Friday 21st January 2022


In Switzerland, Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and United States secretary of state Anthony Blinken, will meet today. During the last few days the United States and NATO the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have said that Russia will face a strong response if it invades Ukraine in any way. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, said that the European Union would follow the United States with “massive economic sanctions” if Russia invades. Speaking in Germany yesterday, Blinken said that Russia would face swift, severe consequences...

“We have been very clear throughout - if any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border and commit new acts of aggression against Ukraine, that will be met with a swift, severe, united response from the United States and our allies and partners.”

In Belgium a teenager has become the youngest woman to fly around the world by herself. Zara Rutherford, who is 19, stopped in 31 countries on the journey.


In the United States the voting rights bill has been rejected by the Senate. Democrats wanted to guarantee registered voters the right to vote by post, the right to vote for two weeks before an election and the right to use drop-boxes to vote. The senate is split equally between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. The Republicans were against changing the law.

Also in the US, some phone companies have said that they will postpone their 5G services, close to airports. Camila elAlami reports...

In the United States, phone carriers AT&T and Verizon agreed to temporarily delay their deployment of 5G services near some major airports. This week CEOs from some US airlines and shipping companies expressed their fears that 5G would interfere with sensitive airplane instruments and cause « chaos » for flights. In response, telecom companies have agreed to delay turning on some wireless towers, and they are investigating how to lower the effect of 5G.

In Barbados the ruling Labour Party has won all 30 seats in a general election. This was Barbados’s first election since becoming a republic.

In Colombia a court has said that the government cannot restart the aerial fumigation of coca plantations. Coca is the plant used to make the drug cocaine, however it is also used in other ways, particularly by indigenous Americans. Under pressure from the United States, Colombia destroyed coca plantations until 2015, however the government of Ivan Duque has said that they would like to restart fumigations.


In Pakistan there was an explosion yesterday. This story from Khadija Tahir...

In Lahore, Pakistan, an explosion took place in a busy market yesterday. According to hospitals, two people were killed, and 26 have been injured. A senior police officer told the media that the explosion was caused by a bomb planted in the area. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. There have been several similar attacks in Pakistan recently.

Tonga is being sent aid by ship from New Zealand and Australia, after severe damage from the volcanic eruption and tsunamis last week. Tonga’s parliament speaker Fatafehi Fakafanua said yesterday that many people are helping to clear a layer of ash which is covering Tonga.

“There’s a fine layer - a blanket of ash everywhere, and I hear that the public are generally out on the streets trying to clean it up.


In Liberia at least 29 people have died during a crowd crush at a Christian ceremony in the capital Monrovia. Police said that the crush happened after a gang attacked people. President George Weah has declared three days of mourning.

In Ghana there was a large explosion yesterday after a vehicle carrying explosives used for mining crashed. Police said that deaths were expected and many people had been injured.

And in Cameroon Salima Mukansaga from Rwanda has become the first woman to referee at the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. On Sunday 16 countries will enter the knockout stage, including the hosts Cameroon, who won their group.

That’s your world news for this week. A massive thank you to our new supporters Kazayuki from Japan and Natsuno and his class, also in Japan. If you find this podcast valuable then please help to support it by giving what you would pay for a cup of coffee at I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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