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Monday 28th March 2022

Europe

The Russian Defence Ministry has said that its military operation in Ukraine is ‘mostly complete’, and that it would now focus on ‘liberating’ the Donbass region. Western analysts have said that there is no evidence that Russia is reducing its presence anywhere in Ukraine, where there are expected to be over 170,000 Russian soldiers. 10,000 Russian soldiers are believed to have died since the invasion began.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday that the west needs to give Ukraine tanks, fighter aeroplanes and missile defence systems. He also praised the bravery of Ukrainians fighting in the city of Mariupol, which has been under siege for 4 weeks and has been massively destroyed. The Mayor of Mariupol said this weekend that 30,000 civilians had been forced to move into Russian territory. Russia has bombed some fuel storage facilities this weekend, including near the Western city of Lviv.

In the city of Slavytych, near the Chernobyl power plant, thousands of people protested against Russian occupation this weekend, ignoring Russian soldiers who tried to disperse them by shooting guns in the air. Russian forces said that they had agreed to release the Mayor, Yuri Fomichev, and said that they would leave the city if everybody agreed to give away their weapons.

United States President Joe Biden visited Europe this weekend. In Poland, Biden described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “butcher” and said that he “cannot remain in power”...

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, for free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness. We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principle, hope and light, of decency and dignity, of freedom of possibilites. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power. God bless you all, and may God defend our freedom...”

Putin’s government criticised the comment by Biden, however US secretary of state Antony Blinken later said that it is for Russians to decide their leaders.

In Malta the Labour party has won its third election in a row. Official results have not been declared, however it is expected that Prime Minister Robert Abela’s party has won an even bigger majority in parliament than in Malta’s previous two elections.

Turkey briefly closed the Bosphorus straight yesterday, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea, after a mine was seen by fishermen. The Turkish military destroyed the mine, which was expected to have floated away from a port in Ukraine.

Asia

In Afghanistan, girls and teachers protested in Kabul on Saturday, demanding that the Taliban open schools for girls. Girls have not gone to school since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August last year. Girls had been told that they could re-start school last week, however a last-minute decision by the Taliban said that they needed more time to decide what clothes girls should wear.

In China the black boxes have been found from the plane which crashed last week, however a cause still hasn’t been declared. 132 people have been confirmed dead, making it China’s worst air accident in nearly 30 years.

In Pakistan there have been rival protests for and against Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan encouraged his supporters to protest before a no-confidence vote in parliament expected soon.

Africa

In Kenya there are large forest fires on Mount Kenya. Authorities have asked for public support to battle the fires that started two weeks ago.

Eritrean cyclist Biniam Girmay has become the first ever African to win a classic - the most important one-day cycling races in the world. Girmay won the Gent-Wevelgem race in Belgium yesterday.

Americas

Americas

In Brazil a judge has ruled that “political demonstrations” should not be allowed at the music festival Lollapalooza. Musicians and celebrities criticised the decision, which was made after a petition by lawyer’s representing the party of President Jair Bolsonaro. Brazil has an election in October and most opinion polls show former president Lula da Silva beating Bolsonaro.

And the United States is planning to release genetically modified mosquitos in an experiment to control the mosquito population. The mosquitos are only male, which don’t bite, and have been selected so that they can only produce more male offspring. If the trial is successful it could be used to try to reduce the spread of dangerous diseases, such as malaria and dengue in other countries.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. If you find this podcast valuable then please become a supporter. Supporters also get access to the transcripts. Go to send7.org/support I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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