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Monday 19th October 2020

Updated: Oct 19

Starting in Oceania today.

New Zealand voted on Saturday for a new parliament. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won her second term as Prime Minister, as the Labour party won the most seats. In Ardern’s acceptance speech, she said that New Zealand’s election was a demonstration to the world, that elections can be civilised, and not divisive...

“We are living in an increasingly polarised world. A place where more and more people have lost the ability to see one another's point of view. I hope that in this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are. That as a nation we can listen and we can debate. Elections aren’t always great at bringing people together, but they also don’t need to tear one another apart.”

A referendum on the legalization of marijuana was also held on Saturday in New Zealand, however, the results have not yet been declared.

Asia

Secretary general of the United Nations Antonio Guterres asked Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect a ceasefire yesterday. Hundreds of people have now been killed in 3 weeks of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Yesterday Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogen accused the US, Russia and France of providing military support to Armenia. Turkey openly supports Azerbaijan with weapons.

In Afghanistan at least 12 civilians were killed in a bomb attack yesterday in Ghor Province. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, however the Taliban has been increasing attacks recently.

Europe

In France, tens of thousands of people have protested in solidarity with Samuel Paty, a teacher killed by a jihadist terrorist. Paty was beheaded outside his school on Friday after discussing images of the prophet Muhammad with his class. The attacker was an 18 year old refugee from the Russian Republic of Chechnya. He was killed by police at the scene. President Emmanuel Macron said that freedom of expression is existential.

One of our countrymen was assassinated because he was teaching, because he was teaching his students about the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe. Our compatriot was cowardly attacked and was the victim of an Islamist terrorist attack”.

Many countries in Europe are continuing to report higher numbers of coronavirus infections than ever before. France reported 32,000 new infections on Saturday its highest ever single day. Paris and other major cities now have a curfew from 9pm to 6am. In the United Kingdom universities are at the centre of outbreaks of COVID19. Around 110 universities have reported cases of COVID19 in the UK. Felix Meulenkamp, a student from the University of Norwich, told SEND7 podcast about his experience of having COVID19 at university...

“I originally got a test because my university is offering them for free to students. The day after getting my test I had sort of a mild headache, and the following morning I woke up about 5am with just cold sweats and during the day my body deteriorated. I just had real bad body aching and quite a bad headache behind my eyes. Just sort of flu-like symptoms. This lasted for around 2 days and after that I began to recover. And on around day 4 my taste and smell just disappeared completely. Now my isolation period has ended but I still can’t taste or smell, but I’ve been told that this is quite normal by the NHS.”

Yesterday, the world passed 40 million confirmed infections of COVID19. 30 million people are confirmed to have recovered.

Africa

Guinea held a presidential election yesterday. President Alpha Conde has run for a third term. Presidents were limited to two terms until a change in the constitution was made this year in a referendum that many people say was not credible. At the time of recording this podcast, the results have not been declared.

In Cote d’Ivoire there has been violence two weeks before the presidential election. The house of candidate and former Prime Minister Pascal N’Guessan was burnt down, along with many other buildings. At least two people are reported to have died.

Americas

In the United States, over 22 million people have already voted in the presidential election. The number of mail-in ballots are expected to be much higher this year than ever before, because of the COVID19 pandemic. Election day is in two weeks, and most polls show candidate Joe Biden ahead of President Donald Trump. Yesterday, Trump made a series of Tweets accusing Biden of being corrupt. The Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, has said that Trump’s personal attacks on her are putting her in danger. A plot to kidnap Whitmer 2 weeks ago left 13 people arrested.

In Bolivia there was a general election yesterday. This is the first election since the results of last years’ election were cancelled, during a long political crisis in Bolivia. The main parties contesting the election are MAS, the socialist party of ex-president Evo Morales, Civic Community, of ex-president Carlos Mesa, and the conservative FPV. At the time of recording this podcast, results have not yet been announced.

And in neighboring Peru a new image has been identified in the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are a collection of image of up to one kilometre in size - made by moving earth and stones. The new Nazca line is a cat, and Peruvian experts believe that it was created over 2000 years ago.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find the transcript of this episode and listen to past episodes at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, and tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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