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Hard Numbers: EU hungry for oligarch assets, Lebanese pound hits rock-bottom, Taliban sell coal, Lumumba's tooth
REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

9.9 billion: The EU wants to eliminate legal obstacles so member states can confiscate up to 9.9 billion euros ($10.62 billion) in frozen assets from Russian oligarchs to fund Ukraine's reconstruction. But making sanctions-busting a criminal offense across the entire bloc won't be easy, and some member states fret about violating due process and property rights.


35,600: The black-market value of the Lebanese pound plummeted Thursday to the all-time low of 35,600 against the US dollar, a 36% drop in just two weeks. The currency has lost more than 90% of its value in less than three years.

500,000: Afghanistan has been quietly boosting coal exports to neighbor Pakistan, up to 500,000 metric tons per month, taking advantage of high prices stemming from Indonesia's temporary export ban and the war in Ukraine. The cash-strapped Taliban are banking on Afghanistan's vast mineral resources to keep the lights on in the face of a dire economic and humanitarian crisis.

61: Belgium has agreed to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo the last remaining "relic" of independence hero Patrice Lumumba 61 years after his assassination. The object is one of Lumumba's teeth, taken as a trophy by a Belgian mercenary who witnessed his execution by Katangan rebels.


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