Hard Numbers: What does it cost to bribe someone important in Iraq?

13 billion: Building a single state-of-the-art US aircraft carrier costs about $13 billion, a figure that exceeds total military spending by countries like Poland, the Netherlands, or Pakistan. But as China's ability to hit seaborne targets improves, the Economistasks if carriers are "too big to fail." (Come for that, stay for the many strange Top Gun references in the piece.)


87.5: Iranian intelligence officers expensed 87.5 Euros worth of brib– we mean gifts – for a Kurdish commander whom they were cultivating in Iraq. That and many other details of Tehran's extensive cloak and dagger efforts to gain sway over Iraq's post-Hussein government feature in this extraordinary New York Times / Intercept report, based on hundreds of leaked Iranian cables.

2,280: Turkey says it is currently holding 2,280 members of the Islamic State, representing 30 different countries. About half of those are from Western European countries, and of those, 700 are children. Ankara says it will deport them all, creating a challenge for their home countries' legal systems.

200 million: Visa has paid 200 million to purchase a 20% stake in the Nigerian electronic payments company Interswitch. The deal makes Interswitch the first so-called unicorn (a startup company with a valuation of $1bn or more) to be completely homegrown in Africa.

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