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Representation of Ethereum, with its native cryptocurrency ether.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Crypto upgrade, Angolan inauguration, Iran’s SCO bid, soaring US mortgage rates, enthusiasm for omicron boosters

99: Ethereum, the world's no. 2 cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, successfully completed a long-awaited software upgrade that will reduce carbon emissions linked to its mining by 99%. Crypto fans hope “the merge” will help get environmentalists off their backs and end the crypto price slump they’ve suffered since May.

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Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak speaks to the media outside a court in Putrajaya.

REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Hard Numbers: Najib pardon mulled, Angola counts votes, Taiwan ups defense budget, Sardinia woos you

12: Malaysia's highly influential ex-PM Mahathir Mohamed says the king will likely pardon Najib Razak, the disgraced former prime minister who this week began serving a 12-year prison term over corruption related to the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal. Not good when you're trying to show you're serious about punishing graft.

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Luisa Vieira

Angolans (finally) get an interesting election

On Wednesday, Angolans will go to the polls to vote in the most competitive parliamentary and presidential election since the oil-rich country’s 27-year civil war ended 20 years ago.

For the first time, the opposition UNITA party has a shot at (peacefully) beating the ruling MPLA party, which has governed Angola throughout its entire independent history. But the MPLA has no plans of handing over the reins to its longtime enemy — whatever voters decide.

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The word Pegasus, binary code and the Spanish flag.

Dado Ruvic/ Reuters

Hard Numbers: Spain spy chief sacked, US gun deaths soar, Angolan diamonds dull, Ecuador prison explodes (again)

63: Spain’s spy chief Paz Esteban has been fired over revelations that the intelligence community had targeted 63 Catalan independence activists with the controversial Pegasus spyware.

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The Graphic Truth: Where will the next megacities be?

By 2030, ten urban areas are projected to attain "megacity" status, a population of more than 10 million people. Six will be in Asia, where more than half of the population will be living in cities at the end of the decade. But the fastest growing megacities will be in Africa — including new megacities in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Luanda (Angola). Can urban planners and governments in Africa keep pace with this rapid urban growth? We look at the world's upcoming megacities, comparing their current and future estimated populations, to get a sense of how crowded each megalopolis will be in 2030.

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