The United Kingdom has said that Russia has plans to install a pro-Russian leadership in Ukraine. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said that intelligence from the UK’s secret service shows that Russia is planning to replace Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelensky with Yevhen Murayev - a pro-Russian Ukranian politician and media owner. Russia would install a pro-Russian puppet government including two former Prime Ministers and other Pro-Russian politicians. During the last few months Russia has moved 100,000 soldiers to its borders with Ukraine, although it says that it has no intention of invading. Foreign ministers from the European Union are meeting today to discuss the crisis. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said this weekend that President Putin must desist, before making a massive strategic mistake...
” The Kremlin haven’t learned the lessons of history. They dream of re-creating the Soviet Union or a kind of Greater Russia - carving up territory based on ethnicity and language. They claim they want stability while they work to threaten and de-stabilize others. We know what lies down that path and the terrible toll in lives lost and human suffering it brings. That’s why we urge President Putin to desist and step back from Ukraine before he makes a massive strategic mistake.”
In Italy a secret-vote for a new president will start today, although the winner will probably not be decided today. 1,009 people are able to vote - members of parliament and regional leaders. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday that he has decided not to run for president.
In the Netherland police have found a man alive in the wheel-section of an aeroplane, after an 11-hour flight from South Africa. Experts have said that it is unusual for smuggled people to survive long flights because of the cold and low oxygen.
China is paying influencers from the app TikTok to give a good image of China before and during the Winter Olympics, which start in Beijing next week. Many Western governments are performing a ‘diplomatic boycott’ of the Winter Olympics, because of China’s human rights record - particularly the removal of democracy in Hong Kong, aggression against Taiwan, and the treatment of Uygher Muslims in Xinjiang province - which the some countries have described as genocide. Some western TikTok influencers are being paid to spread positive messages about China. TikTok is banned in China; as are Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Wikipedia, and most foreign news websites. According to Reporters without Borders, China is one of the worst countries in the world for media freedom. However, authorities have said that foreigners will be able to use the internet unrestricted during the Olympics.
In Turkey, a journalist has been arrested and may be charged with insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Police arrested Sedef Kabas at her home on Saturday after she posted a short message on Twitter. In Turkey, insulting the president is illegal.
In New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled her wedding because of new coronavirus restrictions. New Zealand has reported only 52 deaths from COVID19 during the pandemic, however the government decided to re-start some restrictions after a recent outbreak of the Omicron variant. Prime Minister Ardern said that she was sorry for people who were caught in a similar situation to her...
“As for mine, my wedding will not be going ahead, but I just join many other New Zealanders, hwo have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic. And to anyone who is caught up in that scenario, I’m so sorry...”
In Mexico two Canadians have been shot dead in the resort town of Playa del Carmen. Mexican authorities said that the Canadians had criminal records, including for drug trafficking and using false identities.
Chile’s president-elect Gabriel Boric has named his 24 cabinet ministers. 14 ministers will be women and 6 are under 40 years old. Boric will be 36 when he becomes president in March - the youngest president in Chile’s history.
In Cameroon a fire in a nightclub has killed at least 16 people. The government said that the fire in Yaounde was caused by fireworks lit inside the club.
Ethiopia’s army has said that it is planning to enter Tigray and eliminate Tigrayan forces. Ethiopia’s government has been at war with the local Tigrayan government for more than a year. During the last few months the Ethiopian military has recaptured all areas outside of the Tigray region, however, this weekend Ethiopian General Abebaw Tadesse
said that they will enter the Tigray region and eliminate fighting forces. The United Nations has demanded a ceasefire.
And in Spain, residents from the island of La Palma are starting to return home, 4 months after the eruption of volcano Cumbre Vieja. The eruption was declared to have ended on Christmas Day.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. You can find transcripts and more at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.