The world this week -- Politics
Boris Johnson looked wobbly as more evidence emerged of Downing Street’s disregard for stringent restrictions introduced early in the pandemic.
In an excruciating appearance before the House of Commons the British prime minister struggled to explain why he attended a bring-your-own-booze get-together in Number 10’s garden in May 2020, when people were allowed to meet only one other person outdoors.
He described it as a “work-related” event.
Some MPs in his Conservative Party called on him to resign.
Negotiations between Russia and America over the future of Ukraine and NATO were inconclusive.
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has demanded a veto over future NATO expansion, and an end to NATO military aid to countries such as Ukraine, which he currently threatens.
America refused, but offered to talk about arms control.
Mr Putin deployed more military hardware to the Ukrainian border, where he has stationed an estimated 100,000 troops.
Other Russian troops, newly deployed to Kazakhstan, shored up the rule of its president, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev.
After a mob seized an airport, Mr Tokayev had requested help from a military alliance of former Soviet states.
He blamed the unrest on “terrorists” and unspecified foreigners.
Many observers suspected the violence stemmed from a power struggle between Mr Tokayev and Nursultan Nazarbayev, his predecessor and patron.
Russia said that order had been largely restored and it would start pulling back its troops.
A court in Germany sentenced Anwar Raslan, a former Syrian colonel, to life in prison for crimes against humanity.
Mr Raslan was linked to the torture of more than 4,000 people at a prison in Syria.
He had sought refuge in Germany after defecting from the Assad regime.
It was the world’s first criminal case involving state-sponsored torture in Syria.
David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, died from complications following a bout of pneumonia.
Mr Sassoli, an Italian social democrat, had fought to increase the parliament’s power as a way of deepening the EU’s democratic accountability.
Polish prosecutors vowed to charge the head of Poland’s independent judges association, for recommending in an interview that Poland comply with rulings made by the EU’s top court and curb political meddling with the judiciary.
The prosecutors demanded that a news website turn over records of the interview.
A general election in Hungary will be held on April 3rd, the government said.
An alliance of all major opposition parties is trying to unseat Viktor Orban, the illiberal populist who has been the country's prime minister since 2010.
Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s prime minister, called on the EU to consider reclassifying Covid-19 as an endemic disease rather than a pandemic.
He hopes to see restrictions loosened.
The WHO said it was too soon to declare Covid endemic.
It added that half of Europe could catch Omicron within two months.