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.

The Business and Market Fair that recently took place in Sanzule, Ghana featured local crops, livestock and manufactured goods, thanks in part to the Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP), one of Eni's initiatives to diversify the local economy. The LRP program provided training and support to start new businesses to approximately 1,400 people from 205 households, invigorating entrepreneurship in the community.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

It's been two months since President Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, paving the way for a bloody Turkish offensive in that region. (See our earlier coverage here.) What's happened since? A guide for the puzzled:

No "end date" for US troops in Syria – US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this week that the United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria. Back in October, President Trump pledged to withdraw the roughly 1,000 American troops deployed there. Since then, some American troops have left Syria altogether, while others were redeployed to defend nearby oil fields from ISIS, as well as from Syrian government troops and Russia. Now, there are roughly 600 American troops dispersed around Syria, and the remainder have been deployed in Iraq to stave off a potential ISIS resurgence. It's not clear if any troops have returned to the US. When asked about the chaotic comings and goings of US troops in Syria in recent months, the commander of US Central Command said frankly: there's no "end date" for American troops stationed there.

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Turkey's government has captured many thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its operations in northern Syria. Many of these prisoners have already been deported to some of the more than 100 countries they come from, and Ankara says it intends to send more. There are also more than 10,000 women and children – family members of ISIS fighters – still living in camps inside Syria.

These facts create a dilemma for the governments of countries where the ISIS detainees are still citizens: Should these terrorist fighters and their families be allowed to return, in many cases to face trial back home? Or should countries refuse to allow them back?

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What's the difference between Alphabet and Google?

Well, Google is the search engine, YouTube, all the stuff you probably think of as Google. Alphabet is the parent company that was created four or five years ago. And it contains a whole bunch of other entities like Jigsaw, Verily - the health care company that Google runs, Waymo - the self-driving car unit. Also, it's important to know Google makes tons of money. Alphabet, all that other stuff loses tons of money.

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The collapse of the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria has given rise to a host of new challenges for governments around the world. Turkey has captured thousands of ISIS fighters as a result of its offensive in northern Syria, many of whom are foreign nationals who left their home countries to fight with the Islamic State. To date, non-Middle East countries have mostly opposed ISIS fighters returning home, leaving them, and their spouses and children, in legal limbo. Here's a look at where these foreign fighters come from.