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Wednesday 16th December 2020.

Africa

In Nigeria, islamist jihadist group Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of hundreds of students on Friday. The exact number of students is not known, however General John Enenche told media that 333 pupils were missing on Monday. The governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello, said that the kidnappers have made contact with the government. Boko Haram and other Islamist groups have been attacking government forces and carrying out terrorist attacks in the area for over ten years. A UNICEF report says that Boko Haram kidnapped over a thousand children from 2013 to 2018.

Tuniaian Prime Minister Hichem Mechechi has said that Tunisia is not considering the normalisation of relations with Israel. This week Morocco became the fourth Arab state to normalize relations with Israel.

Somalia has cut diplomatic ties with Kenya. Somalia accused its neighbour, Kenya, of interfering in its internal affairs before elections next year. Kenya has also ordered its diplomats to leave Somalia.

Americas

In the United States, Joe Biden was officially declared the next President of the United States on Monday, after the electoral college vote. Russian President Vladamir Putin and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro congratulated Biden yesterday. Many senior Republicans, such as the Senate leader Mitch McConnell also finally congratulated President-elect Biden. Yesterday, McConnell spoke in the senate...

“The electoral college has spoken. So today I want to congratulate president-elect Joe Biden. The president-elect is no stranger to the senate. He has devoted himself to public service for many years. I also want to congratulate the vide-president elect, our colleague from California, Senator Harris. Beyond our differences, all Americans can take prude that our nation has a female vide president elect for the very first time.” President elect Biden accused President Trump of an unprecedented assault on democracy, for his attempts to deny the election results. Biden said, however, that democracy in the United States was too strong for an abuse of power to destroy...

“The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know nothing - not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame.”

Reuters News agency reports that over half of Republican voters, now believe that the vote was rigged in favour of Biden..

Cuba is expected to have closer relations with the United States after the Biden administration takes over. Bloomberg reports that travel restrictions may be relaxed, and some economic sanctions may be removed. During Barack Obama’s time as president Cuba and the US restored diplomatic ties, however President Trump has reinstated many restrictions between the two countries during the last 4 years.

Asia

In Pakistan, a new law against rape has come into effect. This story from Khadija Tahir...

“Yesterday, Pakistan's President Arif Alvi passed a law to ensure that rape trials are completed within 4 months. Pakistan's government will also set up a national sex offender registry and protect the victims' identities. The law aims to provide quick justice to sexual assault victims. According to local news channels, the new law also includes chemical castration for repeat offenders. Last month, the Punjab province government banned using the highly invasive two-finger test used by medical examiners to determine if a woman has been raped. Pakistan ranks at 130th on the UNDP's Gender Inequality Index.

In Japan a small fishing boat has appeared almost ten years after being lost to a tsunami. The tiny boat was lost after the 2011 tsunami that killed almost 16,000 people. It was found off of Hacjijo island 650 kilometres south of where it was lost..

Europe

The European Medicine Agency is expected to approve the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in the next few days. European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that this should mean that EU citizens will receive the vaccine this year. Yesterday, health ministers from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg said that they will coordinate the start of their vaccination campaigns, and they will quickly share information between them, about the process of COVID19 vaccinations. Antibody tests in Spain, have shown that one in ten Spaniards have had COVID19.

In France, the city of Paris has been fined for employing too many women in senior positions. A fine of €90,000 euros was demanded by the public service ministry, because of a 2013 law, intended to benefit women, that says that a maximum of 60% of staff may be of one gender. Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that she was happy to receive the fine.

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. Please help us to grow by leaving a review on apple podcasts. It helps other people to find our podcast. To read the transcript of todays episode, go to send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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