HARD NUMBERS

18,016: So far this year, 18,016 migrants have arrived to Spain across the Mediterranean, outpacing the numbers for Italy and Greece. Could Spain be the next flash point in Europe’s ongoing political saga over migration?


200: Chinese government-affiliated outlets print or broadcast their content in at least 200 foreign publication around the world, according an investigation from the Financial Times. The reach of China’s global propaganda machine rivals that of almost all of the world’s largest news organization.

149: A recent attack on an election rally in Pakistan killed 149 people, making it one of the deadliest in the country’s history. That has only heightened tensions as the country gears up for an election next week that heralds only the second democratic transition of power in its history.

137: More than half of workers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, amounting to at least 137 million people in total, could lose their jobs because of automation within the next two decades, according to a report from the International Labor Organization.

2: France’s thrilling World Cup victory has done wonders for national morale— with 62 percent of those polled the day after the final saying they’re now optimistic about the future, up from 53 percent last year. French President Emmanuel Macron, on the other hand, has seen the percentage of those saying he’s a “good” president slip by 2 points since Les Bleus brought home the win.

When Donald Trump first started talking about buying Greenland last week, we figured it was a weird story with less legs than a Harp seal.

Signal readers, we were wrong. President Trump was so serious about purchasing the autonomous Danish territory that this week he abruptly cancelled a trip to Denmark after the country's prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, labelled the idea "absurd."

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The Amazon in flames – More than 70,000 forest fires are burning in Brazil right now, most of them in the Amazon. That's up 84% over the same period last year, and it's the highest number on record. This is the dry season when farmers burn certain amounts of forest legally to clear farmland. But critics say Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's efforts to loosen conservation rules have encouraged farmers, loggers, and miners to set more fires, many of them illegally. Bolsonaro – a science skeptic who recently fired the head of the agency that tracks deforestation – says, without proof, that NGOs are setting the fires to embarrass his government. Meanwhile, the EU is holding up a major trade deal with Brazil unless Bolsonaro commits to higher environmental protection standards, including those that affect the Amazon.

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Over the past fifty years, the Amazon rainforest has shrunk by an area equal to the size of Turkey. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Brazilian government supported settlement of the sparsely populated region for security reasons. Since then, huge swaths of the forest -- which is crucial for limiting the world's greenhouse gasses -- have been cleared for farmland used to feed Brazil's population and support its massive agricultural exports. Greater awareness of the environmental impacts in the 1990s produced tighter conservation regulations, though plenty of illegal clearing continues. In recent years, the annual deforestation rate has begun to rise again, and Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to weaken regulations further in order to support businesses.

3: The US has recruited Australia to join its nascent mission of protecting ships in the critical Strait of Hormuz. Along with Britain and Bahrain, Australia is now the third country to join the US-led maritime mission, as high seas brinksmanship with the Iranians continues.

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