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Thursday 14th January 2021

Americas

In the United States the house of representatives impeached President Donald Trump for the second time yesterday. Trump is the first president in American history to be impeached twice. Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump for instigating an attack on the Congress building last week, in which 5 people died. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Trump was a “clear and present danger”...

“A dark week it has been indeed. On Wednesday the president of the United States incited a deadly insurrection against America that targeted the very heart of our democracy. This temple of democracy. The United States Capitol. And now the President is saying that he is not responsible. And that his incitement to violence was totally appropriate. The president’s actions demonstrate his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office. Therefore the president must be removed from office immediately.”

After being impeached by the house of representatives, the senate now has the decision to remove the president. However, this is not expected to happen, as it requires a two-thirds majority of senators. At the time of recording this podcast, Trump has not responded to his second impeachment. Trump will probably continue as president until Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday.

Also in the US the messaging service Telegram reported 25 million new users in just 3 days. It is reported that many supporters of President Trump and supporters of conspiracy theories are moving away from social media giants Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter. These companies recently banned President Trump and deleted many other accounts that they say were encouraging violence.

In Brazil trials of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID19 have shown that it is only 50% effective. Last week Brazil had said that the vaccine was 78% effective.

Europe

The United Kingdom has reported that 2020 was the year with the most deaths since 1918, during the first world war and the Spanish Flu pandemic. There were 16% more deaths in 2020 than in 2019, the highest percentage rise since 1940, during the second world war. Yesterday the UK reported over 1,500 deaths from COVID19, the worst single day since the pandemic began - bringing total COVID related deaths over 100,000

Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas has resigned over corruption in his Centre Party. Ratas said that he had not personally done anything wrong. The Centre party was part of a coalition governing Estonia. A new coalition may be found, otherwise a new election will be needed.

Italy is also facing a political crisis, after the Italia Viva party left the ruling coalition. New elections may be needed after, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew Italia Viva from the coalition yesterday.

Asia


Israel attacked Syria yesterday, At least 18 air attacks took place yesterday morning in Eastern Syria, close to the border with Iraq. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 57 people were killed, including Syrian government soldiers and associated fighters. According to the human rights organization Israeli air strikes killed over 200 people in Syria last year.

In Sri Lanka opposition politician Ranjan Ramanayake has been jailed for four years for saying that Sri Lankan judges are corrupt. Ramanayake was condemned for ‘contempt of court’ for the words he spoke in 2017, while Deputy Minister.

Indonesia’s COVID19 vaccination policy has been questioned by experts. Unlike most countries, Indonesia has said that it will offer the vaccine to working age adults first. The Ministry of Health said that this decision was because the Chinese Sinovac vaccine had not been properly tested on older people. 24,000 people are reported to have died of COVID19 in Indonesia.

Africa

In Ethiopia an attack has killed over 80 people. This report from Maya Dil...

“The Ethiopian human rights commission has said that over 80 people were killed in west Ethiopia on Tuesday. The attack happened in Daletti, close to Sudan. The attackers have not been caught by authorities yet. Daletti has had many violent attacks in the last few months, and hundreds of people have died. In one attack in December, 207 people were killed. Thousands have had to leave their homes because of the ongoing violence.”

And we finish today with music from Bobi Wine. In Uganda there is a general election today. The vote is for the president and for parliament. Yoweri Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986, however singer Bobi Wine has a popular following among younger Ugandans. International organizations have not recognised previous elections in Uganda as free or fair. However, Bobi Wine has been encouraging Ugandans to vote. Thank you for listening to SEND7. Find the transcript of today’s episode at send7.org I am stephen Devincenzi. See you tomorrow.

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