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Friday 9th April 2021

Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday told Russian President Vladamir Putin to stop a military move near Ukraine. During the last few weeks Ukraine has said that Russia is increasing its military presence on the border between Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine has been fighting against separatists in the Donbass region since 2014. Russia openly supports the separatists.

In the United Kingdom Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine is safe. On Wednesday the UK announced that people under 30 would be offered a different vaccine because of rare connections to blood clots. Yesterday Hancock said that this was just a precaution,

and that the blood clots were incredibly rare...

“The safety system is also working, because the regulators were able to spot this extremely rare event - around 4 in a million - and we’ve been able to say that for under 30s, it is still safe to have the AstraZeneca jab, but if you want to you can have the Pfeizer of Moderna jab instead.”

Asia

In Myanmar at least 11 people have been killed as protesters fought with security forces in the northern Sagaing region, according to local media. Most reports now say that over 600 people have now been killed by the police and soldiers since the military coup d’etat on the 1st of February.

Palestine will again receive $235 million dollars in aid from the United States that was cut by the administration of former President Donald Trump. The Biden administration has said that $150 million dollars will go to Palestinian refugees through United Nations agencies.

Pakistan has been suspended from international football by FIFA. Khadija Tahir reports...

“Pakistan's Football Federation has been suspended by the International Football Federation, FIFA, due to third-party interference. Officials elected by FIFA run Pakistan's football association. However, last month a group of officials selected by Pakistan's supreme court took power. FIFA called this a 'hostile takeover' and has suspended Pakistan's teams. The captain of Pakistan's women's team Hajra Khan told AlJazeera that the incident is embarrassing. This is the second time in five years FIFA has suspended Pakistan.”

Turkey is reporting more coronavirus cases than ever before. According to Johns Hopkins University there are now over 400,000 active COVID cases in Turkey, double the number from the second wave in December.

In Thailand a monk has been freed after being trapped in a cave for four days. Phra Ajarn Manas went into the cave to meditate, but it became flooded and he was trapped inside. 17 divers helped to rescue the monk.

Africa

In Sudan the governor of West Darfur state has said that a week of fighting has killed at least 132 people. The fighting is believed to be between the Arab community and the Massalit community. The United Nations has said that the violence has stopped its humanitarian activities in Darfur.

Djibouti has an election today. Ismail Omar Guelleh is expected to win a fifth term as president. Most opposition parties are boycotting the election as they say it will not be free and fair.

Americas

In the United States, President Joe Biden announced new restrictions on guns yesterday.

“This is an epidemic for God’s sake. And it has to stop. So I’m here to talk about two things; first, the steps we’re going to take immediately; and second, the action that needs to be taken going forward, to curb the epidemic of gun violence.”

Executive orders will restrict access to some gun accessories, and restrict the ability for people to make their own guns at home. Biden also suggested more extreme changes that need to pass through congress, such as banning assault weapons, and increasing background checks. Guns kill around 38,000 people in the US every year.

Ecuador will hold the second round of its presidential election on Sunday. Media reports say that both Andres Arauz and Guillermo Lasso have spent their last few days of campaigning trying to expand their support from groups concerned with LGBT rights, women’s rights and from the indigenous community. Current polls show Arauz and Lasso very close.

In Colombia a 104 year old woman has survived COVID19 twice. Carmen Hernandez was first infected with the coronavirus in June last year, and beat it for a second time this week.

Last week we asked listeners whether any positive things had come from the pandemic. Alessia from Italy said that the best thing was a reduction in pollution. Alice said that fish had returned to the rivers of Venice. Give your opinion on any news story by sending an email to podcast@send7.org or send us an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7 . You can support us by leaving a review on apple podcasts or by sharing the podcast on social media. On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram we are @send7podcast. Transcripts and more are at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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