In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that there will be new three-tier restrictions. This means certain parts of England will be facing medium, high and very high restrictions.
“And so we can squash this virus wherever it appears, we are today simplifying, standardising, and in some places toughening local rules in England by introducing 3 levels of covid alert. Medium, with existing national measures such as the rule of 6 and the closure of hospitality at 10pm. High, with extra measures including a ban on indoor social indoor mixing between households or support bubbles. And very high, for places where without further action the NHS will swiftly be under intolerable pressure.”
In Belarus, the police yesterday threatened to shoot protesters, claiming that opposition demonstrations against president Alexander Lukashenko were becoming more radicalised. Peaceful protests began after Lukashenko won the elections in August, over a popular opposition candidate, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claims to be the true winner. Police have so far only used equipment such as rubber bullets and water cannons to control demonstrators. The statement made yesterday was the first time authorities have threatened to use firearms.
In China, The National Health Commission said yesterday that the city of Qingdao will be testing its entire population within five days. Qingdao has a population of nine million people. The mass testing comes after the discovery of 12 cases linked to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from other countries. The Chinese authorities now have a strategy of mass testing even when a new coronavirus cluster appears to be small.
Yesterday in Bangladesh, the government approved a change in the law, that would allow for the death penalty in rape cases. This comes as anger grows in the South Asian country over a rise in sexual assault. The changes were approved at a weekly meeting of the council of ministers headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In the United States, the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee hearing began yesterday. This hearing is for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. This all follows follow the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in September.
“When the president offered me this nomination I was deeply honoured. I have been nominated to fill justice Ginsburg seat, but no one will ever take her place. I will be forever grateful for the path she marked and the life she led. I look forward to answering the committees questions over the coming days. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, I pledge to faithfully and impartially discharge my duties to the American people as an associate justice of the supreme court.”
In Peru, President Martin Vizcarra yesterday denied an accusation of corruption made against him, almost a month after a previous scandal. The new accusation is that Vizcarra accepted $280,000 in payoffs from a construction company involved in a public works project before he became president.
Yesterday, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa rejected claims that a rise in deadly attacks on farmers were “ethnic cleansing”. Murders on farms is a huge issue in South Africa, where some white minority activist groups say that they are victims of a “white genocide” that aims to force landowners to flee. Roughly 70 per cent of privately owned farmland in South Africa is owned by whites, who make up less than 9 percent of the country’s population of 58 million.
In Tanzania, efforts are continuing to put out a fire that started on Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro is a popular destination for tourists and tens of thousands of people climb it every year. Members of the Tanzania National Parks Authority and local people have been struggling to put out the blaze which began on Sunday. The cause of the fire is not clear.
According to a recent study conducted by Canine Cottages, your dog’s heartbeat speeds up when you tell them, “I love you”. The tracking data revealed that dogs averaged a resting heart rate of 67 beats per minute. But when owners said, “I love you” to their pets, the dogs’ heart rates shot to 98 beats per minute—a 46% increase.
And that’s your World News in 7 minutes. You can read the transcript of today’s episode or listen to past episodes at send7.org. Thank you for Listening to Send7! I’m Namitha Ragunath. Tomorrow you will be with Steven Devincenzi. Have a great day.