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Hard Numbers: India culls cow exam, Zuma defies court, Japanese female suicides surge, Senegal's Chinese vaccine rollout

Cow standing in the middle of the street in the traffic of motorbikes, Rajasthan, Jodhpur, India.

80: India's Hindu nationalist government abruptly cancelled a nationwide student exam on cows — deemed holy by Hindus — after critics said the curriculum espoused dubious claims about Indian cattle — like, for example, that their humps have special powers. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, targeting of Muslims by Indian Hindus — who make up 80 percent of the population — has intensified, and many Muslims have been violently attacked by "cow vigilantes."

2: A judicial panel in South Africa has asked the courts to imprison former president Jacob Zuma for two years for refusing to testify in his own graft trial. Since the panel was set up in 2018, forcing Zuma to resign from office, South Africa's former leader has played hardball with the judicial system, saying he doesn't fear being arrested for refusing to cooperate.

6,976: At least 6,976 Japanese women committed suicide last year, a 15 percent increase from 2019, in a country that has long battled a sky-high suicide rate. The mental health toll of the pandemic is being disproportionately felt by Japanese women, who overwhelmingly bear the burden of balancing domestic life and work duties. Additionally, more Japanese women than men have lost their jobs during this period.

200,000: Senegal began its COVID-19 vaccine rollout this week after receiving 200,000 doses of China's Sinopharm jab. The West African country of 16 million is one of the first in the region to begin vaccinations, and many African nations are still waiting on shipments to arrive from the COVAX facility.

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.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele is an unusual politician. The 39-year old political outsider boasts of his political triumphs on TikTok, dons a suave casual uniform (backwards-facing cap; leather jacket; tieless ), and refuses to abide by Supreme Court rulings.

Bukele also enjoys one of the world's highest approval ratings, and that's what helped his New Ideas party clinch a decisive victory in legislative elections on February 28, securing a close to two-third's supermajority (75 percent of the vote had been counted at the time of this writing).

His triumph will resonate far beyond the borders of El Salvador, Central America's smallest country, home to 6.5 million people. Now that Bukele has consolidated power in a big way, here are a few key developments to keep an eye on.

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Now that millions of high-priority Americans have been vaccinated, many people in low-risk groups are starting to ask the same question: when's my turn? Dr. Anthony Fauci, America's top infectious diseases expert, has an answer, but probably not the one they're hoping for: "It probably won't be until May or June before we can at least start to get the normal non-prioritized person vaccinated." On GZERO World, Dr. Fauci also addresses another burning question: why aren't schools reopening faster? And while Dr. Fauci acknowledges that reopening schools must be a top priority, he has no quick fixes there, either. In fact, that's kind of a theme of the interview.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Dr. Fauci's Pandemic Prognosis

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

I thought I would talk today, I haven't spoken much about former President Trump since he's no longer president and I intend to continue that practice. But given this weekend and the big speech at CPAC and the fact that in the straw poll, Trump won and won by a long margin. I mean, DeSantis came in number two, but he's the Governor of Florida, CPAC was in Orlando, so that's a home court bias. In reality, it's Trump's party. And I think given all of that, it's worth spending a little bit of time reflecting on what that means, how I think about these things.

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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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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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Biden strikes Syria. Now what?

Quick Take