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This is the Global News podcast from the BBC World Service.
I'm Jacki Leonard. And at 13 hours GMT on Monday, the 12th of October, these are our main stories. Bangladesh is to introduce the death penalty for rape after days of protests over a rise in violent attacks on women and girls. China plans to test all the residents of the city of Qingdao for coronavirus in five days after a handful of new infections. And in Australia, a parliamentary inquiry into the destruction of ancient Aboriginal sites by the mining company Rio Tinto.
Also in this podcast, we report from Thailand on the impact of the pandemic is having on one island where tourism is crucial.
Welcome back. Really like a tsunami.
It crashed and everything fell with it. Look around you. There's no income here anymore.
And concerns over plans by the big clubs to change English football.
Amid unprecedented anger over rising sexual violence against women and girls, the government in Bangladesh is introducing the death penalty for rape. It follows protests after video emerged of a group of men attacking and sexually assaulting a woman. The authorities are accused of a systematic failure to address the rise in sexual violence against women. Our South Asia correspondent Rajini Jonathan spoke to us from Delhi.
It was one particular case that really triggered this latest outpouring of anger, and that was the gang rape of a 37 year old woman in no in the south east of the country. Now, in this case, a video of the attack went viral. And it was only after that went viral that police took action. Now, a number of men have been arrested and one of them is alleged to have raped the woman at gunpoint several times in the past year.
But actually, just looking at the websites today in Bangladesh. There are other gang rapes that have been reported in the last 24 hours in the country. And, you know, activists say that this has been a long time coming because it is a problem in Bangladesh. And there's been a lot of anger directed at the government who've been accused by the UN as well of not doing enough. And so the United Nations actually said in a statement last week that this attack of the 37 year old underlined the state of social, behavioral and structural misogyny that exists in Bangladesh.
And the UN statement also urged the Bangladesh government to conduct a review into the way it handles rape cases.
Yes, because it's interesting, isn't it? I mean, increasing the possible sentence if convicted is one thing. But there is a very low conviction rate, isn't there?
I mean, that is the case, of course, around the world when you look at cases of sexual assault, sexual violence and rape. What is so staggering is the level of sexual assaults in Bangladesh, a charity 2000 figures a couple of days ago saying that from January to September of this year, there were around a thousand rapes reported. But a fifth of those, over 200 of those reported rapes were gang rapes.
So tell us a little bit about the reaction that there has been to this news. Are campaigners pleased that the government is taking action?
There will be a lot of people in Bangladesh who will be pleased that the government has decided to bring this in. It's going to be put to a presidential order tomorrow because parliament isn't sitting. So action in their mind is being taken. But I think when you talk to other people and also, you know, I'm sitting here talking to you from Delhi, where there's also been a lot of anger in recent weeks over a gang rape is actually the deeper issue that exists in this region, which is changing mindsets.
And some people will feel that introducing the death penalty will act as a deterrent. And what can you do to actually change the mindset of mostly men who have these attitudes and therefore things don't really change in a in a meaningful way?
That was Rajini Vaidyanathan in Delhi. As we record this podcast, officials in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan say fierce fighting is continuing between the Taliban and government forces. With more details here, Secunda Kermani.
The fighting in Helmand is the latest. Escalation in the violence in Afghanistan is the most sustained assault by the Taliban since peace talks began a month ago. Residents in Lashkar Gah say clashes are ongoing in some of the city's outskirts. Electricity has been cut off across the province after a power station was damaged in the fighting. Negotiations between the two sides are taking place in Doha, but preliminary discussions have been bogged down in disputes over the rules that will govern the proceedings, with talks yet to touch upon more substantive issues such as a ceasefire or power sharing arrangement.
Secunda Kermani. The entire population of a city of more than nine million people is being tested for coronavirus, with the program expected to be completed in five days. That follows a handful of cases linked to a chest hospital in the city of Qingdao. Daily infections in China have fallen drastically from peaks earlier this year, but it remains on high alert in order to prevent lockdowns. Our correspondent in Beijing is Stephen McDonell.
This is kind of the new strategy that the authorities are adopting in China. And it doesn't matter how small the outbreak is this time, around 12 people, half of which don't even have symptoms, and they're going to test more than nine million residents. Now, of concern, though, of course, is where this happened.
So the people associated with this cluster all have something to do with a hospital that's been treating people who've tested positive but have arrived from overseas. And, for example, there's a taxi driver who tested positive, but no symptoms. However, his wife works at the hospital. And so they'd be worried that somehow or other their systems are breaking down there and people are leaving that hospital and taking the virus with them as a. Result that Qingdao Chest Hospital has been completely locked down, all those people who've been tested positive, all of their apartment blocks, the entire blocks down, and now they're going about the process of trying to contact, trace everybody that had anything to do with.
And this is, again, the way they've done it instead of locking down a whole city. It's the same thing has happened with Beijing, with the outbreak here a couple of months ago.
They'll heavily focus on an area and impose quite strict rules on that place or that group of people in order to not have to lock down all of Qingdao, for example. It seems like that will be the pattern again.
And as you suggest, it has been done before this huge, huge task. Logistically, how does it work?
It is remarkable, this thing. They're going to test these nine million people, more than nine million people in just five days. And it sounds ridiculous, but the authorities here are very good at it.
And I think that because they had this huge outbreak in Wuhan and in fact, that whole province of Hubei, people will remember 60 million people in that province locked down at one stage. And that's where the first clusters in the world were.
And various parts of the world we are seeing now months and months in an element of covid fatigue, people losing patience with the authorities over the measures that have been introduced. What is the sort of reaction in China? Are people complying and are they complying happily?
Yeah, I've got to say, China is different to other countries because people here, by and large, seem quite happy with the handling of the coronavirus, certainly after the early stages. Now, there was a lot of criticism over the slowness in the first month, say, in the early weeks, especially in Wuhan.
But now that they've worked out how to deal with it, I mean, you move around China now with virtually no cases, you'd be you sort of struggling to go to somewhere where there is a cluster at the moment.
That was Stephen McDonell in Beijing. Coronavirus restrictions are being tightened further in several European countries after being relaxed since widespread lockdowns were imposed in March. Mike Sanders has more details.
It's beginning to look like Europe is heading back into lockdown. That's the way it tackled the first wave of infections in March when the World Health Organization declared the continent to be the epicenter of the pandemic. Back then, Europe was registering 40 percent of all cases globally. And by late April, it was suffering 63 percent of the world's covid related deaths after a respite in the summer. The disease has returned with a vengeance. The French prime minister, Sarcastic, spoke of a very difficult situation and not just in France.
He said he wanted to avoid another general lockdown, but implored people not to drop their guard. The Czech Republic, once hailed as a paragon of good practice, has overtaken Spain as the country where the disease is spreading fastest. But there's discontent in Germany over a ban on overnight stays in hotels. Hoteliers say it's illogical when businesses where customers are in close proximity remain open as ever. The health of the people has to be balanced against that of the economy.
That was Mike Saunders. Now, of all the sectors affected by coronavirus, few have been hit harder than international travel. Thailand is one of the places feeling the pain. The country's tourism industry accounted for roughly one fifth of its economy before the pandemic. Our correspondent Jonathan Head visited the co Panang Island, which hosts the famous monthly full moon party.
This was one of the world's most famous beaches with an equally famous ponce. Patchin on Thailand's Kapanga used to be an essential stop on every backpacker's itinerary, but something so wild, so crowded, so dependent on mass travel was never going to survive. covid-19 welcome like a tsunami.
It crashed and everything fell with it, says NAREIT, someone who rents out motorbikes. Look around you. There's no income here anymore.
Right now it's full moon again. And until covid-19 kept all the tourists away, by this time the beach would have been filling up the JSS, cranking up their music and hundreds of businesses doing well. There were plenty of jobs and profits, nearly all of them now gone. But the people who live on this lovely island are now wondering whenever international travel starts up again, whether they might not do it differently next time.
There's a lot less pollution. Now, though, these rubbish volunteers still find plenty left on the beach, even six months after the party stopped. It's a chance for Copenhagen's natural environment to recover.
We live here. We have our family here.
And business, says foreign and locally owned, are now discussing a greener future for the island economy.
But there's also many other things that people can see on the island.
And we want to promote one that's focused on longer stays and a greater sense of community.
We'll do it in a kind of ecologically conscious way as well.
Some of the island's residents have now started a community garden to showcase this new, less material spirit. The vegetables grown here to help those who've lost their jobs to the covid crisis. It's the hammerin resort his family's owned for 40 years. Mark Panya Winans is also having a rethink. covid is really sort of a reset button right now. At some point, the phone party is going to feel anyway and it just so happens so that covid really push that hard reset button, make like other resorts.
Mark is now relying on a smaller number of long staying visitors who value a slower lifestyle.
So today, where once young revelers from across the globe partied hard until dawn, there are families eating and playing around a campfire. It's a less profitable but surely more sustainable way of exploiting this very special island. Jonathan Head reporting.
Still to come in this podcast, why an apparent endorsement has become a problem for President Trump. And auction theory and the winners of this year's Nobel Prize for economics.
Aboriginal groups have spoken of their grief at an Australian parliamentary inquiry into the destruction of sacred sites dating back 46000 years. In May, Rio Tinto, the world's biggest iron ore miner, destroyed two ancient rock shelters at the Jukan Gorge in Western Australia's Pilbara region as part of a new development. Despite fierce opposition from indigenous groups, the BBC's Phil Mercer is in Sydney and he told us more about the magnitude of the loss felt by the Aboriginal community.
They have said in submissions to the hearing that there was a deep rooted culture within the mining community that undervalued Aboriginal heritage. And today we've heard more criticism of Rio Tinto, the mining company involved indigenous leaders saying that Rio essentially didn't want to know about the spiritual importance of these two sites. And they said it was a David and Goliath situation and these sites have been destroyed.
They aren't coming back. So what is the parliamentary inquiry trying to achieve?
This is looking at what went wrong and crucially, what can be done to prevent the destruction of indigenous culture and sacred sites in the future. Now, an Aboriginal spokeswoman was at pains to point out to the hearing today that these indigenous groups are not anti mining. What they want is safeguards for their cultural sites. You have to remember that land is at the heart of indigenous culture. Indigenous people consider the land to be the mother of creation. It connects them to their past, present and future.
There could well be new laws in the future, giving indigenous people a greater say in protecting that part of their culture. And Greg Macintyre, he's a lawyer. He's a land rights expert here in Australia.
And he says that tougher laws are needed by governments at both state and federal level, need to be actively engaged in this and to take a different view about the juxtaposition between economic benefit and Australia's heritage. Heritage has been very poor, second cousin for decades now.
This is an inquiry that's due to hand down its report in early December. This is likely to be a pretty pivotal week. We've heard from the traditional Aboriginal owners today. Later in the week, Rio Tinto, which is the world's largest iron ore miner, is scheduled again to give evidence along with the Western Australian government. So it's an upper House Senate inquiry. So a pretty powerful committee investigating what went wrong and as we say, crucially trying to stop it happening again.
That was Phil Mercer. Azerbaijan and Armenia have blamed each other for an apparent breach of their fragile ceasefire in the disputed region of Nagorno Karabakh from the region's capital. Steve Rosenberg reports.
Here in Stepan Acourt, it's been quieter this morning, although periodically shelling can be heard in the distance and the emergency sirens have sounded here on the outskirts of the city. We saw one house which the owner told us had been hit by a missile late last night and completely destroyed. Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire. Azerbaijan levels the same accusations at Armenia, a war of words to accompany the military conflict over Colaba, which is proving difficult to stop.
That was Dave Rosenberg in Nagorno Karabakh. President Trump's statements, tweets and off the cuff remarks are often examined by fact checkers. But now the president has faced urgent clarifications and information, health warnings from two very different, very high profile sources. First, Twitter issued a disclaimer to alert users that one of Mr. Trump's tweets represented misleading and potentially harmful information. Then the top government scientist, Anthony Falchi, said an ad by the Trump campaign had been doctored to make it sound like he was endorsing the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Falsies is the second voice you'll hear in this clip from the ad.
President Trump tackled the virus head on as leaders should. I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more. We'll get through this together. But I'm not afraid I'm Donald Trump and I approve this message. Our U.S. correspondent Peter Bowes told James Copnall what Dr. Fulci is objecting to.
Well, Dr. Fauci has said that he did not agree to be featured in that ad and that his comments were taken out of context. The remarks that we just heard that sound like he is praising the president were made in March in an interview in which he says he was discussing the broader coronavirus effort, including the work of the White House task force. He said in his nearly five decades of public service, he's never publicly endorsed any political candidate. Now, the Trump campaign has defended its position on this, saying that the words used were Dr.
Vulture's and that they were accurate and that they were praising the Trump administration, not just Dr. Foushee.
Twitter also acted in response to one of the president's tweets. What exactly is the social media site done?
Twitter has added a disclaimer to another of the president's tweets to alert its users that it may the tweet may represent misleading and potentially harmful information related to coronavirus. The tweet is hidden, but it's not blocked. You can click through having seen the warning. And in it, President Trump claims that he has had a total and complete signoff from White House doctors. This was on Saturday when the doctors last issued a statement. He said, that means I can't get it back, it's immune and can't give it.
Very nice to know, says the president. Now, the potentially misleading part of that is that as far as we know, Mr. Trump's doctor has not said that he has tested negative the Saturday statement, which is the most recent that we have to go on.
It's over 24 hours since his doctors have spoken, but he talked about a decreasing viral load and that by recognised standards, Mr. Trump was no longer considered a transmission risk to others, but no mention of immunity.
That was Peter Bowes. League football has been played in England for over 130 years. Now, though, as the sport tries to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the biggest clubs have been working on radical reforms for the game, which could help those on the brink of financial collapse, Nigel largely reports.
Despite the empty stadiums and the long shadow cast by covid-19, the Premier League has enjoyed a dramatic start to the season. But elsewhere in England, clubs are struggling to survive due to a lack of income and uncertainty over when fans will return. The UK government has called on the Premier League to use their riches to help those less fortunate, and details have emerged of a plan which could inject over 250 million dollars into the English Football League, which makes up the famous pyramid beneath the A-League clubs.
But several strings are attached. The so-called project big picture initially proposed by Liverpool that Manchester United will guarantee the bailout and ensure the AFL receives 25 percent of the top flight future income. In return, the Premier League will be cut to 18 clubs and nine of them will be given special voting rights. Basically, the richest teams would have more power. The plan has the support of AFL Chairman Rick Parry.
We should give enormous credit to two of our greatest clubs for showing leadership when it's been sadly lacking elsewhere. Anybody else could have come up with this plan. Let's not accuse them because they have done. Why would they be giving 25 percent of the TV Revenue Service if they were trying to do is grab power? They care about the pyramid and let's make it happen.
But the Premier League themselves are furious and say it would have a damaging impact on the whole game. The UK government aren't too happy either.
The minister responsible for sport is Oliver Downton, rather than doing backroom deals to try and reform football at this critical moment. I would rather that they are working together. If you look at the Premier League, I believe during the last transfer window, over a billion pounds is spent. There are the resources there. And I have to say that if they can't get together and work together to sort this out, we will have to return to what we promised in our manifesto, which is a fan led review of football governance.
A more immediate concern for smaller clubs is short term survival, and the money on offer will be tempting and could create a more viable environment for the sport. But mainly English football will be wondering if the demands of the big clubs for this to happen are a price worth paying.
That was Nigel Odili.
Now, have you ever been to one of these third and final call at 703 thousand dollars, but no one is going to go. Oh, and this year's Nobel Prize for Economics has gone.
See what I did there to two American academics who specialize in, yes. Auction theory, Paul Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, our economics correspondent, Duchesne David told us more about the winners to name.
So it's not exactly household names, are they, Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson, that they've been working on the auction theory? They're both economists. They're both American born. And in fact, I understand they live opposite each other. And one let the other know about winning the prize this morning, which is a lovely kind of thought, isn't it? But they've been working on this idea of auction theory, how we behave when we're bidding since the 1960s.
So basically for the entire history of this prize, which only originated in 1969, and they've been looking at why it is we bid in certain ways. And Wilson looked at what's called the winner's curse. So why are these potential bidders are reluctant to bid perhaps a high enough amount because they're worried about overpaying and losing out. And that's had all sorts of repercussions. If you think about the way that we use auctions in life today, it's not just that, you know, as we heard, they're sort of bidding for a painting or something like that.
That's about going on eBay or other auction sites online and indeed, the way that governments and institutions buy and sell things from airport landing slots to radio frequency bands as well.
So it's all very interesting. But why does it really matter?
It's a really good question, isn't it? And it didn't matter. And this has raised eyebrows in some parts of the economics community and beyond that who are saying, you know, is this really in the year of covid, what we want to be celebrating as the biggest contribution to the way that we understand the economy around us and how we actually make it work for us. But those who have supported this say the argument is that in actual fact, if you look at the way the auctions have been tailored since this news came out, they've meant better value for buyers and sellers.
And that, of course, includes taxpayers when governments are involved. And it means that the whole process is more seamless and less painless, but as I say, are pretty controversial. On the other hand, they're both sharing a prize worth over a million dollars. So I'm sure they're pretty happy and I'm sure they are.
That was dashingly David, and that's it from us for now. But there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later, if you would like to comment on this one or the topics we've covered in it. Please send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBK Dot Dot UK. I'm Jackie Leonard, the producer of this podcast with Stephanie Tillotson. The studio manager is Craig Kingham, and she who never sleeps is Karen Martin. Until next time.