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Thursday 9th December 2021

Europe


In Germany, Olaf Scholz has become chancellor. Former chancellor Angela Merkel was in power for 16 years. Scholz is part of the Social Democrat party and will lead a three-way coalition with the Green party and the Free Democrat party.


In the United Kingdom, an adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resigned after a video showed her joking about a party that occurred during Covid-19 lockdown last year. Allegra Stratton was shown laughing about a reported gathering at the Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street. Yesterday, she resigned from her position as a senior government spokesperson, giving a tearful speech outside her home.


“I understand the anger and frustration that people feel. To all of you who lost loved ones, who endured intolerable loneliness and who struggled with your businesses, I am truly sorry and this afternoon I am offering my resignation to the prime minister.”


Americas


The United States has put an arms embargo on Cambodia because of corruption, human rights issues and the growing influence of China’s military. The embargo means that weapons cannot be exported to Cambodia.


Peru’s president Pedro Castillo has avoided impeachment. In October, right wing parties introduced a motion to remove Castillo as president. On Tuesday, Congress voted against the motion. Peru’s government is facing corruption allegations and protests about mining.


Africa


In Libya, the High State Council has asked for the presidential election to be delayed. The election is planned for the 24th December but the High State Council has asked for it to be delayed to February. Although the High State Council is not recognised by all political bodies in Libya, this action adds to doubts around the election. There has already been conflict over who should be allowed to run for president.


East Africa’s coral reefs might be extinct by 2070. There are about 12,000 sq km of coral reefs along the eastern coastline of Africa, which is home to many species of plants and animals. A new study published in the journal Nature Sustainability has found that increasing temperatures and overfishing are causing damage to the ecosystem.


Asia


In China, Canada, Australia and the UK have joined the diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The United States was the first country to announce the boycott because of human rights concerns on Monday. China has criticised this action.


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that Australia has been raising issues with China for some time.


“It will come as no surprise that the Australian government will not be sending any official representatives to the forthcoming Winter Games in China. For some time, people have been very aware that we’ve been raising a number of issues that have not been received well in China, and there’s been a disagreement between us on those matters.


But of course the human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the many other issues that Australia has consistently raised, we’ve been very pleased and very happy to talk to the Chinese government about theses issues and there’s been no obstacle to that occurring on our side, but the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues.”


A Malaysian Court of Appeals has upheld former premier Najib Razak’s conviction. Razak was found guilty of criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money laundering last year. He appealed his 12-year prison sentence and USD 50 million fine. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals announced that it agreed with the High Court on the sentence.


An Indian military helicopter has crashed, killing 13 people. One of the people killed was the head of India’s armed forces, General Bipin Rawat.


And Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has landed on the International Space Station. The flight took 6 hours, and Maezawa has become the first space tourist to go to the International Space Station in more than ten years. He will spend 12 days on the station and will document the experience on YouTube.


That’s your world news in 7 minutes. You can get in touch with us in writing or in an audio message at send7.org. I’m Juliet Martin, tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a wonderful day

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