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Banknotes of the new national currency Zimbabwe Gold, ZiG for short, are presented at a press conference of the Central Bank of Zimbabwe. Due to high inflation, Zimbabwe's central bank has introduced a new currency that is primarily linked to gold, but also to a number of other precious metals and foreign currencies.

Columbus Mavhunga/dpa via Reuters Connect

Hard numbers: Zimbabwe’s new bills, Ecuador in hot water, Russian dam failure, Ukraine’s air defense, Island-sized lottery.

70: Zimbabwe is rolling out the ZiG, a new currency pegged to gold and foreign cash. The government hopes to curb the freefall of its erstwhile dollar, whose value has declined by over 70% since January. People have three weeks to exchange the old notes for the new currency.

2: Two countries, Mexico and Nicaragua, have cut ties with Ecuador following a police raid Friday on Mexico’s Quito embassy that resulted in the arrest of Ecuador’s former vice president, Jorge Glas. Glas had been staying in the embassy seeking asylum since December, when a warrant was issued for his arrest. President Lopez Obrador responded angrily, calling the raid a “flagrant violation of international law,” and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega followed suit, referring to it as “reprehensible."

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Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa reacts after his inauguration at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Zimbabwe

Reuters

Hard Numbers: The Croc stays on top in Zimbabwe, India hops over the moon, Ukraine rejects doctors’ notes, Chileans play games with Pinochet, former Proud Boys leader sentenced

5: Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa was inaugurated for a second five-year term on Monday. Mnangagwa, a military man known as “The Crocodile,” toppled long-time strongman Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup. Opposition parties dispute the results of last weekend’s election, and outside observers have flagged irregularities, but … the Croc don’t care.

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Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks to the media in Harare, on Aug. 27, 2023.

REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Hard Numbers: Zimbabwe election results, deadly attack in Haiti, British Museum recovery, valuable mug shot, chasing reindeer

52.6: President Emmerson “Crocodile” Mnangagwa claimed victory in Zimbabwe’s recent election with 52.6% of the vote, beating his main rival, Nelson Chamisa, according to official results announced late Saturday. The opposition is refusing to accept the results, claiming widespread voting irregularities.

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Locals wait to cast their votes during the Zimbabwe general elections in Kwekwe, outside Harare, Zimbabwe.

Reuters

Zimbabwe’s election: neither free nor fair

After a chaotic 24 hours that saw delays reported in many parts of the country, voting was extended in Zimbabwe’s presidential election this week. Some voters said they waited for more than 10 hours on Wednesday after many polling stations ran out of paper. At least 30% of voting centers in Harare, the capital, reportedly haven’t had access to core materials needed to operate.

Extending the vote, presumably so everyone has a chance to cast a ballot, aims to give the election – the second since Zimbabwe gained independence after white colonial rule in 1980 – a perception of fairness, though observers say the vote has been anything but.

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A man looks at the banner of Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Reuters

Zimbabwe vote marred by apathy and disappointment

Zimbabweans are heading to the polls today, but few voters are feeling enthusiastic about the direction of their country. It’s only the second time that Zimbabwe is holding a vote since the ousting of longtime despot Robert Mugabe in 2017, but hopes that the southern African country of 15 million could undergo a democratic rebirth have largely dissipated.

Some quick background. Zimbabwe, a British colony until gaining independence in 1980, was ruled by liberation fighter-turned-autocrat Robert Mugabe until he was overthrown in a coup in 2017. At the time, most Zimbabweans rejoiced, hoping for a new dawn of economic growth and opportunity after years of corruption and oppression under the Mugabe regime.

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A protester with vanished nails in Iranian flag holds a portrait of Mahsa Amini.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: 40 days of protest in Iran, Franco-German tensions, good grain news

40 days of Mahsa

On Wednesday, Iranian authorities fired tear gas and live ammunition at mourners in Kurdistan province as they marched to the grave of Mahsa Amini 40 days after her in-custody death. Thousands ignored road blockades and marched through a field to reach Aichi Cemetery to pay their respects to the 22-year-old, who was reportedly beaten when arrested for wearing her hijab “improperly.” Meanwhile, protests continued around the country, taking hold most notably in the traditionally conservative grand bazaar in downtown Tehran, where people chanted “freedom” and called for the ousting of the supreme leader. It’s been six weeks since Amini’s death energized a women-led movement in Iran that has galvanized students, labor unions, and oil workers who are calling for the toppling of the repressive Islamic Republic. Human rights groups say more than 200 protesters have been killed by Iranian forces since demonstrations began, including dozens of children. What’s more, thousands have reportedly been arrested, and warehouses have been converted into makeshift prisons to house them. The stakes for Iranians couldn’t be higher, and yet the daily protests persist.

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Jess Frampton

Hard Numbers: AUKUS compensation, $5 gas in America, Iran-Venezuela cooperation, counting toes in Zimbabwe

600 million: Australia will cough up $600 million to compensate the French defense company it scrapped a submarine deal with in order to join AUKUS. Le sub snubstrained relations between Canberra and Paris and opened up a can of worms with Beijing.

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Three years after Mugabe, Zimbabwe still hurting

In late 2017, Zimbabwe's long-serving strongman Robert Mugabe was deposed by the army after 37 years in power. Amid huge popular celebrations, he handed over the reins to Emmerson Mnangagwa, his former spy chief. It was an extraordinary turn of history: Mugabe, one of Africa's last "Big Men" and a hero of the struggle to end white minority rule, went out with barely a whimper, placing Zimbabwe — stricken by economic ruin and international isolation — in the hands of "The Crocodile."

Mugabe has since died, but almost three years after his departure, Zimbabwe's woes continue.

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