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Monday 27th September 2021

Europe

In Germany around 50 million people voted yesterday in federal elections. At the time of recording this podcast, results have not been declared, however it is believed to be extremely close between the Social Democrat Party and the Christian Democratic Union of Chancellor Angela Merkel. After 16 years as Chancellor, Merkel is the first Chancellor since World War 2, not to seek re-election. Either Armin Laschet of the CDU or Olaf Scholz of the SDP will become Chancellor, as current polls show both parties winning 25% of votes.

Iceland is expected to become the first country in Europe to elect more women to its parliament than men. Although results have not been officially declared for yesterday’s elections, most news sources say that women will win 33 out of 63 seats. The government of Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir has won a majority, however it is not known if the current coalition will continue.

The Netherlands has introduced a coronavirus pass, required to enter many public places. Maya Dil reports...

The Netherlands has introduced new coronavirus restrictions. People will now need a scannable QR code to enter pubs, restaurants, cafes and events. The code will show proof of vaccination or a negative covid test within the last 24 hours. Customers will not need the code if they sit outside, however it must be shown to use the bathroom. People who live outside the EU may not be able to use their own country’s coronavirus pass system in the Netherlands. The new measures have been criticised by the hospitality sector for being impossible to enforce, and sparked a protest of several hundred people in the Hague on Saturday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte also fired a minister who questioned the new policy

Switzerland has voted to legalize same-sex marriage. In a referendum yesterday, 64% of votes supported legalization.

Asia

In Afghanistan, The Taliban has said that executions and amputations will be restarted. During the last Taliban government from 1996 to 2001, alleged criminals were killed in public and alleged thieves had their hands or feet cut off. Mullah Turabi, the Taliban minister for prisons said that these punishments will be restarted. Last week in the city of Herat four men accused of kidnapping were killed and displayed in public.

in North Korea, the sister of leader Kim Jong-un has said that they are ready to talk to South Korea if South Korea shows ‘respect’. Kim Yo-jong is a key adviser to her brother. Last week South Korea President Moon Jai-in said that both countries should declare an official end to the state of war between them. The two Koreas have officially been at war since 1950..

Africa

In Tunisia there have been protests against President Kais Saied. Opponents of President Saied say that he has launched a Presidential coup d’etat, by firing the Prime Minister, suspending parliament, saying that he can rule by decree and that he can ignore parts of the constitution. Saied has had almost total power since firing the Prime Minister on the 25th July, declaring a national emergency. However, it appears that the majority of Tunisians support Saied’s actions, saying that they are necessary to fix a political crisis and the economy.

In Somalia a car bomb has killed at least 8 people. The Al-Shabaab islamist jihadist group claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Mogadishu near the presidential palace.

Americas

Haiti has received at least 1,400 migrants returned by the United States in the last few days. Local media has reported that most of the Haitians were sent back against their will, and had not been in Haiti for years, having been in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Chile. There are expected to be almost 200,00 Haitians in Chile. Daniel Foote, the Us special envoy to Haiti, has resigned, saying that the US deportation of Haitians was inhumane and counterproductive. Responding to a question about Texas authorities hitting Haitian refugees, President Biden has said that people will pay for the poor treatment of Haitians on the border..

“To see people treated like they did - horses nearly running people over and people being ‘strapped’.. it’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. There will be consequences. It’s an embarrassment. It’s beyond an embarrassment. It’s dangerous, it’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world and sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”

And in Argentina the Tango World Cup was held this weekend. The tango is a partner dance that originated in Buenos Aires at the end of the 19th century. In the first in-person event since 2019, Argentinian couples won both the ballroom and the stage categories.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes! If you speak Spanish or are learning Spanish you can listen to an interview with me on the hablemos español podcast. You can find a link to that podcast in the description of this episode. And SEND7 listeners, thank you very much for sending your testimonials at send7.org. It has been wonderful to read your messages. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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