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Wednesday 4th May 2022

Americas

In the United States there have been protests after a document was released saying that abortion could be made illegal. Abortion was legalized in 1973 in a supreme court decision known as “Roe Vs. Wade”. Yesterday a draft ruling to cancel that decision was leaked - meaning it was made public against the wishes of the supreme court. Because of Roe Vs. Wade abortion is legal in all 50 states, however they have different criteria for access to an abortion, including being limited by the number of weeks of pregnancy. Today, out of 9 supreme court judges, 6 were chosen by Republican presidents and are considered conservative. It is likely that these 6 could vote to cancel Roe Vs. Wade. If this happens then states will be able to make abortion illegal. 13 states already have laws that would immediately make abortion illegal. Republican Senator Tom Cotton said that he is praying that the supreme court allows the states to protect unborn life. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the decision was an “utter disgrace”. Vice President Kamala Harris said that the rights of all Americans are at risk. President Joe Biden says that women should have the right to choose. Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to journalists in the middle of a protest...

Journalist “I’ve never seen you so angry...”

Elizabeth Warren : “This is what .... The Republicans have been working towards this day for decades. They have been out there plotting. Carefully cultivating these Supreme Court justices so that they could have a majority on the bench who would accomplish something that the majority of Americans do not want - 69% of people across this country...”

In the British Virgin Islands hundreds of people have protested against a proposal of direct rule from the United Kingdom. This week UK foreign secretary Liz Truss suggested that the British Virgin Islands should be ruled from the United Kingdom for 2 years after the Premier Andrew Fahie was arrested in the Unite States suspected of drug trafficking.

Venezuela has started a 3% tax on payments made using dollars. The tax has been introduced to encourage people to use the Venezuelan Bolivar, which has been the currency with the highest inflation rate in the world for decades.

Europe

In Ukraine the Russian army has increased its bombing of the Azov steel factory in Mariupol. There are expected to be around 2000 Ukrainian soldiers in the steel factory and around 200 civilians including children. Some people who were evacuated this week spoke about the terrible conditions in which they had lived in the steel factory for the past two months, under constant bombs from the Russian army and with little food, water and sanitation. The governor of Donetsk region said yesterday that 9 civilians were killed by Russian bombs in the Donetsk region. Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, has been constantly hit by Russian artillery for over two months. Pope Francis has offered to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin to try to help to end the war.

Yesterday United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke by video link to Ukraine’s parliament. Johnson promised an extra £300 million pounds of military support for Ukraine. He said that the Ukrainian resistance of the Russian invasion would be remembered for generations...

“And in this moment of uncertainty, of continuing fear and doubt about the future - I have one message for you today - Ukraine will win. Ukraine will be free. You have exploded the myth of Putin’s invincibility. This is Ukraine’s finest hour.”

Russia’s foreign ministry has accused Israel of supporting Neo-Nazis. Earlier this week, Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid criticised Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov for saying that Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestors. Russia’s foreign ministry said yesterday that there are examples in history of Jews cooperating with Nazis. Russia justifies its invasion of Ukraine by saying that it was necessary to de-nazify Ukraine.

Africa

In Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has said that armed groups are using kidnapped civilians has human shields to stop the military from rescuing them. Over 150 people are still missing since a train was attacked over a month ago.

In Tanzania President Samia Hassan has spoken about the importance of free, independent media. Yesterday was World Press Freedom day. Namibia and Sierra Leone have been recognized as the African countries where the media is able to work freely. Egypt and Eritrea are generally considered the countries with the least freedom of media.

Asia

In China there have been reports of people being treated badly in lockdown. There is extreme restriction of movement in Shanghai due to COVID19, and there have been reports of people being forced to take tests or to be moved to quarantine facilities. Yesterday videos were released of morgue workers realizing that an old man was alive after putting him in a body bag.

In India there has been fighting between Hindus and Muslims in Rajasthan. A curfew has been imposed in the city of Jodhpur.

And the correct amount of sleep is 7 hours. Research from the University of Cambridge said that for adults in middle and old age, 7 hours of sleep gave a person the best cognitive performance.

A big thank you to Elena from Poland for becoming our newest supporter. If you enjoy the podcast you can become a supporter at send7.org/support. Supporters can read the transcripts of every episode. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow.

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