Tuesday 1st June 2021


In the UK, scientists have warned the government of a third wave of coronavirus infections. They said that although new cases were "low" the Indian variant had caused a rise in cases. The scientists at the University of Cambridge said that ending Covid restrictions in England on 21 June should be delayed. But business leaders have warned that this could be harmful on the economy. Yesterday, the UK reported more than 3,000 new Covid infections for a sixth day in a row.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced a new naming system for variants of Covid-19. From now on Greek letters to refer to variants first detected in countries like the UK, South Africa and India. The UK variant will be known as Alpha, the South African variant will be called Beta, and the Indian variant will be called Delta. The WHO said this was to simplify discussions but also to help remove negativity from the names. Earlier this month the Indian government criticised the term "Indian variant”.

In France, world number 2 tennis player Naomi Osaka said she will no longer play in the French Open. She said this is as a result of controversy over her not wanting to speak to the media during tournaments. On Sunday, the Grand Slam organisers said Osaka could be expelled from the tournament. However Osaka says she doesn’t want to speak to the media to protect her mental health. In a tweet, Osaka said she has "suffered from depression" since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018. The Japanese four-time major winner said she gets "huge waves of anxiety" before speaking to the media.


In Canada, a mass grave with the remains of 215 children has been found. The grave was found in a former residential school set up for indigenous people. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a "painful reminder" of a shameful chapter in Canada's history.

JT: “We are looking for how we can support indigenous communities in their grief and in their requests for answers. I know there will be many many discussions to be had in the coming days and weeks about how we can best support these communities and get to the truth. I think the proposal around a standardised approach makes a lot of sense, but of course we will work with the provinces and territories to make sure that we're all doing the right thing”

In Haiti, childhood malnutrition is expected to more than double this year. Malnutrition is when a person's diet does not provide enough nutrients to be considered healthy. UNICEF said this is due to the pandemic, rising crime and low resources. More than 86,000 children under the age of five could be affected, compared to 41,000 last year. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, and more than 60% of its population live in poverty.


In Israel, yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that a unity government aimed at replacing him would be a danger to Israel. He told fellow right-wingers not to back a deal after ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett said he would form a coalition. Mr Netanyahu's opponents have until tomorrow to form a government. If they are successful, it would bring to an end the rule of the country's longest-serving prime minister. Netanyahu has ruled Israel for 15 years.

In China, the government has announced that it will allow couples to have up to three children. This was after data showed a decline in birth rates. China removed its decades-old one-child policy in 2016, replacing it with a two-child limit. The latest move was approved by President Xi Jinping at a meeting of top Communist Party officials.

In Bangladesh, a man suspected of killing 70 endangered tigers has been arrested after a 20-year search. Habib Talukder - known as Tiger Habib - was finally caught after three previous arrest warrants had been issued for him. He has been living in the Sundarbans mangrove forest, on the border between India and Bangladesh. The area is home to the world's largest population of Bengal tigers. Only a few thousand remain in the wild. Black market traders buy their bones and even flesh for sale around the globe.


In the self-declared republic of Somaliland, votes for the parliamentary elections are being made. Many people there hope the elections will boost its chances of gaining international recognition as an independent state. Although Somaliland has its own passport, currency, flag, government and army, the territory is not recognised as a sovereign country. Anyone over the age of 15 is allowed to vote in the election - which is being observed by many political figures in Africa.

In Namibia, President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos are said to be recovering after they both tested positive for Covid-19 last Wednesday. The couple have not been admitted to hospital, and are self-isolating in their home.

And finally in the UK, yesterday was recorded as the hottest day of the year, reaching a high of 25 degree Celsius.

And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. You can write to us at or send us an audio message on our website - Please leave a review on your podcast app, and we will say thank you on the podcast! I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day!

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