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Hard Numbers: Portugal's hellish January, Sputnik V triumphs, no term limits for Vietnam, Turkey arrests students

Medical personnel stand next to ambulances with COVID-19 patients as they wait in the queue at Santa Maria hospital, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Lisbon, Portugal, January 27, 2021
45: Roughly 45 percent of all Portuguese deaths (5,576) from COVID-19 were recorded in January 2021. Portugal says that the more infectious UK variant is to blame for its deepening COVID crisis, which has seen Lisbon appeal to Austria and Germany for urgent medical assistance as its hospitals struggle to keep pace with the outbreak.

92: Late-stage efficacy trials reveal that Russia's Sputnik V COVID vaccine has a 92 percent efficacy rate and a high safety record, the Lancet medical journal reports. Russia came under fire for rolling out the shot before safety trials had concluded, but many scientists now say it is a proven COVID vaccine.

3: Nguyen Phu Trong, the head of Vietnam's Communist Party, has bypassed party rules to secure his third term as national leader after the party failed to agree on his successor. Trong, who has overseen one of the most successful COVID containment strategies in the world, has long maintained a tight grip on power by quashing dissent.

159: Turkish police arrested 159 students protesting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to tap political ally Melih Bulu to head Istanbul's liberal Bogazici University, one of the country's top schools. Many students see the move as an attempt by the government to further encroach on academic life. Erdogan has purged thousands of academics from their posts in recent years.

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