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Brazil is facing the deadliest point of the pandemic so far – this week posting record death tolls as scientists warn the variant found in the country appears to be more contagious. For Katy Watson, who has been reporting on Brazil's outbreak throughout, it’s a story that’s become personal too.Meanwhile in Europe, some countries are cautiously re-o…
 
In the South Caucasus, Georgia and Armenia are facing challenging times as political crises in each country have intensified in the past week. In Georgia, the arrest of the opposition leader brought thousands onto the streets in protest. And in neighbouring Armenia, the country’s embattled prime minister accused the army’s generals of an attempting…
 
New York was hit hard in the pandemic, and more than 29 000 died since the first outbreak there. Residents and workers saw a changed landscape – gone were the tourist throngs, and bustling streets – social distancing signs thinned out the crowds and demarcated the streets. Now the city is re-opening and the soul-searching has begun. But Nick Bryant…
 
Afghanistan has seen a surge in civilian casualties since US-brokered peace talks with the Taliban resumed last year. Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan President, however, still sees reason for optimism, thanks to the new-US administration with whom he hopes to have better relations. Lyse Doucet reflects on Kabul's battle to shake off a violent past.Busines…
 
South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma failed to appear at a corruption inquiry this week - an inquiry he himself set up when he was in power. But now he has been called to testify, he has accused the judge of carrying out a personal vendetta against him. The case has split the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress. In the eyes…
 
We visit the tribesmen of Yemen, which has for years been wracked by civil war. The conflict morphed into a proxy war in 2015 after a coalition, led by Saudi Arabia launched attacks on Iranian-backed Houthi Muslim rebels. And as the conflict has raged on, Yemeni civilians face economic hardship and starvation. Some of the country’s tribespeople hav…
 
Israel’s health system has been in the spotlight as it races ahead with its coronavirus vaccination programme. More than half of eligible Israelis - about 3.5 million people - have now been fully or partially vaccinated. For our Middle East correspondent Tom Bateman, covering the pandemic meant a return to his beat after a mishap on the streets of …
 
Ten years ago, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, was ousted after weeks of protest in Tahrir square in Cairo. Demonstrators proved an unstoppable force despite a brutal crackdown by authorities killing hundreds. But the post-Mubarak era has not heralded a period of greater freedoms. Kevin Connolly, who covered the fall of Mubarak, looks back…
 
Aung San Suu Kyi was once heralded by many in the west as a valiant campaigner for democratic rights. As civilian leader she looked set to put the country on a new path after years of military dictatorship. But her refusal to acknowledge the army’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims damaged her standing abroad. And although her party managed to s…
 
Six months ago, an explosion, caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate, ripped through the city of Beirut. As the country struggles to rebuild amid a devastating economic crisis, a stringent lockdown has been imposed. In Tripoli, people are taking to the streets in protest. Leila Molana-Allen reports.San Francisco’s District Attorney is pioneer…
 
Brazil is going through a deadly second-wave of Covid-19 – and it’s precipitated the collapse of the health system in– Manaus, the biggest city in the Amazon. The hospitals are overloaded with patients and oxygen supplies have run perilously low. Local and national leaders are now coming under scrutiny for their management of the outbreak. Katy Wat…
 
In Delhi, Republic Day is usually a ceremonial occasion celebrated with military parades and cultural pageantry. But this year’s event was marred by violence – as thousands of farmers drove their tractors into New Delhi in an escalation of months of peaceful protests against proposed agricultural reforms. Rajini Vaidyanathan reports from New Delhi.…
 
A year ago Wuhan imposed a lockdown on its citizens, as reports filtered through of the first human-to-human transmission of a new strain of Coronavirus. A delegation from the World Health Organisation has now arrived in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the outbreak. Robin Brant returned to the wet food market in the city where life has returned…
 
This week, the Irish Taoiseach described the findings of an official report into decades of abuse of women and children at mother and baby homes as a “dark, difficult and very shameful chapter of very recent Irish history.” The report acknowledged the harsh treatment was supported and condoned by the Irish State and the country’s churches. Those wh…
 
In Washington, he storming of Capitol Hill this week by President Trump’s supporters has dominated headlines, but many political pundits said that this should not have taken people by surprise. Anthony Zurcher has covered the White House throughout Donald Trump’s term in office – he charts the clear path that led to this moment, from President Trum…
 
Kate Adie reflects on key moments of 2020 with some of the most thought provoking dispatches by our correspondents. Andrew Harding, who covers Africa and is based in Johannesburg, spends a lot of his time travelling around the continent to witness events at first hand. The Coronavirus pandemic put a stop to much of that but he still had a dramatic …
 
Turkey has had record numbers of new coronavirus infections recently with around 30,000 positive cases a day. That number has now dropped slightly, and the Health Ministry says restrictions have begun to bear fruit. But how did it get to this, in a country which was initially regarded as doing well in the pandemic? Now the government has been accus…
 
When there's change in the Middle East, there is a good chance the United States had something to do with it, as with the recent accords between Israel and four Arab states. And now a new American president is preparing to move into the White House. What could this mean for the region, asks Jeremy Bowen.Thailand has been convulsed by large demonstr…
 
In Hong Kong,the authorities are showing that they mean business with the new security law to stamp out demonstrations and dissent. The pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been detained, and young campaigners including protest leader Joshua Wong were sentenced to prison this week. Before that, the pro-democracy opposition resigned en masse, as…
 
Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, became the frontline of a war again this autumn. This resulted in Azerbaijan regaining some of the territory lost in previous conflicts – and with it, homes and landmarks that are precious to Armenians. Peter Oborne was there just as the current Russian-backed peacekeeping deal was an…
 
In the United States, President Trump still hasn’t conceded that he has lost the election. His campaign is doubling down making claims of voter fraud. But without evidence. Meanwhile, the election winner, Joe Biden, is preparing to become president while being denied access to the briefings he is entitled to as President-elect, as Anthony Zurcher r…
 
For Hindus, Sikhs and Jains it's Diwali - the festival of lights. But this year there's the pandemic. What impact is that having in India, asks Rajini Vaidyanathan in Delhi.In Azerbaijan, the decades-long intermittent war with Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh flared up again in September. Earlier this week, Russia brokered a de…
 
In the US, lots of eyes are still on the outcome of the election in Georgia. Joe Biden appears to have to have narrowly won the state, but the margin is so narrow that local law requires a recount. Suzanne Kianpour hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and found herself back there as the votes were being counted.Parts of South East Asia’s largest remaining …
 
A brutal assault on Kabul University, the biggest and oldest in the country, left at least 35 dead and 50 wounded. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group, but the Afghan government and the Taliban are blaming each other for it, when the two sides are meant to be focusing on peace talks. Lyse Doucet speaks to one University lecturer about…
 
Nigeria's EndSARS demonstrations have ground to a halt following the fatal shooting of at least 12 people, although that number is disputed. Investigations into the incident are underway and a panel has been hearing evidence in Lagos. But as Mayeni Jones has found out, the search for the truth in Nigeria, involves a great deal of theatre.In China, …
 
Record numbers of Americans have already voted early in the US elections. The country has become more polarised under President Trump, but it remains to be seen whether the high early turnout is due to heightened political feelings, or concerns about catching the virus on polling day. Nick Bryant reflects on the political state of the nation, and o…
 
Five days before the American election, record numbers have cast their ballots already, making use of the expansion in early voting due to the pandemic. Naturalised US citizens make up one in ten eligible voters this year. Among them Laura Trevelyan, who voted in the presidential race as a US citizen for the first time, joining the queues in New Yo…
 
In South Africa, racial tensions have been heightened in some rural areas, particularly after the murder of Brendin Horner, a young white farm manager. Cases like his have led to claims of ethnic cleansing. But as President Ramaphosa pointed out, the killings are cases of criminality, not genocide. Andrew Harding went to the small town of Senekal t…
 
Thailand has been rocked by months of student street protests that have intensified in recent days. They're unprecedented in that they don't just criticise the government, but also the monarchy - a taboo in Thailand. Jonathan Head in Bangkok reports on what may be a critical turning point in a political upheaval.This week it’s exactly a year since …
 
Journalists in Africa like to play a game where they take language often used in Western reports on African stories ("armed militias", "strongmen", "rigged elections") and apply it to the US. This has become more tempting, and yielding more ironies, recently. There is a further similarity in South Africa: could ex-president Jacob Zuma be a "proto-T…
 
Last month a fire burned down the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which had been hugely overcrowded. The cause was arson, but what was the real reason, and who stoked the fire once it was lit? Gabriel Gatehouse has been investigating the blaze, and Europe's dysfunctional migration policy.In Kenya, schools have reopened this week f…
 
For President Trump to have had Covid-19 so close to the election presents political dilemmas. Play it down, and you offend the relatives of the dead. Play it up, you highlight the seriousness of the disease that killed so many on your watch. And then there are the pitfalls for the Democrats. Anthony Zurcher navigates the minefield in Washington.A …
 
Fighting has continued in Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory inhabited and run by ethnic Armenians, but officially still part of Azerbaijan. The armed clashes have included Azerbaijani shelling of residential areas in the main town Stepanakert, from where Jonah Fisher reports that residents have had to take shelter or flee to neighbouring Armenia.US P…
 
In Mozambique, the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado may have become the latest outpost of the so-called Islamic State insurgency, with reports of massacres and beheadings. The area is rich in precious gemstones and has huge natural gas reserves, but the local people are poor and increasingly have to flee. Andrew Harding reports on a region whe…
 
Lebanon has suffered not just a catastrophic blast that cost around two hundred lives, but also a devastating economic crisis. The value of the currency has plunged and the pandemic lockdown forced nearly a third of businesses to close, leaving thousands jobless. Is Lebanon now a sinking ship? People are leaving in droves, as Leila Molana-Allen rep…
 
The first formal face-to-face Afghanistan peace talks are underway in Doha, the capital of the Gulf State of Qatar. These historic negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and a delegation of the Afghan government are focused on finding a negotiated end to a destructive war that’s now lasted more than four decades. How much have the Taliban changed …
 
Greece and Turkey have agreed to hold talks to help defuse their stand-off over disputed gas reserves near their shores. Ankara had deployed a research vessel accompanied by warships near a Greek island, and military exercises on both sides followed, giving rise to fears of war between the two long-term rivals, as Heidi Fuller Love reports from Cre…
 
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements to normalise relations with Israel, this week, motivated by a desire to build a united front against Iran. Palestinians have condemned the move as a betrayal. Yolande Knell reports on out how the deal has gone down with young Emiratis and Israelis.Wildfires continue to rage across the West Coas…
 
India now has the second highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, having overtaken Brazil. This is placing huge demands on hospitals and ambulances. The medical services, particularly in smaller cities and rural areas, can find it hard to cope, sometimes leading to what relatives think were preventable deaths, as Yogita Limaye re…
 
This week’s dispatches, introduced by Kate Adie, are:Steve Rosenberg in Belarus reflects on the history he shares with President Lukashenko, recently re-elected in a poll widely regarded as fradulent. It’s based on their separate links with a small town in the countryside. Yet even these didn’t prevent him from being detained by the regime’s police…
 
This week, as the leading opposition figure in Russia, Alexei Navalny, lies comatose in Berlin’s Charité hospital, Sarah Rainsford in Moscow considers the Kremlin’s peculiar hate and fear of its critics and the methods it is widely thought to have employed in dealing with them.Gabriel Gatehouse in Beirut observes the sharp generational divide that …
 
Mishal Husain presents a range of perspectives on Britain today.Edinburgh is usually thronged with crowds and alive with performers from around the world at Festival time. But the Scottish capital is in decidedly unfamiliar guise this August. Long-time resident, James Naughtie, experiences a city that is not itself.Sparked by the shift in living pa…
 
Former US Vice-president Joe Biden accepted the Democratic party’s nomination for the presidency via video-link from his home in Wilmington, Delaware. The party convention was going to be a big celebratory event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with balloons and standing ovations. But not during the pandemic. Laura Trevelyan reports from this unconventiona…
 
It's the 75th anniversary of VJ Day today, Victory over Japan, when Japan surrendered to the US, Britain and China. That ended the Second World War. Japan was given a new, pacifist constitution by the Americans, and seems to have left its former, more aggressive and militaristic, path behind. But, as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes has been finding in Tokyo…
 
In Lebanon, shock is turning to anger at the authorities and political class at large, after the catastrophic blast in the capital Beirut. It was caused by explosive chemicals stored improperly at the city’s port, and caused much loss of life, thousands of injuries, and damaged large swathes of the city. Lizzie Porter asks what impact this will hav…
 
In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom reflecting contemporary life.When lockdown dramatically curtailed orders, those businesses providing perishable products suffered particularly badly. Artisan cheese-makers had been growing in rural Wales creating…
 
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had nothing to do with politics until recently, and has now become the main opposition candidate for the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August. She became a candidate when her husband, a leading opposition leader, was suddenly jailed. Jean Mackenzie was able to meet her, and the other women taking on President…
 
Tens of thousands of people in Russia's Far-Eastern city of Khabarovsk have been demonstrating against the removal of the popular local governor Sergei Furgal. He was arrested on old murder charges dating back 15 years, and taken to Moscow. He had beaten the Kremlin-appointed candidate in the elections. Steve Rosenberg reports on the mood in a city…
 
This week, Bosnia is marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre – Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War. Those who ordered the executions were convicted of genocide. Today Bosnia is deeply divided, impoverished, and governed by politicians who stir up the remaining ethnic enmity. Now young Bosnians are leaving in d…
 
In Poland, the socially conservative President Andrzej Duda was very narrowly re-elected, defeating the more progressive mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski. Mr Duda is a close ally of the nationalist and Catholic Law and Justice government. Mr Trzaskowski favours a more proactive role in the EU and supports minorities’ rights. Adam Easton speaks wi…
 
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