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Friday 6th November 2020

Americas

In the United States, at the time of recording this podcast, votes are still being counted in the presidential election. However, it now looks very likely that Joe Biden will win. Yesterday most media sources showed that Biden had won 264 electoral college votes, almost the 270 needed to win. Fox News, which is generally seen as supportive of Donald Trump, agreed that Biden had 264 electoral votes, including the states of Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan as being wins for Biden, despite the counting not officially being over. President Trump continues to say that there has been fraud during these elections. Trump tweeted yesterday “stop the count”, and some of his supporters have shouted the same words outside polling stations, where votes are still being counted...

Opposing rallies have shouted “count every vote”. Trump has not given any evidence of voter fraud, and legal challenges to results are expected to be unsuccessful. Joe Biden Tweeted last night that every vote must be counted.

Nicaragua is recovering from Tropical Storm Eta. In Nicaragua at least 3 people were killed by landslides since Wednesday. Eta moved into Honduras yesterday, and many areas of central America are still considered in danger because of extreme rainfall.

Europe

Most countries in Europe are reporting their highest rates of COVID19 infection right now. France recorded 58,000 new cases yesterday - its highest single day so far. Many countries have increased restrictions or started new lockdowns. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he believes that a 4-week lockdown will help to reduce the COVID19 infection rate. The lockdown in the UK started yesterday, and Johnson has said that it will finish on the 2nd December.

“The advice I've received suggests that 4 weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact. So, these rules will expire and on 2nd December we plan to move back to a tiered approach. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

In Serbia, the leader of the Serbian Orthadox Church, Patriarch Irinej, has been hospitalized for COVID19. Irinej is 90 years old. Irinej tested positive days after leading the funeral of the head of Montenegro’s Serbian Church, who died of COVID19.

In France foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian said that Turkish president Recip Tayyip Erdogan had made declarations of violence. Erdogan has called for boycotting French products in response to French President Macron’s comments on Islam, and Erdogan has said that Macron needs mental health treatment. Macron has repeatedly stated that France is fighting Islamist separatism, and not Islam.

Africa

In Cote d’Ivoire, former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has asked the military to join opposition parties and back a rival government. Opposition parties say that last week’s election was illegal, because Alassane Ouattara should not be able to win a third term as president...

“I ask of you, soldiers, sub-officers, officers, superior officers, and generals of our army, to look in the mirror, in soul and conscience, and act to stop the killings. I ask you to disobey illegal orders, and to follow the national transitional council.”

In Ethiopia there has been fighting between the military and the local government forces of the Tigray region. President Abiy Ahmed declared a state of emergency in the Tigray region on Wednesday, after the government accused the local government of attacking federal soldiers. The local government is controlled by Tigray nationalists.

Asia

In Afghanistan at least 3 people have died after a car bomb exploded in the Northern Balkh province. On Monday 22 students were killed at Kabul University in an attack claimed by Daesh, the Islamic State group. Reports have shown that violence in Afghanistan has increased by 50% in recent months despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

In Hong Kong the police have started a telephone line for people to call if they think that someone is breaking the new national security law. The law which took effect in June has been criticized for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

South Korea has detained a North Korean man who is believed to be a defector. The man crossed by land from North Korea to the South - which is very rare because of the heavy military presence. Most defectors from North Korea escape through the border with China. According to the Democracy Index, North Korea is the most authoritarian country in the world.

And in space, a large asteroid has been found that scientists think might be a piece of the earth’s moon, that separated billions of years ago. Scientists say that the asteroid is made of the same material as the moon, and had not been seen before because it is behind the planet Mars.

That’s your Simple English News for this week. Read the transcript for this episode and listen to old episodes at send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Message me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @send7podcast. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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