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HARD NUMBERS

3,500: The Islamic State West Africa Province, a Nigerian jihadist group aligned with ISIS, is estimated to have around 3,500 fighters today, more than the original group now has in Syria and Iraq. Africa may well be the next front for “the caliphate” as it continues to cede ground in the Middle East.


1,692: Civilian deaths in Afghanistan reached a record of 1,692 in the first half of the year, despite a temporary ceasefire between the government and the Taliban, according to a new UN report.

180: One way to prevent online dissent: turn off the internet. Between January 2016 and December 2017, there were more than 180 documented instances of government-imposed online blackouts around the world, according to the internet advocacy group Access Now. The longest lasted 93 days and took place in Cameroon.

160: A stockpile of gold estimated to be worth $160 billion is locked away in Hindu temples across India. That hidden fortune is increasingly becoming a target for theft in a country where more than 70 million still live in extreme poverty.

7: This week’s meeting between Trump and Putin was the seventh official summit between the leaders of the US and Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Meet Carlo Fortini, a young geophysical engineer whose passion for speed and challenge resonates in everything he does. When he is not racing on his motorbike, you can find Carlo operating one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world at Eni's Green Data Center in Po Valley, Italy. Here, he brings his technical and creative expertise to develop new software for underground exploration.

Watch the latest Faces of Eni episode to learn more about what drives Carlo.

It almost didn't happen — but here we are again. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden face off tonight in the final presidential debate of the 2020 US election campaign.

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Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his vision for an "America First" foreign policy, which symbolized a radical departure from the US' longtime approach to international politics and diplomacy.

In electing Donald Trump, a political outsider, to the top job, American voters essentially gave him a mandate to follow through on these promises. So, has he?

Trade

"A continuing rape of our country."

On the 2016 campaign trail, candidate Trump said that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a 12 country trade deal pushed by the Obama administration — would "rape" America's economy by imperiling the manufacturing sector, closing factories, and taking more jobs overseas.

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In an op-ed titled "Iran Arms Embargo Reckoning," the Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that ending the UN arms embargo on Iran was a major flaw of the 2015 nuclear deal and questions whether Biden could do anything to contain Iran at this point. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group's Henry Rome take out the Red Pen to explain why this discussion misrepresents the importance of the embargo and the consequences for its expiration.

So, the US presidential election is now just days away, and today's selection is focusing on a specific aspect of foreign policy that will certainly change depending on who wins in the presidential contest—namely America's approach to Iran.

You've heard me talk before about the many similarities between Trump and Biden on some international policies, like on China or on Afghanistan. But Iran is definitely not one of those. Trump hated the JCPOA, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, put together under the Obama administration, and he walked away from it unilaterally. Joe Biden, if he were to become president, would try to bring it back.

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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, US President George W. Bush demanded that Afghanistan's Taliban government surrender Osama bin Laden and end support for al-Qaeda. The Taliban refused.

On October 7, US bombs began falling on Taliban forces. NATO allies quickly pledged support for the US, and US boots hit the ground in Afghanistan two weeks later.

Thus began a war, now the longest in US history, that has killed more than 3,500 coalition soldiers and 110,000 Afghans. It has cost the American taxpayer nearly $3 trillion. US allies have also made human and material sacrifices.

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