In Dubai, phone numbers used by two princesses have reportedly been found in an investigation into the phone hacking spyware known as Pegasus. Pegasus Spyware, made by an Israeli company, has been found to be used by many governments to spy on journalists, activists and lawyers. Princess Latifa is the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, and Princess Haya Bint al-Hussain is his former wife. In mid-February, a video of Princess Latifa was released where she said she was being held as a hostage. Princess Haya meanwhile fled Dubai in 2019 saying she feared for her life. The UAE has denied both women's allegations. Their numbers are apparently on a list of some 50,000 phone numbers of people believed to be of interest to an Israeli surveillance group.
In China, at least 25 people have died after rainfall flooded underground railway tunnels. The floods left passengers trapped in rising waters. Videos shared on social media show passengers just managing to keep their heads above the water. More than 500 people were eventually rescued from the tunnels in the Henan province. Days of rain has caused severe damage and led to 200,000 evacuations. A years worth of rain fell in just 3 days. President Xi Jinping has ensured the safety of China’s citizens. A big thank you to to Bob Li for sharing this story with us! Have we missed a story? Let us know by sending us a message in writing or in audio at send7.org where you can also find transcripts
In the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci was asked if he had lied to the congress. Republican Senator Rand Paul asked the nations top infectious diseases expert if he lied about funding the ‘gain of function’ research in Wuhan, China. The ‘gain of function’ research is when scientists enhance a virus in a lab to study its impact in the real word. Dr Fauci denied lying about it.
Dr AF: "And you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individual I totally resent that and if anybody is lying here senator it is you senator smith."
In Latin America, yesterday the Pan American Health Organisation said Coronavirus infections are increasing. They said they are increasing across much of Central America and on smaller Caribbean islands. The organisation has again called for more vaccine donations to help nations that are struggling. They said while Chile and Argentina are reporting a drop in new infections, cases and deaths are spiking in Cuba, Honduras and Guatemala.
In Germany, the government has reached a deal with the United States yesterday that will allow a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe to be completed. Germany and the United States has agreed the pipeline will be completed without any US sanctions. The two governments will shortly announce details of the agreement. There are concerns from both the United States and eastern and central European concerns about the impact of the Nord Stream 2 project. U.S. officials from both parties have shared concern that the pipeline would give Russia too much power over European gas supplies
In the UK, Boris Johnson has been asked to apologise for saying people dying from Covid were "essentially all over 80”. This comment was sent as a text and was leaked by his ex advisor, Dominic Cummings. The prime minister did not deny making the comments, in October last year, as he argued against a second lockdown.
In South Africa, a well-known former radio DJ has been denied bail. This was after appearing in court on charges of starting violence that followed the jailing of ex-President Jacob Zuma. In a video on social media, Ngizwe Mchunu - a supporter of Mr Zuma - called for the former president to be released. Mr Mchunu has denied intending to cause violence. But prosecutors say he is one of the key people who caused the violence that left more than 200 people dead.
In Zimbabwe, rights groups are demanding that schoolgirls should be able to get contraceptives without permission from their parents. This is because teen pregnancies have been rising in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s vice-president had rejected the demand. He denied it due “cultural and moral" reasons. More than 5,000 girls had become pregnant during the coronavirus pandemic - 2,000 of them were below the age of 16.
And finally, popular streaming service Netflix has confirmed that it will include free video games as part of subscription packages. Netflix said it was in the early stages of expanding into games and those for mobile phones would be added to the platform first.
And that’s your Simple English world news for today. You can find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.