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Monday 6th January 2021

Europe

The United Kingdom has overtaken South Africa as the country with the most confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID19. However, the UK sequences more virus samples than any other country, so it is more likely to find Omicron cases than other countries are. Europe is experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths, and some countries have introduced new restrictions. In Germany people who have not been vaccinated or recovered from COVID19 are not allowed into non-essential shops and public places. Austria is in a full lockdown until Saturday. In Italy only people who are vaccinated or recovered from COVID19 can enter their workplaces or travel long-distance. In Ireland nightclubs are closed, and all bars and restaurants are restricted to table-service. This weekend thousands of people protested against restrictions in The Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. Omicron has now been detected in 45 countries. However, United States chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci, said yesterday that early data on omicron does not appear to show that it is more dangerous than other variants. In Belgium a zoo has said that two hippopotami have tested positive for COVID.

In France the Republican party has chosen a woman as their candidate for president for the first time. Valerie Pecresse has described herself as the only person who can beat Emmanuel Macron.

Asia

In Indonesia a volcano eruption has killed at least 14 people. Mount Semeru on the island of Java erupted on Saturday and caused landslides and falling ash.

Hong Kong will hold legislative elections in 2 weeks, however pro-democracy candidates are telling people to boycott the election. During recent legislative elections in Hong Kong, a mix of Pro-China and Pro-democracy parties have been chosen. However, in the last two years many pro-democracy candidates have been arrested, imprisoned or have left Hong Kong out of fear. A change in the voting system has also made 40 out of the 90 seats available not directly voted for by Hong Kong people, but chosen by a committee that is controlled by China. Nathan Law, a former legislator who has been given asylum in the UK, told people to ignore the elections...

“Just ignore them. We should not give any legitimacy to the election. We should not pretend we’ve got an election ongoing. It is just a selection from Beijing to pick whoever they want to get into the legislature.”

In India, The chief executive of the Serum Institute, has criticised governments around the world for keeping more COVID19 vaccines than they are able to use. Adar Poonawalla said that vaccines in some countries are going out of date, despite vaccination rates in poorer countries being very low. Poonawalla also criticised African governments for not ordering more vaccine doses. 55% of people in the world have received a COVID19 vaccine.

Africa

In Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has said that China is increasing its investment in Uganda. In an interview with Reuters news agency, Museveni said that Western companies were investing less money in Uganda, Chinese companies were investing more...

”...but the Chinese see the opportunities and they come. And they are knocking. And they are coming very vigorously”

In Gambia, early results of the presidential election show President Adama Barrow winning a second term. With 50 out of 53 constituencies counted, Barrow had received more than double the votes of opposition candidate Ousainou Darboe.

Americas

United States president Joe Biden has said that he is making a plan of action for the possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Ukraine has said that Russia has brought 90,000 soldiers to its border, however Russia has said that it has no intention of conflict. Biden, who has a cold, said that his plan will encourage Russian president Vladimir Putin not to attack Ukraine...

“What I am doing is putting together what I believe to be, <will be> the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very very difficult for Mr Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.

Also in the United States a man is expected to be the first person to ever be cured of Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is genetic, and often affects people from childhood, requiring people to inject themselves with insulin many times a day. A new treatment involving the injection of cells appears to have cured a 64 years old man who has lived his whole life with diabetes.

Brazil’s supreme court has ordered an investigation into President Jair Bolsonaro for linking COVid19 vaccinations to AIDS. In October, in a live broadcast, Bolsonaro said that reports from the United Kingdom showed people who received COVID19 vaccines developed AIDS more quickly.

And a Colombian family has won the award for best cookbook in the world. At the Gourmand awards in France, mother and daughter team Zoraida and Heidy won the award for their book all about food being cooked wrapped in leaves.

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. You can read the transcripts or send us a message at send7.org I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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