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Monday 17th January 2022

Europe

In Switzerland and Belgium, talks between Russia and members of NATO have failed, according to Russia. Russia has sent 100,000 soldiers and heavy weapons to its border with Ukraine, although it says that it does not plan to invade Ukraine. In talks with NATO, Russia has demanded that Ukraine is never allowed to become a member of NATO and that NATO must remove soldiers from some Eastern European countries. United States government spokesperson Jen Psaki, has said that Russia is creating a false narrative around Ukraine to justify an invasion...

”We are concerned that the Russian government is preparing for an invasion in Ukraine that may result in widespread human rights violations and war crime should diplomacy fail to meet their objectives. As part of its plans Russia is laying the groundwork to have the option of fabricating a pretext for invasion, and we’ve seen this before, we saw this before leading up to 2014, just to note. Including through sabotaged activities, and information operations, by accusing Ukraine of preparing an imminent attack against Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine...

Serbia has criticised the decision of the Australian government to cancel the visa of world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic. Djokovic has now left Australia, after a court ruled that the Australian government had the right to cancel his visa because he is not vaccinated against COVID19. The Serbian health ministry said that Djokovic should have been allowed an exemption because he tested positive for COVID19 in December, however the ministry also said that Djokovic should have been vaccinated to encourage other people to be vaccinated. Just 47% of Serbia’s population has been vaccinated against COVID19. In the world 60% of people of people are vaccinated.

United Kingdom Prime Minster Boris Johnson broke the law according to opposition leader Keir Starmer. During an interview with the BBC, Starmer said that Johnson broke the law by going to parties during lockdowns, and then lied about it...

“I think he broke the law. I think he has as good as admitted that he broke the law. And after all, Downing Street has now apologised to The Queen for some of the parties that have gone on...

Asia

In Kazakhstan authorities have raised the official death toll during anti-government protests this month. The government now says that 225 people died, including 19 police and military members. The government describes the other people who have died as “terrorists”, however, there have been many reports of government forces shooting at peaceful protesters. According to the Democracy Index, Kazakhstan is one of the most authoritarian countries in the world.

Tonga has been hit by tsunamis after an underwater volcano erupted on Saturday. The island country in the Pacific ocean was hit by many large waves and large areas were covered with water. Tsunamis were also reported in other pacific islands, such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and New Zealand. Japan gave a tsunami warning and The United States, Mexico and some South American countries also reported large waves. Two people died in Peru when a two-metre-high wave hit a beach in Lambayeque. Tonga has not reported any deaths, however some people are missing. There is now a cloud of ash over Tonga.

Americas

In the United States, people were kept hostage in a synagogue this weekend. This report from Maya Dil...

In Texas, 4 hostages have been freed unharmed after being held in a synagogue for 10 hours. They were taken hostage during a morning service on saturday, and gunfire was heard at the incident. The FBI have identified the attacker as Malik Faisal Akram, who had British nationality. Akram died during the operation, however it is not clear how.

Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil are experiencing an extreme heatwave. Argentina's meteorology office has described it as “the hottest days in history”. In Argentina there are forest fires in 9 out of the 23 provinces.

Africa

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed must end the Tigray war, according to the Nobel committee. Abiy won the Nobel peace prize in 2019 for making peace with Eritrea. However, Abiy has been criticised for his part in the war between Ethiopian government forces and soldiers from the Tigray region.

In Mali, former Prime Minister and President Ibrahm Boubacar Keita has died aged 76. Keita was elected president in 2013 and was removed by a military coup d’etat in 2020.

And across Africa, scientists have found evidence of a social network from 50,000 years ago. Researchers have studied jewellery made from eggshells found in southern and eastern Africa. Scientists now say that this jewellery was exchanged between people across large areas of Africa - probably to help build relations.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. We have a birthday message today. Happy birthday to Oli from your wife Halala, and your sons Tavi and Ivi. If you are an apple listener, please leave a review in your app, and if you are a Spotify listener, please give us a star rating in your app. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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