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Hard Numbers: Australia's cyber defenses, India bans Chinese apps, EU extends Russia sanctions, South Sudan eases a stalemate

Hard Numbers: Australia's cyber defenses, India bans Chinese apps, EU extends Russia sanctions, South Sudan eases a stalemate

1.3 billion: After a string of China-linked cyber-attacks against the Australian government and businesses, Australia says it will invest $1.3 billion in cyber defenses, its biggest ever cash injection to ward off cybercrime. Tensions between the two countries have been rising since Australia's prime minister demanded an investigation into China's pandemic response, prompting Beijing to slap tariffs on Australian exports.


59: Amid high tensions over their high-altitude dispute, India has banned 59 popular apps owned by Chinese firms, including TikTok, which counts India as one of its largest markets. Who will be hurt more by the move: China's officials or India's teens?

6: The EU extended economic sanctions on Russia for another six months because Moscow has still failed to adhere to its end of a ceasefire deal negotiated with Ukraine in 2015 after Russia illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

8: After a stalemate over gubernatorial appointments threatened to derail South Sudan's new transitional government, the president has finally named governors to lead eight of the country's 10 states. However, discord over who should lead the Jonglei and Upper Nile areas persists, and could still undermine the country's nascent peace accord.

Wales, early 19th century: During breaks from his law studies, William Robert Grove indulges in his passion for science to become an inventor. On his honeymoon in Europe, he learns about the new energy source everyone's talking about: electricity. After learning that electricity allows water to be broken down into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, his intuition leads him to an idea that ends up making him a pioneer of sustainable energy production.

Watch the story of William Robert Grove in Eni's MINDS series, where we travel through time seeking scientists.

Listen: The country's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joins Ian Bremmer to talk vaccines, school re-openings, and when—and how—the pandemic could finally come end. He was last on GZERO World just weeks before the pandemic hit in the fall of 2019 and he described at the time what kept him up at night: a "pandemic-like respiratory illness." This time, he talks about how closely that nightmare scenario foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offers some guidance about what public health measures vaccinated Americans should continue to take in the coming months (hint: masks stay on).

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and as we head into the weekend, a Quick Take on, well, the first bombing campaign of the new Biden administration. You kind of knew it was going to happen. Against some Iranian-backed militias in Syria, looks like a couple of dozen, perhaps more killed, and some militia-connected military facilities destroyed. I think there are a few ways to look at this, maybe three different lenses.

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Afghanistan frustrated nineteenth-century British imperialists for 40 years, and ejected the Soviet army in 1989 after a bloody decade there. And though American and NATO forces ousted the Taliban government in 2001 over its support for al-Qaeda, there's no good reason for confidence that nearly 20 years of occupation have brought lasting results for security and development across the country.

But… could China succeed where other outsiders have failed – and without a costly and risky military presence? Is the promise of lucrative trade and investment enough to ensure a power-sharing deal among Afghanistan's warring factions?

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Stockholm on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Is there a military coup ongoing in Armenia?

Well, it isn't a military coup as of yet, but it's not far from it either. This is the turmoil that is resulting from the war with Azerbaijan, which Armenia took a large death loss. What happened was that the head of the armed forces asked for the prime minister to resign. That was not quite a coup, but not very far from it. Now, the prime minister sacked the head of the armed forces, there's considerable uncertainty. Watch the space.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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Biden strikes Syria. Now what?

Quick Take