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Tanzanian President John Magufuli inspects the troops, independence day 2017. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The World Bank has withdrawn a $300 million loan intended for education in Tanzania, citing the country's policy of banning pregnant girls from school.

The bigger picture: The decision comes with Tanzania, as the Economist puts it, "on the descent from patchy democracy towards slapdash dictatorship."

  • "Barely a week passes without brazen displays of arbitrary power" from President John Magufuli.
  • "Opposition members of parliament who refuse to accept bribes (the going rate is 60m shillings, or $26,200) to cross the aisle and join the ruling party are arrested. ... Last year Tundu Lissu, an MP, was shot and injured outside his home."
  • "Tanzania, the third-largest aid recipient in sub-Saharan Africa, has been a darling of donors since the 1990s, when it seemed to be consolidating its democracy and also reducing poverty. Now, after a decade or so during which freedoms began to flourish, Tanzanians are facing both economic hardship and repression."

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.

More schools are reopening in the U.S.

Students settle into a classroom in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

More than 72% of K-12 students are now attending schools that offer in-person or hybrid models of learning.

The big picture: The U.S. is seeing an almost-universal return of schools that were in-person as of November, as well as a gradual return in parts of the country that had been virtual for almost a year.

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