The United Kingdom has recorded over 100,000 deaths from COVID19. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he accepts full responsibility.
“I am sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from COVID in the UK has surpassed 100,000. And it’s hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic. The years of life lost. The family gatherings not attended and for so many relatives, the missed chance even, to say goodbye,”
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned yesterday. Two weeks ago, the governing coalition fell apart after former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s party stopped supporting it. Now, Giuseppe Conte is hoping that president Sergio Mattarella will ask him to form a new government and become Prime Minister again. However, if no agreement is reached, new elections will be needed.
In Indonesia hospitals are rejecting patients, because they have no space, according to health experts. Lia Gardenia Partakusuma, the secretary general of the Indonesian Hospital Association, said that hospitals in Java and Bali will collapse if the numbers of COVID19 cases does not lower in the next week. Indonesia has recorded a million cases of COVID19.
In India a comedian has been in jail for 25 days, accused of insulting Hindu Gods. More on this story from Khadija Tahir...
An Indian Muslim comedian, Munawar Faruqi, was arrested by Indian Police on New years day. Faruqi was arrested because the police suspected he was going to joke about Hindu Gods in a live show. He has now been in jail for 25 days and his bail application has been rejected twice. Faruqi's lawyer told Al Jazeera that the police had not provided evidence of him violating any laws. Many Indian comics have been arrested and faced threats in the last few years - accused of insulting Hinduism. Many of them say that freedom of speech is being reduced in India.
Also in India, yesterday was Republic Day. French President Emmanuel Macron sent his wishes...
“Namaste. Today India celebrates Republic Day. On this special occasion I wish all the best to my friend Prime Minister Modi and all Indians.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK and India were working together to help the world recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“As I speak our two countries are working side by side to develop, produce and distribute vaccines that will help to free humanity from the pandemic. And thanks to the combined efforts of Britain, India and many other nations we are on the road to success against COVID, so I look forward to visiting India, later this year, strengthening our friendship. And striving for the quantum leap in our relationship that Prime Minister Modi and I have both pledged to achieve.”
In the United States President Biden has continued to sign executive orders. Biden ordered the justice department to stop the use of private prisons. Private prisons have been accused of increasing the number of prisoners in total, and of treating prisoners badly.
In Central America, a report from Aljazeera says that many of the Hondurans who are trying to make their way to the United States, have already been deported from the United States. Thousands of Hondurans have been forced back by Guatemalan security forces this week. The difficult economic situation in Honduras was made worse by two hurricanes last year, that displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
In Mozambique it is now expected that 250,000 people were affected by the tropical cyclone this weekend. At least 14 people were killed after Cyclone Eloise hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana.
In Tunisia protests have continued around the country. In the town of Sbeitla south of Tunis, one man died. His family say that he was hit by a tear gas canister. Protests started 2 weeks ago, generally against corruption, unemployment and police brutality. In January 2011, protests ended the rule of dictator Ben Ali, and Tunisia became a democracy.
In Uganda, soldiers have left the area surrounding the house of opposition leader Bobi Wine. Win recently complained to the United Nations that he was essentially under house arrest. Wine has said that this month’s presidential election was fraudulent. The election allowed President Yoweri Museveni to continue his 34 year rule of Uganda.
The International Monetary Fund has predicted that the global economy will grow by 5.5% this year. Last year the world’s economy fell by 3.5% - the worst year since World War 2. However, the IMF predicts that vaccines will help to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and allow people to return to economic activity.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Read the transcript for today’s episode and listen to past episodes at send7.org Please help the podcast to grow, by leaving a review in your first language. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.