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Monday 14th December 2020

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that every country in the world, should declare a climate emergency. Current UN projections for climate change, say that the average world temperature will rise by 3’c by the year 2100, which will have catastrophic consequences...

“If we don’t change course, we may be heading for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 3’C this century. Can anybody still deny that we are facing a dramatic emergency? That is why today I call on all leaders worldwide to declare a state of climate emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is reached.”

Going to Africa now...

In Nigeria hundreds of schoolchildren are missing after an attack on a secondary school. The governor of Katsina province said that police are searching for 333 students. A large group of men with guns entered the boys Government Science Secondary school in Kankara on Friday night, shooting the local security, according to government officials. Islamist groups and other local bandits often kidnap people for ransom. In 2014 Jihadist group Boko Haram kidnapped 270 girls in the town of Chibok.

In Niger an attack by Boko Haram killed 27 people on Saturday. Officials said that the Islamist Jihadist group burned down a thousand homes and the central market area of the town of Toumour close to the border with Nigeria.

Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has made his first media appearance in 2 months. Tebboune, who is 75, had been in Germany where he was suffering from COVID19. Tebboune said that he was still recovering.

Europe

The United Kingdom and the European Union are preparing for no deal to be agreed by the end of this year. After the Brexit transition period ends on the 31st December, the UK will automatically be on World Trade Organization terms with the EU. This is commonly known as a “no-deal brexit”, and most economists believe it will have a negative impact on the UK and the EU. Talks between the UK and the EU this weekend have failed to reach an agreement. Spain’s foreign minister Arancha Gonzales said that talks should continue...

“We are already suffering from a huge impact of the pandemic and Brexit will just be a double whammy, and we want to avoid that. So as far as Spain is concerned we’ve told the EU negotiator(s) to go for a deal.”

Irish Taoiseach Michael Martin said that Ireland is preparing for a no-deal Brexit...

“The implications are very serious are very serious in the event of a no deal. We obviously don't want the no deal outcome, but we must prepare for it. “

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that talks will continue...

“It is responsible at this point in time, to go the extra mile. We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks. And to see whether an agreement can be reached even at this late stage.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that he was happy for talks to continue, but the country was preparing to start the New Year without a deal...

“We remain willing to talk - we’ll continue to do so, but in the mean time let’s prepare for the WTO option, and that’s what I’ve told the cabinet.”

In France over a hundred people were arrested on Saturday, during protests in Paris. Thousands of people demonstrated against a proposed security law that would make it more difficult to film police officers.

Asia

In Hong Kong, pro-democracy campaigner Jimmy-Lai has been denied bail, after being charged under Hong Kong’s new national security law. The billionaire who controls much of Hong Kong’s media was wearing handcuffs in court yesterday. 2 weeks ago the famous activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to 14 months in prison for organizing a pro-democracy protest last year.

In mainland China the journalist for Bloomberg Haze Fan, was arrested at her home last week, accused of endangering national security. The European Union has called for her release.

In Iran a woman who posted images of herself on Instagram has been given ten years in jail. Sahar Tabar who is 19, was charged with corruption of young people and disrespect for the republic after posting photos where she was made to look like a zombie. The Guardian newspaper quotes Tabar as saying that Iran has a “gender apartheid”. Many social media users, especially women, have been arrested in Iran in the last few years. Often women are arrested for not following the state dress code. In Iran it is illegal for women to be outside without covering their heads.

Americas

In Argentina the Congress has approved the legalization of abortion. The proposed law, which is supported by the government of left wing president Alberto Fernandez, was approved on Friday by 131 votes to 117, after a 20 hour debate. The senate will vote on this law at the end of December.

And in Venezuela, opposition groups have staged a symbolic vote, a week after boycotting parliamentary elections run by the Maduro government. The opposition said that 6.5 million people participated in the symbolic vote - which asked people if they accept or reject the government and its elections. The numbers cannot be independently verified - however, if it were true, it would be more people than the government claims voted in elections last week.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find the transcript of today’s episode, and more, at send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi. See you tomorrow.

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