Germany overpays for face masks; China-US ties; Tanzania politics

In today's episode, we will look into reports about the German government overpaying for face masks earlier this year and examine its impact on the country’s ruling party- CDU’s image. We will then examine the future of China-US relationship in light of talks conducted between officials of the two countries last week, and we will finally discuss Tanzania’s new president Samia Suluhu Hasaan’s rise to power.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • Creating more discomfort for Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union after setbacks in two state polls, recent local media reports have revealed that a decision by the German health ministry to provide free face masks for everyone over the age of 60 last year has reportedly left taxpayers with a bill for $2.9 billion. While executing its campaign in December last year to supply the most vulnerable with free face masks, the Health Ministry vastly overcompensated pharmacies according to several media reports. 

  • Last week, officials from the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America participated in the first high-level talks between the two countries since Joe Biden assumed office as US president earlier this year. The discussion, which turned into a full-fledged debate with both the countries sharply rebuking each other for their policies signaling that a change in the US administration is unlikely to better the country’s ties with Beijing. While officials representing USA brought into focus China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region. China, on the other hand, accused USA of inciting other countries to economically attack Beijing. 

  • Tanzania’s former vice president Samia Suluhu Hasaan was sworn in as Tanzania’s first female president last week, after the death of John Magufuli. Hasaan, who began her political career in 2000, will now serve the remainder of Magufuli’s second five-year term slated to expire in 2025. The road, however, will not be easy for the 61-year old politician who had previously made history by being the country’s first elected female vice president. According to political analysts, Magufuli's sudden demise has created a power vacuum in the country’s cabinet and Hasaan will most likely face stiff opposition from former Magufuli allies. 

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