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Wednesday 3rd March 2021

Asia

In Myanmar, the foreign ministers of ASEAN countries held talks with the military yesterday. Leaders from ASEAN - the Association of South East Asian nations - have called for the release of leader Aung San Suu Kyi and a return to civilian rule. Daily protests have continued in Myanmar since the military took power in a coup d’etat last month.

In India facial recognition in schools has been criticised as an invasion of children’s privacy. At least ten schools in Delhi have started using facial recognition technology, reportedly to ensure the safety of students. However, the Internet Freedom Foundation say that the collection and use of data is not being controlled.

In Afghanistan female media workers were targeted in attacks yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...


In Afghanistan, three female media workers were killed in a shooting yesterday. The three women, aged 18 to 20 years old, worked for Local broadcaster Enikass TV. They were all recent high school graduates and translated famous Turkish and Indian dramas into local languages. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but the local police say they have caught a suspect. At least 15 media workers have been killed in Afghanistan in the past six months as peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban continue in Qatar. The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee has criticized the government for poor investigation of the attacks

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan has promised to strengthen freedom of expression in what his government calls a ‘human rights plan’. Erdogan said that no one can be deprived of freedom because of their thoughts. However, in Turkey, insulting the president is illegal, and between 2014 and 2019 over a hundred thousand people were investigated for insults against President Erdogan, according to Turkish media agency Gazete Duvar.

Japan has asked China to stop using anal swab tests for COVID19 on its citizens. Last week United States diplomats also complained of being subjected to anal swabs in China.

Africa

In Nigeria hundreds of schoolgirls have been released after being kidnapped on Friday. Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state, said that 279 girls were released, and that no money had been paid to the kidnappers. Also in Nigeria, COVID19 vaccinations have arrived from the COVAX scheme. Almost 4 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Nigeria yesterday, and health workers are expected to be vaccinated first.

Morocco is suspending contact with the German embassy because of disagreements about the Western Sahara. The Western Sahara is a large territory south of Morocco, which is claimed by Morocco. Last year the Trump administration in the US offered to recognize Western Sahara as part of Morocco in exchange for Morocco’s normalisation of relations with Israel.

Americas

The United States and Mexico have released a joint statement after a virtual meeting betweeh Presidents Joe Biden and Andres Manuel Lopes Obrador on Monday. Biden said that the US and Mexico are stronger together...

“Mr. President, this is what I know: The United States and Mexico are stronger when we stand together. There is a long and complicated history between our nations. We haven’t always been perfect neighbours to one another. But we have seen over and over again the power and the purpose when we cooperate. We’re safer when we work together.”

In El Salvador, with 90% of votes counted, the party of President Nayib Bukele has received 58% of votes in legislative elections. Bukele’s New Ideas party will almost definitely win over half of seats in the legislative assembly, giving the party great control of El Salvador.

Europe

In Germany the rights group Reporters Without Borders is taking Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman to court, for crimes against humanity. Last weekend, the United States central intelligence agency released their report that said that Prince Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khasoggi.

In the United Kingdom, people over 80 years old who have received just one dose of a COVID19 vaccine are over 80% less likely to need hospitalization, according to data. More than one in three adults in the UK has now received at least one dose of either the Pfeizer or Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine. Data from the UK also shows that both vaccines dramatically reduce the probability that a person can become infected or transmit the virus. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that this was ‘encouraging news’.

Listeners! If you enjoy this podcast, please leave a review in your podcast app! You can find transcripts and past episodes at send7.org. You can feature on the podcast by sending your opinion on a news story at speakpipe.com/send7. And you can follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath.

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