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Monday 2nd August 2021

Asia

In Afghanistan there is continued fighting between government forces and the Taliban in many parts of the country. The Taliban now control half of Afghanistan’s districts, and control more land today than at any point since they were removed from power after the United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001. The United Nations have said that 300,000 people have been forced to leave their homes this year. This weekend there has been major fighting in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city and Herat the third largest city. The Taliban also control half of all border crossings, including some crossings into Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. According to the BBC the Taliban is collecting payments from goods entering Afghanistan on the borders that they control. Heavy rain and floods this weekend in Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan are reported to have left over a hundred people dead or missing.

In Japan, a Belarussian athlete has refused to board a plane to return to Belarus. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is a 24 year old sprinter competing in the Olympics. Tsimanouskaya was supposed to compete in the 200 metres race today, however yesterday she said that she had been forced to Tokyo airport by her coaches after complaining about them on instagram. Tsimanouskaya has said that she is scared of returning to Belarus. There have been huge protests in Belarus for over a year, against the Belarussian government and President Alexander Lukashenko, who is often referred to as “Europe’s last dictator”.

Iran has denied responsibility for an attack on an oil tanker close to Oman. Two workers, Romanian and British, were killed in a drone strike on Thursday night. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet blamed Iran, and British foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that it was ‘highly likely’ that Iran carried out the attack.

In New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has apologized for the “Dawn Raids”. The “Dawn Raids” were a crackdown on people who had stayed in New Zealand after their visas had expired in the 1970s. The Dawn Raids were often connected to racism against the pacific islander community, who were the main target of the raids, despite most people who overstayed their visas being from the United Kingdom, Australia or South Africa...

“Today I stand on behalf of the New Zealand government to offer a formal and unreserved apology to Pacific communities for the discriminatory implementation of the immigration laws of the 1970s that led to the events of the Dawn Raids.”

Americas

Mexico voted yesterday in a referendum on whether to investigate former presidents for corruption. Current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to fight corruption when he became president in 2018. However, opponents of the president have called the referendum a political stunt, especially because former presidents can already be prosecuted.

In Brazil supporters of president Jair Bolsonaro demonstrated yesterday in Rio de Janairo. They showed support for Bolsonaro’s idea of changing the electronic voting system that has been used for 20 years . Bolsonaro wants a physical receipt to be printed by electronic voting machines, so that votes can be recounted by humans.

Africa

The World Health Organization has warned about a worsening coronavirus situation throughout Africa. Around the world, over 4 billion vaccine doses have been given, and 28% of people in the world have received at least one dose. However in many less developed countries, only 1% of people have received a dose. World Health Organization head Dr Tedros Adhanom said that all regions are at risk, but none more than Africa, where deaths are rising fast....

“”hen will the pandemic end? My answer was that the pandemic will end when the world chooses to end it. It is in our hands.”

Zambia is using its military to stop political violence before elections next week. President Edgar Lungu said yesterday that he had asked the military to help the police, after two supporters of the governing party were reportedly killed by members of the opposition party. Next week’s elections is expected to be a close race between Lungu and opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Europe

Mediterranean countries have been hit by wildfires in the last few days. This report from Maya Dil...

In Turkey, wildfires that started on Wednesday have burnt down forests and settlements, and damaged villages and tourist areas. President Erdogan has said that the Turkish government would help people affected by the fire, by rebuilding their homes. In other parts of the Mediterranean there have also been serious wildfires, including in Italy and Greece. The fires are part of the worst heatwave in decades in southern Europe.

And in the Olympics Italy’s Marcell Jacobs won the men’s 100 metres yesterday, after Usian Bolt held the olympic title for 13 years. Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas won the women’s triple jump and set a new world record. And Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim have both won the gold medal in the high jump after both jumping 2 metres and 37 centimetres.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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