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Easy News: April 2021

From April onwards we will be trying to provide a new Easy News story every week. This week is about British Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Easy News: April 2021

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  1. 1: Covid Passports and Reopenings

    1. Because the Government thinks that COVID-19 is now spreading slowly enough, it has said that from today (April 12th) some shops and attractions can open again.

    2. Hairdressers, gyms, and libraries have opened. Outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks have also opened. People can now visit restaurants and pubs, but they have to eat and drink outside.

    3. The Government is also thinking about Certificates of COVID Status - also known as Vaccine Passports or COVID Passports. These will let more shops and attractions open, but only for people with certificates.

    4. Certificates will be for people who have been vaccinated, or have got better from the coronavirus. People can also get a certificate if they have been tested and shown not to have the coronavirus.

    5. The Government wants to try out using certificates for some events in different places to see if they work before they commit to them. The FA Cup final is one of the things that people will need a certificate to go to.

    6. The Government has promised that you will not need a certificate for everything. Things like taking the bus or the train will be fine without one. However, they haven’t decided what kinds of things people will need certificates for yet.

    7. Not everyone agrees with the idea of certificates. Some people say that they are unfair. Not everyone has been offered the vaccine, and not everyone can pay to take a test for COVID.

    8. Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, does not support the certificates but would wait to see exactly what the government is planning. Many Conservative MPs do not agree with the idea. The Government is Conservative and usually their MPs support them.

    9. The MPs may try to stop the Government from passing laws making the certificates used more widely, especially if Labour also doesn't support those laws.

    10. Even though places have now started to reopen, people still do not know if COVID status certificates will end up being used, or how they will work if they do.

  2. 2: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has died

    1. His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on 9th April. He was 99-years-old and had been in hospital in March.

    2. He was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Philip was known as her consort. This means he was her partner. He was not a King because you have to be born in to the monarchy to have the title of king.

    3. He was born in Corfu, a Greek island. He was a member of the royal families of both Greece and Denmark.

    4. He left Greece when he was a baby. He came to England and served in the Royal Navy when he grew up.

    5. He first met Elizabeth when she was still a princess and when she visited the Royal Navy College in Dartmouth. They got married in 1947.

    6. He cared a lot about the royal family and made lots of appearances all over the world as a royal.

    7. He also started the Duke of Edinburgh award. He wanted to encourage young people to go outdoors and be active.

    8. Some people did not like him because he has said things that can be considered rude, offensive or racist.

    9. Despite this, when he died, many people were very sad. Lots of people liked him.

    10. His funeral will be 17th April. Because of the Coronavirus restrictions there will only be 30 people there, but it will be broadcast on television

  3. 3: European Super League

    1. On Sunday 18 April, 12 major football clubs announced a new tournament called the Super League. It is also known as the European Super League or ESL.

    2. The competition would rival the current biggest European club tournament, the UEFA Champions League.

    3. 3 more teams would join the 12 clubs to make a league of 15 clubs who would be in the competition every year. 5 extra teams would play in the league if they qualified. This means that they played well the year before and earned a place in the tournament.

    4. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham joined AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid were the teams in the tournament from the start.

    5. The clubs said it would help the whole sport, from small local football teams to the biggest clubs in Europe.

    6. However, many people were angry and said the idea was unfair as the 15 teams could not be relegated. This is when teams are kicked out of the league if they do not play well.

    7. Almost everyone involved in football was against the idea. This included fans, the organisations that are in charge of the sport such as FIFA and UEFA and pundits. These are experts who give their opinions on the game.

    8. Lots of fans were so angry that they protested and also released statements saying how angry and betrayed they felt.

    9. Former Manchester United Player and now pundit Gary Neville said that it was about money and greed, and not football.

    10. UEFA is in charge of football in Europe, and is responsible for tournaments including the Champions League and the European Championship.

    11. Their president Aleksander Ceferin warned the clubs to stop or they would be punished with bans and also legal action.

    12. Lots of politicians were also against the idea, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would do everything he could to make sure that the ESL does not go ahead.

    13. After lots of pressure from supporters and the wider football community, the 6 English clubs decided not to take part and withdrew.

    14. They were joined by 3 more of the teams from Europe. It is now unlikely that the tournament will happen.

  4. 4: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe sentenced to another year in prison

    1. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to another year in prison in Iran. She is a British-Iranian woman who has already been held in Iran for five years.

    2. She has citizenship for both the UK and Iran, so has the right to live in both countries.

    3. Nazanin was first arrested in April 2016, when travelling home to London from Iran after visiting family there.

    4. She was sentenced to 5 years in jail, accused of plotting against the Iranian Government and trying to replace it with a new government.

    5. Zaghari-Ratcliffe says that she is innocent (she did not do the crimes she is accused of) and was in Iran on holiday and only visiting her family.

    6. She has recently been sentenced to another year in prison after being found guilty of propaganda against the Iranian Government.

    7. Propaganda is communicating information, which is designed to make people feel a certain way or believe a certain thing.

    8. The Iranian government have never released any evidence to the public that proves she is guilty, so lots of people think that they are making it up in order to keep Nazanin in Iran.

    9. This is because of a disagreement between the UK and Iran about money that goes back to the 1970s.

    10. Back then Iran bought tanks from the UK for £400m but the UK never delivered them because they did not have a good relationship with the new government in Iran after the Iranian revolution in 1979.

    11. A revolution is when the leaders or people in charge of a place are kicked out because people are not happy with them.

    12. The UK also never paid the money back. So lots of people think that Iran is keeping Nazanin from going home to her husband Richard and young daughter Gabriella so that the UK pays the money owed.

    13. Lots of people and British politicians have criticised Iran and say that she is innocent and should be freed.

    14. Being kept in jail and away from her family has caused Nazanin mental health problems, leaving her feeling very depressed and uncertain about her future.

    15. Nazanin’s husband Richard, is worried that the Iranian Government will keep her in jail for even longer and might not see her until 2023.

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