In Spain, a creator of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine has said that the next pandemic could be even more deadly. Sarah Gilbert is a professor at the University of Oxford. At a press conference in Oviedo, she said the world should prepare better for the next virus.
“There will be a disease Y. This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and our livelihoods and I’d like to finish on a high note but the truth is the next one could be worse. It could be more contagious or more lethal or both. We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through all we have gone through and then find that the enormous economic losses we have sustained mean that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness. The advances we have made and the knowledge we have gained must not be lost.”
In Austria, Karl Nehammer has become the leader of the conservative party. Former chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned last week after a corruption scandal. Nehammer will be Austria’s third conservative chancellor in two months. He aims to help the coalition government recover from recent scandals and bring the country out of lockdown.
In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to two years’ detention. Former civilian leader Suu Kyi was removed from power in a military coup in February. Yesterday, she was convicted of inciting dissent and breaking Covid rules and sentenced to four years in prison. This has now been reduced to two years.
Suu Kyi denies all the charges. The United States has called the verdict an “affront to democracy and justice” and has asked for her to be released immediately.
In India, Russian President Putin is visiting New Delhi. Yesterday, India and Russia signed trade and arms deals which include deals on steel, shipbuilding, coal and energy. India has also begun to receive S-400 missiles from Russia. The two countries have signed a military and technical cooperation pact until 2031.
In the Solomon Islands, prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has survived a no-confidence vote. In November, protestors tried to depose Sogavare in riots because of his decision to change his support from Taiwan to China. Yesterday, members of parliament voted to keep him in power.
In Gambia, president Adama Barrow has been re-elected. Barrow won the election easily, receiving around 53% of votes.
In South Africa, people have been protesting against oil exploration by Shell. Environmentalists say that the plan will threaten wildlife including whales, dolphins and penguins. On Friday, a court rejected an application by environmentalists to stop the exploration. The court said that the argument that the exploration would cause “irreparable harm” to the environment was unproven. Since Sunday, hundreds of protesters have gathered on beaches.
In Madagascar, 20 people have been charged with plotting to kill Madagascar’s president. Former coup leader Andry Rajoelina was made president in 2019. The suspects have been charged with crimes including criminal conspiracy, criminal association, rebellion and possession of illegal weapons. They have denied the charges.
Colombia has launched a plan to reduce environmental crimes. 100 police officers and investigators will investigate crimes including illegal mining and animal trafficking. They will also monitor websites to see if animals are being sold. Colombia has one of the world’s most diverse natural environments, but it is being damaged by crimes like deforestation, oil theft and plant and animal trafficking.
In Venezuela, foreign minister Julio Borges has resigned from the government. Venezuela’s interim government is supported by many countries, including the United States, but Borges said that it has been damaged and is not being used to fight the dictatorship.
The United States will not send government officials to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Last month, President Joe Biden said that he was considering a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics because of China’s human rights record. Yesterday, the White House press secretary announced that government officials will not attend.
And in Canada, the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers have had to use their emergency reserve. This is the first time in three years the reserve has been used. Quebec produces almost ¾ of the world’s maple syrup. Due to high demand and reduced harvest, there has been a shortage. They have released about 22 million kg from the reserve
That’s your world new in 7 minutes. You can get in touch with us – we’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @send7podcast. I’m Juliet Martin, tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a lovely day.