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Friday 22nd April 2022

Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has been liberated. Putin ordered a blockade of the Mariupol steel factories where the last Ukrainian soldiers are based with a few hundred civilians. Before the invasion of Ukraine Mariupol was a city of 450,000 people. Yesterday Mayor Vadym Boichenko said that 100,000 civilians are still in occupied Mariupol. Boichenko says that over 20,000 civilians have been killed during the 2 month siege of Mariupol by the Russian army, and that Russian soldiers had been secretly burying the bodies of dead civilians. Estonia and Latvia’s parliaments have officially recognized Russia’s actions in Ukraine as “genocide”.

Yesterday United States president Joe Biden said that Putin will never succeed and that the US will send an additional $800 million dollars worth of military aid to help Ukraine defend its Donbass region...

“Today I’m announcing a further $800 million dollars to further augment Ukraine’s ability to fight in the East in the Donbass region. This package includes heavy artillery weapons, dozens of howitzers, and 144,000 rounds of ammunition to go with those howitzers. It also includes more tactical drones. In the past two months we’ve moved weapons and equipment to Ukraine at record speed. We’ve sent thousands of anti-armour and anti-missile helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, machine guns, rifles, radar systems. More than 50 million rounds of ammunition have already been sent. The United States alone has provided ten anti-armour systems for every one Russian tank that's in Ukraine. A ten to one ratio. We’re sharing and will continue to share significant timely intelligence with Ukraine to help defend them against Russian aggression.”

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen traveled to Kyiv yesterday and met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Both Prime Ministers promised to send more weapons to Ukraine.

Research by the Guardian newspaper has shown that Russia used cluster bombs when it tried to capture Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine in the last few weeks. Cluster bombs have been banned in many parts of the world because each bomb releases smaller bombs that are unpredictable and can explode far from the original target. Ukraine’s army has also been accused of using cluster bombs in the Donbass region.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face an inquiry about whether he lied to parliament. Last week Johnson received a fine for breaking lockdown rules in 2020, however he previously said to parliament that he had done nothing wrong. Johnson is currently in India where he is hoping to improve trade relations with the UK. Yesterday he visited the ashram of Mahtma Ghandi in the city of Ahmedabad.

France will have the second round of its presidential election on Sunday. Current polls show President Emmanuel Macron winning around 55% of votes compared to 45% for Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

Africa

In Nigeria at least three people were killed in an explosion at a market. An Islamist Jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that it was because alcohol was sold there.

In Rwanda a Chinese man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for torturing workers of a mine. Sun Shujun was the manager of a mine, and last year a video of him whipping mine workers went viral in Rwanda.

In Ghana, Kenya and Malawi more than one million children have now received the world’s first malaria vaccine. The vaccine is only partially effective, meaning that people are still recommended to avoid malaria in other ways.

Asia

In Malaysia six people have been killed when over 500 Rohingya refugees escaped an immigration detention centre. Refugees escaped the centre and ran onto a fast moving road. Malaysia has around 100,000 Rohingya refugees, most of whom have escaped genocide in Myanmar in the last 6 years.

In Afghanistan at least 16 people have been killed in two bomb attacks claimed by Daesh, the Islamic State group. .

In Timor-Leste Jose Ramos-Horta has been elected president, beating current president Francisco Guterres. Ramos Horta has been president once before, and won the Nobel peace prize in 1996 for his efforts to stop the conflict in Timor.

Americas

Honduras’s former president Juan Orlando Hernandez has been sent to the United States to face drug trafficking charges. Hernandez was president until January. In New York he will now face charges of drug trafficking, weapon trafficking and accepting bribes.

In the United States streaming company Netflix lost $50 billion dollars in value over the last two days. Shares in Netflix fell by 35% after it revealed that its numbers of subscribers had fallen for the first time ever.

In Brazil the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro has started and will continue all next week. This is the first carnival since 2020 because of the COVID19 pandemic and is expected to attract around 7 million people.

A big thank you to Jorisan from Italy and Edith from Hong Kong for becoming our newest supporters. If you find this podcast valuable then you can help to support us at send7.org/support. Supporters also get access to transcripts of every episode. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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