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Friday 17th December 2021

Europe

The United Kingdom is recording its highest numbers of new cases of COVID19 ever. Yesterday 88,000 news cases were recorded, 10,000 more than the previous day, which was also a record. Chief medical officer Chris Whitty, said that records will continue to be broken as the Omicron variant spreads, and described the situation as an epidemic on top of an epidemic...

“And as the Prime Minister said, this is a record number of cases. I’m afraid we have to be realistic that records will be broken a lot over the next few weeks as the rates continue to go up. If you look at hte overall rates, it looks as if Delta, that we’ve had with us for a while, is still flat, and the growth is Omicron. So what we’ve got is two epidemics on top of one another - an existing Delta epidemic - roughly flat - and a very rapidly growing Omicron epidemic on top of it...

France is banning all travel from the UK from tonight. Italy has reported its highest number of cases since March and Denmark has broken its record of new daily infections every day for the last four days.

Denmark is planning to rent prison space in Kosovo. All of the prisoners that will be sent to the Kosovo are prisoners who are due to be deported from Denmark after their prison time.

Asia

In Japan imports and exports have risen fast recently. Exports of cars grew 4% in November. Imports for November were the highest for any month ever recorded.

Turkey is raising its minimum wage by 50% in January. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the wage rise yesterday in a television conference. The Turkish Lira has lost half its value in one year.

In Australia five children have died after a bouncy castle was lifted into the air by the wind. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he was heartbroken about the accident on the island of Tazmania...

“Young children on a fun day out together with their families and it turns into such horrific tragedy. At this time of year. It just breaks your heart.”

The Indian government is planning to raise the age of marriage for women from 18 to 21, the same age as it is now for men. Khadija Tahir reports...

In India, the government has approved a proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21. According to the local media, the government made the decision during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Women's rights activists have welcomed the decision but have said that it will only be successful if implemented fully. According to a United Nations report, almost 27% of Indian girls were married before the age of 18.

Africa

In Ethiopia rights groups have warned of abuses of ethnic Tigrayans. The government of the Tigray area has been at war with the national Ethiopian government for more than a year, and there have been reports of human rights abuses on all sides. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have now said that ethnic Tigrayans are being killed or detained by groups that support the Ethiopian government. The Associated Press said yesterday that one of its reporters has been detained by the Ethiopian government.

In Nigeria the salary of police officers will rise by 20% in January. Police minister Muhammad Dingyadi said that the rise in salary was aimed to stop officers from taking bribes, and to improve the relationship between the police and the public.

Americas

Chile will elect a new president on Sunday. This is the second round of voting, and either left-wing Gabriel Boric or right-wing Jose Antonio Kast will win. Polls show that the election will be extremely close.

Colombian police committed serious human rights abuses during protests earlier this year, according to the United Nations. A report by the UN said that Colombia’s police was responsible for at least 28 deaths during anti-government protests in May.

In Haiti, a group of Christian missionaries, from the US and Canada, who were kidnapped have been released. 16 people, including children, were abducted by a gang on 16th October, however, yesterday local police said that they had all been freed, without giving more details.

And also in Haiti, the United Nations has recognized Joumou Soup as a cultural heritage. Joumou Soup, which means ‘freedom soup’, was a symbol of independence from France in 1804, and is made using pumpkin, meat, potato, plantain, carrots and pasta.

That’s your Simple English world news for this week. If you enjoy the podcast, you can help us by leaving a review in your podcast app, or you can support us directly at send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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