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Hard Numbers: the Picasso pigeon, Trump's environmental rollbacks, Thai protesters flock to parliament, Zimbabwe's inflation plan

A two-year old female pigeon named New Kim, that will set a new world record price, is seen in Knesselare

1.9 million: After a competitive bidding war between two Chinese parties, a pigeon racing bird sold at a Belgian auction for a whopping $1.9 million, outpacing the previous sale record of $1.5 million. "You could compare it to a Picasso painting," one expert said of the novelty bird named New Kim. The pigeon racing sport, which dates back to the 1800s, involves the birds being released into the wild hundreds of miles from home. The first to return home is the winner!

100: The Trump administration has rolled back — or is still in the process of rolling back — at least 100 US environmental climate policies linked to clean air, water pollution, wildlife preservation and toxic chemicals. The New York Times has analyzed data collected by Columbia and Harvard Law Schools, revealing that under President Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency has prioritized the dissolution of Obama-era environmental protection policies.

1,000: At least 1,000 Thai protesters gathered outside the country's parliament in Bangkok as lawmakers were debating proposals to amend seven draft amendments to the constitution, a key demand of the country's dynamic pro-democracy movement. As more protesters flocked there on Tuesday, police fired teargas, sparking the most violent clashes since the youth-led anti-government movement mobilized in the summer.

471: Zimbabwe's government has released a new plan to lower its inflation rate from 471 percent to a single-digit figure. The recovery plan will be driven by investment in the mining and agricultural sectors, as well as an IMF reform program, the government says. But many observers remain skeptical of meaningful progress, because Zimbabwe's government has long been riddled in graft and the government has often printed money to cover expenses, creating an economic catastrophe.

Dating and debates, music festivals and dance classes, work and education – an increasing amount of our social interactions now take place online. With this shift to virtual venues, ensuring kindness and respect in everyday interactions and encounters is more important than ever.

The digital space has become a fundamental part of the national and international conversation, and has also, at times, become a breeding ground for bullying, trolling and hate speech. There is a clear need for more "digital good" to ensure that online encounters have a constructive impact on everyone involved. To learn more about digital good and what it means, visit Microsoft on the Issues.

As the global vaccination race heats up, the most populous country in the world is trying to do three very hard things at once.

India, grappling with the second highest confirmed COVID caseload in the world, recently embarked on what it called "the world's largest" coronavirus vaccination campaign, seeking to inoculate a sizable swath of its 1.4 billion people.

That alone would be a herculean challenge, but India is also making hundreds of millions of jabs as part of the global COVAX initiative to inoculate low-income countries. And as if those two things weren't enough, Delhi also wants to win hearts and minds by doling out millions more shots directly to other countries in its neighborhood.

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Millions of people leave their home countries each year, fleeing conflict or violence, seeking better work opportunities, or simply to be closer to family. What proportion of those people are women? In many of the countries that are home to the largest migrant populations, a majority, in fact. While many women leave home for the same reasons as men (social instability or economic opportunity) gender-based violence or persecution often play a special role in women's decisions to pick up stakes and move. Here's a look at the gender breakdown of some of the world's largest migrant populations.

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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Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (a little over) 60 Seconds:

The Biden administration announced its first sanctions. How will it affect US-Russia relations?

Not very much. About as bad as they were under the Trump administration, even though Trump personally wanted to be aligned with Putin, the administration was not. This is the same approach on sanctions as we've seen from the European Union, they could go a lot harder. It's not sector level. It's not major state enterprises. It's a few Russian officials that were involved in the chemical program for Russia. And at the end of the day, the Russians are annoyed, but they're not going to hit back. That's that. Okay.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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