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Monday 11th October 2021

Europe

In Austria Sebastian Kurz has resigned as Chancellor. Kurz has been at the centre of a corruption scandal, involving paying media companies to provide positive coverage of his conservative “People’s Pary”. He denies the allegations, but said the he would resign to ‘avoid chaos’. Kurz is the youngest chancellor in Austrian history, being only 31 when he became chancellor in 2017, and has been the youngest head of government in the world ever since.

In Czechia Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his ANO party have not won re-election. Despite winning the most seats in parliament in Saturday’s election, two parties the ODS and the Pirates party have won more than half of seats in parliament, and have both promised not to work with Babis. Czech President Milos Zeman was taken to hospital yesterday, and is in intensive care, although it has not been reported why.

In Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize has been given to two journalists - Russian Dmitry Muratov and Filipina Maria Ressa. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that the journalists were given the prize for their fight for freedom of expression, saying that it is a precondition for democracy and peace. According to the World Press Freedom Index, Russia and The Philippines are two of the worst countries in the world for press freedom. Dmitry Muratov is the editor of Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper critical of Vladamir Putin’s government. Seven of its journalists have been murdered since the year 2000. Maria Ressa is the founder and editor of Rappler, a Phillipine news website that has been critical of the government of Rodrigo Duterte - especially his “war on drugs” that has lead to thousands of extrajudicial killings. Speaking moments after finding out that she won the prize, Ressa said that a world without facts is a world without truth...

“In less than two years the Philippine government has filed ten arrest warrants against me. It was pretty bleak at different times but I really continued to believe that we need to continue shining the light. We need to continue doing accountability journalism. I guess what this just shows is that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee realised that a world with facts is a world without truth and trust.”

Asia

Iraq held parliamentary elections yesterday. Airports were closed and there was heavy security in the capital Baghdad, however there were no reports of violence. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi asked Iraqis to vote for their future, however, analysts have predicted a low turnout for the election. The party that receives the most seats will choose the next Prime Minister, however a coalition government will probably be necessary.

In Taiwan it was national day yesterday. President Tsai Ing-Wen said that Taiwan will not bow to pressure from China and will continue to enhance the island’s defences to protect it’s democracy. On Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that reunification with Taiwan is a a historical task, that must and will be fulfilled. Xi also refers to Taiwan as a ‘domestic’ matter, despite the fact that Taiwan has been an independent democracy since 1949.

Lebanon was without electricity for 24 hours this weekend. The power cut started on Saturday because of a lack of fuel for Lebanon’s two biggest power plants. Reports say that the army gave some extra fuel to restart the power stations yesterday.

In Russia at least 16 people have been killed in a plane crash. Local media from the Tatarstan region say that the place was carrying parachute jumpers, and six people who survived are now in hospital.

Americas

In The United States former President Donald Trump held a rally in Idaho this weekend. Trump attacked the government of President Joe Biden, restated that the 2020 election was stolen from him illegally, and hinted that he would run again for president in 2024...

”...but as I’ve said before the truth is a force of nature. It’s going to come out - it’s all coming out - hang in there... and we will take back America. We’re going to take back America...”

In Mexico police have found 650 migrants in three lorries heading to the United States. The police said that most of the migrants were from Guatemala, and 200 were unaccompanied children.

Africa

In the Democratic Republic of Congo over 50 people have died after a boat sank on the Congo river. Local authorities have said that they believe 70 more people are missing.

In Mali a nun who was kidnapped by jihadists in 2017 was released on Saturday. The Colombian nun Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was working as a missionary in Mali before being kidnapped by Al Qaeda. Yesterday she flew to Italy where she met Pope Francis.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Read the transcripts of every episode at send7.org. They are totally free. Tell your friends. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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