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Thursday 1st July 2021

Africa

In Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said that the army deliberately left Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. Tigrayan forces said that they had retaken control of Mekelle on Tuesday - a major change in events in Ethiopia’s civil war, that started in November, when Ethiopian soldiers took control of most of the Tigray region, including Mekelle. Ethiopian generals have threatened to go back to Mekelle.

Somalia’s leaders have agreed to hold an election on October 10th. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed had promised to hold Somalia’s first direct election, however local leaders could not agree on how to do this. Instead indirect elections will be held, where an elected parliament will select a president.

Asia

China’s communist party is exactly one hundred years old today. The CCP fought in the Chinese civil war, and won power in 1949. The previous government moved to the island of Taiwan. Mao Zedong became the first leader of communist China. Mao’s government is blamed for causing millions of deaths in the 50s and 60s through its poor economic and agricultural decisions. After Mao died in 1976 new leaders of the communist party made reforms, allowing international trade and allowing more free market economics. Since then China has lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty, despite maintaining high levels of censorship. China is expected to overtake the United States to become the world’s largest economy around 2032.

In India, the United Nations has condemned the use of pellet-guns by police in the Kashmir region. Khadija Tahir reports...

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed concern over India's use of pellet guns on protestors in the Kashmir region. In a UN report on children in 2021, the secretary-general asked India to stop using pellet guns to ensure the safety of children and teenagers. The report also showed that 39 children were killed or injured by the use of pellet guns. The Kashmir region is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. In 2019 India removed the autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir, resulting in mass protests by local people.

In North Korea, leader Kim Jong-Un has fired several high-ranking party members, saying that they caused a coronavirus incident. North Korea and Turkmenistan are the only large countries in the world to have never reported a case of COVID19. Experts on North Korea have said that the fact that state media has reported this, means that coronavirus is now in North Korea.

Europe

The European Union is considering banning all caged animal farming. A law has been proposed after a petition supporting a law gathered more than one million signatures. The proposed law would slowly phase-out and eventually ban caged farming for any animal. EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said yesterday that animals are sentient beings and we have a moral responsibility for farm conditions to show this...

“This is a very important step forward in further improving animal welfare across the EU. Animal welfare is a clear priority for our work on animal protection, health and food safety.”

In the Netherlands, two Serbian leaders have been convicted of war crimes at a United Nations court. Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic were allies of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and were found guilty yesterday of murder, forced transportation, and persecution in Serbia in 1992.

Americas

Mexico’s supreme court has revoked laws that prohibit the use of marijuana - effectively decriminalizing the use of marijuana. Adults who want to grow or consumer their own cannabis will now be able to apply for a permit. Over the last two years Mexico’s congress and senate have been writing laws to legalize cannabis. The legalization of marijuana in Mexico is now almost certain, but politicians are still discussing how the new market for cannabis will work.

In the United States, rescuers are still searching for missing people where an apartment block collapsed in Miami last Thursday. 16 people have been confirmed dead and at least 147 are still missing. In 2010, after an earthquake in Haiti, a 15 year old girl was rescued after spending 15 days in a collapsed building.

Also in the United States, politician Donald Rumsfeld has died, aged 88. Rumsfeld was most famous as US secretary for defence to Presidents Gerald Ford and George Bush. He is often seen as the architect of the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Today we are exactly halfway through 2021. It is also independence day in Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia and children’s day in Pakistan.

That’s it for today. Send us a message, writing or speaking at send7.org where you can also read the transcripts.

A big thank you to Aravind from Bangalore in India for your kind message. If you have friends who are learning English or who are interested in World News, then please recommend our podcast. We are on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day, and I will see you tomorrow.

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