The world this week
At least 16 EU countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, following reports that a handful of people had developed blood-clots after receiving it. Several regulators, including the World Health Organisation, said that the risks of not getting jabbed far outweighed those of getting jabbed. Experts predicted that the delay would cost lives and needlessly undermine confidence in both the AstraZeneca vaccine and vaccines more generally.
Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats performed badly in two important state elections, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The results are a blow to the party’s new leader, Armin Laschet, and a sign that Germans are unimpressed by the government’s handling of the COVID crisis.
A general election in the Netherlands appears to have given Mark Rutte, the centre-right prime minister, a chance to form a new government, though assembling a coalition will be complicated. D66, a pro-European liberal party, did surprisingly well, as did the populist right.
Britain published a review of defence and foreign policy. One surprise was a reversal of the decision taken a decade ago to reduce the nuclear stockpile from 225 to 180 warheads by the mid-2020s. Britain will now increase its arsenal to 260 by the middle of the decade, the first escalation since the peak of the cold war, when Britain had over 500. Official figures about operational stockpiles and deployed warheads will no longer be published.
Police in Bolivia arrested Jeanine ánez, the president of a recent interim government, and other officials, accusing them of plotting a coup against Evo Morales. Mr Morales resigned as president in November 2019 amid accusations of fraud in his re-election. The charges against Ms ánez are probably a retribution for the similar charges her government filed against officials from Mr Morales's party.
玻利維亞警方逮捕了最近一屆臨時政府的總統阿涅斯（Jeanine ánez）以及其他官員，指控他們密謀反對埃沃·莫拉萊斯（Evo Morales）的政變。莫拉萊斯于2019年11月辭去總統職務，他的連任被指存在欺詐行為。對阿涅斯的指控可能是對她領導的政府對莫拉萊斯的政黨官員提出類似指控的報復。
John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania, died at the age of 61, after weeks of speculation that he was being treated for COVID-19. Mr Magufuli had ordered his government not to vaccinate people against the virus, nor to take steps to limit its spread, insisting that God had cleansed the country of it.
Gunmen on motorcycles killed at least 58 people in northern Niger, near the border with Mali. Jihadists have been active in the region.
Regional forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara state took control of parts of Tigray, which is next door. The occupation could add fuel to a civil war between the federal government and Tigray’s ousted rulers. It may also increase tensions around other disputed internal borders in the country, which is a federation of ten ethnically based states.
Police in Uganda again arrested a popular opposition leader known by his stage name, Bobi Wine. Hundreds of people have been detained since a disputed presidential election earlier this year that was won by Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled since 1986.