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Friday 20th November 2020

Africa

Ethiopia’s president Abiy Ahmed has said that the army is on its way to the capital of the Tigray region, Mekelle. The Ethiopian government accuses the local government of the Tigray region of breaking away from Ethiopia. The leader of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, who is from Ethiopia, yesterday asked both sides to make peace.

In Uganda at least 19 people have been killed in the last two days, after Bobi Wine was arrested again. Singer and presidential candidate Bobi Wine was arrested on Wednesday after authorities accused him of breaking coronavirus restrictions by holding large gatherings. Uganda has never had a peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Britain in 1962.

Americas

In Peru Francisco Sagasti became the 3rd president in a week on Tuesday, after congress expelled popular president Martin Vizcarra, and his replacement Manuel Merino resigned during nationwide protests. 2 people died during those protests and there were many reports of police brutality. One SEND7 listener was at those protests. This is Mariela Meza Ponze in Lima...

MMP: “It started because of the vacancy of the former president but much more than that it was the expression of rejection to a whole corrupted system. After the death of these two young men, everyone was more than furious and the next day the president who took the power resigned. I was at another big strike in one of the main squares in the centre of Lima so we all got the news and the celebrations started. Since Monday [Tuesday] we have a new president but the feeling of mistrust is really strong...”

In Central America hurricane Iota is now over. At least 40 people have died in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Colombia. Many of the affected areas were still recovering from Hurricane Eta 2 weeks ago, that killed over 180 people.

In The United States President Donald Trump’s lawyers are attempting to challenge election boards - the organizations that officially award votes. Trump’s team has already been rejected from many courts for failing to provide evidence of fraud. This week Trump fired the US director of home security, Christopher Krebs, after Krebs said that there was no evidence of fraud in the presidential election. CBS news has reported that Trump is considering running for president again in 2024.

Asia

Japan confirmed its highest single day of coronavirus infections yesterday, with over 2,100 reported. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said yesterday that Japan was on ‘maximum alert’, especially in the capital, Tokyo. Japan has one of the lowest death rates per capita in the developed world. Scientists have suggested that this may be due to cultural habits, such as bowing, wearing face masks and hygiene practices. Scientists have also suggested that Japanese people may have a biological advantage against COVID19.

Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani welcomed the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, yesterday. To tell us about their meeting, here is Khadija Tahir...

KT: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Afghanistan yesterday and held talks with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Khan said that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan and work towards peace in the region...

IK: The people of Pakistan, the government of Paksitan have only one concern, and that concern is what you are feeling in Afghanistan - that you want peace. We feel that the people of Afghanistan have suffered for 4 decades and that if ever a human community needed peace it is Afghanistan and it is now.”

KT: Khan and Ghani are expected to discuss Pakistan's recent claims that India has been sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan, from Afghani territory. Afghanistan's foreign ministry rejected the allegations. Afghanistan has seen a rise in violence in recent weeks as peace talks between the Government and the Taliban continue in Qatar. The US government announced this week that the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan will be reduced to 2,500 by January.

Europe

In Bosnia police have arrested a Moroccan man suspected of killing a Bosnian. The 36 year old Bosnian was killed during violence in a suburb of the capital Sarajevo. Aljosa Campara, the interior minister, said that the Moroccan suspect should have been deported last year, after being convicted of possessing drugs. There are thousands of refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are trying to reach Western Europe.

And in Germany, the Chief Executive of BioNTech Ugur Sahin has said that he believes that a COVID19 vaccine could begin distribution this year. BionTech has developed a vaccine with American company Pfeizer, which they say is 95% effective. Another US company, Moderna, also said that their vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective. The European Union has agreed to order 160 million doses.

That’s your Simple English World News this week. Please help the podcast to grow by sharing it on social media and by leaving a review. You can read the transcript of this episode, and listen to past episodes at send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi, contact me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @send7podcast. Have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.

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