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Monday 22nd March 2021

Americas

Brazil’s healthcare system is facing its worst crisis in history according to local media and staff. Reports say that most hospitals in Brazil have reached their capacity for intensive care patients, and many cities have a lack of oxygen supplies. Brazil is now recording around 2,500 COVID deaths every day - the most since the beginning of the pandemic. In total Brazil has recorded over 290,00 COVID deaths - second only to the United States. Over the last week several districts have imposed new lockdown measures. President Jair Bolsonaro is against lockdown restrictions and reports say that he has asked the supreme court to stop any lockdowns. Brazil’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that it was in talks with the United States to import vaccines.

In the United States there were demonstrations in Georgia against anti-Asian racism on Saturday. The protests follow a shooting last Tuesday that killed 8 people in which Asian women appear to have been targeted. Vice President Kamala Harris said on Saturday that anti-Asian hate had been spread by people of power in the United States, probably a reference to former President Donald Trump...

“For the last year we’ve had people of incredible power scapegoating Asian Americas. People with the biggest pulpits spreading this kind of hate...”

Asia

In Myanmar doctors protested yesterday against the military coup d’etat which took power last month. There have been protests every day since the military took power, and over 200 people are believed to have been killed by security forces.

In India the number of people considered ‘middle-class’ has fallen by 32 million in the last year, according to the Pew Research centre. The number of people making between $10 and $20 a day has dropped from 99 million to 66 million. Pew also said that the world’s middle class was reduced last year for the first time since the 1990s - falling by 90 million people.

The Syrian government attacked a hospital in Aleppo yesterday, according to rights groups. Maya Dil reports...

In Syria, at least six people were killed after government forces fired at a hospital in western Aleppo, according to the International Rescue Committee. Reports say that 16 people were also wounded and the hospital is now out of service. Turkey’s Defence Ministry also confirmed the Syrian government attack - which happened despite a Russian-Turkish ceasefire signed in March last year. The IRC say that there have been 118 attacks on health care in the last two years.

In Israel at least 20,000 people protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday. Protesters say that Netanyahu is corrupt. Israel will hold its fourth election in two years tomorrow.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus. Khan tested positive two days after receiving the first dose of a vaccine. Vaccines generally start to take effect after two weeks.

Europe

In the United Kingdom over half of adults in the UK have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. On Friday Prime Minister Boris Johnson received his first dose. Last year, Johnson spent 3 nights in intensive care suffering from COVID19. Leaving the hospital on Friday, he told people to listen to scientists...

“Listen to all the scientists, listen to what the European Medicines Agency had to say yesterday, to what the MHRA has said - the risk is COVID - this is a great thing to do.”

Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Malta have demanded help from other EU countries with managing mass migration. Interior ministers from the 5 countries met on Saturday in Athens. Maltese minister Byron Camilleri said that Mediterranean countries should not be punished for their geographical position.

Africa

In the Central African Republic, former President Francois Bozize has confirmed that he has taken control of an anti-government rebel alliance. Bozize’s spokesman said that Bozize is now the ‘general coordinator’’ for the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which aim to remove the government. Over 200,000 people have left their homes since December because of fighting in the CAR.

In the Republic of Congo there was a presidential election yesterday. President Denis Sassou Nguesso is expected to continue his 36 years in power. The internet was cut yesterday and independent election observers were not allowed. Previous elections in the Republic of Congo have been criticised by Western countries for not being free and fair.

And in space, the first ever mission to clean space of rubbish is set for launch today. Elsa-D made by a Japanese-British company, will be launched from Kazakhstan. The aim is for the spacecraft to attach itself to space junk, like an old satellite, and then pull it into earth’s atmosphere where it will burn up.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Send your comment on any news story by email at podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7. Find transcripts and past episodes at send7.org Follow us on social media @send7podcast I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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