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Your Friday briefing: Covid protests are on the rise in China


As China’s tough Covid rules stretch deep into their third year, there are growing signs of discontent across the country. The challenge is a test of Xi Jinping’s leadership.

At Foxconn’s iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, thousands of workers clashed with riot police. Workers were complaining about a delay in paying bonuses as well as the company’s failure to properly isolate new workers from those who tested positive. The new recruits were recruited after thousands of workers fled the Foxconn factory last month due to a Covid outbreak.

Trouble is spreading elsewhere. In Guangzhou, migrant workers broke into locked buildings to confront health workers and ransack supplies. Online, many raged after the death of a 4-month-old child. Her father said the restrictions had delayed access to treatment.

Political fallout: Xi has used heavy censorship and harsh penalties to silence critics, making the public airing of grievances particularly stark. Many Chinese have questioned the need for the lockdown. The unrest underscores the pressing question of how Xi can lead China out of the Covid era.

Recorded cases: Covid outbreaks across the country have pushed cases to an all-time high. On Wednesday, the country reported 31,444 cases, surpassing a record set in April, Reuters reported. Cases are up 314% from the average two weeks ago.


Malaysia’s longtime opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as Prime Minister yesterday. He faces a divided country: part of the electorate sees itself as modern and multicultural; another is run by a conservative Muslim base.

Anwar’s rise to the top job came after days of political chaos: Saturday’s election led to the first-ever hung parliament. (No group won a majority, even though his group had the most seats.) Anwar said he had a “compelling majority” to lead with his multi-ethnic coalition.

A stunning return: Anwar, 75, has served as Deputy Prime Minister and twice as a political prisoner. Urban and charismatic, he often talks about the importance of democracy and quotes Gandhi and the Koran.

Challenges: Anwar will face a more religiously conservative electoral bloc, which sees him as too liberal. He pledged to continue to uphold constitutional guarantees regarding the Malay language, Islam and the special rights of “sons of the soil”, in reference to Malays and indigenous peoples.


As families across the United States gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving, a few of them suddenly found themselves facing an empty chair after the latest round of mass shootings in the country. Fourteen people were killed in three rampages in two weeks.

They include a janitor working her shift at a Walmart in Virginia, a 40-year-old woman returning home to Colorado for vacation, a young man watching a drag show, and three college football players.

White and black, gay and straight, old and young, the new dead epitomize the ideals — inclusivity, setting aside differences — that America prides itself on Thanksgiving, writes our reporter Michael Wilson.

In 2009, UNESCO declared Manx, a Celtic language native to the Isle of Man, extinct. This angered the locals, who redoubled their efforts to preserve the old language. It is now experiencing a revival thanks to a local school. “It was kind of on the brink, but we brought it back to life,” the director said.

The Knights have spent decades sending a message: “May we live long and die.”

Knight is the founder of the Voluntary Human Extinction movement, which believes the best thing humans can do to help the Earth is to stop having children. (Another one of his catchphrases: “Please don’t breed.”)

“Look what we’ve done to this planet,” Knight told The Times. “We are not a good species.”

His beliefs are rooted in deep ecology, a theory that views other species as equally important, and he views humans as the most destructive invasive species. (Over the past half-century, as the human population has doubled, wildlife populations have declined by 70%, and research has shown that having one less child may be the single most important way to reduce its carbon footprint.)

But not all scientists agree that overpopulation is a primary driver of the climate crisis. India, for example, is heavily populated but contributes relatively little per capita to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, according to some experts, this concentration could divert attention from the need to abandon fossil fuels and preserve the planet for the living things already there.

nytimes Gt

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