Hard Numbers: Speaking of Venezuelan Oil

4 billion: Venezuelan emigrants are expected to send $4 billion in remittances back to their crisis-wracked country this year, up from just under $2 billion in 2018. That's almost as much as the $4.7 billion the country is expected to reap from oil sales. Yes, you read that right: remittances to Venezuela are almost equal in value to all the money the government makes by selling oil.

2 billion: Speaking of Venezuelan oil, Cuba could face a higher crude import bill if opposition leader Juan Guaidó succeeds in ousting embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power. Subsidized oil shipped from Venezuela to Cuba currently saves the island nation $2 billion a year in imports. But Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly has already voted (so far without effect) to suspend those shipments.

50: Next year, Asia's economies will reach a milestone, accounting for more than 50 percent of global GDP, adjusted for purchasing power. That marks the first time since the 19th century that Asia will dominate global economic output.

5: The Taliban negotiating team that's meeting with US officials at Afghanistan peace talks in Qatar includes 5 former Guantanamo inmates. Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa and four colleagues were held by the US for 13 years at the prison camp on the island of Cuba before being released in a prisoner exchange in 2014.

In the southern Italian region of Basilicata, home to the Val d'Agri Oil Centre known as COVA, hydrocarbon processing has undergone a radical digital transformation. COVA boasts one of the world's first fully digitized hydrocarbon plants, but why? Two primary reasons: infrastructure and information. Val d'Agri has the largest onshore hydrocarbon deposit in mainland Europe. The site is expansive and highly advanced, and the plant features a sophisticated sensor system built to capture massive amounts of data. Maintenance checks, equipment monitoring, inspections and measurements are tracked in a fully integrated digital system designed to prevent corrosion and ensure cleaner, more sustainable natural gas processing.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

For a president gearing up for a fierce re-election fight next year, President Trump has a lot to worry about. Democrats are now taking more of the US political spotlight. The latest opinion polls don't look good for him. There are signs that the strong US economy, Trump's top selling point, may begin to wobble.

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Chinese Pigs – Beyond a trade war with the US and unrest in Hong Kong, now Chinese officials are wrestling with an even more basic political problem. Pork is the favorite meat for many of China's 1.4 billion people, and some analysts treat pork consumption as an important indicator of the financial well-being of China's middle class. A serious outbreak of African Swine Flu is expected to push pork prices 70 percent higher over the second half of this year, which will hit ordinary Chinese pockets hard. By some estimates, half of China pigs have been culled, but there are also reports that some farmers have avoided the expense of slaughtering infected pigs, raising fears that the disease will continue to spread. The central government takes this problem seriously enough to call on local officials to boost large-scale hog farming. So far, China's "Year of the Pig" is just not going well.

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Buy or sell: The iPhone

I'll make both arguments. First, buy. The new iPhone 11 didn't blow people's mind. But it's a pretty good phone. But what is most impressive is they lowered the prices on many of their phones and they offer a really good trade ins. So you can take your old iPhone, trade it in, get a discount on a new one. It's a pretty good deal. On the other hand, if the question is more: Is the iPhone still the unadulterated leader in innovation? Maybe not. The event was not quite as transformative as some of these events have been.

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1.2 million: Surging jihadist terrorism in Burkina Faso has pushed the country to the brink of humanitarian crisis, as attacks displace people from their homes and destroy critical infrastructure and hospitals. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1.2 million Burkinabe are threatened with famine and malnutrition, and access to healthcare has dwindled. Experts say the violence is a spillover from the scourge of jihadism in neighboring Mali.

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