Thursday 25th February 2021
Ghana yesterday became the first country to receive coronavirus vaccines through the Covax Scheme. 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Accra, the capital of Ghana, yesterday. Healthcare workers will be the first to get vaccinated. The Covax scheme aims to help poorer nations who are unable to buy doses. The programme is planning to deliver about 2 billion vaccine doses globally by the end of the year.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least 13 people have been killed in 2 attacks. This happened in the Beni area, near the Ugandan boarder. The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were blamed for the attacks. This brings the number of civilians killed by armed groups in Beni since November 2019 to more than 1,000.
Amnesty International yesterday removed the “prisoner of conscience” status they had given to Alexey Navalny. Prisoner of conscience is someone who has not used or supported violence, but is imprisoned because of who they are. They removed the “prisoner of conscience’ status because they believe some of Navalny’s past comments could be seen as hate speech. In the past, Navalny has supported anti-immigrant policies and is often accused of being a white supremacist. However, yesterday, Amnesty International said it would continue to “fight for his freedom”. Navalny is a Kremlin critique who was arrested on the January 17th. Thousands of Russians have protested for his release.
In Malaysia, the government yesterday deported around 1,000 people back to Myanmar. This deportation goes against a court order from human rights groups. Human rights organisations say those being deported come from ethnic minority groups, that have suffered in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They groups say sending them back to Myanmar, where the army took power in a coup, could put them in even more danger. But the Malaysian government has said those being sent back committed immigration offences, and are not asylum seekers.
In the United States, US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had their first meeting yesterday. This is Biden’s first meeting with a foreign leader since becoming President. Trudeau said they will both priorities climate change and keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The president and I discussed the ambitious new partnership roadmap based on shared values and priorities that will guide our country's work together over the coming years. In the face of COVID-19, of climate change, of rising inequality, this is our moment to act. So we're not wasting any time in getting down to work. Job one remains keeping people safe and ending this pandemic. We're facing tough times, there's no doubt, but we're not facing them alone. Canada and the United States are each other's closest allies, most important trading partners, and oldest friends. And we stand united to beat this pandemic and build a better tomorrow. And I know our bond will grow even stronger."
Also in the United States, regulators of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine has said the vaccine is safe to use, especially against severe cases. The Johnson & Johnson single-shot coronavirus vaccine could be the third Coronavirus vaccine to be used in the United States.
In Ecuador, the number of dead inmates has risen to 79. These inmates have been killed in fights in 4 prisons in Ecuador. The military and riot police have been sent to end the violence, which started on Tuesday. Experts say the fights were to gain control of the prisons after a gang leader was killed in December. The number of dead is higher than the total of inmates killed in 2019 and 2020 combined.
Authorities in Germany and Belgium have found a record of more than 23 tonnes of cocaine that was meant to be sent to the Netherlands. German officials said the cocaine was worth billions of euros. Dutch police announced yesterday that a 28-year-old man has been arrested in the Netherlands.
In the UK, secondary schools in England will be asked to consider face-to-face summer schools. This would be to help students catch up with their studies. Yesterday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the government plans to give £400m of funding to schools to help students catch up with missed learning.
"Schools will be able to target individual pupils' needs. This means that if your child needs extra help, then they are able to get it. For example, a block of tutoring can help a child gain 3 to 5 months of catch up when learning. We know our teachers are best placed to understand what your children will need, so they'll have the tools to deliver that extra boost and make a real difference as we recover from this pandemic."
And finally, in France, a Vincent Van Gogh painting of a Paris street has gone on display for the first time in 100 years. The painting has been owned by a French family for most of the time since it was painted in 1887. It is estimated to be sold for €8 million at an auction next month.
That’s your World News in 7 minutes! Please complete our questionnaire to help us improve the podcast. Find the survey at send7.org where you can also find the transcripts for the episodes. This weekend one listener will win €40 of Amazon vouchers for completing the survey. Find the survey at send7.org or in the episode description of your podcast app. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.