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Monday 24th May 2021


In Belarus opposition activist Roman Protasevich has been arrested after his plane was diverted to land in Belarus. Protasevich has been living in exile in Poland since the start of demonstrations against Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko last year. However, yesterday Protasevich was on a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania when a bomb threat forced the plane to land in the Belarussian capital Minsk. Many European leaders have blamed Belarus for deliberately causing the plane to land. Gitanas Nauseda, the president of Lithuania, said that Belarus was behind this action, and he called for the immediate release of Roman Protasevich. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has said that it was ‘totally unacceptable’ for Belarus to force the flight to land in Minsk, and has said that the violation of international air transport rules must bear consequences. Protasevich could face 15 years in jail for organizing protests.

In the United Kingdom large studies have shown that current COVID19 vaccines do work against the Indian strain of the virus. Both the Pfeizer vaccine and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine were shown to be almost as effective against the Indian variant known as B.1.617.2. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that it was very important that people return for their second dose...

“”we’ve all been concerned about this new variant that we’ve seen from India, and what this shows us is that whilst the protection of one vaccine is a little lower, the protection from two vaccines is essentially the same. And the message for everybody watching this which comes from this data is that getting the second jab is vital.”

On Saturday, India’s government ordered social media companies to remove all content that refers to the “Indian variant”, saying that the World Health Organization did not link any country to the variant.

In Italy 14 people died yesterday after a cable car fell to the ground. The cable car, near Lake Maggiore, fell after the main cable snapped.


In China 21 people have been killed by extreme cold weather during a marathon, according to State media company Xinhua. The ultramarathon of 100 kilometres was hit by unexpected hail and strong winds, and most runners were just wearing T-shirts. Officials from the city of Baiyin have accepted responsibility.

Taiwan has accused China of spreading fake news about its COVID19 outbreak. Deputy interior minister Chen Tsung-yen described China’s actions as ‘cognitive warfare’. After reporting only one thousand cases during the whole of the pandemic, Taiwan has suddenly started reporting over 300 cases a day.


In Algeria there were protests this weekend, despite a ban on protests two weeks ago. Maya Dil reports...

in Algeria, hundreds of protesters were arrested during protest marches across the country this weekend. Marches were stopped for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, since February they have restarted. The Harik movement first protested against president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in 2019. The Harik movement has no clear leadership or aims, other than wanting to change the ruling system in Algeria.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, volcano Mount Nyirangongo erupted on Saturday evening. Thousands of people from the city of Goma have left their homes, and some have travelled to Rwanda. However, yesterday the military said that lava appeared to have stopped just before hitting the city of Goma.


In Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has been fined for breaking COVID restrictions. Maranhao State Governo Flavio Dinor said that the fine was given to Bolsonaro for organizing a gathering of more than a hundred people without health measures. Bolsonaro has often been criticised for denying the importance of the pandemic. In Brazil 448,000 people have died of COVID19 according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Argentina has started a lockdown for the first time this year. Despite being one of the first countries to start vaccinations, only 18% of Argentina has received at least one dose of a vaccine.

And in the Netherlands, Italy won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday. 24 countries participated, and the winner was this song, Zitti E Buoni by Maneskin.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Daniel from Caracas, Venezuela, for his lovely audio message. Thank you also to Emanuela Fracassi for leaving us a review! You can support us by leaving a review on your podcast app, or by talking about us on social media. Send us a message or find transcripts at I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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