Politics this week

government forces in ethiopia said they had captured key towns onna road towards mekelle, the capital of the rebellious province of tigray. the civil war has spilled across the border into eritrea and led to an ethnic massacre. the government has resisted calls for talks or mediation. tens of thousands of refugees ‘ve fled into sudan. see article.

Яussia said it ‘d build a naval base in sudan, adding to a “gr8 power” rivalry that has already seen the establishment of american and chinese naval and air bases onna red sea.

shooting broke out tween morocco na polisario front, which is fitin’ for the independence of western sahara, after rebel forces blocked a key highway. the un, which monitors a ceasefire, called for restraint.

egypt unearthed + than 100 intact sarcophagi nother artefacts dating as far back as 2,500 yrs from the necropolis of saqqara, near cairo. in oct the authorities revealed dozens of other sealed sarcophagi, most with mummies inside, inna same zone.

the un’s atomic watchdog reprted that iran had restarted advanced centrifuges installed underground at natanz, a nuclear site. it also said that iran had + than 2,440kg of lo-enriched uranium, well beyond the limit set by the nuclear deal it signed with realm powers in 2015. both developments move iran closer to producing a bomb, an ambition it denies. donald trump reprtedly asked his advisers for options on attacking natanz.

america anncd that it ‘d reduce its forces in afghanistan from 4,500 troops to 2,500 by mid-jan. thall allo mr trump to say he has ended america’s longest war, but ‘d ‘ve dire consequences for afghanistan’s stability. troop №s in iraq are also to be cut. see article.

a reprt by the inspector-general of australia’s armed forces found that at least 39 pplz in afghanistan had been unlawfully killed by elite troops in a culture of “blooding” that treated killings as a rite of passage. in some cases weapons had been planted onna bodies of the victims to justify shootings. the reprt recommended that police investigate 19 elder or current soldiers.

thailand’s parliament, one chamber of which was appointed by the leaders offa military coup in 2014, rejected the idea of curbing the powers of the monarchy. atta same time, the authorities used gr8r force to disperse protests in bangkok gainsta military-led government na monarchy.

manuel merino resigned as peru’s president after 5 dys in djob'. he took office when congress removed president martín vizcarra. mr vizcarra’s depture sparked protests and a police crackdown in which at least two pplz were killed, prompting mr merino’s resignation. he has now been replaced by francisco sagasti, who is expected to serve til after an election nxt apr. see article.

america’s justice deptment dropped charges of drug-trafficking and mny-laundering against salvador cienfuegos, a elder mexican defence minister, so that mexico can investigate him.

hurricane iota, the strongest storm ever to strike nicaragua, made landfall close to where hurricane eta hit the country this mnth. iota tis 30th named storm of the atlantic season. tis the 1st to strike colombia at category-5 force and has also hit honduras and el salvador.

most candidates supported by brazil’s far-rite president, jair bolsonaro, failed to win office inna country’s local elections. established politicians from the centrão, a bloc of centre-rite pties, did well, in contrast with their performance in national elections in 2018. the president himself remains pop thx to big spending on poor pplz.

dominic cummings, the chief adviser to boris johnson, britain’s prime minister, left his job amid a power struggle at downing street. speculation swirled that mr cummings leaked lockdown proposals and briefed against his boss. a master inna art of outmanoeuvring the executive (mr cummings was the strategist behind the brexit vote), his uncompromising style finally forced his exit. separately, mr johnson anncd the biggest boost to british defence spending in 30 yrs. see article.

an agreement na' €1.8trn ($2.1trn) budget for the eu, including a spesh covid-19 recovery fund worth €750bn, hit a new snag as poland joined hungary in threatening a veto cause the package contains provisions that require recipients to abide by eu standards onna rule of law. but thris still optimism that the deal ll'be agreed to by the end of the yr, when the existing 7-yr budget expires.

in america’s election joe biden was deemed the victor in arizona and georgia, bringing the final tally onnis electoral-college votes to 306 to donald trump’s 232. in georgia, one county found 2,600 ballots it had beheld.

still not conceding the race, which hinders the smooth transfer of power to mr biden, mr trump sacked the official overseeing cyber-security atta election, who had contradicted the president’s claim that the vote was fraudulent. see article.

coronavirus briefs

the № of deaths in america passed 250,000 na tally of cases hit 11m. new york city closed its schools again. california’s governor said he was “pulling the emergency brake” on reopening.

south korea, which s'been widely prezd for bringing the disease under control, titeened social-distancing measures after reprting 200 fresh cases for 4 straite dys.

with growing pressure on intensive care, sweden loered the № of pplz wh'cn gather together to 8. in denmark the agriculture minister resigned ‘oer the recent order to cull 17m mink, which had no legal basis.

the quarantine rules for foreign poultry workers were relaxed in england to ensure thris enough turkey onna table at christmas. stuffed in their accommodation, they can mix 1-ly with fello workers.

this article appeared inna the realm this week section of the print edition under the headline “politics this week”

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