Hard Numbers: The Spaniards are Going Home

89: In South Korea, 89% of consumer payments are now cashless, and paper money is becoming increasingly rare in Chinese cities. Here's an interesting look at what happens when cash disappears.

47 million: Spain's population grew in 2018 to 47 million, its highest point ever. The growth comes from an influx of migrants from North Africa but also from other European countries. In addition, the number of Spaniards returning home last year topped those who left the country for the first time in at least seven years. This population surge is fueled in part by a national economic growth rate that's forecast at double the Eurozone average in 2019.

76: According to a new survey from Gallup, 76% of US adults say immigration is good for the country — the highest figure to date by just one percentage point. But 23% say immigration is the country's most important problem — also the highest figure ever by one point.

0: The masses headed for this weekend's famed Glastonbury Music Festival are in for a surprise. Just two years ago, the Glastonbury crowd consumed one million plastic bottles. This year, that number will be zero as event organizers take the festival green. No word yet on what all those people will be drinking from.

The Business and Market Fair that recently took place in Sanzule, Ghana featured local crops, livestock and manufactured goods, thanks in part to the Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP), one of Eni's initiatives to diversify the local economy. The LRP program provided training and support to start new businesses to approximately 1,400 people from 205 households, invigorating entrepreneurship in the community.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

It's been two months since President Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a bloody Turkish offensive in that region. (See our earlier coverage here.) What's happened since? A guide for the puzzled:

No "end date" for US troops in Syria – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this week that the United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria. Back in October, President Trump pledged to withdraw the roughly 1,000 American troops deployed there. Since then, some American troops have left Syria altogether, while others were redeployed to defend nearby oil fields from ISIS, as well as from Syrian government troops and Russia. Now, there are roughly 600 American troops dispersed around Syria, and the remainder have been deployed in Iraq to stave off a potential ISIS resurgence. It's not clear if any troops have returned to the US. When asked about the chaotic comings and goings of US troops in Syria in recent months, the commander of US Central Command said frankly: there's no "end date" for American troops stationed there.

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Turkey's government has captured many thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its operations in northern Syria. Many of these prisoners have already been deported to some of the more than 100 countries they come from, and Ankara says it intends to send more. There are also more than 10,000 women and children – family members of ISIS fighters – still living in camps inside Syria.

These facts create a dilemma for the governments of countries where the ISIS detainees are still citizens: Should these terrorist fighters and their families be allowed to return, in many cases to face trial back home? Or should countries refuse to allow them back?

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What's the difference between Alphabet and Google?

Well, Google is the search engine, YouTube, all the stuff you probably think of as Google. Alphabet is the parent company that was created four or five years ago. And it contains a whole bunch of other entities like Jigsaw, Verily - the health care company that Google runs, Waymo - the self-driving car unit. Also, it's important to know Google makes tons of money. Alphabet, all that other stuff loses tons of money.

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