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  • Namitha Ragunath

Asia

In Israel, the military said Gaza fighters fired 60 rockets at Israeli cities yesterday. Hamas said its attacks were due to Israel’s continued violence against Palestinians. At least 200 Palestinians, including 58 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the latest violence began a week ago. The attacks on Gaza yesterday were some of the worst attacks seen in the last week.


In Myanmar, voter fraud in the 2020 election has been rejected. It has been three months since the military in Myanmar took power in a coup. The Asian Network for Free Elections said the election results represented what the people of Myanmar wanted. The military justified its coup saying there was voter fraud. However the military showed no evidence of this. The vote was won by Aung Sang Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy. Ms Suu Kyi and others elected were arrested on 1 February. She has only been seen by video since.

In India, a cyclone in the western state of Gujarat has killed at least 12 people. Thousands of people have also been forced to leave their homes. Authorities announced yesterday that the cyclone is "extremely dangerous”. Rescue teams are trying to rescue more than 400 people who are stranded off the coast of Gujarat. India is currently facing a second Covid-19 wave. Hospitals are already full and are struggling to help the injured.

Europe

Several famous footballers have shown public support for Palestinians. Footballers in the United Kingdom, Turkey, Chile and elsewhere have pledged support for the Palestinian people. In a public demonstration, football club Leicester City stars Hamza Choudhury and Wesley Fofana held up the Palestinian flag as they celebrated their team’s victory in the UK’s FA Cup finals.

In France, today President Emmanuel Macron will be holding a meeting with African Leaders. Tyrone Seale, the spokesperson for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the meeting was to support African countries who are struggling due to the pandemic.

TS: The purpose of the summit is to support the economic recovery of African countries that have been affected by the health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit also aims to foster investments in Africa and avert the risk of excessive debt."


In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the vaccines could protect people against the Indian variant of COVID-19. However, he said it can spread easily among those who haven't had a jab.

MH: "With this new Indian variant, if you're eligible for the jab, if you're over the age of 38, please come forward. Because we know that the jab protects you, and we know that with a high degree of confidence that the jab will have an effect against this new variant too."

Americas

In Chile, a new constitution will be written to replace one made under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Last October, there were large street demonstrations across Chile demanding the constitution to be re-written. A majority of people also voted in favour of rewriting the constitution in a referendum. Independent and opposition candidates will spend nine months writing the new constitution. The draft will then go to a public vote expected to be held next year.


In the United States, the Supreme Court has agreed to consider a challenge against Mississippi's 15-week ban on abortion. It will be the first abortion case heard by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic conservative who then-President Donald Trump nominated last year. The case will challenge the laws against abortions performed after week 15 of pregnancy. If the challenge is rejected, Democrats say it could lead to more anti-abortion laws supported by the Republicans.



Africa

In Tanzania, the government has been told to run a mass vaccination programme against the coronavirus pandemic. This was suggested by the the COVID-19 Taskforce in Tanzania. The committee said that authorities should get the vaccines and start vaccinating elderly people, and those working in hospitals and the tourism industry. However, the committee said that people should have the choice on whether or not they want to get vaccinated.


In South Africa, yesterday a corruption case against former President Jacob Zuma was delayed again. Mr Zuma has been accused of fraud and money laundering involving a $2.5bn deal to buy European military equipment. His lawyers say Mr. Zuma would plead not guilty when the hearing finally starts.

And finally, in the United States, a tiger that was missing for a week after being seen walking around a neighbourhood in Texas, has finally been found. India, the nine-month-old Bengal tiger, was turned in to police and is said to be in good condition. India's new home is an animal sanctuary.

And that’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find transcripts and more at send7.org. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and tomorrow you’ll be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great day.

Asia

Israel and Palestine are continuing cross-border attacks during the worst violence in twenty years. The Gaza Health Ministry has said that 182 people have been killed in Gaza since last Monday, including Hamas militants and civilians. In Israel 9 civilians have been killed by Hamas rockets and hundreds have been injured. Israel’s defence systems are able to destroy around 85% of the rockets that Hamas fires at Israel. In the West Bank at least ten Palestinian protesters have been killed by security forces during protests. In Gaza Israel destroyed a building that was used by Al Jazeera and the Associated Press. Nobody was harmed in the attack as Israel told people to leave an hour before the building was destroyed. Israel said that it had evidence that Hamas was using the building. On Saturday Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu said that Israeli airstrikes will continue...

“It’s been 5 days since Hamas brazenly fired rockets at Jerusalem and other Israeli cities in a totally unprovoked attack. This past week millions of Israelis were forced into bomb shelters as missiles rained downs on our cities. Several Israelis have been killed. Many more have been wounded. You know and I know no country would tolerate this. Israel will not tolerate this. Israel has responded forcefully to these attacks and we will continue to respond forcefully until the security of our people is reinstated and restored.”

Around the world there have been protests in support of Palestine, with large demonstrations in many European cities, as well as in the United States and in the Middle East. There were also some pro-Israel demonstrations. The United Nations Security Council held a special meeting yesterday to discuss the situation in Israel and Palestine.

India will import 36 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID19. India is the world’s largest producer of vaccines, however a devastating second wave of the virus has lead to a huge demand. Only 10% of India’s population has received at least one dose of a vaccine, and only 3% is fullly vaccinated. In the world around 1.4 billion COVID vaccines have now been administered, and around 9% of people have received at least one dose.

In China at least 10 people have been killed by tornadoes this weekend. Many homes have been destroyed in central China, around the city of Wuhan.

Taiwan has reported panic-buying after a fast rise in coronavirus cases. Over 200 cases were reported on Sunday and the capital city Taipei has closed many businesses. Taiwan has generally been considered one of the most successful countries in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Only 12 people have died ov COVID19 in Taiwan, despite it being one of the first places in the world to report a case - in January last year.

Americas

Chile voted yesterday for members of a new constitutional assembly. 155 members are being chosen to re-write Chile’s constitution. Chile’s current constitution was written in 1980 during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. This is the first national election in world history where men and women will be guaranteed equal representation in the results.

In the United States, The Colonial Pipeline company paid $5million dollars to cyber attackers according to news companies CNBC and Bloomberg, . Last week the pipeline from Texas to New York was shut down for days. President Joe Biden has said that although the hackers were Russian, there was no evidence that the attack was ordered by the Russian government.

Europe

In the United Kingdom bars and restaurants will open inside today for the first time since January. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told people to continue to be cautious, especially because to a rise in cases of the Indian strain of the virus...

“But I urge everyone to exercise the greatest caution because the choices we each make in the coming days will have a material effect on the road ahead.”

In Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is being investigated for lying about corruption. In 2019 Kurz’s government lost a confidence vote because of allegation of corruption. However, a snap election gave Kurz’s Austrian People’s party even more seats than it had before.

Africa

Ethiopia has delayed elections again. Elections should have taken place last year but were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The National Electoral Board has said that logistical problems won’t allow the vote to happen on June 5th.

And in Zimbabwe, the former first lady Grace Mugabe has been ordered to attend court for not burying her husband correctly. Grace, the widow of President Robert Mugabe, is accused of going against local culture by burying him at their family home instead of a place chosen by Robert Mugabe’s relatives. Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for almost forty years until a coup d’etat in 2017.

That’s your world news in 7 minutes. Find transcripts and more at send7.org I am Stephen Devincenzi. Tomorrow you’ll be with Namitha Ragunath. Have a great day.

  • Namitha Ragunath

Asia

In Israel, yesterday Israeli fighter jets continued attacking buildings and people in the Gaza Strip. This was as Palestinians marked the first day of Ramadan, a religious holiday. Gaza’s health ministry said at least 87 people, including 18 children, have been killed since Monday. More than 530 others have been wounded. Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, fired rockets at Jerusalem on Monday night. In return, Israel bombed Gaza. The White House said Israel had a right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks, but said Jerusalem "must be a place of co-existence". In the UK, James Cleverly, the foreign office minister, said what was happening in Palestine was deeply concerning.


JC: "The recent escalation in violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories is deeply concerning. It is the worst violence scene there for several years. As the prime minister and the foreign secretary have made clear this cycle of violence must stop and every effort must be made to avoid the loss of life - especially that of children."


In Afghanistan, yesterday at least 11 people were killed and 13 others injured in four separate bombings. Afghanistan had temporary stopped attacks for three days to mark the Muslim festival of Ramadan. The bombings took place hours after the 3 days were over. The attacks are between the Taliban and the government forces.


In the Maldives, former President Mohamed Nasheed has been flown to Germany for medical treatment. Mr Nasheed has been in intensive care after a bomb injured him outside his home in the capital, Male. President Nasheed went through 16 hours of surgery to remove pieces of the bomb from his lungs and liver. Police have arrested three men who they say are linked to Islamic extremism.

Africa

In Kenya, yesterday police in the capital city, Nairobi, fired tear gas to break up protesters. The protestors were showing solidarity with Palestinians. They marched behind a sign that said: "Kenyans stand with Palestine.” A number of people have been detained.


In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a policeman has died as rival Muslim groups fought over the location of Eid celebrations. The groups had agreed to mark the end of Ramadan together. But attacks took place after the leaders of the two groups changed their minds about joint celebrations. The police shot rubber bullets at crowds as thousands gathered in anger in the capital city, Kinshasa

In the Ivory Coast, Prime Minister Patrick Achi has been flown to a hospital in Paris. He is said to be having medical tests. Mr Achi became prime minister in March following the death of the previous Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko. Bakayoko had been receiving treatment for cancer, also in Germany.

Americas

In Colombia, residents say they are running out of petrol and some food items. Colombia has been having nationwide anti-government protests for three weeks. Protesters have blocked some of the main roads into the city, which has affected deliveries. Cali, a city in Colombia, has had some of the worst clashes between protesters and security forces. At least 42 have died in the protests. Residents say not enough food and medicine have been reaching the city.


In the United States, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000. This is the lowest it has been sine the coronavirus pandemic began. The government says fewer employers are cutting jobs as shops and restaurant begin to open. And on average, more people were said to save money during the pandemic. Stimulus cheques have also helped support the American people.

Europe

In Hungary, the government began giving Covid vaccinations to 16-18-year-olds yesterday. Hungary has said that unless they have the jabs they won't be able to go to bars or music festivals this summer. So far 90,000 teenagers have registered for the Pfizer vaccine. Teenagers will need their parents permission before receiving the vaccine.


In Germany, the demand for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been so high, that supplies are reportedly running out. Doctors have also had to cancel appointments. Demands for the vaccine have been high since the government opened up vaccinations to everyone.

And finally, in Italy, a former ambassador has been named as the first woman to lead Italy's secret services. The secret services oversees the country's foreign and domestic intelligence services and reports directly to the Italian government. Italian politicians, including League party leader Matteo Salvini, described Elisabetta Belloni as "a woman of courage”.


And that’s your Simple English World News for this week. Thank you to Mishal from Pakistan for your lovely message! Please help to support the podcast by leaving a review in your podcast app. Send us an email at podcast@send7.org or send an audio message at send7.org where you can also find transcripts. I’m Namitha Ragunath, and on Monday you will be with Stephen Devincenzi. Have a great weekend!