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Friday 17th June 2022

Europe

In Ukraine there is still heavy fighting in the Eastern cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last Ukrainian controlled areas of Luhansk province. In the South, Ukraine has made some successful counter-attacks in the Kherson region, and some reports say that Ukraine has recaptured just as much land in the South as Russia has captured from them in the East in the last few days.

In the capital Kyiv, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis met with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. They arrived by train, and also travelled to Irpin where Russian soldiers are accused of committing war crimes against civilians in March. Macron said that Ukraine must win this war and that France will continue supplying weapons to Ukraine. The 4 European leaders said that they support Ukraine joining the EU, although Draghi said that Ukraine needed to make changes before joining the EU is possible.

Yesterday US president Joe Biden promised another $1 billion dollars of military support for Ukraine, including coastal defence weapons, rocket systems and artillery. Germany, Slovakia, Canada, Poland and the Netherlands have also promised to send more artillery to Ukraine.

China’s leader Xi Jinping has spoken with Vladimir Putin and has offered more cooperation with Russia. Despite European and American sanctions on Russian oil, Russia is making more money from oil now than before it invaded Ukraine. This is because it is benefiting from high oil prices and has increased its sales to some countries, including China and India.

Across Western Europe there is a heatwave at the moment. London is expected to reach 33’C today, Paris could reach 39’C tomorrow and Madrid could reach 40’C today.

Africa

In Tunisia there was a national strike yesterday. The powerful General Labour Union told 3 million public sector workers not to work yesterday, and it said that most of them took part in the strike. President Kais Saied recently made a decision to freeze wages and cut subsidies in order to receive a loan from the International Monetary Fund.

In Niger, France says it has killed 40 terrorists near the border with Burkina Faso using drones. France has been working with the governments of Burkina Faso and Niger since 2014 to fight Islamist Jihadists.

South Africa’s transport minister has blamed foreigners for high unemployment. Fikile Mbalula said that “Pakistanis and illegal foreigners” were to blame for the lack of jobs in South Africa. Mbalula also accused Pakistanis of being “loan sharks”.

Americas

In the United States, advisors to former Vice President Mike Pence have said that former President Donald Trump repeatedly told Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, including after the congress building had been attacked by Trump supporters on the 6th January last year. At a public hearing, the head of the January 6th committee, Bennie Thompson, said that Pence helped to save democracy...

“Mike Pence said no. He resisted the pressure. He knew it was illegal. He knew it was wrong. We are fortunate for Mr Pence’s courage on January 6th. Our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe.”

Colombia has the second round of its presidential election on Sunday. Left-wing former guerrilla leader Gustavo Perto is running against right-wing populist businessman Rodolfo Hernandez. Opinion polls show the race to be extremely close.

Asia

In India there have been protests against a new military recruitment scheme. Protesters in Bihar state are against the scheme which will hire soldiers for 4 years but does not promise them contracts after that.

In Pakistan people have been told to drink less tea to save Pakistan money. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Pakistan, a minister has been criticized for asking the country to drink less tea. Ahsan Iqbal is the planning minister for the new government headed by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who took power earlier this year after the previous Prime Minister, Imran Khan was removed by a no-confidence vote in Parliament. Sharif's government has raised electricity and fuel prices by 45%, making food prices rise as well. Pakistan is one of the top tea importers in the world, and the average Pakistani drinks about 3 cups of tea per day..

Thailand has moved closer to legalizing gay marriage, after 4 proposals were accepted by parliament yesterday. At the moment, Taiwan is the only country in Asia where gay marriage is legal.

And in Australia superworms are being studied to see if they can help with plastic recycling. The University of Brisbane is studying the larvae of the darkling beetle which is able to eat polystyrene.

That’s you world news for this week. If you find this podcast valuable then please help to support us at send7.org/support. Supporters can also read the transcripts of every episode. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and Iwill see you on Monday.

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