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Wednesday 4th August 2021

Europe

A Belarussian activist has been found dead in Ukraine. Vitaly Shishov was the head of a group of Belarussians who went to Ukraine after fearing for their safety in Belarus since large protests against the government of Alexander Lukashenko started in August last year. Shishov was found hanged in a park in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city. Earlier this week Olympic athlete Krystina Timanovskaya refused to take a flight from Japan back t Belarus. She has now been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. Yesterday, in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted Belarussian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who has been in exile since last years presidential election, that many countries, including the United Kingdom, say were not free and fair. Johnson said that the Belarussian people have the UK’s full support. Tsikanouskaya said that she could disappear at any moment, in reference to the activist found dead yesterday in Ukraine...

“I can disappear at any moment I understand this. But I should do what I am doing .I can’t stop because <y’know> I feel responsibility for the future of my country. The same as all those Belarussians who are fighting at the moment, feel their responsibility.”

In Greece wildfires have reached the suburbs of Athens. Thousands of people have left their homes. There have been major fires in Greece, Italy, Albania and Turkey over the last few days as many parts of the Mediterranean record temperatures above 40’C (degrees Celsius).

Asia

In Afghanistan the military has told civilians to leave the city of Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province. General Sami Sadat, the commander for Helmand province told 200,000 people to leave immediately. On Monday President Ashraf Ghani asked civilians to take up weapons against the Taliban.

In the Gulf of Oman, close to the United Arab Emirates, a ship has been hijacked by 8 or 9 people according to shipping agencies in the area. The Times Newspaper has said that the Brutish government is blaming Iran for the hijacking, days after blaming Iran for a drone attack on another ship that killed two people.

The world has now recorded over 200,000,000 cases of COVID19, and 4.2 million deaths Both of these numbers are expected to be an undercount. One number which is easier to count is vaccinations - 4,200,000,000 vaccine doses have been given around the world. Pakistan is vaccinating more people than ever. Khadija Tahir reports...

Yesterday, Pakistan completed its target to vaccinate one million people against COVID-19 in a day. The Pakistani government has made it mandatory for all public workers, teachers, and students to get vaccinated and restricted air travel for vaccinated people only. There has been a rapid increase in coronavirus cases in Pakistan recently, and almost 70% of new cases are due to the delta variant.

Americas

In the United States, people in New York City will be required to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID19 to go to many indoor businesses including restaurants and gyms. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that some people won’t like the plan, however it will saves lives...

“if you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated.”

Also in the United States and also in New York, the attorney general of NewYork Letita James has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed women in his offices...

“The independent investigation has concluded that Governer Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing do violated federal and state law.”

President Joe Biden, normally a friend of democrat governer Cuomo, said last night that Cuomo resign. However Cuomo denies the sexual harassment claims...

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

In Mexico the referendum on whether to investigate former political leaders has significantly failed to gather support. Although almost all votes were for the idea, only 7% of Mexicans voted, far less than the 40% necessary for the result to take effect.

Africa

In the Democratic Republic of Congo at least 16 people have been killed in an attack blamed on islamists. The regional governor said that more soldiers will be sent to the area.

In Mauritius, India is building a military base on the Agalega islands. A report by Al Jazeera showed that India has been building a navy port and airport on the Mauritian island, which is home to just 300 people. Local people, who survive by fishing and selling coconuts, told AlJazeera that they were worried about the impact of the Indian base.

Today is the 40th birthday of British Royal family member Meghan Markle, and today is the 60th birthday of former American President Barack Obama. And today is the 200th birthday of French fashion designer Louis Vuitton. And today is the 500th birthday of Pope Urban - the shortest serving pope - who was Pope for just 12 days.

That’s your news in 7 minutes. Go to send7.org for transcripts or to send us a message. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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