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Wednesday 1st September 2021

Asia

In Afghanistan, the Taliban has claimed victory over the United States. The United States removed all of its soldiers on Monday night, almost twenty years after invading Afghanistan to remove the Taliban. In Kabul there was celebratory gunfire yesterday, and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declared the full independence of Afghanistan. 120,000 people were evacuated from Afghanistan since the Taliban took control on the 16th August. Most of these people were Afghans who worked with Western governments. Yesterday US President Joe Biden congratulated the US military for their effort to evacuate people...

“We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history.”

All flights have now stopped from Kabul airport, although the Taliban have said that they would like flights to restart. The United Nations is expecting half a million Afghans to escape the country this year, and Western countries have asked the Taliban to keep their promise that anyone who wants to leave will be able to. The average age in Afghanistan is 19.

China has introduced plans to limit how long people under 18 can play online video games. Children under 18 will only be allowed to play 3 hours of online games a week. Companies providing online games will be required to check the ages of users.

Bangladesh has given death sentences to 6 people accused of murdering gay rights activists. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Bangladesh, a court sentenced six people to death for murdering two LGBTQ rights activists five years ago. The editor of Bangladesh’s first and only gay rights magazine, Xulhaz Mannan, and his friend, Mahbub Rabby Tonoy, were murdered in their apartment in 2016 by members of the Ansar al-Islam group. The Bangladeshi government had banned the Ansar al-Islam group in 2015 due to their alleged connection with the Taliban. Between 2013 to 2016, the Ansar al-Islam group targeted secular activists, bloggers, academics, and religious minorities.

Africa

Algeria has stopped using leaded petrol - petrol that contains lead. Algeria was the last country in the world to still sell leaded petrol, which the UN has said contaminates air and water, and can cause heart problems, strokes and cancer. Inger Anderson from the UN environment programme said that the elimination of leaded petrol is a huge milestone for global health and the environment...

“Leaded fuel illustrates - in a nutshell - the kind of mistakes that humanity has been making at every level of our society. The kind of mistakes that have brought us to the triple planetary crisis - the crisis of climate change, the crisis of biodiversity loss and the crisis of pollution.”

Tanzania’s opposition leader Freeman Mbowe has appeared in court, facing charges of terrorism. The leader of the Chadema party was arrested in July and many of his supporters have said that the arrest was politically motivated.

Europe

In the European Union over 70% of adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID19. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that more adults should get vaccinated to stop new waves of the coronavirus and to stop new variants from emerging...

“Today we reached an important milestone in our vaccination campaign. 70% of adults are now fully vaccinated and that is more that 250 million people who are fully immunized. And this is a great achievement which really shows what we can do when we work together. But the pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant. So first of all we need many more Europeans to vaccinate rapidly to avoid a new wave of infections and to stop the mergence of new variants.”

In Croatia, police have been accused of pushing Afghan refugees back into Bosnia. Illegally returning refugees across a border is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and EU law. Croatia is a part of the EU, but Bosnia is not.

Americas

In Brazil a large bank robbery has left at least 3 people dead including one suspect. Police said that more than 20 people were involved in the bank robbery in the city of Aracatuba. Thieves used guns, planted bombs and tied hostages on top of their cars while robbing 3 banks.

And in Argentina giant rodents called capybaras are becoming more common in residential areas around Buenos Aires. Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, growing over a metre long, and have recently been found in some of Buenos Aires’s most expensive neighbourhoods.

SEND7 listeners, I have been interviewed on the Accented podcast. Accented is an English learning podcast, where Australian host Kimberley talks to people with different accents. Of course, I was her British English guest. If you’d like to listen to her interview with me you can search in your podcast app for accented, or look for a link in this episode description. For transcripts and more, go to SEND7.org I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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