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By The Numbers

A windfall for the Windy City

Tobin Low Feb 18, 2016

What day is it again? Oh, right. Here are some need-to-know numbers to end your day.


On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced he will travel to Cuba in March. It will be the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited the country in 88 years. In the announcement, commerce secretary Penny Pritzker spoke of rigorous efforts by the U.S. government to bring business to Cuba. As the New York Times reports, Pritzker called for greater aid from the Cuban government in supporting companies attempting to grow there.

And in China, Apple Pay made its debut, joining a mobile payment field dominated by Alipay from Alibaba and Tenpay from Tencent. By some estimates, those two companies occupy 90 percent of the Chinese market. So why attempt to break into such a competitive space? Three hundred fifty-eight million Chinese paid for goods over their phones last year — that’s more than the population of the United States.

Back in the U.S., the MacArthur Awards for Creative & Effective Institutions winners were announced Thursday. Traditionally, grants are distributed between organizations around the world. But this year, for the first time, the awards of over $6 million will all go towards one city: Chicago. As the Chicago Tribune writes, 14 different arts groups in the Windy City have been given grants ranging from $200,000 to $1 million. The MacArthur Foundation is based in Chicago and cited its commitment to the city as one of the reasons for its decision.

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