Hello, this is the global news podcast from the BBC World Service with reports and analysis from across the world. The latest news, seven days a week. BBC World Service podcasts are supported by advertising. This is the Global News podcast from the BBC World Service.
I'm Jackie Leonard. And at 14 hours GMT on Thursday, the 11th of February, these are our main stories. Myanmar's military leaders have drawn up plans to censor the Internet as they try to suppress protests following their coup. Israel has begun giving coronavirus vaccines to Palestinian workers the first time it has done so other than for health professionals. And the head of the Tokyo Olympics has to step down amid anger over his disparaging comments about women.Also in this podcast, archaeologists have managed to get near perfect sounds out of a musical instrument that's more than 17000 years old. Nighttime raids have been carried out all over Myanmar by the military authorities who took power in a coup last week, the civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won November's election, has been detained since the coup. Now, at least one of her most senior advisers has been arrested, too, along with dozens more involved in the NLD.
A UN envoy to Myanmar, Tom Andrews, described the detentions as deeply troubling, but welcomed President Biden's introduction of immediate US sanctions on military leaders. It's encouraging.
It's positive. And he also said that it's important for the world to act together. And he is very committed to engaging with the U.K., the EU, the Canadians, the Australians, many members of the international community with with economic interests or connections to Myanmar to work to the greatest extent possible on a united front to coordinate sanctions and economic pressure and make that pressure even more powerful.
Meanwhile, various protests continued countrywide for a sixth consecutive day. Our South East Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head told us more about these latest arrests.
We're not sure about the numbers. I mean, we're getting reports from all across the country of nighttime raids, taking in officials who are important, usually in provincial government. So chief ministers, they're very important figures, usually largely appointed by the government. So supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in a number of provinces, some of their deputies and in particular officials connected to the election, members of the election commission. There are also a couple of senior figures close to Aung San Suu Kyi herself, advisers who've been detained.
We think certainly as dozens of people, people who are tracking the number of people arrested, believe the total now arrested since the coup in connection because more than 200 who are being held, that suggests because they were also confiscating documents that the military is looking to create a case to justify the coup. The military has come up with a list of, it says, more than 10 million flawed names on the voter registration list. Now, that's not new.
They raised that pretty soon after the election last year, and the election commission dismissed that as as absurd.
They're also making moves on censoring the Internet, aren't they?
They've drafted a really tough law which will criminalize any kind of social media Internet posts, which the military judges to be threatening to public order, people who work in business and the economy. They say that perhaps what the military doesn't fully appreciate is how much in a country that didn't even have any Internet to speak of only 10 years ago, how much now? Small businesses depend on Facebook. It's one of their plans because social media is being used so effectively at the moment to mobilize people.
And we've had yet again, huge numbers of demonstrations, very imaginative people coming together all across the country in quite remote places. There's one on one of Myanmar's most famous lakes, on board boats, beauty queens, a sort of beauty pageants clustering together. Almost every profession you can think of has got together. And, of course, social media is a crucial mobilizing tool for them.
And meanwhile, President Biden has announced sanctions against the coup leaders.
They've been through sanctions before these generals. Their preoccupation is with their power and guarantee Myanmar's unity and security. What's probably most important is that there's as much unity in the international response as possible. And that's going to be difficult because China and other Asian countries, even Japan, are not going to join in sanctions and they are going to want to keep open dialogue. There may even be an opportunity here for the Biden administration to work with China because this is heading towards a real disaster and there's no good way out of this at the moment.
The generals have boxed themselves in. They don't see things the way that their own people do, let alone the rest of the world. And there's going to be the most almighty clash between them and the Burmese people if something isn't done.
Jonathan, had the United States and China have given contrasting accounts of President Biden's first phone call with Xi Jinping since taking office last month? Stephen McDonell in Beijing has the details.
According to state media here, the Chinese leader stressed that the two superpowers had special responsibilities to promote peace and development at a time of great uncertainty, adding that confrontation between them would be a disaster. The White House statement said the US president spoke about China's unfair trade practices, the crackdown in Hong Kong, Xinjiang human rights abuses and Beijing's assertiveness towards Taiwan. The Communist Party general secretary warned President Biden to be cautious when interfering in what he called China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Stephen McDonell. Israel has the most successful covid-19 vaccination program in the world. Yet until now, Palestinians have not been part of the plan, apart from some frontline health workers. Israel has been under pressure to change that. And now some Palestinians who work in Israel are being vaccinated correspond. In Jerusalem, Tom Bateman told us more, these are Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and they're Palestinians who cross checkpoints usually every day to work in Israel. Now, tens of thousands of people are within that category.
This has become an issue both within Israel because there have been those who have been saying, look, these people are working alongside every other Israeli and it makes sense that they should be immunized, many of them workers, building sites in agriculture on farms. So there's been that pressure on the Israeli government. But then there's also the wider context of what some people say is Israel's responsibility to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories. Now, Israel says that under the Oslo Peace Accords, that that responsibility falls to the Palestinian Authority, to Palestinian officials.
But we've had, for example, in the United Nations Human Rights Council and human rights groups saying that Israel should be doing more. So that's why this matters. It looks like the numbers are very small. There was a clinic set up next to a very busy checkpoint on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Health officials say around 700 people received a vaccine, but that number also included East Jerusalem, Palestinians. And those people already fell within the Israeli vaccination program.
Where are the other Palestinians in terms of their own vaccination program?
Well, in terms of the West Bank and Gaza, the situation's really complicated. But fundamentally, Palestinians are having to rely on the Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule in parts of the occupied territories, and also the World Health Organization and its Kovács program, which aims to deliver either free of charge or at reduced cost vaccines to poorer regions in the world. Now, fundamentally, around five million Palestinians, nearly all of them are still waiting. The Palestinian Authority has ordered four million of the Russian Sputnik five vaccine, but only a handful so far have arrived.
And Israel has also delivered 2000 doses of them are down a vaccine to the West Bank, to the Palestinian Authority. And those two have been given to health workers.
And just remind us, where is Israel up to with its vaccination program across Israel?
Israel continues to vaccinate its citizens at the fastest rate in the world. 40 percent of the population have received at least one dose, although officials have seen those numbers slow down. And I spoke to one official in the Ministry of Health last week who told me that they're a bit worried now that they've sort of vaccinated the most willing and able. Now, that is causing some concern because they think that to reach so-called herd immunity to get to that point, they think they're going to have to vaccinate around 90 percent of the population.
And that health official told me at the time, it looks like that might involve having to vaccinate children together.
Tom Bateman, the French government has abandoned plans to build a new fourth terminal at Charles de Gaulle Airport outside Paris. It called the scheme obsolete because of climate change and the pandemic. More from Hugh Schofield in Paris.
Terminal four was described as an airport within an airport, the equivalent of putting Paris's second airport, Óli, inside Charles de Gaulle by the end of the 2013 as it was projected to handle 450 extra flights at the airport every day and 40 million extra passengers every year. But since approval, two things have happened. First, in order to respect carbon emission targets, the government radically changed its transport priorities and now says any airport development must include plans for the electric and hydrogen fueled planes of the future.
The second change, of course, is covered with air traffic today, just a quarter of its precrisis levels, mammoth expansion schemes like Terminal four appear distinctly irrelevant.
Hugh Schofield in France. Meanwhile, in a separate development, AstraZeneca has posted annual profits of three point one billion dollars for 2020. The pharmaceutical giant, which teamed up with Oxford University to produce a coronavirus vaccine, is also predicting strong revenue growth this year. It's also suggested that if it needed to produce an amended version of the vaccine to combat new variants of the virus, it could do so at scale in as little as six months. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics continue to be beset by problems.
Even in 2021, the Games had already been postponed by year because of coronavirus. And now the head of the organising committee, 83 year old former prime minister Yoshiro Mori, is expected to resign following international outrage at sexist comments he made in an interview earlier this month. Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield Hayes told us more so.
First of all, during an online meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee board, Yoshiro Mori made a remark that if they were going to increase the number of women on the board, they'd have to make sure that their time was limited when they speak because women tend to go on too long. And that's annoying. He then sort of compounded that by holding a. Press conference where he apologized and said that it wasn't him who had made this comment, it was other people, and when challenged, he said, well, I don't really know what women think because I don't talk to them very much.
And this sort of seemed to dig him further into the hole and make his apology sound rather hollow.
He was quite keen to stay despite all the controversy. So why is he going now?
I think because what has happened in the last few days, initially he said he had apologized and that he withdrew his comment. The Japanese government backed him and said that as far as they were concerned, the matter was closed and it looked like they were going to try and ride this out. But the storm of protest has got louder and they have been online petitions, 150000 people signing up to demand his resignation. Interestingly, some 400 Olympic and Paralympic volunteers have said they will not take part in the Olympics if he remains.
But I think the really key thing is the prominent people have started coming out and opposing Mr. Mori continuing. And those include famous sports stars like Noami Osaka, Japan's most famous female tennis star. And perhaps most key of all, yesterday, Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, came out and said that such comments were not in keeping with Toyota's own values. Now, Toyota is one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympics. Mr. Toyoda is one of the most important businessmen in Japan.
And I think that was probably the final straw.
Mr. Mori isn't really a stranger to controversy, is he? Oh, not at all.
He is famous for being gaffe prone. If we go back to the time when he was prime minister of Japan back in the early 2000s, there was a terrible incident where a boatload of Japanese students went down on board the boat off the coast of Hawaii when it was struck by a US Navy submarine. And when he received the news, Prime Minister Mori, as he was then finished his round of golf, went to the clubhouse, had a shower and got changed before making his leisurely return to the prime minister's office.
And when he was asked why he'd done that, why he'd taken so long, he said he didn't want to delay the other golfers who were behind him on the course. He got a lot of opprobrium for that. But, you know, it shows you the sort of, I have to say, the sort of attitude of some of the elderly politicians who are still in positions of power in Japan.
So Mr. Mori is going from the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee. Tell us about his likely replacement.
So we understand that it's not exactly going to be a change of generations. Saburo Kawaguchi is the 84 year old former head of the Japan Football Association, and he is being certainly being named by Japanese media as going to replace Mr. Mori. Now, obviously, with the Olympics coming up in less than six months, the Japanese authorities want a safe pair of hands. And Mr. Kawaguchi is believed to be that. He was a very, very successful head of the Japanese Football Association.
And football as a game here really grew enormously under his guidance in the 1990s. But he's no spring chicken at 84. And a lot of people will say you're replacing an 83 year old dinosaur with an 84 year old man. When is Japan going to appoint some people, younger people, to these sorts of positions?
That was Rupert Wingfield Hayes in Tokyo. Archaeologists have managed to get a near perfect sound out of a musical instrument that's more than 17000 years old. It's a conch shell that was found in a Hunter-Gatherer cave in southern France. The artifact is the oldest known wind instrument of its type. To date, only bone flutes can claim a more ancient heritage. Our science correspondent Jonathan Amos has been listening to.
A spectacular resonance from an ancient time, this large shell from an Atlantic sea snail was unearthed in a Pyrenees cave in the 1930s. At the time, it was thought to be a ceremonial drinking cup, nothing more. But now French researchers have identified the deliberate modifications that would have enhanced its ability to make sound. A modern musician blowing into the shell was able to generate notes close to C, C, Sharp and D. Archaeologists say that because the decorations on the shell match those on the cave walls, the discovery represents the earliest example in European prehistory of a relationship between music and cave art.
That was Jonathan Amos. Still to come, we feed our picks up three o'clock in the afternoon and if we're late in the rounds for any reason, 10 to three, all the picks are lined up waiting for you. They know what time it is. So pigs are clever, but can they play computer games?
As we record this podcast, lawmakers in Washington are gearing up for the third day of former President Trump's impeachment trial. At Wednesday's session, the Democrats showed new dramatic footage showing just how close the protesters came to many of the politicians in the Capitol building. The deadly riot on the 6th of January was an attempt by Trump supporters to stop Joe Biden's electoral win being certified.
From Washington, Namir Iqbal reports every couple of days. We usually have a couple of hours doing the pool against the harrowing audio of police officers screaming for help was played to the Senate on day two.
At this point, many of Donald Trump supporters had left his rally outside the White House and smashed their way into the building on Capitol Hill.
But this is now possibly a riot.
Thirty and forty nine hours declaring an array of the Democrats team also played new security footage. It showed Republican Senator Mitt Romney being led away from the mob by a Capitol police officer.
And striking images of Vice President Mike Pence and his family being escorted to safety away from a screaming crowd. He was there to do his procedural duty to certify the electoral win for Joe Biden, while Donald Trump, as the prosecution team showed, was tweeting that his VP had no courage.
And I was very fortunate that obviously Geithner was there to get me at the right direction, Mitt Romney told reporters afterwards.
This was the first time he'd seen that footage and was grateful to Officer Eugene Goodman, who Democrats say saved him before thinking it might actually happen.
Congressman Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, described Donald Trump is giving up as the commander in chief to become the inciter in chief.
Justice Scalia once said memorably, You can't ride with the cops and root for the robbers.
His team of prosecutors used Mr. Trump's own tweets against him as evidence, saying that his constant baseless claims of election fraud had stirred up his supporters. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean's voice cracks with emotion as she presented evidence.
The truth is this attack never would have happened, but for Donald Trump.
And so they came draped in Trump's flag and used our flag, the American flag, to batter and to bludgeon.
And at 230, I heard that terrifying banging on the House chamber doors for the first time in more than 200 years, the seat of our government was ransacked on our watch. Many Republicans still back. Mr. Trump, some loyal to him, such as Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, sat in the chamber doodling and reading documents as the footage played out. They think a former president shouldn't be impeached. At the end of the week, we'll hear Mr. Trump's legal defense.
They argue he never directed anyone to commit criminal acts. Ted Cruz's objection to this impeachment trial is being held in the Senate court, which was once the crime scene and some of the jurors intended targets of the rioters. And after today, there's no doubt many will leave with the harrowing images and sounds of that day playing on their minds. No medical reporting from Washington. London used to be the biggest share trading hub in Europe, but following Brexit, it's now Amsterdam.
That's the number one hub with trading volumes there rising fourfold in January. So why a question for our economics correspondent, Andrew Walker.
Well, this is the arrangements. At the end of the transition period after Britain left the EU, there was a trade agreement, but it didn't make provision for financial services. And one of the things that the EU requires is that certain financial institutions must trade, buy and sell shares on on exchanges that have been recognised by the EU as at least having equivalent levels of regulatory protection to those exchanges in the EU. And there has been no such arrangement agreed for London.
So quite a large volume of share trading has therefore shifted from London to Amsterdam in particular. But there are also smaller increases in volumes as well, seen in Paris and Dublin.
And last night, the governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, warned that the negotiations between the EU and UK over a trade deal in financial services is in difficulties.
Yes, he's concerned about the possibility that Britain might end up as some sort of rule taker, as it were, in relation to financial services, which he doesn't think is good for the UK. I mean, there is certainly a view that the British financial system actually stands to gain from having greater flexibility to make its own rules. But Mr Bailey, certainly keen to have better access for the city of London, the financial centre to the EU market, is concerned that it shouldn't come at too high a price in terms of simply having to accept rules made in Brussels, where previously, of course, Britain was an influential player in making those rules as they affected European financial services.
That was Andrew Walker. An international trial of a drug that suppresses appetite has found it's helped some people lose more than a fifth of their body weight. Scientists say a weekly injection of the drug could be used as an alternative to weight loss surgery.
His gym read this drug, called Smuggler's Tide, is already being used to treat diabetes. The trial of 2000 adults in 16 countries used it at higher doses to try and reduce obesity.
The average weight loss was nearly three stone over six months, far more than in the group, which received a dummy jab. The study's authors at University College London said no other drug has come close to producing that kind of result. Other scientists were more cautious. They said part of the weight loss in the trial could be down to people changing their behaviour. That was Jim Reid.
Now to some promising news on the environment. Scientists say the healing of the earth's protective ozone layer appears to have resumed. The process is back on track after the illegal production of CFC gases in the east of China was stopped.
As Victoria Gill reports, it was back in 2018 when scientists first published a strange and worrying discovery about ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons or CFC's in the atmosphere. The researchers atmospheric measurements picked up a new source of CFC emissions that they managed to pin down to East China. Detective work by China's Environmental Investigation Agency and by environmental journalists found that the chemical was being used in insulation foam that was being produced by companies in that region. This new study reveals that through this combination of atmospheric chemistry, investigative journalism and enforcement of the global treaty that banned CFC production, those emissions have been stopped and that they were stopped in time to avoid a delay in the ongoing healing of the ozone layer.
Victoria Gil Larry Flynt, the US pornography mogul best known for publishing Hustler magazine, has died at the age of 78. His family said he died peacefully in his sleep. Our North America correspondent David Willis reports.
Embraced by champions of free speech to whom he became a folk hero, denounced by feminists and many others. Larry Flynt once wrote that he wanted to offend everyone on an equal opportunity basis. He played a down at heel Ohio bar business into a multi-million dollar magazine club and casino empire. At the height of its popularity, Hustler was selling more than three million copies a month.
You got a real naked woman there. OK, a beautiful girl. Thank you, Mr. Flynn.
Just shooting his brazen, unapologetic nature neatly captured in the film The People vs. Larry Flynt. You don't like the magazine, don't read.
But with fame came notoriety. And two days after taking the oath in one of a string of obscenity trials in the 1970s, he was gunned down outside the courthouse by a man angry about the publication of pictures of an interracial couple and left paralyzed from the waist down. But the smut peddling business, as he called it, continued to. Grow along with an interest in politics, and in 2003, he mounted a campaign to replace California's governor, Gray Davis might be paralyzed from the waist down.
But unlike Governor Gray, I'm not paralyzed from the neck up.
He lost the race to Arnold Schwarzenegger and went on to write a book about the connection between sex and politics in America, telling the BBC it dated back to the founding fathers, wanted to see if the same sex scandals exist in their marriages now.
And they do. And they were used in their own campaigns. They were adjusted basis and nothing is very change.
Larry Flynt once defined pornography as the price we pay for living in a free society. Freedom, he said, sometimes meant tolerating things you don't like. And by his own admission, not everyone liked Larry Flynt.
David Willis in Los Angeles. Now, many of us have been at a loss over how to fill our time during lockdown. Some have turned to computer games to keep themselves entertained. If you're one of those people, watch out. Scientists in Indiana have trained pigs, yes, pigs to play games using their snouts to control the joystick. Now, they're not likely to beat you at Minecraft or Call of Duty. Probably could beat me, but still. But pigs are cleverer than most of us thought.
Nick Robinson spoke to Kate Daniels, a farmer at Willow Farm in Worcestershire in central England.
I don't think this will come as a surprise to anybody who works with pigs.
Just palsies like you're saying. You are not surprised that a pig can play a computer game?
No. And as you say, they're not playing Minecraft, but know that they can manipulate a situation to get themselves a reward is is no surprise at all.
I don't know if you read the researchers, they went one stage further, even when the reward, the treat was removed, they carried on using their snouts to to use the joystick to hit a particular target.
Yeah, well, got Godlove the trial. Right. So. So how do you know somebody who deals with pigs all the time?
What is it that makes you realise that clever animals.
There's a bit of a hackneyed phrase amongst peacekeeper's, which is dogs. Look up to you. Cats look down on you in a pig, looks you right in the eye. And there's a lot of truth in that. And when you look at pig in the eye, you can tell that there's intelligence there and then there's things in their behaviours. I mean, if we go and feed the sheep when they see you coming with the bucket, they respond to the sheep.
But we feed our pigs at three o'clock in the afternoon. And if we're late in the rounds for any reason, you know, ten to three, all the pigs are lined up waiting for you. They know what time it is. I really honestly have they got signs of impatience?
Do you do they tap their fingers all the way? And where are you? It's time for it's time for dinner.
Yeah, well, you're getting into a whole other thing there because because there's a whole pig language thing, because they have different different sounds that they make in different situations. So if you just walk past the pen, they give you a friendly grunt. But if you're late for the rounds, they let you know. And it's a fairly noisy affair. So they really do.
Oh, fascinating. Now, there was a study done a while ago, wasn't there, about pigs being given a tag related to what food they got?
There was a video that went around on the Internet some time ago, and it was it was an intensive indoor pig farm where the pigs RASHON that they got was determined by a tag that they were in a collar around their necks. And then it was CCTV footage. One of the pigs had a little interaction with another pig and managed to get its tag off of its head and then picked it up in his mouth and took it round and got the other ones feed as well, the farmer, Kate Daniels.
And no pigs don't have fingers.
And that's it from us for now. But there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. If you'd like to comment on this one or the topics covered in it, do please send us an email. The address is Global podcast at BBC dot com dot UK. This pod was mixed by Ash Taylor. The producer was Liam McCaffrey. The editor is Karen Martin. I'm Jackie Leonard. Until next time. Goodbye.