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  • Namitha Ragunath

Europe

Yesterday in France, an attacker beheaded a woman and killed two other people at the Notre Dame church. The man entered the building and cut the throat of a church employee, beheaded an elderly woman, and badly injured another woman. The attack came just days after thousands protested across France in support of teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. During the recording of this podcast, authorities have not yet said if yesterday attack was connected to the cartoons, which is generally seen as insulting in Islam.

In the UK, the opposition Labour Party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday. A report found that during Mr Corbyn's years in charge of the party, the party was responsible for discrimination. Current Labour leader, Keir Starmer, apologised and said Labour was facing a “day of shame”. The report found issues in how the party had dealt with Anti-Semitism. But Mr Corbyn said the issue of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party has been made to seem worse than it really was.


"I found this report hard to read. And it is a day of shame for the labour party. We have failed jewish people, our members, our supporters, and the British public. And so on behalf on the Labour Party, I am truly sorry for all the pain and grief that has been caused."

Asia

Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad tweeted yesterday that Muslims have a right to “kill millions of French people for the murders in the past”. Mahathir, who is a respected leader in the Muslim world, said he believed in freedom of expression, but it should not be used to insult others. He said though Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people, Muslim people have not done so - and neither should the french. Mahathir said that French President Emmanuel Macron was “not showing that he is civilised” and that France should teach their people to respect other people’s feelings. Twitter flagged Mahathir’s tweet about killing “millions of French people” as violent but did not remove it. However, shortly afterwards the tweet was deleted.


In Afghanistan, riots at a prison left at least eight inmates dead. The violence took place on Wednesday night at the prison in the city of Herat.12 others – including eight inmates and four prison guards – were wounded during the attack at the prison, which holds around 2,000 prisoners.


Africa

In Tanzania, the main opposition presidential candidate declared yesterday that he would not recognise the election results. This was said after early results showed the opposition losing seats in places they had not expected. President John Magufuli’s main challenger, Tundu Lissu, from the Chadema party, declared the results as false and told his supporters to demonstrate peacefully while asking the international community not to recognise the results.


"The results that have been announced since yesterday and that the electoral commission continues to announce today are therefore illegitimate results they do not constitute they do not express the true will of the Tanzanian people at that who streamed into polling stations in their millions yesterday to cast their their ballots what is being presented to the world is a complete fraud it is not an election. We are asking our people to take this matter into their own hands through peaceful mass democratic action and protest."


Near the coast of Senegal, at least 140 migrants heading to Europe drowned in the deadliest shipwreck recorded this year. This was announced by the United Nations migration agency yesterday. The boat carrying 200 passengers caught fire and began to sink on Saturday, a few hours after leaving a fishing town in Senegal.

Americas

In the United States, the Trump administration has removed environmental protection of the Tongass National Forest. This means it all be opening up more than three million hectares in the United States’s largest forest to logging. This decision was made despite opposition from environmental groups and Indigenous leaders. The US Department of Agriculture said yesterday that Tongass will no longer need to follow the law known as the “Roadless Rule”. This rule goes against timber harvest and road construction in specific areas. The Tongass – sometimes called “America’s Amazon” – is nearly 17 million acres wide, and is home to many animals and trees. 


In Mexico, at least 59 bodies - mostly teenagers - were found in a mass grave.The discovery of the bodies were made after the family members of the missing people informed the police. More than 80 people helped find the graves after authorities were informed of their possible location, although it is not clear who provided the information. The bodies were found in an area that has become one of the most violent places in Mexico.


And finally, South Korea has joined Japan in promising to make the country carbon-neutral by 2050. President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday that South Korea is following the recent global commitments to tackle climate change.

Europe

French President Emanuel Macron is being criticized around the world for comments regarding Islam. Protests are being held in many Muslim countries and a boycott of French products is trending on social media. Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Macron needed Mental checks for his comments. In response, The French Satirical Magazine Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Erdogan. Erdogan has now threatened to sue the magazine. In Turkey, insulting the President is illegal. Tensions between the Muslim world and France increased recently after a French teacher was killed after showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.


In Poland, women are continuing to protest against the new abortion law introduced last week. For the seventh day, hundreds of women came out all over Poland yesterday despite coronavirus restrictions. The new law prevents women from getting an abortion in the case of fetal defects - the reason used in 98% of abortions in Poland.


In the UK, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that coronavirus restrictions are likely to continue during the Christmas period...

"Unfortunately though however much we might like to, we can't magic COVID away. There is simply no alternative to all of us working together, to stop it overwhelming us to stop it overwhelming our national health service and to stop it taking lives if we possibly can"

Also in the UK, Environment secretary George Eustice suggested that Christmas gatherings may have to be smaller than normal...

"but I think people also understand that we have to control the spread of this virus we've all got a role to play in doing that. I’m sure that we’ll be able to have a good Christmas, and that families will be able to meet, but they might not be able to get together in the sort of larger groups that they normally would...”


AMERICAS

In Argentina, 18 people are facing charges of crimes against humanity during the military dictatorship in Argentina from 1976-83. The court in La Plata will investigate cases of torture, baby thefts, and killings carried out in detention centers under military rule. One of the people charged is Miguel Etchecolatz, who was the head of Buenos Aires police. Etchecolatz is 91 and already in jail serving four life sentences.


In the United States, President Donald Trump's campaign website was hacked by a cryptocurrency scam yesterday. For a short time, the website displayed messages saying that the world has had enough fake news spread by Trump. Trump's campaign team said that no sensitive data was stolen.


Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden voted early yesterday, in Wilmington, Delaware, along with his wife, Jill Biden. Biden spoke later about how Americans should continue to protect each other from the coronavirus. "We discussed again the vital importance of wearing masks of protecting yourself. Of protecting your neighbour, and to save around 100,000 lives in the months ahead - between now and just after the 1st of the year. This is not political. It is Patriotic. Wearing a mask. Wear one. period."

ASIA

Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of killing 21 civilians in the Azeri town of Barda, close to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenia has denied carrying out the attack. Azerbaijan and Armenia have been fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region since September, and the fighting has led to many deaths, although both sides report different numbers.


India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out raids at the offices and residences of human rights activists and journalists in Indian-administered Kashmir yesterday. India's Hindu nationalist government passed laws yesterday allowing Indians to buy land in the disputed Kashmir region. In a video message yesterday, Pakistan's Prime minister Imran Khan announced that he would not hold any talks with India until the Military siege on Jammu and Kahmir has finished.


AFRICA

In Nigeria, a judicial hearing has begun on recent violence in Lagos. The judges will investigate the deaths of 12 protesters last week. According to Amnesty International, Nigeria's security forces fired upon two large gatherings of protesters, in which 12 people were killed. Speaking to CNN yesterday, the governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that only 2 people were killed, and he blamed the military for the killings...

CNN: “So you are saying that it was military officers who ordered peaceful protesters to be shot at Lekki Toll gate?” BSO: “Yeah, that’s what the pictures - they were there- that’s what the footage shows.”

In Tanzania, voting took place for the presidential elections yesterday. In the past few days, there have been reports of a government crackdown on opposition leaders, and analysts believe that the President John Magufuli will be re-elected for a second term in office. Opposition parties have claimed that there have been irregularities in the election process. Most journalists and independent organizations, such as the European Union, were not allowed to observe the election.


And today is also the birthday of Tanzania’s President Magafuli. He is 61 today.

Thank you for listening to SEND7. Read the transcript of today’s episode, and listen to past episodes at send7.org. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi and tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

ASIA

In Pakistan, eight people were killed and over a hundred injured in a bomb blast at a religious school in Peshawar, yesterday. According to local police, a man was seen entering the building, holding a bag that contained explosives. Peshawar has seen extreme violence in recent years due to the Taliban uprising in North Pakistan. Peshawar was the scene of one of Pakistan’s worst terrorist incidents in 2014 when Taliban terrorists entered the Army Public School and killed 150 children.


India signed a military agreement with the United States yesterday on sharing sensitive satellite data, which is useful in drone attacks. The agreement was announced after a meeting between the US secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Indian defense Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi. The deal is thought to be very important for US-India relations and also to reduce China's influence in the region. Relations between China and India have been tense for months after fighting in the Himalayan border region.


Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint against dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders. Wilders shared a cartoon picture of Erdogan on Saturday, calling Erdogan a terrorist. In Turkey, insulting the president is illegal, and may be punishable with up to 4 years in prison, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that in the Netherlands freedom of speech is the highest good, and that includes cartoons of politicians.


AMERICAS

In the United States, Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice On Monday night. Barrett is the first Supreme court justice to be elected so close to a presidential election and candidate Joe Biden says that it shouldn’t have happened. Barrett’s appointment has created a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.


Yesterday, former president Barack Obama criticized the Trump administration for their poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak. At a rally in Florida, Obama ridiculed Trump for continuing to dismiss the seriousness of COVID19...

"And what’s his closing argument? That people are too focussed on COVID. He’s said this at one of his ralles - COVID COVID COVID he’s complaining. He’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage. If he had been focussed on COVID from the beginning, cases wouldn't be reaching new record highs across the country this week. If we were focused on COVID now, the white house wouldn't be having its second outbreak in a month—the white house! He's turned the white house into a hot zone! Some of the places he holds rallies have seen new spikes right after he leaves town; and over the weekend, his chief of staff said, and I'm quoting here, I'm not making this up, his chief of staff, on a news program, says, "we're not going to control the pandemic."


In Philadelphia, there have been large protests after local police shot and killed a black man who was holding a knife. On Monday evening Victor Wallace was killed by police after approaching them with a knife and refusing to put it down. Wallace's father said that his son suffered from mental health issues and was taking medication.


Mexico’s government has said that the COVID19 death toll is probably much higher than the current official number. In Mexico 89,000 people have been confirmed to have died of COVID 19, but the government has now said that the true number is probably 139,000.


EUROPE

In Italy, there have been protests against the government's new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On Monday night and into Tuesday morning protests in Milan and Turin became violent - shop windows were smashed, and there were clashes with police. On Sunday the government announced new restrictions, including that all bars and restaurants must close at 6pm. Over 21,000 new cases of COVID19 were reported in Italy on Sunday, the highest single day ever.


Between France and the UK 4 people have died, including two children, after a migrant boat sank. 18 people were rescued by French authorities. The boat, which was trying to reach the UK was spotted near the French city of Dunkirk. This year over 7,000 migrants have reached the UK by boat.


AFRICA

In Tanzania’s semi autonomous region of Zanzibar yesterday, the opposition party ACT-Wazalendo accused security forces of killing nine people and arresting their leader a day before the national elections. ACT-wazalendo said that presidential candidate Seif Sharif Hamad was arrested yesterday, although he has since been released. Voting is taking place today.


In Sudan, doctors have told the Guardian newspaper that there has been an outbreak of Rift Valley fever. Two weeks ago the government denied the exist of the disease in Sudan, however, doctors have said that dozens of people have now died and over a thousand people have been infected since floods in august.


And near Australia, scientists have found a massive coral reef in the Great Barrier reef. The reef, which is taller than the Empire state building, is the first to be discovered near Australia in over 120 years.

Thank you for listening to SEND7. This podcast is free, and always will be, but you can help to support it by leaving a review on apple podcasts, or anywhere else, and by sharing the podcast on social media. I am Stephen Devincenzi; write to me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @send7podcast. Find the transcript of today’s episode, and listen to past episodes, at send7.org. Have a great day, see you tomorrow.