300: Last week the Merriam-Webster dictionary released a revised official word list for Scrabble that includes 300 new entries. Among those of international interest are “qapik”, an Azerbaijani monetary unit that takes its name from the Russian kopek; “bokeh”, a Japanese term for the out-of-focus parts of a photograph; and “schneid”, a word of German origin meaning a terrible losing streak, particularly in cards or sports – example: Germany’s 2018 World Cup team (too soon?)


 

90: Political violence has surged in South Africa, where as many as 90 members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) have been gunned down since 2016. In most cases, the hits were ordered by fellow party members squabbling over resources or exacting revenge against anti-corruption whistleblowers.

 

60: Mexico’s left-wing president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised to cut the presidential salary by 60 percent to about $5,700 a month. Mr Lopez Obrador, who swept to victory atop a wave of popular frustration with a detached political class, has also made a point of travelling on commercial airliners, and says he’ll sell the swanky presidential jet after he takes office in December.

 

20: The are currently 20 female heads of state or government in the world. That’s more than double the number from 2005, according tothe UN, but it’s still only about 6% of all global leaders.

 

5: Every second, five more people join the global middle class – identified as those who earn between 11 and 110 dollars a day. Around 3.6 billion people, more than half the earth’s population, count as middle class today according to a new study. The number will surpass 5 billion by 2030, with the overwhelming majority of new entrants coming from Asia.

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