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Friday 18th March 2022

In Ukraine rescue operations are continuing after a Russian air strike destroyed a theatre in the city of Mariupol. The theatre was being used as a bomb shelter by around 1000 civilians, and the word “children” was written in Russian in letters big enough to be seen by an aeroplane. 130 people were rescued yesterday and it isn’t known how many people have died. Mariupol has been under siege for 3 weeks, with no access to food, water, medicine or heating, and Ukrainian authorities say that over 2,000 civilians have been killed. Deputy Mayor of Mariupol Sergiy Orlov said yesterday that 80-90% of Mariupol has been destroyed, and that people are drinking from puddles. Some media is comparing the situation to the siege of Leningrad during the second world war.

In the northern city of Kharkiv 21 people were reported to have died when a school was bombed yesterday. The Mayor of Chernihiv said that 53 people were killed by Russian bombs yesterday in Chernihiv, including an American citizen. This was confirmed by the US. A baby was killed when Russian artillery destroyed a house north of Kyiv. Russia has now been officially accused of war crimes by the US, the UK, France, Ireland, Albania and Norway. Russia says that it does not target civilian infrastructure. The United Nations has confirmed and documented 780 civilian deaths.

Some military experts are saying that the Russian army is choosing to bomb towns and cities because it has not been able to make progress with its soldiers and vehicles. A convoy north or Kyiv has moved very slowly because of heavy Ukrainian resistance. It is estimated that 7,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in just 3 weeks. That is more military deaths than the United States received during 9 years in Iraq and 20 years in Afghanistan combined.

Yesterday US president Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “murderous dictator”...

”...standing together against a murderous dictator - a pure thug who is waging an immoral war against the people of Ukraine. And Putin is paying a big price for his aggression...”

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are continuing and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that it is possible that Ukraine could agree to not become a member of NATO. Over 3.2 million people have left Ukraine in the last 3 weeks, mostly women and children.

Americas

In Peru the constitutional court has approved the release from prison of ex president Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori is serving a 25-year prison sentence from corruption.

In Honduras ex president Juan Orlando Hernandez should be sent to the United States to go to court, according to Honduras’s supreme court of justice. Prosecutors in New York have accused Hernandez of becoming rich by being involved in drug trafficking before he was president. His brother, Tony Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison in the Unites States in 2021, for drug trafficking and other crimes.

Africa

In Ethiopia the Tigray region is the place in the world where most people are at risk, according to the World Health Organization. WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom, who is from Tigray, said that while the world focuses its attention on Ukraine, people should not forget the humanitarian crisis in Tigray.

Mali’s military government is suspending the French media channels RFI and France 24, saying that they have spread ‘false allegations’ that the army has killed civilians in Mali. United Nations human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet has accused the army of killing 70 civilians since December.

Asia

In Pakistan there will be a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khadija Tahir reports...

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing a vote of no-confidence in Parliament. Khan came to power in 2018 and is now facing a massive campaign by opposition parties accusing him of mismanaging Pakistan's economy, governance, and foreign policy. No Pakistani Prime Minister has ever completed a full term in office. Rights groups such as Human rights watch have warned that there may be violence in the coming weeks.

In Japan 4 people died during the earthquake on Wednesday evening. The powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Fukishima.

And the Philippines is considering changing to a four-day working week. Economic planning secretary Karl Chua has said that if Filipinos work the same number of hours, but over only four days, it would be easier to save energy.

That’s your world news for this week. If you find this podcast valuable then please help to support us at send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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