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Wednesday 26th May 2021

Europe

In Belarus, the father of journalist Roman Protasevich has said that he believes that a confession by his son was forced. Roman Protasevich was arrested on Sunday night after his flight from Greece to Lithuanaia was forced to land in Belarus. Yesterday Protasevich’s father said that it was clear that a video showing Protasevich confessing to crimes was forced. His father, who is in Poland, said that Protasevich was clearly nervous and that you could see that he had been beaten. The European Union has placed news sanctions on Belarus, and some countries have stopped flights to or over Belarus. Gitanas Nauseda, the president of Lithuania has said that he hopes that sanctions will make Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko act differently...

“Probably they will not stop Lukashenko form doing what he is doing, but he will be pressed to realize what are the consequences of his actions”.

United States President Joe Biden has described Protasevich’s arrest as “outrageous”. Yesterday the United States confirmed that Biden would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Switzerland on 16th June.

The European Union has made plans to open its borders using a digital certificate of coronavirus status. The plan will allow free movement in the Schengen area, and allow non-EU citizens to enter Schengen. Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander De Croo has said that he hopes that a digital certificate will be available soon, showing either that a person has been vaccinated or received a negative test...

“Digital certificate - important topic - to make it possible this summer that people can travel - that people can go on holiday. Certificated should be as simple as possible and of course also securing that travel can take place in a safe way - based on vaccine status or on testing.”

Asia

China has denied reports that staff from a virus laboratory in Wuhan could have been infected with COVID19 in November 2019. A report from the Wall Street Journal said that US intelligence had found that members of staff in the Wuhan laboratory had symptoms similar to those from COVID before the first cases were confirmed. The most commonly accepted origin of COVID19 is that it passed from animals to humans in the city of Wuhan. 3 and a half million deaths from COVID19 have been reported, although it is expected that the true number could be around 7 million.

In Bangladesh a popular Islamic preacher has been arrested. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Bangladesh, one of the most popular religious preachers has been arrested. According to the head of Dhaka police counterterrorism unit, Amir Hamza was arrested from his home yesterday and has been accused in an anti-terrorism case. Hamza, who is part of the Hefazat-e-Islam, or ‘protect Islam’ group, is famous for his religious rallies, which draw thousands of supporters. According to Bangladesh's deputy national police chief, Haider Ali, over 1,200 followers of the Hefazat group have been arrested since March, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country. Protests led by the Hefazat-e-Islam group, accused Modi of having an anti-muslim agenda

Africa

In the Democratic Republic of Congo over 30 people have been killed since the eruption of volcano Mount Nyiragongo, which has been erupting since Saturday. People have been injured by breathing smoke, and by earthquakes around the volcano. Over a thousand homes are reported to have been destroyed.

In Rwanda, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit tomorrow. Opposition leaders have criticised Macron for ignoring rights abuses by President Paul Kagame and political repression in Rwanda.

Americas

In Peru at least 14 people have been killed in a rural area in the amazon. The Peruvian military has blamed ‘shining path’ a communist terrorist organization. Peru will hold the second round of presidential elections in two weeks. The decision between Keiko Fujimori and Pedro Castillo has been described as a choice between the far-right and the far-left

In Mexico the Police Chief of the State of Sinaloa has been killed. Sinaloa is the home of the drug cartel of the same name. Drug cartels are expected to be responsible for police chief Joel Soto’s murder.

In the United States there were demonstrations to mark one year since the death of George Floyd. Last year large protests against police brutality and racism took place for weeks after the death of George Floyd, around the United States and other countries. Last month policeman Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder.

And in Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Asia and South America there is a blood moon tonight. A total eclipse will last around 15 minutes when the Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun. For a few hours the moon should appear red.

That’s your news in 7 minutes. Go to send7.org for transcripts or to send us a message. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will ne with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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