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Thursday 2nd December 2021

The Americas

In Honduras, the ruling National Party has conceded the presidential election. This means that opposition leader, Xiomara Castro, will become Honduras’ first female president. United States Secretary of state Antony Blinken has called it a “historic victory”. Castro has promised to make big changes, including fighting corruption and reducing abortion restrictions.

The United States has asked Russia to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We don’t know whether President Putin has made the decision to invade. We do know that he is putting in place the capacity to do so.” The United States has said that Russia will face sanctions if it does not withdraw. NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg has said that Russia would pay a high price.

“We call Russia to be transparent, to reduce tensions and to de-escalate. If they do the opposite and actually decide to once again use force against Ukraine, then we have made it clear and ministers made that clear during the NATO foreign minister meeting in Latvia today, that Russia will then have to pay a high price. There will be serious consequences for Russia and that’s a clear message from NATO.”


The EU has said that countries should consider making Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory to stop the spread of the Omicron variant. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that mandatory vaccination should be an option.

“Two or three years ago, I would never have thought to witness what we see right now. That we have this horrible pandemic. We have these vaccines, the life-saving vaccines, but they are not being used adequately everywhere, and thus this costs of course an enormous, this is an enormous health cost coming along. If you look at the numbers, we have now 77% of the adults in the European Union vaccinated. If you take the whole population, it’s 66%, and this means one third of the European population is not vaccinated, these are 150 million people. […] And therefore, I think it is understandable and appropriate to lead this discussion now on how we can encourage and potentially think about mandatory vaccinations within the European Union, this needs discussion.”

Poland’s government has restricted aid and media access to its border with Belarus. Thousands of migrants are trapped at the border, trying to enter the European Union. The Polish government has said that the restrictions are necessary for security reasons.

Russia has ordered some United States embassy staff to leave the country. Tensions between Russia and the United States have been increasing over the Ukraine border. Last week, Russia’s ambassador to the United States said that 27 Russian diplomats must leave the United States. Yesterday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that United States embassy staff who have been in Moscow for more than three years must leave by 31st January.


Ethiopia has recaptured more land from Tigray fighters, according to the prime minister’s office. Ethiopian troops have reclaimed Lalibela, a Unesco world heritage site in the Amhara region. Last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed joined the front line of fighting. He told soldiers, “The enemy is defeated. Our remaining task is to […] destroy them”.

In Nigeria, at least 29 people have died, mostly children, when a boat capsized in Kano state. The boat was on its way from Badau village to Bagwai for a religious ceremony. Boat accidents in Nigeria are often caused by overloading or bad weather.


In South Korea, the United States Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is participating in security talks. The United States and South Korea are expected to strengthen their military alliance.

Taiwan plans to work with the new Honduran president to strengthen their friendship. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has said, “Our country will deepen cooperation between the two countries with the new government team led by president-elect Castro.”

And Israel’s Tel Aviv has been named the most expensive city in the world in a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Last year, Paris came first but Tel Aviv prices have been rising at their fastest rate in 5 years.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. You can contact us in writing or in an audio message at I’m Juliet Martin. Tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a wonderful day.

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