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Wednesday 3rd February 2021

Asia

In Russia, opposition leader Alexei Navelny has been sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in prison. Navalny was jailed for violating parole for a previous conviction - however, Navalny says that he has only violated the parole because he was recovering from being poisoned. Navalny yesterday called President Vladamir Putin a ‘poisoner’ and said that his ‘only method is killing people’. United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called for Navalny’s immediate release. United Kingdom foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that Russia was targeting the victim of poisoning rather than those responsible. Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Mass said that it was damaging to the rule of law on Russia. Russia has said that other countries should not interfere with Russian affairs.

In Myanmar the party of Aung San Suu Kyi have demanded her release from house arrest. On Monday the military took power in a coup d’etat, saying that last year’s election was fraudulent. Myanmar, also known as Burma, was under military rule for decades until a transition to democracy in 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, however she has been criticised more recently for failing to protect Rohingya Muslims from genocide.

Japan has said that the Olympic games will continue this year, regardless of the situation of the COVID19 pandemic. Olympic president Yoshiro Mori said yesterday that they were considering new ways of hosting the games.

Bangladesh has bought surveillance technology from Israel, and received training from Israeli experts. Khadija Tahir explains...

In Bangladesh an investigation team from AlJazeera has found that the Bangladeshi military has purchased surveillance equipment from an Israeli company. Bangladesh does not recognize Israel as a country and has no trade link with it. The equipment was purchased through a company based in Thailand, and Bangladeshi soldiers were also trained by Israeli intelligence experts. The spy-ware equipment can track the mobile phones of Bangladeshi citizens. The investigation by Al Jazeera also showed a relationship between the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a powerful crime family.

Americas

Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez asked Russian President Vladamir Putin to guarantee the continued supply of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, yesterday. According to Reuters, the two presidents had a phone call yesterday, in which Fernandez said that the vaccine was excellent and had no side-effects. Argentina is reportedly in discussions for producing the vaccine.

In the United States, President Joe Biden will create a team to help reunite families separated at the Mexican border. The reunification taskforce is charged with identifying and reuniting children who were separated from their families by the Trump administration.

Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that all French people will be offered a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the Summer. He also said that production of COVID19 vaccines will start in France this month. Germany is considering using Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine had published good data in the Lancet medical journal. Many countries in Asia and South America are already using the Sputnik V vaccine.

In the United Kingdom Captain Sir Tom Moore died yesterday aged 100, days after testing positive for COVID19. Moore fought in World War 2, however, he became famous last year for raising millions of pounds for the National Health Service by walking around his house. On his 100th birthday Moore, known as Captain Tom, received over 140,000 birthday cards. Yesterday Queen Elizabeth said that he was an ‘inspiration’ and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he was a light during a dark time...

“Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. In the dark days of the second world war he fought for freedom and in the face of this country’s deepest post-war crisis he united us all, he cheered us all up and he embodied the triumph of the human spirit.”

Africa

In Ethiopia the United Nations has said that 20,000 refugees are missing since the Ethiopian military took control of the Tigray region in November. The UN said that 2 camps were destroyed, where most of the refugees were from Eritrea. Filipo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that many of them were forced to return to Eritrea by Eritrean soldiers.

And in Egypt, archaeologists have found mummies with golden tongues. The 2000 year old bodies with gold instead of tongues were found in Alexandria, and are from the Roman era.

That’s your news in 7 minutes. If you would like to feature on SEND7, send us an audio message about the news in your country at speakpipe.com/send7. Transcripts for all episodes are available at SEND7.org Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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