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Friday 3rd September 2021

Americas

In the United States many deaths are being reported after Hurricane Ida caused massive flooding in 3 states. At the time of recording 28 deaths have been confirmed, however, this number is expected to rise. In New York City transport stopped almost completely yesterday after a sudden flood. 160,000 homes were left without electricity. In New Jersey a tornado destroyed houses. Philadelphia has also been largely flooded, with city streets completely underwater. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed climate change, and said that storms like this will become more common...

“We are in a whole new world now, let’s be blunt about it. We saw a horrifying storm last night, unlike anything we have seen before. And this is a reality we have to face.”

Also in the United States the state of Texas has brought in the strictest abortion laws in decades. The law, called the Heartbeat Act, makes it illegal to terminate a pregnancy once any cardiac activity can be found in the embryo, normally six weeks after conception. This includes for pregnancies that are the result of rape. President Joe Biden said that the law is an assault on women’s rights.

In Venezuela, opposition parties have said that they will participate in regional elections this year. For the last 3 years opposition parties have boycotted elections, saying that they are not free and fair. Opposition leaders are meeting the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Mexico this week to discuss the future of Venezuela. Maduro is not recognized as president by many Western countries because of a lack of transparency in previous elections.

Asia

Qatar and Turkey are working to help reopen Afghanistan’s main airport in Kabul. Commercial flights have stopped since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last month. Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani said that they were providing technical assistance to the Taliban to reopen the airport. United Kingdom foreign secretary Dominic Raab was in Qatar yesterday. He said that the UK will engage with the Taliban where necessary, however, the UK would not recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan...

“our commitment on the part of the UK to Afghanistan remains. Now of course we need to adjust to the new reality and our immediate priority is to secure the safe passage of those remaining British nationals but also the Afghans who worked for the United Kingdom. And indeed others who may be at most risk. We don’t recognize governments - we won’t be recognising the Taliban. But we do see the need to be able to have direct engagement...”

In the Philippines health workers are protesting against poor working conditions and pay. The Philippines has more people hospitalised with COVID19 now than ever before, and health workers say that corruption has made the health system weaker.

In Thailand thousands of protesters gathered in Bangkok yesterday, demanding th resignation or Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. Protesters blame Prayuth’s government for bad hangdling of the COVID19 pandemic, especially the lack of access to vaccines. Prayuth gained power in a coup d’etat in 2014.

Africa

In Ethiopia the United Nations have said that the humanitarian crisis in the Tigray region is going to get worse because of a lack of access to the region. There has been a shortage of food and other materials in Tigray since the start of a war last November. between the local Tigrayan government and the national Ethiopian government. 2 million people have left their homes. The UN has asked all sides to allow aid to enter the region.

Egypt’s health ministry has said that it will start to produce the Chinese Sinovac Covid19 vaccine. Health minister Hala Zayed said yesterday that a deal with a Chinese company will allow Egypt to produce a billion doses a year.

Europe

In Slovenia European Union ministers of defence and foreign affairs met yesterday to discuss their response to future crises. After the sudden takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, The European Union has been discussing improving its military force without relying on the United States. Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, said that a new “Rapid Reaction Force” should be made....

“Afghanistan will be the backdrop of our discussion today. And I think it is clear that the need for more European defence has never been as <much> evident as today after the events in Afghanistan.”

And Greece has declared 3 days of mourning after the death of composer Mikis Theodorakis aged 96. Theodorakis wrote classical music for orchestras, hymns in Greek, 8 ballets, 5 operas, and wrote the music for many plays and films, including this, the theme song for the 1964 film Zorba the Greek.

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. You can read the text of every episode at send7.org where you can also send us a message and more. Leave a review on your podcast app, or mention us in an Instagram story, and we will say thank you on the podcast. We are on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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