Politics This Week | The Economist


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Belarus hijacked a Ryanair plane flying a EU country (Greece) to another (Lithuania) with more than 100 people on board. The aircraft was in Belarusian airspace. Citing a “bomb threat”, the authorities sent a fighter plane to land it in Minsk, the Belarusian capital. They arrested two passengers: Roman Protasevich, an exiled journalist, and his girlfriend. Protasevich rallied opposition to Alexander Lukashenko, the despot who stole the presidential election in Belarus last year. No bomb was found. Russia applauded Mr. Lukashenko’s boldness; the EU reflected on sanctions against his isolated regime.

Switzerland said he was moving away from years of negotiations on a new treaty with the EU aimed at harmonizing dozens of messy individual agreements on trade, investment and movement of people.

Police in India visited Twitter offices after adding a disinformation warning to tweets posted by members of the ruling party. The tweets claimed to detail plans made by the opposition to discredit the government’s handling of the pandemic, but fact-checking organizations said the documents were false.

America has warned its citizens not to surrender Japan, after an increase in the number of covid-19 cases there. A survey has suggested that 80% of Japanese believe the Olympics, which are due to start in Tokyo in July, should be postponed or canceled again.

China responded angrily to a US call for more investigations into the origin of the coronavirus. A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs accused America of sullying China and ignoring the possibility that the virus originated in the United States.

Twenty-one competitors over 100 km ultra marathon in a mountainous region in western China were killed by extreme weather conditions, including hail.

the Texas The legislature passed a bill that allows residents of the state to carry a handgun without a license. The law sets up an online gun safety course for people who don’t know how to handle guns.

Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamist group that controls Gaza, stuck to a recently agreed ceasefire. To strengthen the truce, Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, held separate meetings with Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, and Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority. He also went to Egypt and Jordan.

Republicans in the US Congress introduced legislation to strengthen government oversight anti-Semitic attacks. The conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to a “dangerous and drastic rise in anti-Jewish hatred” in America, Britain and other countries, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group. civil rights.

Iran The Guardian Council disqualified most of the candidates who registered to run in the June 18 presidential election. Only seven candidates, most of them hard-line, were allowed to vote. The head of the conservative justice, Ebrahim Raisi, is the favorite to succeed Hassan Rouhani, who is relatively moderate.

Iran has reached an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to extend by one month an agreement that allows international observers to inspect its nuclear program. The agency chief said he was very concerned about Iran’s claim to enrich uranium to a purity level of 60%, a level that only bomb-making countries attempt to achieve. .

Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, a jihadist group that enslaves girls, is said to have died in Nigeria after he blew himself up to avoid being captured by rival jihadists. Mr. Shekau has already been pronounced dead five times before, only to resurface. But this time the reports seem to be true.

Army officers in Mali forced the president and prime minister to resign because they were unhappy with a cabinet reshuffle. The same officers carried out a coup d’état last September.

After years of evasion and reprieve, Jacob Zuma, former president of South Africa, appeared in court. He faces 18 counts relating to an arms deal signed by the government in the late 1990s, including an allegation that he accepted a bribe from Thales, a French defense company. He and the cabinet deny the charges.

In Peru 16 people were massacred in a village in an area known for the production of cocaine. Authorities blamed Marxist Shining Path activists, who killed tens of thousands of people in the 1980s and 1990s. The murders came two weeks before the tense presidential runoff, which pitted Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of ‘a former president convicted of corruption, to Pedro Castillo, a left-wing activist.

In Mexico Sinaloa State Police Chief, whose name is associated with a powerful drug cartel, was assassinated by bandits who fired 200 bullets at his car.

A soldier in Canada was charged with a mutiny for the first time in decades. The reservist is accused of trying to persuade other soldiers to join him in halting the distribution of covid-19 vaccines.

Coronavirus Briefs

The number of officially registered cases in India continued to decline, one day falling below 200,000 for the first time in weeks.

Germany banned most visitors from Brittany due to the spread of the Indian variant of covid-19 in this country. French officials said people entering Britain should be quarantined, but stopped ahead of an outright ban. Research in Britain, meanwhile, found that two doses AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine offer good protection against the Indian variant.

An epidemic of the variant in Melbourne led to a new lockdown in the Australian state of Victoria, a disappointment for the city, which experienced one of the longest lockdowns in the world last year. Vaccination rates in Australia remain very low.

Argentina entered a nine-day lockdown. Cases are multiplying in the middle of a slow recovery of the jab.

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

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