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Hard Numbers

46.9 billion: The United States signed foreign arms deals worth $46.9 billion during the first half of the fiscal year. That already comfortably exceeds the $41.9 billion in weapons deals agreed to during all of fiscal 2017.


26 billion: Mexican president-elect, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, spelled out his infrastructure priorities on Monday, including the construction of 300 new rural roads, a tourist train between the resort city of Cancun and the southeastern state of Chiapas, and a new airport for Mexico City. The government plans to fund the estimated $26 billion cost of the projects by cutting government salaries and benefits, streamlining purchases, and stamping out corruption.

6,000: The European Commission this week offered to pay 6,000 euros to member states for each migrant they take in after making the arduous journey across the Mediterranean – part of a broader EU proposal to house refugees in dedicated centers while their asylum claims are processed. As of May, the number of migrants arriving in Europe by sea was running at about half the level seen during the first five months of 2017.

8.5: Ethiopia’s economy is forecast to grow 8.5 percent this year. That's one of the fastest rates for any country in the world, and it's providing recently-appointed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed the political cover to pursue difficult reforms.

4.2: The Turkish lira fell by as much as 4.2 percent against the dollar on Tuesday after the central bank held interest rates steady, defying market expectations of an interest rate hike and raising concerns about the bank's independence. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who assumed office with broadly expanded powers earlier this month, and recently appointed his son-in-law finance minister, railed against high rates despite the country facing its worst inflation in 14 years.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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You've watched Indian Matchmaking... We bring you the Hindu Nationalist Matchmaker where we help find love for the 70 year old virgin - Narendra Modi!

"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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