Boris Johnson’s scorching mess: Analysts throughout the British political spectrum appear to agree on one phrase to explain UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pandemic response: chaotic. After just lately saying there wouldn’t be one other nationwide lockdown in England, Johnson reversed course on Saturday after the UK recorded over 1 million COVID-19 cases and neared 47,000 deaths. (Round 1 in 100 folks in England have COVID-19, in contrast with 1 in 2,300 in July, in accordance with the UK’s Workplace for Nationwide Statistics.) Public well being consultants say that these new measures come too late, having recommended weeks in the past that the federal government introduce new nationwide restrictions to deal with the nation’s hovering caseload and surging price of hospital admissions. Whereas providing help for the lockdown, Labour opposition chief Keir Starmer accused the Johnson authorities of gross incompetence as a consequence of its inconsistent messaging. Johnson has additionally confronted opposition from inside his personal Conservative celebration, with some MPs saying that one other lockdown might be ruinous for England’s financial system. (A leaked memo Friday induced Johnson to make an ad-hoc announcement concerning the deliberate lockdown, blindsiding some members of his personal celebration.) In the meantime, pro-Brexit warrior Nigel Farage can also be capitalizing on the chaos and outrage, saying he’ll change his Brexit Celebration’s identify to Reform UK, switching focus to struggle the federal government’s COVID lockdown: “Constructing immunity” could be a simpler technique, Farage stated.
Carnage in Kabul: At the very least 19 folks had been killed — principally college students — and scores extra injured when gunmen and a doable suicide bomber stormed the largest college in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, resulting in an hours-long standoff with Afghan safety forces. The lethal rampage coincided with an Iranian e-book honest on campus, which was set to be attended by Iranian publishers and dignitaries. The Taliban, lengthy locked in a battle in opposition to the US-backed Afghan authorities, says it was not concerned within the grotesque assault. Consideration is now on Islamic State associates in Afghanistan who claimed duty for the same assault on an training heart in Kabul final month that killed 24 folks. (ISIS-linked teams gained a foothold in Afghanistan in 2014, and have targeted Afghanistan’s minority Shiite group specifically.) This newest bout of violence comes as representatives of the Afghan authorities and the Taliban are attempting to iron out a peace deal in Qatar, whereas the US is trying to carry its troops dwelling from Afghanistan quickly after practically 20 years within the nation.
One other political plot twist in Algeria: For greater than 18 months, the gas-rich Mediterranean nation of Algeria has been gripped by political drama. Final 12 months mass protests led by college students succeeded in toppling long-ruling dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika. However his successor hasn’t happy the streets, and protesters say the identical corrupt cabal of army males nonetheless run the nation. Over the weekend, the federal government held a referendum on a brand new structure that it hoped would meet protesters’ calls for for extra authorities accountability and financial safety. However whereas those that voted overwhelmingly accepted it, complete turnout within the nation of 44 million folks was just 24 percent, elevating huge questions concerning the widespread legitimacy of the doc. One huge motive for the weak displaying on the polls was a boycott by the “Hirak” (the leaderless protest motion) which says that though the brand new structure consists of extra ensures of social and financial rights, it was drafted with out enough enter from civil society and nonetheless reserves an excessive amount of energy for the president. It isn’t clear what occurs subsequent — but when the federal government thought the referendum would draw a line after greater than a 12 months of unrest, it might be in for a impolite shock within the coming weeks.