Tuesday 19th January 2021
In China, twelve miners trapped underground after an explosion in a gold mine last week are still alive. Yesterday, the miners sent back a note saying "don't stop trying to reach us”. This was after rescuers lowered down a paper and pencil into a hole in the ground. The 22 miners were trapped at the Hushan mine on the 10th of January after an explosion damaged the exit.
In Australia, the head of the health department announced yesterday that the international boarders may not fully reopen this year. This is even if most of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus. Australia recorded no new local cases of COVID-19. The health department stated that even if the entire population is vaccinated, they don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.
In Russia, hundreds of Alexei Navalny's supporters chanted outside a Moscow police station yesterday, despite the -20C weather. The supporters chanted ”Let him go!", and "Russia will be free!", and "Navalny, we are with you!”. The supporters were mostly students, young professionals and activists. Navalny has accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of ordering his poisoning. Upon arriving at Moscow airport on Sunday, Navalny was arrested .
In Uganda, internet services returned yesterday. Last week, an Internet shutdown was set ahead of the presidential elections. Social media platforms are still blocked. President Museveni, who won a sixth term in office, has accused social media platforms of being biased. Opposition candidate Bobi Wine, has claimed that there has been fraud in the election. Mr Wine has accused Museveni of shutting down the internet to prevent him from sharing evidence of fraud. The opposition are worried that Mr. Wine is running out of time to challenge results. According to Ugandan law, after the winner has been announced, you have 15 days to challenge the results at the Supreme Court.
In Nigeria, schools reopened yesterday despite concerns about rising cases of Covid-19. Students arrived wearing face masks and were told to wash their hands before entering the school. It’s the first time students have been back since mid-December, when Nigeria faced a second wave of the virus.
In the United States, the Capitol was temporarily locked down yesterday. This was during a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration tomorrow. Security locked down the building after spotting smoke coming from a mile away. But law enforcement officials said there was no threat to the public and the fire was not a threat to the inauguration. A riot on the 6th of January at the US Capitol by Trump supporters has led to many security concerns about the inauguration.
Also in the United States, a man was arrested yesterday after he was found living in the Chicago airport for 3 months. His reason for living in the airport was because he was too afraid to fly back to LA, due to the coronavirus.
In Guatemala, a group of Central American migrants, headed to the United States, were tear gassed. The government said it would not accept "illegal mass movements”. Around 7,000 migrants, mostly from Honduras, have entered in recent days. They are fleeing poverty and violence. They hope to travel on to Mexico, and then the US border. Every year, tens of thousands of Central American migrants attempt to walk this journey, to try and reach the US, in groups known as “caravans". President-elect Joe Biden has promised to end the strict immigration policies made by Donald Trump.
A group of lawyers, and religious bodies from 13 countries have submitted formal complaints to the United Nations Human Rights Council (OHCHR). This is calling for action against France’s abuse against Muslims in the past two decades. The group submitted its findings to the UN yesterday, accusing France of violating “a number of basic rights.” It said governments since 1989 have put in place “structural Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims”.
In the Uk, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that 37,000 people are in UK hospitals with the virus - the highest total yet. He told people not to stop following social distancing and other basic measures.
"This new variant makes this so much harder but it doesn't just make it so much harder for for us at the podium it makes it harder for everyone because it means that everyone has to has to restrict the things that they love more than would have been previously necessary under the under the old variant and that is tough on us all but thankfully we've got this way out with the with the vaccine so let's not blow it now."
And finally, yesterday was MLK day. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. He is most well-known for his campaigns for racial racial equality in the United States.
"Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream."
And thats your world news in 7 minutes. You can read the transcript of todays 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.