Transcribe your podcast

Hello, this is the global news podcast from the BBC World Service with reports and analysis from across the world. The latest news, seven days a week.


BBC World Service podcasts are supported by advertising there, says the Global News podcast from the BBC World Service.


Hello, I'm Oliver Conaway and this edition is published in the early hours of Sunday, the 30th of August. Our main stories, thousands of women march in Belarus demanding the resignation of President Lukashenko while the authorities clamped down on reporters. Hundreds of migrants are rescued from a ship funded by the British graffiti artist Banksy and the world's most famous cycling race. The Tour de France gets underway despite a rise in coronavirus cases also in the podcast.


It's kind of nice to have less people here giving you some time to focus and concentrate. I like that I two of my favorite idols, Pablo Picasso and George Serat.


New Yorkers are able to return to one of the world's most famous cultural venues, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The strongman ruler of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, isn't used to dissent, but with at least 100000 protesters taking to the streets on each of the past two weekends, he has failed to end the chorus of disapproval over his controversial re-election. In the face of this criticism, he's appealed to Russia for support and flooded the streets with his security forces. But on Saturday, once again, thousands of women marched through the capital, Minsk.


The. Where is your mom, the women chant into the balaclava clad riot police trying to block their way with another big anti-government protest planned for Sunday.


The authorities are trying to restrict media coverage. Our correspondent Steve Rosenberg was detained by police for two hours on Thursday. And on Saturday, 17 journalists, including two from the BBC, had their accreditation cancelled, as Steve told me earlier.


Well, we believe that most of those 17 journalists are Belarusian citizens who have been working for foreign media outlets. The reason, given the official reason apparently is national security concerns. But that, I think, is clearly an excuse used by the authorities. This is clearly an attempt to try to interfere in coverage of events here to try to make it harder for international media to talk about what is happening right now in Belarus.


Any reason they would target local journalists as opposed to those coming in from abroad?


Well, on the one hand, it puts pressure on local journalists, journalists, and sends a message out that perhaps local journalists shouldn't be working with foreign media outlets, whether that will be extended to foreign citizens. It's not clear, although some of the journalists who have had their accreditation revoked are Russian citizens, interestingly. But at the moment, we have our accreditation, so we continue to work here.


Now, we heard those women protesting in defiance of those police who were trying to block them. But tomorrow, because it's been big on Sunday. Tomorrow is a key test of how the demonstrations are going.


Yeah, absolutely. I mean, last Sunday we were here and we saw more than 100000 people came out onto the streets of Minsk, sending, again, a very strong message to Alexander Lukashenko that the level of public anger against him. But the authorities will be hoping, I think, that the pressure they've been putting on opposition leaders in recent days, a string of opposition figures have been called in for questioning the pressure that has been put on the media.


I'm sure the authorities will be hoping that that will keep numbers down. But from watching today's protest, the women's march through the center of Minsk, there are a lot of people on that march. And I think that it's clear that the level of anger certainly in the capital here is such that we can expect another large rally.


And so where does it go from here? Is there any sign of a possible negotiated way out of this?


Well, at the moment, no sign of dialogue, no sign of negotiations. Where do we go from now? That depends on many things. I think it depends on the determination of the of the protesters. Will they continue to come out in large numbers? Because if they don't, I think it's likely that the police will move in much more quickly. It depends on the determination of Alexander Lukashenko and whether he feels he has the support of the loyalty of the security services.


And to a large extent, it depends on Russia, on Vladimir Putin, who made it clear earlier this week that he believes that Mr. Lukashenko is a legitimate president of Belarus.


And he also made it clear that he is prepared to intervene with a police force in support of Mr. Lukashenko if the situation gets out of control.


And that was Steve Rosenberg in the capital of Belarus. Minsk, a rescue boat funded by the secretive British graffiti artist Banksy has itself been forced to seek assistance. The Louise Michel said it became stranded with over 200 people on board after helping another vessel that was carrying at least one dead migrant. The Italian Coast Guard took 49 of the migrants from the Louise Michel. The rest were later transferred to another boat. The Sea Watch for Richard Hamilton has been following the story.


The Louise Michel started operating last week. It launched secretively off the coast of Spain. On Thursday. It picked up 89 migrants and 130 from another boat off the coast of Libya. It's currently south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. And as a result of picking up all these migrants, the rescue boat itself became overloaded. And overnight it issued a series of distress signals saying the situation was worsening and it asked for immediate assistance. They also said another rescue ship, the Sea Watch For with 200 migrants on board, had tried to help it.


And then a third vessel, which is actually a tanker, has 27 people on board and that needs assistance as well.


And why has Banksy got involved?


So in his previous artworks, he's highlighted the plight of refugees and his involvement with this. And he's funding it. It goes back to September last year when he sent an email to Clamp, who's a German humanitarian activist and the current captain of the Louise Michel, and he sent her an email saying, hello, Pia, I've read about your story in the papers.


You sound like a badass. I'm an artist from the U.K. and I've made some work about the migrant crisis. Obviously, I can't keep the money. You could use it to buy a new boat or something. And she said when she initially received this email, she thought it was a joke. She says, I don't see sea rescue as humanitarian action, but part of an antifascist fight. And so the name Banksy, I think, has helped add weight to the criticism of European nations for not doing enough to help these refugees and migrants know it's coming to the end of the summer, obviously, when the seas tend to be calmer.


What is the latest on the migrant situation in the Mediterranean?


The International Office for Organization for Migration, the IOM, says more than 500 migrants have died this year and more than 19500 have successfully made the journey. They mainly cross from Libya and try to get to Malta or Italy. But the covid situation, the coronavirus pandemic, had meant that humanitarian rescue operations were actually suspended for a couple of months. That's now been resumed. There's been criticism of the Libyan Coast Guard for intercepting and taking people back to Libya and even selling them off to some of the Libyan militias.


And there's an EU summit in October where it's hoped some sort of common position will be achieved because the EU has been accused of just turning its back on the plight of the refugees.


Richard Hamilton, one of the world's most famous cultural venues, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has reopened after a shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.


The New York Museum, with its two million artifacts, had been off limits for five months. Visitor numbers are regulated by timed tickets, and there are predetermined routes to minimize interaction.


It's kind of nice to have less people here, gives you some time to focus and concentrate. But it also means less people can see it. So obviously that can be a bad thing, too.


I like that. I lost two of my favorite artists, Pablo Picasso and George Sarac. As soon as I found out I was going to open, I went online, grab my tickets and said, we're going out, we have to get out. And it was a good experience.


In a normal year, more than six million people visit the museum and the closure has cost it 150 million dollars in lost revenue.


But the museum's director, Max Hollin, says the reopening is about much more than just money.


It's a very happy moment I would see for us here at the museum for visitors. And it's certainly also a strong signal for New York and New Yorkers, a big step back to normalcy here in the city. It speaks also to this moment that would seem during this time of closure, the last five and a half months, we've got so many messages and emails from our audience seeing that how much they miss the Mets, how much they actually now realize what a museum meant for them at a time where they were not able to come.


So I think you're experiencing today and the next is a moment of really reuniting with your normal life and with something that you truly love, which is seeing art and being together in such a great place.


Max Hollin, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Police in Berlin have arrested 300 demonstrators during protests against Germany's coronavirus restrictions. About 200 were arrested at one rally where the authorities say right wing agitators threw rocks and bottles. The police said they had no option but to call off one protest involving an estimated 18000 people.


Andreas Geisel is senator for Berlin in the infallibility of Garner from even though I certainly would have liked to avoid scenes like this because Berlin police predicted that today would turn out like this with thousands of people not respecting social distancing rules. That's why the protest was initially banned. How the situation developed today was predictable.


Anti restriction rallies have also taken place in London and Paris.


Five years ago, a Belgian teenager who travelled to Syria to join the fighting became the key prosecution witness in one of the biggest terror trials ever held in Europe. Yanan Bontinck gave evidence against his former friends in the Islamist group Sharia for Belgium, who he claims brainwashed him. Now 25, he's trying to build a new life as a musician. He's given his first interview since the trial to our Brussels correspondent Nick Berg.


Yagudin Bontinck is what you might expect of a young musician who oozes confidence. He sports gold coloured sunglasses, designer stubble and a fitted gray T-shirt as he shows off his latest work here in his home recording studio. What you wouldn't expect is his mum to be doing the washing up next door. But nothing in Bunting's life has been predictable.


And the I the this was the very different music that defined his late teenage years. A promotional video for the Islamist group Sharia for Belgium. Under 18, he travelled to the war in Syria. You just follow like a sheep. All my friends are there.


Oh, let me go there to right on the first day I realised, what am I doing here? I see my so-called friends back there with guns armed. I didn't want to take part in it. So when I did say that they didn't believe me, they imprisoned me for seven months long.


Did you take part in any fighting or any of your knowledge or anything?


I did not because I got in prison the first week he was held in the same cell as Western journalists, the American James Foley, who was later murdered, and Briton John Cantlie, who is still missing.


That's where I met James and John, which became very good friends at the end of my detention. And unfortunately, you know, we all seen what happened and my prayers go to the families. Yagan Bontinck managed to escape from Syria back in Belgium. He gave evidence against his former group members but was given a three year suspended sentence.


It was one of Europe's biggest ever terror trials.


Are you worried about even now, the consequences of talking out against all these people?


I've seen the worst. So why should I fear right now? I've been through the worst. So why should I still be fearing for if they would, like, do something? I would have been dead already.


Are you OK? You're 25 years old. Now, in hindsight, if you could look back and tell your 18 year old self, what the hell are you doing?


Get out of there. Turn around these people behind. Stop talking. Listen more to your parents because you are so brainwashed. You don't want to listen to your parents, your parents be like, stay away from these people. I'm like a good I'm just, you know, following lectures and stuff. I'm just learning. Right. Stay away. Start you.


Bontinck talking to our correspondent, Nic Beac.


And still to come in the podcast, the fact that now you have little white kids putting on a Black Panther mask and put on Black Panther suits, it's a great thing.


We look at the legacy of Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who's died of cancer at the age of just 43.


The world's most prestigious cycling race, the Tour de France, normally takes place in the height of the European summer, but like so much else, it's had to be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But on a wet Saturday, more than two months late, the race finally got underway with some important changes.


Drew Savage was watching all of these disorders for a grown dippenaar like no other. With France experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases and the host city shittiness in the red zone for covid-19 masks and social distancing were the order of the day on a rain soaked promenade. There's only a limited crowd were asked to keep two metres away from the riders. No selfies, no autographs. But there was excitement as 176 riders set off.


The former winners, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, were not among them after their team in Ineos chose to back last year's champion, the Colombian again banal Norway's Alexander Christophe sprinted to victory on stage one to take the yellow jersey. But it remains to be seen how many riders will reach the finish line in three weeks in Paris. If two members of any team test positive for coronavirus in a seven day period, the whole team will be eliminated to savage new measures to slow the spread of covid-19 have been introduced in neighboring Spain.


It had been one of the hardest hit nations in Europe, but after a tightly controlled lockdown, many thought the outbreak that was under control.


However, as restrictions were eased, Spain became the first European nation to record more than 400000 infections. Our correspondent in Madrid, Guy Hedgecoe, has this report.


Outside a health clinic in Madrid, people have their temperature taken, wash their hands with antiseptic gel.


They're part of a new covid testing campaign in the Madrid region to detect asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Once in the building, swab samples are taken from the inside of each person's mouth. Those waiting to do the test seem to feel it's worth it.


We don't know if we are with the virus, but in part I'm torn because I have not been in contact with anyone with covid.


I am not feeling well because here in Madrid there is a lot of going on. There is no one going to do anything. I'm going to go to any town or Lagos because if I have it, I call.


It's been going about over six months ago, Coronavirus started to spread in Spain, making it one of the hardest hit countries in Europe. But a strict three month lockdown drastically lowered the country's infection and death rates.


Since the lifting of those restrictions in late June, the virus has had a resurgence, although social distancing is recommended and face masks are supposed to be worn in public places. Scenes such as this one, a rave in Malaga in which a young man takes a swig of alcohol and then spits it over. His fellow partiers have been circulating on social media.


It was probably the lifting of the measures by the central government that pushed people into understanding that everything was allowed or that the risk was over.


Margarita del Valle is a virologist at the Spanish National Research Council. There say a rising number of cases every day. There's a rising number of deaths every day. But this second work is completely different from the first way that we had in in March and April, because it is not reaching that high numbers of cases per day. Many asymptomatic people are being diagnosed because of castration tracing, and it is mostly affecting only young people because the older people are staying at home and following the restrictions.


It is a safer second wave that mosquito control Iran is.


The prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, has said that Spain must once again flatten the curve. He has made military personnel available to carry out tracing. He has also transferred much of the responsibility for introducing new restrictions to local governments.


It's midday in the main square in Bija Maliyah town of around 4000 inhabitants, which is a couple of hours drive south east of Madrid. In recent days, following a spike in covid infections here, the town was put back into lockdown. That has meant that people have been told they should not enter or leave the town unless it's for a good reason. And also, locals have been advised to stay indoors unless they have to run essential errands.


Harvey Cano is the local priest. He says the town has taken the new restrictions seriously.


Yes, they feel better.


It's difficult. But I think that instead of resenting all this, people have to decide to do it properly and to ensure that this thing doesn't spread any further. I think we're learning a lesson, but it's a tough way to learn.


It's been a strange summer for Spain. There's been a return to normality of sorts, but the threat of coronavirus has refused to fade. The question now is whether the country learnt enough from the trauma of the first wave of covid earlier this year to tackle this second wave effectively.


That report from Spain by Guy Hedgecoe. A small wooden boat has been found on a beach in Norway a decade after it was launched off the remote Scottish archipelago of St Kilda, 1600 kilometres away. The craft, about 40 centimetres long, was a replica of the miniature boats used by islanders more than a century earlier to get messages to mainland Scotland. The letters inside this latest boat were returned and began arriving almost exactly 90 years after St Kilda was abandoned by its last remaining inhabitants.


Lorna Gordon has the story of a summer holiday surprise from Ireland's far across the sea. Messages not in a bottle, but in a tiny mail boat washed ashore and discovered by children playing on a remote Norwegian beach.


The kids, as always, were messing around with the water and they just stumbled upon this boat. Then they thought coincidence or they just dropped it and it opened.


What they found inside was a treasure trove of postcards intact. After a 10 year, 4000 mile journey from the shores of the remote Scottish islands of St Kilda. The male boat tradition stretches back to when the islanders who used to live here had to send messages appealing for help from the mainland. Life in this rocky outcrop in the Atlantic was extremely harsh, and the island's last remaining residents voted to leave and were evacuated in 1930.


Just imagining that life there. And you can see the abandoned community and it's all still there to see the street, the graveyard, the church, the school just all left.


When people walked out 90 years ago, Alexander Gillies Ferguson as a teenager, was one of the first to launch a mail boat from St Kilda. His story passing down the generations when he was 14 and about 1885.


He sent one of these St Kilda mail boats with a message in that saying that the winter storms had damaged their stores and that the people on the island were getting very hungry if not getting near starvation.


It worked. The message reached help and St Kilda was resupplied, their tiny mailbox, a unique reminder of a way of life left long ago.


Lorna Gordon. Thousands of people have demonstrated in Mauritius against the government's handling of an oil spill from a Japanese ship which has affected fragile marine areas and wildlife. Catherine Byaruhanga reports.


The sound of vuvuzelas and car horns echoed through the streets of the capital of St. Louis. Many believe the government could have done more to prevent an oil spill after a Japanese tanker hit a coral reef, leaking hundreds of tons of fuel. There is also criticism over the decision to deliberately sink part of the Mvula cacio after it split into two. Some environmentalists believe both events could have led to the deaths of dolphins found near the location of the oil spill.


Catherine Byaruhanga, the former US president. Barack Obama, the head of Marvel fellow actors and even top footballers have paid tribute to the Hollywood actor Chadwick Boseman, whose death was announced on Friday. He was just 43 years old and had been suffering from colon cancer.


His groundbreaking role as Black Panther delighted moviegoers around the world and was seen as a particular inspiration for young black people.


Arts correspondent Vincent Dowd reports on a life cut short.


At the start of 2018, the huge worldwide release of Black Panther finally made Chadwick Boseman a star. What happens now determines what happens to the rest of the world in Black Panther.


He was the serious minded ruler of the imaginary and wealthy African nation. Wakanda in get on up. He's made a convincing James Brown.


But Boseman, who grew up in South Carolina, had started out wanting to write and direct, not act. His first play script came when a member of the basketball team he played for was shot.


My response was just started writing the script and I didn't even know it was a script, just a story. But I was responding to the fact that he had died. I went to another friend of mine and he was like, Hey, let's put this together this way. Put together that way.


Jackie Robinson. A black man in white baseball, Chadwick Boseman, played several major figures from black American history, from sportsman Jackie Robinson to Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice in the US Supreme Court. I waited my entire life for this world to start over. Inevitably, though, it's Black Panther. People are talking about most a mold breaking superhero hit, written and directed by African-Americans and starring Boseman and Lupita Nyong'o. He loved the role.


Could be a little bit of Mandela, could be a little bit of Shaka Zulu better Kwame Nkrumah could be a little bit of President Obama. I can be everything because all of it is part of the diaspora.


Among the tributes online is one from Kamala Harris, the Democrat's choice to run for vice president. She wrote, Heartbroken. Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned and humble. He left too early, but his life made a difference in 2018, where he was already ill with cancer.


Chadwick Boseman spoke of the difference he saw Black Panther making the fact that now you have little white kids put in a Black Panther mask and put on Black Panther suits. It's a great thing, the little black kids to grow up.


And he said it's not going to be like a thing that is a black superhero is going to be the norm. It changes the mindset in a way where those boundaries don't even exist anymore.


Chadwick Boseman, who's died at the age of 43, and that is all from us for now. But there'll be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. I'm Oliver Conaway. Until next time. Goodbye.