Russia and Ukraine may begin peace talks in Turkey this week, according to a Turkish official. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Russian president Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy should meet once more progress has been made.
In Ukraine, nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the city of Mariupol during Russia’s siege, according to the mayor’s office. The mayor’s office says that about 90% of the buildings in Mariupol have been damaged and 40% of the buildings have been destroyed.
The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for a "humanitarian ceasefire" in Ukraine to allow for political negotiations:
"This war will have no winners, only losers. The United Nations and humanitarian partners are working to ensure safe passage from besieged areas and to provide aid where security permits. More than 600,000 have received some form of aid. As millions of people in Ukraine face hunger and dwindling supplies of water and medicine, I'm announcing today that the United Nations will allocate a further USD 40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to ramp up vital assistance to reach the most vulnerable as we wait for the nations to calm."
The G7 has rejected President Putin’s demands that “unfriendly” countries pay for Russian gas in roubles. They have said that this is a “unilateral and clear breach of existing contracts”.
In Norway, 28,500 workers will go on strike from the 1st April unless a new wage deal is agreed, according to labour unions. This would affect engineering work and the construction of ships and oil platforms.
Pakistan’s parliament has taken up a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan. The motion was proposed by the opposition party yesterday. The parliament will begin debating the motion on Thursday. A vote will be held within seven days.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban has ordered all Taliban employees to have a beard and obey a dress code to avoid being fired, according to Reuters. Reuters sources say that Taliban members were patrolling the entrances to government offices yesterday.
Tunisia’s parliament will hold two sessions this week to consider revoking President Kais Saied’s moves towards a new constitution. Some members of parliament have said that President Saied took power by a coup. President Saied has rejected this accusation, saying he was saving Tunisia from a corrupt political system.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, members of the M23 rebel group have attacked army positions near the border with Uganda and Rwanda, according to local officials.
Canadian descendants of native groups have asked Pope Francis to provide access to Church records of residential schools. Between 1831 and 1996, these schools aimed to "assimilate" indigenous children, but many of them were abused. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission had called it the schools “cultural genocide”. The Pope will hold four meetings this week with representatives of Canada’s native people.
In Mexico, a fruit and vegetable market aims to become the world’s biggest urban solar farm. Thousands of solar panels will be installed on the rooves of its buildings. The market serves 500,000 customers every day and covers the same area as around 400 football fields.
And today's episode is the 500th episode of the podcast!
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Lin from Taiwan and Isiah from Canada for becoming supporters. If you enjoy the podcast and would like to help support it, go to send7.org/support. Supporters also get access to transcripts every day. I’m Juliet Martin, tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.