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Monday 30th August 2021

Good morning and welcome back to SEND7 - Simple English News Daily in 7 minutes. I hope you’ve had a great 2 weeks. I’m Stephen Devincenzi and today is Monday 30th August 2021.

Asia

In Afghanistan, Western countries are continuing to evacuate their citizens and Afghans who have worked for them. United States President Joe Biden has said that all US soldiers will leave by tomorrow. Two weeks ago the Taliban took control of all of Afghanistan, after the national government that had been supported by Western countries for 20 years collapsed in just two weeks. President Biden has been heavily criticised for the way in which Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. Western allies of the United States have said that they were not given enough warning about the fast removal of the US military. There has also been criticism of US and Western intelligence, which did not predict that the Taliban would be able to take control of Afghanistan so easily. Last month in a press conference President Biden said that a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was “highly unlikely”. After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban two weeks ago, Biden said that Afghan political leaders and the military “gave up, sometimes without trying to fight”. On Thursday suicide bombs outside Kabul airport killed at least 180 people, mostly civilians trying to escape Afghanistan. Thirteen US soldiers were also killed, making it the deadliest attack on US forces in Afghanistan for ten years. Daesh, the Islamic State group, has claimed responsibility and the Taliban condemned the attack. On Friday the United States said that they had killed two Daesh terrorists in Nangargar Province and yesterday the US said that they had hit a Daesh vehicle carrying suicide bombers. On Friday Biden promised that the US would hunt down Daesh terrorists... “To those who carried out this attack. As well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this - we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down, and make you pay.”

Japan has suspended the use of 1.6 million doses of the Moderna COVID19 vaccine. The health ministry said that some vaccine containers were found to be contaminated. In Japan 55% of people have received at least one dose of a COVID 19 vaccine. In the whole world almost 40% of people have now received at least one dose.

In India a priest and 3 other men have been charged with the rape and murder of a 9 year old girl. The case sparked large protests in Delhi over many days earlier this month.

Europe

Germany is preparing for elections on the 26th September. All 598 members of the Bundestag will be chosen, and Angela Merkel, who has been chancellor for over 14 years is not a candidate. At the moment polls show Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party and the Social Democratic Party both winning around 23% of votes, with the Green party winning around 17%.

In Montenegro police have found a record amount of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas. Around 900 kilograms of cocaine, worth 3 million euros, was found near the capital Podgorica, after being shipped from South America.

Africa

In Libya interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has criticised Libya’s Eastern parliament for not approving his government’s budget and for hindering elections planned for December. After years of civil war between rival governments in the East and West of Libya, a coalition government was formed in March.

In Burkina Faso and Mali a trial of a malaria vaccine has been shown to reduce severe illness in children by 70%. The trial combined vaccinations with malaria prevention drugs.

Americas

In the United States a recall election for the governor of California will take place on the 14th September, after a successful petition to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom must gain over half of all votes to continue as governor. The election is being seen as an opportunity for a Republican to take the office of governor despite California generally voting for Democrat candidates. Most polls show a 50-50 chance of Newsom winning the election.

In Chile there has been snow in the Atacama desert. Atacama is often known as one of the driest places on earth, and this is believed to be the heaviest snowfall in the area in over 30 years. Atacama has one of the most variable temperatures in the world - reaching over 30 degrees during the day, but falling to -25 degrees at night.

And in Peru over 200 couples were married in a mass wedding. In-person weddings had been delayed for 17 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The oldest couple to marry were Santiago Sifuentes and Olga Laurencio who are 82 and 87.

That’s your news in 7 minutes. If you would like to read the text of this podcast while listening, go to send7.org to find the transcripts. You can also send us a message in writing or an audio message at send7.org. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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