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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New South Wales Premier Chris Minns join other politicians as they lay flowers at the scene of Saturday's mass stabbing at Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia April 14, 2024.

AAP Image/Dean Lewins via REUTERS

Hard numbers: Sydney stabbing, Pricey Pakistan, US Steel deal, Costco gold rush

6: Australia is reeling from one of the country’s deadliest mass killings after six shoppers were stabbed to death at a mall in Sydney on Saturday. The attack left several others injured, including a baby who is in intensive care. The assailant, who was shot dead by police, was known to authorities and had been diagnosed with a mental illness as a teenager.

25: Pakistan has the highest cost of living in Asia, according to a report from the Asian Development Bank, and it’s only set to grow with a crushing 25% inflation rate. Authorities have hiked interest rates to 22% to try to alleviate the problem, but Pakistan’s economy will likely require further support from the International Monetary Fund.

14.9 billion: Shareholders in US Steel overwhelmingly voted to approve an offer from Nippon Steel to acquire the company at about $55 a share — but don’t expect the deal to close anytime soon. US President Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the deal, which could cost him crucial support from steelworkers in upper Midwestern swing states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

200 million: Wholesaler Costco is estimated to be selling over $200 million worth in one-ounce gold barsevery month, according to an analysis by Wells Fargo. Those who made their purchases in the fall, when Costco was selling the bars for around $2,000 each have earned a nice bit of profit, as gold has surged to over $2,300 an ounce since March.

Former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters as he hosts a campaign rally at the Forum River Center in Rome, Georgia, March 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Alyssa Pointer

Hard Numbers: Truth Social’s big day, Missing migrants, Chinese workers killed in Pakistan, Palestinians drown reaching for aid

50%: Shares in former President Donald Trump’s social media business, Trump Media & Technology Group, jumped by more than 50% on Tuesday after going public under the ticker DJT. The stock rose as high as $79.38. The company’s stock market debut was made possible by a merger between Trump Media (which owns Twitter-clone Truth Social) and Digital World Acquisition. Trump owns 58% of the company’s shares, but it’s unlikely to help with his recent money issues because he can’t sell his shares for six months.

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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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FILE PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on stage during a campaign rally tonight in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. March 2, 2024.

REUTERS/Jay Paul/File Photo

Hard Numbers: Republicans regret Trump, Bosnia gets EU pathway, Pakistan swears in cabinet, Somalia’s pirates seize the moment

50 million:Donald Trump may have a chokehold on the Republican Party, but that doesn’t mean he has a grip on all Republicans. The group Republicans Voters Against Trump, which first appeared in 2020, has recently raised $50 million to produce a campaign of video testimonials by Republicans who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 but say they just can’t do it again this year.

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A girl waits for customers while selling meat to feed the birds, as a form of charity to bring good luck and ward off adversity, along Ravi Bridge in Lahore, Pakistan.

REUTERS/Nida Mehboob

Hard Numbers: Pakistan’s well-fed predators, Russia’s cool prices, Biden’s unrealistic budget, Telegram’s big moment

20: What can 20 Pakistani rupees ($0.07) buy you? A defense against misfortune sounds like a bargain. That’s the price you’ll pay for a packet of scrap meat to throw to predatory birds in Lahore. The practice is an age-old tradition that has survived despite intensifying efforts by the authorities to stamp it out. Wildlife experts say it encourages overpopulation and aggression in the bird populations, but a local rickshaw driver tells Reuters he does it anyway to “keep his life safe.”

0.6: New data from Russia this week will show consumer prices rose just 0.6% in February. Annual inflation is likely even lower than the last reading of 7.5%. That’s not stellar, no, but for a sanctions-wracked economy where inflation hit nearly 18% after invading Ukraine, it’s another sign the West hasn’t really crippled the Kremlin’s war machine. Vladimir Putin, for his part, is confident enough in the inflation numbers to uncork $126 billion in social spending ahead of his “election” this weekend.

7.3 trillion: Speaking of spending, US President Joe Bidenunveiled a $7.3 trillion budget proposal on Monday featuring massive new social spending financed by tax hikes on corporations and the mega-rich. Non-partisan analysts say the math is “unrealistic,” and it has zero chance of passing a GOP-run House anyway. But it’s not meant for Capitol Hill; it’s meant for the campaign trail, where Biden is trying to convince American voters that “Bidenomics” is a win. Polls show skepticism, despite improving economic data.

900 million: Social media apps owned by “China,” Mark Zuckerberg, or Elon Musk may get all the attention these days, but the messaging app Telegram has quietly hit 900 million regular users (nearly 3X that of X) and is mulling an IPO. The freewheeling Dubai-based platform, created by Russian-born entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has emerged as a major free speech hub, particularly in Russia, but it has also drawn criticism for allegedly allowing criminal activity and “misinformation.”

FILE PHOTO: Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif attends a summit on climate resilience in Pakistan, months after deadly floods in the country, at the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, January 9, 2023.

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Hard Numbers: Sharif’s return to power, Burkina Faso killings, Boeing’s big fine, Trump’s delegates

201:Shehbaz Sharifsecured 201 votes in Pakistan’s parliament to become prime minister after a bitterly contested election in which former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s supporters shocked the establishment, delivering the greatest vote share to independent candidates allied to Khan.

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif speaks at the party office of Pakistan Muslim League in Lahore, Pakistan, February 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

Pakistan’s new government seeks more IMF assistance

On top of facing legitimacy questions following chaotic, violent elections tainted by widespread undemocratic practices, Pakistan’s new coalition government is inheriting an economy in crisis. These economic problems have been fueled by high energy costs, political dysfunction, flooding, and supply chain issues.

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Imran Khan: “The Poster Boy for Populism"
Imran Khan: “The Poster Boy for Populism" | Global Stage

Imran Khan: “The Poster Boy for Populism"

Weeks after a chaotic general election, Pakistan’s political parties still struggle to form a coalition to move the country forward. GZERO’s Tony Maciulis sat down with Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister Hina Khar at the Munich Security Conference for her take on how the nation’s imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan maintains a hold over supporters and remains a powerful political force.

Independent candidates mostly aligned with Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), won the most votes on February 8, though they fell short of a majority, setting off a power struggle between Khan and his political rival, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Comparing Khan to former US President Donald Trump and India’s leader Narendra Modi, Khar said, “He really represents what populist leaders are all about. He’s able to get everybody to rally around what all is wrong and the great injustices. However, when he comes to power, he doesn’t have any to plan to sort it out.”

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