miners resurface, and Meloni takes a breakup break

16: A man in Lewiston, Maine, killed at least 16 people and injured dozens more in two mass shootings last night at a restaurant and bowling alley. The killer remains at large, and authorities urge all residents to shelter in place.

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Beat Box and Balloon

Luisia Vieira

Hard Numbers: Hip-hop hits half a century, rising death toll from Hawaii fires, Malaysia checks rainbow Swatches, abortion tops US concerns, India passes new data law

50: This Friday marks 50 years since the date commonly recognized as the birthday of hip hop, when Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc rocked a party at a residential building on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, cutting together drum breaks for people to dance to and throw rhymes over. The New York-born art form — which encompasses MC’ing, DJ’ing, breakdancing, and graffiti — has since spread around the globe to become the single most influential worldwide cultural movement of the past half-century. For a look at what the culture was like in the early days, there’s nothing better than the 1982 cult-classic film “Wild Style.”

55: The death toll from devastating wildfires in Maui, Hawaii, has now risen to 55. Strong winds from Hurricane Dora and dry conditions fueled by climate change contributed to the blazes. But scientists say the growth of a "highly flammable" invasive plant ruining the natural ecosystem is also making it easier for fires to spread.

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Students from the Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn., hold hands after getting off a bus to meet their parents at the reunification site following a mass shooting.


Hard Numbers: Nashville school shooting, Rohingya flee to Indonesia, Deutsche disruption, America’s tumbling tolerance, white-collar AI wipeout

6: Six people, including three young children and three adults, were killed on Monday at the Covenant School, a private Christian primary school in Nashville, Tenn. Audrey Hale, a former student, was identified as the shooter. The 28-year-old was shot and killed by police during the attack, the 130th mass shooting in the US this year.

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Egypt's Foreign Minister Samih Zhukri (l) speaks during the closing ceremony at the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Christophe Gateau/DPA via Reuters

What We’re Watching: Climate comp fund, Malaysian coalition building

COP27 delivers on reparations but fails on fossil fuels

Two days behind schedule, the COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, finally wrapped up with a historic agreement on Sunday. Wealthy countries will pay poor nations for the economic damage caused by climate change. The so-called "loss and damage fund" will compensate the developing world for impacts like droughts and flooding, which rich nations led by the US had resisted for 30 years. But so far it's only a political statement of intentions with no financial commitment, so it'll be up to future COPs to work out the details. What's more, climate activists' joy over the much-awaited reparations deal was overshadowed by a lack of progress in cutting fossil fuels. Efforts to include stronger language on phasing out oil and natural gas on top of coal were rebuffed by top fossil fuel producers as well as by major guzzlers in the developing world who won't jeopardize their economic growth to embrace renewables. In other words, a victory for climate justice but a painful defeat for clean energy at a COP where expectations were low.

Get more COP27 insights from Eurasia Group analyst Franck Gbaguidi on our Instagram and YouTube channels.

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