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Wednesday 19th May 2021

Asia

In Israel and Palestine there have been large protests and fights between Israelis and Arabs. In Jerusalem police used water cannon in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. This neighbourhood was where protests first began last week, because some Palestinian families are facing eviction from homes they have lived in for 70 years. In the West Bank protesters threw stones at Israeli military posts. Since last Monday 213 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the health ministry. In Israel 12 people have been killed, including two workers from Thailand who were hit by a rocket fired from Gaza yesterday.

Japan’s economy has fallen more than expected in the first quarter. Economists are blaming are reduction in consumer spending and exports. Japan’s economy grew at the end of 2020, however people appear to be afraid of new coronavirus cases. A survey conducted this week showed that over 80% of Japanese people think that the Olympic games should be delayed or cancelled.

In China the number of divorces has fallen by more than 70% in the first quarter of this year. Reports say that this is because of a new law that says that couples must return 30 days after asking for a divorce to complete their divorce. However, there is also evidence that marriage rates are falling.

In Bangladesh there have been protests against the arrest of a journalist. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Bangladesh, a female investigative journalist has been arrested after writing about Bangladesh's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rozina Islam, who works for Bangladesh's largest circulated newspaper - Prothom Alo - appeared before the court yesterday, where she is being charged with stealing documents from the Health Ministry. Islam has been known for uncovering corruption in government ministries before, and if charged, could face 14 years in prison. Rights groups and the journalist community of Bangladesh held protests demanding Rozina Islam's release and on media censorship during the COVID pandemic.

Africa

In Spain at least 8000 migrants crossed illegally into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta yesterday. Most migrants swam around the border which connects Spain to Morocco. Reports say that most of the migrants are Moroccan. Spanish authorities said yesterday that they had already sent 2,700 migrants back to Morocco, but only people they were sure were adults. In Melilla, Spain’s other enclave in Africa, 86 sub-saharan Africans entered illegally. Also in the Mediterranean sea yesterday, The Tunisian Defence Ministry said that 57 migrants died after their boats capsized. 33 survivors, most of whom are Bangladeshi, were taken to Tunisia.

Tunisia has become the first country to restart public flights with Libya since Libya’s civil war. It has been 7 years since there have been foreign flights to Libya. Libya had been divided by two opposing governments in the East and The West, however in January the two sides joined together to form a united government. Elections are expected in December.

Americas

United States President Joe Biden has said that the US will send at least 20 million COVID19 vaccines abroad by the end of next month. Last month Biden said that 60 million Oxford Astrazeneca doses would be given away, although this hasn’t happened yet. This week The United States passed 600,000 confirmed deaths from COVID19, however President Biden has said that it is now possible to give away vaccines, as COVID rates are at their lowest levels in a year...

“In Fact when tomorrow’s vaccination numbers come out, they’ll show that 60% of Americans have received at least one shot. Every day the light at the end of that tunnel is growing brighter.”

Argentina is restricting the export of beef - of which it is the world’s 5th largest exporter. President Alberto Fernandez has said that beef cannot be sold abroad for 30 days until new rules are made. Fernandez told a local radio station yesterday that the plan was to try to limit Argentina’s inflation. Argentina has one of the worst inflation rates in the world.

Europe

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that relaxations of restrictions will continue, despite a rise in cases of the Indian variant of COVID19. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the variant is more transmissible, however current vaccines work well against the variant.

And in the Netherlands the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest took place yesterday. 26 countries will compete on Saturday evening in Rotterdam. This is Lithuania’s entry by a group called The Roop.

Thant’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find transcripts or send us a message at send7.org. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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