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.

The Business and Market Fair that recently took place in Sanzule, Ghana featured local crops, livestock and manufactured goods, thanks in part to the Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP), one of Eni's initiatives to diversify the local economy. The LRP program provided training and support to start new businesses to approximately 1,400 people from 205 households, invigorating entrepreneurship in the community.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky sat down yesterday with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron for a meeting in the Elysée Palace in Paris for peace talks. This was the first-ever meeting between Putin, Russia's dominant political force since 2000, and Zelensky, who was a TV comedian at this time last year.

Not much was agreed beyond a broader exchange of prisoners and a renewed commitment to a ceasefire that has never held. Fears that Putin would use Zelensky's inexperience to back him into a deal on Russian terms weren't realized, but the relationship between the two has only just begun.

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The UK currently benefits from EU trade pacts covering more than 70 countries. But if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal in place, London could lose its preferential access to those markets. In preparation for such a scenario, the UK has signed 20 "continuity" agreements, allowing countries to keep trading with the UK under current rules even after Brexit. Here's a look at which countries and blocs have signed these deals with the UK, and the total value of each trade relationship.

Macron not backing down over pensions – Despite six days of mass unrest that has paralyzed Paris' public transport system and dented both tourism and Christmas retail, the government will stand firm on a proposal to reform and unify the country's 42 different pension plans. France's pension system, one of the most generous of any major industrialized country, has major budget shortfalls that contribute to the country's ballooning deficit. Last year, Macron abandoned a proposed fuel price hike that ignited the Yellow Vest movement. But overhauling France's "welfare state" was central to his 2017 election platform, and acquiescing to protesters this time around would be political suicide. France's prime minister – tapped to lead the pension reform project – is expected to announce the plan's final details tomorrow. We're watching to see how this might escalate things further.

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