Dec 29, 2017

Iran protests reveal "seething discontent"

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov / Getty Images

Iranians in several major cities took to the streets this week in protests stemming "from seething discontent in Iran," the BBC reports. The protests started over the state of the economy, but quickly became "a general outcry against clerical rule and government policies."

Why it matters: These are the most widespread protests since those in 2009 and political protests are rare in Iran where "security services are omnipresent," per Reuters.

  • Many protesters have voiced anger against President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected for a second term in May, shouting "Death to Rouhani," and "Death to the dictator," per U.S. News.
  • Reuters reports that videos showed protestors also shouting out against Iran's involvement in Syria, chanting "Leave Syria, think about us."
  • Per the New York Times, the Iran project director for the International Crisis Group, Ali Vaez, credited Rouhani's opponents for ultimately starting "an antiregime rally" that has spread across Iran.

A reformist cleric in Qom, Fazel Meybodi, told the Times the protests stemmed from real concerns: "Economic issues are urgent, and the protests have nothing to do with any factions - neither reformist nor hard-liner. Poor people are protesting, that is it."

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 24 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 718,685 — Total deaths: 33,881 — Total recoveries: 149,076.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 139,675 — Total deaths: 2,436 — Total recoveries: 2,661.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump says peak coronavirus deaths in 2 weeks, extends shutdown

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is extending his administration's "15 days to slow the spread" shutdown guidelines for an additional month in the face of mounting coronavirus infections and deaths and pressure from public health officials and governors.

Driving the news: With the original 15-day period that was announced March 16 about to end, officials around the country had been bracing for a premature call to return to normalcy from a president who's been venting lately that the prescription for containing the virus could be worse than the impacts of the virus itself.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health