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Monday 25th April 2022

Europe

In France President Emmanuel Macron has won a second term as president. At the time of recording this podcast votes are still being counted however, various polls by different media agencies have shown Emmanuel Macron won 58% of the vote, beating the right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen. With 42% of the vote, Le Pen won much more than the 24% she won in 2017. Macron is the first person to win a second term as president since Jacques Chirac twenty years ago, when he beat the father of Le Pen - Jean-Marie Le pen. Last night Marine Le Pen said that she felt victorious despite losing...

“The ideas that we represent have reached new heights in this second round of the presidential election. With more than 43% of the vote, the results are themselves a striking victory”.

President Macron said that he would respond efficiently to the problems of people who voted for Le Pen.

In Ukraine, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv yesterday. Yesterday morning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held a media conference with journalists from all over the world in a metro station under Kyiv. During the conference, Zelensky said that his family was still scared, and he asked the US for more heavy weapons to fight the Russian invasion of the East and South of Ukraine. Russia currently controls around a quarter of Ukraine, including Crimea, which it took in 2014, and parts of the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia and Snake Island.

On Saturday the Russian army launched missiles on the city of Odessa, in the South West, killing at least 8 people, including a baby. Russia denies targeting civilians in its war on Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation” to de-militarize and de-nazify Ukraine. The United Nations has documented over 2,700 civilian deaths in the past two months, and the true number is expected to be much higher. United States Military intelligence has said that it expects that over ten thousand Russian soldiers have died in the past two months, and Ukraine says that it has killed over 20,000 Russian soldiers. Russia has not released information on its losses for weeks.

5.2 million Ukrainians have left Ukraine since Russia invaded on the 24th February, almost all women and children. More than half are in Poland. Around 8 million people have been displaced within Ukraine. In the Vatican City the Pope yesterday used his Sunday mass to demand a truce in Ukraine. United Nations head Antonio Guterres will visit Russia tomorrow to talk to President Vladimir Putin.

Africa

In Nigeria more than a hundred people have been killed in an explosion at an illegal oil refinery. Illegal and uncontrolled refining of oil is common in Nigeria, however is extremely dangerous. Some government officials expect that Nigeria loses 10% of its oil production to illegal activity. Also in Nigeria, after a mass kidnapping from a train over two weeks ago, over 160 people are still missing.

In Mali, France has accused Russian mercenaries of trying to stage atrocities. France says that it used drones to film white men covering dead bodies with sand close to a closed French base in Mali. The Wagner group, a private Russian military company which is probably financed by the Russian government, has been operating in Mali since last year, working with the Malian army to fight islamist jihadist groups. France is in the process of removing its soldiers from Mali, after a breakdown in relations with the Malian military junta that took power in a coup last year.

Americas

In Argentina farmers have protested against high taxes. Thousands of protesters, many on tractors, passed through the city of Buenos Aires to protest against the government of President Alberto Fernandez, whose policies to lower food prices have been criticised by many farmers.

In Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has pardoned a fellow politician one day after he was convicted of hate speech. Daniel Silveira a congressman, was convicted of inciting violence against the Supreme Court. Bolsonaro has given Silveira a presidential pardon, however, opposition parties have said that the pardon is unconstitutional, and they will challenge the pardon in court.

Asia

India and the United Kingdom have agreed to reach free-trade agreement this year. During his visit to India, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson described India as a guardian of democratic values.

Indonesia is planning to ban the export of palm-oil. Indonesia provides more than half of the world’s palm oil, and palm oil is used in many different products, including food, hygiene products and fuel. Finance minister Mulyani Indrawati has said that the ban will have a negative impact on other countries, but it is necessary to control the rising prices of cooking oil and other products within Indonesia.

In Japan ten people have died and 16 are missing after a tourist boat sank. Search and rescue operations are continuing near the northern island of Hokkaido

And also in Japan a café has opened for writers to force themselves to write. When entering the café, in Tokyo, writers tell the manager how many words they need to write, and the manager won’t let them leave until they’ve finished.

A big thank you to Yao in Hong Kong for becoming our newest supporter. If you enjoy the podcast, you can become a supporter at send7.org/support. Supporters also get access to transcripts every day.

Listeners, I am a guest host on the last episode of the podcast called My Fluent Podcast. This time I am asking Daniel about his country, Switzerland, and other things. Search in your podcast app for My Fluent Podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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