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  • Namitha Ragunath

Tuesday 13th July 2021

Europe

In England, the government announced yesterday that the final stage of easing Covid restrictions will go ahead on 19 July. This means almost all legal restrictions on social contact will be removed. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was important to still be careful because the pandemic is not over.

BJ: "It is absolutely vital that we proceed now with caution. And I cannot say this powerfully or emphatically enough. This pandemic is not over. This disease - coronavirus - continues to carry risks for you and your family. We cannot simply revert instantly from Monday the 19th of July to life as it was before covid."


Also in England, football manager Gareth Southgate said the racist abuse aimed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after the Euro 2020 final loss against Italy was “unforgivable". Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Football Association have also condemned it. All three players missed penalties and were targeted on social media after the game.

GS: "The players have had an incredible togetherness and spirit, which I think has brought so, so many parts of our country together. So, for some of them to be abused is unforgivable really."


In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has apologised for removing most coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands. The easing three weeks ago led to infection levels rising to their highest this year as nightlife resumed for large numbers of young people. Restrictions on bars, restaurants and nightclubs were brought back on Friday. Previously the Prime Minister had refused to take any blame for the opening up, describing it as a "logical step".

Africa

In South Africa, soldiers have been sent out to deal with the deadly violence caused by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma. Shops were raided and buildings were set on fire yesterday as Zuma challenged his sentence at a hearing in the top court. At least six people have been killed and 200 arrested since the unrest began last week. This was after Zuma handed himself in and began his 15-month sentence. Zuma was convicted after failing to attend an inquiry into corruption during his presidency. Zuma, who denies corruption, is hoping to get the sentence canceled or reduced.


In Nigeria, authorities have threatened "harsh measures" against those who break Covid restrictions. This comes after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed that the Delta variant of Covid-19 had reached Nigeria. There are reports of a rise in new cases and there are fears of a third wave. Authorities said the punishments for breaking restrictions could include jail time for Nigerians, and foreigners losing their right to live in Nigeria.



Americas

In Cuba, thousands of people joined the biggest protest in decades against Cuba’s Communist government. They marched in cities including the capital Havana, shouting "freedom" and "down with the dictatorship”. Cubans are protesting the collapse of the economy, food shortages and the government's handling of the pandemic.

In the United States, President Joe Biden yesterday met with US city police chiefs, elected officials and community experts at the White House. This is as his administration struggles to address a rise in crime driven by rising gun violence in the United States.



Asia

In Thailand, the government has changed its vaccine policy. Thailand will now mix China's Sinovac vaccine with the AstraZeneca vaccine to increase protection. The changes that were announced yesterday comes after hundreds of medical workers caught Covid despite being fully vaccinated with Sinovac. Instead of two Sinovac shots, people will now receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after their first Sinovac shot.


In India, a lightning strike has killed at least 16 people and injured many more in Jaipur. The victims were taking selfies in the rain on top of a popular tourist attraction. Dozens have also died in lightning strikes in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states. Lightning strikes kill around 2,000 Indians on average every year, according to official data.


And finally, gyms in South Korea are advised not to play music over 120 beats/ minute. This is part of Covid measures to avoid excess swear or heavy breathing.


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.

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