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Hard Numbers: Mexico's COVID death toll, Al-Shabab strikes again, AstraZeneca-EU agreement, Perth's lockdown

A man wearing a face mask sleeps at a park near a banner reading "The use of face masks is mandatory in our municipality", amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oaxaca state, Mexico January 30, 2021.

158,000: Mexico has now recorded more than 158,000 total COVID deaths, surpassing India — a country with 10 times its population — to suffer the third highest coronavirus death toll in the world, behind the US and Brazil. Hospitals in Mexico City are struggling to care for the influx of patients and doctors have reported rationing life-saving supplies like oxygen tanks.

5: Al-Shabab militants claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, that left five people dead and led to an eight-hour standoff with security forces. Al-Shabab has wreaked havoc on the country in recent years, with the aim of turning Somalia into an Islamic state.

9 million: After a row over production shortages, AstraZeneca drug maker has agreed to ship an additional 9 million COVD vaccine doses to the European Union by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The EU has accused AstraZeneca — which had initially promised to send around 80 million doses to the 27-member bloc by the end of March — of prioritizing doses for the UK at its expense.

1: Australian officials locked down the entire city of Perth in Western Australia after detecting a single case of COVID-19 — the first infection confirmed there in more than 10 months. The move, which is set to last five days, keeps more than 2 million people in their homes for all but essential outings.

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