Friday 30th October 2020


Yesterday in France, an attacker beheaded a woman and killed two other people at the Notre Dame church. The man entered the building and cut the throat of a church employee, beheaded an elderly woman, and badly injured another woman. The attack came just days after thousands protested across France in support of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. During the recording of this podcast, authorities have not yet said if yesterday attack was connected to the cartoons, which is generally seen as insulting in Islam.

In the UK, the opposition Labour Party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. A report found that during Mr Corbyn's years in charge of the party, the party was responsible for discrimination. Current Labour leader, Keir Starmer, apologised and said Labour was facing a “day of shame”. The report found issues in how the party had dealt with Anti-Semitism. But Mr Corbyn said the issue of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party has been made to seem worse than it really was.

"I found this report hard to read. And it is a day of shame for the labour party. We have failed jewish people, our members, our supporters, and the British public. And so on behalf on the Labour Party, I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused."


Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad tweeted yesterday that Muslims have a right to “kill millions of French people for the murders in the past”. Mahathir, who is a respected leader in the Muslim world, said he believed in freedom of expression, but it should not be used to insult others. He said though Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people, Muslim people have not done so - and neither should the french. Mahathir said that French President Emmanuel Macron was “not showing that he is civilised” and that France should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings. Twitter flagged Mahathir’s tweet about killing “millions of French people” as violent but did not remove it. However, shortly afterwards the tweet was deleted.

In Afghanistan, riots at a prison left at least eight inmates dead. The violence took place on Wednesday night at the prison in the city of Herat.12 others – including eight inmates and four prison guards – were wounded during the attack at the prison, which holds around 2,000 prisoners.


In Tanzania, the main opposition presidential candidate declared yesterday that he would not recognise the election results. This was said after early results showed the opposition losing seats in places they had not expected. President John Magufuli’s main challenger, Tundu Lissu, from the Chadema party, declared the results as false and told his supporters to demonstrate peacefully while asking the international community not to recognise the results.

"The results that have been announced since yesterday and that the electoral commission continues to announce today are therefore illegitimate results they do not constitute they do not express the true will of the Tanzanian people at that who streamed into polling stations in their millions yesterday to cast their their ballots what is being presented to the world is a complete fraud it is not an election. We are asking our people to take this matter into their own hands through peaceful mass democratic action and protest."

Near the coast of Senegal, at least 140 migrants heading to Europe drowned in the deadliest shipwreck recorded this year. This was announced by the United Nations migration agency yesterday. The boat carrying 200 passengers caught fire and began to sink on Saturday, a few hours after leaving a fishing town in Senegal.


In the United States, the Trump administration has removed environmental protection of the Tongass National Forest. This means it all be opening up more than three million hectares in the United States’s largest forest to logging. This decision was made despite opposition from environmental groups and Indigenous leaders. The US Department of Agriculture said yesterday that Tongass will no longer need to follow the law known as the “Roadless Rule”. This rule goes against timber harvest and road construction in specific areas. The Tongass – sometimes called “America’s Amazon” – is nearly 17 million acres wide, and is home to many animals and trees. 

In Mexico, at least 59 bodies - mostly teenagers - were found in a mass grave.The discovery of the bodies were made after the family members of the missing people informed the police. More than 80 people helped find the graves after authorities were informed of their possible location, although it is not clear who provided the information. The bodies were found in an area that has become one of the most violent places in Mexico.

And finally, South Korea has joined Japan in promising to make the country carbon-neutral by 2050. President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that South Korea is following the recent global commitments to tackle climate change.

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