Anti-containment protests in Europe are turning violent. Pockets of unrest have spread across Europe in recent days as tens of thousands of people gathered in several cities across the continent to protest government measures to curb a wave of rapidly spreading COVID-19. Violent clashes erupted between protesters and police in The Hague and Rotterdam where Dutch cops opened fire on an increasingly aggressive crowd protesting against the tightening of restrictions. Meanwhile, more than 35,000 people flocked to Brussels, as large crowds rocked Vienna, to protest new lockdowns that initially targeted only the unvaccinated, as well as new vaccine mandates. The state of the pandemic in Europe is not good. Germany recorded more than 48,000 new cases on Sunday, the highest on record, causing further lockdowns as Christmas approaches, while deaths across the continent have also increased since the summer months, although they remain well below pre-vaccine levels. Additionally, far-right groups, like the Austrian Freedom Party, are taking advantage of COVID fatigue and anti-vaxx sentiment to encourage people to defy government rules and wreak havoc.
A tenuous deal in Sudan. A month after the Sudanese army overthrew the country’s civil-military government, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok was released on Sunday. The new deal brokered by Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led last month’s coup, reinstates Hamdok as prime minister and calls for the release of arbitrarily detained political prisoners. Al-Burhan says he supports the return to a power-sharing deal, although it’s not clear what that might look like given the military staged the coup in the first place to avoid cede executive powers to civilian leaders. Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets of Khartoum, claiming the deal is just a ploy by the military to get Washington to lift crippling sanctions, while retaining its grip on power. Indeed, critics say that the continued political involvement of Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo – a former paramilitary leader with close ties to former Sudanese despot Omar al-Bashir – is proof that the military wing of government is not taking action. democratic reforms not seriously.
Who will rule Germany? With coalition negotiations now in the home stretch, we might know what the next German government will look like on Monday or Tuesday. Following elections in September, the center-left SPD, led by pending Chancellor Olaf Scholz, forged a three-way coalition with the Progressive Greens and the fiscal hawks of the Free Democrats Party. A big question mark is whether the spendthrift Greens or the tighter purse FDP will get the mighty finance ministry portfolio. Meanwhile, Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock is set to become Germany’s first female foreign minister, as part of Scholz’s broader pledge to ensure the cabinet is split equally between men and women.