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.

The Business and Market Fair that recently took place in Sanzule, Ghana featured local crops, livestock and manufactured goods, thanks in part to the Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP), one of Eni's initiatives to diversify the local economy. The LRP program provided training and support to start new businesses to approximately 1,400 people from 205 households, invigorating entrepreneurship in the community.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

Are we seeing the creation of a parallel universe for US and Chinese tech industries?

I think the answer is yes. In the past, US has dominated the world in technologies from P.C. operating systems, semiconductors, to servers, and even Internet. But ever since the rise of mobile technologies, China has really leveraged the large market with a huge amount of data and now is beginning to innovate and build great mobile apps on which there's a large amount of data being collected.

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It's been two months since President Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a bloody Turkish offensive in that region. (See our earlier coverage here.) What's happened since? A guide for the puzzled:

No "end date" for US troops in Syria – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this week that the United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria. Back in October, President Trump pledged to withdraw the roughly 1,000 American troops deployed there. Since then, some American troops have left Syria altogether, while others were redeployed to defend nearby oil fields from ISIS, as well as from Syrian government troops and Russia. Now, there are roughly 600 American troops dispersed around Syria, and the remainder have been deployed in Iraq to stave off a potential ISIS resurgence. It's not clear if any troops have returned to the US. When asked about the chaotic comings and goings of US troops in Syria in recent months, the commander of US Central Command said frankly: there's no "end date" for American troops stationed there.

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Turkey's government has captured many thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its operations in northern Syria. Many of these prisoners have already been deported to some of the more than 100 countries they come from, and Ankara says it intends to send more. There are also more than 10,000 women and children – family members of ISIS fighters – still living in camps inside Syria.

These facts create a dilemma for the governments of countries where the ISIS detainees are still citizens: Should these terrorist fighters and their families be allowed to return, in many cases to face trial back home? Or should countries refuse to allow them back?

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