Tuesday 27th July 2021
In Tunisia, the main political parties have accused the president of staging a coup. This was after president Kais Saied sacked the prime minister and suspended the parliament. However, the president said what he did was constitutional. On Sunday there was violent protests over the government's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The protests were also about the economic and social problems in Tunisia. Violence between Mr Saied's supporters and opponents continued yesterday in the capital Tunis. protestors threw stones at each other outside government building which were guarded by troops. The European Union urged all political sides in Tunisia to respect the law and avoid violence. There were similar requests from the Arab League, Russia and Qatar.
In Zambia, police have warned political parties against breaking Covid-19 guidelines. This is as campaigning rises ahead of the 12 August general elections. Zambia had banned rallies, allowing only door-to-door campaigns as part of the Covid-19 regulations. But both the governing party and opposition leaders have been holding rallies. They have been handing out face masks to their supporters who are often not following social distancing.
In Iran's southwest Khuzestan province, security forces have been firing bullets at people protesting. The people are protesting severe water shortages. The shortages are happening in Iran's hottest regions, where temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius. Iran has called claims of a crackdown on protesters, by the UN as "false”. The protests have now become protests against the government and the country's Supreme Leader. The protest has also spread to different cities.
In Afghanistan, The UN said that people were killed or injured at record levels in the first half of this year as violence increased. A new report says Afghanistan recorded more than 1,600 citizen deaths so far in 2021. That is a 47% rise compared with this time last year. The UN warns the number of deaths could still rise. Government forces have been fighting Taliban fighters, who now control large parts of Afghanistan. Most international forces have removed their soldiers from Afghanistan after a mission that lasted nearly 20 years.
In the United States, it has been 31 years since the Americans with disabilities act was created. The act helps prevent discrimination towards people with disabilities and helps support their employment, equality and opportunities. President Joe Biden celebrated the anniversary of the act in which he helped create.
JB: "And for our nation, the ADA is more than a law as well. It's testament to our character as a people, our character as Americans, it is a triumph of American values. Of course, this didn't bring an end to the work we need to do. Today, too many Americans still face barriers to freedom and inequality. But thanks to this movement, that spans all races, beliefs, backgrounds, and generations, we are once again making progress together. My first day in office I was proud to sign an executive order establishing a government wide commitment to advance inequity including people with disabilities."
In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro said that he was aiming to begin talks with Venezuela’s political opposition next month. The talks will be held in Mexico. In May the opposition changed their plans and said they were willing to return to negotiations to fix the political problems in Venezuela. Venezuela has faced a rise in economic problems since President Maduro took office in 2013. The opposition, the United States and the European Union have accused the president of corruption, human rights violations and fraud in his 2018 re-election. Maduro denies these claims.
In France, yesterday the parliament approved legislation to make COVID passes a key part of daily life. It had also made vaccinations mandatory for health workers. This is as infections rise across France. This means people visiting restaurants and other public venues, or those travelling within France on trains and aeroplanes, will need to show proof of vaccination, a negative test, or recent recovery from the coronavirus.
In Greece, justice is being demanded after a famous rare seal was killed. Greek authorities are searching for the killer of Kostis, a Mediterranean monk seal, which became the island's symbol. Kostis was named after the fisherman who saved it after a storm in 2018. A Greek seal charity which looked after Kostis for several months as a pup thinks it was killed with a gun. The endangered seals are protected under Greek law.
And finally, in the UK, new research says that some of the stained glass windows from Canterbury Cathedral may be among the oldest in the world. The windows, that are meant to show the Ancestors of Christ, apparently date back to the 12th century.
And that’s your Simple English world news for today. You can find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.