United States President-Elect Joe Biden has announced part of his new administration. Antony Blinken will be Secretary of State. Blinken was deputy Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. Former secretary of state John Kerry will be the head of climate policy. Avril Haines will become the first female head of intelligence. Yesterday Biden said that his new team will demonstrate that The United States will return to its place as a world leader.
“Its a team that reflects the fact that America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it. Once again sit at the head of the table. Ready to confront our adversaries and not reject our allies. Ready to stand up for our values. In fact, in calls from world leaders that I’ve had in the weeks since we won the election. I’ve been struck by how much they are looking forward to the United States reasserting its historic role as a global leader.”
On Monday President Donald Trump agreed to begin the transition process with the Biden administration. The stock market reacted positively to news of the start of the transition.
In Colombia new evidence has shown that 24 prisoners were killed intentionally during a riot in Bogota in March. The riot began when prisoners demanded more protection from coronavirus. According to Human Rights Watch, autopsies have shown that prisoners were killed by security forces deliberately.
Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission has said that more than 600 people were killed in an ethnically-driven massacre in Early November. According to the EHRC an ethnic Tigray group called ‘Samri’ killed people of the Amhara and Wolkait ethnic groups. Tigrays have also accused the government of targetting Tigray civilians recently. The Ethiopian army is currently trying to take control of Tigray province from local Tigray forces. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given the local government of the Tigray region until Wednesday to surrender.
In Burkina Faso, early results show president Roch Kabore winning more than 3 times any other candidate. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, then there will be a second round. Most votes have still not been declared.
In The United Kingdom Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that life could return to normal by Easter, if a COVID19 vaccine is approved by the Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
“After Easter we think that we will be getting back to normal, if these two vaccines are approved by the regulator, which of course is an independent decision for the MHRA”
This week Oxford University with company AstraZeneca announced that their vaccine is over 90% effective. This is the second vaccine that has reached the final stage of being reviewed by Britain’s Regulatory Agency. The government also released a potential timeline for vaccinations, that includes health workers and people over 80 being vaccinated in December and the rest of the population being vaccinated according to age in 2021. Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn has also suggested starting vaccinations next month. On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that he hoped much of the Spanish population would be vaccinated in the first 3 months of next year.
Also in the United Kingdom, Scotland has become the first country in the world to provide free access to period products. All women in Scotland will now be provided sanitary products for free, and schools, colleges and universities must make period products available in their bathrooms.
In France there has been condemnation of the police, after videos showed police moving refugees with force. French interior minister Gerald Darmanin has said that there will be an investigation into the removal of refugees on Monday from the Place de la Republique in Paris. Most of the refugees are from Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea.
China has criticised Pope Francis for his condemnation of China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. Many world governments and human rights groups have said that China has committed Crimes against humanity in its treatment of Uigar Muslims in the province of Xinjiang. China says that it has education and training camps and that they prevent extremism and are voluntary.
In Afghanistan two explosions killed at least 14 people yesterday. The bombs exploded in the city of Bamiyan, where there is a large Shia Muslim minority. The Taliban has denied responsibility. Daesh, the Islamic State group, often target Shia Muslims. Yesterday international donors promised billions of dollars of aid for Afghanistan at a conference. The European Union pledged 1.2 billion euros over 4 years, on the condition that Afghanistan maintains democracy and human rights.
And in the United States, President Donald Trump pardoned a turkey yesterday. Since the presidency of George H.W. Bush it has been tradition for the president to allow one turkey to live through the Thanksgiving holiday. Yesterday, Donald Trump gave the official presidential pardon to a turkey called Corn.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Read the transcript of today’s episode at send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.