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Monday 23rd November 2020


In Ethiopia, the army has released plans to retake Mekelle, the capital city of the Tigray region, from the local Tigray government. The Ethiopian Army said that it will surround the city with tanks and may use artillery. The ruling party in the region - the TPLF or Tigray People’s Liberation Front - has said that it will not surrender. The TPLF has fired rockets into other parts of Ethiopia, and into Eritrea, who it says is supporting Ethiopia’s national army. It has been reported that the Ethiopian government has dropped leaflets into Mekelle, telling people to stay away from military installations to avoid being hit.

In Burkina Faso there were General elections yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been announced. In the race for president, there are 12 candidates, including current President Roch Kabore. If no candidate receives over 50% of the vote, then a second vote will be held. The 11 opposition leaders have said that they will form a coalition behind whoever receives the most votes. Around 20% of Burkina Faso have not been able to vote because Islamic jihadist groups have limited the government’s control of the North


In the United States President Trump is continuing to try to change the result of the presidential election so that he can remain in power...

“I won, by the way, but you know, we’ll find that out. Almost 74 million votes.”

On Friday Trump met with the leaders of the key state of Michigan. After the meeting Michigan’s senate leader Mike Shirkey, who is Republican, said that they had not seen any evidence to change the result. A recount of votes in the state of Georgia also confirmed that Biden had won. President Trump has only spoken in public 4 times since the election on November 3rd. However he has posted over 300 tweets attacking the legitimacy of the election. With 98% of votes counted President-Elect Joe Biden now has over 6 million more votes than Trump.

In Guatemala protesters broke in to the congress building and set it on fire on Saturday. Thousands of people were protesting in the capital - Guatemala City, against corruption and a new economic budget. The new national budget for 2021 will spend less money on for education and health.

In Brazil there were also protests this weekend, after the killing of a man by security guards in the city of Porto Alegre. Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas was black, and his death started ‘black lives matter’ protests in many Brazilian cities.


In Pakistan the minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted on Saturday that French president Emmanuel Macron was treating Muslims like the Nazis treated Jews in World War 2. Mazari said that Muslim children will get ID numbers, and other children won’t - a statement that has been rejected as fake news by the French embassy in Pakistan. Mazari later deleted the tweet.

In Afghanistan at least 8 civilians were killed by rockets fired into the capital Kabul. Daesh, the Islamic State group, claimed responsibility. The Taliban denied responsibility, saying that they do not blindly fire on public places. Pakistan said that one of its soldiers had died in an attack on the Afghan border with Pakistan.

In Iraq a roadside bomb exploded in the Salahuddin Province on Saturday, killing at least ten people. There was no claim of responsibility but officials have blamed Daesh.

Japan has reported record daily cases of COVID19 infections every day for the last 4 days. Officials have said that the government of Yoshihide Suga may restart some restrictions, including limits on sports and other large events.


In the United Kingdom, the government said that there were plans to begin using COVID19 vaccines as soon as possible for health workers and vulnerable people. On Friday health secretary Matt Hancock said that vaccinations could begin next month, if Pfeizer’s vaccine is approved by regulators. ..

“If the regulator approves a vaccine, we will be ready to start the vaccination next month with the bulk of the roll-out in the new year.”

This weekend G20 leaders promised fair access to coronavirus vaccines around the world. The world now confirms over half a million new COVID19 infections every day, and has confirmed almost 1.4 million deaths related to the virus

In Belarus at least 200 people were arrested this weekend in the weekly demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko. Thousands of people have attended protests every Sunday since August’s presidential election, that most international organizations have not recognized as being free or fair.

In Italy two new bodies have been found in the ancient volcano site of Pompeii. Archaelogists say that the two new bodies found are of a rich man and his young slave. Pompeii was an ancient city that was destroyed by an erupting volcano in the year AD79.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Read the transcript of today’s episode at I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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