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Africa

In Zanzibar, the first vice-president Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, died yesterday, a few weeks after being infected with Coronavirus. He died at the age of 77. He had been receiving treatment at the Muhimbili National Hospital. Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has offered his condolences in a tweet.

In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday received the coronavirus vaccine by Johnson & Johnson on live television.


"I've just had my vaccination and I must say that at first I was a bit terrified of this long needle that was going to be bedded into my arm but it happened so quickly, so easily, it was just a prick. This day represents a real milestone for us as South Africans, that finally the vaccines are here. Being vaccinated is a fairly straight forward process. I'd like to invite South Africans to take this up so that we can all be safe and we can all be healthy."


In Nigeria, a group of men with guns yesterday killed a school student and kidnapped 27 other children. Three members of staff and 12 of their relatives were also kidnapped. Around 600 boys were asleep in their rooms when the men broke into the boarding school. The security forces are being used to help with the rescue of these children.

Europe

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered yesterday that Russia must release Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny from jail. The court, based in France, said that this must be done immediately. They said that failure to release him would be a breach of the European human rights convention. Navalny was arrested on January 17th, when he returned to Moscow from Berlin.

In Poland, the government is rewriting the newly proposed media tax. The tax was introduced earlier this month. The government said the tax would help raise money from big media companies who pay low taxes. But smaller independent media companies said the tax would hurt them instead. Last Wednesday many independent media companies protested, and 45 media companies signed a letter last week protesting the tax. The US Foreign Affairs Committee also released a statement on their concerns with the government of Poland’s proposed media advertising tax.


Our listener, Marek, reads what was written on the US Foreign Affairs Committee’s statement:


"We are reading in the letter: Freedom of the press is a pillar of any successful democracy. Poland has a proud history of fighting for democratic freedoms, and, as a member of the European Union, it must hold itself to the highest standard of democratic principles."

Thank you Marek! Give your comment or opinion on any news story by sending an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7

Americas

In Peru, doctors have revealed that Former Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra asked and received an early vaccination against Covid-19. In Peru, healthcare workers were meant to be the first to receive the vaccination. The early vaccinations of ministers has caused anger in Peru, and has led to the resignation of the country's health and foreign ministers, as well as two vice ministers.


In the United States, a huge winter storm in the southern states has killed at least 21 people and left millions without electricity in Texas. The extreme weather is expected to continue until the weekend.

Asia

In Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of people protested across Myanmar yesterday. The biggest crowds were seen in the biggest city, Yangon Drivers in Yangon protested by blocking the roads. Demonstrators are demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected civilian leaders following the coup.


In Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party is now allowing five female lawmakers to join its board meetings, which has been criticised for being run by men. The women cannot talk during the meeting, and can only submit opinions afterwards. This new rule was made after Japan’s Olympics chief was forced to resign over sexist comments. Japan is ranked very poorly for women’s involvement in politics and the economy on the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index.


And finally, Apple has now created an emoji for vaccinations. They said the syringe can be used for any discussion about Covid-19 vaccinations.


SEND7 listeners! Please complete our questionnaire to help us to improve the podcast. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode details of this podcast. Next week, one person will win €40 euros of amazon vouchers for completing the survey. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode details of your podcast app. I’m Namitha Ragunath and tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day!

Asia

In the United Arab Emirates Princess Latifa the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, has sent secret video messages saying that she is being kept hostage. In 2018 Princess Latifa, who is 35, tried to escape Dubai, however she was captured and returned to her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Last night the BBC published videos that Princess Latifa says she recorded on a secret phone, where she says that she is being kept inside a villa which has been converted into a jail...

“I’m in a villa. I’m a hostage. And this villa has been converted into a jail All the windows are barred shut. I can’t open any window. There’s 5 policemen outside and 2 policewomen inside the house. And I can’t even go outside to get any fresh air. Everyday I am worried about my safety and my life. I don’t really know if I’m going to survive this situation.”

In the year 2000 another of Sheikh Al Maktoum’s daughters tried to escape from his house in the United Kingdom, however she was captured and returned to Dubai with Al Maktoum. Sheikh Al Maktoum is the ruler of Dubai and the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates. He has many wives and is expected to have around thirty children.

In Iraq a United States military base has been attacked with rockets. One civilian worker was killed. A Shia Muslim group has claimed responsibility for the attack in the Kurdistan region. It has been suggested that the group are supported by Iran, but Iran has denied any connection to the group.

Bangladesh has sentenced 5 people to death for the murder of activist Avijit Roy. Khadija Tahir reports...

In Bangladesh, five people have been sentenced to death for killing an American blogger in 2015. Avijit Roy, a Bangladeshi-American, was the founder of the blog ‘Free-mind’, which published articles criticizing religious extremism in Bangladesh. He was murdered, and his wife was severely injured in the 2015 attack in their home in Dhaka. Between 2013 and 2016, there were many deadly attacks on activists and religious minorities in Bangladesh, by armed groups linked to Daesh and al-Qaeda.

In India at least 37 people have died after a bus fell off a bridge in Madhya Pradesh. India has the world’s deadliest roads, with an average of 414 people dying every day.

Also in India, experts are puzzled about why coronavirus cases have fallen so fast. India has recorded the highest number of cases in the world after the United States, with almost 11 million confirmed, however daily confirmed cases have constantly fallen since September. Some scientists say that India may have reached herd immunity or that Indians could have some pre-existing protection against COVID19. Some studies have suggested that one in five Indians has already been infected, however in cities it could be more.

Africa

In Algeria thousands of people demonstrated in the city of Kheratta yesterday. Demonstrators marked two years since the start of protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in April 2019.

In Guinea 5 people have now died of Ebola, since cases were recorded last week. The United Nations, The Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres have all sent teams to try to control the situation. The World Health Organization has said that Ebola vaccines should arrive in Guinea within days.

Americas

In the South of the United States and the North of Mexico there have been extremely low temperatures and heavy snow. The New York Times has reported that at least 23 people have died in weather - related incidents in the United States. One SEND7 listener in Mexico, Abel, told us that 4 people have died in Mexico...

“This Monday at least 4 people have died as a result of cold temperatures and it is expected to continue during the next 24 hours. The government has asked citizens to stay at home”.

Thank you Abel! Give your comment or opinion on any news story by sending an audio message at speakpipe.com/send7

Argentina will open some schools today for the first time in almost a year. Schools in Buenos Aires will open today and other provinces are expected to open schools in March.

Europe

In The Netherlands a court has said that the government cannot order a curfew. Since January 23rd people were told that they should not be outside between 9PM and 4:30 AM. There have been large anti-lockdown protests in the Netherlands in recent weeks.

And Kosovo’s expected new leader had said that if Kosovo had a referendum on joining Albania, he would vote yes. Albin Kurti’s Vetevendosje party won the most seats in elections ion Sunday. Over 90% of Kosovo’s population are of Albanian ethnicity.

SEND7 listeners! Please complete our questionnaire to help us to improve the podcast. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode details of this podcast. Next week, one person will win €40 euros of amazon vouchers for completing the survey. You can find the survey at send7.org or in the episode details of your podcast app. I’m Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you will be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day!

Europe

In Kosovo, the main left-wing opposition party is set to win an early parliamentary election. With 98% of the votes counted yesterday, the Determination Movement Party had 48 percent support. This is far ahead of the centre-right Democratic Party of Kosovo, which won 17 percent. Determination Movement leader Albin Kurti, is expected to become the next prime minister. He will be faced with Kosovo’s poor economy and unemployment, as well as fighting the pandemic.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he wants the current lockdown to be the last. Next Monday he will be making a speech on reducing restrictions.


"Next week I’ll be setting out a road map saying as much as we possibly can about the root to normality, even though some things are very uncertain. Because we want this lockdown to be the last. We want progress to be cautious but also irreversible. So please continue to stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives."


In Germany, labs have confirmed at least 10 cases of the Danish mink variant in the country. It comes as an elderly man died from the strain in a care home. Late last year Denmark killed more than 10 million mink on fur farms because the variant – known as Cluster-5 - was spreading.

Asia

In Myanmar, the military has warned anti-coup protesters across the country that they could face up to 20 years in prison. This is if they get in the way of the armed forces. Long sentences and fines will also apply to those found to encourage “hatred” against the coup leaders. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protests in recent days. The demonstrators are demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, and the return of democracy in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Yesterday, Ms Suu Kyi's lawyer said she would be detained for two more days.

In India, the arrest of a 22-year-old Indian climate activist has caused outrage. Disha Ravi was arrested on Saturday. She was accused her of sharing an online document tweeted by climate activist Greta Thunberg. This document had information on the farmers’ demonstrations, as well as how to join the rallies and support the movement online. Many protestors are calling the arrest an attack on free speech.

Africa

In South Africa, an inquiry into corruption during Jacob Zuma’s time as president will ask the court to set a jail term on the former leader. This is because Zuma failed to attend the inquiry yesterday, which is contempt of court. Contempt of court is when someone fails to follow court orders. Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who leads the inquiry, said there was no valid reason for Zuma’s failure to attend.


“The commission has taken note that in this type of situation the law makes provision that it may apply for what is called, it may institute for what is called contempt of court proceedings. What that entails, is that the commission will make an application to the constitutional court, which is the court that made the order that Mr Zuma has defied, and seek an order that Mr Zuma is guilty of contempt of court.”


The inquiry is investigating allegations of fraud during Zuma’s time in power from 2009 to 2018. Zuma denies the allegations.


In Zimbabwe, the government has received its first 200,000 coronavirus vaccines. These are a donation by the Chinese government. Vice President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga was at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in the capital, Harare, yesterday for the arrival of the doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.

Americas

In Peru, the foreign minister has resigned. This is the second top official to resign over politicians receiving COVID-19 vaccinations before the general public. Elizabeth Astete tweeted on Sunday that she had been vaccinated last month. She said this was a “serious mistake” and that she would not get a second dose.

In the United States, over two million people in Texas have lost power due to a winter storm. The temperature has dropped to minus 22 degrees C. Texas is seeing some of its coldest temperatures in more than 30 years.


And finally, in the UK, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, are expecting their second child. Their child will be eighth in line to the throne.


And that’s your world news in 7 minutes! You can find the transcript for today's episode, or listen to past episodes at send7.org. I’m Namitha Ragunath, And tomorrow you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.