Hard Numbers: US prepares troops to support Israel, heartbreak for gay Indians, a massive missing statue, Mexico’s end-run around Panama, Algeria steps up for Palestinian soccer
2,000: The US military has ordered 2,000 soldiers to prepare to be deployed to Israel, where they may provide medical and advisory support to Israeli forces. This potential deployment is in addition to the 2,000-strong force of sailors and Marines the Pentagon said was sailing toward the Eastern Mediterranean on Monday.
5: A five-judge panel of the Indian Supreme Court unanimously declined to legalize same-sex marriage in the world’s largest democracy on Tuesday, referring the issue to Parliament instead. The ruling conservative Bharatiya Janata Party opposes same-sex marriage, and the government’s solicitor Tushar Mehta said such a union is “far removed from the social ethos” of India.
3.5 million: A plaster cast by master sculptor Auguste Rodin worth approximately 3.5 million euros ($3.7 million) has gone missing — or to use the archival euphemism, it’s been “unlocated” — from the collection of the Glasgow Museum in Scotland. If you were holding your breath to see it … well, you are probably dead because the last time it was on display was 1949, and some archivists believe it may have broken while in storage.
2.8 billion: The Mexican government launched a $2.8 billion project to revive a rail corridor along the Isthmus of Tehuantepec that could bring cargo from the Atlantic to the Pacific, bypassing the Panama Canal. The canal is struggling to operate amid drought conditions, with low-water levels leaving container ships waiting for weeks. But experts say it will take years for Mexico to build the infrastructure needed to seriously rival Panama.3: The Palestinian soccer team could play at least three home matches to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in Algeria, after the Algerian Football Federation offered to host the team’s “home” games and pay associated costs in an act of solidarity. The Algerians also said they would foot the bill for the “Lions of Canaan” to travel to their away qualifiers and to the Asian Cup in Qatar in January.