There was grim news from Myanmar on Monday morning when Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s democratically elected leaders were arrested and replaced by the military. Despite the removal of the junta and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest a decade ago, the power of the generals never truly diminished – mainly thanks to a constitution they wrote to ensure that fact. Correspondents Rebecca Ratcliffe, Ben Doherty and Hannah Ellis-Petersen try to make sense of this sudden shift back to military rule and what it means for Aung San Suu Kyi – diminished globally due to Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya people – but still revered at home.
In this week’s cover story we try to make sense of a bizarre few weeks on Wall Street where a band of retail investors have ploughed cash into shares of the US games retailer GameStop. Inspired by Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum, the move to invest in GameStop – and others such as Nokia and BlackBerry – wasn’t just seen as an opportunity to make cash but as a way to put one over the hedge funds that had shorted the stock. Emboldened by apps that make trading easy, is the world of finance about to be disrupted by an army of activist investors – or will big money’s gatekeepers shut it down? Miles Brignall reports.
Finally, the extraordinary drama over European vaccine supplies. Last week things threatened to get very messy with the European Commission threatening to break the post-Brexit Northern Ireland protocols to stop vaccines leaving the EU and entering the UK “through the back door”. The ramifications led EU officials to make a swift U-turn and, for once, gave Boris Johnson the moral high ground. Daniel Boffey and Michael Savage look at how the row erupted.