Politics This Week | The Economist
Enjoy more audio and podcasts on ios or Android.
The worst flood hitting Europe since World War II has left at least 200 dead, and many more are still missing. Most of the deaths occurred in Germany, where days of unusually heavy rains caused rivers to overflow. Belgium has recorded at least 36 deaths. Germany’s complex federal system, with responsibilities shared between federal, state and local governments, appears to have been a big part of the problem. Early warning systems have failed.
Flooding caused by torrential rains forced the evacuation of more than 200,000 people in from China central province of Henan. In three days, annual rains fell in Zhengzhou City, filling the subway tunnels. Hundreds of commuters who had been trapped on trains in water above their waists were eventually rescued; 12 of them died.
America has said its deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, will travel to China on July 25 for talks with its foreign secretary, Wang Yi. She will be the best ranked American civil servant go to China since Joe Biden became president.
Ariel Henry was sworn in as from Haiti new Prime Minister, after the resignation of Claude Joseph from his post of interim leader. This happened two weeks after the assassination of the president, Jovenel Moïse, who had handed over the leadership to Mr. Henry just before his death. Mr. Joseph has resumed his duties as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Pedro Castillo was declared president-elect of Peru. The electoral authority made the announcement several weeks after winning the votes in a close race and after assessing allegations of electoral fraud made by his right-wing rival, Keiko Fujimori. She now says she will accept the result.
the Colombian The government released a revised tax reform proposal three months after its initial plan sparked deadly protests. The new bids place a greater burden on the private sector.
The results of the riots in South Africa which erupted after the incarceration of Jacob Zuma, a former president, has risen to at least 276. The deployment of troops has restored calm. In addition, an investigation recommended that due to covid-19, the local elections scheduled for October be delayed.
An attacker armed with a knife tried to stab Assimi Goita, coup leader and acting president of Mali. Mr. Goita said he was unharmed.
The rebel forces of Ethiopia The northern Tigray region launched attacks in the neighboring Afar region, exacerbating the civil war in the country. Observers believe the rebels are trying to cut Ethiopia’s main road and rail link with the port of Djibouti.
At least 30 people were killed when a bomb exploded in a market in Baghdad. ISIS claimed responsibility. It is the deadliest bomb attack in the Iraqi capital since January.
The UK government has said it wants to renegotiate parts of the Brexit deal that apply to North Ireland. These, in effect, place a customs border in the Irish Sea, hampering the flow of goods from the rest of the UK.
France and Britain have reached an agreement to step up patrols in the English Channel to block a wave of migrants seeking to reach Britain. The number of migrants crossing this year has already exceeded the total of 8,461 for the whole of 2020.
June saw a new influx of migrants trying to cross the Mexican border in the USA. There were nearly 189,000 encounters between migrants and the border patrol, up 80% from June 2019, before the pandemic. This was a record for the month of June, when border crossings normally start to relax due to the desert heat.
Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled that Barack Obama overstepped his presidential term when he created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Dreamers, program for children who have been brought to the we illegally. The decision prevents the approval of new stay requests, but does not affect current Dreamer participants.
The head of the United States Centers for Disease Control said the Delta variant of covid-19 had spread rapidly, warning that infections were on the rise among the unvaccinated. The wave of Delta cases caught many countries off guard, including Indonesia, the new hotbed of concern in Asia. Hospitalizations there overwhelmed the health system. Only 8% of Indonesians are fully vaccinated.
India has suffered some 4 million more deaths since the start of the pandemic, about ten times more than official figures show. A government study found that more than two-thirds of Indians had antibodies to covid-19, again suggesting that official figures vastly underestimate the extent of the pandemic.
The end of everything covid-19 restrictions in England (despite the upsurge in infections) has left many confused. Wearing a mask is no longer an obligation, but a “personal responsibility”, unless you are told to wear one. In France, the government has required visitors to museums to prove that they are free from the disease. Both countries are considering stricter implementation of vaccine passes.
Briefs about the coronavirus
A federal judge ruled that Indiana University has the right to insist that its students be vaccinated, a precedent that could affect other American colleges.
Canada said it will reopen its border to U.S. citizens from August 9, but only if they are fully vaccinated. Citizens of other countries will be allowed in a month later.
New South Wales, australia the most populous state, reported its biggest increase in infections in 15 months.
The 2020 Olympic Games, delayed for a year by the pandemic, was due to open in Japan on July 23. The preparation for the games has been beset by scandals, sexism, Holocaust jokes and the worsening Covid-19 situation in Tokyo, the host city. They will be less fun than in previous years; spectators are mostly banned and athletes confined to areas outside the events.
This article appeared in the The World This Week section of the print edition under the headline “Politics This Week”