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Thursday 16th December 2021

Africa


In Cameroon, thousands of refugees are entering Chad. On Tuesday, it was reported that over 80,000 people have crossed the Chari River which separates Chad and Cameroon in the last 10 days. They are trying to escape from violence between farmers and herders, who are fighting over water resources. At least 22 people have been killed in the fighting in December.


South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma will return to prison. Zuma was temporarily released on medical parole in September. He was president from 2009 to 2018 and was jailed for alleged corruption.


Nigeria’s parliament has approved a USD 5.8 billion loan from international lenders. The money will come from lenders including the World Bank and will be used for projects like water and sanitation, malaria eradication and agriculture. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and has a public debt of USD 92.75 billion.


Americas


In Brazil, former leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is leading the polls for the presidential election. The election will take place next October. In yesterday’s polls, 48% of respondents said they would vote for Lula. The current president, Jair Bolsonaro, received 21% of the polls.


United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has ended his tour of Southeast Asia early because a reporter in his team has tested positive for Covid-19. He was due to attend meetings in Thailand today.


Asia


In Malaysia, a boat has capsized, killing at least 11 people. Officials think the boat came from Indonesia and was overturned by bad weather. 14 people have survived, and 25 are still missing. All of them are thought to be Indonesian migrants. Over 100,000 Indonesians travel illegally to Malaysia each year to find work.


Australia has reopened its borders to non-citizens for the first time in two years. Borders were first closed in March 2020 and Australia had some of the strictest rules. Starting yesterday, foreign visa holders including students and skilled migrants can now enter Australia. The reopening was delayed for two weeks due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.


Europe


The EU has said that is prepared to take “unprecedented measures” against Russia if it continues to show aggression towards Ukraine. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has asked Russia to try to solve the conflict peacefully.


“There’s a whole set of economic sanctions in place targeting the financial and energy sector, goods and defence. Our response to any further aggression may take the form of a robust scaling up and expansion of these existing sanctions and of course we are ready to take additional, unprecedented measures with serious consequences for Russia.


“But above all, I call on Russia to deescalate, to pursue diplomatic channels and to abide by is international commitments. Conflict must be solved peacefully."


Russian president Vladimir Putin and China’s president Xi Jinping have held a virtual meeting. They have agreed to work together during Western interference and to defend each other’s security interests. Putin said the countries are “a proper example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century”. Tensions have been rising between Russia and Western countries over the border with Ukraine. As Russia’s relationship with the West is becoming difficult, it is getting closer with China.


French forces have left Timbuktu in Mali after nearly nine years. On Tuesday, the French flag was lowered at a military base in Mali and the Malian flag was raised. General Etienne du Peyroux, the head of France’s military campaign in Mali, says France will be present in Mali in a different way.


And in Poland, geologists have discovered hundreds of dinosaur tracks. Scientists have called it a “treasure trove”, with footprints from at least seven species. Some of them are so well-preserved you can see the dinosaurs’ skin. Footprints can tell us about the size, species and behaviour of dinosaurs from around 200 million years ago.


That’s your world news in 7 minutes. You can get in touch in writing or by audio message at send7.org. I’m Juliet Martin, tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a wonderful day.

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