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Monday 15th March 2021

Asia

In Myanmar at least 39 people were killed yesterday in violence between security forces and protesters, according to rights groups. Yesterday was probably the deadliest day since a military coup d’etat took power on February 1st. Over 120 people are now expected to have been killed by the military and police. There are reports of hundreds of people who have been detained for weeks. Military leaders justify the coup by saying that last years election was fraudulent.

Sri Lanka is very close to banning the Muslim ‘burqa’ face covering. Maya Dil reports...

The government of Sri Lanka has said that the burqa will be banned soon. The burqa is a Muslim dress that totally covers the face. The government has said this is for national security reasons, calling the burqa a sign of religious extremism. Some Sri Lankans think that a burqa ban is a sign of islamophobia that will cause more divisions between Buddhists and Muslims. 70% of Sri Lanka is Buddhist and 10% is Muslim. This proposal has come after the burqa was banned temporarily after Sri Lanka’s 2019 bombings. Activists say it stops Muslim women from practicing their religion freely.

Americas

In the United States polls show a political divide around the acceptance of coronavirus vaccines. Around 40% of Republicans say that they won’t get vaccinated, and an even higher number of people who describe themselves as ‘Trump supporters” are rejecting the vaccine. Yesterday Infectious Disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said that he hoped that Trump would tell his supporters to get vaccinated.

“I hope he does. How such a large proportion of a certain group of people would not want to get vaccinated purely because of political consideration - it makes absolutely no sense.”

In Bolivia former interim president Jeanine Añez was arrested yesterday. The ruling socialist party accuses Añez of being part of a coup that removed President Evo Morales in 2019. Bolivia is divided between people who believe that there was a coup in 2019, and people who believe that Evo Morales illegally ran for office for a fourth time and rigged the results of the election.

Africa

In Nigeria there was another mass kidnapping at a school this weekend. 39 students were kidnapped from a school in Kaduna State. This is the fourth mass school abduction in northern Nigeria since December. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for the immediate release of the students.

In Egypt archaeologists have found ancient Christian buildings. Archaeologists believe that three churches and living spaces, are evidence of the life of Christian monks in Egypt in the 4th century.

Europe

The Netherlands will start voting for the house of representatives today. Because of coronavirus restrictions the election will take place over three days. The People’s Party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to win the most seats, but not receive a majority. The anti-immigration Party of Freedom of Geert Wilders is expected to receive the second highest number of seats.

In Spain 12 people have been arrested from what is believed to be the biggest cocaine trafficking network in Madrid. 600 kilograms of cocaine were confiscated, as well as €700,000 euros in cash, weapons and expensive cars. The Spanish police were helped by Colombian police.

Last week we asked listeners to send their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you so much if you have sent a response. Unfortunately there isn’t time to show all of them. We’ve received lots of responses from Italy;

Salma said that the first lockdown was not hard, but it was more difficult as it continued.

“Staying at home was not that hard, in the beginning, because I am [like] a really inverted [introverted] person so it was just a pro for me, but after the lockdown extended I kind of felt the pressure of being at home and not being able to step out of the house whenever I wanted to...”

Davide from Lombardy said on Friday that he thinks a new lockdown will start soon - he was right, as Italy has started a new lockdown today. Vanessa Resinelli doesn’t believe in the vaccine’s reliability. Elena Cividati says that her life isn’t very different to normal. Daniele Gelmetti wants to thank doctors and nurses who have fought the disease. Valerio has said that because he is a teacher he hopes to be vaccinated soon...

”...hopefully we are going to be vaccinated soon and that’s good... ..as a teacher in school I will probably receive my vaccine soon - probably in April - so we are hopeful.”

From Poland, Marek has told us some positive effects from the pandemic, saying that vaccines have been produced in record times, that people are spending more time in nature, and Marek is hopeful that our experiences of working from home will improve our work-life balance in the future...

“I hope this solution will be continued after the pandemic and help the work-life balance.”

We will continue showing your experiences of the pandemic all this week. Send your experience of the pandemic by email to podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7

A big thank you to Bob Li in China for your kind message. If you enjoy the SEND7 the best thing you can do to help us is to leave a review on your podcast app, and share the podcast on social media. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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