REUTERS WORLD NEWS: Autocracies Outdo Democracies on Public Trust, Sunami-hit Tonga Islands Extensive Damage, G-5 Set to Cripple Airlines

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The Reuters Daily Briefing

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

by Linda Noakes


Here’s what you need to know.

Autocracies outdo democracies on public trust, tsunami-hit Tonga islands suffered extensive damage, and Israel sees its Omicron wave waning in a week

Today’s biggest stories

A Southwest Airlines plane approaches San Diego International Airport, California, January 6, 2022.


The chief executives of major U.S. passenger and cargo carriers warned of an impending “catastrophic” aviation crisis in less than 36 hours, when AT&T and Verizon are set to deploy new 5G service. The airlines said the service could render a significant number of widebody aircraft unusable. Read our explainer on the dispute over 5G and airline safety.

The family of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and their supporters, some shouting, “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Voter suppression has got to go,” marched in Washington urging passage of a law to protect voters from racial discrimination. But Democrats will start their voting rights showdown with no clear path to victory.

The White House is preparing an alternative to its $1.75 trillion spending bill that will keep climate change measures but pare down or cut items like the child tax credit and paid family leave, hoping to appeal to Senator Joe Manchin and other Democrats as soon as this week, said two people working on the plan.

A U.S. appeals court handed a defeat to abortion clinics by delaying a legal challenge to a Texas law banning most abortions in that state. The Republican-backed law bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

A winter snowstorm creeping up the East Coast of the United States into Canada was expected to dump more than two feet of snow in some areas, grounding planes and stranding motorists.

A satellite image shows the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano after its main eruption, January 18, 2022.


Tonga’s small outer islands suffered extensive damage from a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, with an entire village destroyed and many buildings missing, a Tongan diplomat said, raising fears of more deaths and injuries. Here’s why Tonga could be cut off from the rest of the world for weeks.

An air strike killed about 14 people in a building in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, residents said, during strikes across the city launched by the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group. The alliance strikes followed an attack claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthis yesterday on coalition partner the United Arab Emirates.

Public trust in governments running the world’s democracies has fallen to new lows over their handling of the pandemic and amid a widespread sense of economic pessimism, a global survey has found. The Edelman Trust Barometer conversely showed rising scores in several autocratic states, notably China.

Israel will continue to offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot despite preliminary findings that it is not enough to prevent Omicron infections, a senior health official said, predicting cases stoked by the variant will wane in a week.

Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik gave a Nazi salute as he entered court for a parole hearing that will decide if he should be released after spending more than a decade behind bars. Breivik, a far-right extremist, killed 77 people in Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity in July 2011.


The Biden administration is reviewing e-commerce giant Alibaba’s cloud business to determine whether it poses a risk to U.S. national security, according to three people briefed on the matter, as the government ramps up scrutiny of Chinese technology companies’ dealings with U.S. firms.

When Christian Hurtz opened his electricity bill just before New Year, his jaw dropped: it had more than trebled from the rate he signed up for. The 41-year-old software developer from Cologne, Germany, is one of millions of Europeans who have seen their energy costs balloon as providers go out of business because of soaring gas prices or pass them on to customers.

British employers added a record 184,000 staff to their payrolls in December, showing little impact from the Omicron variant of coronavirus, while job vacancies hit a new record high, potentially fueling the Bank of England’s inflation worries.

The Bank of Japan raised its inflation forecasts but said it was in no rush to change its ultra-loose monetary policy, as rising prices fan speculation it may soon signal a shift in its decade-old stimulus experiment.

If playing catch up with Tesla is what everyone in the auto industry is about then Stellantis, the company formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot, has had a good start – its shares have far outpaced its U.S. rival in its inaugural year. But this is just the first lap

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