Hard Numbers

50 million: Popular websites that fail to take down inaccurate content will face fines of up to 50 million rubles ($800,000) under a proposed “fake news” law unveiled in Russia’s Duma. #OneMan'sFakeNews


16.7: In fiscal year 2017, 16.7 percent of Pakistan’s government spending went to the military, according to SIPRI. That’s the seventh highest share for any nation in the world.

14: Since the 1965 enactment of the Hart-Cellar immigration reform bill, the share of first-generation immigrants in the U.S. population has tripled from less than five percent to about 14 percent. In related news, non-Hispanic whites are projected to be a minority by 2050.

1.2: Between 1995 and 2015, Mexico’s real GDP per person increased by an annual average of just 1.2 percent. In Latin America, only Venezuela performed worse over that period.

-3.5: In 2017, sanctions and drought drove North Korea’s economy into its sharpest contraction in two decades, according to South Korea’s central bank, with GDP falling by 3.5 percent. That’s the steepest fall since famine forced a 6.5 percent spiral in 1997. Is this what brought Kim to the table with Trump?

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.