Thursday 29th October 2020
French President Emanuel Macron is being criticized around the world for comments regarding Islam. Protests are being held in many Muslim countries and a boycott of French products is trending on social media. Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Macron needed Mental checks for his comments. In response, The French Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Erdogan. Erdogan has now threatened to sue the magazine. In Turkey, insulting the President is illegal. Tensions between the Muslim world and France increased recently after a French teacher was killed after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
In Poland, women are continuing to protest against the new abortion law introduced last week. For the seventh day, hundreds of women came out all over Poland yesterday despite coronavirus restrictions. The new law prevents women from getting an abortion in the case of fetal defects - the reason used in 98% of abortions in Poland.
In the UK, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that coronavirus restrictions are likely to continue during the Christmas period...
"Unfortunately though however much we might like to, we can't magic COVID away. There is simply no alternative to all of us working together, to stop it overwhelming us to stop it overwhelming our national health service and to stop it taking lives if we possibly can"
Also in the UK, Environment secretary George Eustice suggested that Christmas gatherings may have to be smaller than normal...
"but I think people also understand that we have to control the spread of this virus we've all got a role to play in doing that. I’m sure that we’ll be able to have a good Christmas, and that families will be able to meet, but they might not be able to get together in the sort of larger groups that they normally would...”
In Argentina, 18 people are facing charges of crimes against humanity during the military dictatorship in Argentina from 1976-83. The court in La Plata will investigate cases of torture, baby thefts, and killings carried out in detention centers under military rule. One of the people charged is Miguel Etchecolatz, who was the head of Buenos Aires police. Etchecolatz is 91 and already in jail serving four life sentences.
In the United States, President Donald Trump's campaign website was hacked by a cryptocurrency scam yesterday. For a short time, the website displayed messages saying that the world has had enough fake news spread by Trump. Trump's campaign team said that no sensitive data was stolen.
Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden voted early yesterday, in Wilmington, Delaware, along with his wife, Jill Biden. Biden spoke later about how Americans should continue to protect each other from the coronavirus. "We discussed again the vital importance of wearing masks of protecting yourself. Of protecting your neighbour, and to save around 100,000 lives in the months ahead - between now and just after the 1st of the year. This is not political. It is Patriotic. Wearing a mask. Wear one. period."
Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of killing 21 civilians in the Azeri town of Barda, close to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenia has denied carrying out the attack. Azerbaijan and Armenia have been fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region since September, and the fighting has led to many deaths, although both sides report different numbers.
India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out raids at the offices and residences of human rights activists and journalists in Indian-administered Kashmir yesterday. India's Hindu nationalist government passed laws yesterday allowing Indians to buy land in the disputed Kashmir region. In a video message yesterday, Pakistan's Prime minister Imran Khan announced that he would not hold any talks with India until the Military siege on Jammu and Kahmir has finished.
In Nigeria, a judicial hearing has begun on recent violence in Lagos. The judges will investigate the deaths of 12 protesters last week. According to Amnesty International, Nigeria's security forces fired upon two large gatherings of protesters, in which 12 people were killed. Speaking to CNN yesterday, the governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that only 2 people were killed, and he blamed the military for the killings...
CNN: “So you are saying that it was military officers who ordered peaceful protesters to be shot at Lekki Toll gate?” BSO: “Yeah, that’s what the pictures - they were there- that’s what the footage shows.”
In Tanzania, voting took place for the presidential elections yesterday. In the past few days, there have been reports of a government crackdown on opposition leaders, and analysts believe that the President John Magufuli will be re-elected for a second term in office. Opposition parties have claimed that there have been irregularities in the election process. Most journalists and independent organizations, such as the European Union, were not allowed to observe the election.
And today is also the birthday of Tanzania’s President Magafuli. He is 61 today.
Thank you for listening to SEND7. Read the transcript of today’s episode, and listen to past episodes at send7.org. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi and tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.