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Hard Numbers: Americans vote, deadly truck bomb in Syria, Nicaragua muzzles media, Iranian restitution payout

The US election is on November 3. Art by Annie Gugliotta

4 million: More than four million Americans have already voted in the upcoming presidential election. That's more than fifty times the early voting tally at this point in 2016, according to the United States Elections Project, which attributed the shift partly to expanded mail-in voting due to COVID-19.

18: At least 18 people were killed by a truck bomb explosion in Al-Bab, a town in northwestern Syria. No one has claimed responsibility (yet), but the area — now controlled by the Turkish military — was run by the Islamic State until the group was expelled by US-backed Kurdish forces in 2017.

4: A new law being debated by Nicaragua's parliament would throw people in prison for up to four years for the electronic distribution of misinformation "which causes alarm." The bill is widely seen as yet another step by authoritarian President Daniel Ortega to crack down on press freedom after he was threatened by anti-government protests in 2018.

1.4 billion: A US judge has decided that Iran owes $1.4 billion to the family of a former FBI agent who was allegedly kidnapped thirteen years ago while on a covert mission inside the Islamic Republic, and is believed to have died in Iranian custody. The ruling cited the case of Otto Warmbier, a US student who died soon after being released from captivity in North Korea.

Urbanization may radically change not only the landscape but also investors' portfolios. Creating the livable urban centers of tomorrow calls for a revolution in the way we provide homes, transport, health, education and much more.

Our expert guests will explore the future of cities and its implications for your wealth.

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Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his vision for an "America First" foreign policy, which symbolized a radical departure from the US' longtime approach to international politics and diplomacy.

In electing Donald Trump, a political outsider, to the top job, American voters essentially gave him a mandate to follow through on these promises. So, has he?


"A continuing rape of our country."

On the 2016 campaign trail, candidate Trump said that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a 12 country trade deal pushed by the Obama administration — would "rape" America's economy by imperiling the manufacturing sector, closing factories, and taking more jobs overseas.

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In an op-ed titled "Iran Arms Embargo Reckoning," the Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that ending the UN arms embargo on Iran was a major flaw of the 2015 nuclear deal and questions whether Biden could do anything to contain Iran at this point. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Henry Rome take out the Red Pen to explain why this discussion misrepresents the importance of the embargo and the consequences for its expiration.

So, the US presidential election is now just days away, and today's selection is focusing on a specific aspect of foreign policy that will certainly change depending on who wins in the presidential contest—namely America's approach to Iran.

You've heard me talk before about the many similarities between Trump and Biden on some international policies, like on China or on Afghanistan. But Iran is definitely not one of those. Trump hated the JCPOA, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, put together under the Obama administration, and he walked away from it unilaterally. Joe Biden, if he were to become president, would try to bring it back.

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It almost didn't happen — but here we are again. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden face off tonight in the final presidential debate of the 2020 US election campaign.

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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, US President George W. Bush demanded that Afghanistan's Taliban government surrender Osama bin Laden and end support for al-Qaeda. The Taliban refused.

On October 7, US bombs began falling on Taliban forces. NATO allies quickly pledged support for the US, and US boots hit the ground in Afghanistan two weeks later.

Thus began a war, now the longest in US history, that has killed more than 3,500 coalition soldiers and 110,000 Afghans. It has cost the American taxpayer nearly $3 trillion. US allies have also made human and material sacrifices.

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