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  • Namitha Ragunath

Thursday 12th November 2020

Asia

Yesterday, all of Hong Kong’s pro democracy lawmakers stepped down, after Beijing removed 4 of its lawmakers for being a threat to national security. By removing these four members, the pro democracy law makers lose their minimum number to block any laws made by pro-Beijing lawmakers. This is the first since Hong Kong has not had a real opposition since 1997.

In Australia, police have rescued 46 children and arrested 14 men who were involved in an international child abuse group. Three arrests were made in the US and more suspects have been identified in Europe, Asia, Canada and New Zealand. The case is said to be one of the biggest of its kind in Australia. All victims were aged between 16 months and 15 years old. The 14 men faced a total of 828 child abuse charges, as well as charges involving the sexual abuse of animals.

Europe

The European Union announced yesterday that they have agreed to buy 300 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The deal sees the EU paying less for the vaccine than the United States. Data released on Monday showed it was more than 90 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19. However European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said yesterday that even with this vaccine, people should still follow the measures in place.


"Even when a safe and effective vaccine is there and available there will be need to continue with these measure until we are able to reach significant parts of the population. So, hope is there but I also wants to make sure that we send the right messages to everyone that we need to continue to take the measure that have been put into place"


In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday spoke about his conversation with US president elect Joe Biden. He explained that they have a good relationship and looks forward with working with the Biden-Harris administration.


"It was an excellent conversation that flowed over all the things that have really traditionally united the UK and the US. So it was a kind of return to the kind of business that we are used to doing; sticking up for democracy around the world, human rights, free trade, NATO, our joint security, the Transatlantic alliance and above all climate change, I mean that was really interesting. He wants to join us next year in leading the world in getting global greenhouse emissions down at the COP (Conference of the Parties) 26 Summit in Glasgow"

In Hungary, the government is planing to change the country's laws so that adoption will only be allowed for same-sex couples. This means children can only be raised with a "Christian" take on gender roles, being man and women as father and mother. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Hungary, but adoption has been possible if one partner applies for the adoption on their own. The plan to change the law was sent to parliament by the governing right-wing party late on Tuesday.

Africa

In Ethiopia, the prime minister, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize award in 2019, has turned down a request for peace talks as the conflict in Tigray gets worse. Tigray's leader wrote to the African Union (AU) last week to request talks, but PM Abiy Ahmed said in a tweet that there would be no talking. Hundreds have died since the conflict in Ethiopia's northern region began.

In the Angolan capital, Luanda, police have used tear gas to break up protestors. They were protesting against rising living costs, unemployment and the the delay of local elections due to coronavirus. A number of people were arrested and some were injured during the protests, which had been banned by the authorities. Last month, dozens of people were arrested during a similar protest. Angola is one of Africa's biggest oil exporters but most of its people live in poverty.

Americas In Belize, elections for a new prime minister began yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been announced. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in February handed over power of his United Democratic Party (UDP) to Patrick Faber, who is seeking to secure a fourth term in power for Belize’s conservative rulers.


*trumpet plays*


In the United States, Donald Trump has made his first public appearance since the election. Mr Trump attended a Veterans Day ceremony at a military cemetery near Washington. Trump avoided speaking to reporters but has continued tweeting about corruption & dishonesty in the US elections despite not having evidence.


And finally, in Switzerland, an extremely rare purple-pink Russian diamond has sold at auction for $26.6m. The 14.8-carat diamond, called "The Spirit of the Rose," is the largest of its kind to be auctioned, as 99% of all pink diamonds are under 10 carats.

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