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Protestors in Quito, Ecuador, on Oct. 8. Photo: Jonatan Rosas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The turmoil in Ecuador is a fresh example of why fossil fuel subsidies are so persistent worldwide: There's support for phasing them out in theory, but in practice it's a different story.

Driving the news: President Lenín Moreno this week said he has temporarily moved government operations from the capital city, Quito, to the port city of Guayaquil.

  • This comes several days after Moreno announced the termination of roughly $1.4 billion in annual fuel subsidies, causing gasoline and diesel prices to rise sharply and playing a role in triggering violent protests.

Quick take: While I'm not an expert in Ecuadorian politics, it's hard not to see a connection here to protests earlier this year in France over an increase in the gasoline tax amongst other things.

  • This helpful Bloomberg explainer on Ecuador makes the same point about removal of decades-old subsidies there.
  • "Fuel price rises have a long history of provoking unrest not just in Latin America but around the globe — a gas tax increased sparked the Yellow Vest movement in France," they report.

Where it stands: AP reports that protestors have "seized some oil installations" as part of the wider demonstrations, and that the state oil company warned that lost production could reach 165,000 barrels per day.

  • "The government declared an overnight curfew around key state installations and government buildings as well as vital infrastructure such as airports and oil refineries," they report.

Go deeper

Colin Powell dies from COVID complications at 84

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, died of complications from COVID-19, his family announced Monday. He was 84.

Driving the news: The Powell family said in a statement that he was fully vaccinated. "We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment."

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.