The northern hemisphere spring is well on the way: will it bring renewed grounds for optimism as the world wrestles with the Covid pandemic? Many nations still face difficult weeks ahead as cases surge and vaccination rates are slow. But in others, normality is returning fast as infection rates fall to negligible levels.
This week’s Guardian Weekly big story focuses on more successful efforts to tackle the pandemic. Oliver Holmes considers how Israel’s trailblazing but controversial vaccine programme has forced Covid into retreat. From Auckland, Tess McClure reveals how New Zealand’s tight virus controls helped it become a pioneer in Covid genome research. And we have a longer feature from England where, as shops are set to reopen after a three-month lockdown, Sarah Boseley talks to the scientific team who identified and tracked the outbreak of the UK variant.
The appalling fallout from the February coup by Myanmar’s military shows no sign of abating. The civilian death toll has passed 570 and, as we report this week, a refugee crisis is developing at Myanmar’s borders. With civil war looking ever more likely, Simon Tisdall considers whether the country is doomed to a Syria-like catastrophe.
Who wants to be a billionaire? Not the small but increasingly vocal band of mega-rich individuals who realise they have too much money and want to return it in the form of tax. Rupert Neate finds out how they hope to reverse expectations around wealth.
In the UK, a government report into racial disparity in British society sparked dismay over what many saw as its insipid findings. On our Opinion pages, Nesrine Malik explains why the Sewell report should be seen as a cynical trap to cast those who complain of racism in a negative light.
After years of fierce criticism of the whiteness of its awards, the forthcoming Oscars has a record number of nominations for women, people of colour and younger film-makers. In Culture, film writer Steve Rose asks whether the stage is set for a genuine moment for diversity in Hollywood.