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Hard Numbers

410,000: The online shop of the French presidential residence sold around $410,000 worth of memorabilia, including mugs decorated with President Emmanuel Macron’s face, in just three days. Unfortunately, much coveted kitsch will do little to alleviate Macron’s woeful polling numbers, which recently hit a record low.


150: More than 150 new embassies have been established in sub-Saharan Africa since 2010, according to the University of Denver’s Diplomatic Project. While the US still leads the pack with embassies in 48 African nations, Turkey opened up 16 new diplomatic posts and Qatar 12 there in the past eight years.

95: Oil exports from the southern Iraqi city of Basra account for 95 percent of the country’s state revenues, and yet more than a quarter of young people in the area are jobless, higher than the national average of 20 percent. Such disparities have contributed to long simmering anti-government protests there that have turned violent in recent days.

80: Around 80 percent of Yemen’s people need some sort of humanitarian aid, according to the UN. The world’s worst humanitarian crisis continues to deepen, with around 8 million at risk of famine, including many children.

5: The reimposition of US sanctions on Iran has caused a drought of dollars in the Islamic Republic but proven a godsend for currency traders in neighboring Afghanistan. Every day, according to a Bloomberg report, they smuggle some $5 million into Iran, sell the greenbacks in exchange for Iranian rials at a huge markup on the black market, and then take those Iranian rials back home to Afghanistan where they fetch another premium of 30 percent.

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.

For the world's wealthiest nations, including the United States, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine has been rocky, to say the least. And as a result, much of the developing world will have to wait even longer for their turn. Part of the challenge, World Bank President David Malpass says, is that "advanced economies have reserved a lot of the vaccine doses." Malpass sat down with Ian Bremmer recently to talk about what his organization is doing to try to keep millions around the world from slipping deeper into poverty during the pandemic. Their conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

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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For the first time in twenty years, extreme poverty around the world is growing. How does the developing world recover from a pandemic that has brought even the richest nations to their knees? David Malpass, the President of the World Bank, is tasked with answering that question. He joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about how his organization is trying to keep the developing world from slipping further into poverty in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Joe Biden wants to move into the White House, but the coast isn't clear. He may need some bleach.

Watch more PUPPET REGIME here.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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