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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: Erdonomics vs. Turkish economy

This week, Turkey’s annual inflation rate reached 83.45%, a 24-year high. And that's just the official number — independent experts believe the actual figure is more than 186%, which means prices have almost tripled.

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GZERO Media

The Graphic Truth: The strong greenback

Developed and emerging economies alike have seen the value of their currencies plummet in recent months due to the economic reverberations of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Food and fuel shortages have put upward pressure on prices, and inflation has soared to record highs in some places. While inflationary pressures are surely being felt in the US, the greenback has reached a two-decade high compared to other major currencies. This is in part because the US Federal Reserve’s measures to curb inflation have boosted investor confidence. However, a strong US dollar can have painful consequences for other states, particularly import-reliant ones, because most global commodities are priced in US dollars. We take a look at the value of currencies used in the world’s largest economies compared to the US dollar before and after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: Russia's tactical nukes

Vladimir Putin is upping the rhetoric on using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. But analysts are predicting that if push comes to shove — and that’s a tall order — he’ll likely opt for tactical nukes, smaller atomic weapons that won’t take out entire cities. Tactical nukes, which have been around since the Cold War, have smaller yields, meaning they’re designed to win the battle, not the war. They were developed as politically more acceptable devices, geared to target soldiers and not civilians. However, many of the tactical nukes in Russia’s arsenal — and America’s too — have an an explosive yield many times higher than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mobile and easy to launch from conventional platforms, this “small enough to use” branding can make these atomic weapons even more dangerous than the larger strategic ones. We feature which of these weapons and launchpads the Russians might use.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: The kids are not all right

The pandemic wiped out years of progress toward achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, the UN's blueprint for making the world a better place by 2030. There’s no way the deadline will be met at the current pace, which is why UN chief António Guterres has made UNGA 2022 all about rescuing the SDGs. COVID particularly hurt SDG No. 4 — to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all — because extended school lockdowns and unequal access to remote learning meant many kids learned less or nothing at all, which will lead to them having fewer opportunities as adults. What's more, the pandemic-fueled global education crisis has pushed down math and reading proficiency scores. Here's a snapshot of COVID’s impact and the current state of education around the world.

GZERO Media

The Graphic Truth: US inflation slows a bit, but ...

The US inflation rate for August was released on Tuesday and the figures are sure to cause anxiety in the White House. Overall, the consumer price index, which measures a range of consumer prices, rose 8.3% from the same time last year – 0.2% more than many economists anticipated – though it’s down from 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June.

Indeed, the latest findings surprised many analysts who predicted that the drop in US gas prices in recent months – down from $5 a gallon in June to a current national average of $3.70 – is a sign that the economy is cooling across the board.

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The Graphic Truth — Biden's first midterms: How does he stack up?

US midterm elections are always seen as a referendum on the president’s performance. When voters head to the polls this November, it will be the first time they’ve been able to cast a ballot at the national level since Joe Biden won the presidency in 2020. Things aren’t looking great for him: Biden’s approval rating hovers at 42%, and polls suggest that Democrats are slated to lose control of the House of Representatives. But this pessimistic forecast is not unique to Biden. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt occupied the White House (1933-1945), only two presidents (Clinton and W. Bush) have made gains in the lower chamber after midterm elections. We take a look at how Biden stacks up compared to his five predecessors less than two months before the midterms.

Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: Natural gas prices make EU power costs soar

EU natural gas prices have gone through the roof since Russia invaded Ukraine and cut off gas flows. This has sent European electric bills soaring — to the point that Brussels is ready to intervene in energy markets to protect consumers.

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Gabriella Turrisi

The Graphic Truth: As US arms Taiwan, China arms itself

The White House announced on Friday that it plans to sell Taiwan $1.1 billion worth of new weapons, its biggest arms sale to the self-governing island since President Joe Biden took office. It's also the first since China upended the status quo in the Taiwan Strait in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's uber-controversial trip to Taipei.

For decades, the US has sold weapons to Taiwan over China's strong objections. While Beijing claims the island is part of the People's Republic of China, Washington does not take a position on the question of Taiwan's sovereignty, holding that the issue should be resolved peacefully by both sides — while supporting Taiwan's self-defense capabilities. But tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan have been rising as the US-China relationship deteriorates more broadly.

If China were to someday invade Taiwan — which it regards as a renegade province that sooner or later will be brought under mainland control — would the US come to the island's defense? A 1979 law provides "strategic ambiguity" on whether America would have to do so. In the meantime, US arms sales have bolstered Taiwan's defense deterrent while China's military budget has skyrocketed.

We take a look at US military sales to Taiwan compared with China's own defense spending since 1990.

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