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Monday 3rd January 2022

Good morning and Happy New Year. This is SEND7 - the podcast where we tell you the most important stories in the world, in clear English, in just 7 minutes. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Today is Monday the 3rd January 2022.

Europe

Europe is reporting more coronavirus cases now than ever before, however the number of deaths is not as high as in previous waves of COVID19. The United Kingdom is reporting over 150,000 new cases per day at the moment, however only around 150 deaths, much less than in January last year. Many studies are showing that the Omicron variant of COVID19 is causing less serious disease, however health experts have said that people should still avoid it. Some studies have shown that Omicron is less likely to damage people’s lungs. Cases of COVID19 were first identified in December 2019 in China. Today, over 290 million infections have been reported, however many experts say that there could have been 3 billion infections. Historically many pandemics end as a virus mutates to become less dangerous.

Many parts of Europe reported record high temperatures over the New Year weekend. Spain reported it’s hottest ever New Year’s eve, with the northern city of Bilbao recording a temperature of 25’Celcius - 15’ more than normal. Italy is also experiencing temperatures 10’ higher than expected. The United Kingdom reported its hottest ever New Year’s Day with London hitting 16’Celcius. Some ice rinks had to close as they couldn’t stop their ice from melting.

Americas

In the United States, Eric Adams has been sworn in as the Mayor of New York, replacing Bill deBlasio. Adams said that New York would not be controlled by crisis...

“Unemployment remains high. Crime is high. Covid cases are high again. So how do we get our city back? My fellow New Yorkers, the answer is simple - we will get our city back by making a commitment to each other right here, right now, beginning today. This will be our new year’s resolution - we will not be controlled by crisis.

Mexico’s central bank will have a digital currency before 2024. The government has said that a digital currency could help financial inclusion in Mexico.

Africa

Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok resigned last night - less than 2 months after he was reinstated as Prime Minister in an agreement with the military. The agreement between Hamdok and the military caused protests in Sudan. 2 people were killed by security forces yesterday, according to medics. Speaking on television yesterday, Hamdok said that a new deal was necessary for Sudan to transition to democracy.

In South Africa there was a fire in the parliament building in Cape Town yesterday. The fire caused major damage to the National Assembly. On Saturday -New Years Day - South Africa held the funeral of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Yesterday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that it was sad to see the damage to South Africa’s parliament, a day after the funeral of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who Ramaphosa calls “The Arch”...

“This is devastating news. It is a terrible and devastating event, particularly after we gave ‘The Arch’, what I would call, the best send off, yesterday...”

Kenyan anthropologist Richard Leakey has died aged 77, President Uhuru Kenyatta said yesterday. Leakey, whose parents were British, is known for helping to prove that humans first evolved in Africa.

Asia

A South Korean person has defected to North Korea. South Korea’s military said yesterday that an unidentified person crossed the heavily militarised border. Repression and extreme poverty in North Korea have led to more than 30,000 people defecting to South Korea, despite extreme punishments if they are caught. However, defections from South Korea to North Korea are extremely rare.

In China there was an earthquake yesterday. Maya Dil reports...

In Southwestern china, the city of Lijiang has been hit by a shallow earthquake, injuring at least 22 people. The China Earthquake Networks Centre said that its magnitude was 5.5 on the Richter scale. Mountainous areas in china often have earthquakes, with one in September in the Sichuan province killing 3 people.

Also in China a man has been reunited with his biological mother, thirty years after he was stolen form the family home. Li Jingwei was abducted when he was 4 years old, and ws reunited with his mother, after sharing a hand-drawn map, on Douyin, China’s version of Tiktok.

In Japan, the oldest person in the world celebrated their 119th birthday yesterday. Kane Tanaka was born in 1903 and has said that the keys to her long life are sleep, family, food and playing board games,

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. A massive thank you to Katalin from Hungary who has become our newest supporter. If you enjoy the podcast, then you can support us at send7.org, where you can also find transcripts and more. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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