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  • Namitha Ragunath

Tuesday 29th June 2021

Africa

In Ethiopia, the government has declared a ceasefire in the Tigray region, after nearly eight months of deadly conflict. A ceasefire is an agreement to stop fighting a war for a certain amount of time. Last November Ethiopia's government attacked the region to try and remove the region's then ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF). Both sides have been accused of carrying out mass killings and human rights violations. More than five million people are in urgent need of food aid, with 350,000 people facing famine.


The African Union has shared its concern of the European Union’s vaccine passport program. The European Unions plans to introduce the Digital Covid Certificate on Thursday, but only four vaccines - all made in Western countries - have been approved for inclusion. The African Union is concerned that the programme could exclude people in poorer countries. Most of the vaccines used in the Covax scheme, which helped get vaccines to poorer countries, were made in India, and have not been approved by the European Unions passport program.

Europe

In France, the second round of regional elections has taken place. The far-right National Rally (RN) party has again failed to take power anywhere. President Emmanuel Macron's party also suffered bad results, while the centre-right Republicans and the Socialist Party both received a rise in votes. Turnout for Sunday's elections was at a record low. French presidential elections will take place next year in April.

In Czech Republic, President Milos Zeman has been criticised after saying he thinks transgender people are "disgusting" in a TV interview. He said people who go through sex-change operations are basically committing a crime of self-harm. Mr Zeman was answering a question about a controversial law in Hungary banning the promotion of homosexuality to people under the age of 18. He said he supported the legislation, which has been condemned by European Union leaders.

In the UK, yesterday Boris Johnson defended Matt Hancock's resignation as health secretary. The prime minister says the resignation happened at a good speed. However on Friday, Mr Johnson said he had accepted an apology from Mr Hancock and considered it enough. Mr Hancock quit on Saturday after he and his aide were caught on camera kissing in his Whitehall office, breaching Covid guidelines.


BJ: "Well I read the story on Friday and we've got a new health secretary in post on Saturday and I think that's about the right place to proceed in a pandemic. And I actually had a good conversation yesterday, a long meeting, with Sajid Javid the new health secretary and we went over the data in great detail. I don't comment on how I conduct government business but I can tell you that we in this government are getting on with focusing on the people's priorities."



Americas

In Brazil, a man accused of murdering a family of four has been killed in a shootout with police. The police have been searching for Lázaro Barbosa for 20 days. Police say he killed a couple and their two sons, aged 15 and 21. He also reportedly held people hostage during his three weeks on the run from police. While he was on the run he also set one home and several cars on fire, and injured a police officer. During the search residents in Brazil said they were afraid to go to sleep or leave their homes.


In Paraguay, the daughters of the kidnapped former vice-president, Óscar Denis, have asked his kindapppers to prove that he is still alive. the former vice-president was kidnapped by members of theParaguayan People's Army (EPP) rebel group in September. His daughter Beatriz said that in the nine months since his kidnapping they had received no news from their father. The Paraguayan People's Army have asked that the government free two of the group's jailed leaders in return for the former vice-president. While his family said it had met the kidnappers' demands, the government refused to free the two imprisoned rebels who are both serving sentences for the attempted murder of three police officers.

Asia

North Korea has aired television footage of a North Korean citizen saying they were concerned for leader Kim Jong-un's sudden weight loss. This is very rare as the media in North Korea is very strictly controlled, and the Supreme Leader's health is usually not allowed to be discussed. There have been rumours about the North Korean leader's health, but the government has not responded to these rumours.


In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met national leaders for emergency talks on how to tackle a rise in Covid-19 infections. An outbreak in Sydney linked to the highly contagious Delta variant has grown to 128 cases. Australia has suggested mandatory vaccinations for care home workers and for new quarantine rules.


And finally, a man in France has found €85,000 (£73,000; $100,000) on the side of a road. The cash was found inside an elephant-shaped object. The man who found the cash took it straight to the police station. Police say the money could be linked with drug traffickers”. The man will not keep the €85,000.


And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. Send your opinion on any news story by email to podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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