World

Poacher Who Killed Gorilla Rafiki Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison in Uganda

A poacher who confessed to killing a rare silverback gorilla in Uganda in June was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Thursday, on charges of illegally entering a protected area and killing a gorilla, among other charges, authorities said.The silverback, known as Rafiki, was the leader of a group of more than a dozen gorillas known as the Nkuringo troop, which has been popular with visitors to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for decades. The nearly 80,000 acre UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to nearly half of the world’s mountain gorillas and has long drawn tourists from around the world hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare species.“We are relieved that Rafiki has received justice and this should serve as an example to other people who kill wildlife,” Sam Mwandha, Uganda ...

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World

The Autocrat Problem

Want to get The Morning by email? Here’s the sign-up.Good morning. Congress questions Big Tech. Teachers’ unions push back on school reopenings. And Europe struggles to contain autocracy.The European Union seems to be functioning better than the United States in some big ways right now. Europe has been far more successful in subduing the coronavirus. It has also passed a recent economic stimulus bill, while the U.S. Congress has not.But Europe has a major problem.It has a rising autocratic movement that the continent’s leaders have no clear strategy for confronting. If anything, the pandemic has strengthened the most autocratic E.U. governments, in Hungary and Poland. Other countries have put a higher priority on fighting the virus and helping the economy than trying to stop the erosion...

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World

China Uses Quarantines as Cover to Detain Dissidents, Activists Say

On the day of his release from prison, Wang Quanzhang, one of China’s most prominent human rights lawyers, thought he was finally free.After being held for nearly five years on charges of subversion of state power, Mr. Wang was escorted by the police to an apartment building in the eastern city of Jinan. There, he was given a room with iron bars on the windows. Twenty police officers stood guard outside. His mobile phone was confiscated, and his use of it was later restricted and monitored.Mr. Wang was effectively under temporary house arrest, but the authorities had another name for it: quarantine.Rights activists say the coronavirus has given the Chinese authorities a new pretext for detaining dissidents. Summary quarantines — often imposed just after detainees, like Mr. Wang, had cle...

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World

China Tries Its Favorite Economic Cure: More Construction

XUZHOU, China — At a cavernous factory in the Chinese city of Xuzhou, 100 new workers have just been hired to produce giant construction cranes. Nearby, at another sprawling factory, employees toil until midnight to assemble drilling and tunneling machines. A few blocks away, their colleagues at a factory that makes dump trucks have received enough orders to keep them busy well into next year.These factories, and half a dozen more in the city, are all owned by Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group, a state-owned industrial behemoth which manufactures the outsized machines behind China’s latest construction boom.The company, China’s largest producer of construction equipment, is at the center of Beijing’s strategy to revive the country’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic by d...

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