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Friday 14th January 2022

Africa

In Mozambique, the Southern African Development Community is extending its activity. Soldiers from 16 countries entered Mozambique last year to help the government fight islamist jihadists in the Cabo Delgado province. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that good progress had been made in Mozambique and that many people in Cabo Delgado had been able to return to their normal lives.

The Nigerian government has stopped its ban on Twitter. The government said that it had reached an agreement with Twitter about tax and prohibited publications. Nigerians were able to use Twitter yesterday for the first time in 7 months.

Mali must give an acceptable date for an election, United Nations head Antonio Guterres said yesterday. Mali has been ruled by a military junta since 2020, and last week the junta said that there wouldn’t be an election until 2025.

Americas

In the United States masks will be given away for free to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Top scientists in the United States, including Dr Anthony Fauci, have said , over time, most people will become infected with omicron. President Joe Biden said yesterday that he understood that people were tired of wearing masks, but that they are an important defence

“Next week we’ll announce, we’ll announce how, we are making high quality masks available to the American people for free. I know we all wish that we could finally be done with wearing masks. I get it. But they’re a really important tool to stop the spread - especially of a highly transmissible Omicron variant.”

In Canada the state of Quebec is planning to put a ‘healthcare tax’ on people who are not vaccinated against COVID19. This week premier Francois Legault said that unvaccinated people would pay a contribution to the health service, because they are using a larger amount of health resources.

Asia

In Taiwan a gay couple has adopted a child that is not biologically related to them for the first time. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Taiwan, a married same-sex couple has legally adopted a child that is not related to them, for the first time. Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019. However, Taiwanese law does not allow same-sex couples to adopt a child that is not biologically related to them. Wang Chen-Wei and Chen Chun-Ju challenged local laws and have successfully adopted their daughter. The success of their case has brought hope to other LGBTQ couples.

In the Philippines people who are not vaccinated against COVID19 have been banned from taking public transport in the capital city Manila. Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade has said that tickets to, from or within Manila should only be sold to vaccinated people.

Europe

In Germany a court has convicted a Syrian army general to life imprisonment. Anwar Raslan was convicted of a crime against humanity, including murder, torture and rape during the Syrian Civil War. Raslan went to Germany in 2014 and was arrested in 2019. The trial in Germany was the first ever trial of a member of Bashir al-Assad’s government for crimes in the Syrian civil war.

In France ten of thousands of teachers and school staff went on strike yesterday. Teacher’s Unions say that the government has not given a clear message on coronavirus measures.

In the United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received many calls for his resignation, including from members of parliament from his own party. On Wednesday Johnson admitted attending a garden party last year, during a lockdown in which people could only meet one other person outside.

Also in the UK, MI5, the top security agency, has given a warning about a Chinese agent. MI5 said that Christine Lee had influenced the UK parliament on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.

And also in the UK, masks make people look more attractive according to research. A survey at Cardiff University found that both men and women were found to be more attractive when covering the bottom half of their face.

That’s your world news for this week. If you find this podcast valuable then please help to support it by giving what you would spend on a cup of coffee at send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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