• Namitha Ragunath

Tuesday 5th October 2021


US owned social media services Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram faced an outage for several hours yesterday. An outage is when a power supply or other service is not available. All three services are owned by Facebook and was not working on the web or on smartphone apps. Downdetector, which tracks outages, received tens of thousands of outage reports for all three platforms from around the world. Facebook tweeted their sincerest apologies to those affected. The outage comes the day after a former Facebook employee leaked documents about the company. Frances Haugen said that Facebook prioritised "growth over safety".

FH: "The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook over and over again chose to optimise for its own interest, like making more money."

In the United States, a sculpture honouring George Floyd in New York City has been vandalised for a second time. Grey paint was thrown across the statue just two days after it was set up. Clean-up efforts by community volunteers are now going on. The 6ft (2m) tall statue of Floyd was on display earlier in Brooklyn, where it was vandalised with black paint. Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020. His death caused global protests over racism.


In Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a new five-year term yesterday. This is as his government faces a list of challenges. This includes months of conflict in the northern region of Tigray. "Peace" was a key word for the African presidents who spoke at the celebration for Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The civil war in the north of Ethiopia, now about to enter its 12th month, has killed thousands and led to a humanitarian crisis.

In Nigeria, doctors in public hospitals have stopped their two-month-long strike. The strike, by doctors who are training to be specialists, has seriously harmed Nigeria’s health sector. The medics’ union said it is giving the government another chance to meet its demands. They were striking over low pay and lack of insurance. For many Nigerians, the end of the strike is good news. The National Association of Resident Doctors said its members will all be back to work by tomorrow.


In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he will investigate those who have been linked to offshore companies. The Pandora Papers, which show the financial secrets of rich and powerful people around the world, links hundreds of Pakistanis, to secret companies that are hiding their wealth. According to Pakistani media reports, more than 700 people in Pakistan were named in the papers, including two members of the cabinet.

In India, the supreme court has approved the government's plan to pay 50,000 rupees ($674; £498) for every death due to Covid-19. This is following a petition by lawyers demanding repayment under India's disaster management laws. India has officially recorded more than 447,000 Covid-19 deaths so far. However, experts believe that up to 10 times more people could have died in the pandemic. Yesterday, the court agreed that the next direct family member of a deceased person will receive money. The court added that the money should be paid within 30 days after a family submits an application.


In the UK, the Conservative Party is facing questions about donations made by the wife of a former Russian minister. Lubov Chernukhin is one of the biggest donors to the Tories, giving more than £1.8m since 2012. Leaked documents from the Pandora Papers revealed her personal wealth comes from her husband Vladimir. Mrs Chernukhin's lawyers say she is a British citizen and is allowed to do what she wants with her money. According to the Pandora Papers, her donations to the Conservative Party have given her access to the UK government.

In France, the winner of Paris' famous best baguette award will not be supplying his bread to the French president. This is despite the understanding that the Tunisian born baker would do so for a year. This is because it is tradition that winners supply the president with bread. However, far-right news websites have accused Mr Makram Akrout of expressing anti-French beliefs. Mr Akrout - a French citizen who has been living and working in France for 19 years - has denied these accusations.

And finally, in the United States, the actor who played Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series will be going to space. Blue Origin, the space travel company owned by US tech billionaire Jeff Bezos, said that William Shatner would be blasting off from Texas on 12 October. At 90 years old, the actor will become the oldest person to have flown into space.

And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. SEND7 listeners - we are on instagram, facebook and twitter @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

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