Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday that Ukraine will continue to seek NATO membership, despite Russia demanding that Ukraine never becomes a member of NATO. Yesterday German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Ukraine speaking to president Volodymyr Zelensky. Scholz will travel to Russia today to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Scholz will warn Putin about European sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine. Russia says that it is not planning to invade Ukraine, and says that NATO is not listening to its security concerns. Yesterday in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Russian ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said that Russia has a right to a counterattack if Ukraine attacks Russians who live in Ukraine. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that Russia should “step back from the precipice”..
“I think that it is very important that we have dialogue, but what we can’t do is trade away the sovereign rights of the Ukranian people to aspire to NATO membership. We are on the edge of a precipice, but there is still time for President Putin to step back and what we urging is for everybody to engage in dialogue...”
In France at least 7 people were killed yesterday in an explosion and fire. The explosion took place in a fast food take-away in the city of Perpignan. Also in France, a man was shot dead by police yesterday in Paris after he attacked police officers with a knife.
Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai has criticised the decision by the United States to give half of Afghanistan’s frozen money to victims of the Septemebr 11th terrorist attacks. When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last year The United States froze the bank accounts of the Afghan government. Now President Biden has said that the US will give half of the money in humanitarian aid, and will give half of the money to families affected by the attacks on the World Trade Centres in 2001. These families have been suing the Taliban, for their connections to Al Qaeda. Hamid Karzai said that giving Afghan money to the 9/11 victims is an atrocity against the Afghan people
In China Russian ice skater Kamila Valieva will be allowed to continue to participate in the Winter Olympics. Valieva, who is 15, tested positive for a banned substance two weeks ago. She won’t be awarded any medals until the case is closed.
In Sudan there were large protests yesterday in the capital Khartoum. Police fired tear gas at people protesting against the military who took power in a coup d’etat last year.
In Somalia an explosion killed 4 people yesterday. No group claimed responsibility however some reports say that a vehicle ran over a bomb left by the Al-Shabaab jihadist group.
Madagascar will be hit by another tropical storm today and tomorrow. Tropical storm Dumako is expected to hit northern Madagascar tonight, just one week after cyclone Batsirai killed 120 people and forced ten of thousands to leave their homes.
In Peru some indigenous communities are blocking access to a copper mine. Residents say that the mine is polluting the area without improving the quality of life of local people.
In Mexico 9 people have been killed in two attacks in Ciudad Juarez. Both attacks appear to be related to the funeral of a prisoner. Ciudad Juarez is on the border with the United States, and has a very high murder rate, because of fighting between drug gangs.
And in the United States, the 56th Super Bowl won by the Los Angeles Rams. 100 million people are expected to have watched the biggest event in American football, with a half-time show including the rappers Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, 50 cent and Eminem. On Saturday tickets were being sold for $8000, and that doesn’t include parking. During the superbowl a 30-second advert on the TV channel CBS cost $7 million dollars.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. If you find the podcast valuable, then please give what you would pay for a cup of coffee at send7.org/support. 10% of what we receive goes to effective altruism charities. That’s send7.org/support . I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow.