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What We're Watching

Nasrin Sotoudeh – Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has built a formidable reputation by, among other things, taking the cases of women arrested for appearing in public without headscarves. In 2012, the European Union awarded her the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. On Monday, an Iranian court ordered Sotoudeh to serve 10 years on top of a previous 28-year prison sentence for "colluding against the system"—and to receive 148 lashes.

Aggressive Australian Animals – Australia is a wonderful country filled with fantastic people, but it's a really, really dangerous place. Drop your guard for two seconds and some angry shark, anaconda, or hairy prehistoric spider will try to beat you senseless. Look what happened to this unsuspecting paraglider.

What We're Ignoring

Maduro Propaganda – Venezuela's chief prosecutor has asked the country's Supreme Court to investigate opposition leader Juan Guaidó for sabotaging the country's electrical system following a massive electricity shutdown across the country. Maduro claimed on Tuesday that the US government had used electromagnetic waves from mobile devices to knock out the nation's power system. We're watching the political impact of the power outages while ignoring laughable claims about their source.

Speculation about the Mueller Report – We've seen arguments in the media that the Robert Mueller investigation of President Trump will end within days, that it will continue for months, that Mueller will issue a report, that he won't issue a report, that he'll issue a report that we're not allowed to read, that there will be two Mueller reports, that he's already issued a report and we just missed it, and that the report will be published only in Latin. (OK, I made up that last one.) This confusion provides proof positive there are still people in Washington who can keep an important secret—and that the only authority on Robert Mueller is Robert Mueller.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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