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This is the Global News podcast from the BBC World Service.
I'm Valerie Sanderson and it's 13 hours GMT on Thursday, the 27th of August. These are our main stories. The southern U.S. state of Louisiana is being battered by Hurricane Laura, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the country. The wearing of masks in public has to be made compulsory in Paris, with the French government warning of a new wave of coronavirus infections unless swift action is taken. The American chief executive of the Chinese video sharing app Tick-Tock has resigned after only three months in the job.
Still to come, the pieces so tranquil and thoughtful and sad. We need to hear music like this. The music director of the London Symphony Orchestra extols the importance of music as the LSO meets in person for the first rehearsal in months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Let's go first to the southeastern coast of the United States. That's where heavy rain and strong winds have been battering the state of Louisiana as Hurricane Laurer made landfall. It was at one stage classified as a Category four storm, one of the most powerful on record to hit the Gulf of Mexico. Sustaining winds of 240 kilometers an hour, people have been told to leave their homes after officials said the storm was unsurvivable. But not everyone is heeding the warnings.
It's going to be real bad and we're leaving. We don't want to go. I don't want to go, but my children want to go.
Well, all we can do is, you know, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. So sticking it out, I'm just going to just going to see what happens.
Just before we recorded this podcast, I heard the latest from Simon King of the BBC Weather Center. It's continuing to weaken.
Valerie is now got sustained wind speeds of 168 kilometers an hour, which puts it into Category two hurricane status. And I'm just looking at the satellite imagery of it now. And it's losing its distinctive eye, which is a telltale sign that it is starting to weaken.
However, it is still a Category two hurricane and it's still packing those very strong winds well inland in Louisiana. It's just skirting off the coast of Texas and it continue to push further northward throughout Louisiana through the rest of today and then move its way further north up into Arkansas as we go through tomorrow. So impacts still could be widely felt from this hurricane, even though it's a Category two, it's still strong winds.
And of course, it brings the rain. It brings flooding. Is that the key? Absolutely, yes.
The wind is just part of the story. It's the wind that brings the catastrophic damage. But then it's the storm surge, which is actually the biggest killer in hurricanes. And we were hearing from the National Hurricane Center that they were forecasting storm surge of 20 feet. That's as high as a two story building about 30 miles inland. You know, these are unsurvivable storm surges. So that's one big problem. And then, as you said, the flooding rains as well.
We're looking up to about 18 inches of rainfall falling. So that's going to fall inland. It's going to feed into the river basins and there will be some widespread flooding associated with that.
How does this compare to previous hurricanes? Because this is a part of the world, isn't it, where there was Hurricane Katrina?
That's right. You're absolutely right. Fifteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina hits the coast of Louisiana. That was a Category three hurricane that had sustained wind speeds of much less, actually, than Hurricane Laura. But it brought a significant storm surge and the rains and the levees broke in New Orleans. That's why there was such a catastrophe there. So this is a stronger hurricane that hit the south west of Louisiana. In fact, it's tied as the strongest hurricane that's hit Louisiana on record.
The last one was in 1856, this strength. So it's well up there in the record books.
Simon King from the BBC Weather Center. John Lippincott is a reporter with KTK Television in the city of Lafayette in southern Louisiana.
And she told me more so hurricane more hit southwest of us. So it hit southwest Louisiana and more made landfall as a Category four hurricane, which was a big deal for people here, because the last time we saw something like that was Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Katrina had completely devastated the city of New Orleans. So where I am, even though hurricane more, it didn't it hurt the city of Lafayette directly. We're definitely in the storm. It's storming.
It's it's flooding. There was a curfew that has recently been lifted, but people weren't allowed to be outside of their homes for some time. But even though that that curfew is lifted now, it's still really isn't safe to be out on these roads. Just yesterday, officials were warning people that if they didn't leave, there wasn't really a good chance of survival and that if they didn't leave, that if they called 911 more, no one was going to answer.
So, yes, thousands of Louisianians have left their homes and they don't know exactly what it's going to look like or when they will be back.
Jordan Lippincott at the Republican Convention, the message of the third night was clear. The choice in the presidential election in November is whether America remains America. It came from Donald Trump's vice president, Mike Pence, who suggested that under the Democrats Joe Biden, nobody would be safe.
When asked whether he'd support cutting funding to law enforcement. Joe Biden replied, Yes, absolutely. Joe Biden would double down on the very policies that are leading. To violence in America's cities. The hard truth is. You won't be safe in Joe Biden's America, Jackson Mr. Pence made no mention of the shooting by police in Wisconsin of Jacob Blake, but he did condemn the rioting and damage to property that came after it. A man has been arrested and charged with murder following the deaths of two people when white vigilantes shot at protesters.
Here's our correspondent Illimitable.
What is an extremely different atmosphere to the last couple of nights? Far less violent. Far fewer people on the streets in the main square, which have been the real focal point of the demonstrations. There's barely anybody, not even security forces.
There are small pockets of protesters walking, marching along streets around Canossa, including the group I'm walking with right now. I think it feels justice to intense, they said they were going to disperse the city before dark and they pulled up seeing how many people we had snatched, a couple people they arrested and then left. And I think they're down there and they're ready for a wider crowd is here tonight and I'm not sure what kind of force they'll use.
Brianna Logan is one of those who's not deterred by the violence of recent days, including the killing of protesters by a vigilante. Many others spoke of the new police tactic tonight of arresting demonstrators, presumably for breaking curfew. Earlier, the state's attorney general gave sparse initial details of the investigation into the incident that sparked all of this, confirming that an officer named Rustan's Schilsky was the one who fired seven times into the back of Jacob Blake after a taser had been unsuccessful in stunning him.
It's not the openness from the police prior to Logan was looking for.
It's been, what, four days and they still haven't arrested Rostenkowski. Even if he's under investigation, he should still be in a jail cell, just like any other person on the street. Your color, your color, my color would be arrested and sat in jail until we can prove ourselves innocent, unless we catch up on.
Prior to the Sun-Times, military style policing has been excessive and extreme. Others here feel very differently.
We haven't had sufficient response right off the bat to prevent this kind of destruction and violence.
Terry Rose is a local official county supervisor, far more focused on the destruction to property that has been in Kenosha.
The governor now finally is going to send sufficient troops through the president because of the nationalization of the guard. And I don't know how many troops it will take to prevent further destruction and violence. Whatever it takes, it takes about 4000 or 5000.
But it must stop that reforms not coming quickly enough for many who continue to take a stand, including sports stars. Basketball player George Hill announced his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, would be boycotting tonight's playoff game.
When we take the court to represent Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we are expected to play at a high level, give maximum effort to each other accountable. We hold ourselves to that standard. And in this moment, we are demanding the same from lawmakers and law enforcement. We are calling for justice for Jacob Lee and the man. Officers be held accountable.
Other teams followed suit with players breaking their NBA contracts in order to protest.
The killing of George Floyd just over three months ago has undoubtedly emboldened those wanting to voice their opposition to systemic racial injustice. And yet tangible change still feels a long way off.
Ally McBeal, the chief executive of the Chinese owned video Up Tick Tock, has resigned. Three months after taking up the job, Kevin Mayo told employees that the political environment had changed sharply in recent weeks. The BBC's Karishma Vaswani explained to Victoria Craig why Mr Mayo was hired in the first place.
The company was aware of the fact that it was being seen by the Trump administration as a national security threat, that it was Chinese owned and after the experience that the Chinese tech giant Huawei had had in the United States, I think that it was trying to find a way to smooth its operations. And it wanted to ensure that it was seen not just as a Chinese company, but as an American one. And the fact that Kevin Mayer had worked for Walt Disney, he was seen as the sort of global guy.
He understood the way the United States worked, but also how to interact with CEOs and business operations out in China. I think all of that was seen as an advantage.
So what does his departure mean then for Tic-Tac now?
I think it underlines the difficulties the company is facing in the United States. I think it also is going to be quite interesting to see who might come on after him, because Tick-Tock has got some pretty big challenges to face. A lot will depend, of course, on the politics in the United States as well, I think. But in the lead up to the elections in November, I think we should expect a lot more focus and scrutiny on Chinese companies like tech talk in the U.S. So whoever takes on that job, they've got their work cut out for them.
Karishma Vaswani. And now to Cuba. Havana is perhaps Latin America's most beautiful capital city, but it's a constant battle to protect it from the tropical elements and keep it from crumbling. Last month, the man credited with the city's conservation over many decades, Husaybah. Died after a long illness, as Cubans pay their respects to the renowned city planner, mines are also turning to how to best continue his preservation work without him will grant reports from Havana. A couple of years ago, I was given a guided tour of one of Havana's most treasured architectural gems, the Capitolio building built in the 1930s as the island's parliament, its dome was modeled on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C..
On my visit, it was still being prepared for its grand reopening in time for the 500 anniversary of the founding of Havana last November. Like all the major restoration projects in the Old City, it was overseen by one man.
The city historian who saved your life are somehow related to this interim themos. Although Leo had been ill for some time, his death in late July shocked Cubans, many of whom now can't quite imagine the city without him.
Spangler open, unpretentious and urbane.
He dedicated his life to preserving the capital, including five picturesque squares.
And the last of them was this the Plaza de Cristol, the colonial era church to the right of me has been restored march to its original glory. The square itself has been beautifully paved and the lawns are well manicured. However, most of the buildings around the outside are simply crumbling. One is being propped up by wooden scaffolding on others. People are standing out on the balconies, which look like they might not survive one more tropical downpour, let alone another hurricane to hit the city.
The Plaza de Cristo is perhaps the out Elian's great unfinished project.
I know someone who lives in one of them, Carmen Maria. Her building is a solid and large tumble down open roofed space, which houses several families in the rooms of a central staircase. Many Solares in Old Havana are in poor shape, and the families inside have spent years hoping for either Sabio allow allowed to restore their homes or for a lucky injection of private money to buy them out a little bit out.
Recently, Carmen sent a letter to Eusebio and they are setting out her precarious living conditions once more. His answer? A hand delivered letter, arrived the day before he died. He said he was aware of her situation, but that for now, given his health, he couldn't do much more. For some critics, that underlines how the salvation of the city of Havana depended too much on one man. However, Carmen, who was touched that he wrote back despite his illness, believes the old city will be worse off without him.
That is why in the you around, when I heard he died, I sat in tears. Old Havana is over. Perhaps I'm too pessimistic or skeptical or failing to acknowledge qualities in others who have trained at his side. But I think his humanity and his sense ability to see beyond the decay of the buildings, I don't think that can be taught.
He was born with us up.
Speaking to me in an interview in late 2016, Eusebio Liel said that with the restoration costs money, money and more money, it's like the national sport for decaying countries.
He had established a unique system of capitalist hotels and restaurants on the communist run island called Harbor Organics, which generated the funds needed for the city's restoration. However, it was recently taken over by the Cuban military. Although he denied he'd been the subject of some kind of coup, it did change his autonomy. And he admitted that private capital was playing an increasingly important role in restoring the colonial center of Havana while the McKeyla into anticorporate.
When we hear of people buying up old buildings and restoring them in keeping with the original blueprints with a well qualified architect behind the project, then I'm happy and I applaud that. Private money has its advantages and disadvantages in restoration.
Sabio Leeanna worked harder than anyone to make sure that Havanas 500 anniversary was a success, a modest man to the end, he must have felt quiet satisfaction as the fireworks exploded over the city that night, his projects had been completed against the odds and on time. In our interview a few years ago, he told me that whenever a building collapses in the city, it takes with it a piece of my heart. Well, Grant, in Cuba. Still to come in the podcast, W Matheson was attacked by one of two lions while he was taking them for a walk on Wednesday morning.
A well-known South African wildlife warden has been killed after he was mauled by a white lion.
A white supremacist who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand last year will spend the rest of his life in prison. The 29 year old Australian, Brenton Tarrant was given the country's harshest possible sentence and a first for New Zealand life in prison without parole. He'd earlier admitted to the murders and the attempted murder of another 40 people and one charge of terrorism. After the sentencing, the Ilknur mosque survivor Mirwais Waziri spoke outside the court in Christchurch.
The terrorists threw us with a bullet and the loving people of New Zealand. In Christchurch, they throw us with a flower. Justice is done, you know, they lost their family member and loved one. But at least something is done that take the pain and take the the load we had in our heart from us.
At a news conference, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, spoke of her relief at the sentence and said she hoped the killer would now never be mentioned again.
Nothing will take the pain away. But I hope you felt the arms of New Zealand around you through this whole process, and I hope you continue to feel that through all the days that follow the trauma of March 15 is not easily healed. But today, I hope, is the last where we have any cause to hear or utter the name of the terrorists behind it has deserves to be a lifetime of complete and utter silence.
Our correspondent Sheila Kahlil, tell me more the sentiments that you hear there from the people who stood outside the court today who were for three days speaking inside the court facing that killer. That's really the sentiment that comes through relief, but also an acknowledgement that this is not going to bring back their loved ones and that the trauma of that day, of those attacks will stay with them.
Many have made the point, really, that Brenton Tarand chose New Zealand because of how peaceful it was and Christchurch because it was a quiet, peaceful city and that he violated places of worship. And many people said that for them, these were places that they gathered for fellowship to get together with members of the community to pray. And now they've become places of extremely difficult memories. On the flip side of that, they were very adamant in facing the killer and telling him that whatever hate he wanted to spread, whatever fear and division he wanted to spread, he had failed in that area.
I know you've been talking to many people. I mean, how has it changed this country, apart from the obvious in much tighter gun laws?
It's it's interesting what the judge was saying today to Brenton Tarrant himself before he he read out the statement. He said exactly that. He said even though the victims have shown great resilience, the damage to the Muslim community, a sense of security and wellbeing, not just in Christchurch, but in New Zealand really could not be ignored. And again, you know, time and time again, you heard from survivors, from victims family members who said, you know, they came to this country because they were flooding, you know, places of conflict in their home countries.
They came to this country because it was peaceful. They came to this country to practice their religion without fear. And that has significantly changed for them. Right now, they say they want to go and pray in the mosque, of course, because they don't want to give him the satisfaction that he has changed their style of life. But it's not easy. It's been difficult. And I think it will continue to be difficult. Way beyond the sentencing.
Shinar Khaleel in Afghanistan, the people in the city of Sharika are dealing with the aftermath of flash flooding caused by torrential rain. Rescuers have been digging through rubble and mud in a desperate effort to free people. At least 100 people have reportedly been killed, but officials believe the true death toll could be much higher. Connie Sharp spoke to the BBC's Bilal Sarwari in Kabul yesterday.
The residents of Charikar were asleep when flash floods came in, bringing with it huge rocks and debris, literally destroying 80 percent of the city of Charikar. And then we saw yesterday Afghan National Army being deployed, an Afghan rescue teams trying to dig as deep as 20 to 30 metres to basically keep recovering bodies, the government said. There were over 100 people dead. Those were the dead bodies that were in the government hospital. But then what we saw was a very painstaking, slow and difficult process of Afghans literally digging with their hands, as well as excavator digging bodies of our families, entire families being killed.
So if we keep that in mind and the different accounts that one gets, the figures are tragically above 200 people killed with thousands of homes destroyed, people losing their only source of income. In some cases, a guy having a rickshaw, for example. Then what we saw last night, fresh flash floods in the provinces of Kapisa, Panjshir, as well as in the Jordan River Valley, which is part of Parwan province.
How many other areas have been affected?
Definitely. At least 13 provinces in the Afghan metrological department has warned in Kabul that there could be more arraigning. In the district of Sarobi in Kabul province, we saw at least eight people getting killed, 14 getting wounded, and many roads and infrastructures actually were impacted.
Bilal Sarwari. France is making it mandatory for people to wear a face mask in public across the whole of Paris. The French prime minister, Jean Krstic, said his government must move fast to head off a deadly new wave of. covid-19 Infection's Mr Williamson is in Paris, Mr Casodex confirmed that new cases of coronavirus had multiplied threefold since the end of lockdown and that the virus was again actively circulating in 21 red zones across France, including Paris and Marseilles, he said.
The authorities in Paris, after consultation with the mayor, would make wearing a face mask compulsory in all public areas of the capital. A similar rule was introduced throughout Marseilles this week, where the incidence of the virus has risen to 177 cases per 100000 people.
Lucy Williamson in France. Meanwhile, the French football star Paul Pogba has tested positive for covid-19. Pogba, who plays for Manchester United in the English Premier League, has been left out of the France squad for their two nations league games next month. A well-known South African wildlife warden has died after he was mauled by a white lion west and on a popular safari lodge in Limpopo Province, Nomsa Misako reports.
West Matheson was attacked by one of two lions while he was taking them for a walk on Wednesday morning. Bolinas became aggressive towards the other and then turned her attention to the animal keeper, affectionately known as Uncle W, his wife, who followed in a car try to distract the lions. But it was too late. His relatives have said the attack could have been the result of very rough play. The lionesses were tranquilized following the attack and have been taken to an endangered species centre.
They expected to be released into the wild at a later stage. The lioness has reportedly killed a man working on a neighbouring property after they broke out of the enclosure three years ago.
Nomsa Maseko. One aspect of the coronavirus pandemic around the world is the effect it's had on the music industry. Musicians everywhere are trying to recover from months of social distancing from each other and audiences, and they're also now trying to look forward. The London Symphony Orchestra is coming together today for the first time since the spring to rehearse for concerts. That may be the beginning of a way back. James Dockerty went to the St. Luke's rehearsal rooms in London to find it ready for online performances.
He spoke to the music director, Sir Simon Rattle.
It's surreal, but it's completely thrilling. And of course, you can be the greatest footballer in the world, but you have to have your team to play with. And that's similarly true for orchestras. We exist together and I think everybody is just pathetically grateful to be playing together once more. And what's the first thing they're going to play in, in the space? Well, the first thing will be actually the strings playing Elgar's introduction and Allegro strings and the full orchestra together will play the Vaughan Williams Fifth Symphony.
And this is I had a memory of Cerrejón Bolt telling me how devastatingly powerful this piece was when it was premiered in the Second World War Time. Because people had thought it might be angry or tense and in fact, the peace is so tranquil and thoughtful and sad and looking at a world that might never exist again. And I thought, we need to hear music like this. That was surrendering Bolt building his battle with Juan Williams's Fifth Symphony at this moment.
You must be thinking back to what you've done with the orchestra here, the LASU in London in these last few years since you came back home from Berlin. I know you've got a recording of Cunning Little Vixen by Janacek, very much your your kind of piece coming out next month. I mean, you must be remembering, you know, the last things you did with them before you weren't forced to before you were pulled apart. Well, of course, nobody had the faintest idea of how this would play out.
And even when we were seeing the signs of what was happening in Italy particularly, I don't think we took it seriously. But now I must say, I do think there is a feeling of what we have lost in this and what we must not lose in the future. We're sitting in a beautifully proportioned former church, which the has used for many years. What's it going to sound like in here and how different is it from conducting in the and the Balkan or all the international concert halls that you use?
Well, of course, we'll be playing to each other. We'll be sat very far apart. I mean, the strings are one point five meters. The winds are two meters. We were playing quite a lot of tricky music in the next month, but I realized by far the hardest piece will be Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Well, now there's a comment in the piece that everyone knows about the Midsummer Night's Dream of Mendelssohn. I wouldn't even attempt to hear anything that moves fast and things have to join from a distance will be very difficult.
And we'll simply have to use a new way of doing that. We'll have to use our eyes more than our ears. We'll have to make a whole new different dance to play these pieces. But I think it will be fascinating.
So Simon Rattle, the music director of the London Symphony Orchestra, talking there to James Daugherty.
And that's it from us for now. But there'll be an updated version of the Global News podcast later if you want to comment on this podcast, all of the topics covered in it. You can send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC Dot 08 UK. I'm Valerie Harper, President elect. I'm Bubby. I would come home every day sad and angry, and I couldn't be the person that I wanted to be to my family. Sometimes ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
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