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Monday 31st January 2022


Asia

In Afghanistan people are dying of hunger. The World Food Programme has said that 97% of people in Afghanistan don’t have enough food, and more than half are at immediate risk of starvation and people are not able to heat their homes. Much of Afghanistan is now covered in snow and the temperature in Kabul tonight will reach -8’Celcius. Afghanistan’s economy has collapsed since the Taliban took control in August. The United States has frozen the Afghan government’s bank accounts to stop the Taliban having access to them, however this has stopped many people from receiving a salary since August. Many aid agencies removed their staff to keep them safe, however many have returned, and some aid is being given. The United Kingdom said this weekend that it will give an extra $130 million dollars in aid to Afghanistan, however World Food Programme Afghanistan director Mary-Ellen McGroarty has said that the WFP needs 2.6 billion dollars.

In Australia Ashleigh Barty won the Australian Open tennis competition, making her the first Australian to win in 44 years. Spanish player Rafael Nadal won the men’s competition, giving him a record 21 Grand Slam titles.

”I can’t explain how satisfied I am and how special is the feeling for me right now.”

Europe

In Italy Sergio Mattarella has been chosen to continue as president. Mattarella had said that he didn’t want to continue as president, however, he accepted the position after party leaders were not able to find another candidate that they could agree on.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has told the west not to create panic despite a military build-up on the Russian border. Russia says that it does not intend to invade Ukraine, and that over 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine are defensive. Zelensky said this weekend that the threat of war is not higher now than it was last year, and that the constant talk of the possibility of war is damaging the Ukranian economy. However there have been reports of civilians taking military training to prepare for war. Russia has accused NATO of ignoring its security concerns. Russia has asked for Ukraine to never be allowed to become part of NATO, however NATO has said that all countries should be allowed to decide their own future. United Kingdom foreign minister Liz Truss said yesterday that the UK was sending more soldiers to Eastern Europe, sending weapons to Ukraine and preparing sanctions for Russian oligarchs - businessmen with a lot of power in Russia...

“Of course we’ll use diplomacy. I’m traveling to Ukraine this week. I’ll be traveling to Moscow next week, however the number one thing that will stop Vladimir Putin taking action is if he understands the costs of that action. So any company of interest to the Kremlin and the regime in Russia would be able to be targeted. So there will be nowhere to hide for Putin’s oligarchs for Russian companies involved in propping up the Russian state...

In Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has won a confidence vote in parliament. The confidence vote was called by the opposition after after they criticised the government’s handling of extreme cold weather last week.

Americas

In Canada thousands of lorry drivers are protesting against a vaccine mandate. New requirements say that truck drivers who cross from the United States into Canada must be vaccinated against COVID19.

In Puerto Rico migrants from the Dominican Republic are missing after trying to reach Puerto Rico illegally by boat. 17 migrants have been rescued and detained and ten are still missing.

Africa

Egypt has sentenced 10 people to death for planning terrorist attacks, according to state media. Egypt carried out the third highest number of executions last year, after China and Iran, according to Amnesty International.

Burkina Faso has been suspended from ECOWAS the Economic Community of Western African States, because of the military takeover last week. Representatives from ECOWAS are traveling to Burkina Faso today to talk to military leaders.

And in Uganda a new species of insect has been found, of which the closest relative was last seen over 50 years ago. The leafhopper Phlogis Kibalensis is the first time that a Phlogis has been seen since 1969.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Eusebio from Italy for becoming our newest supporter. If you would like to support us, you can visit send7.org/support. Ten percent of what we receive goes to effective altruism charities. For transcripts and more go to send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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