Wednesday 1st June 2022


In Belgium the European Union has agreed to ban most Russian oil. This is the strongest economic consequence that the EU has put on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 27 percent of oil imported into the EU comes from Russia and EU officials have said that it was an expensive and difficult decision. Hungary, which had previously stopped the agreement, will be allowed to continue to buy Russian oil, as the ban will only affect oil delivered on ships rather than oil delivered through pipes, as Hungary receives it. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said that almost 90% of oil imports to the EU will stop this year and announced other sanctions on Russian shipping, banking and media...

“and very important - the suspension of broadcasting in the European Union of three further Russian state outlets that were very typically spreading broadly the misinformation that we have witnessed over the last weeks and months”.

Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday that Germany would stop importing Russia oil before the end of this year. In the Eurozone inflation has hit a new record - it was 8.1% in May.

In Ukraine the mayor of the city of Severodonetsk said yesterday that half of the city had been captured by the Russian army. It is possible that all of the city will be captured by Russia today. Oleksandr Striuk said that the city was “essentially being destroyed block by block”. Russian state television has shown video that claims to show Russian soldiers in Severodonetsk. In the town of Sloviansk three civilians were killed by a Russian missile according to journalists in the area. Russia said that it shot down a Ukrainian aeroplane in the Mykolaiv region. The mayor of Mariupol said yesterday that Russian soldiers had buried at least 16,000 residents of Mariupol in mass graves since April. Ukraine has sentenced two more Russian soldiers for war crimes. Both soldiers pleaded guilty to bombing a civilian area. Ukraine’s top public prosecutor has identified 600 Russians who are suspected fo war crimes. Russian appointed leaders in the Kherson region have said that they want to join Russia soon. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday that Germany would give military vehicles to Greece so that Greece could give its soviet-style vehicles to Ukraine. President of Slovakia Zuzana Chaputova spoke in Ukraine’s parliament yesterday.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was sworn in for his second term as Serbian president yesterday. In a speech Vucic said that joining the EU is Serbia’s top priority, but that Serbia does not want to join NATO.


In China a lockdown is being stopped in Shanghai. 25 million people were under lockdown for two months. Khadija Tahir reports...

In the city of Shanghai, a two-month lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been lifted. At midnight yesterday, the government reduced restrictions to allow the residents of China's largest city to move freely. Around 650,000 residents of shanghai will still be confined to their homes following the city's zero covid measures. The government has also revealed a 50-point plan to help businesses affected by the lockdown.

In Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen met United States Senator Tammy Duckworth yesterday. Tsai said yesterday that the United States and Taiwan were deepening their security links. China’s foreign ministry criticised Duckworth’s visit, and said that Taiwan is a province of China. On Monday Taiwan said that it had prepared its air defence missiles after Chinese military planes entered its air space.


In Ethiopia a child was killed and others were injured when the Eritrean army bombed a town in the Tigray region, according to local soldiers and United Nations records. This is a rare break in a ceasefire in Ethiopia’s civil war, which has generally been peaceful since March.

In Egypt a collection of ancient coffins has been found near Cairo. Archaeologists said that 250 wooden coffins, 150 bronze statues and other items were found, and were expected to be from around 500BC.


Canada’s government is proposing a law that would ban the buying and selling of handguns, also known as pistols. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that other than for sport and hunting, there is no reason for people in Canada to have guns...

“What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer, or import handguns anywhere in Canada.”

Mexico is experiencing Hurricane Agatha, which was recorded yesterday as the strongest ever storm in May. Oaxaca state received winds of 105MPH and some areas were flooded. Agatha is now in central Mexico, however it is not as strong as before.

And in the United States scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon. University of Florida researchers have grown cress in soil taken from the moon in 1969 by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. NASA is planning to put people back on the moon in 2025.

A big thank you to Miroslav in Czechia and Daniele in Italy for becoming our newest supporters. If you enjoy the podcast you can help to support us at Supporters can also read the transcripts of every episode. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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