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Tuesday 14th December 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Africa


The Democratic Republic of Congo president Felix Tshisekedi has said that Ugandan troops will be in the country for a limited time. Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo are working together to fight against the Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist militant group. During the Democratic Republic of Congo’s civil war, which ended in 2003, Uganda was accused of occupying territory and stealing resources.


In Sudan, security forces have used tear gas against protesters. Tens of thousands of people have been protesting since Sudan’s military coup in October. Former ruler Omar al-Bashir was removed from power in 2019. Now, protesters want a democracy.


In the Gambia, the presidential runner-up, Ousainou Darboe, is legally challenging President Adama Barrow’s election. In the vote on 4th December, Darboe won about 28% of the vote. Barrow won 53%. Darboe and two other candidates have said they do not accept the results of the election because the vote count took longer than expected, and because of problems at polling stations. Darboe is now petitioning to the Supreme Court.


Europe


In Italy, at least seven people have been killed in a suspected gas explosion in Sicily. The blast occurred on Saturday, destroying four houses and damaging three. Two people are still missing.

French president Emmanuel Macron has said that France is willing to “work together for Europe” with Hungary. France and Hungary have disagreed over issues including LGBT rights, the rule of law and democratic standards. But Paris will take over presidency of the European Union in January and France and Hungary are aiming to reconcile.


The United Kingdom has expanded its booster vaccination programme. People over the age of 18 will be offered a booster dose by the end of the year. Yesterday, the website to book booster appointments crashed, when booking opened for people over the age of 30.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that the country’s Covid alert level had increased to 4, the second highest level.


“I’m afraid we’re now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant, Omicron, and we must urgently reinforce our wall of vaccine protection to keep our friends and loved ones safe. Earlier today, the UK’s four chief medical officers raised the UK’s Covid alert level to 4, the second highest level, because of the evidence that Omicron is doubling here in the UK every 2 to 3 days.


“No-one should be in any doubt there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming, and I am afraid it is now clear that two doses of vaccine are simply not enough to give the level of protection we all need.”


Americas


United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has begun a tour of Southeast Asia. Yesterday, he met Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo to express America’s support for Indonesia’s leadership. They also discussed human rights, the pandemic and the climate crisis.


In Mexico, more than 1.5 million people gathered in the capital on Sunday to visit the Virgin of Guadalupe basilica. The basilica is the most visited Catholic shrine in the Americas. The annual gathering was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.


Asia


In Vietnam, a former government head has been sentenced to eight years in jail for abuse of power. Nguyen Duc Chung was sentenced to five years in prison last year for misappropriating secret state documents and misusing assets. Now, he has been found guilty of using money from a public investment project to help a company owned by his family. Chung became chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee in 2015.


New Caledonia has rejected independence from France for a third time. There have now been three referendums in New Caledonia asking people if they would like independence from France, and New Caledonians have said no every time.


The referendum results show that almost two thirds of citizens didn’t vote. Independence supporters had asked citizens to boycott the vote after France refused to delay the ballot during a traditional mourning period.


And India’s Harnaaz Sandhu has been crowned Miss Universe. This is the first time India has won since Lara Dutta in 2000. Sandhu said she is ready to take on the responsibility of the prize.


That’s your world news in 7 minutes. We are on social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, @send7podcast. I’m Juliet Martin, tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a lovely day

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