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Wednesday 14th July 2021

Africa

In South Africa, at least 45 people have been killed in protests and riots since Sunday. Protests began on Sunday after the arrest and jailing of former president Jacob Zuma. Violence began in Zuma’s home province KwaZulu-Natal, and has now spread to other provinces. There have been many reports of lootings, where many people steal things at the same time. President Cyril Ramaphosa said that if the violence continues, there is a risk of food and medicine shortages...

“These disruptions will cost lives by cutting off the supply chains that sustain our food, our health and production systems. The path of violence, of looting and anarchy, leads only to more violence and devastation, as well as suffering. It leads to more poverty, more unemployment, and more loss of innocent life.”

According to AlJazeera news agency, soldiers were on the streets in two provinces yesterday, and over 400 people were arrested. The South African Rand has also fallen to its lowest value in months.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi have agreed to new deals on trade and security. Burundi’s president Evariste Ndayishimiye visited the capital of the DRC, Kinshasa, where the neighbouring countries signed agreements to combat armed groups between their borders and to build a railway connection between them.

Americas

In Cuba at least 140 protesters, activists and journalists have been arrested. On Sunday Cuba saw its biggest protests against the communist government in decades.

In the United States, Borat is suing a marijuana company. Sacha Baron Cohen, the actor and creator of the character Borat, is suing Solar Therapeutics for $9 million dollars for using the character in an advert. Cohen has said that he wouldn’t advertise marijuana for any amount of money.

Europe

Lithuania has accused Belarus of using refugees as a political weapon. Lithuania’s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told a meeting of EU ministers that Belarus has been flying migrants into Belarus, and then helping them across the border to Lithuania. 1,700 refugees have entered Lithuania from Belarus this year, most of them saying that they are from Iraq. Landsbergis said that more sanctions should be placed on Belarus...

“For my country today the most important issue is the unprecedented migration flows that are reaching my country from and with the help from the Belarussian government, or Belarussian regime..... When refugees are used as a political weapon in order to change the country’s policy.”

Bulgaria’s parliamentary elections have left no clear winner. This is the second election this year, as in the previous election parties were not able to agree to form a coalition government.

In Moldova the pro-Europe PAS party of President Maia Sandu has won a majority of seats in parliament. Pro-Russian parties that previously controlled Moldova’s parliament, will now be in opposition.

Asia

In Iraq at least 64 people have been killed in a fire at a coronavirus ward. The fire started on Monday night in the city of Nasiriya and was blamed on the explosion of oxygen tanks. This is the second deadly fire at a COVID19 ward in Iraq this year. Iraqi President Barham Salih said that corruption and mismanagement allowed the fire to happen.

Bangladesh is stopping its coronavirus lockdown for Eid, despite reporting record numbers of infections. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Bangladesh, the coronavirus lockdown will be lifted for Eid, a Muslim religious festival. Bangladesh imposed its strictest lockdown at the start of July due to a fast rise in COVID cases. Previously, people were only allowed to leave their homes for emergencies, but now many people are expected to go back to their villages to celebrate Eid with their families. Bangladesh is reporting more coronavirus cases now than ever before.

And in China, a man has been reunited with his family 24 years after he was kidnapped. Guo Xinzhen was taken from outside the family home in 1997 in Shandong. Guo’s father Guo Gangtang travelled around China on a motorbike for twenty years trying to find his son. Police finally found the son, now 26 years old using DNA. After being kidnapped, Guo had been adopted and is now a teacher.

That’s it for today. Send you comment on any news story in writing or in an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts. If you have a friend who is learning English or who is interested in the world, then tell them about this podcast. We are on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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