99.6: Some 99.6% of people in Iceland who were watching TV on June 16 were tuned into Iceland’s first-ever World Cup match. Their team rewarded their attention with a stunning 1–1 draw vs. world football power Argentina. #HandOfCod
68: President Erdogan has expanded the number of religious schools across Turkey from 450 in 2003 to 4,500 today. His government increased the budget for religious education this year by 68 percent.
57: Need a more cost-effective approach to pension reform? Russia’s prime minister Dmitri Medvedev has proposed an increase in the retirement age for men to 65. Current World Bank data suggests that just 57 percent of Russian men will live to age 65, a percentage that hasn’t increased in 50 years.
16: El Salvador, a source of large numbers of would-be asylum seekers in the US, is the world’s most violent country that is not an active war zone. It’s typical for criminal gangs to demand bribes of local businesses. Salvadorans spend $756 million per year on extortion fees. The country’s central bank estimates that violence costs the country around 16 percent in GDP.
1: For the first time since 2012, the US was the world’s #1 recipient of new asylum applications, with 331,700 lodged in 2017, according to a new UN report. That’s a 27 percent increase from 2016 (262,000) and nearly double the number in 2015 (172,700).