Hard Numbers: The Price of a Prized Pigeon

1: Since October, more than 160,000 people from Guatemala have fled to the United States seeking asylum. That's fully 1 percent of the violence-plagued country's population. For reference, imagine if 800,000 Germans, 3 million Americans, or 13 million Indians left their country in just 6 months.

20: Last year German authorities recorded 1,800 anti-Semitic crimes nationwide, a 20 percent annual increase. Almost all of the crimes were perpetrated by right-wing groups.

400: Tighter US sanctions on Iran have hit the press – literally. Iranian newspapers are running out of paper and ink amid a broader economic crisis have caused the price of newsprint to shoot up as much as 400 percent for some publications.

1.4 million: Over the past year, many wealthy Chinese have fallen prey, as it were, to an obsession with Belgian racing pigeons, which can swiftly find their way home even from thousands of miles away. One buyer dropped $1.4 million for a highly coveted Belgian racing pigeon named Armando. #OnTheWingsOfLove

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.