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Hard Numbers: Bangladesh goes dark, Bolsonaro’s party shines, Musk flits back to Twitter, US debt hits milestone

A pharmacist uses his phone light to serve customers during a nationwide blackout in Dhaka.

A pharmacist uses his phone light to serve customers during a nationwide blackout in Dhaka.

REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

140 million: A massive outage in Bangladesh has left some 140 million people — and the world’s second-largest garment exporting industry — without power. As of this writing, the cause isn’t known, but the South Asian country’s power grid has suffered shortages since high fuel costs forced the government to shutter diesel-powered power plants earlier this year.

99: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing Liberal Party won 99 seats in the lower house elections concurrent with the presidential first round vote last Sunday, becoming the largest force in the 513-seat chamber. Bolsonaro and allied parties now control half of congress. Bolsonaro and his archrival, left-wing former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, head to a runoff later this month.

54.20: Elon Musk on Tuesday proposed a deal to buy Twitter at $56.20 per share, the price the Tesla founder originally agreed to pay for the company in April. Since then he has tried to back out of the deal, setting off a legal battle that is set to go to court on Oct. 17. Shares in the social media giant jumped 11% on the news before trading was halted to cool things down. If Musk finally gets his hands on Twitter, big questions will arise.

31 trillion: The US national debt surpassed $31 trillion for the first time on Tuesday, boosted in part by pandemic-related stimulus and the Biden administration's new spending initiatives. For decades America has spent beyond its means, relying on low interest rates to finance the difference. But with interest rates continuing to rise in response to inflation, there are growing worries about Uncle Sam's ability to pay back creditors.

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