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Mount Sinabung spews volcanic material during an eruption in Karo, Indonesia.
Mount Sinabung spews volcanic material during an eruption in Karo, Indonesia.

Welcome to Wednesday, where Brazil hits a grim new COVID record, a rocket attack targets Iraqi base hosting U.S. troops, and a Japanese billionaire is looking for people to join him on a trip to space. Die Welt also asks why Morocco is beating Germany and the rest of Europe in the vaccination race.

• COVID-19 latest: Brazil breaks its single day record for Covid-19 deaths that had been reached in July, with the current toll blamed on bad government policy and the spread of a new local variant. U.S. President Joe Biden announces that all American adults will be able to be vaccinated by May. Meanwhile, Austria and Denmark are giving up on the EU vaccination pact and will turn to a partnership with Israel to score additional vaccines.

• Myanmar coup: At least six more people were shot and killed as security forces opened fire again on pro-democracy protesters. The junta also detained half a dozen journalists. Drama is brewing over who will represent Myanmar at the United Nations after Myanmar's U.N. Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun denounced the coup and asked for help in restoring democracy.

• Rockets hit Iraq base: Ten rockets have hit an Iraqi military base hosting U.S. troops. It is not yet known if there are any casualties, and nobody has claimed the attack.

• Dr. Seuss gets cancelled: In the face of concern about racial insensitivity, six books by legendary children author Dr. Seuss will no longer be published. The late author has been accused in the past of racism and anti-Semitism, and his publisher said the books that have been pulled portray "people in ways that are hurtful and wrong."

• Women journalists killed in Afghanistan: Three female radio and television journalists in Jalalabad were killed and a fourth woman wounded in a targeted attack. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.

• France/Algeria diplomacy: French President Emmanuel Macron officially recognized, on behalf of France, the torture and assassination of Algerian lawyer and activist Ali Boumendjel during the Algerian War of Independence in 1957. The French army had long disguised it as suicide.

• Free trip to space: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is inviting 8 members of the public to join him for free for a trip around the moon on Elon Musk's SpaceX flight.

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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