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Friday 11th June 2021

Americas

The United States will donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer-Biontech covid19 vaccine as well as continuing its support of the COVAX scheme. Speaking at the G7 conference in the United Kingdom yesterday, President Joe Biden said that almost a hundred countries will receive vaccines with ‘no strings attached’...

“The United States will purchase half a billion doses of Pfizer’s COVID19 vaccine to donate to nearly one hundred nations that are in dire need in the fight against this pandemic.”

In Argentina President Alberto Fernandez has apologized after saying that Brazilians ‘come form the jungle’. While speaking with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is visiting Argentina, Fernandez said that “Mexicans come from the Indians, Brazilians come from the jungle, but we Argentinians come from ships”. Fernandez later apologized and said that Argentina is proud of its diversity.

“Queda aprobada la ley de bitcoin” (The Bitcoin law is approved.)

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to make bitcoin a legal currency. President Nayib Bukele said yesterday that El Salvador could start mining bitcoin -creating more bitcoin - by using energy produced by El Salvador’s volcanoes. Other countries that have suggested making cryptocurrency a legal form of money are Paraguay, Panama and Mexico.

In Peru left-wing Pedro Castillo will probably be the next president. With 99% of votes counted, Castillo has 50.2% of votes compared to 49.8% for right-wing Keiko Fujimori.

Africa

In the Central African Republic Prime Minister Firmin Ngrabada and all his cabinet have resigned. President Faustin Touadera has said that he may ask Ngrabada to form a new government. The Central African Republic has been in a state of civil war since 2013, and large parts of the country are controlled by rebel groups.

France has announced the end of Operation Barkhane - its anti-Islamist military presence in the Sahel region of Africa. France currently has over 5,000 soldiers on the southern side of the Sahara desert, in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Last week France suspended joint operations with the Malian army after a second military coup d’etat within one year.

Asia

India recorded a global worst day for COVID19 deaths yesterday. Over 6000 deaths were reported yesterday, although this includes a revision from the State of Bihar which recognized it had previously underreported deaths. However, India has reported less than 100,000 new cases for the last 3 days, 4 times less than what was being recorded a month ago. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this week that all adults will be able to book covid vaccines from June 21st. Some scientists, however, have said that this is not a good approach. The Indian Public Health Association has said that vulnerable people should be prioritised. Also in India a building collapsed yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

In the Indian city of Mumbai, a three-story residential building collapsed on Wednesday because of heavy monsoon rains. According to local authorities, 11 people, including eight children, died when one building collapsed on top of another. Rescuers are still looking for survivors. Mumbai recorded eight inches of rain in 12 hours, leading to several parts of the city being flooded. Heavy monsoon rains are common in India from June to September.

In China the human rights organization Amnesty International has said that China is committing crimes against humanity in its Xinjiang province. In a new report published yesterday, Amnesty said that the United Nations must investigate and accused China of mass detention, surveillance, and torture. Yesterday China passed a new law that intends to counter foreign sanctions.

Europe

In Greece thousands of people protested yesterday against a labour reform There was a national strike against new laws, which include a digital work card, that protesters say would allow employers to force people to work longer hours.

In France the man who slapped President Emmanuel Macron has been given four months in prison. Damien Tarel described himself as a “far-right patriot”.

And in the United Kingdom I received my first dose of a COVID19 vaccine yesterday. I received the Pfizer vaccine. Over 60% of adults in the UK have now received at least one dose.

Listeners if you like to learn English through listening to podcasts, I can recommend to you a podcast called “English with Stephen”. It’s not me - we just have the same name. This podcast has ten-minute stories about interesting topics in intermediate English. Look in your podcast app for “English with Stephen”.

That’s your World news for this week. You can find transcripts, send us a message and more at send7.org I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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