Thursday 31st March 2022


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy spoke with United States president Joe Biden on the phone yesterday. They discussed defensive support, new sanctions against Russia, and financial and humanitarian aid.

Russia’s defence ministry has said that its forces are regrouping near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and the city of Chernihiv. The ministry says it still aims to “liberate” the Donbas region.

A Russian negotiator says that Ukraine is willing to meet many of Russia’s core demands in peace negotiations. This includes giving up its aim to join NATO and renouncing weapons of mass destruction. However, Ukraine and Russia still disagree on the status of Crimea and Donbas. Russia insists that Ukraine recognises the loss of Crimea and the independence of two breakaway territories in Donbas. Ukraine says it will not sacrifice its territorial integrity.

Finland’s national railway operator has said that it will resume freight services to Russia. Its service was stopped because of United Kingdom sanctions on Russia, but the Finnish railway group has said the sanctions don’t apply to them. Passenger services from Finland to Russia will remain closed.


Cuba’s government is seeking support for a new family code. The new regulations would legalise same-sex marriage and enable same-sex couples to adopt children. They would also increase women’s rights. The Cuban Roman Catholic Church has said the proposal contains “gender ideology” that would lead to “indoctrination of children in schools”. The code will be subject to a referendum later this year.

United States president Joe Biden has signed a bill making lynching a federal hate crime. There have been more than 200 failed attempts to pass anti-lynching legislation in the past. The law is named after Emmett Till, the black teenager killed in 1955, whose death helped begin the civil rights movement in the United States.

“I just signed into law the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching act, making lynching a federal hate crime. To the Till family we remain in awe of your courage to find purpose through your pain, to find purpose through your pain. But the law is not just about the past, it’s about the present, and our future as well.”


In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s biggest ally has quit the coalition party and joined the opposition. The opposition is seeking to remove Khan from power in a no-confidence vote due to begin today. Khan’s party does not have a majority by itself.

South Korea says that North Korea launched a Hwasong-15 ICBM missile last week, rather than the newer Hwasong-17 ICBM North Korea said it launched. A South Korean lawmaker says that North Korea may have lied about the missile to increase its military status and improve its bargaining power.


The Democratic Republic of Congo has joined the East African Community trade bloc. The bloc allows the free movement of goods and people across borders. Its other members include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Ghana will start producing its own Covid-19 vaccines in January 2024. So far, Ghana has fully vaccinated around 21% of the population, according to Reuters.

And NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has identified ice volcanoes on Pluto. These volcanoes are between 1 and 7km tall and produce ice rather than lava. Scientists say that this indicates that Pluto is more active than they previously thought.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Giusy from Italy and Christiane from Belgium for becoming supporters. If you enjoy the podcast and would like to help support it, go to Supporters also get access to transcripts every day. I’m Juliet Martin, tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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