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Wednesday 28th April 2021

Americas

In Brazil the senate has begun an inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost 400,000 Brazilians are reported to have died from COVID19, the second highest death toll in the world after the United States. Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has often been criticised for minimizing the danger of the virus, promoting medicines that lack scientific proof and rejecting masks and vaccines. Most opinion polls show Bolsonaro now has his lowest approval rating since becoming President. There is a presidential election in Brazil next year.

In the United States President Joe Biden has completed 100 days as president. Current polls show that 55% of Americans approve of Biden’s performance, 13% more than Donald Trump’s approval rating 100 days into office. During his four years as president Trump never won the approval of more than half of Americans. 65% of Americans say that the approve of his handling of the pandemic, however, only 42% of people approved of his handling of immigration. Yesterday President Biden said that people don’t have to wear masks outside because of progress with coronavirus vaccinations.

“Starting today, if you’re fully vaccinated, and your outdoors, you no longer need to wear a mask.”

Europe

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said that she felt hurt for not being offered a chair when visiting Turkey’s president Recep Tayyipp Erdogan 2 weeks ago. In a meeting a chair opposite Erdogan was given to European Council President Charles Michel, however a sofa far away was given to Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen has said that she was not offered a chair because she is a woman...

“I cannot find any justification for what [how] I was treated, so I have to conclude that it happened because I am a woman. I felt hurt. And I felt alone. As a woman and as a European. “

In Albania the Socialist party has won a third term in government after parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Edi Rama’s party won 74 out of 140 seats, exactly the same number as in the last election. The electoral commission said that 48% of people voted.

Asia

India has received medical supplies from other countries as it battles its deadly second wave of COVID19. 100 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators arrived from the UK yesterday. France, Ireland, Germany and Australia are also sending oxygen equipment. India again broke the world record for new infections yesterday - with over 360,000 reported. According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now 3 million active cases of COVID19 in India, 3 times the peak of the first wave. Over 200,000 people are now reported to have died of COVID19 in India, although some reports say that India is undercounting COVID deaths.

In Pakistan camels are being used to transport books to children who aren’t going to school. Khadija Tahir explains...

In the Pakistani province of Balochistan, a camel named Roshan is bringing books to children living in remote villages. Pakistan's schools have been closed since March last year, when the government imposed the first lockdowns for COVID-19. Since then, around 50 million Pakistani children and teenagers have been continuing their education at home. Balochistan is Pakistan's largest province in terms of area, but it is also the poorest province. The children living in villages have missed more than a year of education, but the Camel Library project ensures that they still have access to books and learning. Roashan, the camel, and his owner Murad Ali carry books to three different villages three times a week, allowing the children to borrow books to read.

In Russia, the organization of opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been banned. A Russian court has said that the Anti-Corruption Foundation is prohibited from posting on the internet, using state media, organizing protests and participating in elections. Last week almost 2000 pro-Navalny protesters were arrested during demonstrations.

Africa

In Somalia there have been more protests against the extension of the term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Yesterday Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble and two regional leaders rejected the extension. President Mohamed’s term officially ended in February, however leaders were not able to agree on how the election should take place.

In Burkina Faso 3 foreign journalists have been killed by Islamist Jihadists, according to the Spanish government. Two Spanish men and an Irish man were killed near the border with Benin where they were recording a documentary about natural resources.

And in the Netherlands a study has shown that cities have been able to increase their populations of bees. After years of falling numbers of bees, The Netherlands introduced ideas like bee hotels - structures dedicated to bees, and bus stops have been covered in bee-friendly plants.

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. Comment on any news story by sending an email to podcast@send7.org or by sending an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts and more. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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