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Monday 18th January 2021

Good morning. This is SEND7 World News in 7 minutes. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. The text of today’s episode is at send7.org. Today is Monday 18th January 2021.

Europe

In Germany Armin Laschet has been elected the new leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party. Angela Merkel has said that she will not seek a 5th term as chancellor in elections this year, and Laschet will probably take her place as the candidate for the CDU.

In the United Kingdom the head of the National Health Service said yesterday that this is the most dangerous time in the history of the health service. In a BBC interview, Sir Simon Stevens said that a person is taken to hospital with COVID19 every 30 seconds.

SS: “And staggeringly, every 30 seconds across England, another patient is being admitted to hospital with the coronavirus. So that means for example, that between now and lunch time, this hospital would be full of new coronavirus patients.” AM: ”Straight question - has the NHS ever been in a more precarious situation." SS: “No. It has sort of become glib to talk about this as the worst pandemic in a century, but that is clearly correct.”

UK Secretary of State, Dominic Raab said yesterday that every adult would be offered a COVID19 vaccine by September...

“[The] adult population - the entire adult population - we want to have been offered the first jab by September.”

Portugal’s health minister Marta Temido has said that Portugal had almost run out of intensive care beds because of COVID19 patients.

Asia

In Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navalny has returned to Russia, 5 months after being poisoned. Navalny was taken to Germany after his poisoning, where he was put into a coma and slowly recovered. Navalny has accused Russian president Vladamir Putin of ordering his poisoning. Upon arriving at Moscow airport last night, Navalny was arrested .

In Indonesia, at least 78 people have been confirmed to have died in an earthquake last week. On Friday a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia’s 4th largest island - Sulawesi.

In Afghanistan, an attack has killed two female judges. More on this from Maya Dil...

In Afghanistan two female judges were shot and killed in the capital city - Kabul, yesterday. The women were going to work at the Afghan Supreme Court when they were attacked. The attacker has not been caught, and no group has taken responsibility for the murders. However, the Taliban is expected to be responsible. Recently, there have been many assassinations of politicians, journalists and activists in Afghanistan. Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government continue in Qatar.

Americas

In the United States, Vice-President elect Kamala Harris will resign from the senate today. Her seat in the senate will be filled by California’s secretary of State Alex Padilla. The vice president of the United States can vote in the senate when their is a tie of votes. As the senate is now divided 50 - 50 between Democrats and Republicans, Kamala Harris is expected to often use this power. Harris will become the first female vice-president when she is sworn in on Wednesday.

Brazil has given emergency authorization to two COVID19 vaccines - The Oxford Universtiy AstraZeneca vaccine form the UK, and Coronavac from China. Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria said that vaccinations could start immediately. Brazil has confirmed 210,000 deaths from COVID19, the second highest number, after the United States.

Africa

In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has been declared the winner of last week’s presidential election. Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, won 59% of the vote, according to the electoral commission. Results show that Bobi Wine won 35% of the vote, however, Wine has said that he will provide evidence of fraud after the internet is restored. This weekend Wine has also complained of being stopped from leaving his house by police. Wine’s wife, Barbie Kyagulanyi said that they were essentially under house arrest...

“We are not under legal detention but the situation around us shows that we are under house arrest.”

In the Central African Republic, United Nations peacekeeping soldiers say that they have taken control of the city of Bangassou. The city was captured two weeks ago by rebel groups fighting against the government of President Fautin-Archange Touadera.

In Sudan ethnic fighting has killed at least 83 people. According to Al Jazeera, fighting started on Saturday between the Massalit tribe and Arab nomads in the Darfur region. Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that he has ordered security forces to be sent to Darfur to control the situation.

And Egypt has announced the discovery of 50 ancient coffins. Archaeologists believe that the coffins are from between the 16th and 11th century BC.

Thank you for listening to SEND7. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a nice day.

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