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Hard Numbers: Britain’s bananas, Houthis' drones, Chile’s Constitution, Haitians’ exodus, Hong Kong’s democrats, Kenya’s visa-free approach

Men stand near bunches of bananas at Yopougon market

Men stand near bunches of bananas at Yopougon market


11.5: African plantations’ 11.5% share of the UK banana market could be in peril as London — freed from its former EU trade policy obligations — looks to lower tariffs even further on Latin American producers who already supply two-thirds of Britain’s bananas. The move, meant to contain banana costs amid high inflation, could put some 80,000 jobs in Africa at risk. Side note: A banana is actually a berry, and a raspberry is NOT actually a berry. We don’t make the rules, we just report them.

1,000: Missiles fired by Houthi forces in Yemen traveled over 1,000 miles in an attempt to strike Israel before Israeli air defenses destroyed them. The Iran-backed Houthis threatened to expand the war on Tuesday, saying they will continue to launch drone and missile attacks against the Jewish state.

33: Chile has a new proposed constitution after 33 of the 50 members of the drafting Constitutional Council voted in favor. It’s the second time in as many years Chile has tried for a new basic charter. The first time, a draft written by a left-dominated assembly failed a public plebiscite. The new draft, written by a more right-wing group, will go to a referendum in December. Polls show 34% of Chileans today would vote for it.

40,000: Rising violence in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince has driven at least 40,000 more people from their homes since August, according to the UN. Since the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, the country has descended into simultaneous political, economic, and humanitarian crises, as powerful gangs run rampant. See here for our look at the far-off country that wants to fight Haiti’s gangs directly.

29: For the first time in the 29 years since it was founded, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy party will not be allowed to participate in upcoming local elections. The democratic party was unable to surmount new, higher hurdles to registration that have come into effect since mainland China cracked down on the once-democratic city-state in 2020.

4: Kenya has become the fourth African Union country to lift visa requirements for African nationals as part of an effort to remove travel barriers between countries. Visa requirements and high airfares have inhibited inter-African travel, but with e-visas doubling since 2016 and many countries granting visas upon arrival, Kenyan President Ruto’s hope that people on the continent “should not be locked in borders in Europe and also be locked in borders in Africa” is coming to fruition. Also, is that a subtle dig at the supposedly border-free Schengen Area, Ruto?


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