Coronavirus live news: Germany backs limits on EU vaccine exports; South African president decries ‘vaccine nationalism’ | World news


Here’s more from Jon Henley, the Guardian’s Europe correspondent, on the latest night of rioting to hit cities in the Netherlands, where mostly young people are railing against the imposition of a nighttime curfew.

About 150 people were arrested on Monday in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where shops were vandalised and looted, and the mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, issued an emergency decree giving police broader powers of arrest.

“These people are shameless thieves, I cannot say otherwise,” he said. “I had to threaten them with the use of teargas – a far-reaching measure. I find that sad, because I have never had to do that in my entire career as mayor.”

Young people seeks confront police and on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam.

Young people seeks confront police and on Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam. Photograph: Killian Lindenburg/MEDIATV/EPA

A motorcycle burns during the disturbances in Rotterdam on Monday night.

A motorcycle burns during the disturbances in Rotterdam on Monday night. Photograph: Marco de Swart/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

But trouble also flared in smaller centres around the country such as Den Bosch, Zwolle, Amersfoort, Alkmaar, Hoorn, Gouda – where several cars were set on fire – and Haarlem, where police were attacked with stones.

Officials said the rioters, who reportedly used social media apps to organise, were overwhelmingly teenagers, and questioned the extent to which they were motivated by opposition to the 9pm curfew, which came into force on Saturday.

The Guardian US has an interesting story just out on allegations that employers in the country are exploiting coronavirus-related unemployment as tool to attack unions. Michael Sainato writes:

Dalroy Connell has worked as a stagehand for the Portland Trailblazers since 1995 when the basketball team began playing games at the Rose Garden Arena. When the pandemic hit the US in March 2020, public events were shut down and NBA games were briefly suspended before the season moved to a “bubble” in Orlando, Florida, and the season recommenced without fans in July 2020.

Connell and his colleagues have been on unemployment ever since, but when the 2020-2021 NBA season began in December 2020, instead of bringing back several of these workers, the Portland Trailblazers replaced most of the unionized crew who work their games with non-union workers, even as their jobs running the sound and lighting equipment are required whether or not fans are in attendance.

Like many workers around the US Connell believes he has been locked out from his job by a company that has used the coronavirus pandemic as a tool to break unions.

South African president accuses rich countries of “vaccine nationalism”

German health minister backs limits on EU vaccine exports

Richard Partington, the Guardian’s economics correspondent, has now written on the UK unemployment figures published by the Office for National Statistics this morning.

Unemployment in the UK has reached the highest level for more than four years as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and tougher lockdown measures place more pressure on businesses and workers.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate rose to 5% in the three months to the end of November – representing more than 1.7 million people – from 4.9% in the three months to the end of October, reaching the highest level since April 2016. Unemployment was 4% in February before the pandemic struck.

In a snapshot of the jobs market during the second English lockdown and as tough restrictions were imposed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to limit the spread of Covid-19, the ONS said redundancies hit a record high during the quarter.


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