Daily Memo: China’s Latest COVID-19 Wave, More Airstrikes in Syria

Millions are already in lockdown after the largest outbreak since July.

Another wave in China. In Hebei province, which borders Beijing, Chinese authorities have put some 23 million people in three cities on lockdown following discovery of at least 100 new cases of COVID-19, the largest outbreak since July. China’s northeastern border province of Heilongjiang, meanwhile, has declared a state of emergency after reporting 16 new locally transmitted cases. Local governments are banning weddings and funerals and pleading with people to stay put during the upcoming Lunar New Year festivities – what typically amounts to the world’s largest annual human migration. By Western standards, the size of the latest “wave” would be wonderful news. But if we’ve learned nothing else over the past year, it’s that plagues can get out of control quickly – and the Chinese Communist Party has increasingly staked its legitimacy on its relatively successful management of the virus since the late spring. Iranian targets. Israel launched airstrikes against 15 Iran-linked targets in Syria near the Iraqi border, according to Syrian media. The targets were reportedly warehouses used to store Iranian weapons. It was the fourth Israeli attack on Iranian targets in Syria in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, the Iranian navy began two-day drills in the Gulf […]

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