Hard Numbers: Downgrading a Natural Wonder

175: Zimbabwe has been hit by a devastating drought in recent months, triggering food shortages and a five-fold increase in the price of bread. Already reeling from an economic crisis linked to decades of government mismanagement, the country's economy is now at a breaking point: inflation stood at 175 percent last month, the highest rate in a decade.


15 million: On Wednesday, the US upped the ante in its stalemate with Iran by imposing new sanctions on a shipping network linked to Tehran's oil industry, a move intended to further squeeze the Islamic Republic's ailing economy. The US Treasury Department announced a $15 million reward for anyone with information that could disrupt the shipping scheme, which it says, facilitates the delivery of funds to Syria's Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

1 million: Bangladesh's government ordered telecom companies to shut down mobile services in camps for about 1 million Rohingya refugees who've been driven from their homes in Myanmar. This ban by local officials, who cited security concerns and "illegal phone use" for the crackdown, reflects the increasingly precarious relationship between Rohingyas and the local population in recent months.

50: A new report by the Australian government downgrades the "outlook" for the Great Barrier Reef from "poor" to "very poor." Listing climate change as the most significant long-term threat to the World Heritage Area, the report says 50 percent of the reef has been exposed to destructive waves from cyclones over the past five years, while mass coral bleaching continues to devastate the ecosystem.

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

Well, we still don't know who exactly launched the spectacular aerial attack on Saudi Arabia's main oil processing facility over the weekend, which knocked 5% of the world's oil offline and sent crude prices into their biggest one day jump in decades.

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The attack on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil facility knocked out about 5 percent of total global oil supplies in one go. Saudi Arabia accounts for about 12 percent of global crude output in total, and has been at that level for years now. Here's a look at how today's other top producers, the US, Russia, Canada, and Iraq have fared over the past thirty years.

Israeli Elections 2.0 — Israelis go to the polls again today for the second time in five months. Back in April, Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu's Likud party (just barely) won the most votes, but failed to form a governing coalition, paving the way for new elections. The big question today is: how many Israelis have actually changed their minds in such a short timeframe? Last time, Likud and the centrist Blue and White coalition each won 35 Knesset seats, and polls show the two parties are still neck and neck, while secular right-winger Avigdor Lieberman — whose dissent in May left Bibi one seat short of a majority — is gaining steam. If this holds, Bibi would not have a majority again, and a complicated rotating premiership, national-unity government, or even a third election, could result. We are watching for results shortly...

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1 billion: West African leaders have pledged $1 billion to combat the growing threat of Islamic extremism in the region. Mali-based insurgent groups with links to the Islamic State and al Qaeda have since spilled over into neighboring countries, hitting Burkina Faso particularly hard in recent months.

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