Demonstrations last month against Bouteflika. Photo: Getty

Following six weeks of massive demonstrations, Algeria's ailing president resigned yesterday after two decades in power.

What to watch: While hundreds of thousands of protestors pried open the door, it was Algeria’s top general who finally kicked Abdelaziz Bouteflika out. Gen. Ahmed Gaïd Salah belatedly backed a constitutional process to replace Bouteflika with an interim government until elections can be held (within 90 days).

  • That government is led by members of the old guard who will want to protect the system the protesters set out to topple. The military has powerful interests to protect as well, and may see a power vacuum it can take advantage of.

Meanwhile, the protest movement lacks clear leadership and risks being divided by the coming struggle. For now, the opposition remains determined:

“If we use the same mechanisms of power and the same faces, we’ll get the same results — the same system we’ve been fighting against for weeks. Bouteflika is an important face but he isn’t the whole system — we don’t want to create another Bouteflika. We don’t want a monarchy or a military dictatorship, and the Algerian people will continue to be in the streets to show this.”
Habib Brahmia of the pro-democracy Jil Jadid party, to The Guardian

A political obituary:

  • The beginning: "In 1963, shortly after Algerians won their independence from France, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, a charismatic veteran of that war, was named the new nation’s first foreign minister," Washington Post.
  • The middle: "Bouteflika spent nearly 60 years in the public eye, developing a complicated legacy that saw him alternately lauded as a progressive anti-colonialist, exiled for corruption, welcomed home as a peacemaker...."
  • The end: "The images on Algerian television were telling: A feeble-looking Mr. Bouteflika handing his resignation letter to the elderly president of the country’s constitutional council," NY Times.

In photos: The view from the streets

Go deeper

Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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