Hard Numbers

45: Fewer than 45% of eligible Iraqis voted in the country’s national election last weekend, authorities said. That’s less than in Iraq’s three previous national elections, but better than the average turnout in a typical US midterm contest.


14: Developed countries generate 60 percent of global GDP, but only contain around 14 percent of the world’s population. #NotGoingToLast

5.6: Demand for air conditioners is expected to rise to 5.6 billion units by 2050, up from about 1.6 billion today, according to the latest estimates from the International Energy Agency. Without big improvements in energy efficiency, by mid-century, AC units and fans could consume as much electricity as all of India and China do now.

1/2: Restrictions on cross-border data flows shave around half a percent off European GDP, according to the Center for International Governance. A reminder that privacy protection comes with a price tag.

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.