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Wednesday 17th February 2021

Asia

In the United Arab Emirates Princess Latifa the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, has sent secret video messages saying that she is being kept hostage. In 2018 Princess Latifa, who is 35, tried to escape Dubai, however she was captured and returned to her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Last night the BBC published videos that Princess Latifa says she recorded on a secret phone, where she says that she is being kept inside a villa which has been converted into a jail...

“I’m in a villa. I’m a hostage. And this villa has been converted into a jail All the windows are barred shut. I can’t open any window. There’s 5 policemen outside and 2 policewomen inside the house. And I can’t even go outside to get any fresh air. Everyday I am worried about my safety and my life. I don’t really know if I’m going to survive this situation.”

In the year 2000 another of Sheikh Al Maktoum’s daughters tried to escape from his house in the United Kingdom, however she was captured and returned to Dubai with Al Maktoum. Sheikh Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai and the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates. He has many wives and is expected to have around thirty children.

In Iraq a United States military base has been attacked with rockets. One civilian worker was killed. A Shia Muslim group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the Kurdistan region. It has been suggested that the group are supported by Iran, but Iran has denied any connection to the group.

Bangladesh has sentenced 5 people to death for the murder of activist Avijit Roy. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Bangladesh, five people have been sentenced to death for killing an American blogger in 2015. Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American, was the founder of the blog ‘Free-mind’, which published articles criticizing religious extremism in Bangladesh. He was murdered, and his wife was severely injured in the 2015 attack in their home in Dhaka. Between 2013 and 2016, there were many deadly attacks on activists and religious minorities in Bangladesh, by armed groups linked to Daesh and al-Qaeda.

In India at least 37 people have died after a bus fell off a bridge in Madhya Pradesh. India has the world’s deadliest roads, with an average of 414 people dying every day.

Also in India, experts are puzzled about why coronavirus cases have fallen so fast. India has recorded the highest number of cases in the world after the United States, with almost 11 million confirmed, however daily confirmed cases have constantly fallen since September. Some scientists say that India may have reached herd immunity or that Indians could have some pre-existing protection against COVID19. Some studies have suggested that one in five Indians has already been infected, however in cities it could be more.

Africa

In Algeria thousands of people demonstrated in the city of Kheratta yesterday. Demonstrators marked two years since the start of protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in April 2019.

In Guinea 5 people have now died of Ebola, since cases were recorded last week. The United Nations, The Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres have all sent teams to try to control the situation. The World Health Organization has said that Ebola vaccines should arrive in Guinea within days.

Americas

In the South of the United States and the North of Mexico there have been extremely low temperatures and heavy snow. The New York Times has reported that at least 23 people have died in weather - related incidents in the United States. One SEND7 listener in Mexico, Abel, told us that 4 people have died in Mexico...

“This Monday at least 4 people have died as a result of cold temperatures and it is expected to continue during the next 24 hours. The government has asked citizens to stay at home”.

Thank you Abel! Give your comment or opinion on any news story by sending an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7

Argentina will open some schools today for the first time in almost a year. Schools in Buenos Aires will open today and other provinces are expected to open schools in March.

Europe

In The Netherlands a court has said that the government cannot order a curfew. Since January 23rd people were told that they should not be outside between 9PM and 4:30 AM. There have been large anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands in recent weeks.

And Kosovo’s expected new leader had said that if Kosovo had a referendum on joining Albania, he would vote yes. Albin Kurti’s Vetevendosje party won the most seats in elections ion Sunday. Over 90% of Kosovo’s population are of Albanian ethnicity.

SEND7 listeners! Please complete our questionnaire to help us to improve the podcast. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode details of this podcast. Next week, one person will win €40 euros of amazon vouchers for completing the survey. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode details of your podcast app. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day!

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