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I'm Nick Miles. And at 14 hours GMT on the 5th of April, these are our main stories. The Jordanian prince accused of plotting to destabilize the kingdom has said that he will defy orders to stop communicating with the public. A court in Israel has heard evidence that the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, manipulated media coverage as his corruption trial continues. The army in Mozambique says that it's regained control of the town of Palma, which had been overrun by Islamists.
Also in this podcast, they grow the fungus on toothpicks, take the toothpicks, throw them in some rice. Then they put a little bit of this fungus infected rice in with their planting.
How a simple recipe involving toothpicks is revolutionizing African farming.
And I'm a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. And if this is the way me in this person's past cross, I want to be that person to help him.
The business owner who offered a job to the man who tried to burgle his restaurant. The Jordanian prince accused of conspiring to destabilize the country says that he will defy orders to stop communicating with the outside world.
In a voice recording, Prince Hamza said that he would disregard instructions to stay at home and stop using social media. The former crown prince has dismissed the allegations of plotting with foreign entities, but bitterly criticized what he says is corruption and misrule in the kingdom. More details from our chief international correspondent leaves dissect.
This new audio recording from Prince Hamza indicates that Jordan's unprecedented royal rift is widening. Yesterday, the government said King Abdullah had been trying to resolve this dispute within the family and would continue his efforts. The monarch's younger half brother has now said he does not want to make moves now, which would escalate this crisis. But he defiantly made it clear he would not obey orders which confined him to his home and cut off his communications. In the first video issued on Saturday, which was passed to the BBC.
Prince Hamza said he had been in meetings where there had been criticism of the king, but he underlined he had not been the one to criticize.
It was not part of any conspiracy list set for elections and a prosecution. Today is the culmination of a turbulent two years for Israel and the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Two parallel events are happening that could reshape the country's politics for years to come. The first is the corruption trial of Mr. Netanyahu.
And that is from outside the court in Jerusalem, where protesters chanted slogans and waved placards, one saying Crime Minister inside Mr. Netanyahu. Listen to prosecutors allege that he misused his power and sought personal favors from media bosses.
He denies any wrongdoing.
And as all this was happening across the city, politicians were discussing who should lead the government after last month's election.
The fourth in two years delivered no clear result. I asked our correspondent in Jerusalem urinal to talk us through the trial.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest serving prime minister in Israel, was at the Jerusalem district court as his trial began in earnest. He is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, but denies any wrongdoing. He says he's the victim of a political witch hunt and he's basically alleged to have received expensive goods, gifts from wealthy businessman friends, favorable regulation for media tycoons in exchange for more positive press coverage.
So today was the chance for the prosecution to give their summary of the case and then also for the first witness to take to the stand.
That's going to go on for some weeks. I understand. But what about these political talks? A deadlock at the moment, Likud and the other parties?
I think there are 11 parties that are going to be going to the president today to say, look, this is why you should give your grace and goodwill to this particular coalition or another.
Yes, this is a process that we've got quite used to in Israel with four general elections in under two years. So what's happening at the president's official residence? He's met in order of how many seats each of them have got from the last general election, each of the political parties from the biggest number to the smallest. And that's the process that's going to go on through the day. He asks each one who they recommend to be given the mandate to form the next government, and he said that he will announce his decision, who that should be by Wednesday.
And these two parallel processes are really closely linked when you look at the results of the latest election, although Mr. Netanyahu's party won the biggest number of seats, about a quarter of the total. It's not clear if it will be able to lead a new majority coalition. And you know, the reason Israel has been in this long period of unprecedented stalemate is basically because the country is quite evenly split into two blocks. There are those that support Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister and those that strongly oppose him.
And they say you should not have a sitting prime minister in court on criminal charges.
It's the first time that's happened in Israel, a Yilan now in Mozambique. The military says that it's retaken the north eastern town of Palma from insurgents linked to the Islamic State group. It's still not known how many people were killed when the militants attacked the town last month.
There are reports that some of the thousands of people who fled then are now returning. Our correspondent for Mumin, Kizzie has been covering the story. He told me more about what the army has been saying.
The details regarding specifically how they have retaken the city are sketchy at the moment. The Mozambican military was there yesterday and they are currently there right now. And they stated that they've completely retaken all parts of of palmar and that the insurgent threat is no longer there. And that now that the next step, I think they're quite premature in this. But the next step is ensuring that the conditions are met in terms of trying to ensure that people can safely return.
But at the moment that the Mozambican army says it's safe and cleansed for people to return, state television are saying that people are already starting to return.
You are in Pember, where a lot of these refugees move to a couple of weeks ago. What were they saying to you that were they in any mood to go back?
No, not at all. I mean, they were fleeing the conflict and were what I saw. They don't really intend on going back any time soon. I heard quite a number of horrific stories from the survivors. One woman battled to hold back the tears as she recounted how her two sons were killed at the Amarula hotel. One man spoke of having to wade through waist deep water as he was fleeing from the gun wielding insurgents. And I saw a number of lost children as well, with dazed look looks in their eyes, hoping that some of the people there were their parents.
So none of these people had any indication whatsoever that they would be returning any time soon because they had just experienced such a traumatic incident.
You've got to imagine that they would have to station large numbers of soldiers there permanently to create that sense of security for people. But what about this multi-billion dollar oil installation that's there as well?
What about that security? The reports that I read, some members of the Mozambican army were stationed at the multi-billion dollar gas plants and therefore, when the attack happened, they were ordered to remain there. Because it's such a crucial and economically important assignment that the Mozambican army were told to to remain there. And therefore, when the attack was happening, we had a private security company from South Africa, Deng, who is actually the only game in town in terms of helping the civilians escape the gunfire.
So in terms of going forward, yes, the military is really going to have to ramp up operations in order to ensure that the not only economically the region is stable, but also just for people to feel secure enough to be able to live there as well as family.
Mookie's. It's called a curse, and that has been causing billions of dollars of losses for tens of millions of smallholding farmers in Africa.
Now, though, after years of development, scientists have used a natural fungus to kill it.
My colleague Laurence Pollard got more from Professor David Sands of Montana State University.
In the US, agricultural scientists call it Strega, and it is a parasitic weed. It was introduced into Africa maybe 100 years ago, and it attacks their main crops, such as maize, millet and sorghum. It's the scourge of maybe 40 million smallholder farmers in 18 different countries in Africa.
What kind of damage does it cause to smallholders, incomes and and yield at the moment?
It could take 20 to 80 percent of your anticipated yield, which is huge. Right. If you're a farmer relying on your farm and it's only one to two acres, you're in deep trouble. Three months of starvation.
What do you use at the moment? Are there sort of invasive pesticides, nasties that can be sprayed on it?
There might be, but Africans can't afford them. So we looked at a natural biocontrol to see if we could control it that way. And it took like 10 years of development and we found that we could.
And this is the reveal. It's a fungus that already exists. How can it be that it attacks the weed but not the underlying crop?
You couldn't have designed it better if you'd wanted to, could you?
We were lucky to find such a good thing. Now, the technology is such that without using GMO or anything like that, we were able to find really good killer fungi.
So again, let's imagine a field of millet or sorghum. What's the effect that you found your fungus edition has? In 2014?
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave us a grant and we tested it on five hundred farms. And in two growing seasons, we increase the yield for local smallholder farmers, all 500 of them by an average of 42 to 56 percent.
Wow. How do you deliver it? Is this a powder that they put onto the seed? Do you apply it onto the field? How have you managed to use this fungus?
Well, we tried everything, and the best way is, it turns out, is to have a laboratory there in Kenya and they grow the fungus on toothpicks and they can produce a million of these a year. And in the lab then they give them to farmers. They decide when they're going to plant and they take the toothpicks, throw them in some rice, and then they put a little bit of this fungus infected rice in with their planting. And the fungus takes it from there, knows what to do.
It kills the it causes the seeds to germinate.
So basically, you make a little rice bomb with the fungus and that goes in with the seed and bingo, it does its job.
That's the bingo right there. Professor David Sande's, a forgiving business owner, has offered a job to the unsuccessful burglar who broke into his restaurant called Wallets, made the decision after Diablo's Southwest Grill in Augusta, Georgia, was broken into on Saturday.
Terry Egan takes up the story.
CCTV footage shows the man in a hooded tracksuit using a brick to smash the restaurant's front window. He then forcibly dislodges the cash register and shakes it only to discover it's empty. Nothing was taken and within 45 seconds, he was back out the front door. The owner, on the other hand, Carl Wallace was left with the damage, woken up in the middle of the night. He had to get down to the restaurant and clean up before reopening at 11:00.
That, though, was when he realized that if this was a break-In, it wasn't a very good one. There had to be other career paths for this bungling burglar. Later that morning, Mr. Wallace shared pictures of the break-In on Facebook, along with his personal phone number, asking the would be robber to please swing by for a job at. No police, no questions asked. I can't fix the world, I can't fix everybody's problems, but if I can make a difference in this person's life, I want to do that.
Some people might be a little bit angry to have their shop broken into, but you're obviously not.
The anger was there, but it was also about I'm a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. And if this is the way me in this person's paths cross, I want to be that person to help him.
The Post has since been shared thousands of times, but as yet, the vacancy remains unfilled. Terry Egan.
Still to come, despite the pandemic, the tourism industry in Greece is opening up.
We are preparing the boat in order for the tourists to come. We want to send a message that we are here, that we will be ready for the season. But will they have any guests?
And the number of people killed by floods in eastern Indonesia has risen to more than 80. Thousands more have lost their homes, which are underwater.
Days of torrential rain caused dams and rivers to overflow.
This woman, Agustina Lerch, told the BBC she was lucky to escape.
Our house is up in the mountains. We had to dismantle our zinc roof and then we went out the back door. We had to pull ourselves out with a rope.
I asked our Asia editor, Rebecca Henschke, what impact this has had on other communities, the devastating impact.
And we're getting a sense of the scale of the flash floods and what they've left behind and of the images that we're seeing, particularly out of eastern Flores shows waves of mud and water hitting houses, sweeping them away in places and leaving just debris and mud across these villages. We've been speaking to one man in Wye where one village in eastern Flores, and he told us that there was very little time for people to save themselves. He said the floodwaters in his village hit while people were sleeping in.
He said that he saw bodies on mattresses washed out of their houses. The power in his village, like many villages across eastern Fluorescing, is now out. And he said they're using shovels to search for the dead and the missing.
This is a very remote part of Indonesia, but the there is assistance from the government coming there is in place as regional assistance is coming.
We're hearing from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency that they're having a lot of trouble getting heavy equipment to these areas to dig through the mud for any survivors or bodies. They're saying that there's still extreme weather in the region, heavy rain. These areas are islands spread out. So usually people get by boat to the regions that they're saying that the waves are quite big at the moment and flying in is also difficult due to the heavy rains. So they are saying that they suspect many people are buried and that's why they're warning that this death toll is likely to rise.
And we've heard from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. He's been urging people to follow the advice of officials and he said that disaster relief efforts should be done quickly.
And he also offered his condolences, first of all, on behalf of myself and all the people of Indonesia. I would like to express my deep sorrow for the victims who died in this incident.
I also understand the sadness experienced by our brothers and sisters due to the impact of this disaster.
Very briefly, Rebecca, floods are very uncommon in this part of Indonesia. Are there other factors at play?
Well, yes. Environmentalists have been warning that these flash floods and these fatal landslides that we do see across other parts of Indonesia are getting worse due to deforestation. This is a region that hasn't been hit with these kind of floods before, and they're pointing to that as a possible cause.
Rebecca Hedgecoe, all over Europe, people are waiting and hoping to see if foreign summer holidays are going to be possible. In many countries, including Britain, foreign holidays are currently banned or strongly discouraged, and returning travelers have to quarantine when they get back.
The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, is due to announce whether people will be allowed to take holidays abroad this summer against the background of fear that coronavirus might be brought back from mainland Europe, which is currently experiencing a third wave of the pandemic.
Professor Neil Ferguson is an infectious diseases expert.
I think the key thing is the risk of importing variants which might undermine our vaccination program. And the one we're certainly concerned about at the moment is the South African variant called B one three five one. The concern here is the proportion of cases in many European countries which are this variant now is up to anywhere between about four percent, five percent in France, up to 17, nearly 20 percent in Luxembourg. Some countries such as Greece and.
In which rely heavily on tourism, are hoping to open up for foreign visitors who've been vaccinated or who have had a recent negative covid test. Well, the Spanish MEP Jose Ramos Nebojsa is a member of the European Parliament's tourism task force, is keen to stress that Spain's many covid restrictions mean the country is safe for visitors.
Karalee of figures are that about 70 percent of the population have received doses. We currently have more than 150 cases per 100000 inhabitants and our situation is quite good. And actually in juristic regions such as the Ballarat Galen's, for example, figures are even better with just 62 cases per 100000. And I think it's absolutely safe for tourists to be in get them to stay in most municipalities in Europe.
Meanwhile, the Greek authorities are preparing to vaccinate workers in the tourism industry. 20 per cent of the workforce is employed in that sector. Bethany Bell reports from Athens.
At a harbor in Athens, the boats are in the dock waiting for tourists. We are preparing the boat in order for the tourists to come. We want to send a message that we are here, that we will be ready for the season.
Evgeniy, Theodorus and his team, Rentech catamarans and yachts for trips to the Greek islands. Their clients come from the U.K., the United States, Germany and South Africa. Greece is hoping to open up to visitors in May, but Evgeniy says it's not clear how many other countries will be ready to permit travel.
We still wait, however, to hear the announcements of how people will travel. You understand that this does not depend solely on us. A lot of nations need to agree on specific protocols in order to allow people to travel. This uncertainty for sure, does not help anyone. However, we feel confident that decisions here on our own, we are doing the best effort possible in order to be ready and we will be ready when the borders open and we can welcome all guests throughout the world.
A street musician sits under a bitter orange tree in this square in central Athens, there's still tough covid restrictions in Greece, which has seen a surge of infections, but people are becoming increasingly frustrated about one in five workers here has a job in tourism. They're worried about the summer. Greece is leading calls for vaccination certificates or passports to allow foreign visitors to travel. Lina MEDIHONEY is the minister of culture.
It's very important to have the passport because everybody will feel really safe. And our motto is safety first for the staff of the archaeological sites and the museums and of course, for the public. The government has the plan to open the tourism in the middle of May. So we hope that visitors will come to enjoy their ecological sites, the monuments, the museums all over Greece.
The Acropolis has just reopened after months of locked down. It's a beautiful spring day and it would normally be packed with tourists. But now there's just a handful of people here wandering near the Parthenon temple. I met Laura from Italy who's studying classical Greek here in Athens.
Usually these kind of places are very crowded and instead I have the possibility to see them almost alone, like if they are here for me. And so it's very, very beautiful, actually.
That report was by Bethany Bell.
France is back in lockdown amid a third wave of coronavirus infections, which is perhaps why many people were outraged to hear a restaurant owner claim that he'd attended several secret dinners with government ministers in breach of those rules.
The man who made these claims on television has since said that he was joking, that he made it all up.
But the government is taking the allegations seriously and has launched a formal investigation. More from our Europe regional editor, Mike Saunders.
There was footage undercover taken on released on Friday which showed well-dressed people in very plush surroundings going to have a meal and they were giving each other the bees, which is the kiss on the cheek. And there were no masks, no social distancing. The waiters didn't wear masks. And you heard this voice off camera making this boast that he'd had meals with ministers, government ministers. And now that voice has been identified as Pietro Salsano. He's a restaurateur. He runs something called the party Vivianne, which is one of these very plush venues where you can book your own meals and that kind of thing.
And it transpired that he did send out an invitation to what he called an exceptional event and in other words, exceptional in the sense that it was you. It was breaking the lockdown rules. The alarm bells start ringing at this point because it was for April the 1st, which is, of course, April Fool's Day. Now, this guy is very much a self publicist. I mean, he actually held a public event to celebrate his coming out as bisexual.
For a start, he's a TV personality. He does one of these shows. It's called Affair Conclave, which is one of these shows where people go up to the attic and see what junk they've got and see some of it's valuable and they receive it only. So he's a big star of that kind of thing and he's not averse to controversy. Actually attended 90 second birthday party for sure. Marie Le Pen, who was the founder of the National Front, for example, a far right group anywhere.
There is this footage and the government has been taking it very seriously because the Interior Ministry general manager has instructed the national prosecutor, no less, to look into it. And Mr. Dumanis, deputy has said that, you know, if any minister has attended such a meal, then they should be fined just like anybody else.
That was Mike Sanders. African political leadership is overwhelmingly male and older. A new report from the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance found that women constitute only 24 percent of the 12000 or so parliamentarians in Africa.
But one Namibian is bringing a female and youthful drive to politics and is one of the youngest MPs on the continent. She's been speaking to the BBC's Nomsa Maseko.
Taking selfies, singing along and dancing to the latest music, Namibia's youngest lawmaker on a night out with her friends in this environment, she's not an MP but having fun like any other person in their 20s.
My name is Emma in a multilateral Felis, in our Tilla means don't be afraid, and I represent change in the way Africa's leadership will be.
But Emma is different from most people her age.
I would describe myself as a leader who consults a leader, who listens to a leader who is willing to try any possible solution to a problem before giving up just 24 years old, she Namibia's Information and Technology Deputy Minister.
Young leaders like her are on the rise, despite Africa having some of the oldest presidents in the world.
A year ago, um, when I was 23 years old, the president gave me a call on a lazy, lazy Sunday and asked me to to go to State House. And then he offered to me the opportunity to become a member of parliament and a deputy minister of information, communication and technology.
One moment I was a law graduate and working as a legal officer on human rights issues in the Ministry of Justice. And the next Monday I was being sworn in.
Emma's childhood friend says she knew she was destined for greatness.
My name is Julia Nampara. As entry level debaters in high school, the senior university debaters was called Emma because she could hold on and be able to stand for opinion and said this desire to want to learn. That's how we knew from a very young age. This was a different type of girl growing up amongst us.
As a teenage activist, she fought for Namibia's Children's Rights Act to be passed.
I was about 19 in 2015 when the bill was finally passed. It only became operationalised in 2019. I think it's great that, you know, it finally is now applicable to every Namibian child or any institution, a person that that handles the care of children in the country.
Namibia has made great strides. Nearly half of parliament is female, including the prime minister, but it's still waiting for a female president, Nomsa Misako.
For many people, one of the worst things about the global pandemic has been loneliness. Millions of people unable to meet family or friends.
One possible solution has been to get a pet. But some people are worried about what will happen to those animals once the lockdown is over.
Worries are particularly intense in Germany, where there's been a sharp rise in dog ownership. Timmermans report starts with one of the animals offering companionship in difficult times a dog called Ushi for Markus and his daughter, Annerley.
She's made life just that little bit more bearable. One of around a million dogs and cats that have found new homes in Germany since the covid crisis began.
The problem is that we can side with a pandemic is obviously a time where we stay at home a lot confined. That means I have to work from home. The children are also at home a lot. So it's obviously a good time to get a dog used to a family across the country.
There was a 20 percent increase in dog ownership last year.
One survey showing that more than eight out of 10 owners said animals like OCHI provided emotional support, but the lockdown won't last forever.
And the manager of this shelter in Berlin is concerned about what happens next.
We knock on doors and we just we get not. We estimate that after the current lockdown ends, there will unfortunately be a crazy number of abandoned animals dropped off at our shelter when people return to their normal lives.
Marti is typical of the kind of animal returned to the shelter, a Staffordshire terrier mix, a friendly, lovable, but a lot to handle. The message is a simple one. A dog is for life, not just a pandemic. Tim Allmon there.
And that is all from us for now. But there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later on. If you want to comment on this podcast or the topics we've covered in it, you can send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC DOT Code DOT UK.
Today's studio manager was Robin Schroeder, the producer Allison Davis, and the editor is Karen Martin.
I'm Nick Miles. And until next time, goodbye. Baby, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.