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Wednesday 20th April 2022

Europe

Russia has declared a new phase of its war in Ukraine. Attacks have increased in the East and Russia has captured the city of Kreminna. United States Military intelligence has said that thousands more Russian soldiers crossed into Ukraine yesterday. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that it would increase attacks to take control of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, known together as the Donbass. Russia is the only country in the world to recognize these two areas as independent countries. Media company India today interviewed Lavrov yesterday...

“The operation in the East of Ukraine is aimed as was announced from the very beginning, to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics. And this operation will continue, because beginning... I mean another stage of this operation is beginning, and I am sure that this will be another very important moment of this entire special operation.”

Most people in the Donbass are Russian speakers, however in 1991 84% of them voted for the independence of Ukraine from the Soviet Union. It is difficult to know how many people in the Donbass region want to be independent or part of Russia today, however most polls from before 2014 showed that most people wanted to stay as part of Ukraine.

The governor of the Lugansk region told civilians to leave immediately. Sergiy Haidai said yesterday “there is no time for reflection, get out!” Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, which is not in the Donbass, is also being constantly bombed, according to journalists in the city.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given honours to the soldiers who are accused of killing civilians in the north of Ukraine. The Russian army controlled many areas north of the capital, Kyiv for around 6 weeks, but retreated two weeks ago, and many international observers described war crimes committed by Russian soldiers. Putin has described these accusations as ‘staged’ and said that the soldiers who were to the north of Kyiv, were highly professional.

In the United Kingdom former Prime Minister Theresa May has questioned the legality of a plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Current Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made agreements with the Rwandan government to send certain asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing, including people who illegally cross the English Channel.

In Italy the city of Venice is planning to charge all day-visitors. The charge will be between €3 and €10 depending on how busy the city is on that day. Despite being small, up to 80,000 tourists a day visited Venice’s lagoon area in 2019.

Americas

In Panama a summit on migration has started with the United States and other American countries. In March the United States arrested 210,000 people trying to cross its border with Mexico.

In Ecuador a wild flower which was believed to be extinct has been rediscovered. The Gasteranthus extinctus was found in the Andes mountains almost 40 years after it was last seen.

Africa

in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia twenty million people are art risk of starvation according to the United Nations. An extreme drought has destroyed many crops and animals and forced many people to leave their homes to search for food and water.

Somalia’s parliament was hit by a rocket yesterday while it was in session. 6 people were injured. The Al-Shabaab islamist jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Asia

In Afghanistan schools were attacked yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Afghanistan, six people were killed after explosions at two educational institutes in the capital city Kabul. Police said that explosive devices were placed in both buildings, and the first explosion took place in a high school. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but shia-majorit areas are often targets of Daesh, the Islamic State group.

Timor-Leste held the second round of its presidential election. In the first round, former president and nobel peace prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta, gained more votes than current president Francisco Guterres. This is the 5th presidential election in Timor-Leste, which is the newest country in Asia, gaining independence form Indonesia in 2002.

In Japan researchers have invented chopsticks that can improve the taste of food. The chopsticks use a weak electrical current to transmit sodium molecules from food to the chopsticks and then to the mouth. The researchers say that they could help people reduce the amount of salt in their diet.


That’s your world news for today. A big thank you to Marita from Germany for becoming our newest supporter. SEND7 listeners, I am a guest in an episode of Luke’s English podcast which was released yesterday. We talk about how to learn English with the news, advantages and disadvantages of using the news, fake news and bias, my language journey, and other topics. That’s on Luke’s English podcast.

I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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