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Friday 22nd January 2021

Americas

In the United States President Joe Biden spent his first full day as president signing executive orders. Biden signed 17 executive orders yesterday - including many that directly contradict President Trump’s policies. On the coronavirus, Biden has committed to re-join the World Health Organization, and has asked Americans to wear masks for 100 days. Biden compared the coronavirus to a period of war...

“Well, as a I said last night, 400,000 Americans have died. That’s more than have <sic> died in all of World War 2. 400,000. This is a war-time undertaking.”

Biden also signed a letter stating the United States intention of re-joining the Paris Climate accord, which Trump ordered the US to leave in 2017.

Argentina’s president Alberto Fernandez received a COVID19 vaccine yesterday. On Wednesday Argentina approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, for people over 60.

Europe

In Europe, production of the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine has slowed as the company prepares to improve its production capacity. Pfizer said that this will allow them to produce 2 billion doses in 2021. Hungary has broken away from the EU vaccination plan, by approving Russia’s Sputnik 5 vaccine. Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto went to Moscow yesterday to discuss buying the Russian vaccine.

The United Kingdom has increased fines for people breaking coronavirus lockdown rules. Yesterday Home Secretary Priti Patel said that people could now be fined £800...

“And today I can announce that next week we will be introducing a new £800 fine for those attending house parties. These fines will apply to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people in homes. The science is clear - such irresponsible behaviour poses a significant threat to public health.

Africa

In Zimbabwe foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo has died of COVID19, the government has announced. In Zimbabwe over 500 people are confirmed to have died of COVID19 this year, more than were confirmed to have died in all of 2020.

In Uganda, opposition leader Bobi Wine has filed a complaint to the United Nations. Wine sent a complaint of arbitrary arrest to the UN, after being stopped from leaving his house in Kampala since Uganda’s election last Friday.

Asia

In Iraq at least 32 people were killed by two suicide bombers yesterday. The bombing in Baghdad is the worst terrorist attack in Iraq in over 3 years. No group has claimed responsibility, however authorities have blamed Daesh - the Islamic State group. Last week Iraq postponed its general election until October.

In India 5 people died yesterday in a fire at the world’s biggest vaccine producing factory. This report from Khadija Tahir...

In India, the world's largest vaccine factory caught fire yesterday. According to local news channels, the fire started in an area of the factory which was still under construction, and five workers have died. The serum institute of India is manufacturing the Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine for use in India and other countries. On Wednesday, the first shipments of the vaccine were sent to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The Serum Institute has said that vaccine production was not affected by the fire.

In China some miners are still stuck underground 12 days after an explosion in Shandong province. 22 miners were trapped on the 10th January. At least one has died, and 11 are in contact with people outside, and have been receiving food and medicine. Rescuers are digging new tunnels to reach them.

In Mongolia the Prime Minister resigned yesterday after protests about the handling of COVID19. Protests began last week after videos showing a COVID19 patient with a new born baby in terrible conditions. Mongolia has not reported any deaths from COVIID19.

Researchers at Taiwan University say that they have found evidence of an ancient underwater worm. Taiwanese fossil experts say that the worms were metres long, captured passing fish, and lived 20 million years ago.

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. People listened to this podcast in 111 countries last week. Please help to support the podcast by leaving a review in your language. Find us on social media @send7podcast. Transcripts for all episodes are at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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