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Friday 29th July 2022

Europe

In Ukraine, The United Nations has said that it hopes that the first shipment of grains can leave Ukrainian ports today. Yesterday a Syrian ship, which is under sanctions from many countries, arrived in Lebanon, carrying grain that Ukraine says was stolen by Russia.

In the centre of Ukraine, 5 people were killed and 25 injured when a Russian missile hit a school for pilots, according to the governor of Kropyvnytskyi. In Eastern Ukraine a Russian strike on a hotel killed 4 people in the town of Bakhmut. In Northern Ukraine many missiles were fired from Belarus yesterday, hitting areas close to the capital Kyiv and in the Chernihiv region. In the South, Ukraine’s attempts to recapture Kherson are gaining momentum, according to the UK’s ministry of defence. The UK MOD also said that the Russian army which is in Kherson looks vulnerable, after Ukraine destroyed bridges linking it to other Russian-occupied territories.

United States officials said yesterday that 75,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or injured in Ukraine since February, which is around half of the 150,000 soldiers that Russia is expected to have sent into Ukraine. Some military analysts say that this amount of losses is unsustainable, and Russia will have to change tactics. Russia said that these numbers were ‘fake’.

In the United Kingdom, the final of the Women’s European football will take place on Sunday. Hosts England are hoping to win the competition for the first time. They will play against Germany, who have won 8 out of the last 10 women’s Euros.

Americas

The United States economy shrank in the second quarter of the year. Because this is the second quarter of negative economic growth, this is often defined as a recession. However, some other definitions of a recession include data on unemployment and wages, which are generally considered to be positive at the moment in the US. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in almost 50 years. Jerome Powell, Head of the Federal Reserve, said that it was important to tackle inflation now, because it would be more difficult in the future...

“My colleagues and I are strongly committed to bringing inflation back down and we are moving expeditiously to do so. We have both the tools we need and the resolve it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families and businesses. The economy and the coutnry have been through a lot over the past two and a half years and have proved resilient. It is essential that we bring inflation down to our two percent goal if we are to have a sustained period of strong labour market conditions that benefit all...”

Also in the United States a law was passed yesterday to boost the production of microchips in the US. US manufacturers will receive subsidies for making microchips, with the aim of reducing the reliance on China. Senator John Cornyn said that it was a bad day for the Chinese Communist Party...

“This is a bad day for President Xi and The Chinese Communist Party. The slumbering giant that is America has finally awakened to the challenge that we face from the People’s Republic of China, their aggressive posture in the region, and the potential they would have of cutting off our access to advanced semi-conductors.”

President Biden held a phone conversation with Chinese president Xi Jinping yesterday.

Puerto Rico has rescued 66 people, who reportedly were forced out of a people smuggling boat. The bodies of 5 people were also found near the island of Mona, between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The migrants are expected to be from Haiti.

Africa

In Nigeria schools have been told to close in the capital, Abuja, after intelligence reports suggested that armed groups were planning attacks. In the last few years hundreds of students have been kidnapped from schools in Nigeria.

In Angola, a pink diamond is believed to be the biggest gem of its type to be found in 300 years. The 170 carat diamond was found in the Lula Norte region and will be sold by the state diamond company, Sodiam.

Asia

Sri Lanka’s former president is expected to return soon, from Singapore. Khadija Tahir reports...

Sri Lanka's Ex-President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is expected to return to the country soon, according to the government. Rajapaksa fled the country earlier this month after massive protests against his government. Protestors entered the President's house and offices, demanding his resignation. Rajapaksa’s government is accused of economic mismanagement and has been issued various notices by the Supreme court of Sri Lanka.

Indonesia is testing a biodiesel which contains 40% palm oil. Since 2020 it has been compulsory in Indonesia that 30% of diesel must be palm oil - the highest compulsory mix in the world. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, and raising the amount that is mixed into diesel is hoped to reduce the need for other types of fuel.

In Indian Kashmir a man has written the entire Koran on one long scroll. Mustafa-Ib-Jameel, who practices calligraphy, the art of beautiful writing, spent 3 months writing the Muslim holy book onto paper scroll 500 metres long.

Listeners, during the month of August, SEND7 will be released just twice a week - on Tuesdays and Fridays. We will return to our normal 5 days a week in September. A massive thank you to all our supporters. You keep the podcast going! If you would like to become a supporter and read the transcripts, you can get €10 off becoming a yearly supporter now until the end of August by using the voucher code ‘AUGUSTDISCOUNT’. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, and I will see you on Tuesday.

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