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  • Namitha Ragunath

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Africa

In Niger, yesterday a court confirmed Mohamed Bazoum’s victory in last month’s presidential election. The court said Bazoum won with 55 percent of the votes. Last month, the opposition protested the results. More than 400 people were arrested during the protests, and 2 people were killed. Bazoum will be sworn into office on the 2nd of April.


In Rwanda, new variants of the Covid-19 virus have been detected. These variant were first identified in the UK and South Africa. Health Minister Daniel Ngamije said the variants were found in travellers who arrived in Rwanda.

In the Republic of Congo, leading opposition presidential candidate Guy-Brice Parfait Kolélas died yesterday. Mr Kolélas died hours after the voting in the Republic of Congo closed. He was infected by Covid-19, and died on a plane to France, where he was going to receive treatment. Mr Kolélas was one of six candidates running against President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has been in power since 1979.

Americas

In the United States, the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine was confirmed safe to use yesterday. There has been a trial in the United States to decide whether or not the vaccine was safe. Yesterday it was confirmed that the shot is both safe and highly effective. Ruud Dobber, president of AstraZeneca U.S, said he hopes to deliver 30 millions doses to the United States.


"We are we are thrilled by the results we have disclosed this this morning. 79% efficacy against symptomatic covert 19, but I think equally very important, 100% protection against severe disease and hospitalisation. We hope to deliver 30 million doses instantly after the EUA for Americans to get vaccinated."

In Mexico, there will be talks today with officials from US President Joe Biden’s administration about migration. The Biden administration announced yesterday that officials will travel to Mexico to work on a plan to manage migration. This is due to a rise in the number of migrants escaping violence, natural disasters and the economy in Central America.

Europe

In the UK, the government may be adding European nations to a travel ban list. This means people from European countries will not be allowed to travel to the UK due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Health minister Lord Bethell said there is a "possibility" that every European country could face a ban.


"We are watching with enormous sadness the sight of our European neighbours rejecting the vaccine policy. They are not embracing the opportunity that a vaccine provides for driving down infection rates and protecting their populations. But we are all aware that the possibility lies that we will have to red list all our European neighbours. But that would be done with huge regret."


In Germany, the government says that Covid-19 restrictions are going to rise. Many schools reopened in February, but they may have to close again. This is due to Germany’s third wave of the coronavirus. More than 3,000 Covid patients are in intensive care. The government plans to extend restrictions to 18 April.



Asia

In India, 260,000 coronavirus cases were recorded last week. This is one of the worst weekly increases since the pandemic began early last year. 70% of the cases are in the western state of Maharashtra. Experts say that cases are rising because people are not following safety rules. But some experts say the rise in cases may also be because of a new variant. India has so far recorded more than 11 million cases and 160,000 deaths.


In Australia, homes, roads and animals have been washed away by floods. This is the worst flood Australia has faced in 10 years. Some parts of Australia have seen almost 1m of rain. Weather forecasts say that the floods will rise even higher today. Thousands of people have left their homes and soldiers have been sent across Australia to help with the floods.


And finally in Iceland, thousands of people have gathered to watch a volcano eruption. Since its eruption on Friday, many people have climbed the volcano to watch the lava flow.

And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Jose in Costa Rica for your lovely message! Send your comment on any news story by email at podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7. Find transcripts and past episodes at send7.org Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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