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Hard Numbers: Israel eyes big UAE trade, US West Coast burns, WTO rejects Trump tariffs, Germany takes in migrants

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani stand by prior to signing the Abraham Accords with US President Donald Trump at the White House. Reuters

500 million: Israel expects to boost its exports to the UAE to up to $500 million annually after normalizing ties with the Emiratis. Both countries — along with Bahrain, another Gulf nation that recently agreed to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state — made the deal official on Tuesday by signing the Abraham Accords.


87: The US West Coast currently has 87 active large wildfires, with California and Oregon as the hit hardest states. California Governor Gavin Newsom has blamed the fires on climate change, while President Donald Trump (baselessly) questioned the science on global warming during a visit to the region.

250 billion: The World Trade Organization has ruled that the Trump administration broke WTO rules when it imposed $250 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese products in 2018. This is the first in a series of upcoming rulings in cases where countries have appealed against US tariffs, the cornerstone of Trump's protectionist trade policy.

1,500: Germany has agreed to take in 1,500 additional migrants from Greece, where thousands of asylum seekers are still homeless after a fire destroyed Europe's largest refugee camp, on the island of Lesbos. The final amount is ten times the number of migrants the German government was initially willing to accept.

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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Listen: 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 talks about how closely that nightmare scenario foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. He also offers some guidance about what public health measures vaccinated Americans should continue to take in the coming months (hint: masks stay on).

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Afghanistan frustrated nineteenth-century British imperialists for 40 years, and ejected the Soviet army in 1989 after a bloody decade there. And though American and NATO forces ousted the Taliban government in 2001 over its support for al-Qaeda, there's no good reason for confidence that nearly 20 years of occupation have brought lasting results for security and development across the country.

But… could China succeed where other outsiders have failed – and without a costly and risky military presence? Is the promise of lucrative trade and investment enough to ensure a power-sharing deal among Afghanistan's warring factions?

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Stockholm on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Is there a military coup ongoing in Armenia?

Well, it isn't a military coup as of yet, but it's not far from it either. This is the turmoil that is resulting from the war with Azerbaijan, which Armenia took a large death loss. What happened was that the head of the armed forces asked for the prime minister to resign. That was not quite a coup, but not very far from it. Now, the prime minister sacked the head of the armed forces, there's considerable uncertainty. Watch the space.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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Biden strikes Syria. Now what?

Quick Take