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2.3 trillion: There’s no better place in the world to be a pet than Japan, where spending on cats alonecontributed ¥2.3 trillion ($20 billion) to the economy. Since 2003 there have been more pets than humans under 15 in Japan, but cats just recently overtook dogs as the pet of choice.


 

120: In 2017, over 120 million people gained access to electricity worldwide, bringing the total number of people without electricity below 1 billion for the first time ever. In Kenya, electricity reaches 73 percent of the population today, up from just 8 percent in 2000.

 

67: In a recent poll, 67 percent of people in the EU said they agree with the statement, “The world used to be a better place.” But compared to when? It’s still only a generation ago that Europe was mired in the deadliest conflict in human history.

 

3: In mid-term elections, the party of the sitting president has picked upseats in the US Congress only 3 times since 1934. The Democrats did it in 1934 (FDR) and 1998 (Clinton), and the Republicans did it in 2002 (George W. Bush).

 

1: Signal asks our readers for one (1) moment of silence for T-1, the wily killer tigress who evaded capture for months in the Indian state of Maharashtra. She was killed in an attempt to tranquilize and capture her over the weekend. Her story highlighted the challenges surrounding India’s tiger population – conservation efforts have caused the population to rise, while development has eroded their habitats, often bringing them into deadly contact with humans.

Urbanization may radically change not only the landscape but also investors' portfolios. Creating the livable urban centers of tomorrow calls for a revolution in the way we provide homes, transport, health, education and much more.

Our expert guests will explore the future of cities and its implications for your wealth.

Learn more.

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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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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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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