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Friday 26th March 2021

Africa

In Egypt, a ship has been stuck in the Suez Canal for over 3 days. The Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. It is able to hold over 20,000 containers - the equivalent of 20,000 lorries. On Wednesday, during high winds and a sand storm, the ship hit one side of the canal and became stuck. Since Wednesday rescue boats have tried to free the ship, however at the time of recording this podcast they have not been successful. A traffic jam is forming, as normally over 50 ships pass through the Suez Canal every day. The average ship pays $250,000 dollars to pass through the Suez canal. Some reports have said that it could take days or even weeks to move the ship.

In Mozambique the military is fighting to retake control of the town of Palma, after it was overtaken by Islamist rebels. Fighters linked to Daesh, the Islamic State group, have been fighting the government since 2017.

In Ethiopia the charity Medecins sans Frontieres has said that its staff witnessed extrajudicial killings. MSF staff in the Tigray region said that they witnessed the Ethiopian military kill civilians on Wednesday.

Asia

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said that North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea yesterday. Suga said that North Korea’s missile launches are a threat to peace in the region.

In India the rise in demand for coronavirus vaccines will affect the world’s vaccine distribution. Khadija Tahir reports...

In India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, says that COVID vaccine delivery might be delayed in the coming months. India is currently facing a third wave of coronavirus, with 280,000 new infections reported in the last week. This has increased the vaccine's demand within India. The Serum Institute of India is the main supplier for COVAX, an international platform that will provide vaccines to poorer countries. The institute has sent more than 60 million doses to 76 countries, but this delay is expected to affect COVAX deliveries.

In Russia lawyers for Alexei Navalny say that they are concerned for his health. Opposition leader Navalny has been in prison since returning to Russia in January. Navlany spent 5 months in Germany recovering from a poisoning, which he blames on President Vladamir Putin. Navalny says that in jail he is being tortured by being woken up every hour during the night.

Europe

Poland has accused Belarus of persecuting its Polish minority after Andzelika Borys, the head of the Association of Poles in Belarus was arrested. Relations have been worsening between Poland and Belarus since an election in Belarus last year that most Western countries say was fraudulent. Poland has openly supported protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. Thank you to Marek in Poland for suggesting this story. Send your comment on any news story by email at podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7

In France more areas will enter lockdown as COVID19 cases continue to rise. France reported over 210,000 new COVID cases last week, the most since October.

In Czechia the football club Slavia Prague has denied being racist. During a Europa League match last week Glen Kamara of the Glasgow Rangers said that he suffered racist abuse from a Slavia Prague player. Two years ago Slavia Prague were forced to close part of their stadium because of racist abuse by fans.

Americas

In the United States President Joe Biden answered questions from the media for 2 hours yesterday. Biden spoke about the need to change gun laws in the United States. Biden also said that 200 million vaccine shots would be given in his first 100 days as president - double his previous goal. And when talking about China, Biden spoke of a battle between democracies and autocracies.

“We’ll confront China’s economic abuses. Counter it’s aggressive coercive action to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property and global governance. But we are ready to work with Beijing when it is in America’s interest to do so.”

In Peru Archaeologists have identified a mural that they believe is 3,200 years old. The picture is of a spider-god and was painted in yellow, grey and white. The mural is expected to have been made by the ancient Cupisnique people, who existed between the years 1500BC to 500BC.

That is your Simple English World News for this week. Please leave us a review on apple podcasts or anywhere else. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @send7podcast. Find transcripts of every episode at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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