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Wednesday 8th December 2021

Asia

China has criticised the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics by the United States. Yesterday the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the United States was ‘politicising sport’ and said that the US will “pay a price”. The US has said that the boycott was to highlight human rights abuses by China, including the genocide of Uygher muslims in the Xinjiang region, the removal of democracy in Hong Kong, aggression against Taiwan and, recently, the silencing of tennis player Peng Shuai. On Monday President Joe Biden’s Media secretary Jen Psaki, said that standing up for human rights was “in the DNA of Americans”...

“The Biden administration will not send any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic games given the PRC’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. As the President has told President Xi, standing up for human rights is in the DNA of Americans.”

In Bangladesh, Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are suing Meta, the Facebook company for $150 billion dollars. Since 2016 over a million Rohingya Muslims from northern Myanmar escaped to Bangladesh and other countries because of persecution in Myanmar. The Burmese military have been accused of genocide by many countries and organizations. Now Rohingya refugees are saying that Facebook allowed hate speech against the Rohingya to spread in Myanmar.

Sri Lanka has received the body of a factory manager who was killed by a mob in Pakistan. Priyantha Kumara was accused of blasphemy and beaten to death outside his factory in Sialkot. Khadija Tahir reports...

In the Pakistani city of Sialkot, almost 120 people have been arrested after a mob attacked and set fire to a Sri Lankan factory manager. The factory workers accused the factory manager of blasphemy and took pictures and videos of the incident. According to the local police, 120 people have been arrested, and they are conducting raids using facial recognition to arrest people who participated in the incident. The Prime Minister and other senior government officials have condemned the incident, and protests took place in major cities against the lynching. Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws, which are often used against its minorities.

The United Arab Emirates will have a new working week from January. The UAE will work just 4 and a half days, with Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday off. Most countries in the middle east have Friday and Saturday as their weekend.

Africa

In Burundi a fire in a prison has killed at least 38 people. An electrical accident has been blamed for the fire.

In Niger president Mohamed Bazoum has said that jihadist groups often have better weapons than the Niger army. Speaking at a security conference, Bazoum said that jihadist militants were able to smuggle highly technological weapons from Libya.

Europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States President Joe Biden spoke virtually yesterday for two hours. The main topic of discussion was the border between Ukraine and Russia, where Russia has recently placed 90,000 soldiers. Biden said that extreme economic sanctions would be placed on Russia if Russia invades Ukraine. Russia has said that it has no intention of invading Ukraine. Putin said yesterday that Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO and said that the United States should stop supplying weapons to Ukraine. Director of the CIA William Burns said yesterday that Russia has the force to invade....

“We don’t know that Putin has made up his mind to use force but what we do know is that he is putting the Russian military and the Russian security services in a place where they could act in a pretty sweeping way.”

In France police have arrested a former Saudi Royal Guard, suspected of being part of the team that killed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul in 2018 by agents of the Saudi government. Saudi Arabia has said that the arrest is a case of mistaken identity.

Americas

Chile has voted to legalize gay marriage. Yesterday both Chile’s Senate and its chamber of deputies approved a new law which will give same-sex couples the chance to marry and adopt children. The law will take effect in 90 days, and Chile will be the ninth country in the Americas to legalize gay marriage.

And in the United States, a study has shown that chewing chewing gum could help reduce the spread of COVID19. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed a chewing gum that they say, reduces the viral load in saliva, and reduce transmission of the virus.

And I made a mistake on Monday. On Monday’s episode, I said that we were in January. We definitely are still in December. Well done to Mariusz in Poland for telling us! That’s your news in 7 minutes. If you enjoy SEND7, then you can leave a review in your podcast app, or you can support us directly by giving the amount that you would pay for a cup of coffee at send7.org I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.

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