Tuesday 25th May 2021
Belarus is facing international criticism over the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich. In Belarus, Protasevich has been accused of extremism. Because of this he has been living in exile in Poland. However, on Sunday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko ordered a military jet to force a flight Protasevich was on to land in Belarus. Lukashenko said this was done because there was a “bomb threat”, which turned out to be fake. When the Ryanair flight was forced to land in Belarusian capital, Minsk, police arrested the journalist for his alleged involvement in “extremism”. In the United States, the White House said that the flight diversion was a "shocking act”. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said that the British government has told all UK planes to stop flying over Belarus.
DR: "The uk calls for his immediate release and the release of all other political prisoners in Belarus. We are urgently seeking full details of precisely what took place in relation to flight FR4978. But the scenario as reported is a shocking assault on civil aviation. To ensure the safety of air passengers, I've also worked with the transport secretary to issue a notice to all UK airlines to cease over flights of Belarusian airspace."
In the UK, a famous Black Lives Matter activist, Sasha Johnson, was shot in the head. She is now in critical condition, according to her party. The Taking the Initiative Party said she was being treated in intensive care after being "brutally attacked" on Sunday. Ms Johnson has life-threatening injuries following the shooting in London. A vigil was held close to King's College Hospital where Ms Johnson is being treated.
In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Foreign affairs said Ethiopia will rethink its relationship with the United States. This was announced after the United States said it will set restrictions on the economic aid it gives Ethiopia. The restriction were set over the conflict in the Tigray region. Thousands of people have been killed and many more displaced since the conflict began six months ago. The United States has asked the Ethiopian government to hold accountable all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses.
In Ghana, human rights organisations are demanding the release of 21 LGBT people who were arrested. The group was holding a meeting on Thursday to discuss ways of protecting their LGBT rights in Ghana. The police said they were arrested for promoting an LGBT agenda illegally. In Ghana, it isn't illegal to identify as LGBT, but sexual acts between males are illegal.
In the United States, yesterday the Supreme Court said they will not take up a case challenging ‘Qualified immunity’. Qualified immunity protects police officers from some lawsuits. It is currently facing a lot of criticism. The case involved a man fatally shot by an officer in Ohio. Matthew Rhodes, the officer who shot Luke Stewart in the chest and neck, was protected using qualified immunity. This was even though the lower court said that a jury might find that he unlawfully used excessive force. Recent investigations that show that courts are increasingly giving qualified immunity to police accused of excessive force even when they have acted illegally.
In Mexico, yesterday President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that the United States authorities should not lower Mexico’s air safety rating. This was after the United States announced it decided to do so on Friday. Obrador said Mexico is following all the required laws.
In UAE, Princess Latifa has been seen in public for the first time since saying she was being held captive. A photo showing a woman who appears to be Princess Latifa was posted on Instagram. Princess Latifa is one of the 25 children of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. She attempted to escape Dubai in 2018. She left a video message accusing her father of holding her “hostage”.
PL: "I'm I'm a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail. All the windows are barred shut. I can't open any windows. I've been by myself - solitary confinement. No access to medical help, no trial, no charge, nothing."
In Malaysia, yesterday, more than 200 people were injured when two trains crashed together in an underground tunnel. One of the trains was empty after being repaired. The other train carried 213 passengers travelling in the opposite direction on the same track.
And finally in France, a blind man has gained back some of his eye sight after using light-sensing proteins first found in algae. The man was treated with a type of therapy called optogenetics, which uses the proteins to control cells at the back of his eye.
And that’s you world news in 7 minutes. You can send us a message or comment on any news story, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send an audio message for us to play on the podcast at send7.org. Please help to support us by leaving a review or talking about us on social media. We are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day!