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Hard Numbers: Myanmar protesters threatened, new WTO chief, Chad deploys Sahel troops, Peru officials jump vaccine queue

Hard Numbers: Myanmar protesters threatened, new WTO chief, Chad deploys Sahel troops, Peru officials jump vaccine queue

20: Myanmar's junta has threatened anti-coup protesters with up to 20 years in prison if they continue to incite "hatred and contempt" against the generals. In its bid to stop the rallies, which erupted after its coup against the democratically elected government, the military has deployed armored vehicles in major cities and cut off the internet.


164: All 164 member countries of the World Trade Organization voted on Monday to appoint Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new director-general. Okonjo-Iweala — a former Nigerian finance minister — is the first woman and African to lead the WTO, and her tenure begins at a crucial time for the organization, which faces growing pandemic-fueled protectionism and rising trade tensions between China and Western nations.

1,200: Chad will deploy 1,200 soldiers to fight a jihadist insurgency in the border zone between Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Chadian President Idriss Deby is putting pressure on other Sahel countries to strengthen the so-called Sahel G5 Joint Force regional military contingency to offset a possible troop drawdown by former colonial power France, which Paris now says will not take place immediately.

487: The Peruvian government acknowledged that 487 current and former officials used their positions of power to jump the queue and get early COVID vaccinations intended for Peru's healthcare workers. The scandal has hit former president Martín Vizcarra, who confirmed getting the jab before he was impeached last November, an episode that plunged the country into its current political crisis.

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