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The world this week

China coronavirus, Impeachment, Davos, Luanda Leaks

THE WORLD THIS WEEK
THE WORLD THIS WEEK © FRANCE 24

It's a tough start to the Year of the Rat. The start of Chinese New Year, where 100 million people usually hit the road, finds Beijing's Forbidden City forbidden to tourists. Entire cities are under lockdown, with passengers screened for signs of coronavirus fever. The outbreak is being compared to the 2003 SARS virus that claimed nearly 800 lives, with cases already going beyond China's borders.

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Meanwhile, Donald Trump is keeping to his regular schedule: after attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, the US president is returning to Washington and attending an anti-abortion rally, all this in the same week his impeachment trial started in the US Senate, with the prosecution firing on all cylinders.

In Davos, the US president bragged about his trade truce with China, threatened Europe with tariffs over cars and with teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in town, he warned against "prophets of doom" when it comes to climate change. But it was not all talk: the US treasury secretary and his French counterpart declared a truce in their feud over taxing digital giants in the countries where customers buy products online. Paris has suspended its GAFA tax, thereby staving off stiff tariffs on French luxury exports while negotiations continue for a global agreement.

They've done it again: after the Panama Papers, journalists from publications around the globe banding together to pore over the 715,000 documents that make up Luanda Leaks. The fall from grace of Isobel dos Santos, the daughter of former longtime Angolan strongman, was accelerated by revelations of shell companies, complicit consulting and auditing giants and possibly more than a billion dollars' worth of public money siphoned from state coffers.

It was the week Israel hosted some 40 world leaders for the 75th anniversary commemorations of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. France's president, who showed up a day early, decided on a long tour of the Old City. The ceremony at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem memorial featured a foretaste of The World Next Week: both US vice-president Mike Pence and the Israeli prime minister singled out Iran as what they see as the planet's biggest purveyor of anti-Semitism, this before Benjamin Netanyahu travels to Washington.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Laura Burloux.
 

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