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Americas

The United States will donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer-Biontech covid19 vaccine as well as continuing its support of the COVAX scheme. Speaking at the G7 conference in the United Kingdom yesterday, President Joe Biden said that almost a hundred countries will receive vaccines with ‘no strings attached’...

“The United States will purchase half a billion doses of Pfizer’s COVID19 vaccine to donate to nearly one hundred nations that are in dire need in the fight against this pandemic.”

In Argentina President Alberto Fernandez has apologized after saying that Brazilians ‘come form the jungle’. While speaking with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who is visiting Argentina, Fernandez said that “Mexicans come from the Indians, Brazilians come from the jungle, but we Argentinians come from ships”. Fernandez later apologized and said that Argentina is proud of its diversity.

“Queda aprobada la ley de bitcoin” (The Bitcoin law is approved.)

El Salvador has become the first country in the world to make bitcoin a legal currency. President Nayib Bukele said yesterday that El Salvador could start mining bitcoin -creating more bitcoin - by using energy produced by El Salvador’s volcanoes. Other countries that have suggested making cryptocurrency a legal form of money are Paraguay, Panama and Mexico.

In Peru left-wing Pedro Castillo will probably be the next president. With 99% of votes counted, Castillo has 50.2% of votes compared to 49.8% for right-wing Keiko Fujimori.

Africa

In the Central African Republic Prime Minister Firmin Ngrabada and all his cabinet have resigned. President Faustin Touadera has said that he may ask Ngrabada to form a new government. The Central African Republic has been in a state of civil war since 2013, and large parts of the country are controlled by rebel groups.

France has announced the end of Operation Barkhane - its anti-Islamist military presence in the Sahel region of Africa. France currently has over 5,000 soldiers on the southern side of the Sahara desert, in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. Last week France suspended joint operations with the Malian army after a second military coup d’etat within one year.

Asia

India recorded a global worst day for COVID19 deaths yesterday. Over 6000 deaths were reported yesterday, although this includes a revision from the State of Bihar which recognized it had previously underreported deaths. However, India has reported less than 100,000 new cases for the last 3 days, 4 times less than what was being recorded a month ago. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this week that all adults will be able to book covid vaccines from June 21st. Some scientists, however, have said that this is not a good approach. The Indian Public Health Association has said that vulnerable people should be prioritised. Also in India a building collapsed yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

In the Indian city of Mumbai, a three-story residential building collapsed on Wednesday because of heavy monsoon rains. According to local authorities, 11 people, including eight children, died when one building collapsed on top of another. Rescuers are still looking for survivors. Mumbai recorded eight inches of rain in 12 hours, leading to several parts of the city being flooded. Heavy monsoon rains are common in India from June to September.

In China the human rights organization Amnesty International has said that China is committing crimes against humanity in its Xinjiang province. In a new report published yesterday, Amnesty said that the United Nations must investigate and accused China of mass detention, surveillance, and torture. Yesterday China passed a new law that intends to counter foreign sanctions.

Europe

In Greece thousands of people protested yesterday against a labour reform There was a national strike against new laws, which include a digital work card, that protesters say would allow employers to force people to work longer hours.

In France the man who slapped President Emmanuel Macron has been given four months in prison. Damien Tarel described himself as a “far-right patriot”.

And in the United Kingdom I received my first dose of a COVID19 vaccine yesterday. I received the Pfizer vaccine. Over 60% of adults in the UK have now received at least one dose.

Listeners if you like to learn English through listening to podcasts, I can recommend to you a podcast called “English with Stephen”. It’s not me - we just have the same name. This podcast has ten-minute stories about interesting topics in intermediate English. Look in your podcast app for “English with Stephen”.

That’s your World news for this week. You can find transcripts, send us a message and more at send7.org I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

  • Namitha Ragunath

Europe

In Albania, the parliament yesterday impeached President Ilir Meta. The parliament voted 104-7 to remove the president. The final approval will come from Albania’s Constitutional Court within three months. A report of a parliamentary investigation said that Meta broke the constitution by being bias against the ruling Socialists during the April 25 parliamentary electoral campaign. The report said Meta violated 16 articles and also caused violence.

In the UK, the High Court has ruled that the government acted unlawfully when collecting public opinion on their handling of COVID-19. This is because the government hired a company that was closely connected to the prime minister’s former advisor, to do the research. Yesterday the court said the government had shown “bias” in awarding half a million pounds to the public relations company, called Public First. Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, said this was a total breach of power.


AR: "This is taxpayers money that's been wasted and it's completely unacceptable and that's why I think that that money should be recouped but equally we need an investigation to stop this, you know, this, this cronyism and this, you know, a total breach of power."


In Serbia, a volleyball player has been banned for two matches after making a racist gesture during a game against Thailand last week. Sanja Djurdjevic pulled her eyes with her fingers, to make them appear smaller. This caused anger amongst many fans online, as the gesture is known to be offensive towards asians. The player has since apologised along with the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, who described the incident as a "simple misunderstanding”. The federation has also been fined £15,000.

Americas

In the United States, Joe Biden began his first foreign trip as US president yesterday. During this trip he will meet with his European partners and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The eight-day trip will begin with a meeting today with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Biden and Johnson will then attend the G7 summit. Mr Biden will also meet the Queen at Windsor Castle and join his first Nato summit as president. Biden said the trip is about America meeting the world's democracies.


Biden: "Over the next few days, I said I will be participating in meetings with many of our closest partners in the G7 in Cornwall, then onto Brussels and Nato Summit, the EU and the EU summit. This diplomacy is essential, because no single nation acting alone can meet all the challenge we face today because the world is changing."


In Colombia, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report yesterday claiming the police abused “mostly peaceful demonstrators”. This was during protests that began in late April against the tax reform but grew into protests against social inequities. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has told Colombia’s government to “take urgent measures to protect human rights, to teach officers to respect protesters and bring to justice those responsible for abuses. Colombia is in its sixth week of demonstrations which have spread across Colombia, sometimes turning violent. Dozens of protesters have been killed or injured, allegedly by police.

Asia

In Pakistan, two police officers who were protecting polio vaccination workers in northwest Pakistan were shot dead yesterday. The policemen died at the scene, while the attackers drove away on their motorcycles. Police said they are sending out many police officers to find the shooters. Pakistani fighters regularly organise attacks on polio teams and police protecting them. Pakistani fighters say that anti-polio drive is part of a Western conspiracy.


In Bahrain, yesterday it was announced a political prisoner serving a life sentence has died after being infected with COVID-19. Bahrain has come under pressure from human rights organisations over prison conditions including overcrowding, poor sanitation and a lack of medical care. Since the March outbreak of the coronavirus in Bahrain’s main prison, families have been protesting, demanding the release of political prisoners and for better prison conditions.

Africa

In Mozambique, a report released yesterday said fighters abducted dozens of children during raids in 2020. Save the Children the abduction of children has become a new and regular tactic by armed groups. Over the past three-and-a-half years, the fighting in the Cabo Delgado province has killed nearly 3,000 people and displaced more than 700,000 people. Half of those displaced are children.


In Morocco, the parliament has passed a law legalising the production of cannabis for medicinal and industrial uses. The aim is to boost agriculture and create jobs in underdeveloped areas. Morocco is one of the world's biggest producers of cannabis for illegal drug use. The use of the drug for non medical or industrial uses will still be illegal.


And finally, Russian scientists have brought tiny worms that have been frozen for 42,000 years, back to life.

And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. Send your opinion on any news story by email to podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

Americas

In The United States, the FBI has released details of a messaging app that it produced deliberately to trick criminals into using it. The FBI worked with police in 16 countries, and 800 suspected criminals have been arrested as a result. Calvin Shivers of the FBI said that as well as capturing criminals, over a hundred murders were avoided...

“Over the last 18 months the FBI provided criminal organizations in over one hundred countries encrypted devices that allowed us to monitor their communications. And there were a number of things that resulted from this. Not only have we heard about the number of arrests and the number of seizures, but there were over one hundred threats to life that were mitigated.”

Australian police commissioner Reece Kershaw said that the operation had seriously disrupted the illegal drug trade in Australia.

“We allege that they are members of outlawed motorcycle gangs, Australian mafia, Asian crime syndicates and serious and organized crime groups. We allege they have been trafficking illicit drugs into Australia at an industrial scale.”

Peru’s next president is still not clear, three days after the election. At the time of recording this podcast 97% of votes had been counted in Peru’s presidential election. Most sources show left wing Pedro Castillo winning 50.2% of votes and right wing Keiko Fujimori winning 49.8% of votes. If this is the final result then it will be the third time that Keiko Fujimori has lost the race for presidency despite winning over 48% of votes.

In the Brazilian city of Manaus schools have been closed and public transport has been stopped after a series of attacks. Government officials say that the attacks and fires are revenge for the police killing of a leader of a gang. 29 people have been arrested, suspected of carrying out attacks.

Europe

France’s President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face yesterday. Macron was walking and talking with the public when a man slapped him. Macron’s security team immediately pulled the man to the ground and he was arrested. Macron said later that violent people must not be allowed to take possession of public debate.

In the Netherlands, Ratko Mladic has lost an appeal against genocide convictions. In The Hague a United Nations court maintained the life sentences against the former Bosnian Serb leader. Mladic is convicted of crimes against humanity during wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Asia

In Pakistan the death toll has risen after a train accident on Monday. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Pakistan, a train crash has killed at least 63 people, according to local authorities. The accident took place near the city of Ghotki on Monday when one train derailed and another collided with it a minute later. Almost 100-people have been injured, and the authorities have released a list of deceased people, 12 of whom are unidentified. The Pakistani military has been sent to deal with the accident, and the train tracks were cleared and reopened yesterday. The chairman of Pakistan Railways told a local news channel that the track where the accident took place was old and needed to be replaced.

India has applied for the exclusive use of the term “basmati rice” for sale in the European Union. Pakistan has appealed to the EU, saying that its rice is also rightly called “basmati”. India is the biggest exporter of rice in the world, and Pakistan is the 4th biggest exporter.

In Myanmar, the trial of leader Aung San Suu Kyi will start next week, according to her lawyer. Kyi was removed from power by the military in a coup d’etat on 1st February. Since then there have been constant demonstrations against the military, which have lead to over 850 deaths. The military has justified their coup by saying that there was fraud in the last year’s election.

Africa

In Somaliland, opposition parties have won a majority od seats in parliamentary elections. The election was the first in Somaliland in 16 years, and took more than a week to count. The European Union congratulated Somaliland on conducting fair elections. Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991, and has generally been more peaceful than Somalia, however it has not been recognized officially as a country by and other country.

In Nigeria a group of people including rights groups have started legal action to stop the government’s ban of Twitter. Nigeria banned Twitter on Friday, two days after President Muhammadu Buhari had one of his tweets removed. People are using virtual private networks to continue to access Twitter, however the government has said that people can be prosecuted for doing this.

And in The United States, Jeff Bezos, the owner CEO of Amazon, and the richest person in the world, will fly into space. Next month, Bezos will fly in a rocket made by his own space company Blue origin. Less than 600 people have ever been into space.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Send your opinion on any news story by email to podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts. I’m Stephen Devincenzi, tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.



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