US President Joe Biden has called for trillions in spending aimed at re-igniting America’s economic growth by upgrading its crumbling infrastructure and tackling climate change. The $2.3tn proposal would direct billions to initiatives such as charging stations for electric vehicles and eliminating lead water pipes. The spending would be partially offset by raising taxes on businesses. Those plans have already roused fierce opposition.
WHO experts on Thursday criticized the sluggish pace of Europe’s vaccine rollout and said a surge in coronavirus infections was “worrying.” The organization also warned that the virus’ rapid spread at present could increase the risk of new, concerning variants developing in the region. The high number of cases across the region has increased fears that a new, more vaccine-resistant variant might emerge.
Children were among those killed and injured in airstrikes by Myanmar’s military on an ethnic rebel-controlled area in the country’s southeast, a humanitarian aid group said Tuesday, as junta forces stepped up their offensive in the region. Myanmar’s military, which seized power in a February 1 coup, has been conducting airstrikes in southeastern Karen state since Saturday night, forcing thousands of residents to flee into the jungles.
President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered France into its third national lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back a third wave of Covid-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. With the death toll nearing 100,000, intensive care units in the hardest-hit regions at breaking point and a slower-than-planned vaccine rollout, Macron was forced to abandon his goal of keeping the country open to protect the economy.
Seven of Hong Kong’s most senior and prominent pro-democracy figures, including lawyer and former legislator Martin Lee and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, have been found guilty over their involvement in an unauthorized protest rally. After a four-week trial, the defendants were convicted on Thursday of organizing and participating in the rally in 2019, joining two others who had pled guilty earlier.