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Friday 20th May 2022

Americas

The United States senate has approved $40 billion dollars of aid for Ukraine. This is almost three times the previous funding package of $14 billion dollars. Most Republican senators joined All Democrat Senators to vote for the aid package. About half will be weapons and the other half will be humanitarian and economic aid. Yesterday G7 finance ministers also agreed on almost $15 billion dollars of help for Ukraine.

Also in the United States there is a serious shortage of baby formula - powdered milk for babies. There has been a major shortage since the Similac formula had to stop being sold because of bacterial infections which may have caused deaths.

Between Mexico and the United States a secret tunnel has been found. United States authorities said that the tunnel had an entrance in a warehouse in San Diego and was being used for drugs and people to enter the US illegally.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is a threat to democracy, according to a group of legal experts who have written to the United Nations. The group have sent a petition to the UN asking for an investigation into Bolsonaro’s attacks on the Supreme Court and Electoral bodies.

Europe

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is continuing to say that Turkey won’t allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO. All NATO countries must agree to allow new members. Erdogan said yesterday that Sweden and Finland must end their support of the PKK - a Kurdish group that Turkey considers to be a terrorist organization, and that Sweden removes a ban on selling weapons to Turkey, that it started because of Turkey’s intervention in Syria. Yesterday Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson were in the United States, where they spoke to President Joe Biden. Biden said that Sweden and Finland would make great additions to NATO and that NATO is not a threat to anyone...

“So let me be clear - new members joining NATO is not a threat to any nation - it never has been. NATO’s purpose is to defend against aggression - that’s its purpose - to defend.”

Andersson said that in dark times it was important to be with friends...

“And today the situation in Ukraine reminds us of the darkest days of European history. And I must say that during dark times it is great to be among close friends.”

In Ukraine, 12 civilians were killed yesterday by Russian bombs in the city of Severodonetsk, according to Ukraine.

Russia has said that over 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered from the steel factory in Mariupol this week. Yesterday a Ukrainian commander said that some soldiers were still inside. The Russian government and Russian media consider the captured fighters to be “Nazis” because many of them are from the Azov Battalion, a group which has a history of far-right members, however, is considered a normal part of Ukraine’s army today. Some Russian politicians have said that Azov fighters should not be allowed to be used in a prisoner-swap because they are terrorists or Nazis. Russia has justified its invasion of Ukraine by saying that it is ‘de-nazifying Ukraine’.

In a court in Kyiv a Vadim Shishimarin, a Russian soldier, asked a woman to forgive him for killing her husband. Shishimarin is the first Russian soldier to go to court for war crimes in Ukraine, and he has admitted to killing a Ukrainian civilian, saying that he was following orders. The widow, Katereyna Shalipova, said that she would not mind if Shishimarin was swapped for Ukrainian prisoners.

Asia

In India floods have forced half a million people to leave their homes in Assam state. At least ten people are believed to have died. Other parts of India are experiencing an extreme heatwave, with Delhi recording the highest temperature in history this week - 49’C.

Australia has a general election tomorrow. Most opinion polls show The Labour party winning slighlty more votes than the Liberal party of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Africa

Mozambique has declared an outbreak of polio, for the first time in thirty years. In the 1950s polio killed around half a million people every year in the world, however deaths from polio are extremely rare today because of vaccinations.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo 1 and a half tonnes of elephant ivory has been confiscated, equivalent to 80 to 100 elephants. Police arrested 5 people.

And former president George W Bush accidentally confused Ukraine with Iraq when talking about the Russian invasion. Bush was saying that Ukraine is democratic and Russia is a dictatorship, when he made the mistake, and then excused himself by saying that he is 75. Some analysts have said that it may have been a sign that he feels guilty about the US invasion of Iraq...

“The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq... I mean of Ukraine... Iraq too<?>... I’m 75...”


That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Stephanie from Germany and Akiko from Japan for becoming our newest supporters! If you enjoy they podcast you can help to support us at send7.org/support. Supporters can read the transcripts every day. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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