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Friday 23rd July 2021


In Japan the Tokyo Olympics officially start today. One year after the games should have started, most events will be taking place without spectators, as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Japan. Recent polls show that more than half of Japanese people don’t want the Olympics to happen now. Yesterday Japan fired the show director of the Olympics' opening ceremony, despite the opening ceremony being, today. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Japan, the show director for the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has been dismissed one day before the event. Comedian Kentaro Kobayashi was criticized for a show he performed 23 years ago in which he appears to be making jokes about the Holocaust. Kobayashi has since issued an apology. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and will begin today.

China has rejected a proposal from the World Health Organization to conduct a second phase of research in China about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom said that China had not been transparent with it’s information, and that the theory of COVID19 being accidentally leaked from a laboratory should continue to be investigated. China has accused the WHO of politicising the study. Accidents leading to people becoming infected ith viruses have happened many times in history all over the world.

In India tax authorities have raided 2 media companies critical of the government of Nardendra Modi. Newspaper Dainik Bhaskar and television channel Bharat Samachar both had their offices searched yesterday in different cities across India. Tax officials said that they had evidence of fraud, however Dainik Bhaskar has said that Prime Minister Modi is ‘afraid of journalism’.


In Italy there have been protests encouraging action on Climate Change. Environment minister from G20 countries met yesterday in Naples. Ministers were not able to agree on how to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050. Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is considered essential to limit global warming to 1.5’C, above which most scientists agree the results would be catastrophic. John Kerry, the US climate envoy, said earlier this week that the climate crisis is the “test of our times”...

” The climate crisis, my friends, is the test of our times. And while some may still believe it is unfolding in slow motion. No. This test is now as acute and as existential as any previous one.”

In Greece there were protests yesterday against a proposed law that would make it a legal requirement for staff in some jobs to receive coronavirus vaccinations. Greece is proposing that some health workers and care staff must be vaccinated to continue to work in these jobs. France has already introduced a similar law.


Madagascar has said that it stopped an attempt to kill President Andry Rajoelina. The attorney general Berthine Razafiarivony said that foreign nationals and Malagasys were arrested suspected of a plot to kill president Rajoelina.

In Spain over 200 migrants crossed illegally into the Spanish enclave of Melilla yesterday. Hundreds more attempted to climb the border fence with Morocco. Spain said that all of the 238 refugees who crossed into Melilla yesterday were men.

In Cameroon over 50 members of the islamist jihadist group Boko Haram have surrendered. In the past two months at least 180 Boko Haram fighters have given themselves to authorities. In May Nigerian Boko Haram leader Abubakar Sekau died in fighting with another jihadist group aligned with Daesh, the Islamic State group.


In Ecuador at least 18 people have died in riots at two prisons. Special police units were sent to prisons in the Capital city Quito, and the largest city, Guayaquil.

Argentina has become the first South American country to legalize a non-binary option for ID cards. In 2012 Argentina legalized a person changing their legal gender. Now, Argentina will be one of the first countries in the world to recognize people choosing to be neither male nor female. President Alberto Fernandez has said that there are different identities and that they should be respected.

And Syrian table tennis start Hend Zaza is the youngest athlete to appear in the Olympics. Zaza is only 12 years old and has already won national awards in Syria.

That’s seven minutes. SEND7 listeners - this podcast is free and always will be - if you want to support us, the best thing to do is to tell people about the podcast, leave a review in your app, or share a story about the podcast on social media. We are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @send7podcast. Go to for transcripts and more. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.

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