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Asia

In Russia, jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny said he will go on a hunger strike yesterday. This means he will not eat until he receives medical care in prison. According to Navalny, he feels pain in his back and both his legs, but said the prison has refused to give him the right medicines or let a doctor see him. Navalny was arrested on the 17th of January when he returned from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from being poisoned. Navalny says Russian authorities poisoned him, but Russia has denied this.

In Thailand, five activists have been charged with attempting to harm the Queen. The activists were involved in anti-government protests last year. The protests involved blocking a road the Queen was on. The activists could face a minimum of 16 years jail or life in prison. In Thailand, there are laws against harming the queen. If the court finds the activists put the Queen’s life in danger, they could be sentenced to death.

Europe

In the UK, a government review yesterday said the United Kingdom is not a racist country. The report said the UK "no longer" had a system that went against people from ethnic minorities. The report talked about the UK’s achievements towards equality in education and the economy. However, many critics have said the findings were not true, and that it ignores the problems black and ethnic minority people face. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick spoke about the report yesterday.


RJ: "No I don't think the UK is an institutionally racist country. I think we are broadly speaking a tolerant open society that's made huge steps forward in recent decades. But racism remains. We see that in a number of aspects of our lives, not least on social media, and we need to make further changes so that we can move forward as a country and towards the modern post-racial society that we'd all like to live in."


In France, it was announced yesterday that schools will close for at least three weeks. This is part of new national restrictions to stop the rise in Covid-19 cases. President Emmanuel Macron said that schools would move to remote learning from next week.



Americas

In the United States, Pfizer-BioNTech said yesterday that their vaccine was 100% effective against the coronavirus in 12 to 15-year-olds. The third round of trials included tests on more than 2,000 children. The company is planing to let children get the vaccine before the next school year.


Also in the United States, President Joe Biden yesterday introduced his new plan worth $2 trillion. The money will be aimed at helping America's economic growth and fighting climate change. Biden plans to balance this spending by increasing taxes on big corporations.


"So today, I'm proposing a plan for the nation that rewards work, not just rewards wealth. That builds a fair economy that gives everybody the chance to succeed. That's going to create the strongest, most resilient, innovative economy in the world."

In Mexico, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said yesterday that he would receive the coronavirus vaccine next week. He said it is now his turn given his age. Mexico started its vaccination campaign late last year. But the vaccinations have been slow due to late shipments and little supplies.


Africa

In Niger, security forces stopped an attempted military coup at the presidential palace yesterday. This happened just two days before the newly elected president is to be sworn into office. Several people were arrested and others are being investigated.

In Egypt, a former prime minister, Kamal al -Ganzuri, died yesterday. Al - Ganzuri died at a military hospital in Cairo, the capital of Egypt. He was 88 years old. Al- Ganzuri served as Egypt's prime minister three times.

And finally, today is April fools day! But for the second year in a row, Google is canceling its April Fools' Day pranks. Google said this is to respect the seriousness of the pandemic. Google has become famous for its pranks, in the past they announced humans living on Mars, a treasure-hunt option on Google Maps, and even "Google Translate for Animals."

Listeners - how do you want the world to change after the coronavirus pandemic? Has there been anything good from the last year that you would like to continue? Send your ideas by email to podcast@send7.org or by audio message at speakpipe.com/send7. Find transcripts and more at send7.org . I'm Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day!

Asia

China has been accused of hiding data about COVID19 by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom. The statement, signed by 12 other countries, also criticised the report by the World Health Organization into the origins of the virus. Yesterday the head of the WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom said that the investigation was not extensive enough, and said that experts did not have full access to information during their visit to Wuhan, the Chinese City where the pandemic began. Most experts in the world believe that COVID19 passed from an animal to a human in Wuhan. This week the WHO said that the virus probably passed from bats to another animal and then to humans. Over 125 million cases have now been reported.

The leaders of India and Pakistan have exchanged letters. More information from Khadija Tahir...

Yesterday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan replied to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's letter, which Modi had sent on 23rd March, Pakistan's Republic day. Although the contents of both letters have been kept private, officials from both countries confirmed that the two Prime Ministers discussed peaceful relations between India and Pakistan. Khan spoke about the need to find solutions in the Kashmir region and sent his best wishes to India in the fight against COVID-19. India and Pakistan have had complicated relations since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Nepal has closed its schools because of air pollution. The government has ordered all schools to close for the rest of the week, as pollution levels have reached their highest rates since records began in 2016.

Africa

In Mali, United Nations investigators say that a French air attack killed 19 civilians in in January. The United Nations human rights team say that they looked at evidence from satellites and interviewed more than 400 people in the area before declaring that France had killed civilians. The report says that jihadist fighters were also killed in the attack. France has denied the report and says that only terrorists were killed. France also said that witnesses may be sympathetic to jihadist groups. The French military has been supporting the Malian army to fight against Islamist extremist groups since 2013.

Portugal has said that it will send soldiers to Mozambique, after the capture of the town of Palma by Jihadist groups. Portugal’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva said that around 60 soldiers would be sent to help the Mozambican army. Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975.

Americas

In Mexico and El Salvador there have been protests after the death of a Salvadoran migrant in Mexico. Victoria Esperanza Salazar died in the city of Tulum after a policewoman put her knee on Salazar’s neck. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has described Salazar’s death as a murder. In a separate incident 15 Mexican soldiers were held captive yesterday by villagers, after a soldier killed a Guatemalan man. The soldier has been arrested.

In the United States 90% of adults will be able to ask for a COVID vaccine within 3 weeks, according to President Joe Biden. Around 30% of people in the United States have already received at least one dose of a vaccine. Some States, such as Texas, have told people that they don’t have to wear masks anymore. However, on Monday President Biden said that everyone should continue to wear masks...

“Im reiterating my call for every governor, mayor and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate. Please, this is not politics. Mask up. Mask up. It’s a patriotic duty.

Europe

In Slovakia Prime Minister Igor Matovic has resigned after a political crisis around coronavirus vaccines. The crisis was started a few weeks ago by a secret deal to buy 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The deal was made without the agreement of coalition partners. Slovakia has started to receive some of the Sputnik vaccine and is expected to use them. Hungary was the first country in the EU to start using the Russian vaccine, despite it not yet being approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Belarus has charged opposition leader Svetlana Tikanovskaya with terrorism. The government say that Tikhanovskaya planned tempted explosions and in the Belarussian capital, Minsk. Tikhanovskaya has been in exile in Poland since last year, when protests began against President Alexander Lukashenko who has ruled Belarus since 1994.

And the world’s economy will recover faster than previously expected, according to the director of the International Monetary Fund. Kristalina Georgieva said yesterday that fast vaccination campaigns and government support packages will help the world to recover from the pandemic.

Listeners - how do you want the world to change after the coronavirus pandemic? Has there been anything good from the last year that you would like to continue? Send your ideas by email to podcast@send7.org or by audio message at speakpipe.com/send7 Find transcripts and more at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

  • Namitha Ragunath

Americas

In the United States, the trial of Derek Chauvin began yesterday. Chauvin has been accused of the murder of George Floyd. The murder of George Floyd caused international protests against racism and police violence last year. Floyd died while Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The former police officer denies charges of murder and manslaughter. His defence says that heart disease and drug use was the reason George Floyd died. Yesterday, attorney Benjamin Crump, made a statement about the trial.


BC: "I want to make it clear, this is not a hard case. Everybody keeps trying to say this is a hard, difficult case. If George Floyd was a white American citizen, nobody would say this is a hard case. We all know what killed George Floyd was a knee on his neck while he said “I can’t breathe” 28 times. So, America, the whole world is watching. Do w really have equality and justice for all?"


In Mexico, this weekend the country has reached over 200,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic. One Send7 listener in Mexico - Abel said many people are criticising Mexico’s prime minister.

Abel: "This weekend Mexico has reached over 200,000 deaths from COVID-19. Mexico's president is facing criticism over his handling of the crisis. Andrés Manuel López Obrador is often seen in public without wearing a face mask."



Asia

In Pakistan, President Arif Alvi tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday. Alvi, who is 71 years old, said he has taken the first dose of a Covid vaccine. He is still waiting for his second dose. It is still possible to get infected after being vaccinated. But the jabs protects most people from serious cases of the disease. A second dose also offers greater protection from the coronavirus. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.


In Bangladesh, two people have died during violence between protesters and the police on Sunday. The protests were against the visit of India’s Hindu-nationalist leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So far 13 people have died during these protests. The protesters, mostly from the religious group called Hefazat-e-Islam, have accused Modi of supporting violence against Muslims in Bangladesh.

Europe

In France, yesterday, a drugmaker was found guilty of manslaughter over a weight-loss pill. The pill designed to help people lose weight, has been sold for over 30 years, and is being blamed for hundreds of deaths. The court ruled yesterday that the drug misled consumers and lowered people’s trust in the health system.


In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced yesterday that the UK will make more vaccine doses. Yesterday was also the day where lockdown measures in England were reduced.

BJ: "And I can today announce that the vaccine task force has reached an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to finish and bottle this precious fluid also in the northeast."


Africa

In Egypt, a massive ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week has been freed. Boats honked their horns in celebration as the ship, named the Ever Given, was released yesterday. The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea through Egypt, is one of the world's busiest trade routes.

In Niger, the vaccination campaign against Covid-19 with China's Sinopharm vaccine began yesterday. Health workers, people over 60, members of the defence and security forces, refugees and migrants, will receive the vaccine first. While receiving his first dose of the vaccine, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini told citizens to be vaccinated "for the sake of all the population”.


And finally, yesterday marked 60 years since people living in Washington, D.C. were finally given the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections. As DC is a special ‘federal district’, and not a state, they were not included in the votes made by the 50 states.


And that’s your World News in 7 minutes. Send your comment on any news story by email to podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.