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  • Namitha Ragunath

Thursday 11th March 2021

Africa

In Libya, a new government was formed yesterday. This government unites two halves of Libya that have been fighting for years. Libya has been unable to form a united government since its leader Muammar Gaddafi died in 2011. Najla El Mangoush was also made the first foreign minister in Libya.

In Tanzania, President John Magufuli is currently in hospital with Covid-19. Opposition leader Tundu Lissu said Magufuli is in bad condition.

"My sources, and they're fairly authoritative, both in Dar es Salaam as well as in Kenya, are telling me that the man is sick. That he was hospitalised first in Dar es Salaam for a few days and then when his condition worsened, they had to fly him out."

Magufuli has been criticised for how he has dealt with COVID-19. He has said in the past that prayers and herbal medicines could cure the coronavirus. Earlier this month, Magufuli said Tanzania had defeated Covid-19 last year and will do it again this year.

Asia

In Pakistan, healthcare workers yesterday began vaccinating citizens over the age of 60 against the coronavirus. Senior citizens across Pakistan received the first dose of the vaccine at adult vaccination centres. Pakistan has seen a slow start to their vaccination campaign.

In Thailand, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was criticised yesterday over his actions at a press conference. When asked a question about a change in ministers, the prime minister picked up a bottle of hand sanitiser and began spraying the reporters. The Prime Minister, who was an army general, has been in power since a 2014 military coup, and he has a history of acting controversially at press events.

Americas

In the United States, President Joe Biden's $1.9tn (£1.4tn) relief bill is expected to soon pass Congress. The bill will help Americans deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Biden said this is the most expensive bill in US history.

"More than 400 small businesses closed unnecessarily. Millions of people out of work through no fault of their own, I want to emphasise that, through no fault of their own. This nation has suffered too much, for much too long, and everything in this package is designed to relieve the suffering and to meet the most urgent needs of the nation and put us in a better position to prevail."


In Brazil, hospitals are warning they are running out of space. Experts say the variant in Brazil may be slowing down recovery, causing hospitals to fill up. More than 80% of intensive care unit beds are currently being used in the capitals of 25 of Brazil's 27 states.

Europe

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was criticised yesterday over government spending. This is because the government has said it can only afford a 1% pay rise for health care workers. Boris Johnson defended the 1% rise yesterday.


"Under this government, we not only began by a record increase in NHS funding over I think 33.9 billion pounds, but because of the pandemic, we put another 63 billion pounds into supporting our NHS, on top of the 140 billion pounds of spending. And it's because of this government that in one year alone, Mr speaker, there are another 49,000 people working in our NHS."


In Poland, the government plans to continue cutting down trees in the Bialowieza forest. In 2018, the European Court of Justice said that Poland had broken European Union laws by cutting down trees that were older than 100 years. However, the Polish government says logging is needed to clear paths and protect trees from insects.

And finally, in Indonesia, for the first time in 170 years, Asia’s longest-missing bird was seen. For 170 years, the only place that the black-browed babbler, could be found, was in a history museum in the Netherlands.

SEND7 listeners. How has your life been affected by the coronavirus pandemic? Next week, we will show some responses on the podcast. Send us a message in writing by sending an email to podcast@send7.org or send an audio message for us to play on the podcast at speakpipe.com/send7 . Positive or negative - tell us about your experience of the pandemic.

And that’s today’s World News. Find all information and transcripts at send7.org. You can also follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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