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Hello, I'm Oliver Conway and this edition is published in the early hours of Monday, the 24th of August. Our main stories. Huge crowds have again filled the centre of Minsk to demand Alexander Lukashenko relinquish power in Belarus. But the president has responded with a show of defiance.
Black box recorders on the Ukrainian plane shot down by Iran in January show it was hit by two missiles and Bayern Munich when European football showpiece event for the sixth time also in the podcast.
I don't think that political can do something for peace, and I hope that music has this chance.
The music festival hoping to bring peace to the strife torn Caucasus region.
Two weeks ago, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus claimed his sixth election victory with 80 percent of the vote.
But it seems he may not be as popular as he thought. With protesters continuing to take to the streets in anger over the suspected rigging of the presidential vote and the violent crackdown that followed. On Sunday, many tens of thousands, possibly as many as 200000 people, marched in the capital, Minsk to demand that he steps down. There was also a big rally in neighboring Lithuania where tens of thousands of people linked arms in solidarity, but despite suggestions that after 26 years, President Lukashenko is losing his grip on power in Belarus, he has gone on the offensive.
Caelum municipal authorities ordered the forces, the interior ministry, the state security committee for the Grodner region to provide security on the streets in Grodner and other towns in the region. It doesn't matter who doesn't like it, we need to carefully identify all the troublemakers and instigators.
President Lukashenko addressing a crowd of supporters in the north west of the country ahead of the protests. But the crowds turned out despite those warnings, as I heard from our correspondent Joanna Fisher, in Independence Square in the center of Minsk.
Another very, very large demonstration. It's always difficult in this situation to see quite how many, but it's in the tens of thousands, possibly the high tens of thousands. Now, what happened here at Independence Square was the crowd gathered despite a pretty hefty security presence. The back streets that lead into this square were filled with riot police, military vehicles that were regular announcements over loudspeakers in the square, warning people that this was an illegal gathering and that the crowd were being dispersed.
But to be quite frank, there were simply too many people here for that to be a realistic option. So the security forces have to look on as people marched around the square chanting, Go away, Lukashenko, long live Belarus. The crowd is now moved on to a different part of Minsk. And so far, though, there has been a very visible presence of security forces and riot police. We've not had any reports of serious clashes between them.
Now, there was also a suggestion that the military, rather than the police, would look after security around memorials. So obviously the authorities trying to up the pressure on the demonstrators. But from what you're seeing, it seems they they don't care they're coming out anyway. Yeah. And they feel safety in numbers. I think a lot of people here have been reassured by the number of people who are coming out to each of those rallies. When they look around and they see lots of other fellow Belarusians with them, they have a certain security that they can't be the one dragged off the streets.
Because remember, in those few days immediately after the disputed election, when you have very small groups of demonstrators very bravely going out onto the streets and making that little individual protest, they were often being dragged away into vans and being pretty horrifically beaten up by these large demonstrations. There's a sense that people are keeping an eye out for each other, that simply the security of the security forces can't take on a group of this number. So lots of the people, you know, young people, moms, kids, we see them all coming out.
I think they are reassured by the fact that they know there's going to be a huge gathering and that gives them a degree of protection. We're also seeing pressure from outside, from some strong words from Russia, also a U.S. official heading to the region in the coming days. I mean, where does this go from here? In a way, this is what President Lukashenko would quite like to happen. For this to become a broader question. The more other countries comment on what is going on here, the more he feels justified in saying that this isn't a question of a rigged election.
It isn't a question of human rights abuse. It's an attempt by the West, by Europe, by the United States to try and force him out of office and to fundamentally realign Belarus's place in the world. So there is a danger that more and more people comment. The more pressure is exerted, the more it will give President Lukashenko the rhetoric, which he is now repeating day after day, that this is an attempt from outside and that the demonstrators that are on the streets are being manipulated by outside forces.
Jonah Fisher in Minsk. All those watching the protests in Belarus closely may have noticed that one song keeps being heard in the crowds. For more on the music that has accompanied the demonstrations, my colleague James Menendez spoke to Sasha Murphy, a British academic in Minsk.
So this is a song by Keano, which is a Russian band. It's around 30 years old, really. This is the song that you hear blasting from car windows all over.
It's the one that's really become kind of the anthem of the protest movement, the the pro-government rallies that were being held, these two deejays started playing this song and it really inspired so many people in the crowd. They were immediately arrested. I think they were sentenced to 10 days in prison or something. So they've become national heroes over here. And it was through their song.
And I think ever since that moment, people really began to associate this specific song with the opposition movement within Belarus.
Tell us about another one. This is called and obviously translated, Prison walls will collapse. Now, I guess this is in a way, more of an official opposition song, because I think this was used in some of the pre-election rallies of Svetlana Tyrannosaurs, the opposition leader.
So this one was sung at the end of the rally. So they would all give their speeches at the end, the crowd would come together and everybody would sing the song. So it's very, very synonymous with her rallies.
But I just thought, oh, my God. Oh, you know, no. Yes. Yes.
It was also actually used in Belarus by the opposition back in 2010. The first look at the last time there was a kind of brutal crackdown after an election. They were also singing this song on the streets.
It's easily applicable to any sort of revolutionary situation, I suppose. Destroy the prison walls. If you want freedom, take it. The war will quickly collapse, collapse, collapse and bury the old world.
I mean, there's no doubting what the meaning is, is that no, this one can't really be misinterpreted.
One of your favorites is the Three Turtles. Tell us a bit about that, because this is a very famous song in Belarus, I think, isn't it? This one?
It's been very popular even before this election. This is one of the ones you would hear at parties around the campfire.
It's also sung in television, which I think is part of the appeal I like the guy is on body, and it was written a long time ago back in I think 2000, 2001, and it was an opposition song back then.
It was banned for a while. So it has this long history of opposition as well. The presidential candidate, Viktor America, the who's been imprisoned now for a few months. There is a video online of him and his son, who's also been in prison, are singing it together. They're performing it. Just before he was arrested, this video came out. And I think it really and made a lot of people to him even more because it was kind of a national song that people feel very strongly about.
Sasha Murphy, a visiting research fellow at the Minsk Dialogue Council, talking to James Menendez, the black box recorders on the Ukrainian plane that was accidentally shot down by Iran in January show it was hit by two missiles, according to a senior Iranian official, or 176 people on board the plane were killed. Sebastian Usher reports.
This is the first official report on what's contained on the black boxes of flight. Seventy five to the plane that Iranian air defenses shot down while on high alert in expectation of U.S. retaliation after Tehran hit U.S. military targets in Iraq. The cockpit voice recorder registered a conversation between the pilot, the co-pilot and an instructor for some 19 seconds after the first missile struck. It shows they are in control of the plane until the last moment Iran was forced into acknowledging its tragic mistake by international pressure.
Sebastian Ushe, an Australian white supremacist who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand a year ago, is being sentenced this week. Brenton Tarand could receive a full life term with no parole at the end of the four day hearing, survivors of the attack in Christchurch and relatives of those who died will give statements about the impact on their lives, some via video link because of covid-19 restrictions. Commitment to Ian's husband, Zakharia died in hospital almost two months after he was shot.
She has travelled from Singapore and has spent two weeks in quarantine. She's been speaking to the BBC Shaimaa Khalil from Isolation about why it's so important to be there even in the middle of a pandemic.
I did go back and forth with making the decision, I mean, within his narcissism, by giving him the attention and giving him the satisfaction of listening to our impact statements and playing to his agenda. But at the end of the day, it is up to us victims to use this opportunity to fit with our agenda. Sentencing is an important part of the justice process, and my husband is not here to speak for himself, so I am his voice.
So this is a means for our voices to be heard, to tell the judge in my own way how the crime has affected us and to appeal to the judge on the punishment that I think this evil murderer deserves. And of course, I hope, inshallah, when my boys are big enough to refer to this event or this day, they will be proud of their omae that he has travelled eight thousand five hundred kilometres in the middle of a pandemic to see to it that their father's killer is locked away in prison for a long time.
What do you want your message to be on the day? What do you want to say to the judge?
My message was actually really for the people who would be listening, and that if some of these people were his supporters and sympathizers, that this is a lesson that they should take from that. We have a whole community of heroes. You know, we have the Muslim community who are still healing. They are heroes. And then we have 51 martyrs. But that evil murderer belongs to neither of these categories. And that's the message that I would like all of us to hear.
Tell me, are you looking forward to the day in court or are you dreading it?
Just yesterday, I was just counting down and I thought, I'm getting cold feet. Can I just have another one? More day, another day of isolation. Again, it's a mixed feeling at this moment, but I'm sure by by the time I pack and ready to leave isolation, I will be I will get the adrenaline rush again.
Then I'll start like. Yeah. And talk to him and say anything to you. Yeah.
How have you and your two boys coped with your husband's death with this loss? He will always be there.
There will always be something to remind us of him and then to remind us of of this event. But I think at the end of the day, it's for me to help shape this experience, for my children to make this something as a means for to strengthen them.
Habima How do you remember your husband? He wasn't the hero strongmen. He wouldn't hurt a fly. I know it's cliche people say that, but really we would expect him to just swat a spider on a wall. He would hit his very, very generous, very generous is a man of few words. But when he say something. You. You want to take in, we always joke about I always pick on him and I always, always disagree with him, but everything he says is correct, actually, and when he makes an opinion about something.
It actually turns out to be true, it turns out to be correct. I mean, Matewan talking to Shima Halil, in recent years, sport has been a powerful force in confronting racism. Football League's in many countries have banned fans for racist abuse and promoted messages of tolerance and inclusion. But in Australia, an annual event aimed at combating racial stereotypes and harassment has been sidetracked by an argument over copyright law, as Henry Bellow explains.
Each year, Australia's domestic football codes, the AFL devotes a week to celebrating its Aboriginal athletes.
The indigenous flag is usually splashed on player uniforms and painted in the centre of the field. The flag has become a unifying symbol for the hundreds of clan groups or indigenous nations in Australia to horizontal stripes of red and black representing the red earth and the Aboriginal people, punctuated by a yellow circle in the middle that symbolizes the sun. It's been embraced by indigenous athletes like Olympian Nova Peris speaking here to the ABC.
That flag. It's not only a national identity for us as Aboriginal people, but it encapsulates 50000 years of history of this continent. It tells the story. It tells an Australian history.
But this weekend, the flag was missing from all official AFL promotions due to a legal fight that's angered many Australians. It is one of the only flags in the world to be restricted by copyright law. The artist who designed it, 1971, sold the reproduction rights to a non Aboriginal company, which now charges organisations to display it. The company has sent the AFL a bill for using a flag in previous years, and an ongoing legal battle means the league has decided not to use it this weekend.
The inability of athletes to wear the flag during celebrations without approval from a company outside its own community has enraged athletes like Nova Peris, who is behind a campaign to free the flag from all copyright restrictions.
That campaign has now been supported by all Australian Rules football clubs to ensure the flag can be freely and proudly worn without any commercial obligations.
Henry Ballow. And still to come on the podcast, what did Donald Trump's family think of him?
God tweet and the like? Oh my God, I'm talking freely. But, you know, the change of stories, a lack of preparation, the lying, an unvarnished view from his sister.
After a delay of nearly three months because of the coronavirus, European football's showpiece event has finally taken place, although there were no fans, not that that would have been that much to cheer about.
The game in Lisbon ended one nil as Bayern Munich ended Paris and Germans hopes of winning their first ever Champions League. Our sports correspondent Katie Gonul reports.
After an uncertain and unpredictable year, two sides befitting a Champion's League final. The best team against the best players. With two of Europe's most potent attacks, they would surely be goals, but the first half failed to live up to the prematch. Pure Lions keeper Manuel Noya getting the better of Neymar. The German champions can usually always count on Robert Levon's. He scored 55 goals already this season.
Nothing here, and the tension was rising. But after the break, by and soon clicked into gear, here's the chance for Tony Kingsley. Coman landing the first blow against his former club, France's finest trailing. Thanks to a Frenchman, it was a lead they fought to cling on to frustrating PSG. At every point, there was no final twist. PSG superstars left empty handed as the Germans held on to win their sixth European Cup after a record breaking season.
Bayern Munich in every way worthy champions Katie Gonul reporting.
The US led coalition in Iraq has withdrawn from the Taji military base just outside Baghdad. It is the eighth coalition base handed back to Iraqi forces since March and has come under rocket attack a number of times this year. Iranian backed militias are blamed for the campaign against coalition bases, which intensified after the U.S. killed the Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad in January. My colleague James Menendez spoke to Colonel Myles Coggins, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve.
The U.S. led coalition formed to fight so-called Islamic State.
The international military coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been getting smaller in 2020. Our presence in Iraq is diminishing in size and number of people, but our commitment to the security forces and people of this region remains. So we have now transferred out of eight Iraqi bases and had several thousand coalition troops returned to their home nations.
Are Iraqi forces up to the job of defending the country against a potentially resurgent ISIS?
The Iraqi security forces have come a long way since 2014, when they were backs were against the ropes. Mosul had been taken over. Anbar had ISIS black flags everywhere. The coalition came here and helped the Iraqi security forces with more than 35000 airstrikes, training on a number of different tasks like infantry techniques and identifying explosive places. We've trained more than 240000 Iraqi security forces, the Peshmerga. And today the Iraqi security forces are better led, better trained and better equipped and fully capable of keeping this back, because the Iraqi prime minister, when he was in Washington last week, didn't sound too sure.
I mean, he talked about needing the support of the United States and talked about the risk from sleeper cells for the group and indeed other terrorist groups. In other words, the Iraqis, they sound worried that the U.S. is pulling out of at a sensitive moment.
Again, we're here at the invitation of the government of Iraq and our partnership is still needed. The Iraqi security forces far dominate ISIS in terms of number of troops and equipment. But the coalition brings a lot of technical support, some of the best military officers in the world and access to our resources.
Is there a danger, though, that pulling out of this base and indeed others and just generally pulling down the numbers? It looks like a withdrawal driven by the attacks that we've seen. In other words, you know, to those Iranian backed militia, they may say, well, look, this has worked. We've sustained a campaign of attacks on these bases and now the Americans are going in 2019.
We started to plan the transfer of these bases based on the status of our campaign against ISIS. And that is the sole reason why we have moved out of some bases and full coordination with the government of Iraq.
I just wonder whether indeed ISIS isn't the threat it was and perhaps isn't a big threat at all now. But actually growing Iranian influence in Iraq is the main threat.
Well, certainly there are a variety of threats to people in Iraq in this region, and one of them is outlaw groups. But our mandate, our charter for the. Global coalition is to defeat ISIS, and we did not come here to get entangled in any other military conflicts. So that's our focus. We've done very well together and now we've been able to get smaller but provide the same type of commitment, both for military, but also the other areas that are necessary to defeat Dasht, including stopping the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, busting ISIS financial networks and ISIS propaganda is nowhere near as effective as it was back in 2013 and 14.
U.S. Army Colonel Myles Kagan's talking from the Taji military base outside Baghdad.
Donald Trump is a liar with no principles. Well, that's the kind of criticism you might expect to hear from enemies of the president, but perhaps less so from his own sister. However, secret recordings have now been revealed of Maryanne Trump Barry making disparaging remarks about her famous brother. They were recorded without her knowledge by her niece, Mary Trump. He's written an unflattering book about the president.
He is one of the clips she made available to The Washington Post.
God directly and the light. Oh, my God, I'm talking to you freely. But you know, the change of stories, a lack of preparation, the whining of only. But he's appealing to the base what they're doing with the kids at the border.
I asked our North America correspondent, Peter Bowes, what he made of the unguarded comments.
Well, they're certainly damning words, whether they prove to be damaging in political terms. I think that remains to be seen. I suspect it's unlikely. I think President Trump will simply bulldoze his way through these harsh words from his sister, as he often does, criticism whether it comes from a member of his family or indeed another politician. But the scenario is interesting and it's important to stress that these words were recorded without the knowledge of his sister by Mary Trump, who published the memoir Too Much and Never Enough How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man just a few weeks Ago.
And that raised a lot of questions about where she had got her information from. And if anything, the revelation that these recordings exist and the content of the recording perhaps goes to explain to some extent some of the claims made in the book.
And that content includes some specific allegations about the president's university education.
I just have a quick listen to coach and he and he went on for one year and then he got into university and senior U.S. officials say is museums, which and she is a SAHD. Yes, that's what I believe. I get excited. Oh, man.
So she believes that someone took Donald Trump's exams for him. How damaging how significant is that?
Well, she says she believes that it's important to say that that claim hasn't been verified. She goes on to name someone who she believes had taken the exams for Donald Trump. And that person, at least someone is known to have been a friend of Donald Trump's. This is a guy called Joe Shapiro while he was at university. Joe Shapiro has since died. His family has said that, in fact, he did not take exams for anyone else. Mary Trump has come back and said, well, she actually was referring to another person.
So there's a big question mark still hanging over that claim. If it were true, clearly it could be potentially damaging. But I think Donald Trump has been in the White House for three and a half years and there have been many, many books now harshly criticizing the way that he conducts himself as president and perhaps his life before he was president. And they, I think, significantly never seemed to make any sense to or change the minds of the president's most loyal supporters.
Peter Bowes. The alternative music culture of the caucuses is celebrated every year with an annual awards festival, and it's gone ahead this summer, too, despite coronavirus restrictions for the organizers. That was important as the festival isn't just about music, but also aims to build peace in a conflict ridden region.
Rayhan Demitri reports from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, high up in one of the parks underneath a giant Ferris wheel that is illuminated with neon lights. There is an event Phoenix Festival that brings together musicians from a wider region, from Azerbaijan, from Armenia, from Turkey and of course, Georgia.
In most public places where you go nowadays in Georgia, your temperature's measured right. And in a bit of spray of sanitizer, there are very few people. It's probably 30 to 40 people that have gathered for this OPEN-AIR event.
Normally, the event would attract hundreds of spectators, coronavirus restrictions limit outdoor gatherings, up to 200 people to be ceremonially photographed, you might as well as international circuses Music Awards celebrates regional alternative and punk rock artists that are not widely known.
LoDo bardoli, a youthful 50 something rock musician with silver hair tied back in a ponytail, had the idea first bringing together musicians back in 1995, Armenia and Azerbaijan to people starting to talk with each other.
Every single piece coming from people hearts, you know, and talk with each other, you know, because. I don't think that political can do something for peace, and I hope that music, especially rock n roll, not traditional music, rock and contemporary music, has this chance. So what you are referring to is that there are lots of conflict in the Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
There are conflicts in Georgia with its breakaway republics, Turkey and Armenia, from a small step, starting a friendship and peace production this year because of the closed borders. Due to the pandemic, only musicians from Georgia are performing on stage. But on a big screen, the audience watches nominees from other countries. Participating musicians uploaded their entries online.
Through the organizers are particularly proud that they now have created a decade old online database of bands from the Caucasus and anyone interested can listen to them for free.
US Georgian punk rock band Mr. Mann closed the event, Max is originally from Tbilisi, the 90s was more like life.
Music now become more like electronica. So much of you can't always go a kid, right?
That report by Rayhan Dimitri, and that is all from us for now. There'll be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. I'm Oliver Conaway. Until next time. Goodbye.