The world this week
India’s second wave of COVID-19 gained strength. The number of infections detected hit new records, with some 380,000 on April 28th alone. The official death toll surpassed 200,000, though evidence grew that many more fatalities are going unrecorded. Shortages of beds and oxygen afflicted many hospitals. The government ordered Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of the epidemic, sparking widespread outrage. India now accounts for around 40% of the world’s new recorded infections.
An Indonesian general died in a shoot-out with separatists in Papua province, in Indonesia's half of the island of New Guinea. Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha was the first Indonesian general ever to be killed in action.
Fighters from the Karen National Liberation Army, an insurgent group, captured an outpost on the Thai border from the Burmese army. Several rebel groups have taken advantage of the chaos in Myanmar to seize territory.
China began construction of an orbiting space station with the launch of Tianhe (“harmony of the heavens”), the first of three planned modules. When finished in 2022, the station will be a fifth the size of the existing International Space Station.
The Census Bureau reported that America’s population stood at 331.4m on April 1st 2020. That was an increase of 7.4% since 2010, the slowest rate of decennial growth since the Depression. Texas gained 4m people, the most of any state; Utah’s population grew the most in percentage terms: 18%. California remains the most populous state, but it will lose a congressional seat for the first time ever.
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, will probably face an election to recall him from office later this year, after a conservative-driven petition to remove him gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Joe Biden used the 106th anniversary of atrocities committed by Turkey against Armenians during the first world war to define them as genocide, the first time an American president has formally done so. More than 1m Armenians were deported or died at the hands of the Ottomans. Turkey protested, but its reaction was less intense than some had feared.
Mario Draghi, the prime minister of Italy, laid out his government’s plans for rebuilding the economy after COVID in the form of a 248bn euros ($300bn) spending package. Almost all the money will come from the EU, which has imposed some tough reform conditions. Fulfilling them will be tricky.