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Asia

In Myanmar, The United Nations Security Council has demanded the restoration of democracy. The UN called for the immediate release of leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi who has been imprisoned since the military coup d’etat on the 1st February. In recent weeks there has been fighting between the military and different ethnic groups in rural areas, and many people throughout Myanmar are refusing to work. Rights groups say that 750 people have been killed by police and soldiers since the military took power, including 8 deaths during protests this weekend. The UN development programme has said that instability could force half of Myanmar’s population into poverty by next year.

India has become the first country in the world to record over 400,000 COVID19 infections in one day. Yesterday India also set a new record for deaths - reporting 3,700 in one day - although many experts say that the true number is higher as many people are dying at home. On Saturday 12 people died at Delhi’s Batra hospital after it ran out of oxygen and the Times of India newspaper has reported deaths in other hospitals due to oxygen shortages. 40 countries have now sent supplies to India, including oxygen cylinders and ventilators.

Also in India the State of West Bengal has re-elected its Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the third time. Banerjee’s Trinamool party gained a large majority of seats in the parliamentary election, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party coming second. Banerjee is currently India’s only female chief minister and is a hard critic of Prime Minister Modi. West Bengal State has a population of 91 million people - more than Iran, Turkey or Germany.

Iranian state television has said that British Iranian prisoner Nazanin Zaghari Radcliffe would be released from jail when the UK pays £400 million pounds of debt. The UK has denied that that it has agreed to pay Iran. Ratcliffe was imprisoned in 2016 charged with plotting against the Iranian government. She was due to be released this year, however last week she was given another one-year prison sentence for propaganda. The United Kingdom has owed Iran £400 million pounds since 1979 when the last Shah of Iran ordered military equipment that the UK did not provide.

Israel has held funerals for 45 victims of a stampede on Friday. The crowd crush at a Jewish ultra-orthodox festival has been declared Israel’s worst civilian disaster ever.

Africa

Between Libya and Italy over 800 migrants have been rescued from just two rubber boats. Maya Dil reports...

A charity ship has rescued 800 migrants from trafficking boats in the Mediterranean. The ship is taking 240 of the migrants to the Italian island of Sicily, and Italian border police have taken over 500 migrants to the island of Lampedusa. The rescue group SOS Mediterranee said on Saturday that its ship, the Ocean Viking, pulled the migrants to safety from two rubber dinghies. Some of the migrants said that they had been beaten by smugglers in Libya and forced to board the dinghies despite bad weather.

Tunisia is asking the International Monetary Fund for a $4 billion dollar loan. Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has said that a loan is Tunisia’s “last opportunity” to save its economy.

Chad has stopped a curfew in place since the death of President Idriss Deby on the 20th April. President Deby was killed in fighting with rebels in the north of Chad. Deby’s son Mahamut Deby has taken power and said that elections would be held in 18 months.

Americas

In the United States, Republican Senator Mitt Romney was booed during a Republican convention in his home state of Utah.

“Now you know me as a person who says what he thinks, and I don’t hide the fact that I wasn’t a fan of our last president’s character issues.”

Romney is a critic of former Republican president Donald Trump and one of only seven Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump in February.

Also in the United States 5 people have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping Lady Gaga’s dogs, and for shooting the dog-walker. One of the people arrested is a woman who returned the dogs after a reward was offered.

In Colombia right-wing President Ivan Duque has reversed proposed tax reforms. The government was planning to introduce new taxes which Duque said was necessary to maintain Colombia’s credit rating. There were huge protests in Colombia last week leading to hundreds of arrests and six deaths.

Europe

In the United Kingdom a football match between Manchester United and Liverpool was postponed yesterday, after Manchester United supporters invaded the pitch. Thousands of football fans protested inside and outside of the Manchester United stadium against the club’s owners and the decision to join a European Super League which has no been cancelled.

In Italy the Colosseum will be given a moveable transparent floor. The new €18 million euro floor will allow people to walk in the place where gladiators once fought.

That’s your World News in 7 minutes. Find transcripts, past episodes, or send us a message at send7.org. Leave a review on your podcast app, and we will say thank on the podcast! I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow, you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

Asia

India reported 380,000 cases of COVID19 yesterday - another world record, and ten thousand people are confirmed to have died in the last 3 days. India’s health ministry has updated its guidelines for treating COVID19 at home. There continue to be reports from all India of people being unable to access hospitals and a lack of oxygen. Elections have continued the State of West Bengal, despite the pandemic. Hans Kluge the World Health Organizations director for Europe said yesterday that the situation in India could happen anywhere...

”I think it’s very important to realize that the situation in India can happen anywhere. When personal protective measures are being relaxed. When there are mass gatherings. When there are more contagions - variants and the vaccination covering is still low. This can basically create a perfect storm in any country... but it is never too late.

Thailand has made it obligatory to wear masks in public. This week Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was fined nearly $200 for not wearing a mask during a meeting.

The armies of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have exchanged fire at a disputed part of their border. Kyrgyzstan said that one of their soldiers was killed during the fighting in the Tajik exclave of Vorukh which is completely surrounded by Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan has said that a ceasefire has been agreed.

China sent part of its space station into space yesterday. Khadija Tahir reports...

China has launched the first part of its new permanent space station. China is not included in the International Space Station, which is a collaboration between Russia, the US, Canada, Europe, and Japan. The part launched this week called the Tianhe module, contains the living space for astronauts. It is the first of 10 shuttles that China will launch into space to form its own space station, which is hoped to be completed by 2022. The space station will orbit Earth for ten years and maybe the only space station left after the International Space Station is retired in 2024.

Europe

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has dissolved parliament and called for parliamentary elections. At the moment parliament is controlled by the party of former President the pro-Russian Igor Dodon. Sandu, who is pro-European Union beat Dodon in last year’s presidential election.

In France bars, restaurants and non essential shops will reopen on May 19th. Yesterday President Emmanuel Macron gave a plan for the slow reopening of France, including allowing foreign tourists from June 9th.

Africa

African Union health chief John Nkengasong has said that the COVID19 outbreak in India should be a wake-up call for Africa. Nkengasong said that governments and citizens of Africa must be careful and warned of Africa’s fragile health systems. He also encouraged Africans to wear masks and avoid large gatherings. The world has now recorded over 3 million deaths from COVID19, however only 4% of them were in Africa.

In Burkina Faso an attack has killed at least 18 people according to local authorities. Salfo Kabore, the governor of Seno province also said that many people were forced to leave their homes after the attack on Yattakou village. On Monday two Spanish and one Irish journalists were killed in Burkina Faso by Islamist jihadists.

Americas

In the United States the State of Arizona has banned abortion based on genetic defects. Doctors in Arizona could now face prison for performing abortions if a foetus has conditions such as Downs Syndrome or cystic fibrosis. However abortion will still be legal if the foetus is not expected to survive. The American Civil Liberties Union said that this ban will - quote: “force people to carry pregnancies to term against their will”.

In Colombia there have been protests against proposed increases in tax. Tens of thousands of Colombians went on strike despite a court order to delay the strike because of coronavirus restrictions. One SEND7 listener from Colombia, Sergio Arguello, told SEND7 that low and middle class Colombians will be most affected by the tax changes.

Thank you Sergio. Listeners you can comment on any news story by sending an email to podcast@send7.org or by sending an audio message for us to use on the podcast at send7.org.

And Michael Collins the pilot of the Apollo 11 moon landing has died aged 90. Collins remained inside Apollo 11 while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the first steps on the moon.

That’s your Simple English World News for this week. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. And please support us by leaving a review on apple podcasts on anywhere else. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

  • Namitha Ragunath

Africa

In Somalia, yesterday President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said he will not extend his presidential term. Before his presidential speech yesterday, he called for a new presidential election. Mohamed’s presidential term ended in February, but Somalia failed to hold elections as planned. Due to this, the lower house of parliament voted to extend his four-year term by another two years. However, the Senate rejected the extension, leading to a political crisis in Somalia.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, The United Nations said it will give millions of doses of vaccines that were meant for the Democratic Republic of Congo, to other countries. About 1.3 million doses out of the 1.7 million doses will now go to countries include Senegal, Ghana and Angola. The United Nations will be giving these countries the vaccines so that the vaccines can be used, before they expire on the 24th of June. The Democratic Republic of Congo had delayed its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccines, which it received in March. The government did this because they were concerns that the vaccines could lead to rare blood clots.

Europe

In Northern Ireland, yesterday, Arlene Foster said she will resign as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and as Northern Ireland's first minister. Her resignation was announced a day after politicians in her party said they were unhappy with her leadership. Mrs Foster said it had been the privilege of her life to serve the people of Northern Ireland.


AF: "It has been the privilege of my life to serve the people of Northern Ireland as their first minister and of course to represent my home constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. I first entered the assembly in 2003 and undoubtedly the journey of this last 18 years has been memorable. There are many people who have helped and supported me throughout that period, and I will always be grateful for the kindness and support shown to me by them."


In the UK, an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine have been ordered by the government. It brings the total number of Pfizer doses ordered by the UK to 100 million. The government plans to offer the most vulnerable groups another jab before next winter.


In Latvia, eight people were killed and several others were seriously hurt in a fire yesterday. The fire took place at an illegal hostel in the Latvian capital Riga. At least 24 people were removed from the building. Most of the victims are believed to be foreign tourists.

Asia

Russia will be sending India emergency aid. Russian President Vladimir Putin told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this yesterday. Russia will deliver equipment for the production of oxygen, breathing devices, medical equipment and 200 thousand packages of medicines. India has recorded more than 300,000 new infections every day for a week.


In Sri Lanka, the cabinet has approved a proposed ban on wearing full-face veils including Muslim burqas in public. Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekera called burqas, a garment that covers the body and face worn by some Muslim women, a “sign of religious extremism”. He said a ban would improve national security in Sri Lanka. However, members of the United Nations say this ban would break international law.



Americas

In the United States, popular podcast host and comedian Joe Rogan recently said he believes healthy young people don’t “need to worry” about getting vaccinated. However, yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House chief medical advisor and the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease, said that Joe Rogan is wrong.


Dr Fauci: "Well that's incorrect. You can get infected and will get infected if you put yourself at risk. Even if you don't have symptoms, you are propagating the outbreak. It is likely that you, even if you have no symptoms, that you may inadvertently and innocently then infect someone else who might infect someone who really could have a problem with a severe outcome."


In Mexico, the government plans to start vaccinating people between the ages of 50 and 59. Previously, only health care workers, teachers and those over 60 were allowed to receive the vaccine. Mexico reports that only 6.5% of its population has been vaccinated.


And finally, in Germany, an alternative to plastic that can be composted and even eaten has won an award. This new plastic can cut carbon emissions by 87 per cent compared to normal plastic production.

And that’s your World News in 7 minutes. Comment on any news story by sending an email to podcast@send7.org or by sending an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts and more. Follow us on social media @send7podcast. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.