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Quicksilver one. There says the global news podcast from the BBC World Service. Hello, I'm Oliver Conway. We're recording this 14 hours GMT on Monday, the 22nd of February. Italy's ambassador to Congo is killed in an ambush on a UN convoy. Hundreds of thousands take to the streets across Myanmar at the start of a general strike, defying a threat from the military. And the Chinese official overseeing Hong Kong announces plans to stop so-called troublemakers holding public office.


Also in the podcast, more than 100 Boeing airliners are grounded after an engine falls apart in midair 10 years on. Remembering the earthquake in New Zealand, a fractured landscape.


Aftershocks. Struggling friends and neighbors and children with deep and unseen scars.


And a Chinese teacher apologizes for calling women a bargain. The Italian ambassador to Congo, Luca Attanasio, has died after a UN convoy came under attack. His driver and bodyguard were also killed. They were hit by gunfire north of Goma, a region that includes the UNESCO listed Virunga National Park and which is home to many armed groups. More details from our correspondent Catherine Byaruhanga.


The first reports we started to receive about this attack were around the mid-morning, around 10:00, 11:00. And the initial reports mention that a World Food Program convoy traveling near Goma, the city in eastern Congo, had come under attack. Two people were said to have been killed and that the Italian ambassador was wounded. But shortly after the reports came in that he'd actually succumb to his injuries. We understand they had been evacuated from the point of the attack taken to a U.N. hospital, and that's where he succumbed to his injuries.


And what kind of security would a UN convoy have had in this area? Because it is unstable? I've traveled in some of these areas as part of convoys, and usually if it's not too dangerous, you will have armed guards, you will have four by four vehicles. But if there is the possibility that you might come under attack, then you're put in armored vehicles. Now, the question is, for example, what kind of vehicles was the ambassador and his team traveling in?


But also what kind of backup support did they have? Why are there plans that should they come under attack, there would be enough support to to put to repel the attackers. We understand that some of the park guards at the Virunga National Park did get involved to repel the attackers. But right now, the big question is, how did this happen?


Katherine Byaruhanga talking to me from Nairobi at the weekend. An engine of a United Airlines Boeing 777 broke apart in midair in the U.S. state of Colorado, dropping debris on the suburbs below.


Oh, my God. Hey, there's more things now. Why don't we get going? Because these things are just falling back. That's why LA. Well, now Boeing has grounded more than 100 777, which have the same type of engine, a Pratt and Whitney 4000. Our business correspondent Theo Leggett told me what happened.


Well, only this aircraft took off from Denver. And very shortly into its flight, there was what people described as a loud bang or an explosion. And parts of the engine cowling came off. They landed in residential areas. And the engine you may well have seen the film of it that's been doing the rounds on social media was left in a damaged state and with fire at the rear of the engine. Now, this is appears to have been what's called an uncontained engine failure.


So aircraft engines do fail very rarely. But normally when they fail any parts, any debris from that failure is either contained within the engine or leaves out through the exhaust. So it doesn't go where it shouldn't in the event of an uncontained engine failure. Then you get shrapnel which can come out in any sort of direction. And that's obviously much, much more dangerous. It can damage the aircraft itself. It can also potentially get into the cabin and cause injuries there.


So what seems to have happened in this case is an uncontained failure. But fortunately, the aircraft itself, the rest of the aircraft suffered only minor damage and the aircraft was able to get back down on the ground because modern twin engine aircraft are designed to be able to fly safely on a single engine for a significant period of time.


And how long might these aircraft be on the ground? How long will it take to find out exactly what happened, to make sure it doesn't happen again?


With aircraft incidents, investigations, the onus is on finding out what went wrong and sorting it out rather than necessarily doing things as quickly as possible. So the simple fact is we don't know. The NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board in the United States is already examining what happened. It's already found evidence that two of the fan blades in the engine were damaged. Now, the concern here is that this would not be the first case in which an engine of this type had suffered a fan blade failure.


So investigators will be looking at whether the cause of this incident may be the same. If it was and we don't know that. But if it was, why have the inspection regimes that were put in place after previous incidents not prevented this from happening? They'll also be looking accident investigators. Tell me about the cause of that fire that we saw so clearly on the video, because after an engine failure, fuel supply would normally be cut off and there shouldn't be any reason for a fire to continue.


So that may be causing some concern. But the important point is it's a safety investigation and therefore it will proceed at the pace it needs to go at in order to get to the bottom of what happened and make recommendations which should, in theory, prevent it from happening again.


Theo Leggett, as Japan experience as a third wave of coronavirus infections, worrying new figures show a sharp increase in the suicide rate, particularly among women. While male suicides fell slightly, rates among women rose by nearly 15 percent last year. Experts believe the pandemic is to blame.


From Tokyo, Rupert Wingfield Hayes reports Coca Cola for details on the decision to stay in the port city of Yokohama.


A 19 year old woman is undergoing intensive counselling at a suicide prevention center called the Bond Project.


So when she was just 15 years old, the young woman's older brother began abusing her. Finally, she decided to run away from home. But the pain and loneliness only got worse.


This happened from about this time last year.


I have been in and out of a hospital many times every month or so, and I tried to kill myself many times, but I couldn't succeed. So now I guess I have given up trying to die.


The Bond Project's founder and chief councillor is June Tachibana since the middle of last year. She says her staff have seen a dramatic increase in similar cases.


She need take it day by night.


We hear lots of I want to die in. I have no place to go, they said. It is so painful. I'm so lonely. I want to disappear.


For those suffering physical or sexual abuse, covid has made the situation much worse.


So I still got to go talk to a girl.


I talk to other. They say she's getting sexually harassed by her father, but because of Corbitt, her father is not working so much and is at home a lot. So there's no escape from him.


So I was very, very surprised by the extent to which the number increase. Professor Mick Gooda is one of Japan's leading experts on suicide.


This pattern of female suicides is very, very unusual. I have never seen this much increase, so there must be something completely different going on compared to the past trend.


Professor Rayder says big social changes over the last two decades have made young Japanese women even more vulnerable.


The very fundamental change women. Are not married anymore, so they have to support their lives by themselves and that they don't have a very permanent job, they have a precarious employment status. So when something happens, of course, they are hit very, very hard.


Japan is now in a third wave of covid infections. More restaurants and bars are closing their doors. More people are losing their jobs. For professor, whether there is one more nagging question, if this is happening in Japan with no strict lockdowns and relatively few covid deaths, then what is happening to women in other countries where the pandemic is much worse?


Rupert Wingfield Hayes, a top Chinese official, has pledged to overhaul Hong Kong's political system to stop the participation of those he called anti China troublemakers. Pro-democracy candidates who challenged Chinese rule swept local district elections in Hong Kong in 2019. And it's widely believed that the communist authorities in Beijing want to stop that from happening again.


Stephen McDonell reports from the Chinese capital speech by senior Communist Party official calling for loopholes to be closed to stop anti China troublemakers entering politics in Hong Kong would appear to show that the Communist Party is preparing to overhaul the city's electoral system. Jabot, along with the head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, said improvements to the relevant electoral system should be led by the central government. Changes to the city's voting process could be introduced at the Communist Party's annual rubber stamp National People's Congress, which will meet in Beijing from the end of next week.


Stephen McDonell in Beijing. A Chinese tea chain has apologized for using sexist language. Sexist sparked criticism by referring to women as a bargain on its mugs, which now says it never intended to disrespect women. I got the story from our China media analyst, Kerry Allen.


It all started with this company, Sect, selling what they called Chunka dialect mugs. So they were special mugs that people could buy and they could keep their tea in. And people in Hunan Province, which is where this tea shop is famous in a city called Changsha. They took pictures of these and posted them on the platform, Sina Weibo, which is China's version of Facebook or Twitter. And people very much picked up on the language on these blogs that it said that women were a bargain and suggested that people could get lucky if they came into these shops because they could pick up a woman while waiting for their drinks.


And it wasn't just one mug. It was on a lot of monks. Quite, yes. So so the company has come under criticism before its previously sold tea bags with the packaging that had the slogan M.. I want you on it, along with an image of what looked like tadpoles but could be interpreted as sperm. And it's had a reputation before for being quite edgy. And I think this is why this caused such a stir on social media and got a lot of people talking about it.


Yeah, I mean, what else did Sakti say? Well, they've apologized today. They said that they had absolutely no intention of disrespecting women. And they've also said that they've recalled this batch of mugs and they they're going to seriously reflect on this incident. I mean, some people are saying that the company knew what they were doing. The fact that there have been multiple incidents such as this and the fact that this company is known as sexy tea always suggested it was going to be a bit edgy.


Its Chinese name isn't sexy to colorful tea. So so, yeah. That it's got people talking about how women are not considered in these discussions. I mean, one of the things that's been a recurring theme in recent months are discussions about how a lot of advertising campaigns are male dominated and they don't think about women. So actually, last month there was a facial wipes company that similarly drew scrutiny because it was sexist in its advertising and made clear that the people behind it were men and that they hadn't thought that women might actually backlash and have criticism towards this company.


Now, China media analyst Khari Allen still to come on the podcast, my grandpa was just such a character. You can tell from reading the obituary, I would say he was really someone that, you know, he wanted to see and be seen. He was definitely the man of the hour.


As America approaches half a million covid deaths, we hear about the people behind the statistics.


Three weeks after the coup in Myanmar, hundreds of thousands of protesters have defied the military.


They marched in cities across the country as they began a general strike since the army took over on the 1st of February, three people have died and more than 600 been arrested. But the security forces have so far stopped short of the kind of bloody crackdown seen in the past. The authorities, though, are warning that protesters risk losing their lives there. Demonstrator said it was important to take part in the campaign of nationwide strikes.


Today is a day for countrywide protests. We don't want to stay under the control of a military dictatorship. So we came here to join the protest. Regardless of the salaries we make, nothing will happen to me if my salary is cut. But if we stay under the control of a military dictatorship, we will become their slaves.


Thomson Chao is the editor of Frontiere, previously known as the Myanmar Times. He spoke to the BBC from the main city, Yangon.


Well, indeed, there are mass protests happening right now, and this is an effort that's dominated the whole country in the city since the protests began following the coup. But to date, up to like it is a lot bigger than before, with a lot more robust block highways, lots and shops closed. Everywhere you go, there has been reportedly a police presence. And I'm afraid I was in a smaller protest outside the jail and one of the UN office earlier today.


And now I'm near one of the major protests. And you see some of the people started wearing helmets. I think that's in part mainly in response to the shootings over the weekend where security forces shot and killed several of the protesters. A part of the resistance effort is the civil disobedience movement. Kick started with government doctors. And and I think many companies, and as I've spoken to, are now thinking, I mean, there's a good chance that the ministry would find it ungovernable.


We're talking about officials at companies, reportedly a tax department, a government, doctors, engineers, all going on strike.


Thomson Chao in Yangon. Our Southeast Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head is monitoring events from Bangkok. What does he make of the demonstration?


Well, it shows that people wanted to respond to the call for a general strike and have done so in very, very large numbers. It's not just the numbers. They're very big. They're probably bigger than we've seen up to now. And that seems fairly clear to me from the aerial pictures I've seen. But it's the number of different places. I mean, I've been in touch with people and really very, very small towns, places no one's heard of.


And they've got at least hundreds, if not thousands out on the streets as well. So this is a nationwide show of defiance against the military and very much an attempt to show up the military's claims that this is just a bunch of agitators. It's taking the form of a general strike. That means that nearly all commercial activities and certainly all official activities are being badly disrupted. And in some towns there, there's just nothing happening at all apart from the rallies.


But they you know, they are, in effect, an extension of the protests we've seen for the last two and a half weeks. And the real question is, what do they do after this? It's a great show of force. It will certainly remind those in power how much opposition they face. But it also has a very negative impact on an economy that's already quite fragile. And people will suffer. They don't earn any money. They can't buy supplies while these sorts of activities go on, can they repeat it?


And that's going to be the question for the next few days. What's the long term strategy?


But the fact that people are willing to resort to this and indeed risk their lives after we've seen those threats from the authorities, is that enough to make the military think again and change course?


We don't know. It's the great mystery. We still don't really know exactly what the dynamics were behind this very dramatic and, frankly, reckless decision to launch this coup against a government which had just won a resounding majority and had the clear support of huge numbers of people in the country. Even some of the people who've joined the military government must be thinking now, you know, is this a wise decision? Is it is it viable in the long term?


And that's really what this protest movement is trying to show. They're trying to show that the country will, in fact, be ungovernable because of the enormous amount of anger there is against this coup. Unless the military finds a way out what that way out is very hard to guess. And that will have to be explored by those who have channels of communication to the generals, the Chinese government, perhaps other neighboring countries, militaries in neighboring countries who may find it's possible to talk to them.


But it's very hard to see a way out. In some ways, the military has boxed itself into this situation. And I think it's instincts right now will be just. Hold fast and use lethal force when they need to, our South East Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head.


As U.S. President Donald Trump hope to withdraw all remaining American troops from Afghanistan, but his successor, Joe Biden, has decided to review the agreements made with the Taliban last year. That deal didn't involve the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani. He has now welcomed NATO's move to delay a decision on withdrawing troops.


As he told our chief international correspondent Liz Doucet, the NATO decision provides a window of opportunity to accelerate the peace process to shape an enduring, just and lasting peace. We have a sense of urgency. We have put a lot of things on the table. We've done a lot and we've sacrificed a tremendous amount. It is time that Taliban and their supporters showed the same will for seeking peace as they've demonstrated in seeking conflict.


Your national security adviser, Hamdullah, Mohib, says that you need at least two more years before you can stand on your own. We need support.


But is it a question of months or years before the last of the NATO forces and with crucial assets like air support, intelligence, logistics? Sure. The the fundamental issue let us return back. Are we talking about conditions of war or conditions of peace? Let's talk war right now, because if it's conditions or how long do your forces need? It depends on the intensity of the war in there. My messages, those who provide sanctuary to the Taliban should be talked to very strict.


The international community should not need to sacrifice in blood and treasure.


There's a new president in the White House. Are you relieved? I'm pleased. Relieved? I'm pleased. Relieved because it may be more predictable now.


No, I'm pleased that we are going to have a predictable process, a process of partnership. I'm delighted with the nature of conversation that is taking place between us. It is a conversation about mutual interests, mutual respect and mutual trust. They are going to be hard decisions and one has to expect the American war is over with.


President Biden called you and said, Mr. President, we believe we have a peace deal now and a cease fire. I'm asking you for peace to stand down, to find a way within the Constitution to stand down early so that in the interests of peace and stability, what criteria?


Holding of elections, early elections, elections, what do you fear?


Taliban military takeover?


No, they have not been able to achieve any of their two aims for the last six years, either to bring the government down, finish our security forces, or second, divide Afghanistan geography and to do well, you because you've had NATO air support, you've had what they call a different game.


No, look at all of those. If we didn't have the will. This is not Vietnam. This is not a government that is collapsing. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani talking to lease dissent in Kabul. A memorial service has been held in New Zealand to mark 10 years since a deadly earthquake in the city of Christchurch. The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said the anniversary was a chance to remember and celebrate those who lost their lives. Phil Mercer sent this report.


The Christchurch earthquake was one of New Zealand's darkest days. A five week old baby girl was among 185 people who died.


New Zealand's prime minister has praised the hope and optimism that was helping to rebuild the city. She also acknowledged the pain.


The toll could not have been more significant, and daily reminders made it harder. A fractured landscape. Aftershocks. Struggling friends and neighbours and children with deep and unseen scars.


The earthquake struck at lunchtime. In an instant, one of New Zealand's biggest cities was overcome by panic and terror. There were frantic efforts to save those who were trapped. Others ran for their lives. Two thirds of the victims died in the Canterbury television building. It was poorly built and no match for such a powerful tremor. More than half of the buildings in Christchurch were damaged. The shaking of the earth was brutal. The famous cathedral wasn't spared. It became a symbol of a city in pain.


Lives and livelihoods were lost. So were many homes. But from the rubble, a greener and safer place to live and work is gradually emerging. Memories, though, of that terrible day will never fade, fell Massah.


As we record this podcast, the United States is about to pass half a million covid deaths to mark the huge loss of life, President Biden will attend a candle lighting ceremony and take part in a moment of silence throughout the pandemic, the Seattle Times has been running a special obituary series to commemorate those who have lost their lives in Washington state as their journalist page Cornwell explains.


Let's remember, it is our series about people who have died of covid-19 in Washington, and so we wanted a way to show people who was being lost and the toll that this was taking.


My name is Pete McGuire, and my mother, Leavelle McGuire passed away last year at age 94 from covid-19. My mom was really a lot of fun and she had a lot of energy and she loved being around her family and her grandkids.


And my mom was quite adventurous, really, for her time. She grew up during World War Two and she'd love to go to the dances. And she was apparently it's kind of hard to imagine, but she loved to jitterbug.


She and my dad were both pretty socially conscious about a lot of things. One of the things they got involved was they used to bring parts to build these nuclear weapons, they called it the white train. And so they would go down to the ferry dock with a lot of nuns and priests protesting these nuclear warheads. And one time they even wound up on the news. It was kind of funny.


I made.




And Grace, how sweet I have gone through obituaries every single week of the pandemic to find people who died of covid-19 and there are some that stand out not because of the sadness, but because there's comedy or there's something light about it.


Humor was probably like seniors, number one language, you know, through life and through the world. Hi, I'm Katie Dupa and I'm related to Tom Dupa Senior.


He's my grandfather. My grandpa was just such a character. You can tell from reading the obituary, I would say he was really someone that he wanted to see and be seen. He was definitely the man of the hour. He had like a fire under him to get something done or a goal come hell or high water. It was going to get done.


Something that kind of funny is I have a calendar reminder, you know, call Granpa because my dad's always been really good about call your grandparents. And so I just can't bring myself to delete that from my calendar, you know, like call grandpa. Yeah, what keeps me going is the response from readers saying thank you for writing about these people homophobia.


And so to have those memories and just to be able to think about him and talk about him and share his story and his life, because, you know, he was such a character, you know, he wasn't for everybody, but he was our character, you know.


Oh, yeah, Harlem. And we heard there from Paige Cornwell of the Seattle Times, and that is all from us for now.


There'll be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. This edition was put together by Allison Davis, Holly Palmer and Oliver Conway. Conaway editor is Karen Martin. Until next time. Goodbye.


I could just hear the metal being crushed and glass shattering. It was so, so violent. The Outlook podcast from the BBC World Service brings you tales of ordinary people with extraordinary stories. An average person would take around a month to shed their skin. And I shed mine in a day when I got to the age of nine years old and I decided, you know what, I had enough. So I make a run for the streets. They lined us up against the wall with their machine guns and they said, we're going to splatter your blood against this wall like paint.


And then suddenly it was like, wait a minute, I can't live like this for the rest of my life. I thought, you know what? No one can tell me I'm not allowed to talk about this. I've been dying for 19 years. For me, was worth a shot, was not nothing that was going to stop the Outlook podcast. If you live every day like it's your last day, you take as much as you can of it.


You don't care about the consequences. Just search for a BBC outlook wherever you get input costs.


He's defeated the most formidable super villains known to man now the world's most famous superhero faces the ultimate challenge. Parenthood from the creators of The Flash becomes the new series Superman and Lois. Will Clark and Lois, his teenage sons, be able to handle the truth about their dad's true identity? The Ken family's most amazing adventure is about to begin. Catch the two hour season premiere event, Superman and Lois Tuesday on the CW or stream three next day on The CW at.