In Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that a stalemate with Russia is “not an option”, and that Ukraine will fight to recover all of the territory that Russia has occupied. In Ukraine there are currently three main battles, in the North, East and South. In the North, the Ukrainian army and volunteer groups are making counter-offensives against the Russian army, north of the second city Kharkiv. Russian missiles also hit Kharkiv yesterday and one person was killed, according to Mayor Ihor Terekhov. In the south, Ukraine is trying to retake areas close to the city of Kherson, which Russia has occupied for over 2 months. There have also been reports of partisan fighting in the occupied Kherson region, although this is difficult to verify. However the biggest fighting is still around the city of Severodonetsk, in the East, where there are reports of fighting in the streets between Ukrainians and Russian forces. Russia said yesterday that it controls 97% of the Luhansk region, of which Severodonetsk is the last area that Ukraine controls. Yesterday both Ukraine and Russia confirmed the death of Russian Major General Roman Kutusov, probably the 12th Russian general killed in the last 3 months. The Ukrainian army said that Kutusov had been “De-nazified and de-militarised”, seeming to make joke about Russia’s reasons for invading Ukraine. United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said yesterday that there were signs that Russia was stealing grain from Ukraine to sell, and said that Russia was using blackmail....
“Right now a Russian naval blockade in the black sea, is preventing Ukraine’s crops from being shipped to their normal destinations. There are somewhere around 20 million tonnes of wheat that is trapped in silos near Odessa, and in ships that are literally filled with grain that are stuck in the Odessa port because of this Russian blockade. Russian forces have captured some of Ukraine’s most productive farmland. They planted explosives throughout the fields. They destroyed vital agricultural infrastructure. There are credible reports, including as we saw in one of our leading newspapers today, that Russia is pilfering Ukraine’s grain exports to sell for its own profit.”
In Belgium The European Union has agreed that all phones, tablets and some other devices must have the same chargers. From late 2024 most portable devices will be required to use the USB-C format of charger. The rule will include Apple products, despite Apple being against the rule. The EU says that the change will save 1000 tonnes of electronic waste per year and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
In Bangladesh a fire at a shipping depot has finally been extinguished after three days. At least 41 people were killed in the fire and an explosion at the depot in Chittagong.
In Pakistan more cases of polio are being found. Khadija Tahir reports...
Pakistan is currently facing a Polio outbreak. Eight cases have been reported in the past month in the North Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. No Polio cases were reported in Pakistan last year. Health officials believe the new outbreak is due to misinformation regarding the vaccine among the local population.
China has made flood alerts in its southern regions, as heavy rain is expected this week. At least 15 people have been killed in floods and landslides recently in China.
South Africa has demanded that the Indian Gupta brothers are sent from the United Arab Emirates, where they are being held by police. Atul and Rajesh Gupta are accused of corruption during the presidency of Jacob Zuma, including paying bribes for contracts with the government.
Cameroon’s government has admitted that a group of soldiers killed 9 villagers in the Northwest region. The defence ministry said that 4 soldiers had been arrested.
In the United States, the state of New York has introduced ten new laws to control guns. Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday signed the ten laws, including laws that make limits on buying assault weapons and body armour and raise the age of buying a semi-automatic rifle to 21...
“It just keeps happening. Shots ring out. Flags come down. And nothing ever changes. Except here in New York. In New York we are taking bold strong action. We are tightening the red flag laws to keep guns away from dangerous people and we are raising the age of semi-automatic weapons so no 18 year old can walk in on their birthday and walk out with an AR-15. Those days are over!
And in Colombia, two old shipwrecks have been found, President Ivan Duque has announced. IT is not known how old the ships are, but they are close to the shipwreck of the San Jose, a Spanish ship which was sunk by the British navy in 1708 near the port of Cartagena.
That’s your world news in 7 minutes. A big thank you to Dagmara in Poland for becoming our newest supporter. If you find this podcast valuable then please help to support us at send7.org/support. Supporters can also read the transcripts of every episodes. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Juliet Martin. Have a great day.