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Friday 22nd July 2022

Europe

In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has resigned again, after his ruling coalition government fell apart. Last week, Draghi announced his resignation, but this was rejected by president Sergio Mattarella. Yesterday Mattarella accepted Draghi’s resignation as it was clear that the government could not continue. New elections have been declared for the 25th September. Opinion polls suggest that a right-wing coalition could take power.

In Ukraine, the Russian army has been heavily bombing areas around the second largest city Kharkiv over the last few days. Yesterday at least 2 people were killed and many others injured when bombs hit a mosque, hospital and shopping area. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that Russia was expanding its territorial aims to include the South of Ukraine, naming the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions as well as other areas. Russia has already controlled most of the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions since March. Russia captured these territories relatively easily, compared to the North of Ukraine where it was forced to retreat in early April. United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said this week that the US would send 4 more HIMARS missiles systems to Ukraine, which the Ukrainian army has said are making a big difference. The United Kingdom said yesterday it would send more anti-tank weapons and artillery guns.

The European Central Bank has raised interest rates for the first time in 11 years. Interest rates were raised by 0.5% European Bank head Christine Lagarde said that the objective was to stabilize prices...

“The most precious good that we can deliver and that we have to deliver is price stability. So we have to bring inflation down to 2% in the medium term.”

Africa

The Kenyan government has said that it will arrest and prosecute anyone who is selling maize flour for more than 50 shillings a kilo - around 40 euro cents. President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the price of maize flour had been cut in half after talks with maize industry leaders. Critics say that Kenyatta has done this to gain political support before a general election in 3 weeks. Kenyatta is supporting Raila Odinga, the former Prime Minister for president, instead of William Ruto his current deputy president.

Uganda’s parliament has rejected a proposed law to make vaccines compulsory. The health ministry said that the bill was designed for pandemics, however members of parliament said that it restricted individual freedom.

Asia

In Myanmar the army has been committing war crimes by laying landmines around villages, according to Amnesty International. Myanmar’s military has controlled the country since it removed the democratically elected government, last year. The rights group says that civilians are being killed by the landmines that the military leave, as it battles against rebel groups and democracy activists throughout Myanmar.

In Japan police are hunting for a monkey after it various attacks. The first attack by a monkey was reported on the 8th of July in the Yamaguchi prefecture, and at least ten monkey attacks have been reported. The police have set traps.

Americas

United States president Joe Biden has said that he will probably speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping soon. Recently the US secret service has called China the biggest threat to the US, and there has been tension over Taiwan, which the US has promised to protect if it is invaded by China. China claims that Taiwan is a province of China, despite Taiwan being completely independent of China since 1950. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house of Representatives was planning to visit Taiwan, but Biden has said that the military think it is not a good idea...

“The military thinks its not a good idea right now, but I don’t know what the status of it is... I think I’ll be talking to President Xi in the next ten days.”

Biden has also tested positive for COVID19 and the White House says that he has mild symptoms.

In Panama protests are continuing against the government. Protesters are demanding help against inflation, and a stop to corruption.

And the International Quidditch Association has changed its name to the Inernational Quadball Association. “Quidditch” is a sport that was invented for the Harry Potter books, which involves flying on broomsticks, however some people play it in real life by throwing balls and holding a broomstick between their legs. The International Association has decided to change its name to distance itself from the Harry Potter author JK Rowling, because of comments that some people consider to be transphobic.

That’s your Simple World News for this Week. A massive thank you to Francesco from Italy, Martin from Czechia and Marketa, also from Czechia for becoming our newest supporters. If you enjoy the podcast you can help to support us at send7.org/support. Supporters can also read the transcripts of every episode. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend ad I will see you on Monday.

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