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Monday 13th December 2021

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

Americas

In the United States almost a hundred people have died after tornados in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Tennessee. The most serious damage was in Kentucky, which has confirmed at least 80 deaths. Over 40 tornadoes were reported between Friday and Saturday. Many buildings were completely destroyed, with some personal items were found 200 kiometres away. 340,000 homes lost electricity. Kentucky Governor Andy Bashear said that it was the worst tornado event in the history of Kentucky...

“This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history and for those that have seen it, what its done here, in Grave’s county and elsewhere, it is indescribable.”

In Argentina thousands of people have protested against the International Monetary Fund in Buenos Aires. In 2018 Argentina was given the biggest loan in the IMF’s history, of $57 billion dollars, however, since then Argentina has continued to face an economic crisis and one of the highest inflation rates in the world.

Europe

In the United Kingdom, G7 countries have warned Russia of “massive consequences” if it invades Ukraine. Foreign ministers from the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan met in Liverpool this weekend to discuss the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Almost 100,000 Russian soldiers are now on the border with Ukraine, and United States intelligence says that Russia is planning to move 175,000 soldiers to the border. However, Russia has said that it does not intend on invading Ukraine, and has said that it’s movement of soldiers is only for defence. US President Joe Biden has said that if Russia invades Ukraine, then Russia would face extreme economic sanctions. including being blocked from using the SWIFT banking system, that allows international payments. British foreign secretary Liz Truss said that the G7 countries had agreed on severe consequences for Russia, is there was an invasion of Ukraine...

“Well, what we have to do is deter Russia from taking that course of action. I’ve been very clear it would be a strategic mistake for Russia to do that. And what the G7 meeting this weekend that’s taking place, is about, is about a show of unity between like-minded major economies that we are going to absolutely be strong in our stance against aggression, against aggression with respect to Ukraine. There would be severe consequences if anything were to happen. But also make sure that we are building security and economic relationships with like minded partners including Ukraine, to protect them in the future.”

Also in the United Kingdom cases of the Omicron variant of COVID19 are doubling every 2 days. Over 3,000 Omicron cases have now been reported in the UK, more than in any other country, including South Africa, where it was first recorded. Omicron is expected to become the dominant strain of COVID19 in the UK in 2 weeks. Although scientific data is still limited, early results from the UK and South Africa suggest that current vaccines are less effective against Omicron. However, it has also been suggested that Omicron may be less likely to produce hospitalization and death.

In Austria tens of thousands of people protested against COVID19 restrictions this weekend. This weekend Austria ended its lockdown for people who are vaccinated against COVID19, however the lockdown will continue for people who are not vaccinated. In February Austria will become the only country in Europe to make vaccinations mandatory for all adults.

In Germany, a man who works from home has won compensation for an accident at the workplace. Maya Dil reports... A German man has won a legal claim for a workplace accident, in which he fell when walking down the stairs from his bedroom to his desk. Germany's federal social court has said that the man was officially 'commuting'. The unidentified man broke his back in the incident.


Africa

In Ethiopia Tigrayan soldiers have recaptured the world heritage site Lalibela from the Ethiopian government. Government soldiers said that they had recaptured the holy Christian site 2 weeks ago, however residents have said that Tigray forces are in the town centre again.

Libya should have its first nationwide elections in 7 years on the 24th December, however, legal problems mean that the election could be postponed. Most problems involve the legality of the candidates. Courts have said that Saif Gaddafi, the son of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi should be allowed to be a candidate for president. Warlord Khalifa Haftar has also been approved as a candidate, and interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah is also a candidate, despite promising that he wouldn’t try to become president.


Asia

In Taiwan a laboratory worker has become infected with COVID19 after being bitten by a mouse infected with the coronavirus. During the last month, all of Taiwan’s new coronavirus cases have been linked to travel. The probable infection of the laboratory worker in Taiwan, has caused people to say that a similar accident could have been the original cause of COVID19 in humans from a laboratory in Wuhan in China. The most generally believed origin of COVID19 is that it passed from animals to humans in a natural setting, possibly at a food market in Wuhan. However, many scientists also say that it is possible that the virus was first passed to humans by accident in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

And in India, a 104 year old woman has learnt how to read. Kuttiyama from Kerela, was married when she was 16 and spent her life cooking, cleaning and feeding animals. However, last year she started taking evening classes, and last week passed a literacy exam. Kuttiyama says that she looks forward to reading the newspaper every morning.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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