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US donates vaccines to India; Macron v Le Pen; EU tourism

Ian Bremmer answers this week's questions on the biggest stories in global politics:

The United States says it will now donate 60 million COVID doses. Who are they going to?

Well, they're not COVID doses, because we don't want to give people coronavirus. They're vaccines. It's AstraZeneca, which we don't need in the United States. We haven't even approved yet. They are somewhat less effective than Moderna and Pfizer, but they're damned effective and you should take them, and they're going almost exclusively to India. And that is fully appropriate because India, we know about 350,000 cases a day. In reality, if you look at the positivity rates and level of disclosure, it's probably five to 10x that. This is by far the largest epicenter of the coronavirus crisis to date in the world. But they're not going to be getting these doses until probably June. And meanwhile, they're under very serious trouble right now. And there's a lot of recrimination, central government, local governments. The US has been slow. We should've made this announcement frankly a month ago, but I'm glad we're doing it.

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What We're Watching: "Apocalyptic" unrest in Senegal, Biden's Afghanistan plan, post-COVID tourism

"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."

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Sri Lanka welcomes first tourists despite new coronavirus strain

December 29, 2020 3:34 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka welcomed its first foreign tourists in nine months Monday (Dec 28) even as a new deadlier strain of the coronavirus gripped the island.

Tokyo set to be removed from Japan's travel subsidy as cases rise

December 14, 2020 5:00 AM

TOKYO • Tokyo is in talks with the Japanese government for the city to be temporarily removed from a nationwide travel subsidy programme, Asahi Shimbun reported.

China closely monitoring situation in tourist hot spot

December 14, 2020 5:00 AM

BEIJING • China reported 24 new coronavirus cases yesterday, up from 13 cases a day earlier, while the authorities were monitoring possible contacts in the tourism hot spot of Hainan.

China reports 24 new Covid-19 cases, closely monitoring tourist spot Hainan

December 13, 2020 1:51 PM

Two tourists visiting Sanya in Hainan found to be in close contact with an asymptomatic case in Xi'an

Japan may halt travel subsidy campaign in more cities to curb Covid-19 cases: Local media

December 13, 2020 12:07 PM

Govt plans to hold discussions with governors of regions seeing rises in the number of infections

Japan govt rubbishes University of Tokyo study blaming Go To Travel scheme for Covid-19 wave

December 08, 2020 7:35 PM

TOKYO - The Japanese government on Tuesday (Dec 8) rubbished a scientific study from the country's top university that blamed its much-vaunted Go To Travel domestic tourism campaign for the country's unfurling third wave of Covid-19 infections.

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