Politics This Week | The Economist


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Having taken control of Afghanistan, the Taliban told the women to stay home, supposedly for their own safety. America and other countries have advised their citizens not to travel to Kabul airport due to the imminent threat of a terrorist attack. The Taliban have warned that there will be “consequences” if US troops remain mobilized beyond the August 31 evacuation deadline. Ashraf Ghani, the former Afghan president, visited the United Arab Emirates. A group of fighters from the Panjshir Valley continued to resist the new regime. See here and here.

The World Bank has suspended funding to Afghanistan, in part because it feared the Taliban would interfere with development projects aimed at women. The IMF has already halted payments to the country. America and other countries have frozen almost all of Afghanistan’s $ 9 billion in foreign exchange reserves. Experts have warned of an impending economic crash.

Ismail Sabri Yaakob was sworn in as Malaysia prime minister after the resignation of the unpopular Muhyiddin Yassin. Ismail Sabri comes from the same circle of politicians who supported the previous government, which mismanaged the pandemic. He was chosen by the King of Malaysia, who wants him to face a vote of confidence in parliament.

The ruling parties of Japan and Taiwan ready to hold their very first security talks on August 27 to discuss the military threat from China. The talks are between the parties and not the governments because Japan and Taiwan do not have diplomatic relations.

In an unexpected movement, from China parliament has delayed imposing a requirement that Hong Kong comply with an anti-sanctions law. The bill, passed in June, provides for the punishment of companies that comply with sanctions against Chinese companies or officials.

Joe Biden named Nicholas Burns to be his ambassador to China. Mr. Burns was appointed to a position in the State Department during the presidency of George W. Bush and is a former US Ambassador to NATO. Mr. Biden also appointed Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff to Barack Obama, ambassador to Japan.

The US Supreme Court overturned Mr. Biden’s decision to allow asylum seekers at the Mexican border to the United States while their cases are heard. Mr Biden had suspended an order from Donald Trump ordering asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. The court said the order should be reinstated because Mr Biden’s action was likely “arbitrary and capricious.”

Kathy Hochul was sworn in as governor of New York State, following Andrew Cuomo’s resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment.

House of Representatives passed $ 3.5 billion budget with a provision that avoids systematic obstruction when the spending plan is debated in the Senate. Ahead of the vote, Democratic House leaders faced a mini-revolt from party moderates, who were appeased by assurances that an infrastructure measure with bipartisan support would be put to a vote before September 27.

At least 20 people died as floods swept through rural areas in the west Tennessee. The floods also killed at least 20 people in Venezuela.

The left government in Bolivia charged Jeanine Áñez, former interim president, with “genocide”. The outlandish charge refers to the deaths of 20 protesters, some of whom were supporters of the current government, in clashes with police in 2019. She has been in jail since April for planning a coup against Evo Morales, her predecessor as president, and was recently hospitalized with high blood pressure and for attempting to harm herself.

After calling for an early election Justin Trudeau, from Canada Prime Minister, had to face a double whammy: the tightening of the polls and a barrage of criticism over the slowness of the reaction to the evacuation of Canadian interpreters from Afghanistan. Polls suggest Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party will narrowly win the September 20 election. But some are within the margin of error, and the Conservatives have criticized him for holding the vote as the country faces a fourth wave of covid-19. Inflation can also hurt his party.

A court of appeal to Kenya upheld a High Court ruling blocking a constitutional review backed by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The project would have created dozens of new constituencies and several new positions, such as that of prime minister. Many saw it as an effort by Mr Kenyatta to make it harder for his former deputy, William Ruto, to succeed him next year.

Hissène Habré, who reigned Chad from 1982 to 1990, died after contracting covid-19. He was serving a life sentence in Senegal for crimes against humanity. Thousands of people have been executed, tortured or imprisoned under his regime. See here.

that of Tunisia President Kais Saied extended his suspension from parliament until further notice, raising concerns about the future of the Arab world’s only true democracy. Last month, Saied sacked the prime minister and took over executive power, actions his opponents have called a coup. But the president, who was elected on a promise to clean up corruption, enjoys broad support.

Briefs about the coronavirus

The US Food and Drug Administration has given full approval for the Pfizer vaccine, which until now was used as part of an emergency authorization. The decision will embolden public and private organizations considering imposing the jab.

The Defense Ministry was one of the first to respond and said it would apply vaccine mandates on his troops. New York City has decided that all staff working in schools must have at least one injection by September 27.

Taiwan began inoculating people with a vaccine developed by Medigen, a Taiwanese pharmaceutical company. Critics say the vaccine’s emergency clearance was rushed.

Faced with a new wave of covid-19 despite its high vaccination rate, Israel has extended its recall program to over 30s. There are signs that the extra dose may be effective in stopping infections.

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


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