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Wednesday 11th May 2022


Europe

In Ukraine the port city Odessa was hit with Russian missiles again yesterday. One person died and 5 were injured when a missile hit a shopping centre. Ukrainian officials have said that there are still civilians in the steel factory in Mariupol, which is being constantly bombed by the Russian army. Officials in the city of Izium say that they have found the bodies of 44 civilians in the remains of a building which was destroyed weeks ago.

United States intelligence chiefs said yesterday that President Vladimir Putin is preparing for a long war in Ukraine, and that to avoid defeat Russia may use severe escalations, including a general mobilisation which forces all Russian men to become soldiers. Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence, said that Putin could use a nuclear weapon if he thinks that his own position as president is at risk...

“The next month or two of fighting will be significant as the Russians attempt to reinvigorate their efforts, but even if they are successful, we are not confident that the fight in the Donbass will effectively end the war. We assess that President Putin is preparing for prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbass.”

The United Nations has recorded the deaths of 3,381 civilians, almost all killed by the Russian army. UN human rights monitor, Matilda Bogner, said yesterday that the true number would be thousands more, especially because it wasn’t possible to collect information from the city of Mariupol which the Russian army has largely destroyed, and where people had no access to food and water for weeks...

“The big black hole is really Mariupol where it has been difficult for us to fully access and to get fully corroborated information. We estimate that are thousands of deaths that have happened there - civilians who have died due to hostilities...

The WHO has also said that there were 3,000 avoidable deaths from people with chronic diseases not being able to access treatment. Ukraine says that it has billions of dollars worth of wheat which it is unable to export because Russia has blocked its ports. The price of wheat has risen quickly recently, especially in Africa, which imports a lot of wheat from Ukraine. In Bucha and other settlements to the North of Kyiv that were occupied by Russian armed forces. We have reports of the unlawful killing of over 300 men, women and children. Unfortunately these numbers will continue to grow as we visit more areas.”

In Italy scientists have found bats which make the sound of hornets, to avoid being eaten by owls. The mouse-eared bats, which are common in Europe, were found to make a buzzing sound when owls came close to them. Some owls were then scared away from the bats, thinking that they were hornets.

Africa

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least 70 people have been killed in attacks on villages. Martial law has been declared in Ituri and North Kivu provinces. Local people have blamed the rebel group CODECO for the violence.

In Kenya a former worker or Facebook is suing the company because of poor working conditions. The former employee, who worked as a content moderator, says that the Facebook company, now called Meta, gave unreasonable working hours, irregular pay, didn’t support mental health and violated their privacy.

Asia

In The Philippines BongBong Marcos has won the presidential election. At the time of recording this episode 98% of votes have been counted and Ferdinand Marcos Junior, known as BongBong, has won more than half of votes. Marcos is the son of dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled The Philippines for 21 years until he was removed from power during mass demonstrations. Ferdinand Marcos and his family are accused of stealing from the state while in power, and denying human rights, however BongBong Marcos does not recognize this, and has defended his father’s legacy. In a separate election, Sara Duterte was chosen as Vice President. She is the daughter of current president Rodrigo Duterte. There were some anti-Marcos protests yesterday in Manila.

In Sri Lanka protests have continued, despite the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Protesters also want his brother president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Sri Lanka, military personnel have been given the order to shoot on site after protests in the country turned violent. On Monday, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after weeks of protests, due to a severe economic crisis. The military and police were granted emergency powers to arrest people after the protests turned violent, leaving seven people dead including a member of parliament.

In Australia, over 50 kilograms of cocaine were found in a river near the city of Newcastle. Police Chief Robert Critchlow said that the police was investigating the death of a diver which they think could be related to the drugs...

“A large amount of what we believe are drugs were located not far from the dead man, and enquiries are continuing as to where those drugs came from and whether this man had any links to it at all”

Americas

In Ecuador a riot in a prison has killed 43 people in the city of Santo Domingo. Last year over 300 prisoners were killed in violence inside prisons in Ecuador - generally in fighting between gangs.

In the United States the company Meta has opened its first in-person shop in California. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, will sell virtual reality headsets, which people can try on in the shop.

An in Canada a member of parliament has apologised after virtually joining a session from a toilet stall. Liberal party member Shafqat Ali was made to apologize after other members realised that he had joined the video conference from inside the bathroom.

A big thank you to Vahid from the UK for becoming our newest supporter. If you enjoy the podcast you can become a supporter at send7.org/support. Supporters also get access to transcripts of every episode. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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