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Hard Numbers: France's Sarkozy in the dock, more COVID vaccine hope, Tigray gets an ultimatum, Americans' unrequited love for Germany

Court drawings of former French president Nicholas Sarkozy and his attorney

10: Former French president Nicholas Sarkozy is in a Paris court to face corruption charges that could land him in prison for up to 10 years. Prosecutors allege that in 2014, Sarkozy and his attorney tried to tempt a judge with a quid-pro-quo: provide information on a corruption probe targeting Sarkozy in exchange for a plum job in Monaco. This is the first time that a former French president has ever been tried for corruption.


3: After promising announcements last week from drug companies Pfizer and Moderna about their respective COVID vaccines, now a third vaccine, produced by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, has shown itself to be extremely effective in preventing the disease. Though preliminary findings suggest the efficacy of AstraZeneca's vaccine is slightly lower than the other two, it is easier to transport and cheaper to produce, presumably making it more accessible for low-income countries.

18: Americans and Germans are miles apart when it comes to perceptions of the Transatlantic partnership. While 74 percent of Americans say that relations between Washington and Berlin are "good," just 18 percent of Germans feel the same way. Both countries will have new leaders in 2021 -- will this change people's divergent views?

72: After weeks of fighting between Ethiopia's federal government and nationalist forces in the northern Tigray region, Ethiopia's prime minister Abiy Ahmed has given Tigray rebels an ultimatum: surrender within 72 hours or face a brutal offensive by the Ethiopian army. Tigray leaders did not respond to the threat, but international observers are on edge about a deepening crisis that has already caused 30,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Sudan.

Now that Joe Biden is officially US president, leaders from around the world would like a word with him — but where will he make his first international trip?

After a tumultuous four years, many countries are now clamoring for a face-to-face with President Biden. That includes allies who felt abandoned by Trump's "America First" presidency, as well as adversaries with thorny issues on the agenda. We check in on who's pitching him hardest on a near-term state visit.

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Jon Lieber, Managing Director of the United States for the Eurasia Group, shares his insights on what to expect from President Biden's first 100 days:

It's Inauguration Day. And you can see behind me the Capitol Building with some of the security corridor set up that's preventing people like me from getting too close to the building, as Joe Biden gets sworn in as our 46th president. Historic day when you consider that you've got Kamala Harris, the first woman vice president, the first woman of color to be vice president.

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On Wednesday, Joe Biden will become president because eighty-one million Americans, the highest tally in US history, voted to change course after four years of Donald Trump's leadership. Like all presidents, Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, take office with grand ambitions and high expectations, but rarely has a new administration taken power amid so much domestic upheaval and global uncertainty. And while Biden has pledged repeatedly to restore American "unity" across party lines — at a time of immense suffering, real achievements will matter a lot more than winged words.

Biden has a lot on his agenda, but within his first 100 days as president there are three key issues that we'll be watching closely for clues to how effectively he's able to advance their plans.

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Kamala Harris was sworn in today as the first woman Vice President of the United States. That means she's only a heartbeat away from occupying the Oval Office — and could well be the Democratic candidate to replace Joe Biden if the 78-year-old president decides to not run for reelection in 2024. Should Harris — or another woman — become US president soon in the future, that'll (finally) put America on par with most of the world's top 20 economies, which have already had a female head of state or government at some point in their democratic history. Here we take a look at which ones those are.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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