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Hard Numbers: Greece wants to build a new wall in the sea to deter migrants

Hard Numbers: Greece wants to build a new wall in the sea to deter migrants

10,000: In an attempt to uproot the vast network of jihadist groups in the Sahel region, Mali says it will recruit 10,000 new soldiers in the coming months, increasing the size of its army by 50%. But it's not clear how the government will entice so many people to join an underfunded army whose soldiers are regularly killed in Islamist attacks.


7: The EU has piled new sanctions on seven Russian-backed officials in Crimea for illegally organizing elections in the peninsula last year, raising the number of individuals on the EU blacklist to 177. These people have their assets in the EU frozen and are barred from traveling there.

2.7: Greece's government wants to install a 2.7 km (1.7 mile) floating barrier in the Aegean Sea to deter migrants from reaching the Greek islands from Turkey's coast. A resurgence in the number of migrants arriving at the island of Lesbos from the Middle East and Africa has created severe overcrowding at some refugee camps.

200,000: The Colombian government will grant legal status to some 200,000 Venezuelan refugees in the coming months, and many more will be eligible for new work visas as well. Colombia has absorbed 1.6. million Venezuelan refugees, by far the most of any country, and the government wants to formalize their status in order to discourage criminality and other social problems.

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.

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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Iran rules out nuclear talks… for now: Iran has reportedly rejected an offer to join direct talks with the US and EU over its nuclear program, saying it won't start the conversation until sanctions on Iran's economy are eased. To be clear, this does NOT mean that prospects for reviving the Iran nuclear deal are dead. Europeans and the Biden administration want a return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, and Iran certainly needs the economic boost that would come from a removal of sanctions. But Tehran is going to try to maximize its leverage before any talks begin, especially since this is a sensitive election year in in the country. Iran's leaders are going to play hard to get for a while longer before edging their way back to the bargaining table. Still, it's high stakes diplomacy here between parties that have almost no mutual trust — and one misstep could throw things off track quickly.

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18: A week after threatening protesters with a severe crackdown, Myanmar's ruling junta killed at least 18 people across the country in the bloodiest day of clashes since the generals staged a coup last month.
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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'll talk about how closely that nightmare scenario foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. He'll also offer some guidance about what public health measures vaccinated Americans should continue to take in the coming months (hint: masks stay on).

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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Biden strikes Syria. Now what?

Quick Take