India repeals controversial farm laws after a year of protests

The World
Protesting farmers ride tractors and shout slogans as they march to the capital, breaking police barricades, during India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India

Protesting farmers ride tractors and shout slogans as they march to the capital, breaking police barricades, during India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, India, Jan. 26, 2021.

Altaf Qadri/AP/File photo

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India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government will withdraw controversial farm laws that have been met with massive protests over the past year. Farmers have been protesting government overhauls that they say would ruin their livelihoods. They’re now celebrating the move as a hard-fought victory. Modi timed his announcement for the Sikh holiday Guru Nanak Jayanti to acknowledge India’s minority Sikh community that’s made up the base of the protests. Farmers are also one of India’s most influential voting blocs, and Modi’s reversal comes ahead of next year’s election.

Austria
As Austria faces a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, the country is set to go into a nationwide lockdown, beginning on Monday and lasting for at least 10 days. The government is also planning to make vaccination mandatory — a first of its kind policy for Europe. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg plans to impose the vaccine mandate beginning Feb. 1 of next year. Austria had one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, at just under 66%. It also has one of the highest national infection rates of the coronavirus on the continent, registering 14,212 new cases in just 24 hours on Thursday.

Brazil
Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is at a 15-year high, surging by 22% in the past year, according to a government report. The statistics undercut President Jair Bolsonaro's assurances that the country has been curbing illegal logging. Brazil’s space research agency (INPE) showed that the country had recorded 5,110 square miles of deforestation. Brazil recently pledged at the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow to end illegal deforestation by 2028.

From The World

Brazil’s COVID vaccination campaign picks up thanks to a 1980s public health mascot

Olympic athletes, from left, archer Marcus Vinicius D'Almeida, Paralympic rower Michel Pessanha, swimmer Marcela Cunha and swimmer Larissa Oliveira pose for a photo with the mascot of the vaccination campaign, named "Zé Gotinha," or "Droplet Joe," after t

Olympic athletes, from left, archer Marcus Vinicius D'Almeida, Paralympic rower Michel Pessanha, swimmer Marcela Cunha and swimmer Larissa Oliveira pose for a photo with the mascot of the vaccination campaign, named "Zé Gotinha," or "Droplet Joe," after they got shots of the Pfizer vaccine at Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Silvia Izquierdo/AP

Three generations of Brazilians have grown up with Zé Gotinha, roughly translated as Droplet Joe, and many say the little guy is responsible for the country's overwhelming vaccine acceptance.

The mascot is shaped like a drop of liquid, because that's how the polio vaccine was administered in Brazil back in the 1980s. He's been a huge part of the country's world-renowned vaccination program.

Only 1 in 7 households in Ghana has a toilet. Communities are fighting to ensure sanitation for all.

A bustling street scene in Ghana, where only 1 in 7 households has a toilet.

A bustling street scene in Ghana, where only 1 in 7 households has a toilet. 

Credit:

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman/The World 

Thousands of Ghanaians resort to open defecation due to a lack of access to clean toilets. Some young people in Ghana are leading the movement to change the narrative around this dangerous practice.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

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Bright Spot

Snoopy, complete with a NASA space suit, is heading to the moon and back aboard Artemis I, an unmanned mission scheduled to circle the moon and return to Earth in February. NASA uses stuffed animals on flights becuase when they start floating, it indicates the point of zero gravity. Snoopy's role on this mission is to ensure that all systems are working for future crews.

In case you missed it

Listen: North America leaders’ summit convenes

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addresses the United Nations Security Council, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. 

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addresses the United Nations Security Council, Nov. 9, 2021. 

Credit:

Richard Drew/AP

Leaders from the US, Canada and Mexico are holding their first in-person meeting on Thursday in the first summit of its kind in five years. Each brings conflicting interests in issues of migration, trade and the pandemic. And capitol rioter Evan Neumann is wanted by the FBI for his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Neumann recently turned up in Belarus hoping to seek asylum there. Plus, climate change and environmental degradation are two ways that China is paying a price for its fast-paced economic growth over the past 20 years. In Shanghai, a Chinese performance artist has some unusual ways of raising awareness about pollution.

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