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Wednesday 6th January 2021

Americas

In the United States, there was an election for the Senate in the state of Georgia yesterday. In November, no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, and so a second round was needed. This election is considered very important for the United States because winning the Georgia seats in the Senate could give democrats control of the Senate. Democrats already control congress. In the presidential election in Georgia Joe Biden narrowly beat Donald Trump. Results from the Georgia senate election are expected today.

In Venezuela, congress will come under the control of disputed President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist party today. Elections last month were boycotted by the opposition and Juan Guaido, who is recognised as president by many Western countries.

Europe

The United Kingdom reported it worst day for COVID19 cases yesterday, with 60,000 new cases reported. 830 deaths were also recorded. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that more than one in fifty people have the coronavirus right now...

“When the office of national statistics is telling us that more than 2% of the population is now infected. That’s over one million people in England. And when today we’ve reported another 60,000 new cases. And when the number of patients in hospitals is now 40% higher than in the first peak in April.”

Johnson cancelled his planned visit to India this month. The UK started a nationwide lockdown yesterday, and government minister Michael Gove said that it will probably continue until March...

“As we enter March we should be able to lift some of these restrictions but not necessarily all”.

Germany has extended and increased coronavirus restrictions Yesterday Chancellor Angela Merkel said that bars, restaurants, culture and leisure facilities, and non-essential shops will remain closed until February. Germany ha reportedly vaccinated 265,000 people since starting vaccinations on the 26th December.

Africa

In the Central African Republic, President Faustin-Archange Touadera has won a second term in office. There was violence before and during the election on the 27th December. Russian and Rwandan soldiers were sent to help the government control the situation. According to the National Election Authority, Touadera won 54% of the votes.

In Mali, local people have said that an airstrike killed civilians at a wedding. The Malian government and French forces have been fighting jihadist extremism in Mali since 2013. France has denied connection to the airstrike.

Asia

In the Pakistani State of Punjab it is now illegal to perform a “two-finger virginity test”, during rape examinations. More on this from Khadija Tahir...

“In Pakistan, the Lahore high court banned the use of the two-finger virginity test. The highly invasive test is used to discredit the claims of rape victims. The world health organization has said that the test is not scientifically accurate. Human rights activists across South Asia have been trying to get it banned for years. In the Lahore high court Justice Ayesha Malik ruled to ban the practise in Punjab province. This is a historic ruling for Pakistan, where rape cases are rarely reported. Women's rights activists hope that this judgment will lead to the virginity test being banned throughout Pakistan. India banned the practise in 2013.”

In India tens of thousands of birds will be killed after an outbreak of bird flu. In the last few days two types of bird flu have been found to have killed thousands of ducks, chickens and wild birds.

Qatar has agreed to restart relations with 4 Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates started a boycott of Qatar in 2017, saying that Qatar should reduce its relations with Iran and Turkey and close the Al Jazeera media network.

In Vietnam 3 journalists have been given over ten years in jail, for anti-state propaganda. According to Reporters Without Borders, Vietnam is one of the worst countries in the world for Press Freedom

And in the world over half a million people have signed up to Veganuary. Over 500,000 people have said that they will go vegan in January - not eating any meat or animal products. Many participants say that it is to help fight climate change.

That’s your world news. Please help us to grow by leaving a review on apple podcasts. A big thank you to some people who have left reviews recently - Jack T from the UK, DanielaZac from Italy, and RunBeerRun and Yossi from Japan. Thank you. Transcripts for all episodes are at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi, tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

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