HARD NUMBERS

169 million: Africa-based tech startups raised $169 million in the first half of 2018, more than they raised in all of 2017. Kenya and Nigeria, both of which have large English-speaking populations and burgeoning financial centers, were the top destinations for venture capital investment on the continent.


667,000: More than 667,000 foreigners have left Saudi Arabia since the beginning of 2017, the biggest-ever exodus of expatriate workers in the kingdom. A combination of tighter government regulations on foreign workers and a sluggish economy are causing trouble for this group that amounts to about one third of Saudi’s population and more than 80 percent of its private sector workforce.

51.3: Last week, the temperature at a weather station in Ouargla, Algeria hit 51.3 degrees Celsius – or 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit. If confirmed, that would be the hottest temperature ever recorded on the continent. Multiple studies suggest that higher temperatures can lead to higher rates of violence – an additional challenge for already strained governments across Africa.

46: Germany’s aging fleet of Tornado fighter jets will have been in servicefor 46 years by the time the Luftwaffe, Germany’s air force, starts phasing them out 2025. The ongoing debate within Germany over their replacement is another reminder of the country’s long reliance on US military resources and equipment for its security, which could shift in the coming years as the Trump administration pushes European nations to bolster their defense spending.

36: The last time two British cabinet ministers resigned within 24 hours of each other outside a routine government reshuffle, as happened earlier this week, was 36 years ago in 1982. While pressure on May to leave office has eased temporarily, the embattled British prime minister still faces a tough road ahead in managing the UK’s exit from the European Union.

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.