Hard Numbers

180,000: Although ISIS has been removed from most of its strongholds in Syria and Iraq, the group — which at the height of its power ruled over vast reaches of oil-rich territory — still rakes in $180,000 daily from selling crude, according to industry sources.


100: At Pyongyang’s better-known bespoke tailors a decent men’s suit startsat around $100. That’s a small fortune in North Korea, but it reflects the rise of a class of well-heeled elites in the capital city. Keeping these people both happy and in check is an important consideration for Mr. Kim, who has pledged to raise living standards.

77: A new study reveals that 77 percent of Americans consider members of opposing political parties to be less evolved humans than themselves. Yes, read that again: less evolved humans. A new low in the deepening morass of America’s toxic and tribal politics.

37: In 1981, Salvadoran troops armed and trained by the US massacred hundreds of civilians including women and children in a remote town in El Salvador. Now, 37 years later, after an earlier amnesty was reversed, a local judge has ordered a trial of the generals accused of overseeing the slaughter, which was the worst in Latin America’s modern history.

22: In 2017, Colombians’ confidence in their national government fell to a record low of 22 percent. After a first round of presidential elections that saw the first-ever selection of a left wing candidate, Colombia heads for a potentially divisive runoff next month that could determine the fate of the landmark peace accord with FARC guerrillas.

America's internet giants are being pulled into political fights right and left these days. Speech – what can be said, and who can say it – is increasingly at the center of those controversies. Consider these two stories from opposite sides of the world:

More Show less

Italy's prime minister resigns – Giuseppe Conte, the caretaker prime minister appointed to mediate an uneasy governing alliance between Italy's anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the right-wing Lega party, resigned on Tuesday. Rather than wait for a no-confidence vote triggered by the rightwing Lega Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Conte stepped down on his own terms. Salvini, who's popularity has been rising, had hoped that by triggering snap elections he could get himself appointed prime minister, will now have to wait for Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, to decide what comes next. While Lega and smaller right-wing allies want a new vote, center and left-wing parties are apparently working to see if they can form a majority coalition – perhaps including 5Star -- that would allow Mattarella to appoint a new government without fresh elections. We're watching to see how the dust settles in Europe's third-biggest economy.

More Show less

300: The US tested a new medium-range cruise missile on Sunday that flew more than 300 miles. This marks the first time the US has tested a weapon that would have violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Cold War era pact that was officially abandoned three weeks ago, sparking fears of a new global arms race.

More Show less