Transcripts may contain errors. 

To listen and read at the same time, play an episode here, and return to this page.


In the United States, more than 100 ex-Republican national security officials demanded yesterday that party leaders do not support President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept his election loss. In a written statement, the group said that President Trump’s continued efforts to deny the election results is undemocratic. They are asking Republican leaders — especially those in Congress — to publicly demand that President Trump accepts the results.

In Guatemala, the Speaker of Congress said yesterday the controversial budget that has caused protests where the Congress building was set on fire, would not go ahead. Speaker Alan Rodríguez said Congress would not send the budget to the president to sign and it would therefore not come into force. He made the announcement after protests on Sunday. Protesters were angry the budget prioritised big building projects over health.


In Burkina Faso, vote counting has begun after polls closed in the presidential elections, where threats of violence stopped parts of the country from voting. Electoral officials said yesterday that President Roch Kabore, who is looking to win another five years against 12 other candidates, was leading. Election workers began the counting yesterday after polls closed on Sunday by holding the ballots up for observers and marking the votes on a chalkboard beside the candidate’s name. Early results are expected within the next two days.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, yesterday a military court sentenced a rebel leader to life in prison for mass rape and crimes against humanity. Ntabo Sheka was jailed at the end of a two-year trial that included 178 victims. Sheka surrendered in July 2017 after being on the run for almost six years. He was one of the leaders of a militia group known as Nduma Defense of Congo.


In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday the details of covid measures after the national lockdown ends on December 3.

“And while the previous local tiers did cut the numbers they were not quite enough to reduce it below one. So the scientific advice I'm afraid is that as we come out our tiers need to be made tougher. In particular in tier 1 people should work from home wherever possible. In tier 2 alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal. In tier 3 indoor entertainment, hotels, and other accommodation will have to close along with all forms of hospitality except for deliveries and take aways. And I’m very sorry obviously for the unavoidable hardship the this will cause for business owners who’ve already endured so much disruptions this year.”

Also in the UK, the Supreme Court is deciding whether a woman who ran away from her home as a child to join the ISIS group in Syria can return to England. Shamima Begum, who was 15 at the time, had her UK citizenship taken away for national security reasons. The British government is now fighting to keep Shamima from returning. The Court of Appeal said in July that “the only way Begum can have a fair appeal is to be allowed to come into the United Kingdom”. But the British government told the Supreme Court that she is still considered a real threat to national security.

In Croatia, a survey has found that nearly 60 percent of Croatians do not plan on taking a Coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available. According to the poll, the 43 percent of people who said they would take the vaccine said it was their responsibility and that it could help drop the high rates in COVID-19 cases.


In Australia, airline company Qantas said that International travellers will in future need to prove that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding their flights. Alan Joyce, who is the CEO of Qantas, said yesterday that move would be "a necessity" when vaccines are available.

“We are looking at changing our terms and conditions to say for international travellers that we will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft. Will we need that domestically we will have to see what happens to COVID-19 and the market. But certainly for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country, we think that’s a necessity.”

In Hong Kong, democracy activist Joshua Wong and two fellow campaigners are facing prison sentences after pleading guilty to unlawful assembly during last year's mass protests. In Hong Kong, unlawful assembly is when 3 or more people disrupt peace through acts like protesting.

In Eastern Serbia, seven people have died after drinking hand sanitiser. A five-litre container of the hand sanitiser was found at the scene. Reports say its methanol content had not been clearly labelled on the container. Methanol is a non drinking type of alcohol found in hand sanitiser. Every year in Russia there are deaths among heavy drinkers who struggle to afford vodka and drink dangerous liquids instead. The worst case in recent years was where 62 people died in 2016 after drinking bath lotion which contained methanol.

And finally, in Singapore, activist Jolovan Wham appeared in court yesterday morning accused of illegal assembly after standing alone outside a police station holding a sign with a hand-drawn smiley face. Singapore has strict laws on public assembly and freedom of speech and expression. If found guilty, Wham faces a maximum fine of $4,000 for standing in front of the station with his smiley face sign.


In Ethiopia, the army has released plans to retake Mekelle, the capital city of the Tigray region, from the local Tigray government. The Ethiopian Army said that it will surround the city with tanks and may use artillery. The ruling party in the region - the TPLF or Tigray People’s Liberation Front - has said that it will not surrender. The TPLF has fired rockets into other parts of Ethiopia, and into Eritrea, who it says is supporting Ethiopia’s national army. It has been reported that the Ethiopian government has dropped leaflets into Mekelle, telling people to stay away from military installations to avoid being hit.

In Burkina Faso there were General elections yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been announced. In the race for president, there are 12 candidates, including current President Roch Kabore. If no candidate receives over 50% of the vote, then a second vote will be held. The 11 opposition leaders have said that they will form a coalition behind whoever receives the most votes. Around 20% of Burkina Faso have not been able to vote because Islamic jihadist groups have limited the government’s control of the North


In the United States President Trump is continuing to try to change the result of the presidential election so that he can remain in power...

“I won, by the way, but you know, we’ll find that out. Almost 74 million votes.”

On Friday Trump met with the leaders of the key state of Michigan. After the meeting Michigan’s senate leader Mike Shirkey, who is Republican, said that they had not seen any evidence to change the result. A recount of votes in the state of Georgia also confirmed that Biden had won. President Trump has only spoken in public 4 times since the election on November 3rd. However he has posted over 300 tweets attacking the legitimacy of the election. With 98% of votes counted President-Elect Joe Biden now has over 6 million more votes than Trump.

In Guatemala protesters broke in to the congress building and set it on fire on Saturday. Thousands of people were protesting in the capital - Guatemala City, against corruption and a new economic budget. The new national budget for 2021 will spend less money on for education and health.

In Brazil there were also protests this weekend, after the killing of a man by security guards in the city of Porto Alegre. Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas was black, and his death started ‘black lives matter’ protests in many Brazilian cities.


In Pakistan the minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari tweeted on Saturday that French president Emmanuel Macron was treating Muslims like the Nazis treated Jews in World War 2. Mazari said that Muslim children will get ID numbers, and other children won’t - a statement that has been rejected as fake news by the French embassy in Pakistan. Mazari later deleted the tweet.

In Afghanistan at least 8 civilians were killed by rockets fired into the capital Kabul. Daesh, the Islamic State group, claimed responsibility. The Taliban denied responsibility, saying that they do not blindly fire on public places. Pakistan said that one of its soldiers had died in an attack on the Afghan border with Pakistan.

In Iraq a roadside bomb exploded in the Salahuddin Province on Saturday, killing at least ten people. There was no claim of responsibility but officials have blamed Daesh.

Japan has reported record daily cases of COVID19 infections every day for the last 4 days. Officials have said that the government of Yoshihide Suga may restart some restrictions, including limits on sports and other large events.


In the United Kingdom, the government said that there were plans to begin using COVID19 vaccines as soon as possible for health workers and vulnerable people. On Friday health secretary Matt Hancock said that vaccinations could begin next month, if Pfeizer’s vaccine is approved by regulators. ..

“If the regulator approves a vaccine, we will be ready to start the vaccination next month with the bulk of the roll-out in the new year.”

This weekend G20 leaders promised fair access to coronavirus vaccines around the world. The world now confirms over half a million new COVID19 infections every day, and has confirmed almost 1.4 million deaths related to the virus

In Belarus at least 200 people were arrested this weekend in the weekly demonstration against President Alexander Lukashenko. Thousands of people have attended protests every Sunday since August’s presidential election, that most international organizations have not recognized as being free or fair.

In Italy two new bodies have been found in the ancient volcano site of Pompeii. Archaelogists say that the two new bodies found are of a rich man and his young slave. Pompeii was an ancient city that was destroyed by an erupting volcano in the year AD79.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Read the transcript of today’s episode at I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.


Ethiopia’s president Abiy Ahmed has said that the army is on its way to the capital of the Tigray region, Mekelle. The Ethiopian government accuses the local government of the Tigray region of breaking away from Ethiopia. The leader of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, who is from Ethiopia, yesterday asked both sides to make peace.

In Uganda at least 19 people have been killed in the last two days, after Bobi Wine was arrested again. Singer and presidential candidate Bobi Wine was arrested on Wednesday after authorities accused him of breaking coronavirus restrictions by holding large gatherings. Uganda has never had a peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Britain in 1962.


In Peru Francisco Sagasti became the 3rd president in a week on Tuesday, after congress expelled popular president Martin Vizcarra, and his replacement Manuel Merino resigned during nationwide protests. 2 people died during those protests and there were many reports of police brutality. One SEND7 listener was at those protests. This is Mariela Meza Ponze in Lima...

MMP: “It started because of the vacancy of the former president but much more than that it was the expression of rejection to a whole corrupted system. After the death of these two young men, everyone was more than furious and the next day the president who took the power resigned. I was at another big strike in one of the main squares in the centre of Lima so we all got the news and the celebrations started. Since Monday [Tuesday] we have a new president but the feeling of mistrust is really strong...”

In Central America hurricane Iota is now over. At least 40 people have died in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama and Colombia. Many of the affected areas were still recovering from Hurricane Eta 2 weeks ago, that killed over 180 people.

In The United States President Donald Trump’s lawyers are attempting to challenge election boards - the organizations that officially award votes. Trump’s team has already been rejected from many courts for failing to provide evidence of fraud. This week Trump fired the US director of home security, Christopher Krebs, after Krebs said that there was no evidence of fraud in the presidential election. CBS news has reported that Trump is considering running for president again in 2024.


Japan confirmed its highest single day of coronavirus infections yesterday, with over 2,100 reported. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said yesterday that Japan was on ‘maximum alert’, especially in the capital, Tokyo. Japan has one of the lowest death rates per capita in the developed world. Scientists have suggested that this may be due to cultural habits, such as bowing, wearing face masks and hygiene practices. Scientists have also suggested that Japanese people may have a biological advantage against COVID19.

Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani welcomed the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, yesterday. To tell us about their meeting, here is Khadija Tahir...

KT: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Afghanistan yesterday and held talks with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Khan said that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan and work towards peace in the region...

IK: The people of Pakistan, the government of Paksitan have only one concern, and that concern is what you are feeling in Afghanistan - that you want peace. We feel that the people of Afghanistan have suffered for 4 decades and that if ever a human community needed peace it is Afghanistan and it is now.”

KT: Khan and Ghani are expected to discuss Pakistan's recent claims that India has been sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan, from Afghani territory. Afghanistan's foreign ministry rejected the allegations. Afghanistan has seen a rise in violence in recent weeks as peace talks between the Government and the Taliban continue in Qatar. The US government announced this week that the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan will be reduced to 2,500 by January.


In Bosnia police have arrested a Moroccan man suspected of killing a Bosnian. The 36 year old Bosnian was killed during violence in a suburb of the capital Sarajevo. Aljosa Campara, the interior minister, said that the Moroccan suspect should have been deported last year, after being convicted of possessing drugs. There are thousands of refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are trying to reach Western Europe.

And in Germany, the Chief Executive of BioNTech Ugur Sahin has said that he believes that a COVID19 vaccine could begin distribution this year. BionTech has developed a vaccine with American company Pfeizer, which they say is 95% effective. Another US company, Moderna, also said that their vaccine has been shown to be 95% effective. The European Union has agreed to order 160 million doses.

That’s your Simple English World News this week. Please help the podcast to grow by sharing it on social media and by leaving a review. You can read the transcript of this episode, and listen to past episodes at I am Stephen Devincenzi, contact me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @send7podcast. Have a great weekend, and I will see you on Monday.