Hard Numbers: Indian tunnel workers rescued, dollar takes a trip, Finland slams the door on Russia, the evils of avocado toast
41: Indian rescue teams on Tuesday successfully extracted all 41 of the workers who had been trapped for more than two weeks in a collapsed tunnel in the mountainous northern state of Uttarakhand. The three-mile-long tunnel is part of PM Narendra Modi’s signature Char Dham infrastructure project, which aims to improve access to Hindu pilgrimage sites and other destinations near the Chinese and Nepali borders.
3: Our American readers planning holiday getaways abroad won’t love this news: The US dollar fell to its lowest level in three months on Tuesday, as officials signaled that the Fed may start cutting interest rates next year. Higher interest rates tend to cause currencies to appreciate, as investors pile on to take advantage of higher yields. Cutting interest rates can, all else equal, have the opposite effect.
900: Finland will close its borders to travelers from Russia for two weeks in order to stop a massive increase in the number of asylum-seekers arriving from the East. As many as 900 asylum-seekers from Kenya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan have entered Finland from Russia this month alone. The Finns say that at a moment when immigration has become a particularly touchy subject in Europe, Moscow is deliberately helping more migrants reach Finland to punish the Nordic nation for joining NATO earlier this year.2.7: How about a side of guilt with that avocado toast? Americans’ voracious appetite for avocados drives an annual $2.7 billion in trade between Mexico and the US. But south of the border, the industry has caused massive deforestation and water shortages as farmers – both legit and otherwise – burn down vast swathes of existing forest in order to plant famously thirsty avocado trees.