Monday 26th October 2020
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
In Afghanistan at least 24 people were killed in the bombing of an education centre on Saturday evening. Daesh, the Islamic State group, have claimed responsibility and the Taliban have denied involvement. The attack took place in Western Kabul, which is home to the Shia minority. Also in Afghanistan, security forces say that they have killed The Egyptian jihadist Abu Mushin al-Masri, the second in command of al-qaeda.
Sri Lanka’s parliament has accepted constitutional changes that will give more power to the president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The parliament currently has a large majority from Rajapaksa’s party the SLPP, and his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa is Prime Minister.
In Iraq hundreds of people demonstrated in the capital Baghdad yesterday. Security forces fired water cannon and tear gas at the protesters who were marking one year since the start of large protests that lead to a change in Prime Minister. During the past year around 700 Iraqis have died in protests - the biggest civil unrest in Iraq since the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Fighting has continued between Azerbaijan and Armenia, around the Nagorno-Karabakh region, this weekend. Both sides have blamed each other for breaking a truce signed last week.
The United States will hold its presidential election next Tuesday. On Thursday evening President Trump and candidate Joe Biden held their final debate. This debate was considered more civil than the previous debate, which was described by the media as an ‘incoherent mess’. Trump said that a coronavirus vaccine would be ready in weeks, and Biden said that Trump’s attitude towards COVID19 has lead to more deaths...
DT: “We have a vaccine that’s coming, its ready, its going to be announced within weeks, and its going to be delivered, we have operation warp speed, which is, the military i going to distribute the vaccine.”
JB: “What I would do is make sure we have everyone encouraged to wear a mask all the time. I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid-testing - investing in rapid-testing. I would make sure that we set up national standards of how to open up schools and open up business so that they can be safe. He says that we are learning to live with it - people are learning to die with it.”
At a rally in Florida this weekend, former president Barack Obama said that without Trump, the country could relax, and that Trump’s behaviour should not be tolerated...
“It wont be so exhausting. Just having a normal president. You’ll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president is not going to suggest injecting bleach or retweet conspiracy theories about secret cabals running the world, or claiming or retweeting the claim that navy SEALS didn’t actually kill Bin Laden. We’re not going to have a president that goes out of his way to insult everybody that he doesn’t think is nice enough to him. We wont have a president who threatens people with jail for just criticising him. That's not normal behaviour Florida... you wouldn’t tolerate it from a coworker, you wouldn’t tolerate it from a high school principal, you wouldn’t tolerate it from a coach, you wouldn’t tolerate it from a family member... Why are we accepting it from the President of the United States?”
In Chile there was a referendum yesterday to change the constitution. The first question is whether a new constitution should be made, which is largely expected to pass. A second question is about whether a new convention of members should be made to write a new constitution. At the time of recording this podcast, results have not been announced. A final vote in 2022 is expected to accept or reject the new constitution.
In Belarus one hundred thousand people marched in the capital, Minsk, yesterday, telling President Alexander Lukashenko to resign. The police used stun grenades against protesters, during the 11th weekend of mass protests since the disputed election in August.
In Western and central Europe coronavirus infection rates are increasing fast. The world reported 490,000 new cases on Friday - the highest single day so far, largely because of a fast rise of infection in Europe. Yesterday, France reported its highest ever single day for reported infections - with over 50,000 confirmed. In Czechia hospitals have reported being under pressure, as the number of active cases has doubled in two weeks.
Turkish President Recip Tyep Erdogan has said that French president Emmanuel Macron needs mental health treatment... This was in support of criticism of Macron for saying that Islam is in crisis. Last week, Macron spoke about the importance of freedom of speech, after a jihadist terrorist killed a school teacher after he showed pictures of the prophet Muhammad in class.
In Guinea, president Alpha Conde has won a third term as president with 59% of the vote, according to the electoral commission. His main opponent Cellou Dialo said that he would contest the result. The Guinean constitution only allowed a president to serve two terms, until a referendum this year, which international organizations said was not free and fair. Amnesty International have said that Guinean security forces killed ten people in protests this weekend.
In the Seychelles, opposition candidate Wavel Ramkalawan has won the presidential election, beating president
Danny Faure. This was the 6th time that Ramkalawan has attempted to win the presidency. The Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa by population and has the highest human development according the Human Development Index.
Thank you for listening to SEND7. Find the transcript of this episode, and listen to past episodes at send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi, and tomorrow, you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.