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Friday 28th May 2021

Europe

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied that tens of thousands of people died because of a failure to act against COVID19. On Wednesday Johnson’s former Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings said that the government’s inaction and incompetence had lead to deaths. Visiting a hospital yesterday, Johnson denied this...

Reporter: “Prime Minister, did tens of thousands of people die who need not have died because of your action or inaction?” BJ: “No I don’t think so, but, of course, this has been an incredibly difficult series of decisions, none of which we’ve taken lightly. And you’ve got to recognize, and I do hope that people understand this, that when you go into a lockdown, it’s a very, very painful, traumatic thing, for people, for people’s mental health, for their lives, their livelihoods, and of course you’ve got to set that against the horrors of the pandemic and of COVID.”

In Spain 3 men have been jailed for assisting the 2017 terror attacks in Barcelona. The three islamist extremists were given between eight and 53 years in prison for helping Moroccan Younes Aboyaaqoub drive a van into civilians in Barcelona, and for planning bomb attacks.

Africa

In Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron has said that France recognizes its responsibility in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Speaking yesterday at the Kigali Genocide memorial in Rwanda, Macron said that France was not an accomplice to the genocide, however, France did not listen to the warnings that massacres were happening. It is estimated that over half a million ethnic Tutsi people were killed by ethnic Hutus in 1994.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has promised that elections will be held in the next 60 days, after signing an agreement with local presidents. Somalia has a complicated indirect voting system. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed had promised to hold direct one-person-one-vote elections, however agreements could not be made with regional leaders.

Asia

Azerbaijan has captured 6 Armenian soldiers. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Azerbaijan, six Armenian soldiers have been captured, according to the defence ministries of both countries. Azerbaijanis defence ministry accused the Armenian soldiers of trying to cross into the country, while Armenia claims that the soldiers were just carrying out engineering activities. Last year Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The six-week conflict killed around 6000 people and ended with a ceasefire agreement that gave more land to Azerbaijan.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen has accused China of interfering in its COVID vaccine programme. Ing-Wen said that China was interfering with deals to buy vaccines. China claims Taiwan to be part of China, despite it being an independent democracy since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Earlier this week American actor John Cena apologized to Chinese fans for calling Taiwan a country. Republican Senator Tom Cotton described Cena’s apology as ‘pathetic’.

In Australia the State of Victoria has been put into an immediate lockdown. State Premier James Merlino said that the lockdown would last 7 days because of a small outbreak. Australia requires that anyone entering the country stays in quarantine hotels upon arrival but it is expected that this outbreak started from one of these hotels.

Americas

Former Bolivian interior minister Arturo Murillo has been charged in the United States with receiving bribes from US companies. Three United States citizens were also charged with paying $600,000 to Bolivian officials between 2019 and 2020, to secure contracts for tear gas and other security equipment.

Argentina has more active cases of COVID19 now than ever before. The first lockdown of 2021 started on Monday, after President Alberto Fernandez declared that Argentina was in its worst moment since the pandemic began. Healthcare workers have asked the public to follow restrictions. Last week we reported on this podcast that beef exports had been temporarily banned in order to help slow the rate of inflation. One SEND7 listener in Argentina Adriana, has said that despite the ban on exporting beef, prices had increased anyway. Thank you Ariana.

And in the United States the television series friends released a reunion episode yesterday. Despite the series producing its last episode in 2004, Friends has continued to be popular with young people all over the world.

That’s your world news for this week. Send your comment on any story by email to podcast@send7.org or send us a voice message to appear on the podcast at send7.org, where you can also find transcripts and more. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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