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Wednesday 22nd June 2022

Europe

Russia’s Security Council has threatened Lithuania with “serious consequences” because of Lithuania blocking access by train to Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is an exclave of Russia which borders Lithuania, Poland and the Baltic sea. Lithuania says that it is following European Union sanctions and around half of Russia’s transport to and from Kaliningrad would be affected, including coal, metal, construction material and technology. Head of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said yesterday that Russia will respond with a “negative impact on the population of Lithuania.”

In Ukraine, the governor of the Luhansk region has said that Russian forces now control all of the city of Severodonetsk except an industrial zone where there are some soldiers and civilians. In the city of Kherson which has been occupied by Russia for three months there are increasing reports of partisan attacks. According to the Kyiv Independent two Russian soldiers were killed in a shooting in Kherson city, although this is difficult to verify.

Ukraine announced yesterday that it sunk a Russian ship on Friday close to Snake Island, which was captured by Russia at the beginning of the wat. The UK’s Ministry of Defence said that Ukraine used anti-ship missiles donated by The West to destroy the Russian ship called Spasatel Vasiliy Bekh which was carrying weapons and people to Snake Island. Ukraine also said that it had launched air strikes on Snake Island yesterday. Russia said that it had fired missiles at an airfield close to Odessa. Yesterday 7 howitzers, a heavy artillery weapon, arrived in Ukaine from Germany. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday that it would give weapons to Ukraine “as long as needed.”

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, for protecting the freedom of expression, has sold the award at auction. The medal was sold for over 103 million dollars, which Muratov will give to UNICEF to help Ukrainian children displaced by the way.

In France a court in Grenoble has said that a swimming pool cannot allow a full-body swimsuit used by some Muslim women. The court said that the swimsuit, known as a ‘burkini’, violates the French policy of “laicite”, or neutrality of religion in public places.

Africa

The East African Community has agreed to send a military force to the Democratic Republic of Congo to stop a wave of violence in the north-east. The East African Community includes the DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda.

Malawi is moving 250 elephants over 400 kilometres from one park to another. In the Liwonde National park an increase in elephants has caused problems with the local community, and they have damaged crops.


Americas

In the United States, Elon Musk, the richest person in the world said yesterday that there were still some problems that needed to be resolved, before he could buy Twitter, the social media platform. This included having proof that less than 5% of Twitter’s users are fake or spam accounts. Musk’s car company Tesla has announced that it is cutting 10% of its salaried staff. Speaking at the Qatar economic forum, Musk predicted a recession in the US economy...

“Well I think a recession is inevitable at some point. As to whether there is a recession in the near-term, I think that is more likely than not.”

In Honduras a man has been jailed for 22 years for the murder of the indigenous leader Berta Cacares. David Castillo, a businessman, was found guilty of ordering the assassination in 2016.

Asia

In Bangladesh and India over 9.5 million people are stranded because of floods caused by weeks of intense rain. Some reports say that over 120 people have been killed. Storms are expected to continue for at least another week.

In Afghanistan 5 Britons have been freed. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Afghanistan, five British people released have been released by the Taliban. According to the British foreign office, all five people were not part of the UK government's work in Afghanistan and were arrested at different times. The Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August, however The United Kingdom does not recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan.

In Georgia around 60,000 people have demonstrated in the capital Tbilisi, demanding European Union membership. Yesterday Prime Minister Irakli Garibshvili said that Georgia was committed to joining NATO. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, saying that it was protecting the people of the seperatist Abkhazia and South Ossetia republics. These territories are recognized as Russian-occupied territories by almost every country in the world.

And Taiwan is shortening the waiting time of some traffic lights so that pedestrians don’t have to wait as long. In Taiwan’s capital Taipei, 770 pedestrian crossings are having their waiting time lowered by around 30 seconds and authorities have said that it is for safety, as people can become ill if they spend too long under the hot summer sun.

Listeners, I am a guest on the latest episode of the Thinking in English podcast. I talk to Tom about learning English with the news and some predictions for the future. You can search in your podcast app for Thinking in English.

Also a big thank you to Hugues in France for becoming our newest supporter. If you’d like to read the transcripts of every episode then you can become a supporter at send7.org/support. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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