According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the nation of Niger is one of the hottest and poorest countries on the planet. It's landlocked, most of it is desert. Niger's government has seen multiple coups since the 1990s. It doesn't have much funding and doesn't offer many services and it's further challenged by instability in several of the countries that border Niger.
That's part of the reason why U.S. troops are there, to support the Nigerien armed forces in their ongoing fights against terrorist groups.
French, German and Malian troops are also helping in those efforts.
A U.S. official says on Wednesday, as many as 50 fighters affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group ambushed a patrol of Nigerien troops and U.S. Green Berets. Those are elite members of the Army Special Forces. Three Green Berets were killed, two others were wounded and evacuated from the area in stable condition. American officials say operations are being conducted to locate the attackers.
This ambush happened in southwest Niger, near the nation's border with Mali. Terrorist groups remain in this region, despite efforts led by France to get rid of them.
Next stop on today's show is India, where cash accounts for 90 percent of shopping transactions. In fact, many retail stores in the world's second most populated country don't have credit card machines. Even for expensive jewelry, many of those who can afford it pay cash.
There are a couple of related problems. Some people are hiding the money they earn and to avoid paying income taxes on it. And there's a lot of counterfeit money floating around India. So, last year, the government announced it would suddenly replace its two largest bank notes. People with the old ones would have to exchange them at banks for the new ones.
It's created some ripple effects that experts say had contributed to an economic slowdown.