Hard Numbers: Height Requirements in China

25: Only 25 percent of eligible voters in Afghanistan turned out for Saturday's national elections. That was the lowest participation since the US and its allies swept the Taliban from power in 2001, and came amid a spate of bombings and mortar attacks on polling centers.


$27 million: Swiss authorities netted $27 million on Sunday from the auction of a white Lamborghini Veneno roadster, an armored Rolls Royce Silver Spur, a vintage Aston Martin Lagonda and a bevy of other exotic cars that once belonged to the son of Equatorial Guinea's longtime president. The cars were seized as part of a money-laundering probe.

5 foot 9: That's how tall you need to be (1.75m for our metrically inclined friends) in order to be one of the 15,0000 Chinese soldiers marching to commemorate China's 70th anniversary parade today. The maximum allowable height is 6 foot 1 (1.85m).

500: Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed to have killed or wounded 500 troops belonging to the opposing Saudi-led coalition fighting in the country, while capturing four times as many. If true, it would be one of the biggest Houthi victories in the brutal, nearly-five-year-old conflict. First drones, now this: Houthi capabilities are growing.

Electricity consumption in our homes contributes 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions. What if we could transform this huge contributing factor into a solution? That's what Eni's luminescent solar concentrators can do. These transparent, colored slabs can be inserted into home windows to capture solar energy and generate electricity. By adjusting to the brightness and temperature of your home, they can even save you money on heating and air conditioning costs.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

How did an entire country's media spread false news for a night?

Fascinating case study in France over the weekend. For less than a day, we thought that the most wanted men in the country had been caught in Scotland. Turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. The so-called news was actually reported quite carefully at first, on Friday night with careful words. But the language quickly moved from conditional to categorical and therefore, to misinformation through human error. What you have here is the tension between being first and being right, which has always been present in journalism but is more and more as you have these 24 hour news channels, social media, and the incredible economic pressure on news sites that are advertising based and therefore click based.

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Donald Trump announced a fresh "phase 1" trade deal with China last week, part of his ongoing bid to reduce the United States' huge trade deficit with China. The US has been buying more from China than China buys from the US for decades, but since coming into office Trump has made reducing that deficit central to his "America First" agenda. It's not easy to do. Consider that in 2018, after two full years of the Trump administration, the trade deficit with China actually swelled to its highest level since the Clinton years. That's because many perfectly healthy economic factors contribute to a trade deficit: stronger economic growth under Trump has meant more demand for foreign goods, so as long as the economy keeps humming along, it will be hard for Trump to reduce the deficit. Likewise, the strong US dollar makes foreign goods cheaper for US consumers to import, while China's own economic slowdown in 2018 decreased Chinese demand for American goods. For a historical perspective on all of this, here's a look at how the US-China trade balance has developed under each US president going back to 1993.

On Friday, we detailed the main arguments for and against President Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from a pocket of northern Syria where their presence had protected Washington's Kurdish allies against an attack from Turkey. We then asked Signal readers to let us know what they thought.

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Dangerous Chaos in Syria – Turkey's military move into northern Syria had two stated goals: to push Kurdish fighters inside Syria further from Turkey's border and to create a "safe zone" inside Syria in which Turkey could place up to two million Syrian refugees currently living in camps inside Turkey. But the Kurds have now allied with Syria's army, which is backed by Russia, and these forces are now moving north into that same territory toward Turkish troops and Arab militias backed by Ankara. Meanwhile, large numbers of ISIS fighters and their families have escaped prisons where Kurds had held them captive. Turkey's President Erdogan vows to press ahead with his operation until "ultimate victory is achieved." Pandora's Box is now wide open.

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