Friday 14th May 2021
In Israel, yesterday Israeli fighter jets continued attacking buildings and people in the Gaza Strip. This was as Palestinians marked the first day of Ramadan, a religious holiday. Gaza’s health ministry said at least 87 people, including 18 children, have been killed since Monday. More than 530 others have been wounded. Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, fired rockets at Jerusalem on Monday night. In return, Israel bombed Gaza. The White House said Israel had a right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks, but said Jerusalem "must be a place of co-existence". In the UK, James Cleverly, the foreign office minister, said what was happening in Palestine was deeply concerning.
JC: "The recent escalation in violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is deeply concerning. It is the worst violence scene there for several years. As the prime minister and the foreign secretary have made clear this cycle of violence must stop and every effort must be made to avoid the loss of life - especially that of children."
In Afghanistan, yesterday at least 11 people were killed and 13 others injured in four separate bombings. Afghanistan had temporary stopped attacks for three days to mark the Muslim festival of Ramadan. The bombings took place hours after the 3 days were over. The attacks are between the Taliban and the government forces.
In the Maldives, former President Mohamed Nasheed has been flown to Germany for medical treatment. Mr Nasheed has been in intensive care after a bomb injured him outside his home in the capital, Male. President Nasheed went through 16 hours of surgery to remove pieces of the bomb from his lungs and liver. Police have arrested three men who they say are linked to Islamic extremism.
In Kenya, yesterday police in the capital city, Nairobi, fired tear gas to break up protesters. The protestors were showing solidarity with Palestinians. They marched behind a sign that said: "Kenyans stand with Palestine.” A number of people have been detained.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a policeman has died as rival Muslim groups fought over the location of Eid celebrations. The groups had agreed to mark the end of Ramadan together. But attacks took place after the leaders of the two groups changed their minds about joint celebrations. The police shot rubber bullets at crowds as thousands gathered in anger in the capital city, Kinshasa
In the Ivory Coast, Prime Minister Patrick Achi has been flown to a hospital in Paris. He is said to be having medical tests. Mr Achi became prime minister in March following the death of the previous Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Bakayoko had been receiving treatment for cancer, also in Germany.
In Colombia, residents say they are running out of petrol and some food items. Colombia has been having nationwide anti-government protests for three weeks. Protesters have blocked some of the main roads into the city, which has affected deliveries. Cali, a city in Colombia, has had some of the worst clashes between protesters and security forces. At least 42 have died in the protests. Residents say not enough food and medicine have been reaching the city.
In the United States, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000. This is the lowest it has been sine the coronavirus pandemic began. The government says fewer employers are cutting jobs as shops and restaurant begin to open. And on average, more people were said to save money during the pandemic. Stimulus cheques have also helped support the American people.
In Hungary, the government began giving Covid vaccinations to 16-18-year-olds yesterday. Hungary has said that unless they have the jabs they won't be able to go to bars or music festivals this summer. So far 90,000 teenagers have registered for the Pfizer vaccine. Teenagers will need their parents permission before receiving the vaccine.
In Germany, the demand for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been so high, that supplies are reportedly running out. Doctors have also had to cancel appointments. Demands for the vaccine have been high since the government opened up vaccinations to everyone.
And finally, in Italy, a former ambassador has been named as the first woman to lead Italy's secret services. The secret services oversees the country's foreign and domestic intelligence services and reports directly to the Italian government. Italian politicians, including League party leader Matteo Salvini, described Elisabetta Belloni as "a woman of courage”.
And that’s your Simple English World News for this week. Thank you to Mishal from Pakistan for your lovely message! Please help to support the podcast by leaving a review in your podcast app. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and on Monday you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend!