Wednesday 30th September 2020
Yesterday United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres spoke about reaching one million confirmed deaths from COVID19. He said that it was an agonizing milestone...
“Our world has reached an agonizing milestone. The loss of one million lives from the COVID19 pandemic. It is a mind-numbing figure. Yet we must never lose sight of each and every individual life. They were fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters, friends and colleagues. The pain has been multiplied by the savageness of this disease - risk of infection kept people from bedsides, and the process of mourning and celebrating a life was often made impossible. How do you say goodbye without holding a hand? Or extending a gentle kiss? A warm embrace? A final whispered “I love you”? And still there is no end in sight to the spread of the virus, theloss of jobs, the disruption of education, the upheaval of our lives. We can overcome this challenge, but we must learn from the mistakes, responsible leadership matters, science matters, cooperation matters, and misinformation kills. As the relentless hunt for a vaccine continues. A vaccine that must be available and affordable to all. Let’s do our part to save lives. Keeping physical distance. Wearing a mask. Washing hands. As we remember so many lives lost, let us never forget that our future rests on solidarity. As people united. And as united nations.”
Going to ASIA now...
Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, died yesterday at the age of 91. He had been ruling the country since 2006 and had been overseeing its foreign policy for almost fifty years. He will be succeeded by his 83-year-old half brother Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed. The emir was internationally recognized for diplomacy; especially for his work during the Iraq war and acting as a mediator in many regional disputes.
Afghanistan's high council for national reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, is visiting Pakistan for three days. Afghanistan and Pakistan have had a difficult relationship in the past, accusing each other of supporting terrorist groups in the region. Abdullah will meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior officials today.
In India a 19-year-old rape victim died yesterday, two weeks after being attacked by a group of men in Uttar Pradesh. The victim was part of the Dalit community and was attacked in a field near her home in the Hathras district. The police have arrested four men. the case caused protests around India. According to a government report released in January, in 2018, a woman was raped every 15 minutes in India.
In South Africa, 2.2 million jobs were lost in the second quarter of 2020. The strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, caused most businesses to close for five weeks. The restrictions have since been relaxed, allowing most businesses to reopen.
Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa, reported a $44m profit in the first half of the year, despite losing 90% of passengers due to the pandemic. The airline changed 45 passenger jets to cargo carriers. The demand for cargo has increased since the pandemic began.
French President Emanuel Macron met Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya yesterday. Macron spoke of his support for free elections and the release of political prisoners in Belarus. Since the disputed 9th august presidential election, the country has seen weeks of protests. The United Kingdom and Canada have now placed sanctions on president Alexander Lukashenko.
In Germany, a member of the far-right party, Alternative for Deutschland, Christian Lueth, allegedly said that refugees should be gassed to death. The statement was made in a documentary about the far-right in Germany, which was released earlier this year. Yesterday, a German newspaper confirmed it was Christian Lueth making the comments. Lueth has fired by the party.
In The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new plan to help reduce unemployment in the country by improving the adult education system's training schemes.
"and as everybody knows, you can't acquire skills in the classroom alone. You need to learn on the job to build up the muscle memory and not just a theoretical understanding, so I can announce today that we will be expanding Apprenticeships, reforming the system so that unspent funds can be used more easily to support apprenticeships not just in big companies but in the SMEs where there's so much potential for job creation"
In Brazil, laws protecting tropical mangroves and coastal ecosystems have been revoked by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Mangroves are small trees that grow in saltwater. The laws which had been in place since 2002 helped to protect areas that are important in the fight against climate change. Many environmental groups are calling this move a crime as it will allow large areas of natural habitats to be cleared for development and tourism.
In the United States at the time of recording this podcast the presidential debate is taking place. President Donald Trump and candidate Joe Biden are answering questions about how they will move the country forward. For a summary of the most important parts of the debate, listen to tomorrow’s episode with Namitha Ragunath.
That’s your Simple English News in 7 minutes. Please help the podcast to grow by leaving a review on apple or wherever you listen to podcasts. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.