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Americas

In Peru interim president Manuel Merino has resigned just 6 days after taking office...

<Merino resigning in Spanish>

“I present my resignation as President of the Republic and I ask all Peruvians for peace and unity.”

 Last week President Martin Vizcarra was removed from power, accused of corruption by congress. The removal of Vizcarra has been seen as a coup d’etat by many Peruvians, and large protests followed Merino’s assumption of the presidency. At least two people have died in protests against the removal of Vizcarra. Protesters say that it was not Vizcarra who was corrupt, but the congress which removed him. Peru has been in a political crisis since 2017, which has been worsened by the COVID19 pandemic. Peru has one of the highest COVID19 death rates in the world. Over one in every thousand Peruvians is reported to have died from COVID19.

In The United States there were protests in support of President Trump this weekend. There were arrests and many weapons were confiscated from protesters who believe Trump’s claim that there was fraud in the presidential election. This weekend President Trump seemed to acknowledge his defeat in the Presidential election. Speaking on Saturday President Trump appeared to almost refer to the Biden team as the “next administration”- before saying “time will tell” which administration will be in office next year...

“and hundreds of thousands of jobs every single day - ideally we won’t go to a lockdown - I won’t go to a lockdown - this administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the....the ...whatever happens in the future - who knows what administration it will be. I guess time will tell. But, I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”

Last night, President Trump again tweeted that the elections were rigged. Preliminary results show that President-Elect Joe Biden won the state of Georgia - the first democrat to win Georgia since 1992. A recount of Georgia’s votes has started, requested by the Republican party, however, even if Trump does win Georgia, it will not affect the result of the election.

Africa

In Ethiopia at least 34 people have been killed when a civilian bus was attacked by men with guns. There has been no claim of responsibility. It is not known if this attack is related to the continuing fighting in the North of Ethiopia. This weekend, fighting continued between between national government forces and the local government forces of the Tigray region. Yesterday Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Tweeted that the campaign in the Tigray region was going well, and that “justice will prevail”. At least 20,000 people have crossed the border into Sudan to avoid fighting.

In Malawi, Shepherd Bushiri, a controversial Chrisitna preacher announced he had returned to Malawi, despite a court-order to remain in South Africa. Bushiri is facing charges of fraud in South Africa. Bushiri is believed to be a millionaire who has started evangelical churches in many African countries. Bushari said yesterday that he had to go to Malawi for his own safety. He refers to himself as “the prophet”.

“and the human rights groups in Malawi wrote to the South African rights commission, human rights commission, where they addressed them that “the prophet” in your country is going through a lot of injustices and threats.”

Europe

In Belarus hundreds of people were arrested this weekend in another week of protests against President Alexander Lukashenko. Yesterday, protesters chanted “I’m going out” - the last known words of Roman Bondarenko, who died last week, allegedly after being beaten by security forces.

In Moldova, results from the first round of the presidential election have shown a small advantage for the pro-EU candidate Maia Sandu. Sandu gained 36% of the vote, against 33% of the vote for President Igor Dodon, who is considered the Pro-Russia candidate. Many analysts say that the third party candidate Renato Usatii may be able to influence the outcome of the election by announcing his support for one of the two candidates. Usatii is the mayor of Moldova’s second city Balti, and gained 17% of the vote.

In Romania a fire at a coronavirus intensive care unit has killed at least ten people. The fire started on Saturday in the city of Piatra Neamt in the north of Romania.

Asia

In Georgia there were large protests this weekend demanding new elections. The governing Georgian Dream party, lead by Georgia’s richest person Bidzina Ivanishvili, narrowly won election on 31st October. However, the largest opposition party, the United National Movement, and seven other opposition parties have said that they will boycott parliament.

Pakistan has blamed India for sponsoring terrorism and trying to destabilize Pakistan’s economic partnership with China. Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan had sent evidence to the United Nations that showed India was operating from Afghanistan to plan attacks in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to make his first visit to Afghanistan as Prime Minister next week.

And in Turkey, Lewis Hamilton, the British formula one racing driver, has won a seventh Formula one title at the Istanbul Grand Prix. Hamilton is now tied with German Michael Schumacher with the most Formula one titles.

That’s your news in seven minutes. Read the transcript of today’s episode or listen to past episodes at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

Africa

Near Libya, in the Mediterranean sea, at least 90 people have died after refugee boats have sunk in the last 3 days. One of those killed was a 6 month old boy from Guinea, names Joseph. Over a hundred survivors were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa. This year at least 800 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration.

In Ethiopia yesterday Prime Minister Amiy Ahmed said that the west of the Tigray region had been ‘liberated’. Last week the Ethiopian military began a military campaign against local Tigray soldiers. It is expected that thousands of people have crossed the border from Ethiopia to Sudan to avoid the fighting.

In Guinea many opposition politicians and activists have been arrested, including the vice president of the leading opposition party UFDG. There has been violence in Guinea since last months election that gave President Alpha Conde a third term, that opposition parties say is unconstitutional.

Asia

The Chinese government has condemned the mass resignation of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy parliamentarians. On Wednesday 4 member of Hong Kongs parliament were disqualified because of a new rule which said that members cannot be pro-independence. As a result, the other 15 pro-democracy legislators resigned. In the UK parliament parliament yesterday, Foreign office minister Nigel Adams said that China had broken the Sino-British declaration by not respecting Hong Kong’s autonomy...

“It is my unfortunate duty to report to this house, our judgement that this decision breaches the legally binding Sino-British joint declaration. It breaches both China’s commitment that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy and the right to freedom of speech guaranteed under paragraph 3 of the declaration.”

Turkey has warned Armenia not to break the new truce with Azerbaijan. Turkey said that it would continue to fight against Armenia if Armenia broke the ceasefire. Protests have continued in Armenia against the peace deal signed by Prime Minister Pashinyan that allowed Azerbaijan to keep territory that it had gained in the last 6 weeks of fighting, and allowed Russian peacekeepers to stay in Nagorno-Karabakh for 5 years.

In India a toxic smog is covering large parts of the North, including the capital, Delhi. Air quality has reached emergency levels in many areas. Air quality is often worse in India in winter, because of an increase in fuel consumption, combined with higher moisture in the air, which traps pollutants.

Europe

In Poland there have been continuing protests for the last 3 weeks against new restrictions on abortion. A change in the law has made almost all cases of abortion illegal. Abortion is legal on request in every major European country, however in Poland it is now restricted only to cases of rape or maternal health. One protester, Aleksandra Sidoruk, sent this message to SEND7 podcast...

“What this government and this undemocratic court are doing is trying to make us scared with the pandemic and they are trying to scare us with arresting us. But we will not give up. We want our freedom, we want free choice. Me as a woman who does not want to have children I demand to have rights to abortion in my country. Now as the protests become much more we demand the resignation of the government. We demand separation of the church and state and we demand high quality sexual education and easy access to contraception. We are still protesting and we will not give up.”

Since the new law came into effect in Poland, abortion charities in Germany have reported an increase in calls from Polish women.

In Germany the lead scientist of the COVID19 vaccine from the company Pfeizer, says that it can end the pandemic. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper yesterday, Uger Sahin said that he hoped that people who receive the vaccine would be immune from COVID19 for at least a year. Pfeizer said on Monday that the vaccine is 90% effective.

Americas

In the United States President-elect Joe Biden is not receiving the Presidential daily security briefing because President Trump is blocking access. Traditionally the president-elect attends the daily security briefings before taking over the presidency. President Trump has started some legal cases saying that there was fraud in the presidential election, although they are not expected to succeed due to a lack of evidence. President-elect Biden won over 5 million more votes than President Trump.

In Belize, the governing United Democratic Party has been defeated by the opposition People’s United Party. The PUP won 26 out of 31 seats of the Belize house of representatives. The new Prime Minister is Johnny Briceño. Belize has a population of 400,000 people and although English is the main language spoken, Spanish is spoken by over half of the country, and an English based creole is the main lingua-franca. 10% of people speak a native Mayan language.

That’s your Simple English news for this week. Read the transcript of today’s episode and listen to past episodes at send7.org. Follow us on facebook, twitter or instagram @send7podcast. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

Asia

Yesterday, all of Hong Kong’s pro democracy lawmakers stepped down, after Beijing removed 4 of its lawmakers for being a threat to national security. By removing these four members, the pro democracy law makers lose their minimum number to block any laws made by pro-Beijing lawmakers. This is the first since Hong Kong has not had a real opposition since 1997.

In Australia, police have rescued 46 children and arrested 14 men who were involved in an international child abuse group. Three arrests were made in the US and more suspects have been identified in Europe, Asia, Canada and New Zealand. The case is said to be one of the biggest of its kind in Australia. All victims were aged between 16 months and 15 years old. The 14 men faced a total of 828 child abuse charges, as well as charges involving the sexual abuse of animals.

Europe

The European Union announced yesterday that they have agreed to buy 300 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The deal sees the EU paying less for the vaccine than the United States. Data released on Monday showed it was more than 90 percent effective at protecting people from COVID-19. However European Union Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said yesterday that even with this vaccine, people should still follow the measures in place.


"Even when a safe and effective vaccine is there and available there will be need to continue with these measure until we are able to reach significant parts of the population. So, hope is there but I also wants to make sure that we send the right messages to everyone that we need to continue to take the measure that have been put into place"


In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday spoke about his conversation with US president elect Joe Biden. He explained that they have a good relationship and looks forward with working with the Biden-Harris administration.


"It was an excellent conversation that flowed over all the things that have really traditionally united the UK and the US. So it was a kind of return to the kind of business that we are used to doing; sticking up for democracy around the world, human rights, free trade, NATO, our joint security, the Transatlantic alliance and above all climate change, I mean that was really interesting. He wants to join us next year in leading the world in getting global greenhouse emissions down at the COP (Conference of the Parties) 26 Summit in Glasgow"

In Hungary, the government is planing to change the country's laws so that adoption will only be allowed for same-sex couples. This means children can only be raised with a "Christian" take on gender roles, being man and women as father and mother. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Hungary, but adoption has been possible if one partner applies for the adoption on their own. The plan to change the law was sent to parliament by the governing right-wing party late on Tuesday.

Africa

In Ethiopia, the prime minister, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize award in 2019, has turned down a request for peace talks as the conflict in Tigray gets worse. Tigray's leader wrote to the African Union (AU) last week to request talks, but PM Abiy Ahmed said in a tweet that there would be no talking. Hundreds have died since the conflict in Ethiopia's northern region began.

In the Angolan capital, Luanda, police have used tear gas to break up protestors. They were protesting against rising living costs, unemployment and the the delay of local elections due to coronavirus. A number of people were arrested and some were injured during the protests, which had been banned by the authorities. Last month, dozens of people were arrested during a similar protest. Angola is one of Africa's biggest oil exporters but most of its people live in poverty.

Americas In Belize, elections for a new prime minister began yesterday. At the time of recording this podcast the results have not been announced. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in February handed over power of his United Democratic Party (UDP) to Patrick Faber, who is seeking to secure a fourth term in power for Belize’s conservative rulers.


*trumpet plays*


In the United States, Donald Trump has made his first public appearance since the election. Mr Trump attended a Veterans Day ceremony at a military cemetery near Washington. Trump avoided speaking to reporters but has continued tweeting about corruption & dishonesty in the US elections despite not having evidence.


And finally, in Switzerland, an extremely rare purple-pink Russian diamond has sold at auction for $26.6m. The 14.8-carat diamond, called "The Spirit of the Rose," is the largest of its kind to be auctioned, as 99% of all pink diamonds are under 10 carats.