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Friday 12th February 2021

Americas

In the United States the trial of former President Donald Trump is continuing. Trump is accused of inciting insurrection after a mob of his supporters attacked the congress building on January 6th. Representative Joaquin Castro said that Trump was undemocratic...

“All of us in this room have run for election. And it’s no fun to lose. I am a Texas democrat - we’ve lost a few elections over the years. But can you imagine telling your supporters that the only way you could possibly lose is if an American election was rigged and stolen from you. And ask yourself whether you’ve ever seen anyone at any level of government make the same claim about their own election.”

Representative Joe Neguse said that Trump repeatedly encouraged violence...

“You have to get your people to fight. He told them. Senators, this clearly was not just one speech. It was part of a carefully planned months-long effort with a very specific instruction - show up on January 6th and get your people to fight the certification. He incited it. It was foreseeable."

Representative Eric Swalwell said that Trump even continued his message after he saw the violence...

“He didn’t tell his supporter to fight or be strong in a casual reference, he repeatedly, over months, told them to fight for a specific purpose. He told them their victory was stolen, the election was rigged and their patriotic duty was to fight to stop the steal. And he repeated this message even after he saw the violence it was inciting.”

Trump is not expected to be convicted by the senate, as it requires a two-thirds majority. but the senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. Many polls show that more than half of Republican voters think that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

In Ecuador it is still not clear who will be in the second round of the presidential election. With 99% of votes counted both Indigenous leader Yaku Perez and banker Guillermo Lasso gained around 19.5% of the vote each. One of them will face economist Andres Arauz in the second round, who gained 32%. Current president Lenin Moreno did not seek re-election.

Africa

The Democratic Republic of Congo is starting a vaccination campaign against Ebola. Two deaths from Ebola have been reported in the last week, creating fear that another pandemic could start.

Angola has decriminalized same-sex relationships. Homosexuality is now legal in 22 countries in Africa, out of 54.

Asia

In India rescuers have started drilling to try to rescue over 35 people from a tunnel. Over 170 people are missing since Sunday when a glacier broke a dam and large floods were caused. 33 people are known to have died in Uttarakhand state.

Pakistan will stop people receiving the death penalty if they have mental illnesses. Khadija Tahir reports...

Pakistan has banned the death penalty for people with serious mental illnesses. According to Amnesty International, Pakistan has the world's largest record of people on death row; more than 4000 people are currently waiting to be executed. The Supreme Court of Pakistan gave Wednesday's ruling after appeals from the lawyers of three prisoners with serious mental illnesses. Pakistan's top court has declared that authorities must take advice from mental health professionals when making decisions. Human rights groups have welcomed the decision.

In Myanmar protests continued for a 6th day yesterday, after a military coup d’etat that took power last week. General Min Aung Hlaing told people to stop protesting, and told people to return to work, after many government employees started to strike.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and United States President Joe Biden held their first conversation as leaders yesterday. The presidents of the world’s biggest economies focused on cooperation and dialogue. However The White House said that President Biden expressed concerns about China’s unfair practise in the world, it’s treatment of Hong Kong and Taiwan, and human rights abuses in Xinjiang province. President Xi told Biden that any confrontation between China and the US would be a disaster, and that anything about Hong Kong, Taiwan or Xinjiang province are matters of national sovereignty. Today is the first day of the Chinese new year. In the Chinese Zodiac which has twelve animals - this is the year of the Ox.

Europe

In the United Kingdom, company AstraZeneca has said that it will release an updated version of its coronavirus vaccine this year. The company that produced a COVID19 vaccine with Oxford University, said that the updated version will target all new variants.

And in Italy, Spain, France and Andorra, dust from the Sahara desert has covered some snowy mountains. Pictures from the Alps and the Pyrenees show that the snow has turned red.

That is your Simple World News for this week. Comment on any news story by sending an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7 Read the transcripts of all episodes at send7.org. And find us on social media @send7podcast. Please leave a review on apple podcasts in your native language. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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