HARD NUMBERS

87: At the 500-day mark, President Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is 87 percent, the second highest “own party” rating for any president at this point in their term since World War II. Only George W. Bush, whose first term was defined by the events of 9/11, bests him.


20: Cable news outlets in the US devoted more than 20 times as much time to the scandal surrounding TV star Roseanne Barr’s tweets as they did reporting on a new report that suggests as many as 5,000 Puerto Rican citizens of the US may have died as a result of last year’s Hurricane Maria. Critics wondered, with good reason, whether such a large death toll on the mainland would have gotten similarly short shrift. Signal thinks not.

14: Last week, finance officials from 14 African countries discussed adopting the Chinese yuan as one of the currencies that their central banks hold. As China’s global investments grow, while misgivings about US dollar dominance mount, Beijing is keen to make its own currency an eventual rival to the dollar in international trade and finance.

6: North Korea’s vast mineral resources, including what might be the world’s largest rare earth deposit, are valued around $6 trillion, according to a South Korean think tank. That’s around 176 times the size of the country’s economy.

1: By the end of the year, China will rank first in the world in terms of investment in scientific research. While the Trump administration has movedto restricts foreign visas, China has an ambitious program to attract talent from abroad.

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

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Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

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It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.