This week protests occur across the globe from The Netherlands to India, Poland enforces a near-total abortion ban, and Argentina imposes a tax on the super rich.
The EU and AstraZeneca try to resolve the vaccine crisis after the bloc accused AstraZeneca of breaching a ‘binding commitment’ to produce vaccines.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has resigned following weeks of political uncertainty and a split in the governing coalition over his handing of the second wave of COVID-19 and recovery funds from the EU.
Poland enforces a near-total abortion ban. The ban has sparked protests which have been taking place in Polish cities for three nights, with thousands marching through the streets of Warsaw, chanting “freedom, equality, abortion on demand”.
A Moscow judge has rejected opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s appeal against detention. Thousands continue to protest across Russian in support of the detained opposition leader.
There have been protests across several Dutch cities against the new lockdown restrictions, including a nighttime curfew between 9pm and 4:30am. Rioters blew up a pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam, while others burned bikes, looted and vandalized property, and clashed with police. Police have described it as the worst unrest in the Netherlands for decades, with more than 180 arrests.
UK experts back AstraZeneca jab after Germany rules it should not be given to over 65s. Public Health England says the AstraZeneca jab offers “high levels of protection” against Covid-19.
Central African Republic:
Officials in the Central African Republic say government troops have killed 44 rebel fighters who had surrounded the capital, Bagui, in an attempt to overthrow the new administration. The claim comes days after it declared a state of emergency to fight the rebels, who control two-thirds of the country. They dispute the validity of President Faustin-Archange Touadera’s re-election last month.
Democratic Republic of Congo:
MPs in the Democratic Republic of Congo voted out Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba from power. The legislators accused Mr Ilukamba, an ally of former President Joseph Kabila, and his ministers of poor performance. Mr Ilunkamba has formally resigned his position.
An appeals court in The Netherlands has ordered oil giant Shell to pay compensation to three Nigerian farmers whose land was polluted by oil leaks in 2004 and 2005. This is the first time individual farmers who have had their sources of livelihood taken away by the environmental destruction in the Niger Delta hope to get justice.
Hundreds of protestors attempted to reach the parliament building in Tunis in the latest of a series of demonstrations fuelled by frustration over inequality and police abuses. The police attempted to block the rally using water cannons.
On Monday night, Lebanese demonstrators clashed with security forces in Tripoli amid protests over the round-the-clock lockdown. The demonstrators burned tires and threw rocks, to which the police responded with teargas and rubber bullets.
Asia and Oceania
The Australian Open will be allowed to admit up to 30,000 fans a day when it goes ahead in February, Victoria’s minister for sport has announced.
Nine miners have been found dead by rescuers after explosions occurred at a gold mine two weeks ago. The discovery came a day after 11 miners were rescued, having been trapped underground.
A rally against new agriculture laws in India turned violent on Tuesday, after protesting farmers broke through police barricades to storm Delhi’s historic Red Fort complex.
Following a one-day hunger strike, India’s interior ministry have blocked internet services at three locations on the outskirts of Delhi in order to ‘maintain public safety’.
Japanese fishermen kill a minke whale by drowning after he got trapped in their nets.
Argentina imposes a new tax on the super rich to fund Covid relief. It means that those with a personal fortune of over 200 million pesos ($2.4 million) - approximately 12,000 people - will have to pay a one-off tax of at least 2%. It will pay for medical supplies and economic relief measures.
President Biden has scrapped a ban stopping transgender people joining the US military, as well as a policy which blocked US funds from going to international aid groups that support abortion. The president has also signed executive orders on climate change, pausing oil ands gas extraction and agreeing to expand wind energy under a new climate plan.
A US court has agreed a $17m payout to women who accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The money comes from the liquidation of the Weinstein Co, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
Novice investors have taken on Wall Street professions by buying shares of US video games retailer Gamestop, which many hedge funds had seen as a losing bet. As a result, Gamestop saw shares jump from being worth less than $20 each at the end of December to nearly $350 on Wednesday.