The world this week

Biden's first days as US president, Navalny's arrest, Covid-19 in Europe, Michelin goes vegan

THE WORLD THIS WEEK
THE WORLD THIS WEEK © FRANCE 24
By: Mark OWEN Follow | Alessandro XENOS | Juliette LAURAIN
40 min

Joe Biden has been inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America. Reporters are already remarking on the change of tone from the White House towards the media. Biden has also signed a number of executive orders to reverse the policies of his controversial and twice-impeached predecessor on climate and immigration.

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But the coronavirus pandemic is foremost on President Biden's agenda, with over 400,000 Americans killed so far, and no plan nor briefing from the previous administration.

Supporters of Alexei Navalny are facing strong arm tactics in Moscow and more than 60 other cities to stop them turning out in protest at his jail sentence. The opposition figure and anti-corruption campaigner is in prison serving a 30-day sentence. He was arrested as he landed in Moscow on Monday, put on trial and sentenced the same day. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov is warning Navalny's supporters of the consequences of attending any protests in Navalny's name. 

Europe is contemplating new measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. The main takeaway from the EU videoconference is that negative PCR tests will be required for any traveller to enter the EU. However, in an unusual development, Hungary has chosen to use the Sputnik V Russian vaccine, not approved by EU medics. Meanwhile, the UK, no longer in the EU but right on its doorstep, is outstripping the bloc with its spiralling rates of infection and record death rates. However, the UK is doing far better in terms of people vaccinated.

The Michelin Guide came in for some criticism for going ahead with this year's awards in a year when restaurants have been closed due to Covid 19. But good news was served up: a vegan restaurant in France got a coveted star! A first for an establishment serving only animal-free products in France. Claire Vallée runs the ONA restaurant in the city of Arès, near Bordeaux, which she launched in 2016 thanks to crowdfunding from supporters and a loan from a green bank.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Laura Burloux.

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