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Wednesday 13th January 2021

Good morning. This is SEND7 World News in 7 minutes. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Find the transcript for today’s episode at send7.org Today is Wednesday 13th January 2021.

Africa

Uganda is preparing for a general election tomorrow. All social media including facebook and whatsapp has been blocked until after the election. President Yoweri Museveni accused facebook of ‘taking sides’ after facebook closed accounts that it said were ‘fake’. However, presidential candidate Bobi Wine has a bigger social media following than the government. Wine has been arrested many times in the weeks before this election. In an interview yesterday Wine said that his house had been raided by police, and asked Ugandans to vote.

“And again this morning, my house was raided. Two of my gardeners were taken away and my security guard was beaten very very badly. We are therefore adding our voices together to call upon all you fellow Ugandans to turn up in large numbers and vote.”

Malawi ‘s president Lazarus Chakwera has declared a state of disaster, after two of his cabinet ministers died of COVID19. Transport minister Sidik Mia and Government Minister Lingson Berekanyama were both declared dead yesterday.

Asia

A Pakistani policeman was killed yesterday in an attack on a polio vaccination team. This report from Khadija Tahir...

“In Pakistan, a police officer guarding a polio vaccination team was shot dead yesterday. According to AlJazeera 102 people have been killed by attacks on polio vaccination efforts since 2012. One report said that attacks on polio teams grew after the American CIA used a fake vaccination effort to help find Osama bin Laden. The latest campaign to eliminate polio includes around 285,000 workers to vaccinate 40 million children all over Pakistan. According to the United Nations, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio has not been eradicated.”

In India COVID19 vaccinations are expected to begin on Saturday. India intends to offer the vaccine to all 1.3 billion people, calling it the “world’s biggest vaccination drive”. Authorities have said that they hope to administer 300 million vaccines in the next 8 months. The first 30 million doses will be reserved for health care workers and the following 270 million will be for people aged over 50 or with health problems.

Malaysia declared a state of emergency yesterday after a fast rise in cases of COVID19. A 2-week lockdown has been ordered in 6 states including Kuala Lumpur.

Israel has now vaccinated one in 5 of its people against the coronavirus. Over 20% of Israel’s 9 million people have received a dose of a vaccine. In the world around 15 million people have now received at least one dose of a COVID19 vaccine. This number does not include China, which doesn’t release this information.

Europe

United States secretary of state State Mike Pompeo has cancelled a trip to Europe after European condemnation of President Trump’s recent activities. Pompeo was due to arrive in Luxembourg where foreign minister Jean Asselborn has called Trump ‘criminal’ for instigating Wednesday’s attack on congress, and said that Trump should go to court. Pompeo was then expected to go to Belgium where foreign minister Sophie Wilmes has called last week’s riots an attack on ‘democratic ideals’.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blamed the way Chinese people interact with animals, for starting the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, in a virtual gathering of world leaders, Johnson said that the coronavirus was the product of an imbalance in man’s relationship with the natural world. He then said that it was ‘demented’ to use pangolins in medicine...

“Don’t forget that the coronavirus pandemic was the product of an imbalance in man’s relationship with the natural world. It is a zoonotic disease. Whether it originates from bats or pangolins - from the demented belief that if you grind up the scales of a pangolin you will somehow become more potent or whatever it is that people believe, it originates from this collision between mankind and the natural world and we’ve got to stop it.”

Most scientists now believe that COVID19 passed from animals to humans as most other pandemic-causing viruses have done, such as ebola, zika, SARS, MERS, bird flu and swine flu.

Americas

In the United States, President Donald Trump has said that he was not responsible for the riots that entered congress last week. 5 people died in Wednesday’s riot by people who believe President Trump’s false claims that the presidential election was fraudulent.

Mexico’s health ministry published new rules yesterday, that could start a legal marijuana industry in Mexico. New rules, signed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, allow pharmaceutical companies to begin medical research using cannabis. However, it is very likely that Mexico will legalize recreational marijuana use this year.

That’s Simple English News Daily. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. See you tomorrow.

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