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A hostess stands before the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.

REUTERS/Cooper Inveen

Hard Numbers: China-Africa trade hits new high, record remittances to Central America, Barry Manilow vs protesters, Indian government vs Chinese apps

254 billion: Trade between Africa and China reached an all-time high of $254 billion in 2021, up more than a third from the previous year. But most of the increase came from a jump in Chinese exports, which continue to dwarf Africa’s exports to China.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Downing Street, London, Britain, January 4, 2022.

Jack Hill/Pool via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: BYOB Boris, Kim Jong Un’s new toys, China will lend less to Africa

“Bring your own booze.” It’s an old story: the damaging reveal that the political elite holds the public to a different standard than it holds its own leaders to. News emerged on Tuesday — courtesy of Dominic Cummings, the UK prime minister’s former political adviser turned bitter political foe — that Boris Johnson’s private secretary had invited more than 100 people to a "bring your own booze" party at the PM’s official residence… in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown in May 2020. Johnson and his wife have not denied they were there. To be clear, this is not the same party that his staff was caught on video laughing about during another lockdown over Christmas in 2020. Is the political ineptitude even more damaging than the hypocrisy? Either way, Johnson’s government is now in real trouble. The PM faces a parliamentary grilling on Wednesday, and may not survive a leadership challenge from within his Conservative Party later this year. At a time of bitterness over his handling of COVID and consumer pain from rising prices, this was not the story Britain’s prime minister needed.

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