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Friday 17th September 2021


In Afghanistan, the head of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has said that it is a fantasy to think that the UN can solve Afghanistan’s problems. The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan one month ago and there have been reports of many human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings. The economy has largely collapsed, and the world food programme has said that 93% of Afghans don’t have enough food. Guterres has said, however, that the Taliban as agreed to give aid access to the whole of Afghanistan...

”..we were granted that access, and we will be working with our partners in order to make sure that the aid is distributed based on humanitarian principles, which means based on the needs of the population, and that everybody should be treated equally without any kind of distinction based on gender or based on ethnicity or any other consideration...”

Indonesia’s Prime Minister Joko Widodo has been found negligent over pollution. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Indonesia, a court has ruled that Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other government officials have neglected the air pollution crisis in the capital city, Jakarta. Legal action was started in 2019 by the residents of Jakarta, which is one of the cities with the worst air pollution in the world, and has decreased the life expectancy of its residents by more than 5 years, according to experts. The court has ruled that the government must set up monitoring stations and other measures. President Widodo is currently pushing forward plans to move the capital city from Jakarta to East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.

Australia is being given technology to make nuclear submarines by the United States and the United Kingdom. The submarines are powered by nuclear energy, and do not carry nuclear weapons. Australia, The US and the UK have formed a new security alliance, called AUKUS, and this is generally seen as an attempt to oppose China’s influence in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. China claims most of the South China sea, including areas that are much closer to Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. China also does not recognize Taiwan as a country, but part of its own territory. Yesterday the Chinese foreign ministry said that the AUKUS countries should “respect regional people’s aspirations”. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said that AUKUS is not meant to be adversarial...

“AUKUS is not intended to be adversarial towards any other power, Mr Speaker, but it merely reflects the close relationship we have with the United States and with Australia. The shared values we have, and the sheer level of trust between us.”


In Kenya a drought is putting millions of people at risk, according to the National Drought Management Authority. Over 2 million people are at risk of starvation, because of bad harvests caused by a lack of rain and swarms of locusts.

In the Sahel area, the leader of Daesh, the Islamic State group, has been killed, according to France. French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that the French military had killed Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of the Islamic State group in the Sahara. France did not say exactly where Sahrawi was killed.

In Morocco researchers have found evidence of human clothes that are at least 120,000 years old. Bone tools and evidence of animals skins found in a cave in Morocco, are believed to be some of the earliest evidence of people using clothes ever found.


Haiti’s political crisis has deepened, as Prime Minister Ariel Henry fired the prosecutor who said that Henry should be investigated in the murder of President Jovenel Moise. Earlier this week, Haiti’s chief attorney said the Henry should be investigated for involvement in the assassination of President Moise, because he has made phone calls with a suspect. However, yesterday, Henry fired the chief prosecutor and replaced the justice minister. More than 40 suspects have been arrested for suspected involvement in Moise’s assassination, including 18 Colombians.

In Venezuela, the judiciary system has seriously violated the rights of government opponents, according to United Nations investigators. In a report released yesterday, a team from the UN said that Venezuela’s judiciary was not independent, and have allowed for rights abuses, including torture, to not be punished.


Italy has become the first country in Europe to require a health pass for all employees. Both public and private sector workers, must show that they have either received a COVID19 vaccination, have had the virus already, or have recently been tested for the disease. Workers who cannot show a health pass can be suspended without pay, however, the can’t be fired. In France 3000 health workers were suspended without pay yesterday after a deadline for vaccination was passed.

And in the Netherlands, a pencil drawing of an old man has been identified as a work of Vincent van Gogh. Experts say that the drawing was probably from November 1882, and the drawing will now go on display in Amsterdam.

That’s your Simple English world news for this week. Please leave a review in your podcast app. It really helps us to grow. You can also go to to read transcripts or to send us a message. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.

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