In Afghanistan there has been heavy fighting in the Panjshir Valley, the last part of Afghanistan not to be controlled by the Taliban. Thousands of fighters, that call themselves the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, say that they have captured hundreds of Taliban soldiers. However the Taliban have said that they have taken control of the provincial capital of Panjshir. When the Taliban was last in control of Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, Panjshir was a centre for anti-Taliban forces. NRF leader Ahmad Massoud said yesterday that he is ready for talks with the Taliban to stop the fighting. Also in Afghanistan, a small group of women demonstrated in Kabul this weekend, until the protest was broken up by Taliban gunfire. Women are scared that they will lose rights under the new Taliban government. During the previous Taliban administration girls were not allowed to go to school, women were not allowed to work, and women had to have a male guardian to leave their house. The Taliban have said that they will be more moderate this time. Reuters news agency has reported that at least 17 people have been killed by celebratory gunfire since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan 3 weeks ago.
Japan’s President Yoshihide Suga has said that he will not seek re-election, meaning that he will be president for just over one year. Support for Suga’s government has been falling continually as COVID19 infections rise despite emergency restrictions. Also in Japan the Paralympics finished yesterday. China won the most medals, followed by Great Britain and the United States.
In Iraq 2 attacks have killed at least 12 police officers near the cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. There was no claim of responsibility, however Daesh, the Islamic State group is expected to be responsible.
New Zealand police have confirmed the identity of a man who stabbed 7 people before being shot dead by police. The man, from Sri Lanka, was known by the police as being an Islamist extremist, he was under constant surveillance, and New Zealand had tried to deport him. Prime Minister Jacina Ardern, said that she did not want the man to be named, and that she did not want anyone to connect the terrorist attack to faith or culture...
“What happened today was despicable. It was carried out by an individual. Not a faith. Not a culture. Not an ethnicity. But an individual person who was gripped by ideology that is not supported here. By anyone, or any community. He alone carries the responsibility for these acts...”
Guinea has reported a coup d’etat. In Guinea’s capital, Conakry, a group of soldiers claimed that they had taken over the presidential palace yesterday. Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya and other soldiers, sent videos of themselves inside the presidential palace, surrounding President Alpha Conde. However, later yesterday evening, Guinea’s defence ministry said that the attack by mutinous special forces has been repelled. At the time of recording this podcast, the fate of President Conde and the state of Guinea, is not known.
Zambia has elected its first female speaker of parliament. Zambia has been commended by the international community for its peaceful transfer of power last month. Hakainde Hichilema is now president, after Edgar Lungu accepted defeat in the general election.
In El Salvador, opposition parties have criticised the government’s decision to force all judges over 60 to retire. President Nayib Bukele has said that the mandatory retirement of the judges was to help the fight against corruption. Critics say that Bukele is aiming to remove his opponents from the judiciary system. El Salvador will become the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal money, tomorrow. All Salvadoreans will be given $30 dollars worth of bitcoin if they sign up for the government’s digital wallet. Bukele is one of the most popular heads of state in the world, with polls showing his popularity consistently above 90%.
In The United States President Joe Biden promised aid to the areas hit by Hurricane Ida. At least 70 people are now known to have died in the hurricane. Biden said that hurricane Ida was a reminder that storms are going to become stronger and more frequent in the future...
“And folks - Hurricane Ida is another reminder that we need to be prepared for the next hurricane and superstorms are going to come and they’re going to come more frequently and more ferociously...”
In Montenegro there were protests against the Serbian Orthodox Church this weekend. Protesters blocked roads to the town of Cetinje, where the new head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro was ordained. Montenegro gained independence from Serbia in 2006, however one in three people identify as Serbian. Many Montenegrins accuse the Serbian Orthodox Church of holding power for Serbia in Montenegro.
And in the United Kingdom, a student who downloaded white supremacist documents, has been told he must read classic literature to avoid jail. Last month, 21 year old Ben John was convicted of possessing information likely to be used for terrorism, however, the judge said that John was easily influenced. John must now return to court every four months, where the judge will test him on his knowledge of classic authors, such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare.
That’s your World News in 7 minutes. Find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, tomorrow you will be wiht Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.