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Friday 10th December 2021

Europe

In Ukraine, army generals have said that they would not be able to stop an invasion by Russia. Russia has placed almost 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine’s northern, eastern and southern borders, and are moving more soldiers to the border every day. Russia says it has no intention of invading Ukraine, and says that its movement of soldiers is defensive. Russia says that it is threatened by NATO, the military alliance of 27 European countries, the United States, Canada and Turkey. US president Joe Biden has said that if Russia invades Ukraine, the US couldn’t use force against Russia without the support of other NATO countries...

“It would depend upon what the rest of the NATO countries were willing to do as well. But the idea that the United States is going to unilaterally use force to confront Russia invading Ukraine is not on the cards right now...”

Austria has made plans to fine people for not being vaccinated against COVID19. Austria will become the first country in Europe to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory in February. The plan will give fines of up to €3600 euros every three months to unvaccinated adults.

In the United Kingdom, a study has shown that using a mix of different COVID19 vaccines produces a stronger response than using just one vaccine. Matthew Snape from the University of Oxford, said that this was good news for developing countries, as it isn’t important for them to stick to one type of vaccine. Yesterday Pfizer said that three doses of its vaccine worked well against the new Omicron variant.

Asia

In India, farmers have decided to stop protesting. Khadija Tahir reports...

Indian Farmers have stopped their one-year-long protest against the new farm laws introduced by Prime Minister Modi's government in September 2020. Thousands of farmers protested for an entire year just outside India's capital city New Delhi. The farm laws were supposed to modernize Indian agriculture, but farmers said it would only give private companies more control. Last month, PM Modi cancelled the new farm laws. Indian Farmers have now called off their protest and a victory march will be held next Saturday.

The Chinese Government has committed genocide against Uighurs and other minorities in the province of Xinjiang, according to an independent tribunal in the United Kingdom. Sir Geoffrey Nice, who lead the tribunal, said that the Chinese government used forced birth control and sterilisation to reduce the Muslim Uighur population. Earlier this year Geoffrey Nice had sanctions placed upon him by China, as China accuses him of spreading lies and disinformation. China says that its camps for Uighurs are education centres, and that people are there voluntarily. The United States has officially declared that genocide is taking place, however the United Kingdom government has not said this officially. Yesterday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada would join other western countries in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic games in China...

As a country, indeed, as many partners around the world, we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government. That is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games this winter.”

United Nations head Antonio Guterres will attend the Beijing Olympics.

New Zealand is planning to ban the sale of cigarettes to anyone born after 2008. From 2027, the legal age of buying tobacco will be raised by one year evey year, meaning that people who are under 14 today, will never be able to buy tobacco. Government minister Ayesha Verrall, said that they are trying to make a smoke-free generation...

We want to make sure young people never start smoking, so we are legislating for a smoke-free generation.”

In 2010 Bhutan became the first country in the world to ban the sale of tobacco.

Africa

Burkina Faso’s President, Roch Kabore, has fired the Prime Minister and the rest of the government has resigned. There have been mass protests in Burkina Faso recently, as protesters say that the government is not keeping them safe from islamist terrorism.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said that he is returning to the capital, Addis Ababa, after spending two weeks on the frontline in the war against the Tigrayan army. The Ethiopian government has said that it has recaptured land from the Tigrayans, pushing them away from Addis Ababa.

Americas

Brazil’s cases of coronavirus are falling. Deaths from COVID19 have fallen below 200 a day for the first time since April last year. Despite a slow start to its vaccination campaign, over 77% of Brazilians are now vaccinated against COVID19. President Jair Bolsonaro is not.

United States President Joe Biden spoke yesterday at the funeral of Senator Bob Dole. Bob Dole was a veteran of World War 2, who was voted to congress in 1961 and became a senator in 1969. He was the Republican candidate for vice president in 1976, and in 1996 he was the Republican candidate for president, losing to Bill Clinton. Biden said that the US had lost a great patriot.

That’s your world news for this week. Go to send7.org for transcripts or to send us a message. If you find the podcast valuable then please help to support it. Go to send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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