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Monday 22nd February 2021

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Today, our hosting service is having technical problems. If you cannot find the podcast in your app as normal then you can listen on Youtube here: Hopefully, this problem will be solved by tomorrow.

Thank you for understanding, Stephen.

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Asia

In Myanmar police and soldiers have shot at protesters according to witnesses. Reuters News agency has reported that two people were killed in the city of Mandalay on Saturday, during protests against the military coup d’etat which took power 3 weeks ago. The United Nations, The United Kingdom, France and Singapore released statements condemning the military’s actions. Facebook has removed the Burmese Military’s main page. Around ten protesters are believed to have been killed since the coup. Despite the violence tens of thousands of people continued to protest yesterday, in the largest city, Rangoon, Mandalay and across Myanmar.

In Indonesia heavy rain has caused people to abandon their homes. This report from Maya Dil...

In Jakarta, flooding has forced more than 1000 people to leave their homes. Heavy rainfall is common during monsoon season, and Indonesia's meteorology agency have said that the flooding will continue all week. More extreme weather, like lightening and strong winds, are also expected. In some areas of Jakarta, the water level rose to 1.8 metres high. However, until now no deaths have been reported. Indonesia is currently dealing with the highest death rate from COVID19 in South East Asia, and an economic recession.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he wants to improve cooperation with the United States. Relations have been difficult recently for many reasons, including United States support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, who Turkey considers terrorists. On Friday US president Joe Biden declared his support for NATO which former President Trump had often criticised.

“America is back. The transatlantic alliance is back. And we are not looking backward. We are looking forward together.”

Africa

In Libya, interior minister Fathi Bashaga has survived an assassination attempt in Tripoli. Bashaga was attacked by unidentified gunmen yesterday - one was killed and two were arrested. Bashaga is one of the most powerful members of the Government of National Accord which controls the west of Libya. The GNA and the House of Representatives, that controls the East of Libya, agreed last month to form a united transitional government. This united government is expected to hold the first nationwide elections in Libya since 2014.

In Niger 7 election workers were killed yesterday after a mine exploded. Today Niger is holding the second round of its presidential election. Current president Mahamadou Issofou is not a candidate, having served two 5-year terms. Issoufou said yesterday that he is proud to be the first democratically elected president of Niger to pass the job to another democratically elected president.

Tanzania has been warned by the World Health Organization that it must take action against the coronavirus pandemic. Tanzania has not provided data on infections and deaths since April last year, and President John Magafuli has people told use herbal medicines to fight the virus. The vice president of the autonomous region of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad died last week with COVID19 and it is suspected that the head of the civil service John Kijazi also died of COVID19 last week.

Americas

Argentina’s health minister has resigned after reports that he helped people to jump the queue for coronavirus vaccinations. Gines Gonzales Garcia was asked to resign by President Alberto Fernandez on Friday after it was made clear that Garcia helped people that he knew receive a COVID19 vaccination early. Fernandez said that Garcia was a great minister, but that what he did was ‘unforgivable’. Earlier this month Peru’s health minister and foreign minister resigned after a similar scandal.

In Ecuador progressive economist Andres Arauz and banker Guillermo Lasso will take part in the second round of Ecuador’s presidential election. There was confusion after both Lasso and indigenous leader Yaku Perez received around 19% of the vote each. The electoral authority have said that a recount is not necessary, but Perez has said that he will take action to demand a recount.

Europe

In Spain there have been 5 nights of protests and violence in Barcelona after the arrest of a rapper. Over 100 people have been arrested and shops have been smashed and looted since Pablo Hasel was arrested. Hasel is now serving 9 months in prison for tweets praising terrorist groups.

In the United Kingdom doctors are celebrating the success of heart transplants in children, using hearts that have stopped beating. In the world most heart transplants use hearts that continue to beat despite a person being clinically dead. Last year 6 children in the United Kingdom became the first children to receive heart transplants using hearts that had stopped beating. All the children survived.

And in Australia, Novak Djokovic has won the Australian Open Tennis title for the 9th time. Djokovic has won the most Australian Open titles in the Men’s competition, first winning in 2008. In the Women’s competition Japanese Naomi Osaka won her 4th grand slam title.

SEND7 listeners! Please complete our survey to help us improve the podcast. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode description in your podcast app. This week one person will win €40 of Amazon vouchers for completing the survey. Find the survey at send7.org or in the details of this episode. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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