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Friday 7th May 2021


The United States has approved a proposal to stop property rights for COVID19 vaccines. This would allow any manufacturer to produce COVID vaccines. Supporters of the idea say that production of vaccines would increase if property rights were stopped. However opponents of the idea say that production would not increase, and that drug companies may be less dedicated to making vaccines in the future.

In Brazil a police raid on a favela, a Brazilian slum, has killed at least 25 people according to local media. Police entered the Jacarezinho favela targeting drug traffickers. In Brazil some media has celebrated the mission, however other media has described it as ‘massacre’.

In Colombia over 30 people have died in protests in the last 2 weeks according to rights groups, and over 80 people are missing. Protests started last week against a tax reform. The reform was cancelled by President Ivan Duque, however protests have continued against poverty, human rights abuses and police brutality.


In India the coronavirus crisis is continuing to worsen. India set a new world record for daily confirmed cases yesterday - 415,000, and also reported 4,000 deaths. In the Capital city Delhi there have been no free COVID intensive care beds for weeks, and there are many reports of doctors having to choose who to give medical treatment. Talking to Reuters news agency, one junior doctor in Delhi Rohan Aggarwal said that only God should make the decision of who lives, but he has been forced to make this decision...

“What job we are assigned is what is to be decided by God - who do we save who not do we save - and we are not made for that, we are just humans”.

In the Maldives, former president Mohamed Nasheed is in hospital after a bomb attack. Nasheed, who is now the Speaker of the Maldives parliament was injured in an explosion outside his home in the Capital city, Male. Mohamed Nasheed is generally considered the Maldives first democratically elected president - winning an election in 2008 against Maumoon Gayoom who had ruled the Maldives for 30 years.

In Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has been given an extra 10 months in jail for taking part in a banned gathering last year. Every year in Hong Kong on June 4th there is a commemoration of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when Chinese soldiers killed hundreds of students protesting in Beijing. The commemoration was banned last year because of coronavirus restrictions, however tens of thousands of people still attended.

Japan’s olympic torch relay won’t feature the world’s oldest person, as planned. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Japan, the world's oldest person has withdrawn from the Olympic torch relay because of COVID-19. Kane Tanaka, who is 118 years old, was recognized by Guinness World Record as the oldest living person on earth in 2019. She was going to take part in the Olympic torch relay in Tokyo but has now withdrawn because of fears of spreading the infection to other people in her nursing home. Japan has declared a state of emergency in the cities of Tokyo and Osaka due to a coronavirus outbreak, and eight cases have been linked to the Olympic relay.


Morocco has complained about Germany’s position on the Western Sahara - a disputed territory that’s claimed by both Morocco and Saharawi people. In January former United States President Donald Trump said that the United States would recognise the Western Sahara as part of Morocco, however Germany has criticised this decision.

Somalia an Kenya are restoring diplomatic relations after 6 months. In December Somalia cut its diplomatic with Kenya, saying that Kenya was violating Somali sovereignty and interfering with Somali affairs before a general election.


The United Kingdom held many local elections yesterday, in England, Scotland and Wales. The Scottish National Party is expected to gain a majority in the Scottish Parliament, and is expected to demand another refendum on seperating from the UK. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan of the Labour party is expected to win another term as Mayor. Results will be confirmed today and tomorrow.

In Ukraine US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Speaking in Kiev yesterday Blinken said that Russia should stop its aggressive actions towards Ukraine.

And a Malian woman has given birth to nonuplets. Halima Cisse gave birth to 9 children - 5 girls and 4 boys. Cisse flew to Morocco for specialist care, and is expected to now hold the world record for most children born at the same time.

That’s your Simple English World News for this week. Find transcripts and past episodes, or send us a message at I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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