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In the second world war, 1.8 per cent of Americans enrolled in the services were killed in action. In Vietnam that figure dropped to 0.6 per cent and in the Gulf war to just 0.005 per cent. [Prospect, page 10]

In Yugoslavia, between 1st October 1993 and 24th January 1995, prices increased by five quadrillion per cent. This number is a 5 with 15 zeros after it. [East European Politics and Societies, Spring 1996]

Trade in American-branded goods in Arab countries has shrunk by a quarter over the past year. [The Economist, 2nd November 2002]

At the beginning of…

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