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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 Conaway and we're recording this at 14 hours GMT on Monday, the 15th of February. Reports from Myanmar say soldiers are using rubber bullets against protesters as the military tries to end resistance to the coup. An Indian court has issued arrest warrants for two more climate activists over their support for protesting farmers. And Chinese state media says dozens of people have been arrested for trying to sell fake vaccines.


Also in the podcast, a huge study in Israel finds the Pfizer vaccine works just as well outside clinical trials.


Is it definitely good news when you vaccinate and you have more than 90 percent protection, you can open the education system.


And what we found were actually filter feeding animals that were attached to the rock. So these are look like sponges to us, but we haven't actually got hold of any yet.


We've only got video of them finding life deep underneath the Antarctic ice.


For two weeks on from the coup in Myanmar, the military authorities have stepped up their campaign against protesters. 400 people have been arrested, many at night. And the Internet has been cut off for hours at a time. Armoured vehicles are patrolling the streets and troops have been attacking demonstrators with catapults and even rubber bullets.


That was in Kachin State on Sunday night. And as we record this podcast, there have been similar scenes in the second biggest city, Mandalay. But despite the threat, people are determined to take a stand. So says human rights activists on Mau in Yangon.


People, of course, when they see this heavy military locations located in the different street in Yangon, the fear is there. But also, I think there is the courage already is there, together with the fear. And I really hope that the courage of the public will fight to the fear that they have.


Protesters have, meanwhile, continued their calls for the release of Myanmar's civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. She was supposed to appear in court on Monday, but a judge has ordered her detention to be extended for a further two days. So what's going on? I asked our Southeast Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head.


I guess they just haven't got all their plans sorted out for whatever they're going to do to her. Remember, they've detained her after a coup, which most of the world regards as illegal. She was elected in a landslide last year. There's actually quite a lot of really strong critical argument against what the military did from a legal point of view. And they've charged her with possessing illegal walkie talkies, which is laughable. Issue is the de facto head of state and of course, lots of security in her home.


Who would have been using them. I doubt she ever used them herself. And I think they need to build a stronger case. And it isn't clear why they need an extra two days before she appears in court. She may not appear in person. They may do it remotely anyway. She's under effective house arrest in her home in the capital, Naypyidaw. In effect, the generals have torn up the rule book. They're making new laws anyway. Really tough law, amending the legal code as they go along.


They can do what they want. So nobody expects them to follow the rules in dealing with Aung San Suu Kyi. We certainly don't expect them to allow her to appear in public. That would be disastrous for them now. And they're still facing so much public opposition. She's simply rally that opposition even more strongly than it's been mobilized up to.


Now, you mentioned the opposition in the past sort of few hours and days, we've seen a tougher military response with some shots fired, tanks on the streets, a toughening up of the penal code. Do you think the generals have been surprised by the scale of the opposition?


I don't think they were prepared for this sort of organic civil disobedience movement that has formed without leaders. You know, they cut the National League for Democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi is party out right at the start of the coup by arresting all the key leaders there, their local administrators as well. People have organized themselves, often by profession, often using social media to an extraordinarily large extent. I mean, for the first time in Myanmar, people can spread information very, very quickly.


So in small towns and villages, they're seeing what people are doing in Yangon almost instantaneously and organizing themselves. And so we're seeing the military now pulling together a strategy. It's not quite clear what it is. They cut the Internet for eight hours last night that terrified people, the soldiers had already come out on the streets. There were armored vehicles. There was quite serious clashes in one town in Michigan, at least it was an awful lot of gunfire there.


People were very frightened and everyone thought, oh, my God, this this is going to be another bloodbath. Actually, not a lot seems to have happened last night, but the military presence is very visible. And everyone in Myanmar knows that when soldiers are there, that if you clash with them, they will use lethal force. They always have in the past. So it looks right now as though the military is kind of ratcheting up pressure and intimidation in the hope of wearing this movement that they haven't really expected to form wearing it down.


Jonathan had so far, the effectiveness of covid vaccines has been largely based on clinical trials. But now medics in Israel have been able to assess how well the FISA BiOM tech job works outside such a controlled environment. A study of 600000 people who've had both doses found a 94 percent reduction in symptomatic cases and a similar level of protection from serious illness. However, it's not known whether the vaccine reduces infections, as cases are only coming down slowly in Israel. Professor Hagai Levine is chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians.


It's definitely good news. We don't know from this study whether or not the vaccine protects from transmitting the virus to other people. That's still to be studied. But when you vaccinate and you have more than 90 percent protection of the elderly, of the people above the age of 60 and very high rates of coverage for younger people, you can open the education system. Israel is one of the leading countries in closing the education system. And now when most of the public is protected, it is very wounds that we still don't open enough.


So there is a huge debate in Israel and about that at the moment.


I got more details from our Jerusalem correspondent, Yolanda, now.


Well, this is the biggest study in Israel to date. And the studies in Israel are proving very useful because of the rapid vaccine rollout that has been here, because of the very good databases that are kept here. These figures actually come from the largest of the countries for health care providers called Clits, which covers more than half of Israelis. And according to a senior official, actually, he said it shows unequivocally that Fyssas vaccine is extremely effective in the real world as opposed to just in the clinical study.


And what is the strategy on easing the lockdown? Because despite the high number of people who've been vaccinated, people might be surprised that there are still quite a few restrictions in Israel.


That's right. And actually, at the moment, I'm looking out across one of the main shopping malls in Jerusalem. There's not a single car in the car park because although Israel began to exit from the third national lockdown a week ago, it's learned from past experience and it's not opening up quickly. Still, a lot of shops remain closed, only the youngest years in green light areas. And the Israeli traffic light system are going back to school now. But Israel is being very cautious, particularly with an election coming up in just over a month's time.


The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, really wants to show that the vaccination program in Israel is delivering real results, not just in terms of health, but also benefits the economy. And there are big questions now about what to do about unvaccinated Israelis. Very controversially, the prime minister's also proposed controversial legislation that is perhaps authorizing local governments to be given the details of all unvaccinated people in their area. So that's bringing up lots of things about privacy rights.


Yeah. And I mean, what is the take up like other specific groups of people who are reluctant to get the vaccines? And also, what of the Palestinians?


Well, the younger age groups of Israelis are an area of concern. In general. There has been sort of less for take up in some parts of the ultra-Orthodox community, despite that being high infection rates in those communities and also among Israeli Arabs who make up about 20 percent of the Israeli population than you have from the Palestinian side, you have the fact that 100000 that work just in construction and agriculture, Palestinians from the West Bank that work inside Israel and Jerusalem, there are employers who are really pushing for them because they are people that mix regularly with Israelis to have vaccination programs from Israel, because at the moment, we know in the West Bank and Gaza, there have just been a small number of a few thousand vaccines donated by the Israelis to cover medics in the West Bank.


Also, Palestinians who work in Israeli hospitals and in East Jerusalem have been offered the vaccine against coronavirus Yolen.


Now, another country making good progress in its covid vaccination program is Britain. Since the first job was administered here 69 days ago, more than 15 million people have had their first dose. The health secretary is Matt Hancock.


I'm very grateful to everybody involved who's who's allowed this country to hit 15 million vaccinations, 50 million people vaccinated two days ahead of target.


Well, at the same time, new restrictions have come into effect for some international arrivals in England. Passengers will now have to. For a 10 day stay in a quarantine hotel after returning from any of 33 high risk countries, the government insists it will reduce new infections. But critics say compared with other island nations, Britain has done a poor job in controlling its borders. Dr. Gabriel Scaley is a member of the Independent Committee of Scientists that advises the government.


I think it doesn't go far enough and it's far, far too late. This is the first real attempt that the UK government has made to stop new cases and new variants coming to the shores of the UK. And it is only confined to 33 countries and quarantine period is 10 days rather than the more usual 14 days. And it really remains to be seen how effectively it will be policed, how effectively to be implemented. There is that possibility of people dodging the quarantine by going through a third country that doesn't have restrictions in place, but also it's based on where variants have popped up and where there are a lot of cases.


But we we know variants can pop up anywhere in the world where the virus is replicating. They are being identified, but only in countries that have the science and have their laboratory capacity to do the genetic analysis of the variants. The more logical thing to do is to adopt the approach done by many countries, particularly in Asia and in Australia, New Zealand, and apply it to all international rivals. And that's what Scotland are doing.


Dr Gabriel Scaley. The state of Oregon, which already has some of America's most liberal drug laws, has gone a step further and decriminalized hard drugs. Now, if someone is found with a small amount of heroin, meth or crack cocaine, they will no longer face arrest and potentially jail. Instead, they'll be fined or offered treatment for addiction funded by the revenue from the state's legalized marijuana industry. Those who back the new law say it will save lives.


Opponents believe it will make a crisis worse and result in a rise in crime. Our West Coast correspondent Sophie Long reports.


Rock bottom was years. I had five children and five years.


Janie Gullickson was arrested more than 30 times in four years. Her life and her family were devastated by her addiction and the prison sentences it resulted in.


And I got out of prison when they were all pretty near adulthood.


Larry Turner served four prison sentences. He tells me the new law could have changed everything for him.


I went to prison, prison, not jail, prison four times for possession of a controlled substance. I didn't have a gram of cocaine. I don't have two grams of cocaine. I didn't have a half a gram of cocaine. I had a crack pipe and sent me to prison for residues in a pipe. So those four times that I went to prison, if I had an alternative to be able to pay a hundred dollar fine or do an assessment or do a screening, and then the fine would be taken off, my record mursalin team would eliminate that there from people.


Obviously we have syringes.


Haven Wheelock, who runs a needle exchange and helps drug users do so safely, believes decriminalization will save lives. For her, it's personal.


I've lost six friends in the last year to overdose. I've lost clients, someone I know dies every month. Changing these policies can make it safer for our community than I want to be a part of that. And I'm really excited. Our state was brave enough to acknowledge the system that we've been operating under isn't working, and that it's time to try something new and to try something different.


The problem is evident on Portland streets, where people live in semi-permanent tents and inject drugs in broad daylight, oblivious to passers by.


And this is where success or failure of Measure 110 will be seen to. The hope is people will be released from the whole hard drugs have on their lives.


In this bag. We have suspected methamphetamine, certainly less than two grams. So that would no longer be a crime in Oregon.


In the property room of Woodburn's police station, chief Jim Ferraris shows me substances confiscated from drug users, a small bag containing cocaine that would no longer result in arrest, a bigger bag with a larger amount of crystal meth. That would I asked him if he thinks decriminalization will have a positive impact on the drug problem he's been fighting his whole career.


No, not at all. And then what happens? Drug overdoses go up, overdose deaths go up, crime goes up. Theft, burglary, robbery, assault. If people aren't being treated for their addiction, they still need drugs. How do they get them? They commit crimes to get the money to buy the drugs because the drug supply is still existent. This will do nothing but exacerbate the drug supply. The cartels are probably sitting back just waiting patiently for this to fail so they can seize the moment and increase their drug sales.


Jany Gulliksen disagrees. She's now been in recovery for more than 12 years, has been reunited with her children and runs an organization helping other addicts to do the same. She fought hard to get the new law passed and believes fewer convictions will reduce the collateral damage addiction has on lives and give others the time to heal like she has.


I was living in hell. I didn't want to live. I begged for death every day and now no words. And it's just I don't even know this was possible.


And that report compiled by Sophie Long. Scientists have discovered marine organisms living on a boulder on the sea floor 900 meters beneath the Antarctic ice shelf. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey stumbled on the life bearing rock after sinking a borehole through the ice to obtain sediment from the seabed. The accidental discovery has led scientists to rethink the limits of life on Earth. Dr Hugh Griffiths is a marine biologist at the British Antarctic Survey.


What we found were actually filter feeding animals that were attached to the rocks. So these are looked like sponges to us, but we haven't actually got hold of any yet. We've only got video of them.


And it's surprising because they're so far away from any source of food which requires daylight, that actually we wouldn't expect this kind of animal that can't move and find its own food to be living that far under. And that's put in perspective. It's at least 260 kilometres from its source of food. And we're normally quite surprised that food can reach the bottom of the deepest part of the deep sea. But this is kind of hundreds of times that distance, potentially, that this food has to travel to reach these animals.


So if we could get hold of a physical specimen, then it would be quite easy to to work out what their closest relatives are and what they eat and things. But actually, the geologists who found these by accident were trying to get a sediment core from underneath the ice. And so they weren't set up to collect anything anyway. But this is also beyond the realms of most the technology. We have to collect these kind of samples. So we're probably going have to come up with something new if we ever want to get a physical sample.


But we can tell that they look like they're related to sponges, for example. But honestly, we it working in Antarctica, between 10 and 20 percent of the animals we catch are new to science. Anyway, I would be pretty confident that anything living in this extreme environment is probably another one of those things that we haven't seen before. Dr Hugh Griffiths.


And still to come on the podcast, if you put your feet into the water, you expect to encounter a white shark.


But for two years now, Monwabisi Squidgy and his team have not seen a single great white through their binoculars.


The Mystery of the Great White Shark. We investigate why it's vanishing from South African waters.


A court in India has issued arrest warrants against two more climate change activists, Nikita, Jacob and Shantanu. It's part of an ongoing investigation by the authorities into an alleged international conspiracy to spread hostility towards India.


Our South Asia editor and BARAZAN at Iran reports the Delhi police allege that the violence during the farmers attacked a rally last month is linked to the document, known as a toolkit shared by several activists in support of the farmers protest. The document gives information about the protest and how people can support it online. It attracted international attention after the global climate change campaigner Rittenberg shouted on Twitter on Sunday. These are Ravi, who founded the Indian branch of the environmental group set up by Mr Turnbull was arrested in Bangalore, triggering a widespread anger among activists and politicians.


Nikita Jacob has approached the Mumbai High Court for interim protection from arrest. Opposition politicians say the arrest of Mr. Avila is the latest escalation in India's crackdown on free expression and political dissent.


And Basanti Rajan, the billionaire Bill Gates, says solving climate change would be the most amazing thing humanity has ever done. And by comparison, ending the coronavirus pandemic is very, very easy. In a new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. The Microsoft founder says we should focus on using technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero. He says it will require an innovation effort on a scale never yet seen. Our chief environment correspondent, Justin Rowlatt asked Bill Gates first just how big an issue for the world is the pandemic.


It's not as big as the Second World War, but it's the biggest event since then. It's the entire globe. The economic impacts are in the trillions, the loss of learning, the suffering. It's terrible that the poorer countries, you know, don't have the same ability to borrow and spend as the rich countries. In fact, Africa is again facing a gigantic debt crisis and the interruption in their basic health services will actually kill more people than coronavirus will directly.


But the pandemic will come to an end because these amazing vaccines were invented in a year. And compared to climate change, that's very, very easy. Sadly, climate change will cause far more deaths, but it requires innovation across the entire physical economy, changing steel plants, cement plants, electricity, transport. So if we achieve getting to zero, it'll be the most amazing thing humanity has ever done.


How do you get people to come up with these kind of breakthroughs, these innovations?


Yeah, it's a very good point. So you have to drive the innovation pipeline. So that starts with the government's basic R&D budget. Then you need a form of venture capital that can take those ideas out of the lab and back them even when they're very high risk. And you need partnerships with big companies and then you need somebody who's willing to buy the products to create volume, to bring those prices down, to try to recreate what happened with solar panels you're talking about is effectively government subsidy on you?


Yes, because of the damage climate will bring, we need to have price signals to tell the private sector that we want green products.


Isn't it a little bit rich? Bill Gates urging more government intervention, because when you were building Microsoft, you battled governments around the world arguing regulation, stifled your ability to innovate the basic role of government in terms of roads and justice and education and scientific research.


You know, I'm the biggest fan of government doing those things in an efficient way. And here with climate, without government policies, there's no way we won't work ourselves into an incredible disaster, particularly for poor people who live near the equator. The malnutrition and death will be five times what we have in today's pandemic.


Bill Gates. Well, climate change is one theory behind the disappearance of the great white shark from South African waters. Barely a single great white has been spotted off the coast of Cape Town for two years, where once they used to be hundreds. So what's going on? Our Africa correspondent Andrew Harding investigates.


Patrol Fisher patrol fishing over. I've seen like hundreds of sharks. And wherever you go, if you put your feet into the water, you expect to encounter a white shark.


But for two years, no one would be seasick. Reggie and his team have not seen a single great white through their binoculars.


It's nothing new, but the impact has been dramatic. Tourists use. Onto boats and even slip into underwater cages to watch the huge sharks up close, but that lucrative industry has collapsed.


It is becoming more and more of a privilege to see these animals. You know, they're incredibly endangered now. So it's not like how it used to be where we had a 98 percent success rate of seeing a great white shark.


Mary Robinson runs a shark research and tourism company in the town of Conspiring.


It's worrying not only for us, but for the marine ecosystem because white sharks are top of the food chain. So they keep everything below them in the food chain and balance and in check. So if we lose our white sharks, inevitably our marine ecosystems will break down. So why did the sharks disappear?


You know, again, this amateur footage shows the arrival two years ago of two suspects, a pair of orcas, killer whales. Sarah worries of shark spotters believes that's no coincidence.


The arrival of these orcas, the appearance of the shark carcasses and then the reduction in shark activity does all seem to be correlated.


But there is another thin long line shark fishing and long line, as the name suggests, is a long line filled with hooks. They move into areas where they know high numbers of sharks off and effectively vacuum these animals out of that environment.


The boats scour coastal waters for smaller sharks on which the great whites feed, then send their cash off to fish and chip shops in Australia. Chris follows. Another local shark expert says the result is no food left for the great whites.


This quite simply means that the bulk of their food was no longer available and false. So logic tells you if your food is not available, here you go look elsewhere. And that's what a lot of us believe is what's actually happened. And we got some teasers.


Then again, another shark detective sees a more complicated crime scene.


So from here, we can get genetic samples out.


I've come out to see with marine biologist Dr Sarah Andreotti. She's been studying the great whites here for many years, using a harpoon to scrape DNA off their backs.


We'll have to cut a little piece out to them to extract the DNA. Dr. Andreas's view is that the great white population has been shrinking unnoticed for many years because of climate change, pollution, overfishing, a range of human activities.


It's not just frustrating is the feeling that that happened under our watch. The work we did wasn't enough to get them the environment better protected in a way, or maybe it was just too late. So the frustration comes from the feeling that maybe we just didn't do enough. Her conclusion is that the great whites weren't chased away, they've just died out slowly at first, then abruptly, Andrew Harding.


China says it's cracked down on a series of fake vaccine scams. Dozens of people have been arrested, including a criminal group said to have made a profit of nearly three million dollars from Beijing. Stephen McDonell reports.


On the streets of Beijing, much of life has returned to normal with the pandemic under control for the moment. However, local police are also said to have arrested at least 70 suspects in 21 separate cases of coronavirus vaccine fraud, according to a report in China's state controlled media. One group masked saline solution and mineral water as vaccine doses. Fake vaccines are reportedly being produced and distributed by criminal groups, including as part of emergency inoculation programs at hospitals and in some cases, smuggled abroad.


The Chinese authorities say they've already administered over 40 million inoculations and China's vaccines are being used widely across the developing world.


Stephen McDonell. Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have announced they're expecting a second child, the new baby will be a sibling for one year old Archie. The details from our royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell.


The couple have said they're overjoyed by the pregnancy. Megan suffered a miscarriage last summer after which she wrote about the almost unbearable grief of losing a child. So this news must be the source of both joy and relief. The queen and other members of the royal family are said to be delighted and have sent the couple their best wishes.


One unusual feature of this royal baby is that the birth will almost certainly take place in the United States near the couple's home in California. So although the child will be eighth in line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, he or she will in all probability be a citizen of the United States.


Nicholas Witchell? Well, the announcement was accompanied by a black and white photo of the couple under a tree in a casual and intimate pose. It shows we've come a long way from the formal family photographs of pre pandemic times and with a nod to social distancing. It was captured on a phone by someone who wasn't even there. Ellie Kurd's is a professional theater photographer. She told us how it was done.


It was done with an iPod and via FaceTime. Quite interesting way to do it, because the photographer is not present. And the person I believe, like the sitters, they do feel a bit more comfortable. So you can have a much more intimate photo shoot.


Is it against some sort of towel or something? Or someone's going to be holding this, haven't they? I'm just going left a bit. Right a bit. Who's saying that?


Oh, is the photographer you have to direct once you arrive through either FaceTime or WhatsApp for whichever platform you're using so that you have to direct visitors, like putting iPods towards the light, against the lights and the people. Of course, they have to be happy to do that technically.


Is that a good enough image to use what clearly it is, because it's all splashed across the front pages of all the newspapers this morning. I just wonder whether it's sufficient quality and resolution.


Yeah, it's a different way to photograph quality. Time is not the best because the pixels it can really see once you if you make the photograph too big. But I think nowadays is the way that photography has found to be able to continue photographing and working. And it also just gives us that freedom, geographic freedom that we used to have before the pandemic. So it facilitates for you to photograph someone dies in New York or anywhere else.


And just a final thought on the actual subject matter itself carries their bare feet. Meccans lying down with her had been cradled in his hands, their water. What are they trying to tell us in this composition? Happiness and love?


I think that is quite clear. Like and being comfortable with each other and being happy and such a special moment.


Okay. Or simple as that, I think. Is that Ali Kurtz talking to Simon Jack.


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, Joe Leterme, Oliver Conway. Ed is Karen Martin. Until next time. Goodbye.


Hello, I'm just Solomon, and I'm your man al-Hassani, we're the hosts of Comedians First and the News from the BBC World Service. We're back with the second season, if you haven't heard the show. Here is what it sounds like in 30 seconds. Welcome to the show where your host, a married couple, staying together for this podcast and our dog, Esther, honey. This week I complained about walking the dog in the cold and just proceeded to show me photos of Russian protesters braving minus 50 degree weather and Russian police.


It worked. Now let's check in with global headlines. We've got time for one engineering company that has taught robots dance moves like the twist and the mashed potato and the robots take over. It'd be nice if some of them were programmed by people that know how to dance. Then we chat to our guests, but they aren't here.


So and that's the show Comedians versus the News from the BBC World Service. Except longer, with more people, more jokes and more barks. Find us by searching comedians versus the news wherever you get your podcast.