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. This is the Global News podcast from the BBC World Service.
I'm Jacki Lennart. And in the early hours of Friday, the 26th of February, these are our main stories. EU leaders have been warned that they might have to vaccinate their people for coronavirus every year as the bloc's struggles to roll out the first jobs. President Putin's most prominent Russian critic, Alexei Navalny, has been moved from a remand centre to a prison camp. And a court in Peru has issued a landmark ruling that a severely disabled woman should have the right to end her own life.
Also in this podcast, The Black Brown Babbler Not Extinct after all, the way Europe has handled the rollout of vaccinations against coronavirus has been heavily criticized.
On Thursday, the European Commission held a video conference to debate ways to try to sort out the problems, ease production bottlenecks and the possible introduction of vaccination passports. The European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said it would take three months to set up a data system for health care and border controls. Speaking after the meeting, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that the vaccination effort might have to go on for years.
The commission's president and all the life on the line at the commission, President Ursula von der Leyen reported on the vaccine manufacturers commitments. And then she pointed out that we needed to prepare. And there was consensus on that. Because of this virus mutations, we may need to be able to vaccinate for years, as we do with flu vaccinations.
In our Europe, correspondent Nick Beke told us more about what the leaders discussed.
The problem for the EU is turning it around is going to be really difficult and there are no quick fixes. I think you sum it up, the EU is facing this triple whammy distribution problems after the initial production problems and then the skepticism that we're seeing, particularly in Germany and in France as well. Behind the scenes, they're talking about new things they can do, potentially new production sites where new vaccines can be made. That'll take months, though, to get those up and running.
Also, the idea of speeding up the system of approving vaccines. Well, to be honest, that's only going to help in the autumn when potentially second generation vaccines that are created in response to new variants when they start to come online. So it's tough. And the EU leaders have been talking for more than four hours and we're getting sort of hints of what they might have discussed. But in terms of any sort of, you know, new policy coming from this, that's going to make an instant reaction, I think that an instant sort of, you know, something which really improves the situation, that's going to be really tough.
That was Nick Bik. In recent weeks, we've been hearing how countries around the world have been rolling out their vaccination programs at different speeds. And a special focus has been placed on those people who live in refugee camps. The UN says there are currently more than two point six million refugees living in camps, about a tenth of the total refugee population. Last week, the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, home to around 80000 Syrians, became the first refugee camp in the world to open a vaccination center.
So what's happening there now?
The ABC has received this message in Arabic and has voiced it up in English Marhaba and even as the Iraqi Mohammed Saturday and our photography was on vacation.
Hello, I'm Younus Al Hiroaki, a refugee at these Attari camp. I'm a photographer and filmmaker and I've been living in the camp since 2013.
Or generally speaking, life used to be pretty normal. We used to work and everything was fine. Then suddenly the coronavirus swept across the whole world. It came really close to the camp and this really worried us.
We were terrified that it might spread amongst us because we didn't know how to deal with it.
Many people and organizations offered us lots of advice so that we could get through this period.
We were placed under a total lockdown for 14 days, followed by a series of other lockdowns so that the virus wouldn't spread quickly.
The disease is obviously a really bad one, and I asked a lot of people who had caught it, how it had affected them, and they felt blessed to be alive as they felt close to death whilst they were ill.
And we were very, very worried. And most of all, for the children who live in the camp, there's a huge number of people in this camp.
In some areas, around 500 people mingle with each other on a daily basis.
Thank God the vaccination has started.
It's been given to. Elderly people and to people with long term illnesses, and we just pray that we will be rid of the virus very soon.
Lobby group Wojtyła Younis, a photographer who has lived in the Zaatari refugee camp for the past eight years. This week, nurses in Kenya returned to work after three months on strike. Doctors who had also walked out in December returned last month as widespread relief because many feared prolonged industrial action in the middle of a pandemic could cost even more lives. So far, Kenya has had 1800 covid deaths in a country of 52 million people. But as Lucy Ash reports, the death of one young doctor from the virus has stirred outrage and exposed some of the failings in the country's health system.
No, no, no, no.
In the town of Ember, three hours drive north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, a man in a hazmat suit leads a nurse's protest.
Your nurses, clinical officers and doctors have been furious about a lack of insurance cover and unpaid wages.
One nurse who was at this demo texted me last week to say he'd return to work, even though not all the strikers demands have been met because he was scared of losing his job. That's what happened to more than 400 health workers in the neighboring county of Karimnagar in 2019.
You embarrassed them by going on strike. They fire you. So basically they are telling you you work with what we give you or you don't have a job.
Go. Goodey is a doctor and branch secretary of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.
These politicians don't use our public systems and so they really don't care whether it is ill equipped or well equipped. They get their medical services from foreign countries. As I speak right now, the doctors have not had an insurance for the past six months. In covid, we lost a doctor because he could not afford to pay ICU.
She's talking about Stephen Muguruza, who'd been working in a covid isolation unit and who succumbed to the virus in December. At the time of his death, he'd received no salary for five months.
He could not raise two thousand dollars to be admitted in an ICU that he had been working to save other people.
It is that dire, having no protective equipment really exposed to Stephen Magoo's. His sister Doreen blames his death on stress, overwork and a lack of PPE. They would be fighting for a mask that on his mind. Don't take that one word for the other. But, you know, we're really not sure the Pippy's were there. He said it's like they're sending us to the battlefield without any.
The warehouses of Kemakeza, the state run Kenya Medical Supplies Authority were bulging with masks and protective clothing, but hardly any of it was getting to frontline medics. Senator Sylvia Kasongo, who chaired a covid-19 inquiry, says that's because the items were overpriced and the county health boards didn't want to buy them.
PCP's, for instance, that probably go for maybe four thousand five hundred Kenyan shillings while probably being procured at 11000 Kenya shillings. So twice the market price, sometimes a little bit more. It looks like a few leaders took advantage of the fact that there has to be emergency procurement done. And in such scenarios, then you line up your cronies. Price is set. Once those equipment have been procured at such a high price, who is going to send them off to go at a lower price pending investigations?
The head of the authority and two of his staff have been suspended. They deny wrongdoing.
And you can hear more from Lukash on this week's edition of Assignment on the BBC World Service. A majority of MPs in the Dutch parliament have supported a proposal to classify China's treatment of its Wiggo minority as genocide. The Canadian parliament passed a similar motion a few days ago, and a Holligan reports recognising the atrocities as genocide prevents the world from looking the other way.
Liberal MPs, your sources, told the BBC the motion to classify the alleged abuses as a deliberate attempt to destroy an entire ethnic group constitutes a grave condemnation. The BBC has uncovered allegations of systematic rape and torture in the camps, while an Associated Press investigation found evidence of forced sterilization. China has described these claims as completely unfounded and denied any wrongdoing inside what it calls vocational training centres.
And Holligan, Russia's most prominent opposition activist, Alexei Navalny, has been moved from a remand center near Moscow to serve his sentence in a prison camp. Mr Navalny was arrested on his return last month from treatment in Germany. A nerve agent poisoning Steve Rosenberg reports from Moscow, Alexei Navalny, his lawyer, Vadim, said he'd arrived at the remand jail to meet his client, only to be told that Mr. Navalny was no longer there. Mr. Gorbachev said that at the jail they wouldn't tell him to which prison colony the Russian opposition activist had been taken.
Earlier this month, a Moscow court had converted a suspended sentence Mr. Navalny had received in 2014 for embezzlement into a prison term, claiming he had violated the terms of his probation. Both the original conviction and the decision to send him to prison are widely seen as politically motivated.
Steve Rosenberg in Russia. Indian officials say they found a boat adrift in the Andaman Sea carrying more than 80 Rohingya refugees. It had left Bangladesh two weeks ago, but became stranded when its engine failed. At least eight people on the boat have died. Our South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan reports.
More than 800000 Rohingya Muslims live in squalid conditions inside the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh in recent months, many of them have been paying smugglers to board boats to escape to Malaysia and Indonesia in search of a better life. Fears are growing for dozens currently adrift in Indian waters after their boats engine failed around two weeks ago. We will pass this message by an activist. He'd been sent it by one of the refugees on board. People are dying, he says in the recording.
If nobody reaches as soon. More people will die. The Indian authorities say they recently provided food, water and medicines to those on board. But the head of the United Nations refugee agency in the region into what he is calling on the authorities to rescue the refugees immediately.
I think already, after two weeks exposure in the high seas and what has been abandoned and adrift, I think it is a race against time. And the longer we take the probability of more loss of life, I think is increasing by the day by the other.
Indian officials say they're in discussions with Bangladesh to ensure the safe and secure repatriation of the refugees. This is just the latest struggle for the Rohingya, the world's largest stateless population, more than three years after they fled persecution in Myanmar. They're still on the move. And with the ongoing military coup in Myanmar, their chances of going home soon are even slimmer. Rajini Vaidyanathan.
Still to come in this podcast, so what artificial intelligence enables you to do is operate at a scale and level of complexity that you simply can't replicate with just using humans, using artificial intelligence or A.I. to tackle increasingly sophisticated criminal activity.
Tens of thousands of supporters of the Armenian prime minister, Nicole Poznan, spent Thursday on the streets to avert what he called an attempted coup in an address in the center of the capital, Yerevan. Mr. Annan ordered the army to do its job of protecting the country by obeying the people and the government they elected. The military has been angered by the PM's sacking of top commanders who blame him for losing the military conflict against Azerbaijan last year. Our correspondent Rayhan Demitri reports.
Thousands of Nicole Bassendean supporters chanted his name as they gathered in the central square of the capital, Yerevan, addressing them. Mr. Buchanan said that the Armenian people would never allow a military coup to happen in the country. He urged the Army's general staff to obey the country's political leadership environment as an elected prime minister.
I am ordering all generals, officers and soldiers do your job of protecting the country's borders. This is my order and no one can breach yet.
Earlier, dozens of senior Army officials signed a letter calling for the prime minister and his cabinet to resign. Armenia has been in political crisis since last November's humiliating defeat in a war with neighboring Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno Karabakh. The country's president, the head of the Armenian church, opposition parties and now the military all hold Nicole Bassendean responsible for its outcome. But the prime minister, who came to power off the back of a popular uprising three years ago, insists that he still enjoys the support of the majority of Armenians.
That was Reyhan Demitri. Satellite pictures suggest that hundreds of structures were destroyed by fire in the Ethiopian region of Tigray earlier this week. There have been reports of sporadic fighting in Tigray since the Ethiopian government toppled the regional leadership in November. Grant Farat reports.
In the three months since the Tea Party was ousted by federal forces, the central government has largely denied access to Tigray for aid agencies and the media. In the absence of first hand information, satellite data have become more significant. The latest photos collected by a private satellite operator, Planit Labs, show 500 blackened circles in an area about 30 kilometres south west of the regional capital, Micheli. It's not clear who started the fires. Grant Ferrett.
Now, we've been talking about the time a decade ago when Egyptians took to the streets calling for the resignation of the then president Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's revolution was part of a wave of demonstrations that took place in the Arab world referred to as the Arab Spring. For the second of her reports, our Australia correspondent Shima Halil, who herself is Egyptian and covid events in Egypt as they unfolded in the following years, reflect on what happened after Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
Hosni Mubarak is gone and I never thought I'd see this day happen. I'm so happy.
In two short years, from the jubilant scenes I watched in Tahrir Square, Egyptians found themselves at a crossroads yet again. The new president, Mohammed Morsi, had been elected by the people, but he hadn't fulfilled or reflected the revolutionaries ideals of democracy. With the economy in freefall and attempted change in the Constitution by Mr. Morsi, which would give him more powers, proved to be a step too far from.
By the summer of 2013, the protests had reached a boiling point. Millions calling for the ousting of the embattled Mr. Morsi. The army came back to the fore and overthrew Egypt's first democratically elected president. The violence that followed was unlike anything I'd seen since the start of the uprising. This was no longer the people against the regime. It was Egyptians against Egyptians at the Muslim Brotherhood, sit ins. People were adamant they would only leave if Mohamed Morsi was reinstated.
We're going to see your orders from didn't you call us Muslim? Have to go to democracy. You have to go to elections. Where did you go on to election? We elected president. Morsi is elected president not far from where they were.
Scores of anti-Muslim Brotherhood protesters told me that the only legitimate power in their eyes was that of the military. It's either them or us, an Army supporter told me.
The turning point came in August 2013, the army cracked down on two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps with brutal force. Hundreds died. I was at Elliman Mosque the next day.
Dozens and dozens of dead bodies covered in white shrouds. But you can't see here. You can smell very, very strongly. It's the smell of purification. It's the smell of bodies decomposing people bring next to dead bodies. In the days that followed, videos emerged of Muslim Brotherhood supporters allegedly carrying weapons and firing at security personnel.
Soon after, 50 militants stormed the police station of Kerdasa in Giza, killing 14 policemen. Both the army and the police retaliated. The Muslim Brotherhood's time in charge was over from holding the reins of power only weeks before they were now a banned terror group with most of its leaders, including the former president, in jail. The military, once criticized for using excessive force on the streets, was now praised and even encouraged to do so by swathes of Egyptians and my country.
It was back where it started, run by military men in 2014. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won the presidential elections. In the years since Mr. al-Sisi election, a general sense of paranoia has developed. I feel it every time I visit Cairo or my family home in Alexandria. No one dares speak against the president or the leadership. Many key figures of the 2011 revolution are now imprisoned, banned from traveling or have chosen to live in exile.
True, the country is safer and more stable now than during the turbulent days between 2011 and 2013. But millions of Egyptians have been struggling to make ends meet in the years since. And that voice, that spirit of change that has all but disappeared.
In recent months, Tahrir Square has been given a major facelift. It looks beautiful, yes. But to me it's also a shadow of its former self when 10 years ago, a sea of people descended on it.
Angry, fearless and empowered with a sharp as customers are the people who want the downfall of the regime. This chant echoed from the streets of Tunisia, where the Arab Spring started to the uproar in Egypt to the rest of the region. Now it feels like a distant memory.
That report by Shima Halil. Across the globe, euthenasia divides opinion, and it's particularly controversial in Catholic countries. But now, in a landmark ruling, a court in Peru has agreed with a severely disabled woman who argues that she has the right to end her life when her suffering becomes unbearable. We heard more from Leonardo Roter, our Latin America's editor.
Estrada, she's 44, she's a psychologist, and she has suffered from polio since the age of 12. Her condition has deteriorated throughout the years. She now stays most of the time in bed. And she needs assistance for everything, for almost everything, even even feeding. Eating is difficult for her. And she's young, 44, and she sees that that could get much worse. That's what the doctors are saying. So what she's been fighting for for a while and she has a blog, she's a campaigner, is, she said, is basically the right to die with dignity.
She says she doesn't want to take her life now to end her life. Now, she loves life, but she fears what will happen when her condition deteriorates. And what did the court say? The court said that she had the right to die with dignity. So it's not like she decided to take her life and she goes and she has euthanasia somewhere else because she is depressed. So that what they say is she has basically the right to switch off life support machines that the ventilators and and the artificial feeding.
And there is an article in the Peruvian legislation that would make that a crime for her and for the people involved. So they said basically that she had the right to die with dignity. And what's interesting is her case was brought forward by the ombudsman, basically like a prosecutor working for the Peruvian state.
That was Leonardo Rossia. In past times, it's possible that our next story would have been kept very secret, but things have changed. The British Security Agency HQ says it's expanding its use of artificial intelligence, or A.I., to tackle increasingly sophisticated criminal activity in areas including child sexual abuse and people trafficking. The agency says it will use EHI to map networks operating on the dark web. But there are concerns. Razia Iqbal has been speaking to Harriott Haslem Green, a former U.K. military intelligence officer for 10 years with specializes in global counter-terrorism and defense strategy.
She explained how the UK intelligence services will be using this technology.
So what artificial intelligence enables you to do is operate at a scale and level of complexity that you simply can't replicate with just using humans. So if you think about the level of data that the guys and gals that you think you have got to get through, you just cannot get through the volume of data that is out there on the Internet using human analysis alone. And what A.I. enables you to do is trawl through massive amounts of data very, very rapidly in order to find the right leads and the right pieces of information for the analysts to do their work.
So it's all about scale, volume and ability to trawl through complexity of data. What A.I. can be tasked and programmed to do, sort of be set off to trawl and locate data, which would take a human days, weeks, months, perhaps even years to find.
Do you think that beyond it being very useful as a massive timesaver in the way in which you've outlined that it can also be used to to solve investigations, or is it just a tool to aid investigators?
I ultimately is not a human. So what it can't do is provide context. Let's call it intelligent thought around problem solving or decision making so it can find data, it can locate things. It can be tasked in quite complex, intricate ways. But what it can't do is use, for example, emotional intelligence or context in order to come up with conclusions. You will always need human analysis to do that. So it's not going to problem solve. But what it is absolutely going to be able to do is enable you to get to the problem solving or get to the solution far more rapidly and more effectively.
And you would otherwise be able to do you are simply dealing with too great a body of data and too complex data, often encrypted data, to be able to do that without these tools.
What about the ethical concerns in this case that the intelligence services would potentially swoop up unrelated data?
This is a question which comes up again and again, and I is at the forefront of that discussion. So, you know, in particular, people are so concerned about data privacy, as you say, but also transparency of what the intelligence services are doing, fairness of the systems that are involved and security of the systems of potential must apply on top of them. It's always a balance between that preservation of individual rights and protecting people from these significant threats to our way of life.
So it's an incredibly delicate balancing act. But you can certainly have made efforts to be as transparent as possible in terms of messaging around what they're seeking to do.
Harriet Haslem Green, a former U.K. military intelligence officer, on how UK security agencies will be using artificial intelligence. The singer Lady Gaga has offered a reward for the return of two of her dogs after a gunman shot her dog walker and stole the animals in Hollywood late on Wednesday. Sophie Long in Los Angeles has the story.
Lady Gaga dogwalker had been exercising three of the singer's dogs in Hollywood just before 10:00 on Wednesday evening when he was shot at by a man with a semiautomatic handgun. Los Angeles police say the victim was taken to hospital. His attacker fled with two of Gagas French bulldogs, Kohji and Gustaaf. The third, Miss Asia, ran away and was later recovered by police. Lady Gaga, whose dogs had accompanied her to some of her most high profile performances, is said to be extremely upset and is offering a reward of a half a million dollars for their return.
Sophie Long, a songbird, has been rediscovered in Southeast Asia decades after it was thought to have become extinct. The black browed bubbler had not been seen for more than 170 years until two men walking in the forests of Borneo found her by chance, and they even managed to record. It's cool.
Our science correspondent is Victoria Girl, and she described it for us.
It's actually quite sort of monochrome in colour, but really quite pretty. It's got quite a long bill that's like gray and slight gray legs. It's got a gray and white flecked and it's very coppery brown back and wings and a copper crest on its head. And then this very deep, dark I strike that sort of reaches to its neck. But I think the most striking thing about it and what is lovely about this discovery of the birds alive and well in the forest is its eyes are a deep, dark red.
They're really striking. And there's only one type specimen, which is a, you know, a dead stuffed bird in a museum that was captured and killed in in 1840 or around 1840 on sort of one of those big colonial collection missions of species around the world. And that had yellowish eyes that were, you know, they're just all marbles that were put in there because they didn't have the right coloured ones. So it's the first time that this bird's eyes have been seen and they're really beautiful.
So is there any clue about how many of these things there might be? Because obviously no longer extinct, but presumably it's still in trouble?
Well, there's a note of hope. So there's been huge amounts of deforestation in that part of Borneo. And this bird was thought to have been wiped out by all that habitat loss. But it hasn't. It survived. And there are a lot of birds that are very threatened in that part of the world. A lot of them are threatened directly because they're caught to be kept in cages.
There's a huge tradition of birds singing competitions in Indonesia, but the local knowledge and passion for birds is really being channeled into conservation and a passion for the local environment. So there's a note of hope, even though there's been a lot of habitat destruction, that is a very threatened area. But if that discovery can be channeled into protecting this area of forest and also crucially, providing people with a means to protect that forest and make their livelihoods, then that's something the really positive that can be gained from this amazing discovery.
Our science correspondent Victoria Gill.
And that's it from us for now. But there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. If you would like to comment on this podcast or the topics covered in it, you please send us an email address, global podcast at BBC, dot com dot UK. This podcast was mixed by Mike. Oddly, the producer was Leon McAffrey, the editor is Karen Martin. I'm Jackie Leonard. Until next time for me and the black brown bubalo bird rabbi.