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Hard Numbers: China hits zero, Iran prisoner pardon, Americans on the brink, and Mexican justice

Hard Numbers: China hits zero, Iran prisoner pardon, Americans on the brink, and Mexican justice

10,000: Iran's supreme leader will pardon 10,000 prisoners, including political ones arrested during anti-government rallies, as a goodwill gesture in honor of Iran's Nowruz New Year. That's on top of the 85,000 prisoners the government recently released to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

29: Our nerves are shot right now, and many Americans believe the end is near. A YouGov survey conducted in late February found that 29 percent of American adults believe there will be an apocalyptic disaster in their lifetime. Some 17 percent say they have an apocalyptic plan in place for their families. Phew!

43: A Mexican judge has issued an arrest warrant for a senior official at the Attorney General's office who oversaw the infamous case of 43 college students who disappeared in 2014. The judicial pursuit of the high-level official believed to have participated in the gruesome crimes (and who is now on the run) is a big deal considering that over 90 percent of all crimes in Mexico go unpunished.

0: As much of the world is battling the coronavirus outbreak, China reached a significant milestone Thursday. Granted Chinese statistics aren't always reliable, the government reported no new locally transmitted infections for the first time. But many worry about what would happen if a second wave hits China, because many of the rigorous measures implemented by Beijing to curb the disease's spread aren't sustainable in the long term.

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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