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Monday 25th January 2021

Good morning. In the world, one hundred million cases of COVID19 have been confirmed. This is SEND7 World News in 7 minutes. I am Stephen Devincenzi. It’s Monday 25th January 2021.

Europe

Portugal held a presidential election yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast results have not been announced. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is expected to win a second term as president. If no candidate wins 50% of votes then a second vote will take place on February 14th. There may be a low voter turnout in this election, because Portugal has one of the highest rates of new COVID19 infections in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the United Kingdom, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that she would make plans for a independence referendum soon. A large study by the Sunday Times has found that a majority of people in Scotland now want independence from the UK. In a 2014 referendum, Scotland rejected independence. However some Scottish people are believed to have changed their minds because Scotland was forced to leave the European Union despite most people voting to remain in 2016. In a BBC interview yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was ‘frightened of democracy’.

“He is frightened of democracy. The polls now show that a majority of people in Scotland now want independence. If the SNP win the Scottish election in a few months time on a proposition of giving people that choice then what democrat could rightly stand in the way of that? So Boris Johnson clearly fears the verdict and the will of the Scottish people.”

Asia


Oman has banned foreigners from working in some industries. Many jobs in shops, finance and some positions in companies will be reserved for Omani nationals. 40% of Oman’s population are foreign, however the government has said that economic problems mean that it is necessary to create more jobs for Omanis.

In Russia there were protests this weekend in support of Alexei Navalny. This report from Maya Dil....

In Russia tens of thousands of people protested this weekend against the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Over 3,000 people were arrested in st Petersburg and Moscow, and many interactions with police were violent. According to Reuters, 40,000 people attended the Moscow protest. Protesters shouted their demands, like “freedom to Navalny” and “Putin go away!”. The protest in Moscow was probably the largest in ten years. Navalny returned to Russia last week, after spending months in Germany recovering from being poisoned.

In Israel there have also been protests. Highly religious orthodox Jews protested this weekend against the closures of schools. Since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, many communities of orthodox Jews have ignored social restrictions. This has lead to the orthodox community accounting for over 30% of coronavirus cases, despite being only 10% of the population. Israel is by far the country which has vaccinated most people against COVID19 - with 38% of people having received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Africa

In Mozambique over 100,000 people have been forced to leave their homes because of a tropical cyclone. 4 deaths have been reported, however more are expected. Yesterday the cyclone caused heavy rains in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland.

In Mali six soldiers were killed in attacks in the centre of the country. The Malian military said that it killed 30 terrorists in response.

Pirates off the West African coast attacked a Turkish cargo ship on Saturday. One sailor was killed and 15 have been kidnapped. Turkey has said that it is planning a rescue mission.

Americas

The United States has recorded 25 million cases of COVID19. Over 420,000 deaths have been reported according to Johns Hopkins University. United States infectious disease chief Anthony Fauci has expressed optimism at working with the new administration of President Joe Biden. In an interview Fauci said that it was liberating, to not have to contradict the president anymore...

“The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence, what the science is, and know that’s it, let the science speak, it is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”

And in Chile authorities apologised yesterday for spreading panic, after a mistaken tsunami warning. After an earthquake in the Chilean Antarctic, a message was sent telling people to evacuate an Antarctic base, however, the message was accidentally sent the message to mobile phones all around Chile, causing some people in coastal cities like Valparaiso and La Serena to leave their homes. Minister for emergencies Miguel Ortiz said that he regretted the inconvenience caused.

Thank you for listening to SEND7. Transcripts and past episodes are available at send7.org Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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