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Friday 5th February 2021

Asia

India has been urged to resolve its differences with farmers using dialogue. The United States said peaceful protest and access to the internet are important parts of democracy - after the internet was stopped in Delhi. Tens of thousands of farmers have been demonstrating for more than two months against new agricultural laws that will open the agricultural market. Yesterday people criticised celebrities Rihanna and Greta Thunburg for supporting the protests. The government says that the new laws will give more control to farmers by removing middlemen, and allowing farmers to sell at any price they want. However, protesting farmers say that they will be under the control of big businesses.

In Japan, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have released COVID19 measures. Singing and dancing will be banned and masks should be worn at all times to prevent the spread of the virus. Opinion polls have shown that most Japanese people want the games to be postponed or cancelled, however Japan has insisted that they will continue.

Syria has reported destroying Israeli missiles fired into Syria. Israel often attacks targets in Syria - mostly Iranian forces.

Myanmar’s military leaders have blocked internet access, days after a coup d’etat. Khadija Tahir explains...

In Myanmar, military rulers have blocked access to social media sites such as Facebook. Myanmar's military took power on 1st February and has since appointed an 11 member council to rule the country. The elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi is being held under house arrest, and has been charged with different offences by the police. Burmese people were using Social Media sites such as Facebook to gain information and show opposition to the military coup. Small protests are taking place throughout Myanmar, and 70 members of parliament have refused to leave a government building until a parliamentary session is scheduled

Africa

A Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army has been convicted of crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. Dominic Ongwen was found guilty of murder, rape, enslavement, abduction and torture, with the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group that has been called a Christian terrorist group.

In Nigeria, soldiers have killed dozens of Boko Haram fighters, according to local media. The Islamist group Boko Haram has lost territory in the last few years, however it continues to carry out attacks and kidnap people. Also in Nigeria a large fire has destroyed hundreds of shops in the capital, Abuja. One death has been reported.

Americas

In Mexico a former governor has been arrested on charges that he ordered the illegal arrest and torture of a journalist. One SEND7 listener, Abel Colunga, sent this message from Mexico...

“Former Puebla governor Pablo Mario Marin was arrested in Acapulco Guerrero on Wednesday in connection with a 2005 case in which prominent investigative journalist Lina Cacho was detained and tortured by Puebla police. Marin, governor between 2005 an 2011, was taken to federal attorney general’s office in Acapulco on Wednesday afternoon, and later transferred to Cancun where Cacho was arrested in December 2005, on defamation charges by Puebla police operation some 1500 kilometres beyond their jurisdiction."

Thank you Abel. To share news or comment on a story from your country, send an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7

Cuba will start a curfew today because of a rise in COVID19 infections. People must stay inside between 9pm and 5am in the capital, Havana. Cuba has been praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, however cases have continued to increase since November, when it reopened its airports.

Europe

Germany’s finance minister has criticised the European commission’s COVID19 strategy. According to the newspaper Bild, Olaf Scholz said that the vaccine strategy was “really shit” and criticised European Union commission president Ursula von der Leyen. The EU has vaccinated only 3.2% of its population. The US has vaccinated 10% and the UK 15%. Israel is by far the country that has vaccinated the most people - over 60% of people have received at least one dose.

Denmark and Sweden have started developing digital vaccine certificates. No country requires a COVID19 vaccination for travel, however some have suggested that it may be necessary in the future. Many countries, especially in Africa, already require vaccinations for other infections, such as Yellow Fever and Polio.

That’s this week’s Simple English News. Last week this podcast was downloaded almost ten thousand times in over 100 countries. Pl ease help us to grow by leaving a review in your native language. Read transcripts for all episodes at send7.org Send audio messages at speakpipe.com/send7 and follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend.

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