For many, discussion of taxation policy can often have the same effect as a sleeping pill. But now that the Biden administration has ramped up efforts to impose a global minimum corporate tax, the conversation has suddenly gotten way more interesting as other economic heavyweights vie to come out on top.
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The United States has the world's highest death toll from COVID-19, which has caused immense pain and suffering. And still, more than a year later, new more contagious variants like B.1.1.7 continue to wreak havoc in some states. But the ramping up of the national vaccine rollout in recent months has begun to smother pockets of the country with immunity, with more than 3.1 million people on average receiving the jab each day over the past week. As the speedy vaccine drive continues, the national death rate is also plummeting. While cases remain high in many places, epidemiologists now say vaccines are efficient and safe enough to make the positive trends last. Here's a look at daily COVID deaths and vaccines administered in the US over the past year.

Tanzania's U-turn on COVID, press freedom: Tanzania's new President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced on Tuesday that she'll appoint a committee to determine whether the country should start responding to the pandemic, though she stopped short of implementing any sweeping changes. While it's late in the game more than a year since the pandemic was declared, it's still a big deal considering that her late predecessor John Magufuli, who she served under as deputy for six years, was a COVID denier who shunned masks and vaccines, refused to implement pandemic-related restrictions, and declared Tanzania virus-free thanks to prayers from its citizens. (Magufuli died last month, officially from heart complications but it's widely suspected he contracted COVID-19). Hassan, who has been criticized for embracing her former boss' authoritarian tendencies at times, also plans to lift Magufuli's bans on critical media outlets, another major shift for a nation where journalists are often prosecuted over social media posts critical of the government, and citizens are regularly denied access to independent sources of information. We're watching to see if Hassan delivers on her promise of change for Tanzania.

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Bibi on trial as deadlock continues: One political commentator described it as "the ultimate Israeli split screen." As Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu's corruption trial finally kicked off after months of delay because of the coronavirus pandemic, political parties were meeting with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin to "recommend" whether the incumbent PM or the opposition should be given the first shot at trying to form a new coalition government after Israelis recently went to the polls for the fourth time in two years. Back in court, the prosecutor said that the PM made "illegitimate use" of his power to obtain favorable media coverage and other luxury perks, with Bibi responding by calling the trial an "attempted coup." The political temperature could not be hotter right now: though Netanyahu is likely to have the votes to try and form a government in the next few weeks, political stalemate persists, making it increasingly unlikely that he will be able to hobble together a workable coalition. Netanyahu also must appear in court three times a week, a massive distraction as he tries to save his political career. All this comes as Israel tries to revive its post-pandemic economy without a stable government or a national budget. The prospect of a fifth election looms large.

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Starting a new job is always daunting. For Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who just weeks ago started a new stint as director general at the World Trade Organization, the timing could not be more trying: she is taking over the world's largest global trade body amid once-in-a-generation public health and economic crises that have emboldened protectionist inclinations around the world.

Who is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and how has her worldview shaped her politics and policymaking?

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40: Myanmar's military junta has killed at least 40 children since staging a coup on February 1 and jailing the country's civilian leaders. Some kids were killed while attending pro-democracy protests with parents, while others were simply bystanders. The New York Times tells the story of one of those lost children, 10-year-old Aye Myat Thu, who dreamed of becoming a nurse or a makeup artist.

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Chinese jets swarm Taiwan: This week, multiple Chinese warplanes penetrated Taiwan's airspace. While Beijing does this quite often to flex its muscles, this time the jets took a different route, and one even got close to the Japanese island of Yonaguni, located less than 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Taiwan. The maneuvers have been interpreted by experts as a direct warning from the Chinese to Japan not to overplay its hand. (It's worth noting that Tokyo could get dragged into a US conflict with China over Taiwan because, like Taiwan, it has a mutual defense treaty with the US.) More broadly, the flight patterns also indicate that China could surround Taiwan on three sides in an eventual invasion, cutting off the territory from US and Japanese military support. All this comes as the Biden administration has expressed serious concern (paywall) that Beijing is indeed planning to invade Taiwan in the very near term. With US-China relations getting hot, more rumblings over an invasion of Taiwan will surely turn the temperature even higher.

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2: For the second time in just three years, war-torn Yemen is on the verge of widespread famine as international aid amid the pandemic has dried up. In 2018, donations from countries including the UAE, the US and Saudi Arabia helped pull Yemen back from the brink, but a recent UN pledging event failed to raise enough international funds to meet Yemen's needs.

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