Mnangagwa at his inuaugration. Photo: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

In his first interview with a foreign news outlet since taking office following the resignation of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa told the FT he wants to swiftly build up ties with the West while maintaining a strong relationship with China. He’s heading to Davos next week to woo potential investors.

  • The good news: He invited the UN and EU to monitor elections in August, which his party is expected to win.
  • But, but, but: “The opposition argues that Zanu-PF is already stacking the odds against it in rural areas, highlighting this week’s donation of all-terrain vehicles to dozens of local chiefs” and “Mr Mnangagwa has been criticised for including in his cabinet senior army figures who led the military intervention in November.” Mugabe's former vice president, Mnangagwa, 75, had a reputation as a ruthless strongman before taking office.

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16 mins ago - World

China announces retaliatory sanctions on Rubio, Cruz and other U.S. officials

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it's imposing sanctions on Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) along with nine other Americans, including Freedom House president Michael Abramowitz and Human Rights Watch Executive director Kenneth Roth, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: It's a direct response to similar actions by the U.S. that included the Trump administration placing sanctions on officials Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last Friday over Beijing's encroachment of the Asian financial hub's s autonomy.

Of note: China announced last month it would ban Rubio, Cruz and other U.S. officials from entering the country over their criticisms of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. However, there was no indication any of them intended to travel to China.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 34 mins ago - World

Police and protesters clash in Belarus after "Europe's last dictator" claims election win

Protesters and riot police clash in Minsk, Belarus, on Sunday during a demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko's claim of a landslide victory. Photo: Misha Friedman/Getty Images)

Riot police clashed with protesters in Belarus overnight after a government exit poll predicted Sunday President Aleksander Lukashenko, an authoritarian who has ruled the Eastern European country since 1994, had overwhelmingly defeated a pro-democracy opposition candidate.

Why it matters: It's a precarious moment for the former Soviet republic, where decades of repression and a complete disregard for the coronavirus pandemic threaten to topple "Europe's last dictator." Rights groups said at least one protester was killed and dozens more wounded in a "police crackdown," per AP.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

2 Lebanese ministers and 9 lawmakers resign days after deadly explosion

Anti-government protesters in Beirut. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lebanon’s information and environment ministers resigned Sunday in the wake of massive protests over the deadly blast in Beirut's port last week, per AP.

Why it matters: In her resignation letter, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad called change "elusive" and apologized for not delivering more to the country, which had been devastated by a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic even before the blast destroyed much of the capital city.