Hard Numbers

68: The downing of a Soviet-era Indian fighter jet last week has brought into sharp focus the dilapidated state of the country's armed forces. In the event of war, India could supply its troops with ammunition for just 10 days, according to government estimates, and 68 percent of the army's equipment is considered "vintage." We were going to make a Salvation Army joke but...

10,000: Since the launch of a campaign against organized crime in January 2018, China has brought more than 10,000 alleged gangsters to trial across the country. The effort aims, in part, to assuage citizens' growing concerns about gangs' control over large portions of both the formal and informal economies.

13,000: British decontamination experts spent 13,000 hours cleaning the house of former Russian spy Sergei V. Skripal, who was poisoned a year ago this week. The UK government blames Russia for carrying out the attack. The house is clean now – there's an Airbnb play there for sure.

130,000: Over the next decade, automation will erode or replace the work of around 130,000 US government employees, according to a new report.

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

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Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

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It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.