Charting the GOP’s Congressional Exodus

Another Republican in the U.S. House — Speaker Paul Ryan, no less — announced his intention not to seek re-election in 2018, adding to the number of members leaving ahead of what’s expected to be an unfavorable mid-term environment for the party. Even before Ryan’s announcement, HuffPost reported that the number of GOP congressmen leaving the chamber, either for retirement or other offices, has hit numbers not seen in decades. His exit...

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China’s Imbalanced Trade with the United States, in Four Charts

A trade war could be looming between the United States and China, fueled by President Trump’s fixation on the two nations’ unbalanced import-export relationship. The trade imbalance between the two countries — which might not hurt the United States that much — stems from the fact that China sells more to us than it buys, essentially. That’s largely driven by macroeconomic factors, not some malicious intent: China is a low-cost manufacturing powerhouse,...

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Chart: Republican Attacks on the FBI Have Worked, Especially on Republicans

HuffPost is out with an interesting poll about the the public’s trust in the FBI, which has been under attack recently for its role in the investigations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump and his supporters have been particularly tough on the bureau, and it shows in the polling data. A slim 51 percent majority of the public say they have at least a fair amount of trust in...

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Visualizing #NICAR18, Part II

I posted recently about the NICAR journalism conference, held this year in Chicago — and it turns out news nerds like to tweet. To keep track of all the conference chatter, I dumped each mention of the #NICAR18 hashtag using Python, eventually collecting some 4,100 tweets. I used #nicar18 several times. Others were even more prolific. Here are those with more than 10 uses during the conference: Next, I created a...

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Visualizing the News Nerd Conference Known as #NICAR18

I’m in the United States this week to attend the annual news nerd conference known as NICAR, a diverse gathering of reporters, editors and developers (and others) focused on storytelling with data. I look forward to it like Christmas. I get to return to the United States, see old friends, learn new skills and drink Diet Coke, which is nearly impossible to find in South Korea, where I work as...

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Jobless Claims at Five-Decade Low

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits hasn’t been this low since Richard Nixon was president, according to new data from the U.S. Labor Department. The figures suggest a tight labor market in which employers are retaining employees because there aren’t as many available qualified workers, Bloomberg reported: Overall, the employment picture remains solid, with payrolls continuing to increase and the unemployment rate at the lowest since late...

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How China’s Economic Retaliation Hurt the South Korean Tourism Industry

I wrote this week about the one-year anniversary of China’s economic retaliation against South Korea over the THAAD missile system, a defensive weapon designed to stop North Korea’s medium-range missiles. China objects to it and has been flexing its economic muscle in protest, carrying out an aggressive campaign of economic retaliation that includes sending fewer tourists. In 2017, just over 4 million Chinese visited South Korea, down from roughly 8...

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Tracking Historical Twitter Followers: @elisewho vs. @stiles

My wife (@elisewho) and I (@stiles) had a silly social media moment yesterday when I replied to one of her tweets — despite the fact that she was sitting in an adjacent room of our Seoul apartment. USC professor Robert Hernandez (a.k.a. @webjournalist) captured it:   Among my favorite media couples are @elisewho and @stiles. pic.twitter.com/HLp3g90Tgc — Robert is in S. Korea (@webjournalist) February 12, 2018 The exchange, which we both...

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Who’s Competing at Pyeongchang? A Breakdown By Sports, Nations, Genders

More than 2,900 athletes from 92 nations and territories are competing in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The event has 15 different sports (and many events within each). Which sports have the most athletes? Hockey, which requires a 23-person roster, leads the list, followed by largely individual sports, such as alpine and cross-country skiing: Here’s how those sports break down by the number of competing countries. Again, alpine...

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Which Countries Sent the Most Athletes to Pyeongchang?

Because I live in Seoul and work as a journalist, I’m paying close attention to the Winter Olympics as they open tonight in Pyeongchang, South Korea. I don’t know much about the Winter Games’ history, so I decided first to research which countries are here. Europe dominates: Here’s a world map (Russia has many athletes here, but they’re not eligible for medals because of a doping scheme): And a table,...

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