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Wednesday 21st October 2020

AFRICA

Nigeria’s biggest city - Lagos has been put under an indefinite 24-hour curfew. Governor Badajide Sanwo-Olu said that nobody should be on the streets from 4pm yesterday, and that the curfew would not end today. Police Chief Mohammed Adamu announced yesterday that anti-riot police would be deployed throughout the country. Nigeria has seen nationwide protests against police brutality following the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Nigerians are demanding changes to how the country's police operate as well as the government.


According to the United Nations World Food Program, almost 7.4 million people are at risk of facing famine in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Violence and internal conflicts have displaced nearly 1.6 million people across the three countries.


EUROPE

The Irish Government has announced that Ireland will restart the highest level of coronavirus restrictions, similar to ones implemented in spring. Prime minister Michael Martin spoke to the public on Monday evening...

"In the effort to suppress the virus we have already introduced what is probably europe's strictest Regime. As a result of this we can see some evidence that these restrictions have been effective in slowing the growth and spread of the virus, however, as the daily figures show these restrictions on their own have not been enough to significantly reduce the levels of Infection. So while we have slowed the spread of the virus this has not been enough, and further action is now required. The government has decided that the evidence of a potentially grave situation arising in the weeks ahead is now too strong - therefore for a period of six weeks from midnight on Wednesday night the entire country will move to level five of the framework for living with covid 19."


The United Kingdom is also increasing restrictions. Wales will enter a 2-week lockdown from Friday, and Northern Ireland’s 4 week lockdown started last week. Yesterday Prime minister Boris Johnson announced that Greater Manchester will join Liverpool with the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions from Friday - in which all pubs and bars must close.

"I can announce that greater Manchester will move to the very high alert level. I know that these restrictions are tough both on businesses and individuals, and believe me, no one wants to uh be putting these things into effect, but that's why we're also enacting a comprehensive package of support. "

Also in The United Kingdom researchers have announced plans to infect healthy volunteers with the coronavirus to help speed up vaccine trials. If the project is approved, trials will start in January, and the vaccine results can be expected in March. Human trials have been used throughout history to develop vaccines for typhoid, cholera, and malaria.


Yesterday, the European Commission announced that it would start legal proceedings against two countries - Cyprus and Malta. Both countries have citizenship by investment schemes - which essentially allow a person to buy nationality. The European Commission says that this undermines the essence of EU citizenship. Cyprus has announced a suspension of its citizenship program. Both Cyprus and Malta have been given two months to respond to the European commission's charges.


AMERICAS

Argentina has passed more than 1 million recorded coronavirus cases; making it the fifth country in the world to record one million infections. Argentina was one of the first countries in Latin America to impose restrictions to control the spread of the virus but is now the smallest nation in the world to record a million cases. Spain also passed a million recorded cases this weekend.


In the United States President Trump called the news channel CNN ‘dumb bastards’ at a rally in Wisconsin on Monday night. Trump made fun of CNN for focusing on the coronavirus pandemic, which has officially killed 225,000 people in the United States...

“Pandemic, they’re getting tiried of the pandemic, aren’t they? You turn on CCN that’s all they cover - COVID COVID the pandemic, COVID COVID urgh - you know why? They’re trying to talk everyone out of voting - people aren’t buying it you dumb bastards...”


ASIA

In Vietnam at least 100 people have been killed in extreme flooding and landslides. Many more people are still missing and more than 180,000 homes have been destroyed. According to the Red Cross, this is the worst flooding in Vietnam in decades.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have continued to fight around the Nagorno-Karabakh region despite a truce being called on Saturday. This is the deadliest fighting in the area since the 1990s. Nagorno-Karabakh is a breakaway region inside Azerbaijan, run by ethnic Armenians who either want independence or to join Armenia. The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia are expected to hold talks with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in separate meetings on Friday.

An in space, a NASA spacecraft is going to try to land on an asteroid today. The Ostris-Rex probe will try to capture dust and rock from the asteroid called Bennu, which is about 500 metres long, and is expected to contain chesmitry from the beginning of the solar system, 4.5 billion years ago.

Thank you for listening to SEND7. You can find the transcript for this episode and listen to past episodes at send7.org. Please help the podcast to grow by leaving a review on apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, and tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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