1. China lifts cap on births
Married couples in China will for the first time be allowed to have three children, up from two. The policy change is Beijing’s reaction to a recent census which showed a rise in the percentage of the Chinese population aged over 60. The data also revealed that births have declined dramatically — suggesting that the country’s two-child policy, introduced in 2016, was insufficient to avert a demographic crisis. China has said it would improve maternity leave and workplace protections. However, single mothers are excluded from these benefits.
2. Ecowas suspends Mali
Mali’s membership of West African trading bloc Ecowas is suspended, following a coup in that country last week. Leaders of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States held an emergency summit in Accra after Mali’s military ousted its president and prime minister for the second time in nine months. The bloc fears the coup will jeopardise promises to hold elections next February.
However, Ecowas stopped short of imposing sanctions. After a coup last August, Mali’s neighbours closed their borders with the landlocked country and paused financial transactions.
3. Germany acknowledges Namibian genocide
Germany officially recognised its massacre of Namibia’s Herero and Nama people in 1904-1908 in the then German South West Africa as "genocide". It has pledged €1.1bn in compensation over 20 years to fund various projects in "a gesture of recognition of the immeasurable suffering Germany inflicted". An estimated 80% of the Herero and half of the Nama people were killed by the settlers. Descendants of the Herero and Nama have rejected the deal and seek reparations instead. Germany sees it as a political and moral, not a legal, question.
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