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Thursday 21st January 2021

“And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans, all Americans. And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did."


Good morning, you’re listening to SEND7, World News in 7 minutes. I’m Namitha Ragunath and today is Thursday the 21st of January 2021.


Yesterday, Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States of America. He is the oldest US president in history, at age 78.

"This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause, a cause of democracy. The people - the will of the people - has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We've learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed."


His inauguration comes more than 30 years after Biden first attempted to become president.


With his presidency, Biden has promised to focus and bring change to some key policies. This includes: Racial inequality and housing discrimination, tackling the climate emergency, and creating new economic opportunities for workers. He plans to raise the minimum wage, and to increase taxes on upper income Americans. He has also sworn to empower and protect women, immigrants, tribal nations, and the LGBTQ+ community. Biden has made clear that he wants to focus on science, and to take COVID-19 seriously.

"Anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness. With unity we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus, we can reward work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world."


Kamala Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, became the first Black person, first woman and first Asian American to serve as vice president.


KH: “I Kamala Devi Harris solemnly swear,"

Senator Sonia Sotomayor: "That I will well and faithfully discharge,"

KH: "That I will well and faithfully discharge,"

SS: "The duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

KH: The duties of the office upon which I am about to enter."

SS: "So help me god."

KH: "So help me god."

Kamala Harris and Barack Obama, the first African American to serve as president, shared a fist bump yesterday at the Capitol.


Biden and Harris were accompanied by their spouses at the inauguration. Dr Jill Biden became America’s new First Lady. And Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff, becomes America’s first ever ‘second gentleman’.

However, after serving for 4 years, Donald Trump, the first US president to have been impeached twice, told his 88 million followers (on Twitter) that he would not attend the inauguration of Joe Biden. Trump instead flew to Florida on the Air Force jet to stay at his resort. However ex- Vice President Mike pence and his wife Karen Pence did attend the inauguration. Donald Trump has vowed he will be “back in some form" after departing the White House for the final time as president.


“I just want to say you are amazing people. This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honour and privilege to have been your President. I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening. So just a goodbye, we love you, we will be back in some form, have a good life, we will see you soon. Thank you, thank you very much, thank you very much."

With COVID-19, the inauguration was celebrated differently this year. Guests, socially distanced, and a "Field of Flags" near the Capitol represented the tens of thousands of Americans who usually attend the inauguration in person.

Europe, Africa, Asia

Now for some news from the rest of the world.


In Spain, at least three people have been killed and several injured after a gas explosion in a building in Madrid, yesterday.


In Mali, security forces used tear gas at a banned protest in the capital, yesterday. The protest was against France's military presence in the country. France is Mali's former colonial power, has 5,000 troops in the Sahel region.


In Sri Lanka, a holy man’s “miracle potion” to prevent COVID-19 has been criticised, after a minister who publicly drank it was hospitalised with the virus. Thousands of Sri Lankans broke COVID rules earlier this year to travel to a village to get the alleged COVID potion made by the holy man.


And Finally, at 22 years old, poet Amanda Gorman has become the youngest person to recite a poem at the inauguration.


“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never ending shade. The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We've braved the belly of the beast, we've learned that quiet isn't always peace, and the norms and notions of what just is, isn't always just-ice"


And that’s your world news in 7 minutes! You can read the transcript of today's episode, or listen to past episodes at send7.org. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen devincenzi. Today I'll leave you with Lady Gaga singing the American national anthem at the inauguration yesterday. Have a great day!

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