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Tuesday 22nd December 2020

Europe

At least 27 countries have banned all flights from the United Kingdom, in response to a new strain of the coronavirus. Other countries have banned British nationals. Flights from the UK have been stopped by most of the European Union, and other countries around the world, including Canada, Argentina, Chile and Morocco. In the UK, lorries have been queuing outside the small town of Dover, because of the closing of the border with France. Thousands of lorries were waiting on motorways in the UK last night, and it is not known when they will be able to cross into France. Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new strain does not appear to be more deadly than the common strain of COVID19...

“There’s no reason to think that this new variant of the virus is more dangerous than the existing strain.”

Over 500,000 people in the UK have received their first dose of the Pfeizer vaccine according to the government. Most scientists believe that the vaccine will still be effective against the new strain. Yesterday the pfeizer vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency, and the first vaccinations are expected in the EU next week.

Asia

In Qatar, the Al Jazeera Media Network has been targeted by spyware, the network confirmed yesterday. Al Jazeera released a story yesterday, saying that many of their journalists had had their phones hacked using Israeli spyware. However, according to Al Jazeera, independent reports suggest that the attack came from either Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.

Also in the middle east, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait have closed their borders completely. The three gulf states have stopped all international flights because of the new strain of coronavirus in the UK.

Hong Kong activist Nathan Law has applied for asylum in the UK. Writing in the Guardian newspaper today, Law said that he left Hong Kong so that he can continue to fight for democracy in Hong Kong, without the risk of persecution from China. Fellow activist Joshua Wong was given 14 months in prison recently, and billionaire democracy activist Jimmy Lai is waiting for a sentence.

Thailand has confirmed its worst day for coronavirus infections, by far. Since May Thailand has reported an average of only 10 cases a day, however, on Saturday 576 people tested positive. This is the result of mass testing around a seafood market close to Bangkok. Mass testing will continue in the area.

Africa

In Kenya doctors in government hospitals have started a nationwide strike. The doctors are striking against poor insurance benefits and a lack of protective equipment, while treating coronavirus patients. Kenya’s main doctor’s union has said that the lack of protective equipment is responsible for the deaths of healthcare workers.

The Central African Republic has said Russia and Rwanda have sent soldiers into the country, since an attempted coup d’etat on Saturday. The government of CAR have accused former president Francois Bozize of the attempted coup, supported by 3 groups of armed rebels. CAR is expected to have a general election on Sunday. Many opposition parties have formed a coalition, however they have also said that they expect election fraud.

Americas

In Mexico, 2020 is expected to be one of the worst years for murders. In 2019 more than 34,000 murders were reported in Mexico, many of them related to criminal gangs. On Friday, the former governor of Jalisco State, Aristoteles Sandoval was murdered, despite being with bodyguards. I asked a SEND7 listener in Mexico, Abel Colunga his feelings about the situation in Mexico...

AC: “Definitely in Mexico we are dismayed, because of murder of governor of Jalisco state. This event makes us feel like there is not enough justice to avoid this stuff. People in Mexico now think that Mexico needs a better government and have laws against criminals. Because despite the security that Aristoteles Sandoval had, the criminals could still kill him.”

In the United States, President-elect Joe Biden received the COVID19 vaccination yesterday. As with everyone who receives the Pfeizer vaccine, Biden must return in 3 weeks to receive the second dose.

Also in the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci has said that he gave Santa Claus the COVID19 vaccine. Answering questions from children, Dr Fauci confirmed that he travelled to the Norht Pole himself, and made sure that Santa Claus was vaccinated...

“I took a trip up there to the North Pole I went there and I vaccinated Santa myself. I measured his level of immunity and he is good to go.”

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Please leave a review for SEND7 on apple podcasts. It makes it easier for others to find us. Find the transcript of today’s episode at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. See you tomorrow.

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