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Hard Numbers: Greek refugee camp in flames, SA economy in freefall, US to cut troops in Iraq, COVID vaccine trial on pause

Hard Numbers: Greek refugee camp in flames, SA economy in freefall, US to cut troops in Iraq, COVID vaccine trial on pause

13,000: A huge fire destroyed Europe's largest refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, leaving roughly 13,000 people without any shelter. While the cause of the blaze is still unknown, human rights groups have long complained that overcrowded migrant camps would one day prove catastrophic on the Greek island.


51: South Africa's GDP contracted by an annualized 51 percent in the second quarter of this year, the worst decline since 1960. Africa's most industrialized economy — which has been crippled by the pandemic-related lockdown — has now been in recession for a full year, the first time that's happened since 1992.

3,000: The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that it would reduce the number of US troops in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,000 this month. More than 17 years after the US-led invasion as part of the broader War On Terror, American soldiers are still in Iraq, but now they are mostly fighting the Islamic State.

1: US-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has paused its clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine it is co-developing with the UK's Oxford University after one of its volunteers developed neurological symptoms. This vaccine is one of eight currently in Phase III clinical trials in the global race to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus.

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.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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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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 GZERO World 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.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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