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Friday 30th April 2021

Asia

India reported 380,000 cases of COVID19 yesterday - another world record, and ten thousand people are confirmed to have died in the last 3 days. India’s health ministry has updated its guidelines for treating COVID19 at home. There continue to be reports from all India of people being unable to access hospitals and a lack of oxygen. Elections have continued the State of West Bengal, despite the pandemic. Hans Kluge the World Health Organizations director for Europe said yesterday that the situation in India could happen anywhere...

”I think it’s very important to realize that the situation in India can happen anywhere. When personal protective measures are being relaxed. When there are mass gatherings. When there are more contagions - variants and the vaccination covering is still low. This can basically create a perfect storm in any country... but it is never too late.

Thailand has made it obligatory to wear masks in public. This week Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was fined nearly $200 for not wearing a mask during a meeting.

The armies of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have exchanged fire at a disputed part of their border. Kyrgyzstan said that one of their soldiers was killed during the fighting in the Tajik exclave of Vorukh which is completely surrounded by Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan has said that a ceasefire has been agreed.

China sent part of its space station into space yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

China has launched the first part of its new permanent space station. China is not included in the International Space Station, which is a collaboration between Russia, the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. The part launched this week called the Tianhe module, contains the living space for astronauts. It is the first of 10 shuttles that China will launch into space to form its own space station, which is hoped to be completed by 2022. The space station will orbit Earth for ten years and maybe the only space station left after the International Space Station is retired in 2024.

Europe

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has dissolved parliament and called for parliamentary elections. At the moment parliament is controlled by the party of former President the pro-Russian Igor Dodon. Sandu, who is pro-European Union beat Dodon in last year’s presidential election.

In France bars, restaurants and non essential shops will reopen on May 19th. Yesterday President Emmanuel Macron gave a plan for the slow reopening of France, including allowing foreign tourists from June 9th.

Africa

African Union health chief John Nkengasong has said that the COVID19 outbreak in India should be a wake-up call for Africa. Nkengasong said that governments and citizens of Africa must be careful and warned of Africa’s fragile health systems. He also encouraged Africans to wear masks and avoid large gatherings. The world has now recorded over 3 million deaths from COVID19, however only 4% of them were in Africa.

In Burkina Faso an attack has killed at least 18 people according to local authorities. Salfo Kabore, the governor of Seno province also said that many people were forced to leave their homes after the attack on Yattakou village. On Monday two Spanish and one Irish journalists were killed in Burkina Faso by Islamist jihadists.

Americas

In the United States the State of Arizona has banned abortion based on genetic defects. Doctors in Arizona could now face prison for performing abortions if a foetus has conditions such as Downs Syndrome or cystic fibrosis. However abortion will still be legal if the foetus is not expected to survive. The American Civil Liberties Union said that this ban will - quote: “force people to carry pregnancies to term against their will”.

In Colombia there have been protests against proposed increases in tax. Tens of thousands of Colombians went on strike despite a court order to delay the strike because of coronavirus restrictions. One SEND7 listener from Colombia, Sergio Arguello, told SEND7 that low and middle class Colombians will be most affected by the tax changes.

Thank you Sergio. Listeners you can comment on any news story by sending an email to podcast@send7.org or by sending an audio message for us to use on the podcast at send7.org.

And Michael Collins the pilot of the Apollo 11 moon landing has died aged 90. Collins remained inside Apollo 11 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the moon.

That’s your Simple English World News for this week. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. And please support us by leaving a review on apple podcasts on anywhere else. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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