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  • Namitha Ragunath


In Israel, yesterday Israeli fighter jets continued attacking buildings and people in the Gaza Strip. This was as Palestinians marked the first day of Ramadan, a religious holiday. Gaza’s health ministry said at least 87 people, including 18 children, have been killed since Monday. More than 530 others have been wounded. Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, fired rockets at Jerusalem on Monday night. In return, Israel bombed Gaza. The White House said Israel had a right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks, but said Jerusalem "must be a place of co-existence". In the UK, James Cleverly, the foreign office minister, said what was happening in Palestine was deeply concerning.

JC: "The recent escalation in violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is deeply concerning. It is the worst violence scene there for several years. As the prime minister and the foreign secretary have made clear this cycle of violence must stop and every effort must be made to avoid the loss of life - especially that of children."

In Afghanistan, yesterday at least 11 people were killed and 13 others injured in four separate bombings. Afghanistan had temporary stopped attacks for three days to mark the Muslim festival of Ramadan. The bombings took place hours after the 3 days were over. The attacks are between the Taliban and the government forces.

In the Maldives, former President Mohamed Nasheed has been flown to Germany for medical treatment. Mr Nasheed has been in intensive care after a bomb injured him outside his home in the capital, Male. President Nasheed went through 16 hours of surgery to remove pieces of the bomb from his lungs and liver. Police have arrested three men who they say are linked to Islamic extremism.


In Kenya, yesterday police in the capital city, Nairobi, fired tear gas to break up protesters. The protestors were showing solidarity with Palestinians. They marched behind a sign that said: "Kenyans stand with Palestine.” A number of people have been detained.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a policeman has died as rival Muslim groups fought over the location of Eid celebrations. The groups had agreed to mark the end of Ramadan together. But attacks took place after the leaders of the two groups changed their minds about joint celebrations. The police shot rubber bullets at crowds as thousands gathered in anger in the capital city, Kinshasa

In the Ivory Coast, Prime Minister Patrick Achi has been flown to a hospital in Paris. He is said to be having medical tests. Mr Achi became prime minister in March following the death of the previous Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Bakayoko had been receiving treatment for cancer, also in Germany.


In Colombia, residents say they are running out of petrol and some food items. Colombia has been having nationwide anti-government protests for three weeks. Protesters have blocked some of the main roads into the city, which has affected deliveries. Cali, a city in Colombia, has had some of the worst clashes between protesters and security forces. At least 42 have died in the protests. Residents say not enough food and medicine have been reaching the city.

In the United States, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000. This is the lowest it has been sine the coronavirus pandemic began. The government says fewer employers are cutting jobs as shops and restaurant begin to open. And on average, more people were said to save money during the pandemic. Stimulus cheques have also helped support the American people.


In Hungary, the government began giving Covid vaccinations to 16-18-year-olds yesterday. Hungary has said that unless they have the jabs they won't be able to go to bars or music festivals this summer. So far 90,000 teenagers have registered for the Pfizer vaccine. Teenagers will need their parents permission before receiving the vaccine.

In Germany, the demand for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been so high, that supplies are reportedly running out. Doctors have also had to cancel appointments. Demands for the vaccine have been high since the government opened up vaccinations to everyone.

And finally, in Italy, a former ambassador has been named as the first woman to lead Italy's secret services. The secret services oversees the country's foreign and domestic intelligence services and reports directly to the Italian government. Italian politicians, including League party leader Matteo Salvini, described Elisabetta Belloni as "a woman of courage”.

And that’s your Simple English World News for this week. Thank you to Mishal from Pakistan for your lovely message! Please help to support the podcast by leaving a review in your podcast app. Send us an email at or send an audio message at where you can also find transcripts. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and on Monday you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend!

  • Namitha Ragunath


In Turkey, yesterday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin that international protection should be given to Palestinians. Erdogan also said that countries should teach Israel a strong lesson over its treatment towards the Palestinians. This was said during a phone call with Putin yesterday, as violence in occupied East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip rises. Turkey broke off ties with Israel in 2010.

In India, yesterday the health agency dealing with the coronavirus said areas reporting a high number of infections should remain in lockdown. They said the lockdown should last another six to eight weeks. This would be to control the spread of the coronavirus. Dr Balram Bhargava, head of the Indian Council of Medical Research, said that lockdown restrictions should continue in all areas where the rate of infection is above 10 percent of those tested. Currently, 75% of India’s 718 districts have a test-positivity rate above 10 percent.


In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni was sworn in for his sixth term as president yesterday. More than 4,000 people, including leaders from across Africa, attended the ceremony in Uganda's capital, Kampala. Mr Museveni won the election in January. His main opponent, Bobi Wine, continues to claim that the election was rigged. With another five-year term, Museveni will be one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

Three more African countries have now detected the Indian variant of coronavirus. These countries are Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. This was announced by the World Health Organization. 7 African nations have confirmed the variant, which initial studies show spreads more easily than other variants.


In the UK, Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will serve the remainder of his life sentence in a UK prison. Karadzic has been sentenced to life for war crimes and genocide. He was convicted by a United Nations court for the killing of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb troops.

In Austria, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz yesterday said he is being investigated. This is over allegations that he made false statements to the parliament. Mr Kurz denies these allegations. Yesterday, he said he had "always tried" to tell the commission the truth and he would not resign as chancellor, and he would be happy to be questioned by a judge.

In the UK, an investigation into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic will be held in spring 2022. Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was committed to the investigation.

BJ: "Amid such tragedy, the state has an obligation to examine its actions as rigorously and as candidly as possible and to learn every lesson for the future. Which is why I've always said that when the time is right there should be a full and independent inquiry."


In Brazil, Illegal miners inside a protected area in the Brazilian Amazon began shooting at an indigenous community. The tribe fought back with bows and arrows. One indigenous person and four miners were injured. An estimated 20,000 illegal gold miners are in the Yanomami area, which is Brazil's largest protected indigenous reserve. Critics say violence in the Amazon has increased under President Jair Bolsonaro.

In the United States, Republicans have voted to remove a top lawmaker, Liz Cheney, from her leadership role. This was over Ms Cheney's criticism of former President Donald Trump. Ms Cheney said her party could not support Mr Trump's false claims that he won the 2020 elections.

LC: "I think that the party is in a place that we've got to bring it back from. We cannot be dragged backward by the very dangerous lies of a former president. Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that."

And finally, studies have found that large areas of forests have regrown naturally across the world in the last 20 years. When added together, the forests make up the size of France. These forests could soak up 5.9 gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide. This is more than the annual emissions of the United States.

And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. Please help to support the podcast by leaving a review in your podcast app. Send us an email at or send an audio message at where you can also find transcripts. I’m Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow.


In Israel there has been violence between Muslim protesters and police in Jerusalem. Muslims were protesting on top of Temple Mount which is a holy site in both Islam and Judaism. Many injuries have been reported but no deaths. However there were deaths in the Gaza Strip yesterday. Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, fired rockets at Jerusalem. In return Israel bombed Gaza. The Israeli military said that Hamas soldiers have been killed, however the Gaza health ministry said that at least people have been killed, including children.

In Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said yesterday that he would not put the Olympics before people’s health. Suga has insisted that the Olympic Games will take place in a safe and secure way, despite many polls showing that 60% of Japanese people want the games to be cancelled or postponed.

Nepal is reporting shortages of oxygen, after a fast rise in COVID19 cases and an extreme demand for oxygen in India. The Guardian newspaper reported yesterday of people dying in Nepal because hospitals don’t have access to oxygen - as is currently happening in India. Nepal is currently reporting over 8,000 COVID cases a day, a hundred times more than in March, however the true number is expected to be much higher, as Nepal’s testing rates are low. Yesterday Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli lost a vote of confidence. Other parties are expected to try to form a government.


In the United States the government has said that the The Colonial pipeline has suffered a cyber-attack. The pipeline which carries oil between Texas and New York was targeted for ransom - meaning that cyber criminals demanded money to stop the attack. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Homeland Security Advisor said that the Biden administration was helping to continue the supply of oil while the pipeline is shut down...

“On Friday evening May 7th, Colonial Pipeline reported that its pipeline system had been subject to a ransomware cyber attack. Colonial chose to shut down its pipeline operations as a precautionary measure and to ensure that the ransomware could not migrate from business computer systems to those that control and operate the pipeline.”

In Colombia 47 people have died in protests in the last two weeks according to rights groups, with most of these deaths in the city of Cali. There have been reports of people in normal clothes firing at protesters in Cali. Protests started because of a proposed tax reform, which was later abandoned by President Ivan Duque.


Algeria will ban unauthorised demonstrations according to the interior ministry. The ministry said that all protests will need a permit. There have been protests in recent weeks against Algeria’s political elite. Protests in 2019 forced President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign, however protesters say that the political elite has not changed.

Between Botswana and Zambia a new bridge has been opened. The Kazungala bridge crosses the Zambesi river, and cost over $250 million dollars to construct, using a loan from the Japanese government. The bridge is hoped to boost trade between Botswana and Zambia that previously had to travel by boat or through Zimbabwe.

In the Mediterranean sea, more 2,000 refugees arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa between Sunday and Monday. Lampedusa, Italy’s most southern island, only has a population of 6,000 people. Most of the asylum-seekers were from sub-saharan Africa, Pakistan and Syria.


Many parts of Europe are relaxing pandemic restrictions as coronavirus vaccine campaigns continue, and infection rates fall. In Spain curfews ended yesterday and Greece reopened its beaches. Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn has said that Germany’s third wave of COVID has been broken. Yesterday The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that bars and restaurants will open next week indoors...

“From next Monday you’ll be able to sit inside a pub and inside a restaurant. You’ll be able to go to the cinema and children will be able to use indoor play areas”

In Italy a woman is being monitored after accidentally being given 6 doses of the Pfeizer COVID19 vaccine. The 23 year old trainee doctor was mistakenly given 6 times the correct dose of the vaccine. Reports say that she is well.

Romania’s government is trying to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID19, with the help of Dracula. Bran Castle, known as the inspiration for Dracula’s home, is now offering jabs to anyone who visits. Vaccinated people will get a free tour of the castle’s torture room.

That’s your world news in seven minutes. Thank you to Emre Ogur from Turkey for your nice message. Send your comment on any news story by email to or send an audio message at where you can also find the transcripts of all episodes. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day and I will see you tomorrow.