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Hard Numbers: The death of a million species

1 million: One million of Earth's 8 million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction as a result of global warming, according to a new report form the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES). The panel estimated the world has less than 12 years to avoid catastrophic climate change.

10,000: In 2019, almost 10,000 people were killed in jihadist-related violence in Africa, comparable to the number killed by similar conflict in Iraq in Syria during the same period. The global coalition of forces in the Sahel region – which includes troops from the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and many other countries – is larger than the current US fighting forces in Afghanistan.

1,000: Western Africa is experiencing its deadliest Ebola outbreak in years – with more than 1,000 people dying from the virus in eastern Congo since August. Local violence has compounded the problem, as attacks on health workers have prevented them from addressing the crisis.

100: Over the weekend, China marked 100 years since massive student protests against Western powers provided a spark for modern Chinese nationalism. President Xi Jinping extolled the patriotism of the students who participated in the May 4 protests, but he, and the Communist Party more broadly, have minimized discussion of the protests' anti-authoritarian nature during a year chock-full of sensitive anniversaries.

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.

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.

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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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