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Friday 4th December 2020

Europe

The United Kingdom has said that it will start COVID19 vaccinations, next week. Care home residents and workers are expected to be the first to receive the Pfeizer vaccine. However, top United States disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, has said that the UK’s approval of the vaccine was rushed...

“They really rushed through that approval. You know, I love the Brits. They’re great. They’re good scientists. But they just took the data from the Pfeizer company, and instead of scrutinizing it really really carefully, they said OK lets approve it. Thats' it and they went with it. In fact they were even rather severely criticised by their European Union counterparts, who were saying that was kind of a hot dog play.”

France has begun investigating mosques that are suspected of promoting extremism. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said yesterday that 76 mosques were being investigated. There are over 2,600 Muslim places of worship in France. There have been 9 jihadist terrorist attacks in France in 2020, which have killed 7 people.

Asia

Afghanistan’s government has reached an agreement with the Taliban. Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani has said that it is a step towards a ceasefire. More from Khadija Tahir...

KT: After months of negotiations in Qatar’s capital, Doha, the Afghan government has signed its first deal with the Taliban. This is the first time the Afghan government and the Taliban have signed an agreement after 19 years of war. The talks were encouraged by the United States government, which is slowly removing its soldiers from Afghanistan. Although it is only an introductory agreement, it will allow both parties to move on to more important issues like a ceasefire. In Afghanistan, the two sides are still at war, with regular attacks by the Taliban on Afghan government forces.

Bangladesh has started moving Rohingya families to a distant island. Amnesty International has raised concerns for refugee’s safety in Bangladesh’s plan to move 2,500 Rohingya families to the island of Bashan Char.

Turkey has started new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus. People are expected to stay at home at night and for the whole weekend. There is also a ban on public transport for anyone under 20 or over 65. Turkey has seen a fast rise in infections recently, and has now recorded over 700,000 cases of COVID19.

Americas

In The United States, President Donald Trump has shared a 46 minute video on Twitter, where he again made claims of voter fraud...

Facebook and Twitter placed warnings on the video, because election officials and legal experts say that there was no substantial fraud in this election. Yesterday William Barr, The US Attorney General, appointed by Trump, also confirmed that the election results are correct.

Also in the United States, former presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama have all said that they would take a vaccine on national television to demonstrate the vaccines safety. Polls have shown around 40% of Americans would not take a vaccine at the moment. On Wednesday, more than 3,100 people died from the coronavirus in the US - the worst day since the start of the pandemic.

In Brazil there has been another heavily armed bank robbery. More than 20 people with weapons robbed a bank in the Northern City of Cameta. One person was killed in the attack.

Africa

In the Central African Republic, former president Francois Bozize has had his candidacy rejected for the next presidential election. The Constitutional Court rejected Bozize, because of United Nations sanctions against him, and an international arrest warrant. The Central African Republlic will hold general elections on the 27th December.

Zimbabwe’s government has restarted coronavirus restrictions. Gatherings of more than 100 people will now be banned. People have blamed the reopening of schools for a recent rise in COVID19 infections.

And Namibia will sell 170 elephants. Namibia’s environmental ministry has said that the elephants will be put to auction because of a rising number of elephants. Namibia’s elephant population has tripled in the last twenty years.

That’s your Simple English News for this week. Please leave a review of SEND7 podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @SEND7podcast. Find transcripts and past episodes at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.

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