Thursday 18th March 2021


In the United States, four people who were killed in mass shootings in Georgia were identified yesterday. The shootings took place at three massage parlours in the Atlanta area on Tuesday. 6 of the victims were Asian women. Recently it has been reported that there has been a rise in crimes against Asian-Americans.

In Chile, more than 5,000 new COVID-19 infections have been reported daily in the past seven days. This is despite Chile vaccinating more than one-third of its population. Chile is currently facing its second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.


In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will be sending 8,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is currently struggling with an outbreak of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the doses will be sent immediately, with other care equipment.

"We've contracted them, we've paid for them. And we want to see those vaccines come here so we can support our nearest neighbour PNG (Papua New Guinea) deal with their urgent needs in our region. And we'll be seeking the support of the European Union and AstraZeneca to achieve that as soon as possible."

In Japan, a court ruled yesterday that not allowing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. This means the court believes that Japan should allow same-sex marriage. This is a huge ruling, that could lead to more rights for gay couples in Japan. Japan is the only country in the G7 group of developed nations that does not allow same-sex marriage. The G7 group includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.


In the Netherlands, yesterday was the last day of voting for the general elections. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) are expected to win a fourth term in office.

In Europe, the European Union’s executive body has presented a coronavirus passport plan. The plan will allow 450 million people – vaccinated or not – to travel freely across the EU nations. The European Union leaders will be discussing the plan next week. Part of the plan is the creation of vaccine certificates. The certificates will show whether or not a person has been vaccinated.


Tunisia’s President Kais Saied visited Libya yesterday. His visit was made days after the new Libyan Government of National Unity was formed. President Saied said the visit is to support the democratic path in Libya. Libya aims to hold national elections in December to end its 10 years of conflict.

In Kenya, the High Court yesterday refused to allow the practice of female genital mutilation also known as FGM. FGM is the cutting or removal of a female's external genitalia. Judges ruled that the practice goes against the right to health, dignity and in some cases the right to life.

Last week we asked listeners to send their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you so much if you have sent a response. Unfortunately there isn’t time to show all of them. Here are some of the responses:

Caterina from Italy said the coronavirus has been difficult as she misses her friends.

"My experience with Coronavirus is difficult because I miss all my friends and I miss going to school because I can't."

Pablo from Argentina said things are slowly going back to normal.

"I live in Paraná city, and luckily we are living almost a normal life. The schools have come back and people are working normally. I hope next month we'll be able to live in the same way."

Rebecca from Italy said that though it has been a year, the COVID situation in Italy has not improved. However, Rebecca said she has stayed positive, and hopes things go back to normal, even if it seems impossible.

Thank you again for all your responses. Please tell us your experience of the pandemic by sending an email to or send an audio message at I´m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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