Hard Numbers

410,000: The online shop of the French presidential residence sold around $410,000 worth of memorabilia, including mugs decorated with President Emmanuel Macron’s face, in just three days. Unfortunately, much coveted kitsch will do little to alleviate Macron’s woeful polling numbers, which recently hit a record low.


150: More than 150 new embassies have been established in sub-Saharan Africa since 2010, according to the University of Denver’s Diplomatic Project. While the US still leads the pack with embassies in 48 African nations, Turkey opened up 16 new diplomatic posts and Qatar 12 there in the past eight years.

95: Oil exports from the southern Iraqi city of Basra account for 95 percent of the country’s state revenues, and yet more than a quarter of young people in the area are jobless, higher than the national average of 20 percent. Such disparities have contributed to long simmering anti-government protests there that have turned violent in recent days.

80: Around 80 percent of Yemen’s people need some sort of humanitarian aid, according to the UN. The world’s worst humanitarian crisis continues to deepen, with around 8 million at risk of famine, including many children.

5: The reimposition of US sanctions on Iran has caused a drought of dollars in the Islamic Republic but proven a godsend for currency traders in neighboring Afghanistan. Every day, according to a Bloomberg report, they smuggle some $5 million into Iran, sell the greenbacks in exchange for Iranian rials at a huge markup on the black market, and then take those Iranian rials back home to Afghanistan where they fetch another premium of 30 percent.

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