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Thursday 24th June 2021

Africa

Libya’s interim government has said that elections will be held on December 24th. Talks have been held in Germany this week between Libya’s transitional government and other leaders about how to progress the peace process. There are believed to be 20,000 foreign fighters in Libya right now, on both sides of its Civil war. Turkish, Syrian, Russian and Sudanese fighters are known to be in Libya. Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Mass said yesterday that Turkey and Russia, who support different sides of the civil war, should agree to remove their soldiers equally. United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that it was immediately necessary for foreign soldiers to leave Libya...

“We share the goal of a sovereign stable, unified, secure Libya, free from foreign interference. It’s what the people of Libya deserve. It is critical to regional security as well.”

Mozambique is expected to receive soldiers from the Southern African Development Community. The SADC, an organization of 16 southern African countries, said yesterday that it will support Mozambique’s army in the fight against Islamist Jihadists in Cabo Delgado province.

Asia

In Hong Kong the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily is publishing it’s final newspaper today. The newspaper was started in 1995 by billionaire Jimmy Lai, and has been one of the highest selling newspapers in Hong Kong. Lai was arrested last year and is now in prison for breaking Hong Kong’s new National Security law. Last week Apple Daily’s editor and other staff were also arrested. Officials said that Apple Daily was encouraging foreign countries to put sanctions on Hong Kong and China. The remaining staff of Apple Daily have said that because the newspaper’s bank accounts have been frozen they cannot operate.

Pakistani police are investigating an explosion for terrorism. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Pakistan, an explosion took place in a residential area of the city of Lahore, killing three people and injuring 13 others. The blast took place near the house of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s founder Hafiz Saeed. Lashkar-e-Taiba is an armed organization that is considered a terrorist group under Pakistani law and by the United Nations. A police checkpoint near the area is expected to have been the target of the attack, according to the provincial police chief Inam Ghani. The Counter-Terrorism Department is now investigating the incident.

Europe

In Spain nine Catalan leaders have been freed from jail after being pardoned by the Spanish government. The leaders were in jail for holding an illegal referendum and declaring the independence of Catalonia in 2017. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanches said that releasing the leaders was a gesture of good will, hoping to relax the tension between Catalonia and the rest of Spain. Polls show that in Catalonia most people supported the pardoning of the leaders, however in the rest of Spain 60% of people thought that they should have stayed in jail.

In the United Kingdom a study by the University of Oxford has shown that the Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID19 vaccines are both highly effective against the Delta variant that originated in India, although with slightly reduced antibodies. In the UK almost all new cases of COVID19 are of the delta variant and 90% of cases in Europe are expected to be of this variant by August.

Americas

In the United States Senate leader Chuck Shumer has said that supressing votes is part of the Republican Party’s ideology. Since the loss of the presidential election last year Republicans have introduced local laws that restrict mail-in voting, shorten the time people have to vote, and reducing different methods of voting. After Senate Republicans blocked an election reform bill, Schumer said that they were disgraceful...

“Once again, Senate Republicans have signed their names in the ledger of history, alongside Donald Trump, “The Big Lie” and voter suppression - to their enduring disgrace. This vote - I’m ashamed to say - is further evidence, that voter suppression has become part of the official platform of the Republican party.”

In Brazil teargas was fired yesterday during protests by indigenous activists outside Brazil’s congress. Indigenous groups say that new laws allow commercial agriculture and mining in their lands.

And drinking coffee may lower the risk of liver disease. A new study in the UK found that people who drank coffee were 20% less likely to develop liver disease.

That’s your World News for today. Read transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. If you have any friends who are learning English or who are interested in world news, then please share the podcast with them. We are on all podcast apps. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day, and I will see you tomorrow.

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