Zambia’s newly inaugurated president, Hakainde Hichilema, replaced the country’s top military and police officials (AFP) as part of an effort to cut down on abuses of power by security forces. Rights groups had said Hichilema’s predecessor led a “brutal crackdown” on dissent, and Hichilema himself has been arrested more than a dozen times.
South Sudan: After activists called for a protest against President Salva Kiir, internet outages were reported (Reuters) today, and security forces began patrolling the streets.
British Study Finds Hospitalization Twice as Likely With Delta Variant
A British study of 43,338 COVID-19 patients found that the coronavirus’s Delta variant doubles the risk of hospitalization (AFP) compared with the original Alpha variant, researchers reported in the Lancet. A lead researcher said the findings primarily apply to people who are unvaccinated or partly vaccinated.
Poland: Activists blocked the entry to Poland’s constitutional court (AP) on the eve of a ruling on whether the Polish constitution or European Union law has primacy. They said the court is illegitimate as Poland’s ruling party appointed three of its judges in an illegal maneuver.
Canada’s Trudeau Pledges Tighter Emissions Rules for Oil Companies if Reelected
If Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reelected, his government will force oil and gas companies (Bloomberg) to set five-year targets for reducing carbon emissions, his Liberal Party pledged, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Mexico: At least one person has died (Al Jazeera) and seven are missing as Tropical Storm Nora hit Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Hurricane Ida Causes Mass Power Outages, Flooding in New Orleans
Some one million people in Louisiana and Mississippi are without power (AP) in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which made landfall near New Orleans yesterday, prompting fears of life-threatening flash flooding. President Joe Biden declared a major disaster (White House) and promised federal assistance.
This Backgrounder looks at U.S. disaster relief at home and abroad.