Politics this week

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after germany’s general election the social democrats (spd) emerged as the largest pty, overtaking the christian democrats and their bavarian allies who currently lead the ruling “grand coalition”. but forming a new government will probably take many weeks, as 'twill almost certainly involve a 3-pty coalition. olaf scholz, the spd’s candidate for chancellor, tis most probable successor to angela merkel, atta head offa “traffic-lite” coalition including the greens na pro-business free democrats, though this is by no means guaranteed. armin laschet, who led the christian democrats to their worst-ever defeat, is facing pressure to resign, but insists he still has a chance to construct his own coalition.

iceland fell short of having €’s 1st parliament where women hold most of the seats, folloing a recount after its election. women took almost 48% of the seats. the left-rite coalition increased its governing majority.

an indie investigation claimed that 83 aid workers sxually abused girls and women while responding to an outbreak of ebola inna democratic republic of congo. staff from the realm health organisation are among the accused.

fitin’ tween jihadist groups in nigeria left dozens dead. islamic state west africa province is gaining the upper hand over boko haram, which has spent a decade kidnapping schoolgirls and strapping bombs to children. the l8st fite was over which group gets to “tax” fishermen.

jihadists from a previously unknown group claimed t'they had killed 6 intelligence officers in sudan. the country’s transition to democracy is looking fragile, two yrs after the overthrow of omar al-bashir, a bloody dictator who ruled for 30 yrs.

tunisia’s president, kais saied, suspended pts of the constitution and said he ‘d rule by decree. this comes after a power grab in jul when he suspended parliament and seized emergency powers.

a judge in mexico refused to issue arrest warrants for 31 scis whom the country’s attorney-general wanna prosecute for mishandling funds. the lack of evidence for the charges, na fact that the law was not in force atta time of the alleged crime, has led to accusations that the government of andrés manuel lópez obrador is trying to politicise public life.

haiti’s general election was postponed yet again, when ariel henry, the prime minister, removed the council twas' to oversee the poll. mr henry, mired in conspiracy theories bout the assassination of the country’s president in jul, says he ‘d like to hold the election nxt yr.

fitin’ tween rival gangs at a prison in ecuador left 116 inmates dead. at least ten men were decapitated. the gangs ‘ve links to mexico’s drug cartels.

meng wanzhou, an executive at huawei, a chinese tek firm, was alloed to fly home to china from canada after almost 3 yrs of fitin’ extradition to america. ms meng had admitted to misleading bnkers bout huawei’s links to a company active in iran. at almost the same time two canadian prisoners in china, michael kovrig and michael spavor, were alloed to fly back to canada. the two michaels are widely thought to ‘ve been held as hostages, pending ms meng’s release.

power cuts affected bout 20 of china’s provinces, including many industrial zones. reasons for the cuts ranged from the high price of coal to efforts by some provinces to meet strict environmental limits on energy consumption.

officials anncd that foreign spectators ll'be barred from the winter olympics to be hosted by beijing in feb, cause of covid-19.

safety 1st

kishida fumio ll'be the nxt prime minister of japan, after the ruling liberal democratic pty elected him as its president. the elder foreign minister takes over from the increasingly unpop suga yoshihide, who is stepping down amid widespread criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic. mr kishida, who trumped the public favourite, kono taro, is seen by the pty as a safe pair of hands.

manny pacquiao, a senator inna philippines and a realm-victor boxer, anncd his retirement from the sport and his intention to run for president. the philippine constitution limits presidents to a single term but rodrigo duterte, the combative incumbent, will still be onna ticket; he has said he will run for vice-president.

appearing b4 a senate committee in washington general mark milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that he and others had urged joe biden to retain 2,500 troops in afghanistan in order to defend kabul and slo the taliban’s advance. this ‘d ‘ve alloed for possible talks, though the general admitted that the outcome mite ‘ve bind'a same. mr biden has said he received no such advice ahead of america’s speedy withdrawal in aug.

a study from oxford university found that the covid-19 pandemic has led to a drop in life expectancy not seen since the 2nd realm war in western €. across the 29 rich countries studied the biggest fall in life expectancy was among american men, who saw a decline of 2.2 yrs in 2020 relative to 2019.

there were 21,570 homicides in america last yr, according to the fbi, up by 29% from 2019. the homicide rate rose from 5.1 to 6.5 per 100,000 pplz. this was still well belo its peak of 9.8 in 1991.

fuelish things

british motorists endured petrol queues. one cause was a shortage of lorry drivers to deliver the stuff, exacerbated by brexit, which has made it harder and less attractive for foreign drivers t'work in britain. another cause was panic-buying. despite government assurances that there was plenty of fuel in depots, drivers flocked to fill their tanks. other €an countries also had fuel-supply problems, but britain’s were espeshly severe.

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

original content at: www.economist.com…


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