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Americas

In the United States, at the time of recording this podcast, votes are still being counted in the presidential election. However, it now looks very likely that Joe Biden will win. Yesterday most media sources showed that Biden had won 264 electoral college votes, almost the 270 needed to win. Fox News, which is generally seen as supportive of Donald Trump, agreed that Biden had 264 electoral votes, including the states of Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan as being wins for Biden, despite the counting not officially being over. President Trump continues to say that there has been fraud during these elections. Trump tweeted yesterday “stop the count”, and some of his supporters have shouted the same words outside polling stations, where votes are still being counted...

Opposing rallies have shouted “count every vote”. Trump has not given any evidence of voter fraud, and legal challenges to results are expected to be unsuccessful. Joe Biden Tweeted last night that every vote must be counted.

Nicaragua is recovering from Tropical Storm Eta. In Nicaragua at least 3 people were killed by landslides since Wednesday. Eta moved into Honduras yesterday, and many areas of central America are still considered in danger because of extreme rainfall.

Europe

Most countries in Europe are reporting their highest rates of COVID19 infection right now. France recorded 58,000 new cases yesterday - its highest single day so far. Many countries have increased restrictions or started new lockdowns. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he believes that a 4-week lockdown will help to reduce the COVID19 infection rate. The lockdown in the UK started yesterday, and Johnson has said that it will finish on the 2nd December.

“The advice I've received suggests that 4 weeks is enough for these measures to make a real impact. So, these rules will expire and on 2nd December we plan to move back to a tiered approach. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

In Serbia, the leader of the Serbian Orthadox Church, Patriarch Irinej, has been hospitalized for COVID19. Irinej is 90 years old. Irinej tested positive days after leading the funeral of the head of Montenegro’s Serbian Church, who died of COVID19.

In France foreign minister Jean-Yves le Drian said that Turkish president Recip Tayyip Erdogan had made declarations of violence. Erdogan has called for boycotting French products in response to French President Macron’s comments on Islam, and Erdogan has said that Macron needs mental health treatment. Macron has repeatedly stated that France is fighting Islamist separatism, and not Islam.

Africa

In Cote d’Ivoire, former Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has asked the military to join opposition parties and back a rival government. Opposition parties say that last week’s election was illegal, because Alassane Ouattara should not be able to win a third term as president...

“I ask of you, soldiers, sub-officers, officers, superior officers, and generals of our army, to look in the mirror, in soul and conscience, and act to stop the killings. I ask you to disobey illegal orders, and to follow the national transitional council.”

In Ethiopia there has been fighting between the military and the local government forces of the Tigray region. President Abiy Ahmed declared a state of emergency in the Tigray region on Wednesday, after the government accused the local government of attacking federal soldiers. The local government is controlled by Tigray nationalists.

Asia

In Afghanistan at least 3 people have died after a car bomb exploded in the Northern Balkh province. On Monday 22 students were killed at Kabul University in an attack claimed by Daesh, the Islamic State group. Reports have shown that violence in Afghanistan has increased by 50% in recent months despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Taliban.

In Hong Kong the police have started a telephone line for people to call if they think that someone is breaking the new national security law. The law which took effect in June has been criticized for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

South Korea has detained a North Korean man who is believed to be a defector. The man crossed by land from North Korea to the South - which is very rare because of the heavy military presence. Most defectors from North Korea escape through the border with China. According to the Democracy Index, North Korea is the most authoritarian country in the world.

And in space, a large asteroid has been found that scientists think might be a piece of the earth’s moon, that separated billions of years ago. Scientists say that the asteroid is made of the same material as the moon, and had not been seen before because it is behind the planet Mars.

That’s your Simple English News for this week. Read the transcript for this episode and listen to old episodes at send7.org. I am Stephen Devincenzi. Message me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @send7podcast. Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday.

Americas

This podcast is being recorded while votes are still being counted in the United States. The race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is extremely close, but Biden announced yesterday that he believes he will win,


"Now, every vote must be counted. No one is going to take our democracy away from us, not now not ever. America has come too far, America has fought too many battles, America has endured too much, to ever let that happen. We the people will not be silenced, we the people will not be bullied, we the people will not surrender. My friends, I am confident we will emerge victorious. But this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone, it will be a victory for the American people, for our democracy, for America. And there will be no blue states and red states when we win, just the united states of America."


However in an early morning statement yesterday, Trump falsely claimed that he had already won re-election. He also called the process a 'fraud on the American people' and said he would go to the Supreme Court to challenge the results.


"This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to our country. We were getting ready to win this election, frankly, we did win this election. This is a major fraud on our nation. We want the law to be used in a proper manner. So we'll be going to the US supreme court. We want all voting to stop, we don't want them to find any ballots at 4 o'clock in the morning and add them to the list. It's a very sad moment, to me this is a very sad moment, and we will win this and as far as i'm concerned we already have won it."


Biden called President Trump's statement "outrageous", saying: "The counting will not stop". Biden won expected states like Washington, Oregon, and California; which have been consistently won by democrats in the last 4 elections. Biden is currently leading in Arizona - the first state to change from a Republican majority to Democratic majority. Biden has also broken Barack Obama’s record, winning more votes than any candidate in US history.

Trump won expected states like Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana, which have won the republican vote consistently in the last 4 years as well. However this year - Trump needed to win Florida to have any real chance at re-election. He is currently leading in Florida by 51%.

Results show that the race is coming down to a few important states such as Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania - who’s results may be what decide the outcome of this election.

This may be the United States’s highest voter turnout in more than a century, but results may not be announced for days. This is because there are much more postal votes being counted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now for the news In the rest of the world

In Ethiopia, the government yesterday announced a state of emergency in the northern Tigray region after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused the opposition-led local government of attacking soldiers and trying to steal military weapons.

In Denmark, the prime minister said yesterday that the government plans to kill all minks in farms, to reduce the risk of the animal spreading COVID-19 to humans. Denmark’s Health Minister said that half the almost 800 human COVID-19 cases in northern Denmark are related to minks. Denmark is one of the world’s main mink fur exporters, selling more than 17 million fur items a year. According to the government, killing Denmark’s 15 million minks could cost up to almost $800 million.

In England, The NHS has been placed on its highest alert level. This means NHS staff can be moved around England, while patients may be sent to other cities, if their local city runs out of hospital space or staff. Health authorities have said they are very concerned, and that the NHS is facing a "very difficult winter".

In Turkey, the government yesterday fined global social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, $10 million each for not following its new social media law. Under the new law, which became official last month, social media platforms with more than one million daily users in Turkey must remove “offensive” content within 48 hours.

And finally, in New Zealand, an author's book has been removed from an online store after she insulted the foreign affairs minister's traditional Maori tattoo. The author, Olivia Pierson, tweeted on Monday that facial tattoos on a female minister was "ugly and uncivilised”. Many New Zealanders were angry at Pierson’s comment, and of New Zealand's biggest online stores said it would not be making her book available again. Some New Zealanders have Maori tattoos to respect their people.

America

This podcast is being recorded while votes are still being counted in the United States. Yesterday, Tuesday, millions of Americans voted for either Donald Trump to continue as President or for rival Joe Biden to take the job. At the same time in the senate, 35 seats out of 100 were being contested, and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Before this election, the Republicans controlled the Senate, and the Democrats controlled the House of representatives. In the presidential election, most final polls showed Joe Biden with around a 5% lead over Trump. However, in the United States the winner of the presidency is not necessarily the person who wins the most votes. Because of the system known as the electoral college system, Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 despite winning 3 million less votes than Hillary Clinton. Last night Donald Trump said that losing would not be easy, and that there was unity in the United States...

“Winning is easy. Losing is never easy. Not for me its not. But I think we have - when you see rallies the likes of which in the history of this country - probably in the history of the world - nobody has ever seen before. There’s a tremendous love going on in this country, and there’s really a tremendous unity. Nobodies ever seen that. I think we’re set for tremendous success, and success is going to bring unity.”

Singer Lady Gaga made an appearance at a rally supporting Joe Biden. She made reference to an audio recording of Donald Trump talking about how he touched women’s genitals...

“Now is your chance to vote against Donald Trump - a man who believes his fame gives him the right to grab one of your daughters, or sisters or mothers or wives by any part of their bodies.”

The result of this election is expected by this morning, however it is possible that the result will not be confirmed until later today or even tomorrow. This is because of a much larger number of people voting by post than ever before. Counting the votes may take a long time, and this might delay the official result. Trump has repeatedly said that if he loses then he will not accept the result. On Monday night, he said that he thought that fraud will be used and said that he will bring in lawyers to contest the result.

“Because we are going to go in the night after - as soon as that election is over - we are going in with our lawyers. And I don’t think it is fair that we have to wait a long time after that election.”

Asia

In Pakistan a 44 year old man has been convicted of kidnapping and forcibly marrying a 13 year old girl, and converting her from Christianity to Islam. Previous judgements found no problem with the marriage, saying that the girl was over 18, and had converted to Islam. The court finally changed its decision after the parents showed a birth certificate confirming that the girl was 13. According to the rights group ‘Girls Not Brides’, 21 percent of Pakistani girls are married before they are 18.

China’s ministry for education has said that the school curriculum will now talk about the positive response of China to the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry said that new content will help students understand how the Chinese Communist Party always put the life and safety of its people first. The most common scientific understanding is that COVID19 passed from animals to humans in China at the end of last year.

Africa

In Uganda, musician and opposition candidate for president Bobi Wine said that he was beaten and tortured by police yesterday.

“They sprayed pepper spray in our eyes. I could not open my eyes. I still cannot do that very well. They twisted my hand. I don’t know what they put on my hand but it felt like a very burning object. And if you can see my hand clearly - it is fairly burnt.”

In Cote d’Ivoire, the election commission has said that president Alassane Ouattara has won a third term as president, winning 94% of votes. They also said that 54% of Ivorians had voted. The two main opposition leaders boycotted the election as they said that Ouattara’s third term goes against the constitution.

Europe

In Austria police have arrested 14 people in connection with the terrorist attack in Vienna on Monday. However, the police also said that they did not expect that there was a second shooter. 4 people died in Vienna on Monday before police killed the Islamist extremist who originated from Macedonia. Daesh, The Islamic State group, claimed responsibility.

And In the UK, a new test for measuring stress has been made, that uses earwax. Earwax is the brown-orange substance produced by the ear, and scientists are now using earwax, to measure types of chemicals. It is hoped that these tests may help people with depression, and could even be used to measure COVID19 antibodies.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. For more analysis of the US election, and more news from all over the world, listen to SEND7 tomorrow, with Namitha Ragunath. Read the transcript of today’s episode, and listen to past episodes at send7.org Have a great day.


Stephen Devincenzi