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Monday 2nd November 2020

Updated: Nov 2

Europe

Most countries in Europe are reporting higher number of COVID19 infections than ever before. New coronavirus lockdowns have been announced, or have already started, in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Greece and Ireland. In Spain each region is making its own decisions. In Italy bars and restaurants remain open, but must close at 6PM. The United Kingdom will start a new lockdown from Thursday. Schools will remain open. On Saturday evening Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the country, saying that he regretted the decision, but that it was necessary, to protect the National Health Service.

“And so now is the time to take action, because there is no alternative. And from Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home. You may only leave home for specific reasons, including for education, for work - that is to say if you cannot work from home - for exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own, for medical reasons, for appointments, to shop for food and essentials, and to provide care for vulnerable people or as a volunteer”.

Slovakia tested almost half of its population for coronavirus in one day. On Saturday, over 2.5 million Slovaks were tested, and almost 26,000 positive results were given. The government said that the aim of this mass testing was to stop a fast rise in infections without a lockdown.

Moldova voted in a presidential election yesterday. Moldovans are choosing between current President Igor Dodon, and former Prime Minister Maia Sandu. Dodon is generally considered the Pro-Russian candidate, and Sandu is considered the pro-European Union candidate. With the same choice in 2016, Moldovans elected Dodon with 52% of the vote. At the time of recording this podcast, yesterday’s results have not been declared.

Asia

Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan will fight to the end, to retake Nagorno-Karabakh, if talks with Armenia fail. Nagorno-Karabakh is within Azerbaijan, but has been controlled by ethnic Armenians since 1994. Fighting continues.

India has claimed to have killed Saifullah Mir, the leader of Hizbul Mujahideen, a rebel group in Kashmir that is designated as a terrorist organization by India, the United States, and The EU. Anti-India protests were reported after the killing. This weekend a general strike began in Kashmir, to protest against a recent change in law that allows all Indians to buy land in Indian-administered Kashmir.

New Zealand has voted to legalize euthanasia. New Zealanders with terminal illnesses, who are experiencing extreme pain will be given a choice of how and when they would like to die. In a separate referendum, New Zealanders narrowly voted not to legalize marijuana. At the time of recording this podcast it is expected that 53% of New Zealanders voted ‘no’ to legalizing the drug, although official results will be announced on Friday.

America

In the United States, President Donald Trump and candidate Joe Biden have been in their final days of campaigning this weekend, before election day, tomorrow. On Saturday, former President Barack Obama joined Biden at a rally in Pennsylvania, where he attacked Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic...

“Almost 230,000 Americans are dead. More than a hundred thousand small businesses have closed. America just had its single worst week of new COVID cases, and what’s his closing argument? The press and people are too focused on COVID. COVID, COVID, COVID, he is complaining - he’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage!.”

In Mexico journalist Arturo Alba Medina has been shot dead in Ciudad Juarez, near the US border. Medina is the sixth journalist to be murdered this year in Mexico, one of the world’s most dangerous countries to be a journalist. Most guns in Mexico come from the United States, where guns are legal.

Africa

In Cote d’Ivoire, results are being counted after a presidential election on Saturday. Many opposition leader called for a boycott of the election, because President Alassane Ouattara was a candidate for a third term, which they say breaks the constitution. Ouattara says that this is not true, because a new constitution began in 2016. Results are expected soon.

In Nigeria, United States special forces successfully rescued an American who had been kidnapped. Philipe Nathan Walton was kidnapped last week from his home in Southern Niger.

And in the UK, actor Sean Connery died on Friday, aged 90. Connery was most famous as the original actor to play James Bond...

And also in the UK, today is my 30th birthday. Thank you so much to all my family and friends for their wishes. And thank you, SEND7 listeners, for making this podcast grow so fast. The podcast has now been downloaded over 50,000 times. Find the transcript for today’s episode and listen to past episodes, at SEND7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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