Politics | The Economist


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Chaos seized Kazakhstan. Large rallies against rising fuel prices have turned into violent protests against the autocratic regime. President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev sacked his government, but that did not calm the spirits. Rioters set fire to buildings and briefly seized an airport. Without proof, Tokayev accused foreign powers of causing unrest. He asked for help from a regional military alliance that includes Russia. Internet access was cut off.

North Korea tested a “hypersonic missile,” according to state media in the country. This is the second report in recent months that North Korea is testing a weapon more maneuverable than a conventional ballistic missile.

Delhi has imposed a weekend curfew to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible but appears less fatal than previous strains of coronavirus. India, like most countries, is experiencing a new wave of infections. Local governments are rushing to reimpose restrictions. Undeterred, politicians still hold huge rallies in states that hold elections in February and March.

Novak Djokovic, the world’s best tennis player, sparked an argument when he arrived in Australia to prepare for a tournament with a covid vaccine waiver. After the government said he should be treated the same as everyone else, border officials revoked his visa.

Joe biden tried to reassure Americans that the Omicron variant should be a cause for concern but no alarm, as recorded cases in the country reached 1 million in one day. His comments were somewhat at odds with those of Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top covid adviser, who warned hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed.

Shortly after being sworn in as the new mayor of New YorkEric Adams faced the main teachers’ union to insist that schools remain open. The union wants a brief return to distance learning, which it says will alleviate staff shortages caused by covid-19. Mr Adams also kept a strict mandate on vaccines for private companies in place and said it could be extended in April to include booster shots.

On the other hand, in Chicago classes have been canceled. The main teachers’ union says it would be dangerous to reopen. City officials accused him of ignoring the damage the cancellation would do to children.

His new campaign slogan?

Emmanuel Macron summed up his covid vaccination policy in France by saying he wanted to “piss off” people who weren’t loaded by banning them from restaurants, shops and social events. This was better, he said, than imprisoning the unvaccinated or forcibly injecting them. Critics fainted at his foul language and robust feelings. But many French people agreed with him.

Italy made vaccination compulsory for all people over 50. People over 50 with a job will no longer be able to take a covid test to go to work.

News from the stand, that of Hong Kong main pro-democracy news site, was forced to shut down after hundreds of police raided its offices and arrested seven people. Two other media have also closed, citing fears for the safety of their journalists. Meanwhile, 90 members of a new Legislative Council were sworn in. All but one are supporters of the Communist Party. “Unpatriotic” candidates (ie party critics) were not allowed to stand for election.

A second city in China has been placed in strict lockdown following an increase in covid infections. Authorities in Yuzhou, about 700 km southwest of Beijing, have promised to quell the disease. Xi’an, a city of 13 m², has been in lockdown since December 23. The government says it is ready to deal with any increase in cases ahead of the Chinese New Year and the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

that of Haiti Prime Minister Ariel Henry was shot at during an event marking the country’s independence. His office said it was an assassination attempt. Mr. Henry’s behavior did not endear him to many Haitians. In September, he sacked a prosecutor who had accused him of being an accomplice in the assassination last year of then-president Jovenel Moïse, which he denies. No date has been set for the postponement of the elections.

Meanwhile, one of the suspects of assassination of Moses was charged in Miami. He is one of two dozen men, believed to be former members of Colombian special forces, who worked for a security company in Miami and who were allegedly involved in the murder.

the Canadian The government has announced that it will pay C $ 40 billion ($ 31.5 billion) to fix the country’s child welfare system and to compensate Indigenous peoples who have been harmed by it. It is the largest settlement in Canadian history, the culmination of lawsuits brought by First Nations groups against the government. It follows the discovery of hundreds of anonymous graves in two residential schools.

An anti-graft commission in South Africa said he discovered “a barely believable picture of widespread corruption” in state-owned enterprises during Jacob Zuma’s presidential term. His report alleged that Mr. Zuma was “directly and personally involved” in efforts to take control of state institutions and enterprises.

Abdallah Hamdok, from Sudan Prime Minister, has resigned, ending a power-sharing deal between his civilian supporters and the military that was supposed to move the country forward towards democracy. Thousands of people have protested against being led by the generals, who have staged two coups since April 2019.

Status of limitations

In Britain, a jury found four Black Lives Matter supporters not guilty of criminal damage. They had demolished a statue of Edward Colston, an 18th century slave trader and philanthropist, and dumped it in Bristol Harbor. The statue is now in a museum. One of the four declared in court that the demonstration was “an act of love for my neighbor”. Critics of the verdict said it would encourage political vandalism.

This article appeared in the The World This Week section of the print edition under the headline “Politics”


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