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In the World 2 million people are confirmed to have died of COVID19. One year ago today, less than a hundred people had been diagnosed with a new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan in China. Today, 93 million people have been diagnosed. However, the true number is expected to be much higher, and some reports say that one in ten people in the world have already had COVID19. Around 3% of confirmed cases have ended in death, however most scientists believe that the true fatality rate is lower than 1%. Vaccination campaigns have started in 45 countries, and over 33 million people have already received at least one dose. The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom has said that more developed nations have a responsibility to extend vaccinations around the world...

“We are in a race to prevent infections, bring cases down, protect health systems, and save lives, while rolling out highly effective and safe vaccines to high-risk populations.”

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that the recovery from COVID19 should bring good changes...

“Pandemic recoveries are a chance to change course. With smart policies and the right investments we can chart a path that brings health to all, revives economies and builds resilience and rescues biodiversity.”

Africa now...

In Uganda there was a general election yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been announced. Singer and member of parliament Bobi Wine is attempting to stop President Yoweri Museveni from winning a 6th presidential term. During the last few months more than 50 people have been killed in political violence and Bobi Wine has been arrested many times.

In Ethiopia, the government has said that it has killed leading members of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, after they refused to surrender. One of those killed was Seyoum Mesfin, who was Ethiopia’s minister of foreign affairs for almost twenty years.

In Algeria a roadside bomb killed 5 civilians yesterday close to the border with Tunisia. This is the worst attack on civilians in Algeria in recent years.

Asia


Chinese cotton and tomato products from the Xinjian region have been banned in the United States. China is accused of forcing Uigher Muslims to work in those industries. The United Kingdom introduced similar measures this week, and foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that there was clear evidence that over a million Uyghurs are being held in re-education camps that use forced labour.

Turkey started its vaccination campaign against COVID19 yesterday. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca received his first dose of the Chinese CoronaVac live on television. State media said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also received the vaccine yesterday.

Americas

In the United States President Donald Trump has released a message condemning the riots in the congress building last week, in which 5 people died.

“My fellow Americans, I want to speak to you tonight about the troubling events of the past week. I want to be very clear. I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement.

On Wednesday President Trump became the first president ever to be impeached twice, after congress agreed that he had incited the violence in Washington DC. Trump did not mention his impeachment in this message, however he warned his supporters not to cause more violence and promised a peaceful transition of power.

“There has been reporting that additional demonstrations are being planned in the ocming days both here in Washington and across the country. I have been briefed by the US secret service on the potential threats.”

During last week’s speech before the riots in congress, Trump told his supporters to “fight like hell” because the election was stolen from them.

“And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

However, during this week’s speech, Trump did not mention claims that the election was fraudulent. Recent polls have found that 70% of Republicans think that the presidential election was not free and fair. President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez are expected to perform.

In Venezuela, Reuters news agency is reporting that the government is talking to private companies to work in its oil fields. During the presidency of Hugo Chavez the oil industry was nationalised. A combination of mismanagement and United States sanctions has lead to the almost complete collapse of the oil industry.

Europe

In Germany, Alexey Navalny has said that he will fly back to Russia on Sunday. The Russian opposition politician was poisoned in August, in an attack he blames on President Vladamir Putin.

And in Sweden, Greta Thunberg will be on new postage stamps. The climate activist, who turned 18 last week, appears on the new 12 kronor stamps, in her yellow raincoat.

That’s your Simple English World News this week. Please leave a review on apple podcasts in your first language. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.

Americas

In the United States the house of representatives impeached President Donald Trump for the second time yesterday. Trump is the first president in American history to be impeached twice. Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump for instigating an attack on the Congress building last week, in which 5 people died. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Trump was a “clear and present danger”...

“A dark week it has been indeed. On Wednesday the president of the United States incited a deadly insurrection against America that targeted the very heart of our democracy. This temple of democracy. The United States Capitol. And now the President is saying that he is not responsible. And that his incitement to violence was totally appropriate. The president’s actions demonstrate his absolute inability to discharge the most basic and fundamental powers and duties of his office. Therefore the president must be removed from office immediately.”

After being impeached by the house of representatives, the senate now has the decision to remove the president. However, this is not expected to happen, as it requires a two-thirds majority of senators. At the time of recording this podcast, Trump has not responded to his second impeachment. Trump will probably continue as president until Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday.

Also in the US the messaging service Telegram reported 25 million new users in just 3 days. It is reported that many supporters of President Trump and supporters of conspiracy theories are moving away from social media giants Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter. These companies recently banned President Trump and deleted many other accounts that they say were encouraging violence.

In Brazil trials of China’s Sinovac vaccine against COVID19 have shown that it is only 50% effective. Last week Brazil had said that the vaccine was 78% effective.

Europe

The United Kingdom has reported that 2020 was the year with the most deaths since 1918, during the first world war and the Spanish Flu pandemic. There were 16% more deaths in 2020 than in 2019, the highest percentage rise since 1940, during the second world war. Yesterday the UK reported over 1,500 deaths from COVID19, the worst single day since the pandemic began - bringing total COVID related deaths over 100,000

Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas has resigned over corruption in his Centre Party. Ratas said that he had not personally done anything wrong. The Centre party was part of a coalition governing Estonia. A new coalition may be found, otherwise a new election will be needed.

Italy is also facing a political crisis, after the Italia Viva party left the ruling coalition. New elections may be needed after, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi withdrew Italia Viva from the coalition yesterday.

Asia


Israel attacked Syria yesterday, At least 18 air attacks took place yesterday morning in Eastern Syria, close to the border with Iraq. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 57 people were killed, including Syrian government soldiers and associated fighters. According to the human rights organization Israeli air strikes killed over 200 people in Syria last year.

In Sri Lanka opposition politician Ranjan Ramanayake has been jailed for four years for saying that Sri Lankan judges are corrupt. Ramanayake was condemned for ‘contempt of court’ for the words he spoke in 2017, while Deputy Minister.

Indonesia’s COVID19 vaccination policy has been questioned by experts. Unlike most countries, Indonesia has said that it will offer the vaccine to working age adults first. The Ministry of Health said that this decision was because the Chinese Sinovac vaccine had not been properly tested on older people. 24,000 people are reported to have died of COVID19 in Indonesia.

Africa

In Ethiopia an attack has killed over 80 people. This report from Maya Dil...

“The Ethiopian human rights commission has said that over 80 people were killed in west Ethiopia on Tuesday. The attack happened in Daletti, close to Sudan. The attackers have not been caught by authorities yet. Daletti has had many violent attacks in the last few months, and hundreds of people have died. In one attack in December, 207 people were killed. Thousands have had to leave their homes because of the ongoing violence.”

And we finish today with music from Bobi Wine. In Uganda there is a general election today. The vote is for the president and for parliament. Yoweri Museveni has ruled Uganda since 1986, however singer Bobi Wine has a popular following among younger Ugandans. International organizations have not recognised previous elections in Uganda as free or fair. However, Bobi Wine has been encouraging Ugandans to vote. Thank you for listening to SEND7. Find the transcript of today’s episode at send7.org I am stephen Devincenzi. See you tomorrow.

Good morning. This is SEND7 World News in 7 minutes. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Find the transcript for today’s episode at send7.org Today is Wednesday 13th January 2021.

Africa

Uganda is preparing for a general election tomorrow. All social media including facebook and whatsapp has been blocked until after the election. President Yoweri Museveni accused facebook of ‘taking sides’ after facebook closed accounts that it said were ‘fake’. However, presidential candidate Bobi Wine has a bigger social media following than the government. Wine has been arrested many times in the weeks before this election. In an interview yesterday Wine said that his house had been raided by police, and asked Ugandans to vote.

“And again this morning, my house was raided. Two of my gardeners were taken away and my security guard was beaten very very badly. We are therefore adding our voices together to call upon all you fellow Ugandans to turn up in large numbers and vote.”

Malawi ‘s president Lazarus Chakwera has declared a state of disaster, after two of his cabinet ministers died of COVID19. Transport minister Sidik Mia and Government Minister Lingson Berekanyama were both declared dead yesterday.

Asia

A Pakistani policeman was killed yesterday in an attack on a polio vaccination team. This report from Khadija Tahir...

“In Pakistan, a police officer guarding a polio vaccination team was shot dead yesterday. According to AlJazeera 102 people have been killed by attacks on polio vaccination efforts since 2012. One report said that attacks on polio teams grew after the American CIA used a fake vaccination effort to help find Osama bin Laden. The latest campaign to eliminate polio includes around 285,000 workers to vaccinate 40 million children all over Pakistan. According to the United Nations, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world where polio has not been eradicated.”

In India COVID19 vaccinations are expected to begin on Saturday. India intends to offer the vaccine to all 1.3 billion people, calling it the “world’s biggest vaccination drive”. Authorities have said that they hope to administer 300 million vaccines in the next 8 months. The first 30 million doses will be reserved for health care workers and the following 270 million will be for people aged over 50 or with health problems.

Malaysia declared a state of emergency yesterday after a fast rise in cases of COVID19. A 2-week lockdown has been ordered in 6 states including Kuala Lumpur.

Israel has now vaccinated one in 5 of its people against the coronavirus. Over 20% of Israel’s 9 million people have received a dose of a vaccine. In the world around 15 million people have now received at least one dose of a COVID19 vaccine. This number does not include China, which doesn’t release this information.

Europe

United States secretary of state State Mike Pompeo has cancelled a trip to Europe after European condemnation of President Trump’s recent activities. Pompeo was due to arrive in Luxembourg where foreign minister Jean Asselborn has called Trump ‘criminal’ for instigating Wednesday’s attack on congress, and said that Trump should go to court. Pompeo was then expected to go to Belgium where foreign minister Sophie Wilmes has called last week’s riots an attack on ‘democratic ideals’.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blamed the way Chinese people interact with animals, for starting the coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, in a virtual gathering of world leaders, Johnson said that the coronavirus was the product of an imbalance in man’s relationship with the natural world. He then said that it was ‘demented’ to use pangolins in medicine...

“Don’t forget that the coronavirus pandemic was the product of an imbalance in man’s relationship with the natural world. It is a zoonotic disease. Whether it originates from bats or pangolins - from the demented belief that if you grind up the scales of a pangolin you will somehow become more potent or whatever it is that people believe, it originates from this collision between mankind and the natural world and we’ve got to stop it.”

Most scientists now believe that COVID19 passed from animals to humans as most other pandemic-causing viruses have done, such as ebola, zika, SARS, MERS, bird flu and swine flu.

Americas

In the United States, President Donald Trump has said that he was not responsible for the riots that entered congress last week. 5 people died in Wednesday’s riot by people who believe President Trump’s false claims that the presidential election was fraudulent.

Mexico’s health ministry published new rules yesterday, that could start a legal marijuana industry in Mexico. New rules, signed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, allow pharmaceutical companies to begin medical research using cannabis. However, it is very likely that Mexico will legalize recreational marijuana use this year.

That’s Simple English News Daily. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. See you tomorrow.