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This is the global news podcast from the BBC World Service. I'm Valerie Sanderson, and in the early hours of Monday, the 8th of February, these are our main stories. The authorities in Haiti say they've foiled an attempt to assassinate the president and overthrow the government. South Africa is suspending its full rollout of the AstraZeneca job after a study showed disappointing results against a local variant of coronavirus. In a case that attracted global attention.


Saudi Arabia is said to have commuted the death sentence of a Shia activist. Also in this podcast, just what motivates the Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny? We talk to a long time friend.


And I witnessed something that looked like a scene from a Bollywood film. I've never seen anything like it. About 50 to 100 people were running for their lives and they were engulfed by the river.


The search and rescue operation, which has been taking place in northern India following a glacier collapse. As we record this podcast, more than 20 people have been arrested in Haiti accused of plotting to kill President Jovenel Moïse. Those detained include a Supreme Court judge and a senior police officer. Tension in the country has been high, with opposition parties arguing that the president's five year term in office has ended. He has repeatedly stated his term only ends in February next year.


But to try to explain the confusion, I spoke to our Central America correspondent Will Grant.


It stems from a confusion, if you like, over the election itself, which was aborted in 2015, reeheld in 2016, and the interpretation, therefore, of the length of the president's time in office. Of course, Mr. Moïse himself says that that is over on the 7th of February 2022 and he won't be standing down before then. But the opposition claim he should end now. And I think we can expect more and more protests to come as he as he refuses to stand down.


And what do we know about what's being called a coup?


Very little, to be perfectly honest, he said on his way to another city in the country that there had been an attempt on my life and that that plan was aborted. And he thanked his head of security at the presidential palace for doing that. Beyond that, to be perfectly honest, we do not know a great deal. You mentioned there some of those who had been detained included a Supreme Court justice and an inspector general of the police. But again, it is very, very murky.


All of this prompting human rights groups, opposition MPs, a variety of civic groups across Haiti to appeal to the United Nations, not to back Mr. Moïse in his presidency any further.


And you said there's been tension in the country. I mean, what is the background that it came to this?


Well, to be honest, the tensions in Haiti are varied and long standing, partly because of the legitimacy of his presidency at all. He has been he has been ruling with no oversight from the legislature for over a year now. There has been major protests over corruption. There have been protests over the handling of covid-19. It is as often the way a very messy and complicated picture in Haiti. And one just hopes for the well-being of those on the streets that it doesn't get ugly again and turn into, into a much more serious protests in the days to come.


Well Grant.


South Africa has announced that it's temporarily halting the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which had been scheduled to begin this week after a study found that the vaccine was largely ineffective against the new covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa. The scientist in charge of the study, Professor Sara Gilbert, said although more research needs to be done, she's still confident in the vaccine's effectiveness.


Maybe we won't be reducing the number of cases as much, but we still won't be seeing that the deaths, the hospitalizations and the severe disease. And that's really important for health care systems. Even if we are having mild and asymptomatic infections, to prevent people from going into hospital with covid would have a major effect.


Meanwhile, it's emerged that the one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived in South Africa last week are due to expire in April. Southern Africa correspondent Nomsa Maseko reports from Johannesburg.


South Africa's plans to vaccinate health care workers has been thrown into disarray. The country's one point two million frontline workers had expected to begin a vaccination program this week, but the government has decided to restrict the rollout after a study showed the vaccine won't be effective against the more resistant and highly contagious coronavirus variant identified in South Africa in December last year. The health minister said a smaller number of health care workers will still be vaccinated, but that will happen in conjunction with an implementation study. So more information can be gathered before a full rollout takes place. One million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived last week to much fanfare, triggering a wave of hope that the delay in South Africa's vaccination program was finally dealt with. But there's now renewed concern after questions were raised about the expiry date of the vaccine in just two months time. South Africa is now in the process of expediting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which studies indicate to be more effective against the new variant. Nomsa Maseko.


In India at least nine people have died and more than 100 are missing after a glacier collapsed and smashed into a hydroelectric dam causing flash flooding in the daily Ganga River in the state of Uttarakhand. Eyewitness pronouncing Rano described what he saw.


I witnessed something that looked like a scene from a Bollywood film. I've never seen anything like it. About 50 to one. People were running for their lives but couldn't be saved and they were engulfed by the river. The situation here is still dangerous. People are leaving their homes and are fleeing towards the forest. They're taking their belongings, including their quilts and mattresses.


Video footage uploaded on social media shows a torrent of water washing away parts of a dam. An operation is underway to try to rescue workers trapped inside a tunnel at the site. South Asian regional editor and Barazan Atherogenic tell us more.


The government has now deployed hundreds of emergency workers in the area. You know, it's devastated quite different areas of this particular district, the only district in north Rakhine state. On the one hand, the officials are now trying to rescue about 30 workers in one of the tunnels. They did successfully managed to rescue at least 16 people earlier in the day from a different tunnel. These are all part of this hydropower project, building a small dam across this free flowing rivers to generate electricity.


And the work has been going on. And the dramatic pictures showed how one of these small concrete dam was just washed away by this torrent. It was shocking to people because the force, the fury of this water, people could see and many people are afraid that there could be, you know, some herders, some local villagers and also many workers who were like sleeping near or working near those power plant areas. And they could also been washed away.


So we are still not clear about how many people are still missing.


And I suppose a lot of people are camping out and this has caused a panic. Now, this water was gushing through this valley and sweeping everything on the way, including some small settlements on the banks of the river because people have experience. In 2013, there was a huge like monsoon rain building up and then suddenly there was a cloud burst and a heavy rain, and that triggered a tsunami of water in these rivers. And more than 5700 people were killed at that time.


Many villages were washed away.


So it was not very long ago that people remember that even at that time, those who managed to go into the forest, they survived. People talked about, you know, people dying of hypothermia because it was too cold in the forest in the night. So people have that experience and that's why they're worried, because this is a very sensitive ecosystem and people cannot predict, you know, what is going to happen.


You say it's a very sensitive system. Has climate change affected it?


Scientists have been warning about this glacier melting or not disappearing because of, you know, increasing temperature. And scientists have been warning there is a real threat that some of these could disappear or once they start melting, they can gather water on the surface. And this is the water. They know at some point it can burst its banks and come into these rivers. That's why the environmentalists have been warning in all these dam projects should not be constructed in these areas because these areas are witness to landslides, earthquakes and flooding.


So government should be very careful about implementing these projects.


And that is an attraction. Saudi Arabia is understood to have commuted the death sentence of a Shia activist arrested as a teenager to 10 years in prison. The case of Ali al Nimr has attracted global attention. He was detained in 2012 after participating in anti-government protests in the east of Saudi Arabia with the Shia minorities based. Our Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher reports.


The family name carries great weight among the Shia minority in Saudi Arabia. The most famous member of the family was the religious leader, Sheikh Nimr Glymour, who was executed in 2016 after becoming the figurehead of Shia anti-government protests during the Arab Spring Ali. Nima is his nephew. He was arrested as a teenager for participating in the demonstrations. He was subsequently sentenced to death on charges of having a weapon and using violence. International rights groups have rallied to his cause.


Now, thanks to the royal decree on minors and execution, he might walk free by the end of the year.


Sebastian Usher. You could easily write a film script based on the life of the Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. If it was fiction, his return to Russia after leaving the country after he was poisoned with Novacek might almost seem a twist to far. His story now is being especially closely followed in one household in Bristol, in the south west of England a decade ago, the city's mayor live in RECE was on the same leadership program at the American Ivy League University, Yale, and he and Alexei Navalny became friends.


He'd arrived at the university a little bit before me and got himself sorted out and had a car. When I arrived, I hadn't got myself sorted out and I didn't have a car and I needed shopping and he would take me shopping to literally drive me to the supermarket, wait outside. Well, I did my round and then bring me back to the houses we were staying in. During the fall as well, you know, we took our children up all picking together and I remember us all being sat on the back of a tractor trailer as we got pulled through the apple orchards with big bags of apples in our kids laps.


So a very human and a very personal relationship we had at the time.


And did you talk to me at all about his ambitions in Russia?


Yeah, very much. What he did was well known that caused a number of the fellows to question whether at the end of the course, Alexei should even go back to Russia. But as is his commitment and his bravery, he said, no, I need to go back.


He didn't express any concerns about it. He just said, that's what I'm going to do.


Well, Alex, he's quite a calm character. He wasn't overly emotionally expressive. I think he was very aware of the dangers as well as his family. And I think we have to remember that it's Alexei, but it's also the bravery of his wife and his children. His argument is that Putin and colleagues were trying to avoid associating with the agencies or CIA that he's in America, you know, and try and move eyes away from the corruption he was exposing and try and portray as a Western plot against the Russian people.


And his feeling was that if he did not go back to Russia, he would allow Putin the space to really drive that narrative. So he wanted to go back to make sure that the validity of the corruption he was exposing was taken seriously. I find it quite remarkable. People are actually very stoical, whether it's a coping mechanism or whether it's a cultural expression. They don't walk around expressing fear. They're just incredibly resolute. And it was very matter of fact that they were returning to Russia despite all the conversations that were going on with them and the conversations that were going on around them as well.


Do you think that at that stage he had a sense of where his trajectory was going to take him? Because, I mean, he is now a world class story and appears to be shaking President Putin in a way that nobody else has really done.


I don't know if he would say it was destiny, but Alexei is a very clever human being and he's a very committed human being. So he would be aware of the significance of Putin on the world stage and had an inkling of the scale of corruption that was going to be exposed in the power of the Internet. And I would imagine that he could have added all those together. And actually, that puts me on a pathway of inevitability to increase in national and international prominence because of what he be put into the public domain.


You stayed in touch, stayed friends. He was always very thoughtful. I mean, I was running for mayor in 2015 16 when I became a candidate and the money was running. My campaign said, you've just had a tweet by a guy with X million Twitter followers. I don't know who this is. And it was Alexei just taking time out to support me as well.


You've talked about how determined he was to go back when you knew him. This time must have taken huge courage, mustn't it? Because he knew surely that he was not exactly going to be welcomed by President Putin when he got back.


If you go through Alexei's history, the threats, the attacks, the spring in his eyes, the loss of eyesight, the skin damage, the raids, the fact he's there with his family, you cannot come away with any other conclusion than just this incredibly brave man who is incredibly committed to what he is doing. And I admire him for that.


Marvin Rees talking about Alexei Navalny to the BBC's Edward Stirton.


Still to come, we look back on the life of George Shultz, who served as President Reagan's secretary of state, negotiating disarmament treaties leading ultimately to the end of the Cold War.


He's died at the age of 100 and we are free, but yet we need our democracy. That's why we have to fight back and take back our democracy.


That's why we go out and we protest another day, another demonstration in Myanma against the military coup.


More than three years after the devastating battle to reclaim Mosul from the Islamic State movement, its old city still lies in ruins. And Escalade project called Reviving the Spirit of Mosul has hired locals of all faiths to work together to rebuild historic mosques and churches in the city. Pope Francis plans to visit all three sites during his much anticipated visit to Iraq in March. Now McGuffey has the story.


The battle for Mosul reduced to rubble instead of homes, schools and lives, there were simply piles of dust. Tens of thousands of Christians and Yazidis fled. The terror gone with the winding streets, the churches and the mosques, symbols of peaceful religious coexistence destroyed by ISIS and destroyed by intolerance.


More than three years later, much of the city is still in ruins. Rebuilding takes time and money, but there is hope and determination. A UNESCO project funded by the UAE has pledged to rebuild three of the city's most important places of worship, all faiths are working together, in their words, to revive the spirit of Mursal.


Brick by brick.


The Elsah and Altamira churches are rising from the dust, and Sead from UNESCO is working on the Altamira church in the heart of the Old City.


But since, of course, at the time of year, we separated from our Christian brothers for three years. But now we are happy to be working together to rebuild. I'm happy to see Christians, Muslims and Yazidis working to rebuild a city that will be ours.


A few streets away is what's left of the famous al-Nouri mosque, whose leading minaret was once a symbol of Mosul itself. It was here that is declared the so-called caliphate in 2014 before blowing it up three years later.


Omar Abdel Taco's inspecting the elaborate brick patterning on what's left of the base of the minarets.


He was removed about 5600 tons of rubble and about 20 some of them was put inside the walls of the mosque as the restoration begins.


It's not just the physical challenges that locals have to deal with.


ISIS used the Elsah monastery as a base, and there are still reminders of the horrors of its occupation. The domes are embedded with mortars while in symbols and flags are still on the walls. Amira Ali is helping to clear the site.


Also, you can see here some roofs. We heard that they have been hanging people from the. And now is healing, now it's going back to normal, life is going back as it was before this. Next month, the pope will visit Iraq, the first ever pontiff to do as he'll visit several churches in Mosul, the al-Nouri mosque, and meet the Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, a hugely symbolic moment and one father, Emmanuel Abida, is looking forward to.


He's the head of the Syriac Catholic diocese in Mosul.


Shia, Sunni, Shia and Yazidi Christians. This place is available to everyone and we will welcome everyone with joy and peace.


Mosul will never forget the atrocities that took place here, but rebuilding means reclaiming its ancient history, a history of tolerance and peace. Now, McGuffey, next to Myanmar, a country that on Sunday saw its largest protests in more than a decade, a surge in popular anger at last week's military coup was reflected on its streets. Up to 100000 demonstrators gathered in Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, and crowds could be heard chanting, We don't want military dictatorship. We want democracy.


Rallies were held in more than a dozen other cities, most of which were peaceful. These brothers, who didn't want to be named, took part in the protests in Yangon speaking to the BBC. They said the demonstrators were frightened of the military, but doing nothing was not a choice they had.


There are so many rumors that they will be shoot us or they won't be detained. Everyone will join us in the protest. We are free. And yet we need our democracy because our our country, the government and the democracy has been hijacked. It is has been hijacked from us. That's why we have to fight back and take back our democracy. That's what we want. That's why we go out and we protest.


They also expressed concern over the whereabouts of the elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and said without her, any hope for Myanmar's future was lost.


We fully support her, that she is our only hope. She's our only hope for our democracy. You know, we have no hope.


If she died or something happened to her, you know, we what what is our future with our she's our truly do we really need about Southeast Asia correspondent Jonathan Head followed the day's events.


They started marching in the morning and the numbers just kept growing. This was Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay, led by students chanting We don't need the military. Democracy is our right. They were joined by a cacophony of cars and motorbikes sounding their horns in support in the main commercial city, Yangon. The protests were even larger. A long line walking in from the north, stretching out of view, wearing the red colors of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, many holding up portraits of the detained Burmese leader.


By this afternoon, the crowd completely filled the roads leading to Zulay Pagoda, a historic gathering point in downtown Yangon. Choosing our own government is our right. They chanted. Protests also took place in at least a dozen other towns, even in remote and thinly populated Chin State. Shots were fired by the police to disperse the crowd in one border town, but so far no injuries have been reported. Six days after their coup, the military is now facing open defiance across the country and it's gaining momentum.


There was even a noisy motorbike rally in the capital, Naypyidaw, the Army's fortress like stronghold. At times, the authorities have shut down most of the Internet, but that hasn't worked. Everyone fears what may come next. The military has killed thousands before to shore up its power. It may do so again.


So how will the military respond to this growing dissent? And what might its next move be?


Is the editor of the BBC's Berbee service, Sufentanil.


I think it's quite difficult to gauge what they are thinking at the moment. Probably they have expected this kind of response, but not in this big scare. They don't want to be seen like going in and going in to break down this kind of mass protest, because they know that this is not just a one particular group or one political organizations that are going out. It's a kind of a mass movement or people joining in know all young people alike. So probably they don't want to be seen going in and do this kind of brutal crackdown like they did in the past.


But they have different tactics. Like some people are quite concerned that at the nighttime force, then they would come and they would go after, you know, individual houses and probably take away some key leaders hoping that, you know, after taking away those key leaders, then this movement would fizzle out a bit. But also, like the protesters are sending out SMS messages among themselves that like, you know, when the security people come to your house, don't just go away with them.


Just, you know, make some noises. Then other residents, other people from other residents would come and then protect you, block you.


Sufentanil The former U.S. Secretary of state George Shultz, has died at the age of 100. He held several cabinet posts but will perhaps be best remembered for his time as secretary of state, shaping US foreign policy in the closing phase of the Cold War, he took part in crucial disarmament negotiations and talks, which ended a dangerous nuclear stalemate with the Soviet Union. Paul Adams looks back at his life.


He served under three presidents in three different departments, gaining a reputation as the man for all portfolios. But it was as secretary of state during crucial talks on nuclear disarmament with the Soviet Union that George Shultz became widely known as the face of quiet diplomacy. His career started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he quickly became an economic adviser to President Eisenhower. In 1969, President Nixon appointed him secretary of labor and then treasury secretary in 1972, when Shultz refused to allow his staff to be used in Watergate related activities.


Their relationship soured, and he resigned. A few months before his boss, he joined the huge Bechtel company. But when Alexander Haig resigned as Ronald Reagan's secretary of state in 1982, he agreed to return to politics. For two years, he worked on the complex issues surrounding a partial withdrawal of Israeli forces fighting in Lebanon.


They have been debated, analyzed, pored over, agonized over. Now is the time to resolve them. As the Bible tells us to everything. There is a season, there is a time to debate, and there is a time to decide. Now is the time to decide.


As Reagan developed his space based defenses against nuclear attack, which came to be known as Star Wars, Shultz helped to tone down the president's anti Soviet rhetoric, embarking on a long series of negotiations aimed at cutting both their nuclear arsenals. His soft spoken style and bookish demeanor seemed to personify his desire for quiet diplomacy. After the death of the Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, Shultz spelt out their willingness to talk.


We remain ready for a constructive and realistic dialogue with the Soviet Union in this nuclear age. The United States will work to build a more stable and more positive relationship, as the president has stressed. We seek to find solutions to real problems, not just to improve the atmosphere of our relations.


The relationship did improve a 1987 nuclear arms reduction treaty, helping to reduce tensions. After Reagan left office, George Shultz remained an adviser to the Republican Party, including both the Bush presidents, Paul Adams and children around the world to fund the last year especially tough.


The restrictions imposed because of the pandemic mean they've missed their friends, their hobbies and huge parts of their education. In Jordan on Sunday, there was a. Attempt to return to some sort of normality as thousands began to return to the classroom. The BBC's Jonathan Savage reports.


In the schoolyard in Amman, a ritual is reinstated, children line up to hear the Jordanian national anthem. It means for the first time in many months, schools in I am very happy to see my friends and teacher again, says Mecca, whose seven I was bored at home.


Schools in Jordan were closed on the 14th of March 2020, and aside from a brief attempt to reopen in September, the classrooms have remained closed ever since. But a drop in cases has led the Jordanian government to try again. Kindergarten and early elementary school levels, as well as students in the final year of high school, can now return. Over the last year, online learning has taken its place. But some teachers say it's a poor substitute.


Turning into a teaching face to face, the student will understand better and more quickly get hold of the idea and study better than from online learning.


In total, 770 3000 youngsters will be back in class this week. By the fourth of March, another one point four million will go back. Things will be different, of course, what the National Epidemic's Committee calls a strict health protocol.


We followed the protocol with the idea of not taking more than 20 kids so that we have room to keep safe distance. Hygiene is maintained inside and outside classrooms. Temperatures are taken at the gates and any student or member of staff who has a high temperature cannot enter the premises.


More than 4000 people have died with covid-19 in Jordan, but as of today, 10 times that number have received a first dose of a vaccine. Like so many places, Jordan is hoping for a better year ahead, and so say all of us.


That was Jonathan Savidge reporting. 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 Dot UK. The studio manager was Chris Cazares, producer. Allison Davis, the editor. As always, Karen Martin. I'm Valerie Sandison and next time, Abai.