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Hard Numbers: 100 million get COVID, Bangladesh expels Rohingya, developing world vaccine woes, Russia-US arms control

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) breathes with a non-rebreather mask in an isolation room at a hospital in Bogor, Indonesia January 26, 2021.

1.3: Around 1.3 percent of the global population — 100 million people — have now been infected with COVID-19. The spread of new contagious variants from Brazil, the UK, and South Africa means that a person has contracted COVID every 7.7 seconds on average since the beginning of this year, according to Reuters analysis.

1: The World Health Organization says that the West African country of Guinea-Conakry is the only one of the world's poorest 29 countries to have started rolling out a COVID vaccine. Still, the rollout has been sluggish, with just 55 people (out of a population of 13 million) receiving the jab.

2,000: Bangladesh says it will relocate at least 2,000 Rohingya Muslims — who are fleeing persecution in neighboring Myanmar — to islands off the Bay of Bengal, despite criticism that the islands are vulnerable to extreme and dangerous weather. This is on top of the roughly 3,500 Rohingya Bangladesh has already relocated to free up space in crowded refugee camps, ignoring the objections of human rights groups.

5: US President Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin agreed on Tuesday to renew the New START Treaty, which was set to expire next month and limits the number of long-range nuclear weapons that each side can deploy, for another five years. Former President Trump previously said he would not renew the pact unless China joined, too.

A century after the rise and destruction of Tulsa's Greenwood neighborhood, Greenwood Rising is turning the site of a tragedy into a vibrant community hub, supported by a $1 million grant from Bank of America.

Greenwood, or Black Wall Street, was a thriving community of Black-owned businesses until the race-fueled massacre of 1921 that killed hundreds of Black residents and wiped out the neighborhood's homes and businesses. Nearing the 100th anniversary of this tragedy, focused activity in the neighborhood—including a history center—is bringing to life the spirit of Black Wall Street.

The most ambitious global vaccination drive in history is in motion. Over the past three months, more than 213 million COVID-19 shots have been administered across 95 countries, and the vaccination rate is slowly increasing. At the current rate, around 6.11 million doses are being administered daily.

It's a rare bit of hopeful news after 15 months of collective misery. So where do things stand at the moment, and what's keeping the world from getting to herd immunity faster?

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Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

With protests growing, where does that leave the Myanmar coup?

Well, certainly no feeling on the part of the military that they need to back down under either domestic or international pressure. There's been relatively limited violence, thankfully so far. A few protesters have been killed. They've used tear gas, they've used water cannons, but much less of a crackdown than certainly they're capable of or that we've seen from the Myanmar military historically. That, of course, gives the protesters on the ground more incentive to think that they have success, and they can continue.

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Reducing carbon emissions is good for the planet and good for your lungs, but there's one group of countries that might not be so keen on green: those that rely heavily on oil and gas exports to run their economies. As the rest of the world gets closer to "Net Zero" in the coming decades, these petrostates will be in big trouble unless they diversify their economies — fast. So, how vulnerable are the world's top oil and gas producers to a low-carbon future? We look at how much the 20 most hydrocarbon-dependent nations would stand to lose over the next two decades under what the Carbon Tracker Initiative calls a "low-carbon scenario".

US to release Khashoggi report: The Biden administration's intel chief is expected to release on Thursday a report on the murder of Saudi dissident journalist — and US resident — Jamal Khashoggi. In line with previously reported findings, the assessment will say that Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman was involved in the plot to kill and dismember Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Aside from a sprinkling of new details, we don't expect much from the report itself, but we are keen to see how it shapes US-Saudi relations under Joe Biden, who has promised to take a harder line with Riyadh over human rights and security issues than his predecessor did. Part of that new approach is that the US president will no longer speak directly to the Crown Prince himself as Trump did — from now on, only his dad, King Salman, gets calls from the White House.
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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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