The world this week
A winter storm that covered three-quarters of America’s Lower 48 with snow brought havoc to southern states. A federal emergency was declared in Texas; temperatures plummeted to -2℉ (-19℃) in Dallas. Millions of Texans were left without power, as were tens of thousands of people in other states. Many blamed antiquated energy grids for not being able to cope with the surge in demand for electricity.
Donald Trump’s impeachment trial for “incitement of insurrection” ended quickly. Fully 57 senators, including seven Republicans, agreed that he had whipped up the mob that stormed Congress on January 6th. But the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority required in the Senate to convict the former president.
Mario Draghi was sworn in as Italy’s prime minister, having secured the support of almost all of the country’s main political parties. The former head of the European Central Bank named a new cabinet in which many of the key positions are held by technocrats like himself. His task is to draw up a plan of reform that can unlock more than 200bn euros ($240bn) in EU COVID-recovery money.
England dished out its first 10,000 pounds ($13,900) fines to travellers who broke strict new quarantine rules after returning from a “red list” of 33 countries. Confusingly, the rules are different in Scotland, which now quarantines all international arrivals. One flight that was subject to Scottish rules had only a handful of passengers, despite having 60 seats booked. The others may have taken flights to England and then travelled overland to Scotland, to avoid being cooped up in costly hotels.
Protests continued in Myanmar against a military coup. Many civil servants have stopped work. Public services and many financial transactions are hamstrung. The authorities have arrested democrats, threatened truant bureaucrats with prison and tried to disperse crowds with water cannons and rubber bullets.
A court in India acquitted a journalist, Priya Ramani, of libel, after she accused a former government minister of sexual harassment. The case is seen as a milestone for India’s #MeToo movement. Separately, the police arrested Disha Ravi, a green activist, after she posted hints for environmental protesters on how to gain attention. They accused her of “spreading disaffection”.
印度一家法院宣判记者普丽娅·拉马尼(Priya Ramani)诽谤罪不成立，无罪释放，此前她指控一名前政府部长性骚扰。该案被视为印度#MeToo运动的里程碑。另外，环保活动人士迪莎·拉维(Disha Ravi)在向环保抗议者发布如何获得关注的提示后，被警方逮捕。他们指责其“散布不满情绪”。
Carlos Menem, Argentina’s president from 1989 to 1999, died aged 90. A Peronist by political lineage, he adopted some liberal economic policies, lowering trade barriers, cutting subsidies and privatising state firms. But he failed to protect ordinary Argentines’ livelihoods, and allowed rent-seekers to flourish. With his mutton-chop sideburns and fast cars, Mr Menem was probably the most glamorous resident of the Casa Rosada since Evita Perón.