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Friday 19th March 2021


Tanzanian President John Magafuli has died aged 61. Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan said that Magafuli died of a heart condition. Magafuli had not been seen in public for two weeks, and some reports said that he was receiving treatment for COVID19 in India. Opposition leader Tundu Lissu described Magafuli’s death as “poetic justice” because of Magafuli’s claims that COVID19 was not serious and could be cured using herbal remedies and praying. Lissu, who is in exile in Belgium, said that he gave condolences to the Vice President, but he was not surprised that Magafuli had died, and he said that the Magafuli’s government continues to lie...

“I have received news of President Magafuli’s passing without any surprise to be honest. I had expected this all along. Even now that he is dead, his government continues to lie. Magafuli died of Corona.”

Samia Suluhu Hassan es expected to be sworn in as Tanzania’s President soon. She will be Tanzania’s first female President and the only current female head of government in Africa.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo fighting has killed 30 people, according to the army. The DRC military said that they were fighting a militia group called Codeco, which takes over mines to illegally extract gold.


Some European countries including Italy and France will continue using the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine today, after suspending its use earlier this week. The European Medicines Agency reviewed about 30 cases of blood clots, and said that there was no clear link with the vaccine. Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands said that they will restart the use of the vaccine next week. French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that he would receive the vaccine today to set and example. Coincidentally, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also receive his first dose of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine today.

Spain has legalized euthanasia. People in Spain with incurable diseases and permanent conditions will be able to choose when to die. Spain is only the 6th country in the world to legalize euthanasia, after The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada and Colombia.


Russian leader Vladamir Putin mocked United States President Joe Biden yesterday after Biden called Putin a ‘Killer’ in an interview. Putin said yesterday “it takes one to know one” referring to childhood arguments.

Pakistan has received half a million COVID19 vaccine doses from China. Khadija Tahir tells us more...

“China has made a second donation of 500,000 doses of the 'Sinopharm' vaccine to Pakistan. Pakistan started its COVID-19 vaccination campaign for the public on March 10th and is currently vaccinating people above 60. Vaccination centres have been opened in all major cities. Health workers have been receiving the vaccine since early February. Pakistan now has around 1 million vaccine doses - a small number for its population of 220 million. Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, received his first dose of the COVID vaccine.”

In Indonesia, schoolgirls are forced to wear religious clothing against their wishes, according to Human Rights Watch. A report from the human rights group said that some girls are ‘bullied’ into wearing the Muslim jilbab dress, including many non-Muslims.


In the United States a man has admitted to killing eight people in the city of Atlanta in Georgia. Robert Aaron Long is charged with killing people in 3 massage parlours on Tuesday. Many people are describing the attack as a hate crime, as 6 of the victims are women of Asian origin.

In Mexico a SEND7 listener has told us that huge fires are burning between the states of Coahuila and Nueva Leon. Abel - said that many people have lost their homes...

“More than 600 hectares have been burned. This is causing sever damages to the environment and unfortunately several families have lost their homes.”

Send your comment on any story by sending an email to or by audio message at

This week we asked listeners to send in their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you to everyone who responded. It was fascinating to hear your experiences. For Martina in Italy this was a very difficult time as all her family was sick and sadly she lost her grandmother. Yesterday was a commemoration day in Italy. Gaetano from Genoa said that he prayed for victims and their families...

“Today in Italy is the commemoration day for the COVID deaths in Italy. I pray for them and for their families.”

And from Taiwan Tiffany Lo told us that life is quite normal and she is happy that Taiwanese people always wear masks. Taiwan approved the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday, and Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung said that vaccinations could start on Monday.

That’s your Simple Word News this week. Please leave a review on your podcast app. It helps other people to find us. Transcripts and more are at I am Stephen Devincenzi. See you on Monday.

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