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Hard Numbers: Bidding Adios to the Beetle!

650 million: Between 2012 and 2018, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia donated roughly $650 million to more than 60 US universities. But Saudi Arabia isn't the greatest source of foreign money to American universities — that honor goes to Qatar…with whom the Saudis are currently feuding. #CollegeRivalries (Willis hastens to note that in the American South, college football rivalries are known as "border wars.")

81: The last VW Beetle rolled off the production line last week in Puebla, Mexico, marking the end of the iconic car's 81-year history. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, championed by Adolf Hitler, anthropomorphized as Herbie the Love Bug, and driven famously (with a Rolls Royce Grill!) by Cheech and Chong, this car is one of the most beloved machines humanity has ever made. What's your best memory of the Beetle?

390,000: According to the US Government Accountability Office, the FBI has conducted more than 390,000 facial recognition searches since 2011. If that worries you, then consider that the FBI has access to 641 million face photos in databases compiled by local, state, and federal authorities. #savingface

6,856: Death squads backed by the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela killed 6,856 people between January of 2018 and mid-May 2019, according to a report released by the UN earlier this month. The report says this is a conservative estimate, citing outside groups that place the death toll higher than 9,000.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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If former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson could give incoming Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas advice, what would it be? "Well, first I would say, 'Ali, I'm glad it's you, not me.'" His conversation with Ian Bremmer was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: For the first time in twenty years extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on the podcast to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Does Cuba belong back on the US's State Sponsors of Terrorism list? The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board showed their support for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision on this issue in a recent opinion piece, "Cuba's Support for Terror." But in this edition of The Red Pen, Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analysts Risa Grais-Targow, Jeffrey Wright and Regina Argenzio argue that the WSJ's op-ed goes too far.

We are now just a few days away from the official end of Donald Trump's presidency, but the impacts of his latest moves in office will obviously last far beyond Joe Biden's inauguration. There's the deep structural political polarization, the ongoing investigations into the violence we saw at the Capitol, lord knows what happens over the next few days, there's also last-minute policy decisions here and abroad. And that's where we're taking our Red Pen this week, specifically US relations with Cuba.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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