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  • Namitha Ragunath

Thursday 8th April 2021

Asia

In Taiwan, the government has accused Beijing of bribing Paraguay with Chinese-made Covid vaccines. Taiwan says China is trying to get Paraguay to cut ties with Taiwan. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu claimed that China had promised millions of doses for Paraguay, who have been suffering with the coronavirus pandemic. Paraguay is one of the few countries that recognises Taiwan as its own nation. Beijing considers Taiwan to be a part of China and says it should unite with the Chinese mainland. China has denied using vaccines to try and persuade Paraguay.

In Jordan, for the first time, King Abdullah made a public statement yesterday about the crisis in Jordan. He said he was shocked and angry over the alleged attempt to destabilise the government. King Abdullah was responding to an alleged conspiracy against the government, involving his half-brother, Prince Hamzah. Prince Hamzah has been put under house arrest by the government. Yesterday King Abdullah reassured Jordanians that the crisis was now over.

In Pakistan, human rights groups have accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of blaming rape on how women dress. During a live television interview, Imran Khan told women to wear more clothing to avoid rape. Hundreds of people have signed a statement demanding an apology from Imran Khan. Pakistan is ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women in terms of safety and equality.

Europe

In the UK, people under the age of 30 will no longer be offered the Astra-Zeneca jab. They will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead. This is due to the evidence linking the Astra-Zeneca jab to rare blood clots. However, The European Union’s medicines regulator says unusual blood clots are very rare. Yesterday, Dr. Sabine Straus from the The European Medicines Agency said the benefits of the vaccine were bigger than the risk.

"What we have seen so far is that indeed the risk seems to be predominantly in younger age - 60 years and younger - but it also occurs in the elderly. And we have seen that it predominantly affects women. Some of that could be explained by the way that the vaccine is being used in the European union and the European economic area. What we do know is that COVID-19 is a very serious disease, and we know that the benefits of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine have been established. It prevents COVID disease, it prevents hospitalisation, and it prevents mortality. So from that, in that respect feels that the overall benefits outweigh the risks."

In Greenland, the left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit party won the parliamentary elections yesterday. The indigenous party who mainly focus on the environment, will now seek to form a government. Yesterday, the party said that a major mining project in southern Greenland would not go ahead.

Americas

In the United States, many rights groups are fighting a new law that goes against transgender healthcare. On Tuesday, Arkansas become the first state to ban gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender people under the age of 18. This means doctors who provide medical help to those wanting to transition to the opposite gender could be sued. Many rights groups are saying that this law would stop transgender people from receiving important medical care, and that it would increase the already high risk of suicide.

In Brazil, more than 4,000 Covid-related deaths were recorded in 24 hours for the first time, yesterday. This is due to a more contagious variant. In Brazil, hospitals are overcrowded, and the death toll is now almost 337,000. President Jair Bolsonaro continues to refuse any lockdown measures.


Africa

In Djibouti, around 25,000 people attended a rally for President Omar Guelleh yesterday. The tiny country, with a population of less than one million people, will have its presidential election on Friday. Omar Guelleh, who has been in power for 22 years, is running again for president.

In Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi has said no to foreign aid. This is to do with the rise in jihadist conflict in the north of Mozambique. Last month’s attack by Islamist militants on the town of Palma left dozens of people dead. President Nyusi said the jihadists had been chased out of the town.


And finally, Google Maps will now give directions for the most eco-friendly routes. The app will highlight journeys that have the lowest carbon footprint.

SEND7 listeners, what is this podcast missing? If there is a story we haven’t covered, or you just have an opinion to share, you can message us by email at podcast@send7.org or you can send us an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. I'm Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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