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Hard Numbers

200,000,000: Americans give each other around 200 million roses on Valentine’s Day, a majority of which are grown just outside the Colombian capital Bogota. Q’hubo mi amor… Feliz Valentine’s Day!


50: Since a landmark Chinese funded rail line linking landlocked Ethiopia to the port of Djibouti opened last month, more than 50 animals have been killed along the line. Fifteen camels were killed in a single incident. Chinese capital isn’t welcomed by everyone — desert quadrupeds, and their owners, are among the least enthused.

33: As of this year, Venezuela’s economy will have shrunk by 33 percent since President Nicolas Maduro took power in 2013. Part of that is lower oil prices, but most of it is awful economic policy. If, and how, Venezuela’s horrific humanitarian and political crises end is the most acute transnational issue for South America this year.

3.6: Traffic jams in Cairo cost Egypt’s economy more than 3.6% of GDP every year. Cairo is particularly bad, but across the developing world, rising wealth and rapid urbanization are outstripping cities’ infrastructure. That’s not only a daily headache and a national economic drag — lousy transport can also become a political issue fast, as Brazil learned in 2013.

3: In the past week, aircraft from three foreign countries — Israel, Turkey, and Russia — have been brought down as a result of the conflict in Syria. With ISIS largely defeated, things are heating up as the major parties to the conflict try to maximize their leverage ahead of any peace settlement.

Empathy and listening are key to establishing harmonious relationships, as demonstrated by Callista Azogu, GM of Human Resources & Organization for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an Eni subsidiary in Abuja. "To build trust is very difficult. To destroy it is very easy," says Callista, whose busy days involve everything from personnel issues to union relationships. She sees great potential for her native Nigeria not only because of the country's natural resources, but because of its vibrant and creative people.

Learn more about Callista in this episode of Faces of Eni.

Saturday will mark the beginning of an historic turning point for European politics as 1,001 voting members of Germany's Christian Democratic Union, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, hold an online conference to elect a new leader.

Here are the basic facts:

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Since Martin Luther King Jr delivered his iconic "I have a dream" speech in August 1963, the number of Black Americans elected to the United States Congress has dramatically increased. Still, it wasn't until 2019, more than half a century later, that the share of Black members serving in the House of Representatives reflected the percentage of Black Americans in the broader population —12 percent. To date, only six states have sent a Black representative to serve in the US Senate (recent runoff elections will make Georgia the seventh state), and many states have never elected a Black representative to either house of Congress. Here's a look at Black representation in every US Congress since 1963.

More than 32 million COVID shots have now been administered globally, raising hopes that the light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight.

The US has vaccinated 3 percent of its total population, while the UK is nearing a solid 5 percent inoculation rate. In Israel, which has been hailed as a vaccine success story, almost 24 percent of people have already received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

But while many countries are able to glimpse the outlines of a post-COVID world, there is a huge population of people who are being left out entirely. Refugees, as well as displaced, undocumented, and stateless people around the world remain ineligible for inoculations and vulnerable to the coronavirus.

We take a look at three case studies where powerless populations are being left in the lurch.

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10: Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice on Wednesday, when 232 members of the House — including 10 Republicans who bucked party lines — voted in favor of impeaching the president for inciting last week's riot at the US Capitol building. Trump now faces a trial in the Senate, and if convicted, will be barred from ever holding federal office again.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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