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Friday 9th July 2021

Americas

In Haiti police have killed 4 people suspected of the murder of President Jovenel Moise. Two other suspects have been arrested, one of which has US citizenship. President Moise’s wife Martine, has been flown to the United States for treatment for serious injuries. Prime Minister Claude Joseph said that some of the attackers were foreign, and videos appear to show them speaking Spanish. French is the official language of Haiti, and a French creole is the main language spoken. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and has faced decades of unstable governments. United States government spokesman Ned Price said that people who try to control Haiti using force will not succeed, and that an election should take place this year...

“We extend our deepest condolences to President Moise’s family and his loved ones and to the people of Haiti in the midst of this tragedy. It is still the view of the United States that elections this year should proceed. We know that free and fair elections are the democratic path.”

Colombia’s government used “excessive force” against protesters earlier this year, according to a report by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. The report involved interviews with over 500 people, including government officials and victims of violence. Protests started in Colombia in April against a proposed tax reform, however as they progressed people started protesting against police brutality. Human Rights Watch has confirmed that 34 people died in the protests, but some rights groups say the number is higher.

Africa

Nigeria has frozen the bank accounts of Africa’s largest entertainment company - Multichoice. Multichoice is based in South Africa, but 34% of its revenue comes from Nigeria. Nigeria has accused the company of tax fraud by lying about its number of customers and income.

South Sudan has now been a country for ten years. The world’s youngest country gained independence from Sudan on the 9th July 2011. Since then South Sudan has been almost always in a state of civil war, which has lead to the deaths of 400,000 people. In 2018 a peace deal was signed between different groups, and they have generally stopped fighting. Elections have been promised for 2023.

Asia

In Japan a state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo by Prime Minister Yoshohide Suga. A recent rise in COVID19 infections in the capital city has meant that new restrictions will be in place throughout the Olympic games, that start on the 23rd July. ;[Bars and restaurants will not be able to serve alcohol and mist close by 8PM. Stadiums in Tokyo will not have spectators, however in the rest of the country stadiums will open with a 50% capacity. The world has now passed 4 million recorded deaths from COVID19. World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom, has said that this is an undercount, and that restrictions should be relaxed carefully...

“We have just passed the tragic milestone of 4 million recorded COVID19 deaths, which likely underestimates the overall toll. Some countries with high vaccination coverage are now planning to roll out booster shots in the coming months, and are dropping public health social measures and are relaxing as though the pandemic is already over.”

In Afghanistan there have been reports of many civilians taking up guns to stop the advance of the Taliban. Pictures have shown women in northern and central Afghanistan joining rebel groups to fight the Taliban. In Helmand province, which is largely controlled by the Taliban, the capital city of Lashkar Gah is currently being fought for.

Yesterday US President Joe Biden restated that the US was right to withdraw its soldiers from Afghanistan, despite the Taliban recently taking control of more areas. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking in parliament yesterday, said that most British soldiers were already flying home, but that the UK remains committed to peace in Afghanistan...

“I hope that no one will leap to the false conclusion that the withdrawal of our forces somehow means the end of Britain’s commitment to Afghanistan. We are not about to turn away, nor are we under any illusions about the perils of today’s situation, and what may lie ahead.”

Europe

In France, the European Parliament has officially criticised a Hungarian law that bans gay people from appearing in educational material or on mainstream television. In Strasbourg Members of the European Parliament voted for a resolution that condemns the Hungarian law as being against the EU’s “values, principles and law”. The European Commission is now expected to start legal action against the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

And in Germany and the UK, studies have shown that human body size is related to the climate. Researchers studying our species homo sapiens and also older Homo species, including Neanderthals, found that generally, humans in colder climates grew bigger. The same appears to be true today - in general, colder countries have taller people.

That’s it for this week! Send us a message - writing or speaking - at send7.org where you can also read the transcripts. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

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