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Monday 7th December 2020

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Americas

Venezuela has voted in parliamentary elections. When recording this podcast, results had not been announced, however the party of disputed President Nicolas Maduro is expected to take control of the National Assembly. Most opposition parties are boycotting the election, including the party of Juan Guaido, who many Western governments consider to be the true President of Venezuela.

In Argentina the Senate has approved a one-off payment for very rich people. The tax, being called the “millionaire’s tax” will apply to about 12,000 of Argentina’s richest people, and the money will be used to fund medical supplies, and help for businesses affected by the COVID19 pandemic.

The United States has now recorded 15 million coronavirus infections. Just on Friday 237,000 new cases were reported - the highest single day so far. On Friday president-elect Joe Biden said that on his first day in office, he would ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days...

“On the first day I’m inaugurated, to say, I’m going to ask the public for 100 days, to mask, just one hundred days to mask, not forever, 100 days.”

Europe

The United Kingdom and The European Union are in their final talks to try to arrange a post-Brexit deal. A transition period finishes on the 31st December, and experts say that if no deal is agreed, then there may be serious political and economic problems. The President of The European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that it is possible that a deal will not be reached...

“I had this evening a phone call with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. We welcome the fact that progress has been achieved in many area,s nevertheless, significant differences remain on the 3 critical issues - level playing field, governance and fisheries. Both sides underline that no agreement is feasible if these agreements are not solved.”

In Belarus thousands of people demonstrated yesterday, and at least 100 people were arrested. There have been weekly protests in Belarus since a presidential election on the 9th August that has not been recognized by most Western governments.

Romania held a general election yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast results have not been announced, however, the pro-European Liberal party of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and the left-wing Social Democrats are both expected to win around 30% of votes. Romania normally has very low participation rates in elections. 3 hours before voting stopped yesterday, only 28% of possible voters had voted.

Africa

Cameroon has held its first ever regional election. The government says that more power will be given to regions after the vote. However, many opposition parties are boycotting the elections, including parties in the English-speaking West of Cameroon - as they say that elections are a way for President Paul Biya to increase his own power.

In Ethiopia, fighting is reported to have continued in the Tigray region, despite President Abiy Ahmed declaring the war over last week. The United Nations has reported thousands of Ethiopians continuing to cross the border to Sudan every day.

Ghana is voting in a presidential election today. Ghaneans have the same choice of presidential candidates that they had in 2012 and 2016 - President Nana-Akufo-Addo of the Patriotic party, or John Mahama of the NDC. Mahama was president of Ghana from 2012 until 2016, when he was beaten by Akufo-Addo.

Asia

In Pakistan COVID19 patients have died because of a lack of oxygen supplies. In the city of Peshawar a hospital has said that 7 coronavirus patients died after they ran out of oxygen. Pakistan has confirmed over 416,000 cases of COVID19, however numbers are expected to be much higher because of a low testing rate. The world has now recorded over one and a half million COVID19 deaths.

And Japan’s Space Exploration Agency has recovered tiny pieces of an asteroid. On Sunday the capsule landed in the Australian desert, where the Japanese team was waiting. The sample of asteroid weighs less than 0.1 grams, but, scientists hope to use it to learn about the origins of the universe.

Thank you for listening to SEND7. Find the transcript of today’s episode, and past episodes at send7.org If you find this podcast useful, please leave a review on apple podcasts or anywhere else. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, and tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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