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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.


Hello, I'm Oliver Conway and this edition is published in the early hours of Sunday, the 7th of February. Myanmar's military rulers shut down the Internet as thousands of people protest against Monday's coup. Tens of thousands of farmers in India blocked major roads in their latest demonstrations against new agricultural laws.


And it was a very memorable night. I stayed up the whole night. By the morning, I told the editors in New York, I just witnessed the online revolt of the Chinese people.


A year after his death from Coronavirus, China remembers the Wuhan whistleblower.


Also in the podcast, protests have broken out across China after President Idriss Deby said he'd stand for a sixth term in office.


And later, we can still go on for another month or two at most. We lived up our reserves completely.


Now lockdown is affecting the restaurant industry in Hungary.


Taking part in protests in Myanmar can be very risky. Thousands were killed in 1988 when the military ruthlessly put down student led demonstrations. So following the coup on Monday, people in Myanmar have kept their resistance low key with a campaign of civil disobedience and nightly banging of pots and pans.


Saturday, though, saw the first large scale protests on the streets. Tens of thousands marched in the main city, Yangon, and elsewhere, chanting Military dictator, fail, fail, democracy win.


Yeah, I got it. I am really pleased with what I see in these protests. I'm not used to taking part in such protests. I'm an English language teacher here. People aren't paid to come out to protest. These are genuine people. You know, there are fake protesters. We are all genuine those who see these things. We welcome you to join us.


As a citizen who was born in this country, I can't accept the unjust seizing of power by the military dictators. Many of our lives have been destroyed, so we can't let our future generations meet the same fate. I have been in these protests for an hour now. I will stand with the people in the coming days as well. As long as the protesters come out, I will join them.


I spoke to the editor of the BBC's Burmese service so when phone and he told me more about the demonstrations.


Today's protest is the first time that we see since the military coup large number of people coming out to the streets, but lots of number of people from their homes they are joining. They just come out onto the streets and clapping their hands to show their solidarity and also handing out drinking water and stuff to the protesters. They feel that the democracy has been robbed from them because they did not want to see another round of military rule in the country, because it's like the older people have experienced a brutal rule of the military in the late 80s until today.


And then there are also calls for the nationwide protests from tomorrow gauging today's mood. And more people would be much emboldened because there is not active crackdown by the security people.


Yeah, and how will this campaign of civil disobedience, how will that affect the military leaders?


Civil disobedience movement has been gaining momentum. And we have seen the doctors walking out of the hospitals, civil servants refusing to work with the ministers appointed by this new military council. People are calling more and more civil servants to join, but the military also was quite well prepared. They have trained medical doctors. They have trained engineers, but they don't have any other trained people in other civil servants. So we expect that the military will ask these striking civil servants to get back to work or they could be dismissed.


And how much of a problem for the protesters is the shutdown of the Internet by the authorities?


They first shut down Facebook on Thursday. Facebook is the main media and where people exchanges the information, communicates through the messenger Facebook apps. So military knew that. That's why they shut it down. But people are quite clever. They use other means, like, you know, today we saw people flock to the SIM card shops to buy international calling SIM cards so that they could bypass the Internet restrictions. And then they sent out the SMS message, but still is quite disrupted for the movement as well as ordinary people.


Yeah, and that leads to rumors swirling around, including of the whereabouts of Aung San Suu Kyi and, of course, whether the coup leader is still in complete control.


Yeah, the rumors came out this evening that Aung San Suu Kyi was released. So people came out in large numbers celebrating cars honking. But until now, we couldn't confirm that. That could possibly be rumors because, you know, the pattern is quite clear. Some people just drive past or walk past in a residential area and shouted like, oh, Aung San Suu Kyi was free. So people were coming out and joining Burma, which I believe that this is the psychological warfare staged by the military to diffuse tension because tension is gaining and building up in the country.


So in the hand of the BBC Burmese service, the rallies in Myanmar weren't the only ones in Asia. On Saturday, tens of thousands of farmers in India blocked major roads in their latest demonstration against new agricultural laws that they fear will damage their livelihoods. Police detained hundreds of people, but there was no violence. Rigidified enough. And reports from Delhi.


Protests which began in north India are spreading nationwide for three hours. Farmers in a number of Indian cities blocked main roads, a sign they're not going anywhere until the government's new agriculture laws are repealed. The government says the reforms will leave farmers better off by allowing them to sell direct for big businesses.


But farmers fear that deregulation of the sector will eventually lead to their minimum price guarantees on crops disappearing.


These laws aren't just bad for farmers, this man said. They're harmful for the one point three billion people of our country. As tens of thousands of farmers continue to camp just outside the capital, Delhi, a high security presence remains in the area with Internet shut downs. Farmers accuse the government of trying to silence them. The UN Human Rights Agency has become the latest to comment on the protests, calling on the authorities to protect peaceful assembly and expression after public figures, including Rianna and gratitude.


Berg tweeted their concerns. This week, the country's foreign minister issued an unprecedented statement saying sensationalist social media by celebrities and others was neither accurate nor responsible. This is the largest challenge facing India's populist prime minister Narendra Modi. Farm leaders say they won't go home until their demands are met.


Rajini Vaidyanathan in Delhi. Cuba's communist government has decided to open up much more of its economy to the private sector. People in more than 2000 different types of jobs will now be able to set up their own businesses or work for privately owned companies, though some sectors will remain under state control. Cuba has experienced a sharp economic downturn since the covid-19 pandemic. From Havana will grant reports.


When the Cuban government first loosened its stranglehold over the economy to allow more private enterprise. Around a decade ago, it produced a list of jobs which were permitted to move into the private sector. Over the years, that was expanded to around 130 different private activities, from hairdressers to taxi drivers. However, anyone carrying out private work not on the list ran the risk of falling foul of the authorities. This decision expands the acceptable jobs list to over 2000 and only prohibits 124 activities from going private.


Exactly which 124 jobs are still obliged to remain under full state control is yet to be published. Experts on Cuba's tangled and complicated economy say the step essentially opens up almost all economic activity on the island to some form of private enterprise. A significant shot in the arm for those families and individuals who harbour hopes of moving beyond just the very small businesses into medium sized ventures, given how slowly reforms tend to move in Cuba. It may still be some time before the change is noticeable in daily economic life.


However, these decisions are being dictated by the dire state of the economy, which contracted by 11 percent last year amid a sharp downturn in the tourism sector over the covid-19 pandemic. Many in Cuba are hopeful the Biden administration will reverse some of the harshest decisions taken against the island by President Trump. And the opening up of the private sector may go some way towards creating more favorable conditions for the bilateral relationship to improve. Around 600000 people have joined the private sector since the opportunity arose, representing around 13 percent of the workforce.


Our Havana correspondent will grant tributes have been paid on Chinese social media to the doctor who died a year ago after raising the alarm about a SARS like virus spreading through his city of Wuhan.


Dr. Lee Wen Liang was briefly detained over his social media posts, but his death, after catching the virus from a patient prompted a national outpouring of grief, as well as anger at the handling of the pandemic by the communist authorities. Dr. Lee was later exonerated and honoured as a hero. Li Yuan is a columnist for the New York Times who monitors Chinese social media. She's been speaking to the BBC's Julian Marshall a year ago tonight.


It was February six, around nine p.m. I saw on social media some journalists, Englehardt, they posted that Dr. Lee of India was in critical condition. And shortly after they said Dr. Lee had died and people just started reacting to the posts. And it was a very memorable night. I stayed up the whole night. By the morning, I told the editors in New York, I just witnessed an online revolt of the Chinese people.


You describe it as an online revolt. What were people saying? It was a revolt because so many people posted online showing their anger and grief. And it was not just. Yamchi what dissidents it was state owned enterprise executives of venture capitalists, investment bankers. That was something I hadn't seen in China for many, many years.


So there was there was grief and anger at the death of a man who people believed to be telling the truth about the outbreak of covid-19 in Wuhan and the refusal of the of the authorities at that time to acknowledge that there was an outbreak.


People posted videos of the same. Do you hear the people sing? And they shared one of these courts repeatedly. A healthy society should not have just one voice. And people really realized at that moment that they need more freedom.


And the Chinese authorities, I would imagine, would have been very nervous basically that night in response to Dr. Lee's that overwhelmed China's powerful propaganda machine. And they began a tremendous behind the scenes effort to make sure that the censors took control at even the most local level. And according to Chinese officials, the police investigated were otherwise Beltway's more than 17000 people who they said had fabricated widespread fake pandemic related information. You know, it just imagined the efforts they put into shaping the narratives.


And I think that night really was kind of scary to the Chinese government.


But of course, over the past year, the Chinese authorities have regained control of the narrative of being able to convince their own people that they are in control and have brought the pandemic under control, unlike other countries in the world.


Yeah, that's because by late March, the pandemic had reached the U.K. and the U.S. and the infections and that that really provided the best evidence to the Chinese government. And they could argue, look how well we have managed and how badly they have managed and which model would you prefer?


The yuan of The New York Times talking to Julian Marshall. Australia is one of the world's most fire prone countries. In the past week, dozens of homes have been destroyed on the outskirts of the Western Australian state capital, Perth, in the largest blaze the city has seen for years. But now there's a glimmer of hope. Technology that can predict bushfires has been developed that will offer real time displays of how fires are likely to spread. Phil Mercer reports.


It looks like a freight train coming up through the bush.


I could see the fire like over the hill.


Bushfires are a perennial menace in Australia. This week, Perth has confronted twin emergencies, raging flames and a coronavirus locked down.


When I had to evacuate, I didn't want to come to the evacuation centre because I obviously with the lockdown, I was so concerned that this was going to be like a carbon hotspot. Yeah, grab it to my animals and just headed straight for the beach. Actually, I ended up trying to sleep in my car.


An emergency or a natural disaster can happen no matter where you are, whether you're at home, work or travelling.


Firefighting in Australia is becoming increasingly sophisticated. A new simulator is being developed. The teams to predict well in advance how bushfires will move across the landscape. It could give emergency crews a critical advantage.


We take real time weather as well as satellite data feeds for being able to predict bushfires. We also take fuel and vegetation inputs.


Dr Mahesh Prakash is from Australia's national science agency, the CSIRO.


They're also working with state based emergency management agencies who are trialling it out as we speak on a monthly basis while we are developing new features in the system, as well as making it more robust in the Australian context. We are getting it to be a nationally operational system over the next two to three years. We are also engaging with agencies in the US such as Cal Fire as well as with a few organisations in Europe, especially ones based in Spain, Portugal and Italy.


An official report into Australia's devastating black summer disaster of 2019 and 20 warned that bushfires would become more complex. More unpredictable and more difficult to manage, Phil Mercer. This is the Global News podcast. Still to come, President Biden says Donald Trump should no longer have access to intelligence briefings.


And later, many people think they may have found a meteorite and they send in things that they found on the beach or which they saw falling into the garden. We have a look at them all.


Rare meteorites from the moon, Mars and elsewhere go under the hammer. Now to a familiar story of an aging president trying to hold onto power to the despair of his opponents, Idriss Deby has been president of Chad for more than 30 years. Now he wants to run for a sixth term in office. And on Saturday, he was given the endorsement of the governing party. In response, hundreds of protesters took to the streets where they were dispersed by police firing tear gas despite ruling with an iron fist.


President Deby enjoys international support over his role in fighting jihadists in the troubled Sahel region. I heard more about the demonstrations in Chad from our Africa editor, Mary Harper.


These protests were pretty widespread. They happened in the capital Ndjamena and other towns and cities across the country. But the numbers seem to have been in the hundreds rather than the thousands. People were carrying placards. They were shouting, not another six term asking President Idriss Deby just to leave office. And the police responded with tear gas and made some arrests, including of a prominent human rights activists. But what's significant about these protests is that they were actually banned by the authorities.


So the fact that they happened at all is significant in a country like Chad, where the government's grip on power is pretty authoritarian.


So I guess given that they hold this iron grip, it's hard to know whether Idriss Deby is genuinely popular there.


Yes. I mean, what's interesting about Idriss Deby, he has been in power since, well, for more than 30 years now. He overthrew the notorious ruler, Hussein Habré, who's now serving a life life prison sentence for crimes against humanity. And Idriss Deby, even though he's unpopular amongst some people for being authoritarian, autocratic, some people have accused him of even trying to set up some kind of monarchy in the country by appointing relatives to key positions.


The fact that he has the staying power in such an unstable region in Africa, Sahel must say something about his wily ability to keep his grip on power, despite the periodic protests by the population against the fact that apart from anything else, they're not given a fight of the national cake, which now contains quite a lot of oil wealth.


And what chance do the opposition have of unseating him?


The opposition this time, unlike previous during elections when they've been highly fragmented, 12 opposition parties got together earlier this week and vowed to just present one presidential candidate challenge, Idriss Deby, trying to run for his sixth term in office. So maybe they'll have a bit more of a chance this time. But previous elections, there's been allegations of rigging and basically Idriss Deby has walked away with this every time. So it's possible that he'll do again for his sixth term in office in elections in April.


Mary Harper, in his first broadcast interview since becoming U.S. President Joe Biden, has told CBS that Donald Trump should no longer have access to intelligence briefings, a courtesy often extended to former presidents. Mr. Biden also spoke about Mr. Trump's upcoming trial in the Senate. Let's turn to the impeachment trial.


President Trump's impeachment trial. If you were still a senator, would you vote to convict him?


Look, I ran like hell to defeat him because he was unfit to be president. I've watched everybody else watched what happened when that crew invaded the United States Congress. But I'm not in the Senate now. I'll let the Senate make that decision. Well, let me ask you then, something that you do have oversight of as president. Should former President Trump still receive intelligence briefings? I think not. Why not? Because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection.


I mean, you've called him an existential threat. You've called him dangerous. You called him reckless.


You have. And I believe it.


What's your worst fear if he continues to get these intelligence briefings?


I'd rather not speculate out loud. I just think that there is no need for him to have that intelligence briefing. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all other than the fact he might slip and say something?


U.S. President Joe Biden talking to CBS. Our North America correspondent Peter Bowes told us what he made of the interview.


I think his comments about Donald Trump and these intelligence briefings was interesting. Perhaps not a huge surprise when you consider the campaign that we went through in the events since the election and the animosity between certainly Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden. It might have been surprising if he had continued to receive those intelligence briefings, which are normally afforded to a former president as a matter of courtesy. But you can clearly hear from what the president is saying that he doesn't. I believe that there's a need for Mr.


Trump to receive these briefings, you might remember during President Trump's presidency that he was criticized for revealing some top secret information to a couple of Russian officials during a meeting in the Oval Office. And the very clear suggestion from President Biden there is that Donald Trump can't be trusted with this information or with any future information, as he put it, in case he slips and and reveals that classified information.


Peter Bowes, under the current coronavirus restrictions in force in Hungary, most restaurants and bars remain closed. An attempt to stage a mass re-opening on February the first fell flat after the government threatened drastic punishments. The music sector, especially the festivals for which Hungary is famous, is also in deep trouble. Nick Thorpe has this report from Budapest.


We can still go on for another month or two. At most, we lived up our reserves completely.


Peter Laszlo opened up his restaurant in downtown Budapest to show me round chairs stacked on the tables, the kitchen counter gathering dust on a busy weekday. He and his 20 staff used to serve up to 300 lunches. Back in November, the government promised to pay half the wages of all restaurant staff, but not a penny has arrived during those three months, he told me.


I'm sure it would help a lot more instead of introducing these extreme sanctions to start a dialogue with the industry, it's about finding a compromise solution.


Struck me down here and with all the talk about this video from the Hungarian Tourist Board encourages people to support their favorite restaurants by ordering food. But PETA's other cafe, which serves takeaways in a nearby square, has just been visited by the police. Until now, customers drank their hot drinks outside, but they've been warned they're breaking the law. If they lower their mosques to do so, they have to take them home. Another cafe owner, Barling Latza, says he's doing his best to obey the law, but the sharks are waiting to pounce.


He says when businesses do finally reopen, the lock was OK.


OK, movies that make us human.


I'm talking about entrepreneurs who have capital who would very much like to get hold of the rights to popular businesses. They're very hungry for them. So in a couple of months, they'll be able to sweep up the weaker ones, those with no reserves left, and they will be the winners and get back and forth and increase.


The current gloom does not just affect the catering trade, Hungary is famous for its music festivals. All were canceled last year because of covid. Last summer, the Hungarian tourist board offered two million euros to festival organizers just to keep them afloat. But less than a third was paid out by a is head of the Music Hungary Alliance, which represents musicians, music producers and technicians.


Tourism has been offered a lot of resources in this past year. The music sector had limited help, tiny bits for clubs, for composers, other bits for festivals. But there seems to be no concept behind it. What I think the government is not seeing is that music and culture is a huge trigger in tourism development.


Miyagawa Adarsh imaging it makeshift Yugoslavia.


You got the solution isn't to go out and break the rules. The sanctions are clear. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, says he understands the frustrations of restaurant owners, but called for patience until enough people can be vaccinated. He also asked the police not to arrest anyone who breaks the law, as he put it, but they will be punished heavily.


Ellerston feeling of it and enjoy the feeling of those breaking the rules will pay up to one million foreigners and the restaurant will be closed down first for six months, which will be the minimum period and then for a year if the offence is repeated.


In response to public pressure, the Prime Minister has just announced his latest national consultation in which questions will include whether people want a softening of the lockdown in all previous consultations. The questions were strongly weighted towards the answers the government wanted to hear.


Nick Thorpe in Hungary. The Egyptian authorities have released an Al Jazeera journalist after more than four years in detention without trial. Sebastian Usher reports.


Mahmoud Hussain was arrested in December 2016 while he was visiting his family in Cairo. He was questioned for more than 15 hours, then released but arrested again. Days later, Egyptian authorities accused him of spreading false news and receiving foreign money to defame Egypt's reputation. His arrest was seen by many as another attack by the Egyptian authorities on his network, Al-Jazeera, which they see as hostile. He was never formally charged while his detention was extended numerous times. Al Jazeera says he suffered physically and psychologically.


The head of a network has greeted his release as a moment of truth, saying no journalist should suffer as he did simply for doing his job.


Sebastian Usher, now, how well did you sleep last night at a time when many of us are more anxious than usual, seeing less daylight and not doing enough exercise? It's not too surprising that people are having more trouble sleeping. The BBC's Caroline Wyatt heard more from the British sleep physiologist, Stephanie Romanowski.


Well, I think obviously with the lack of routine that some of us are experiencing, they're not going to work not having to get up for anything. You're right, not getting enough light exposure, which is really important first thing in the morning. And these things are definitely having an effect on our sleep. And we've got a lot of different type of processing to do. So, you know, we're watching a lot more television and our children are watching more television.


We're having more screen time. And this is all having an impact on our sleep. Our sleep is very it relies on regulation. And the more we stray away from a regular wake time, for example, the more our sleep gets diluted. And we don't actually need like this very, very, very long period of sleep. So some people might be spending up to 10 hours in bed at the moment. But what they're seeing is this massive dilution.


So, you know, they might get little snippets of sleep, but they're not able to sleep through that time. And actually, contrary to popular belief, sort of restricting that time a little bit and making sure you get up at the same time every morning and maybe going to bed when you're really, really sleepy is actually quite good because it's sort of signalling to the brain that you need that good quality sleep and one consolidated block.


And anecdotally, I mean, are people having more vivid dreams? Because I've heard a lot of friends saying that they are.


Yes, absolutely so. And remembering our dreams is usually a sign that REM sleep is slightly interrupted. And common theories at the moment are that either, again, we're diluting that sleep time, so we end up having more REM than usual or because of this interruption. So not having that regular routine of things that we need to keep us healthy is actually sort of reducing the quality of our sleep. And so, again, it's more likely to be interrupted.


It's quite interesting that when we become broken, sleep as we become more sensitive sleepers. So our environment internally and externally is more likely to. Interrupt our sleep, so somebody's snoring, a car driving past things like that, but when you were really good, strong sleeper and you're sort of consistently getting good sleep, it's it's good.


Sleep physiologist Stephanie Romanowski for people who have everything, meteorites.


So the ultimate out of this world possession increasingly popular with celebrity collectors. Prices have increased tenfold over the past decade. More than 70 of the most spectacular meteorites ever found will go under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York next week in a sale that's expected to raise millions of dollars. Richard Hamilton reports.


A slice of meteorite that's fallen from the moon is expected to sell for up to 350000 dollars. But some large rocks from Mars and elsewhere can fetch millions. Christies says meteorites are experiencing a rise in popularity as they capture people's imaginations and are extremely rare. Some of the world's richest people and several celebrities are expected to watch this auction called Deep Impact when it goes online on Tuesday. One Indian multimillionaire, Naveen Jain, who's hoping to build a spacecraft to mine, gold and platinum on the moon, owns the world's largest private meteorite collection that's valued at more than five million dollars.


Other collectors include the director, Steven Spielberg, the actor Nicolas Cage, the illusionist Uri Geller, and the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk.


Many people think they may have found a meteorite and they send in things that they found on the beach, which they saw falling into the garden and things like that. So we have a look at them all and we investigate whether they're meteorites or not.


Many of the prospective meteorites and such auctions are sent to Sarah Russell, a professor of planetary sciences at the Natural History Museum in London.


So you can usually tell a meteorite just by looking at it. It's a little bit denser than ordinary rocks. And also, as they come through the atmosphere, the outermost millimeter or so melts away. And it makes this very thin crust called a fusion crust surrounding the whole thing. And it also has a distinct shape. So that kind of have rounded curves in them. That's quite distinctive. So we usually can tell right away. But if something looks hopeful, then we'll do some chemical analysis to do some more detailed investigations to find out if it's really a meteorite and what type of meteorite it is.


She says she's not surprised that real meteorites have become so desirable. Many are chunks of asteroids from the beginning of the solar system, which can tell us about the formation of the planets. She says they're known as the poor man's space probe because each has such an amazing story to tell. Richard Hamilton.


And that's all from us for now. There'll be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. This edition was produced by Shivon Leahy and mixed by Darren Garrett or Ed is Karen Martin. I'm Oliver Conaway. Until next time.