This is the global news podcast from the BBC World Service. I'm Nick Miles. And in the early hours of Thursday, the 27th of August, these are our main stories. A teenager in the United States has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of two people during Tuesday night's violence in the northern city of Kenosha.
The European Union Trade Commissioner, Phil Hogan, has resigned after being accused of breaching coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
The former Bosnian Serb commander, Ratko Mladic, has launched a rambling attack on the court in The Hague, where he was appealing against his life sentence for genocide.
Also in this broadcast, Iran opens up former nuclear sites to international inspectors. So why now? And is Tehran likely to escape sanctions any time soon?
And the idea of one or two Mateos being this holy grail of safety is really nonsense. What we do need is a much more nuanced approach.
But are this scientist's suggestions of a coronavirus buffer between people of up to eight meters really workable? President Trump is doing it again, sending in federal forces and more National Guard to counter an outbreak of unrest, this time in the town of Kenosha in Wisconsin, where there have been three nights of unrest after police shot an unarmed black man, Jacob Blake, as he got into his car on Tuesday night, armed men were seen on the streets, ostensibly to protect property from damage.
Police called them vigilantes, but during the unrest, two people were shot dead. Soon after, Mr. Trump said he was sending in federal forces and police announced that they'd arrested a 17 year old youth in the neighboring state of Illinois on murder charges.
Mr. Trump's Democratic rival, Joe Biden, criticized the shooting that started all the trouble.
What I saw in that video makes me sick. Once again, a black man, Jacob Blank, has been shot by the police in broad daylight with the whole world watching.
You know, I spoke to Jacob's mom and dad's sister and other members of the family just a little bit earlier. And I told them justice must and will be done.
Well in Kenosha, the county sheriff, David Beth, said the vigilantes weren't helping.
Part of the problem with this group is they create confrontation, people walking around with guns. If I walk around in uniform with a gun. All of you probably wouldn't be too intimidated by it because you're used to officers having guns. But if I put out my wife with an AR 15 or my brother with a shotgun or whatever, I would be walking through the streets, you guys would wonder what the heck is going on. That doesn't help us.
And there were even stronger words from a local councilman, Anthony Kennedy, who represents the district where Jacob Blake was shot you saw last night.
What happens when these fortnight warriors, these new World Order fantasy boys want to go out into the real world? They were tested last night and they lost. So I need those people to stay home, stay out of my town, not to start building our community back again.
Well, what are the chances of that are? US correspondent David Willis is following the story. An earlier curfew has been put in place in Kenosha.
Hundreds more National Guard officers have been drafted in Tony, as the Wisconsin governor has authorized 500 National Guard officers to support the efforts of local law enforcement there and those who've been drafted in as well from neighboring regions. That is double the number that were initially sent in Wisconsin. Police officials say, of course, that vigilantes have moved in to protect property in Kenosha because law enforcement has been spread or was spread very thin. We now know, of course, that a 17 year old has been arrested and charged with first degree murder.
His name is Kyle Rittenhouse, and he says he was simply attempting to defend property in the area.
And David, what do we make about this idea that President Trump is sending in some more federal forces when that happened in Portland, Oregon? It was very controversial.
It was rejected by many people. This happening again.
It could exacerbate the situation, perhaps more.
President Trump has sent federal agents into several cities to combat violent crime over the last few weeks or so. And after the death of George Floyd in May, he threatened to send the US military into states where protests have been taking place, sometimes disorder as well. And he's ordered hundreds of law enforcement agents into cities, which he says are seeing a spike in violent crime. These agents belong to a new force created by the president, whose personnel are different from those of local federal agencies.
But the mayors of several cities and state governors as well in several cases have not welcomed the offers of help. And some have questioned the president's right to send in federal forces against their wishes. You're absolutely right. This does prove provocative in some cases, as indeed it did in Portland.
David Willis in a rambling 10 minute speech before judges in The Hague, the former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic, attacked the UN court as a child of Western powers. He's appealing against his conviction for genocide, for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8000 Bosnian Muslims. What a verdict is due next year. And a Holligan watched the proceedings.
If Ratko Mladic, his life sentence is upheld on appeal, this will have been his last chance to speak in public. He could have used it to apologize to the thousands of women whose brothers, fathers and sons were. Executed during the Srebrenica massacre or to those forced from their homes as this army ethnically cleansed towns and villages, or to the civilians who endured three years of terror as his forces conducted a campaign of shelling and sniping against the capital, Sarajevo.
Instead, the aging general began by targeting the prosecution lawyer, describing Laurel beeg as a blond lady who's been showering me with sneaky, devilish words. The 78 year old then sought to explain his role in the conflict in terms of destiny and honor. His words are spoken by an interpreter.
I am not a saint, Madam Judge. I am a simple man. Hates put me in a position to defend my country. The SFR. Why that you Western powers had devastated his final words in court.
My time is only just coming. I'm alive and I will leave as long as my tribe and our people live. And this indictment of yours has gone down the drain. And with that, his time was up. His lawyers are hoping their argument that he was out of town when the majority of killings were committed and therefore was not in command or control of his troops, were convinced the appeals judges to acquit him. The prosecution described Ratko Mladic as one of the worst war criminals to ever face international justice.
They said his brutal legacy would affect generations and life imprisonment was the only conceivable punishment.
Anna Holligan reporting. Could there be a sign that the stalemate over Iran's nuclear program is coming to an end? Tehran has now agreed to allow international nuclear inspectors to go to two sites where it was accused of conducting secret atomic activities back in the early 2000s.
That's long before the landmark deal Iran struck with world powers in 2015 that placed limits on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, a deal President Trump pulled out of two years ago.
Kasra Naji from the BBC's Persian Service told me what secrets the site might reveal to the inspectors.
They might point to areas that they probably didn't know about Iran's nuclear activities and how those activities might impact what Iran might be up to now. So they are very keen to figure out what Iran has been doing, and that's why they wanted to inspect these two places. Iran has been dragging his feet for several months now. And this and only in the last two months, since June, middle of June, the IAEA passed the resolution calling on Iran to immediately open these places to inspections.
So by agreeing to the inspections, Iranians have managed to reduce pressure. They have basically given in to that demand. So there's no possibility of the U3 or the U.S. going back to IAEA, passing a new resolution, taking Iran to the Security Council. So so the pressure is off for the time being. And don't forget, next week there's going to be a joint commission meeting of JCP. This is the nuclear deal. And if Iran hadn't agreed to this inspection today, next week, they will be in trouble at that meeting.
And the reason that Tehran wants all this resolved is because it is still hurting, that the sanctions are hurting economically. Absolutely.
But the sanctions are not going to go away because the Americans are behind it and Americans are doing their own thing anyway, regardless of what Iran does and doesn't do within the IAEA or within the jasa. So the sanctions and the Americans are behind it. And once the Americans are behind it, nobody else around the world is going to dare deal with Iran, trade with Iran or anything. So that pressure is going to remain and is going to remain at least until the U.S. elections.
That was Kasra Naji, the European Union trade commissioner. Phil Hogan has resigned over allegations that he breached Ireland's coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Mr Hogan has been under growing pressure to step down.
He been accused of failing to follow quarantine rules when he returned to Ireland last month and was already under fire for attending a large golf club dinner. Here's our correspondent Chris Page.
There's been other questions raised about his movements. He gave an interview 24 hours ago in which he said he thought he had made mistakes. We apologize come the dinner. But he said he hadn't breached the coronavirus regulations. Then the three leaders of the coalition government in Ireland put out a joint statement saying they believed that he had said it was doing to the European Commission as to whether or not he would survive in the job or not. In particular, the commission president, Ursula von der Leyen.
She had been looking into exactly what Mr Hogan did on his trip to. His home country, but tonight we have the news that he has decided to step down out of his own accord, Chris Page, the Croatian city of Reacher had lined up months of events to mark its reign as European Capital of Culture 2020. Then the coronavirus pandemic changed everything.
Nevertheless, as Guy Delaunay reports from Reika, a reshaped capital of culture has emerged. Reika 20-20 kicked off in spectacular style with February's opening ceremony. But within a month, a program that had taken four years to plan was in tatters, and renowned local musician Vlado Szymczak says that the loss of most of the capital of culture's international program has robbed Rijeka of a golden opportunity.
I was hoping to meet some people from other countries, exchange our experiences and maybe take some new perspective. And we became a Croatian capital of culture. And it's not enough for me or for Rijeka as a whole city. But a new version of Reika 2020 has rising from the rubble. This building used to be part of a sugar factory, and for the past 30 years, it's been derelict. Now this entire complex is being revived as cultural institutions.
For the people of Rijeka, the whole project is the biggest cultural infrastructure projects in Croatia.
Irena Kregel Sugata took over as Reika 20-20 chief executive in June with a mission to reshape the capital of culture.
Of course, we are relying a lot on local, cultural and the artistic scene. I think we've done a lot and I think that in five years time people will look back and be proud.
The events may have taken on a more local flavor, but the city's mayor, voiceover Snel, says he hopes the project will still mark a rebirth for Rijeka after decades of economic struggle.
The project will be the finally end of post-industrial transition. Like in many other cities, such all the type of industry disappeared. This project can be initiation of some new kind of industry. Previous capitals of culture have used the year to reinvigorate their relationships with the arts, perhaps through having to reimagine their project, the people of Reika will achieve that as well. That was Guy Delaunay reporting. Still to come, this march will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest demonstrations for freedom and human dignity ever held in the United States more than half a century after Martin Luther King's famous march on Washington.
There are claims that laws in some American states still suppress black voters. A Nobel Prize winning writer in Belarus who's an outspoken critic of the president, Alexander Lukashenko, has been interviewed by government investigators about her work with the opposition's coordination council. Svetlana Alexievich said she refused to answer any questions. The council is calling for a peaceful transition of power, claiming that Mr. Lukashenko rigged the election earlier this month. Our correspondent Steve Rosenberg sent this report from the Belarusian capital.
Well, I'm outside the investigations committee in Minsk. There's a group of people on the street who are applauding and cheering the woman who is arriving now for questioning, and that is Nobel literature laureate Svitlana Alexievich. She is the latest in a string of prominent opposition figures in Belarus who in recent days have been coming under pressure from the authorities.
They're shouting, thank you. Thank you.
With those in the public before entering the building, Miss Alexievich called for peaceful resistance against President Lukashenko. We must win with our spirit, she said, and the force of our convictions. The Nobel Prize winner is a senior member of the Opposition Coordination Council. It's pushing for new elections and a peaceful transfer of power in Belarus. But the authorities accuse it of plotting a coup. And prosecutors have opened a criminal case against it. Bringing in a Nobel laureate for questioning raises the stakes.
Pavel the Tushka is a former minister who's on the council was suddenly serious, just like an ambassador, unofficial ambassador all over the world. So it's a high level element of pressure.
But while Mr. Lukashenko is increasing the pressure on his opponents, the street protests are maintaining the pressure on him. In Belarus, it's beginning to feel like stalemate. Steve Rosenberg.
On Friday, Americans will mark the anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington. That's when Martin Luther King made his famous I Have a Dream speech.
Sweeping civil rights legislation was passed soon afterwards, but a key provision of the law which banned racial discrimination in voting is no longer in effect.
And now there are accusations by voting rights advocates that Southern states have reintroduced laws which have the effect of suppressing black voters. The BBC's Laura Trevelyan compiled this report.
This march will go down as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, demonstrations for freedom and human dignity ever held in the United States.
As Martin Luther King and his supporters marched on Washington in 1963, black Americans in the South trying to register to vote were often turned away by the police, sometimes violently.
Racial discrimination in voting was rife in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, marches for civil rights were brutally attacked by state troopers. The images shocked the nation, mobilizing Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act.
Is Professor Olatunji Johnson of Columbia Law School in New York on that landmark law, the 1965 Voting Rights Act is actually considered one of the most successful Civil Rights Act before 1965. You have the application of things like literacy tests that prevented African-Americans to vote that weren't applied fairly.
But in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Voting Rights Act requiring mostly southern states to get federal approval before they change their voting laws. The justices in the majority argued that times had changed for the late John Lewis, who had led the marches in Selma and then become a congressman who was an ominous moment. The court ruling the South had overcome its racist past.
They're saying, in effect, that history cannot repeat itself. But I say come and walk in my shoes.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which followed that march on Washington and all of Dr. King's activism, was supposed to end racial discrimination in voting. But some of those legal protections have been removed. So now, as America faces both a national reckoning over racial injustice and a high stakes presidential election, there are increasingly questions about whether barriers to voting based on race have really been removed.
The court called it the most restrictive voting law in North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow, saying the law's provisions target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.
There's a lot of finger pointing the day after thousands of Georgia voters waited in long lines to cast ballots in the state's primary election.
States that were unable to amend voting laws without approval from the Justice Department like North Carolina and Georgia have now tried to introduce changes claiming they'll prevent voter fraud. Is Professor Olatunji Johnson again?
You've seen the ushering of a lot of different requirements that make it more difficult for low income people and people of color to vote there, things like getting rid of early voting, which made it easier for people to vote to start before Election Day, closing polling stations and particularly opposing these polling stations in minority neighborhoods or in low income neighborhoods as a result of this march.
We subpoenaed the conscience of the nation to appear before the judgment seat of morality on one of the great moral issues of our day and age.
More than half a century after Martin Luther King led the March on Washington, the legal barriers against racial discrimination in voting, which civil rights leaders fought so hard for, are no longer fully intact.
The question is whether those changes affect turnout in the 2020 election or if the wave of activism over present day racial injustice leads to more black Americans voting.
Laura Trevelyan, what is safe social distancing under covid two meters, one meter plus mitigation such as facemasks?
That's what most of us have been going on.
But new research here in Britain says that in some situations the safe distance is eight meters. One reason, a case study from acqui in the US where droplets carried in breath, aerosols, as they're called, travel that far.
The study appeared in the British Medical Journal and I spoke to one of its authors, a doctor at St. Thomas Hospital in London, Zeshan Kureshi.
The idea of one or two meters being this holy grail of safety is really nonsense.
We know that aerosols which coronavirus is likely to be transmitted through, can travel up to eight meters. We know that coronavirus can stay viable on aerosolized particles for several hours, potentially up to 16 hours. And so there is a risk of transmission way beyond what the World Health Organization are saying.
So from what you're saying, one of two things could be happening.
Either the own governments are deliberately misreading the data or they haven't got it right.
The thing we have to be clear on is that there isn't a magic point, two meters or one metre where the risks suddenly become zero. And what we do need is a much more nuanced approach to social distancing, whereby we take into account everything of the environment to ensure that the appropriate social distancing is put in place for the particular setting. I mean, we talk about schools a lot and about mosquera and distancing. But the reality is a music lesson.
Where everybody is singing is very different to people sat in an exam and not talking. It's much more complicated process to get the social thing right, but we need a specific policy for each individual setting so that we could open the economy and we can also reduce the risk as much as possible in terms of public policy, governments and the nature of obviously going for.
Simplicity, a simple message. You're saying that is not the best way. Is it really feasible for government to have this nuanced approach?
What we're doing at the moment is working, and even the messages we're pushing forward now don't really make very much sense and don't seem to be followed. Restaurants, for example, where people are supposed to be applying one meter plus, are not doing a lot of the plot because people can't wear masks while they're eating very easily. And in addition, people are talking loudly. So it's a higher risk environment. It's hard to get things right, but we really have to do everything to communicate that clearly.
This is the biggest health disaster we have faced for a generation. The government have said time and time again that they want to be led by the science. As time is evolving, we are learning more and more. And I just hope the government listen to what the science is saying, because ultimately that's the only way to get out of this pandemic.
Zeehan Kuraishi Europeans, like many other people around the world, have very different attitudes to nudity or partial nudity in public places.
Some Germans and people from Nordic nations seem to be more relaxed than others. Until now, French people would have been more likely to inhabit that laissez faire group. But things are changing.
A French government minister has intervened in a row about topless sunbathing after a group of women were told a cover up by police. So is prudishness threatening French culture? Charlotte Gallagher reports.
Unthinkable in some parts of the world, women are allowed to sunbathe topless in many countries in Europe. In the 1960s, it was popularized by the legendary French actress Brigitte Bardot, who was seen topless on the beaches of the coast. As you're a symbol of freedom and equality, the practice is widely accepted across France. So police telling women to cover their breasts has caused an outcry. The three women were on the beach as Marie le Maire near Perpignan when they were approached by officers.
A family nearby had complained, saying they didn't want their children exposed to nudity. Politicians from across the spectrum have condemned the officers and their attempts to police what women wear. The French interior minister, Jarold Damanhur, has defended the sunbathers, saying that freedom is a precious commodity. While the local council has confirmed that women are allowed to go topless, that the police force involved has apologized and said the officers had been clumsy in their attempts to appease people.
Topless sunbathing may be allowed in France, but recent surveys show it's less common than it used to be. Last year, just over 20 percent of French women said they'd sunbathe topless, compared to 48 percent in Spain and 34 percent in Germany. Many put their reluctance down to fear of sexual harassment, body shaming and being photographed by strangers.
Charlotte Gallagher. That's 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 covered in it, you can send us email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC, DOT Code or UK. I'm Nick Miles. Until next time. Goodbye.