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Wednesday 9th December 2020.

Europe

The United Kingdom started administering COVID19 vaccines yesterday. Margaret Keenan, a 90 year old woman became the first person in the world to take the Pfeizer vaccine. Keenan said that she felt privileged, and told other people to take the vaccine...

“Go for it. Because it’s free and its the best thing that's ever happened. At the moment, so please, go for it. That’s all I’d say. If I can do it then so can you.”

The second person to receive the vaccine was a man named William Shakespeare. Speaking yesterday, the health secretary Matt Hancock became emotional, after listening to Shakespeare talk.

“Well it’s just, it’s been such a tough year for so many people, and there is William Shakespeare putting it so simply for everybody, that we can get on with our lives...”

Brexit talks are continuing today in Belgium. UK prime minister Boris Johnson will travel to Brussels today to speak to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Yesterday the EU’s Chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that he thought that it was probable that no deal would be agreed this year. Johnson also said yesterday that reaching a deal seemed very difficult...

“You’ve got to be optimistic. You’ve got to believe that there is the power of sweet reason to get this thing over the line, but I've got to tell you, it’s looking very very difficult at the moment.”

In Romania Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has resigned, after his Liberal party gained only 25% of votes in the general election. The left wing PSD won 30% of the votes, however, the Liberal party is still expected to lead the country, as it is more likely to be able to form a coalition.

Americas

Brazil’s most populous state - Sao Paolo - has said that COVID19 vaccinations will start on 25th January. This is the first announcement of COVID vaccinations in Latin America. Governor Joao Doria said that the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac will be offered first to healthcare staff, people over 60, and indigenous people. Results from the Phase 3 trials of CoronaVac are still not ready, however, they are expected next week.

In the United States President-Elect Joe Biden has also made an announcement about vaccinations. Speaking yesterday to announce his coronavirus action plan, Biden declared that 100 million people would be vaccinated within the first 100 days of his presidency...

Africa

The Ethiopian army has admitted to firing at United Nations staff, after they drove through military checkpoints. The Ethiopian government said that a UN team had ignored instructions that they should not be in that area of the Tigray region. The United Nations say that humanitarian aid is desperately needed in Tigray.

In Libya, the Eastern forces of Khalifa Haftar have said that they have intercepted a Turkish ship. The LNA, which controls the East of Libya said that the ship was in its waters. Turkey is the main supporter of the Government of National Accord, which controls the West of Libya. Turkey warned of serious consequences if its ship was not freed.

Ghana held parliamentary and presidential elections on Monday. At the time of recording this podcast it appears that President Nana Akufo-Addo will continue as president, beating former president John Mahama. However, official results have still not been declared.

Asia

In India farmers are continuing to protest against changes in agriculture law. The government has said that farmers will have better economic opportunities with the new laws, but these farmers don’t believe them. This report Khadija Tahir...

“Indian farmers have announced a one-day nationwide strike against the three agriculture laws passed in September. Thousands of farmers have been protesting in the capital city, Delhi, for almost two weeks. The campaign is being called the Bharat Bandh or close India campaign. It is now being supported by farmer's associations and trade unions from all over India as well as some opposition parties. The changes in law are designed to move agriculture away from state-controlled prices, and towards free markets, however farmers say that they don’t trust bid businesses. Representatives from the Farmers associations have held five rounds of talks with the government, which have all failed. Another round of talks will be held today. “

And China and Nepal have agreed to change the official height of Mount Everest. Before China and Nepal recorded different measurements for the highest mountain on earth, which is on their border, but now they have agreed that Everest’s height is 8,848 metres and 86 centimetres. It is believed that the movement of tectonic plates pushes Everest up around 1cm a year.

That is your world news in 7 minutes. Read the transcript for today’s episode, and listen to past episodes, at send7.org Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi, tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath.

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