A masked protester kicks a can of tear-gas back at police (out of frame) during the revival of the Yellow Vest Demonstration in Paris, France. Kamil Zihnioglu/AP Images

This Week Around the World – Nov. 11–17

Nov. 11 Warsaw, Poland: At least 47,000 Poles marched through the country’s capital during the annual Independence March, marking the 101-year anniversary of the establishment of Polish republic in 1918, according to local officials. Spokespeople for the Independence March coordinating group, however, put attendance closer to 150,000 people. Over the past several years, more far-right political groups have taken to using the event as a way to further their message. “The march is not apolitical, it is non-partisan, but we do care about the common good,” Ziemowit Przebitkowski, leader of the All-Polish Youth, told Al Jazeera after making a speech against mass immigration. 

Nov. 13 Beijing, China: Beijing doctors diagnosed a married couple from Inner Mongolia with the pneumonic plague. The pneumonic plague, or Black Death as it was called in medieval times, is highly contagious and can become fatal in 24-72 hours of infection if not properly treated. It is also the only strain of the plague that can be transmitted by humans, and the pneumonic form is considered to be more dangerous than the bubonic plague, according to NPR. “The [Chinese] National Health Commission are implementing efforts to contain and treat the identified cases and increasing surveillance,” WHO China coordinator Fabio Scano told Al Jazeera

Nov. 14 Bangkok, Thailand: Anti-narcotics authorities discovered approximately 176 kilograms, or 388 pounds of crystal methamphetamine hidden in treadmills bound for Japan. After Australian officials discovered crystal methamphetamine being smuggled into the country in October 2019, Thai authorities began increasing inspections of international air cargo. After discovering the drugs, authorities traced them back to a warehouse where they conducted a raid and seized 308 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, according to The New York Post. One person was arrested in connection to the illegal drugs, but officials believe there are more involved. 

Nov. 15 Nghe An, Vietnam: A college music teacher who was arrested in May 2019 was sentenced to 11 years in prison for “anti-state” Facebook posts. Nguyen Nang Tinh will serve an additional five years on house arrest after serving his time in prison. Tinh has repeatedly claimed he is not guilty of the crimes he was accused of. “At the trial, Tinh said the accusation was not true as this Facebook account didn’t belong to him,” Tinh’s lawyer, Nyugen Van Mieng, told Reuters. “The prosecutors stuck to the idea that the Facebook user named Nguyen Nang Tinh and my client Nguyen Nang Ting are the same person.”

Nov. 16 Paris, France: On the one-year anniversary of the yellow-vest protests, protesters gathered in the streets of Paris to continue their demonstrations. Protesters threw cobblestones and bottles at authorities, set cars and trash cans on fire and a few masked-demonstrators vandalized a monument of a French World War II hero, according to France 24. Police responded to the incidents with tear gas and water cannons in Paris. France 24 reported the Galeries Lafayette store was evacuated after protesters took over the third floor of the building. “Our response will be very firm,” Paris Police Prefect Didier Lallement said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera. “All those who are hiding their face, all those who are throwing stones are going to be called in for questioning.”

Nov. 17 Colombo, Sri Lanka: Opposition candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected as Sri Lankan president on Nov. 17, defeating the ruling party candidate, Sajith Premadasa. The final results of the vote revealed Rajapaksa won a total of 52.25% of the vote. “I would like to inform everyone that I will execute everything you trusted in me [to do],” Rajapaska said in a statement when his victory was announced, according to Al Jazeera. “Especially, at the moment, I happily say that I will carry out all that is in my manifesto during my tenure.” The new president was sworn into office on Nov. 18.