Hard Numbers

1.7 million: In 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party received £835,000 in membership fees and £1.7 million from the wills and legacy contributions of the deceased. In other words, the party received twice as much money last year from dead people as from the living. One-time statistical aberration or not, the Tories have demographic difficulties.


200: Indian Railways, the world’s eighth largest employer, has launched an online recruitment test as part of job applications. The Railways Recruitment Board received more than 24 million applications for roughly 120,000 vacancies. That’s 200 applicants for each job.

66: Sixty-six percent of Russians polled by VTsIOM, a state-run polling agency, agreed with the statement that “there is a group of people who seek to rewrite Russian history and replace historical facts in order to hurt Russia and diminish its greatness.”

40: In February, Brazil’s military took charge of security in crime-ridden Rio state. During this six-month period, shootings have increased by 40 percent and 736 people have been killed by the police. The drug gangs and militias operating in the city haven’t been seriously disrupted.

17: On Tuesday, El Salvador officially cut ties with Taiwan and established a formal alliance with China. Taiwan now has just 17 diplomatic allies. In defense of Taiwan, the US State Department announced it was “deeply disappointed” by El Salvador’s decision and will review its relationship with San Salvador as a result.

Paper was originally made from rags until the introduction of cellulose in 1800. Since then, it has transformed into a "circular" industry, with 55% of paper produced in Italy recovered. It no longer just comes from trees, either. Some companies produce paper with scraps from the processing of other products like wool and walnuts.

Learn more about this rags to riches story in Eni's new Energy Superfacts series.

Donald Trump can still win re-election in November, but foreign governments read the same polls we do. They know that Joe Biden heads into the homestretch with a sizeable polling lead — both nationally and in the states most likely to decide the outcome. Naturally, they're thinking ahead to what a Biden foreign policy might look like.

They're probably glad that Biden gives them a half-century track record to study. (He was first elected to local office in 1970 and to the US Senate in 1972.) The six years he spent as ranking member, then chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, his term as co-chairman of the Senate's NATO Observer Group, and his eight years as Barack Obama's vice president tell them that he's essentially a "liberal internationalist," a person who believes that America must lead a global advance of democracy and freedom — and that close cooperation with allies is essential for success.

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Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and Vladimir Putin gather via Zoom for a meeting of the Pandemic Presidents. But who's the top Corona King of them all? #PUPPETREGIME

On the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, explains why, in her view, Cold War analogies fall short as tensions between the US and China rise. Unlike the former Soviet Union, China is an economic powerhouse and a trade partner and technology provider to nations around the world. Simply cutting off ties with China seems untenable, but, as she asks, "How can you safely continue that integration, continue that interaction, with a country whose ideology you absolutely don't share, and that you fundamentally don't trust." The full episode of GZERO World begins airing on US public television on Friday, July 31, 2020. Check local listings.

Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, discusses technology industry news today:


What happened at the antitrust hearings this week?

Well, CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook testified in front of the Subcommittee in Antitrust of the House Judiciary Committee for five hours. There's a fair amount of nonsense and conspiracy talk, but mostly it was a pretty good hearing where the House members dug into questions about whether four companies abused their market positions to their advantage? Whether they used predatory pricing to drive competitors out of the market? Whether they used inside information from their services to identify and then copy and kill competitors? And the evidence that was presented, if I were to sum it up quickly, is, yes, they did do that. They did abuse their market power. But what wasn't presented was clear evidence of consumer harm. We know they acted in ways that distorted capitalism, but were people really hurt? That's a big question. I look forward to their report.