Thursday 5th August 2021
In Lebanon, yesterday hundreds of people marched to mark the anniversary of the Beirut explosion that killed more than 200 people. The protestors were demanding someone take responsibility for last year’s explosion. The protests took place near the parliament in central Beirut. Protestors threw stones and tried to enter the main building. Police responded by firing tear gas and water. Authorities said it took six people to hospital, and had treated many more at the protests. The explosion last year was one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history. The explosion happened after hundreds of tonnes ammonium nitrate, which is used in bombs, caught on fire.
In India, protests are continuing for the fourth day over the alleged gang rape, murder and forced cremation of a nine-year-old girl. The girl's parents have accused a Hindu priest and three others of attacking her when she had gone to get water from the crematorium. Police have registered a case of gang rape and murder and arrested the men. The victim's mother said she was threatened when she tried to stop her daughter's cremation. Because the body was cremated before authorities could examine the body, rape cannot be confirmed. Protesters have burned photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not condemning the crime.
In South Sudan, it was announced yesterday that Vice President Riek Machar had been removed as head of his party and its armed forces. Machar played a big role in getting President Salva Kiir to sign a peace deal that formed a unity government following years of civil war. The military said Machar had “completely failed” to show leadership and greatly weakened the party’s role in the coalition government.
The World Health Organization is calling for a delay in COVID-19 vaccine boosters. They plan to temporarily stop giving boosters until at least the end of September. The head o the World Health Organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said this would allow at least 10 percent of the population of every country to be vaccinated.
TG: "We cannot and we should not accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines, using even more of it while the world's most vulnerable people remain unprotected."
In Poland, Belarusian Olympic athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya landed yesterday to seek refuge. Just days ago, the athlete refused her team’s orders to leave the Olympic Games and travel back to Belarus. The 24-year-old sprinter, who has claimed she fears for her safety in Belarus, was granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. Before leaving Japan, Tsimanouskaya said she hoped she could continue her career but that she needed to first focus on her safety.
In the UK, all 16 and 17-year-olds will start being offered a first dose of the Covid-19 jab. They will not need permission from their parents to get the vaccine. The Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation announced yesterday that 16 and 17-year-olds will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, said he is expecting this to start in a few weeks.
JVT: "There is no time to waste in getting on with this. Now we have the JCVI advice on starting that initial first dose in 16 to 17 year olds, then I want us to proceed as fast as is practically possible."
In Nicaragua, Police have detained vice-presidential hopeful, Berenice Quezada. Ms Quezada, who was Miss Nicaragua in 2017, is trying to challenge Nicaragua’s November vote. Recently there has been a crackdown by President Daniel Ortega’s government on opposition leaders and presidential challengers. More than two dozen opposition figures have been arrested since early June as the president tries to gain a fourth term as president.
And finally in the United States, Rihanna is now officially a billionaire and the richest female musician in the world. The pop star is worth $1.7 billion. However, an estimated $1.4 billion comes from the musicians beauty cosmetics company, Fenty.
And that’s your Simple English world news for today. You can find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.