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I'm Jonathan Savage. And in the early hours of Monday, the 29th of March, these are our main stories. Security forces in Mozambique say dozens of people have been killed in the northern town of Palma after Islamists launched an attack on Wednesday. But hundreds of others have made it to safety. The Mexican government has acknowledged that the true number of people who've died there from coronavirus stands at more than 320000. There have been more protests and killings in Myanmar, where demonstrators have again taken to the streets in defiance of the military authorities.
Also in this podcast, Shakespeares star crossed lovers to households both alike in Dignity in Fair Verona, where we lay our scene from ancient grudge break to new mutiny.
But how do you perform a socially dist. Romeo and Juliet?
There are almost 250 kilometres between Palma and Pember in northeastern Mozambique, but that's the distance hundreds of people have had to travel to escape siege and gunfire after an attack by Islamists. They were trapped for four days in Palma, the hub of a major natural gas facility run by the French company Total. Some of that firm staff are among those to have been rescued. The BBC's South Africa correspondent Catherine Byaruhanga is following events from Kenya's capital, Nairobi.
It's been a desperate situation in PAMA and people just say that it's been a tragic situation. They're describing dead bodies lying by the roadside, by the beach, people who were trying to reach safety and was shot and killed by the armed groups. Now, we've had survivors, people who've managed to get away. They've been hiding in the bush, in the bushes by the beach under the cover of darkness. And relief finally came when boats arrived to try and managed to get them out of Palma.
So what's going to happen now to those who have managed to get to Pemba?
Well, first of all, we're hearing of hundreds of people making it to Pember. Now, a lot of these people would have been residents of Palma. Some of them would have been displaced before they got to Palma. Now they've been displaced again. So there is a real humanitarian need to provide basic things like food and water for a lot of them. Now, there are some who are in a more privileged position. They work for international companies. They can fly out of Pember and go home.
And so efforts are also being made to repatriate those people. But there are still many that are unaccounted for. And we're also hearing of some people who have been killed, including a South African national who've been killed so far in this fighting.
And, Catherine, how have the authorities responded to the attack itself?
But the big question for lots of Mozambicans now is, what is the government doing? We haven't had a formal statement from the government since Thursday. When you speak to people who have been in Palma on the ground, have experienced this attack. They say there has been a lack of presence from the authorities.
Catherine Byaruhanga, they came to mourn those killed by the Burmese security forces at the weekend and it appears came under fire themselves. While the protests against the coup continue, so does the crackdown by the military.
Our correspondent Laura Beker sent this report from neighboring Thailand, not far from all of the protests, maybe smaller in number, but the pro-democracy chants were just as defiant. A few dozen people braved the march through the city in the south of Myanmar, a remarkably peaceful demonstration after a brutal 24 hours.
Over 100 people lost their lives yesterday, train security forces across the country turned their guns on unarmed civilians.
Some protesters appear to have constructed their own homemade weapons to retaliate throughout the day. The death toll mounted along with international condemnation.
The US secretary of state said he was horrified and that the courageous people of Burma rejected the military's reign of terror.
But the general who seized power last month, Menang line, did not respond. His regime has already been hit by some sanctions, but now there are calls for more coordinated action. U.N. Security Council sanctions would require Russia's signature, but Moscow's deputy defense minister was at yesterday's Armed Forces Day parade. Russia is an important source of their weapons. Diplomats from eight other countries also attended, including from China.
The general still has friends, but not amongst the vast majority of its people who are determined to defy their military rulers.
Well, I got more from Swienton of our Burmese section in one of the funerals in the 60 kilometers north west of the main city, Yangon, the monas who went to that funeral while they were there singing some revolutionary songs, security troops turned up and then fired at them. We didn't know that anyone was injured, but there were fires and about 40 people were rounded up and taken away. So the situation is still tense. We could also see some protests happened today in several cities and they were also shooting again today.
At least six people were confirmed dead, opening fire on mourners at a funeral.
I wasn't sure that there was anything more that could come out of Myanmar that could shock.
But this really does. What does it tell us about the mentality of the security forces?
They seem quite determined. They are not reluctant to use lethal force. Like I mentioned, that the event shot into the homes of, you know, residential areas. So they turn up. We don't have the kind of very clear picture of what happened at the funeral. But, you know, a large number of people turned up at the funeral. Then security troops arrived in trucks and they fired. The way that they were doing is instill fear into the people.
So they were sort of brainwashed or, you know, the propaganda fed to them that, you know, these protesters are destructive elements. They are destroying the country. They are causing instability in the country. So they are not reluctant to use lethal force on those protesters and they're loyal to the military government still.
Yes, we saw last month dozens of policemen defected or fled their forces. But still, we don't see that number of these soldiers turning away. Like I said, they are isolated. You know, they live in their own barracks. They don't have much communication with the general population to the news or the propaganda fed to them. We are from the senior leadership.
How long can the protesters keep this up? It's difficult to tell, but they seem until now very determined. Despite they are facing this lethal force, they are quite determined. They knew that if they stop it right now, then they would lose. This is what we hear from a lot of protesters, but we could see that fewer and fewer number of people turning out to the streets. The parents are also very concerned. So they ask they are children not to go out and join the protest because, you know, they knew that when they go out, some of them would not be able to go back home that evening.
So it went well. One protester in Yangon told my colleague James Coomaraswamy, about the situation in the city she didn't want her name revealed for security reasons.
Today, of course, there are still protests going on in some areas here in Yangon. But most of us we've been focusing on, you know, supporting a campaign donation.
Tell us about what happened yesterday, though, in Yangon.
What happened in the city yesterday was is a very horrific day for us in a lot of areas in Yangon. The security forces, they've been using very brutal forces for the crackdown. I drove around the city to check the situation. And I can see in some areas the situation is really bad. But in most of night downtown areas, the roads are clear. They do not even dare to go out because they've been shooting everyone.
Were you surprised just how violent the response from the military was?
Yesterday was the first year or so, at least for one day, or we thought that we could have a peaceful protest, but they as they want to deter elevation, they stated that they will shoot people on the head and back. And they did. So it's not surprising, but it's very sudden. Is it making someone like you think again about protesting?
Yes. So we need to be careful of our safety as well, because we couldn't even organize the protests properly. So we, you know, assemble a small group of people very early in the morning and then we go around our neighborhood to protest and then assemble very quickly. We cannot group large group of people instead of going three or four times a week. We need to think for our safety.
And you say that you are concentrating more on on trying to get donations to publicize the campaign. How difficult is that right now?
We've been using our local visa master credit cards to donate through the ecofriendly page, but for now, some local cards are declining. Our transactions and the Gauvin Me website is blocked for now so we can still use VPN, but not all VPs are working. So now we need to ask our friends from the other countries to donate instead of us.
What do you make of the response from the outside world to what's happening in Myanmar?
We cannot do this alone, so we need a lot of help from international communities. There are still some countries who have been remain silent. We need a lot of support from international communities as well to fight against this dictatorship.
And basically, instead of giving a statement of condemning all these actions to take direct and proper actions as what happened on Saturday, has the the higher level of bloodshed done anything to to blunt your determination? No, never.
So this revolution must win to end this dictatorship, like once and for all. If we cannot hold on, then we could be under the ship again for up to like 100 years. Cowardly actions cannot stop us.
One protester there in Yangon talking to the BBC.
The Mexican government has published revised figures showing that the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is 60 percent higher than previously reported. More than 320000 people are believed to have died of covid-19 in the country that places Mexico with the second highest number of covid related deaths in the world.
After the United States will grant reports in part to the difficulty of obtaining a completely clear picture of the problem in Mexico comes from its low rate of testing. It is also believed that given the shortage of ICU beds in many states, a large number of people have died at home. The president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has been repeatedly criticized by his opponents for downplaying the extent of the crisis. Refusing to wear a mask in public and for failing to get a proper handle on the crisis will grant.
Extra boats are being deployed to help dislodge a large container ship that has blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week. Officials say efforts will continue around the clock with preparations underway to remove some of the cargo on board the ever given. Sally Neville reports from the scene.
They are passing and traffic in the canal is at a standstill. The congestion is getting worse. Fourteen tugboats are operating on site and large amounts of sand have been dredged to make room for the ever given to move. But the changes of tide and the rocky soil are hampering these efforts. The authorities say there is good news as water has started running under the giant ship. But hundreds of vessels are stranded here, causing huge traffic jams. They don't know when they will be able to resume their journeys, and that's continuing to have an impact on the global economy.
Still to come, watching a volcano erupt.
I feel surprised. I love it. I love how many people are here. Amazing. Like, incredible. I've been here. This is my third time. It really makes you forget about the whole pandemic and everything been going on.
Ideal therapy for a pandemic. The trial is about to start of Derek Trovan, the former police officer who's accused of murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck during an arrest last May, Mr Floyds death was caught on camera and sparked widespread protests against police brutality and racial justice. Our North America correspondent Ali Maqbool reports from Atlanta on what's being seen as one of the most significant trials in U.S. history and on the lasting impact the killing has had across America.
And it sparked a mobilization of people, the likes of which has never been seen. The killing compelled Americans to take a look not just at the issue of police brutality, but systemic racism in all its guises.
My daddy changed the world, said George Floyds. Daughter and politicians and corporations promised to deliver. But when the spotlight shifted, what did change? Atlanta based civil rights lawyer Justin Miller is part of the Floyd family's legal team.
People like to talk about change when things are burning down and people are breaking in the malls and their protests every night and people are burning down, you know, restaurants. When all of that dies down, the call for change dies down, too.
Unfortunately, you don't recall just minutes ago where you passed out behind the wheel in the truck. I said I'm sorry.
And black men continued to die at the hands of the police here in Atlanta. Just two weeks after George Floyd was killed, Rashad Brooks was reported sleeping in his vehicle in a restaurant car park. He was shot in the back by police and killed as he ran away. It was all caught on police body cameras, but the case against the officer has faltered.
We're going to keep this movement going to man. We want justice.
For many activists, the focus of frustration became the government of Donald Trump as George Floyds nephew Cortez Rice told me last year.
We demand change. So this is what's going to happen. We need to get out there and vote him out. City officials, local police officers, everybody, you now with this movement, you need to go in the elections.
In Georgia, for example, the turnout of black voters is credited with helping flip the state Democratic. The killing of George Floyd played a big role in that. Latasha Brown is co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
We were all politicized at that moment and many people actually decided they were going to turn that pain into power. And it started with a vote for me and for many people, part of it is it starts with a vote, but not a vote, because we're asking people to believe in a system. But when getting people to use their ages, they believe in themselves and their own power.
Many still don't have faith in the system. They're taking to the streets again here over moves to limit voting rights in ways that disproportionately affect African-Americans.
And what are the police? Some states did introduce changes to do with body cameras or banning the use of chokeholds. But this was no root and branch reform. Many police feel they've been unfairly scrutinized and speak to those who represent officers when they kill like Lance Lorusso and they dispute even the fundamentals of the case against their children.
The central question here is not going to be whether he used a tactic that was not recognized by law enforcement. We've already condemned it. The question is what caused George Floyds death? My concern is the focus of that trial is going to be lost on the average person.
There are very few people who would I would suggest there would be a small proportion of people who watch that video who feel he would have died without having a knee on his neck.
I don't agree with you in a sense, perhaps, of how Derek Jordan's defense will play things over the coming weeks. George Floyd, as his daughter said, did change things, eliciting emphatic calls for action. But even the trial itself is likely to expose the fact that not everyone has accepted that anything needs to alter at all. That report by Aleem Maqbool. Anti rape campaigners in Kenya are marking an important victory after the telecoms authority fined a radio station nearly 10000 dollars for broadcasting remarks shaming rape victims to presenters and have been sacked by homeboy's radio.
Rawda Odhiambo reports from Nairobi.
For three weeks now, Kenyan women have been calling on social media for justice for women who have been raped and sexually harassed. They've have also been expressing their anger at men who condone gender based violence and criticize its victims. The tipping point was an attack by two radio presenters and a deejay on a woman who had refused a man's advances and was subsequently pushed from the 12th floor of a building. The 20 year old victim, Yunus Wangary, has been left disabled.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the offence and is currently out on bail.
Aruda Odhiambo to Romania now, where police are investigating anti-Semitic death threats against one of the country's best known actresses, Maia Morgenstern. She played Jesus mother Mary in the Mel Gibson film The Passion of the Christ and currently runs the Jewish State Theatre in Bucharest. I got more about the threat from our Europe regional editor, Mike Saunders.
They were certainly couched in the most lurid of language languages possible.
They threatened to burn down the state Jewish theater with the staff inside. And this is a threat, of course, made during the Passover week, which is one of the most important celebrations in Judaism. And it also threatens to send Maia Morgenstern to the gas chamber and kill her three children. Horrible, horrible threats. And it was signed by somebody calling themselves Andrei Islamiyya on behalf of the far right Alliance for the Unity of Romanians. That's a new party.
But the party leader and founder, George Semillon, said that there was nobody of that name in the party and that he totally denounced the threat. And the author of them, he called it a degrading attack on an artist's love by all Romanians. And he said that the culprit must be caught as quickly as possible.
Maia Morgenstern, a very high profile person in Romania, as she faced similar threats in the past and not really of this nature.
Funnily enough, she got a lot of flak for playing Mary The Passion of the Christ, because a lot of people said that Mel Gibson's film was anti-Semitic. But this this latest episode seems to have followed from row that she made public.
She went to a meeting of fellow theatre directors and luminaries in the arts to discuss how to recover from the coronaviruses pandemic. And one of her colleagues kind of greeted her in what he thought was a jocular tone as she approached using a very derogatory word for a Jew.
Now, she was upset by that, and despite his protestations that it was only doing it in jest, she said she was very hurt. And she went onto Facebook to say what she thought about this. And she did get quite a lot of support on social media.
Can you tell us a bit more about this nascent conservative party, the Alliance for Unity of Romanians?
Well, it is a party that stands on a nationalist ticket, very much so. It wants the reunification of Moldova with Romania. It wants Romanian peoples in neighbouring countries like Serbia and Ukraine to be reunited with Romania. Very contentious things stemming from loss of territory after the two world wars. And of course, we mustn't forget that Romania was an axis power. A Nazi power during the Second World War prompted very much a initially neutral but prompted very much by its own fascist party, the Iron Guard, which pushed for an alliance with that with the Nazis.
So there is a definitely a strain of anti Semitism in Romanian politics. But this party wants to position itself as part of the European conservatives and reformists in the European Parliament. Now, that's the party that the Polish Party, the Law and Justice, the governing party in Poland is a member of and also brothers of Italy.
And it was, of course, the party of the British conservatives before Brexit makes Sanders a volcano near the Icelandic capital. Reykjavik has been erupting for more than a week now. The scenes perhaps look like someone's vision of hell or Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings, red rivers of molten lava flowing through a blackened landscape and a few days ago, sightseers cooking sausages on the hot rock. As Tim Ollman reports, they are not the only visitors.
Mother Nature can provide the most astonishing spectacle to truly be a spectacle. To have spectators all face to face like a music festival here, to have so many people around. Yeah, I love it. I love how many people are here. Amazing. Like, incredible. I've been here. This is my third time and it's changing so severely every single time I come.
I have literally queued up to see this line of cars parked nearby. Now a common sight. The authorities have set up a hiking trail and are patrolling the area to prevent people from straying too close to dangerous volcanic gases. All this quite a diversion after a year of viruses and lockdowns.
I think for myself and for so many other people, it's just like a really nice experience, kind of social. They've really had this kind of get out and it really makes you forget about the whole pandemic and everything going on.
Vulcanologists say they have no idea how long this eruption will last. It could be over in days or it may go on for decades.
Only Mother Nature knows Tim Alleman coronavirus restrictions have shut down film and television sets, theaters and cinemas in most countries, and a plan to stage one of the world's most famous plays. Romeo and Juliet, has been abandoned because of fears the star crossed lovers wouldn't be able to follow with the social distancing rules. Charlotte Gallagher reports.
Two households, both alike in dignity and favour owner where we lay our scene from Ancient Grudge, the opening lines of a play that spawned countless staged versions and film adaptations.
And a lot of us will remember having to study it at school. But despite its ubiquity, Romeo and Juliet still remains incredibly popular in the UK, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, a theatre company has been forced to postpone a production because the intimate scenes had made rehearsals impossible. The Stamford Shakespeare Company said as the play was about young lovers who couldn't keep their hands off each other. They couldn't observe social distancing. It's not the first adaptation of Romeo and Juliet to be hit by covid.
London's National Theatre managed to get a production made for television finished by keeping cast members who had to have close contact in small groups known as bubbles and testing everyone every day for coronavirus. The pandemic has forced the entertainment industry to get creative. When the U.S. soap The Bold and the Beautiful filmed a kissing scene, it wasn't to co-stars but the actress and her real life husband disguised as a love interest. The long running series has also used mannequins in place of co-stars giving somewhat wooden performances in Bollywood.
The large scale, elaborate dance routines have had to go along with kissing scenes. Thailand has also banned sex and fight scenes that require contact. But despite the challenges, many productions are up and running because, as the saying goes, the show must go on.
Charlotte Gallagher always with the drama, and that's all from us for now. But there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. If you want to comment on this podcast or the topics covered in it, you can send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC, Dalziell DOT UK. I'm Jonathan Savage. The producer of this podcast was Alison Davies. The studio manager was Wayne Moses and the editor is Karen Martin. Until next time.
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