Tuesday 16th February 2021
In Kosovo, the main left-wing opposition party is set to win an early parliamentary election. With 98% of the votes counted yesterday, the Determination Movement Party had 48 percent support. This is far ahead of the centre-right Democratic Party of Kosovo, which won 17 percent. Determination Movement leader Albin Kurti, is expected to become the next prime minister. He will be faced with Kosovo’s poor economy and unemployment, as well as fighting the pandemic.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he wants the current lockdown to be the last. Next Monday he will be making a speech on reducing restrictions.
"Next week I’ll be setting out a road map saying as much as we possibly can about the root to normality, even though some things are very uncertain. Because we want this lockdown to be the last. We want progress to be cautious but also irreversible. So please continue to stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives."
In Germany, labs have confirmed at least 10 cases of the Danish mink variant in the country. It comes as an elderly man died from the strain in a care home. Late last year Denmark killed more than 10 million mink on fur farms because the variant – known as Cluster-5 - was spreading.
In Myanmar, the military has warned anti-coup protesters across the country that they could face up to 20 years in prison. This is if they get in the way of the armed forces. Long sentences and fines will also apply to those found to encourage “hatred” against the coup leaders. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests in recent days. The demonstrators are demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and the return of democracy in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Yesterday, Ms Suu Kyi's lawyer said she would be detained for two more days.
In India, the arrest of a 22-year-old Indian climate activist has caused outrage. Disha Ravi was arrested on Saturday. She was accused her of sharing an online document tweeted by climate activist Greta Thunberg. This document had information on the farmers’ demonstrations, as well as how to join the rallies and support the movement online. Many protestors are calling the arrest an attack on free speech.
In South Africa, an inquiry into corruption during Jacob Zuma’s time as president will ask the court to set a jail term on the former leader. This is because Zuma failed to attend the inquiry yesterday, which is contempt of court. Contempt of court is when someone fails to follow court orders. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who leads the inquiry, said there was no valid reason for Zuma’s failure to attend.
“The commission has taken note that in this type of situation the law makes provision that it may apply for what is called, it may institute for what is called contempt of court proceedings. What that entails, is that the commission will make an application to the constitutional court, which is the court that made the order that Mr Zuma has defied, and seek an order that Mr Zuma is guilty of contempt of court.”
The inquiry is investigating allegations of fraud during Zuma’s time in power from 2009 to 2018. Zuma denies the allegations.
In Zimbabwe, the government has received its first 200,000 coronavirus vaccines. These are a donation by the Chinese government. Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga was at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in the capital, Harare, yesterday for the arrival of the doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.
In Peru, the foreign minister has resigned. This is the second top official to resign over politicians receiving COVID-19 vaccinations before the general public. Elizabeth Astete tweeted on Sunday that she had been vaccinated last month. She said this was a “serious mistake” and that she would not get a second dose.
In the United States, over two million people in Texas have lost power due to a winter storm. The temperature has dropped to minus 22 degrees C. Texas is seeing some of its coldest temperatures in more than 30 years.
And finally, in the UK, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, are expecting their second child. Their child will be eighth in line to the throne.
And that’s your world news in 7 minutes! You can find the transcript for today's episode, or listen to past episodes at send7.org. I’m Namitha Ragunath, And tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.