Have the Taliban changed?

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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 since their harsh rule of the 1990’s, asks Lyse Doucet. In Yemen, the United Nations have this week announced that the critical aid they supply across the country has had to be substantially cut, as they have only received a third of the donations they need to operate. This despite the fact that Yemen has been enduring the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as a result of five years of war. And that was already before the coronavirus hit. Mai Noman reflects on how her fellow Yemenis cope with it all. Cuba has long had a complicated monetary system, and currently three currencies: the peso, the convertible peso or CUC, and the US dollar. The dollar was illegal until he mid-90s, when the CUC was also introduced to help cope with the worst years of post-Soviet austerity. Originally used to pay for luxury goods, the CUC was only exchangeable within the country. But are its days numbered now, asks Will Grant in Havana? And on a Sicilian hilltop glowing in early autumn colours, Horatio Clare surveys two and a half thousand years of history, from the ancient city where Phoenicians worshipped their love goddess, to the site of the annual corporate retreat of Google. Western Sicily doesn't offer the tourist escapism so much as a deep reminder of our common human history and faiths, up to our current trust in a certain search engine. Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Arlene Gregorius

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