Hard Numbers: Indonesia’s bulging youth population

430,000: Japan's population is shrinking by the equivalent of a medium-sized city each year due to a rapidly declining birth rate. The native-born Japanese population fell by 430,000 in 2018, while 161,000 migrants entered the country, partially offsetting that loss.

67: Prices of staple foods in Iran have soared this year – with the price of beef up 67 percent, fruit up 58 percent, and rice up 24 percent – as US sanctions have sunk the Iranian economy. Police in Tehran arrested 43 people accused of manipulating Iran's meat market over the Persian New Year holidays in early April.

51: Just over half of Russians in a recent poll – 51 percent – expressed admiration, sympathy, or respect for Josef Stalin, the highest reading since pollsters began tracking public attitudes towards the former Soviet dictator in 2001. Seventy percent of respondents said Stalin's three-decade reign had been "positive" for the country.

42: Of the 270 million people living in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim majority country, around 42 percent, or 113 million, are under the age of 25. Educating, training, and finding jobs for the country's growing youth population will be a key challenge for the next president.

4: Measles cases reported around the world have quadrupled over the past year to more than 112,000, according to the World Health Organization. Africa has been worst-hit, with cases of the dangerous respiratory illness up eight-fold across the continent. Cases are also rising in the US, Thailand, and other countries with traditionally high levels of vaccination – a trend that a WHO official attributed to online anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

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Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

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It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.