HARD NUMBERS

813 million: The population of China’s cities has quintupledsince 1980, reaching 813 million people today. By 2030, a fifth of all the world’s city-dwellers will be in China. ​


433,236: At the end of 2017, there were 433,236 refugees and asylum seekers living in a single German state — North Rhine-Westphalia. That is seventy-eight thousand more than you will find in all of Italy, which is now under the control of a ferociously anti-immigrant government.

95: Some 95 percent of homicides in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador go unpunished, according to the Atlantic Council. That level of impunity, coupled with some of the highest murder rates in the world, is one of the main factors pushing people to seek refuge in the United States.

5: ​​According to FIFA, five of the top seven countries that purchased Word Cup tickets in advance were Latin American. The biggest football fanaticsare, in order, Brazil (73,000 tickets), Colombia (65,000), Mexico (60,000), Argentina (54,000), and Peru (44,000).

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

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Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

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It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.