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This is the global news podcast from the BBC World Service. I'm Jackie Leonard, and in the early hours of Thursday, the 20th of August, these are our main stories. The U.N. Security Council has condemned the military coup in Mali and has called for the immediate release of the ousted president and other arrested officials. European Union leaders have said they'll impose sanctions on those involved in electoral fraud in Belarus and the repression of protests. And thousands of people have had to flee their homes in areas near San Francisco, in California, after several wildfires swept into the region.
Also in this podcast, the nation that gave the and accession of the Rottweiler is now proposing new rules on how to look after them properly. We'll hear more about the proposed German law to make a dog's life better.
The leaders of the military coup in Mali have faced a wave of international pressure after they forced the civilian president, Ibrahim Boubacar, cater to resign in the wake of mass protests. The U.N. Security Council condemned what it called the mutiny in the country and demanded the soldier's release, Mr. Keita, his prime minister and other officials. The UN statement on Tuesday's coup was echoed by the United States, African Union and the European Union in Mali itself. Opposition figures have held a meeting with the coup leaders who have promised to hand over to a civilian administration soon.
This opposition official gave a cautious welcome to the military stance.
They've already made a few declarations last night and they raised the issue of governance. They raised the issue of fighting corruption and impunity. They are talking about rationalisation of budgets. So we think some of the issues that were raised are also some of our issues. But in any democratic government, as you know, military rule, we don't want it.
Still, military rule is what they have. And the man who announced himself as leader of the Salvation Council, Colonel Azimi Goitre, said he had begun meetings with government officials and had urged them and others to get back to work.
We can't afford any more mistakes. So we, by making this intervention yesterday, have put the country first, Mali first. That is why we have assured our support and told them to start working because we no longer have the right to make mistakes.
And the soldiers who removed the president at gunpoint had earlier accused him of allowing Mali to sink into chaos and anarchy. Dan Diamond spoke to Mohamed Golfer, a freelance journalist in Bamako.
The former president, Abraham Hakata, is still in the military. Come back there, cutie, 15 kilometers away from Bamako, together with this prime minister and some other government officials who were arrested along with them.
And do they have any access to foreign diplomats or anybody to check on their security?
When the spokesperson of the military was speaking last night, he made no mention of them, not of the 75 year old president, nor his ministers. He did not mention them.
And what about the opposition M5, RPF? Well, I was at their headquarters today. I spoke with one of their committee leader, Soyo Gigi. He told me that their protest was not related to the mutiny of the soldiers. They spoke with them today and they promised that they will walk together. Right. Continued to say that they refused to work with them. Then they will take to the streets again.
So how are the people getting by, going to the market, trying to do their jobs and so on? How are they reacting to what's going on around them?
Well, actually, today, Bamako is very quiet. Most shops and businesses remain closed, the banks are closed and some administrative buildings, actually, they are all closed.
Is that because people are afraid or have the military told them to close their militias, that the people should go about their normal business? It is only that the people are afraid they don't know what will happen. Now, as the saying goes, once bitten, twice shy. So they are afraid of the military.
Given the history of the military, it might take a while then for things to get back to anything like normal. Even if the opposition and other figures are willing to give the military the benefit of the doubt.
Yeah, people are waiting to see because the military promised that they are not there to remain in power. They will be there for a short period of time and they will organize elections. So we have to wait and see.
Mohamed golfer in Bamako. For many years, Mali was seen as one of the more stable countries in Africa. So where did things start going wrong? Here's our Africa correspondent, Andrew Harding.
It was the war in Libya almost a decade ago that nudged Mali along the path to chaos. Weapons from Libya flooded across the Sahara, fueling a separatist conflict in northern Mali, which morphed into an Islamist militant offensive which prompted a coup in the capital, Bamako. It's been a mess ever since in a landlocked nation that had been a West African success story. Today, French troops, American drones, UN peacekeepers and British helicopters are all trying and largely failing to strengthen security not just in Mali, but across a vast region increasingly threatened by Islamist insurgencies and other conflicts.
This latest military coup in Bamako appears to be a reaction to those security challenges, but also to corruption, disputed elections and political drift. The coup itself seems unlikely to fix anything, but it highlights a familiar truth that while foreign intervention has its uses, the key to repairing a nation like Mali lies in its own hands and with its own faltering democratic and. Titian's Andrew Harding, the European Union has increased pressure on the government of Belarus, the country has seen 10 days of street protests and strikes following the disputed presidential election, which handed Alexander Lukashenko a landslide victory after an emergency summit on Wednesday.
The EU said the election was neither free nor fair and it would impose sanctions on those involved in repression and electoral fraud. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said Belarus should be allowed to determine its own future.
It is the Belarus and people who are demanding a rerun of truly free and fair elections.
And I want to be very clear. We support the Belarusian people in them choosing the path they want to have.
But speaking to the National Security Council, President Lukashenko said his government was firmly in control and that he had ordered his interior minister to end the unrest.
Yes, to do with two plus Michaelangelo's is a fatales. I suppose if someone thinks that the Oscars are failing and thinking no wrong, we will not waver. We will go our way as we should. Those who today, especially abroad and this is clearly visible, are plotting against us, will get a serious rebuff.
Our correspondent Jonah Fisher spoke to us from the capital, Minsk.
There's been a noticeable change of mood here today. Actually, I'm speaking to you now from the main square in the center of medicine. You can hear you can hear the protesters. It probably sounds quite impressive, but in fact, it's a fraction of the crowd that has been coming out every night for the last several, several nights here. And the big reason behind that? Well, there's a few reasons, but people are pretty tired. Secondly, it's pretty wet and miserable here.
But primarily it's because there are some buses of riot police who are positioned quite near here. And people are aware of what President Lukashenko has said and said they're not going out with quite the same confidence that they have been going out over the last few days. I think there's a certain element of people waiting to see what happens throughout the day. There have been reports from various other parts of Minsk of that security presence back on the streets outside the Belarusian state TV, which has been one area where people have been demonstrating over the last few days.
Well, that has been sealed off. You can't go in there anymore if you don't have the right paperwork. And there was also reports this morning of the riot police disrupting strikers as they demonstrated outside their factories and all the police and military, the security forces in general, still backing Mr. Lukashenko then?
Well, from what we can see, yes. And we have to remember that President Lukashenko has been in charge for 26 years. He has built up these security apparatus around him. And from what we've seen so far, they appear to be rock solid in their support. Then the military also appears to be in that case. And that has really laid out the challenge for the opposition in the sense that they've demonstrated that they've got a large amount of popular support, that they've come out on the streets, but they haven't really shown a roadmap for how they're going to translate that into President Lukashenko actually leaving office.
Now, we've heard that strong show of support from the EU for the protesters. How much difference might it make to the people who were there to know that there is that external support? And how much concern will Mr. Lukashenko be feeling about the prospect of sanctions?
To be quite frank, I think President Lukashenko is probably quite happy with what is being said in Brussels and at this meetings, because over the last few days, we've really seen him in his rhetoric. Try and turn this into a story which isn't so much about a rigged election and human rights abuses, but instead about Europe and outside countries trying to interfere in Belarus's internal affairs. So he will no doubt put what has happened today in Brussels into that narrative.
And he will he will be hoping that with Europe taking this position, it encourages Russia, Moscow, President Putin to win. We already know they've been talking over extensively over the last few days, but increased their assistance to Belarus, possibly intervene behind the scenes to help President Lukashenko remain in power.
Jonah Fisher in Minsk. And as we've just heard, it seems that the police and the army are in general loyal to President Lukashenko. But there are reports that some officers are refusing to obey orders. The BBC has managed to speak to one of them. He is Yegor YAML Yanov, and he quit as a police captain in the city of Nover policy on Instagram. He wrote, 17 years of service are over police with the people. We interviewed him in Russian.
My colleague James Melendez put the questions. Yeah, yeah.
So I decided to resign. And because of what I saw on the 9th and 10th of August, what happened in Belarus, the brutal treatment of peaceful civilians, and I didn't want to take part in it.
And when he saw what was happening and heard those reports about the protests and the police response, how did you feel about that?
Yeah, I saw it all, thank God.
Only on the Internet, not on TV. And the main thing I felt was hurt and pain. That's probably the main feeling. There were provocateurs among the protesters, quite a number of them, and we condemn them. What worried me and I couldn't stand is that the police and security forces used types of non-lethal firearms against everyone, against the provocateurs who were trying to destabilize the situation and against peaceful civilian protesters.
And what happened when you decided to resign? I mean, you posted it on social media, but did you formally hand in your resignation to your superiors?
Yes, I talked to my wife and she supported me. I told them, well, I'm just not going to come to work anymore and handed over my badge.
So what happened?
You were detained, I think when you talk to her, after I formally resigned, they called me back to the department that same day to sign various papers. I came, signed everything to say I'd been fired. And as I left the building, I was detained by plainclothes officers. They took a statement and they arrested me for 48 hours. The court found me innocent and withdrew those accusations.
How many of your colleagues have done the same of you and resigned? I know there have been some other cases of people on social media filmed, for example, throwing their their army uniforms in the bin and so on. But where you are in your city, I mean, have many of your colleagues followed you and done what you've done?
In my department, there are two main police divisions and eight or nine people have resigned. But throughout the country, policemen, soldiers and special forces have been resigning. Everyone who wants a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
But these numbers are still quite small. I just wonder, do you think that President Lukashenko still has the support of the majority of the security forces?
Yes, I would say that there are a lot of police, army and security officers in the country. And it's not that they all support a particular person. It's not that they support Lukashenko.
They're doing their job.
Former police captain Yaeko Emiliana of the U.N. says at least 45 migrants trying to reach Europe have drowned off the coast of Libya in one of the worst such incidents this year. With the details, here's Alan Johnston.
Fisherman managed to rescue about 37 survivors from the boat sank. There were people from countries like Senegal, Mali and Ghana. They said they'd set off from the Libyan city of Zuwara and the vessel's engine had exploded. There were five children among those who were lost. The U.N. refugee agency said that in the absence of a dedicated EU led search and rescue program, there was the potential for much more loss of life. The agency called on states to act swiftly to save those aboard boats in distress.
Activists who operate helplines for Migrants in trouble at sea complained bitterly that the likes of the Italian and Maltese Coast Guards failed to respond quickly enough or not at all. There's also been harsh criticism of the EU's cooperation with the Libyan Coast Guard, which picks up migrants and takes them back to Libya. There are reports of these people being treated appallingly there. They can fall into the hands of militiamen and traffickers who abuse them and try to extort money from them.
Alan Johnston, campaigners in the United States say websites are spreading unreliable health information about the coronavirus attracted nearly half a billion views on Facebook. In April alone, the advocacy group Avaaz found that the biggest global networks posting bogus claims or conspiracy theories generated four times as many views on Facebook as the sites of leading health institutions since the covid-19 pandemic began. The Internet has been awash with rumors and unproven remedies. In Namibia, the health minister has been forced to debunk the use of elephant dung as a cure.
Some people use the dung, which contains plants and leaves in traditional medicine. Rob Wilson has been speaking to Namibia's health minister, Dr Columbia Shangla, about why elephant dung is not a cure for coronavirus as a medical doctor and the minister responsible.
For health and social services, my primary responsibility is to protect the Libyan people health wise. And as I listen to the messages and the visuals, one could really see that some people strongly believe that this can be a remedy for covid-19.
And what make it very, very dangerous is the fact that actually the proponents, this unscrupulous proponents, they go around and sell to the unsuspecting people with the result that the unsuspecting people, they are spending their hard earned money on a useless product, which then drives them again in poverty with no benefit whatsoever, having a quote from the elephant that you keep using the word unscrupulous.
So I'm just wondering what makes you think that these people are doing this deliberately rather than genuinely believing that what they're offering is a remedy or a cure for the coronavirus?
There has been no medical evidence and they never actually bothered themselves to gather such evidence. In actual fact, this unscrupulous people, they are deliberately robbing innocent people of their money.
But there are people who already use this as a remedy for other ailments, such as nosebleeds or some sort of sinus infections. Is that something that you've been aware of before as the Ministry of Health?
Is he in the villages? People are using all sorts of things if they do not have to go to the hospital. And sometimes traditionally there are some leaves which one can put in hot water, which law we are aware of these things. But for somebody to come out in the public and say that this is a cure, that is rather taking it too far. Namibia's health minister, Dr Colombe, Shangri-La.
Still to come, Apple, in common with many businesses, saw its share price plunge is the pandemic unfolded, but it has now become the first fully private sector company to reach a stock market value of two trillion dollars. Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes near the U.S. city of San Francisco as a number of fast moving wildfires swept into the region. Most at risk is the city of Vacaville, home to 100000 people. This resident, Diane, explained how she managed to get out of the area.
It took me a while to get out. So my husband was driving the car and he got hurt and he had to leave the car and it blew up. So I was walking down by myself. I got all these flames on me and I lost my shoe, but I mean, it got me.
We heard more from our correspondent Sophie Long, who's in Los Angeles.
The peak fire season in California is normally in the autumn for the end of September, October, fueled by those Santa Ana dry winds or the devil winds, as people call them here. This is different. This has been caused by what people are calling a trifecta of fire conditions, a freak, some a lightning storm, the worst scene in more than a decade, colliding with a heat wave recording some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded, 130 degrees was recorded in Death Valley.
So what we've got is fires being started by lightning and then being pushed and across, causing fire complexes in some parts of northern California at the moment. You've got up to 22 different fires burning in the same area. Now, the red flag winds, as they're calling them, are causing some of those now to merge. So a pretty dangerous and very scary conditions, as you heard from Diana.
And it seems like the emergency response is about getting people out of the way of danger rather than of containing the fires. How are they coping? Well, I think it's both.
I mean, the first and foremost, they're always going to want to get people out of danger. And that's been very difficult because the winds pushed these fires forward so quickly around Vacaville that we've heard of people, firefighters and police going door to door before dawn in the middle of the night, getting people to scramble from their homes and getting them to evacuation centers. Now, it's even more complicated this year, of course, because we're having such a challenging year anyway with covid-19 and know some places they're trying to set up different evacuation stations so people can go to a separate center if they're displaying any covid symptoms.
So, I mean, the emphasis, the priority is always to get people out of the way of these fires. Some 30000 residences have been evacuated in the Bay Area. But of course, it's also about containing the fires as well. Now, that's very difficult because of the conditions. Very, very hot still, although they're hoping the heat wave will go down over the coming days, but the winds are expected to increase. So very difficult to fight these fires and also because they've been caused by lightning strikes rather than power cables or things we've seen in the past, they're very difficult to detect because some of these fires can burn inside trees and not be detected for some days until a tree falls or a limb falls.
I was Sophie Long in Los Angeles as we record this podcast, the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention in the U.S. has been getting underway. The Democratic vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, will formally accept her nomination. She should have been doing that in front of a packed hall in Milwaukee in the state of Wisconsin. But the circumstances have changed because of covid-19. In her acceptance speech, Kamala Harris is almost certain to talk about her family's origins.
She is half Jamaican, half Indian, the first woman of color to be a vice presidential nominee. And Kamala Harris spoke of how her Indian heritage has been key in shaping her ideas as our South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan reports.
My grandparents were phenomenal. We would go back to India like every other year. In videos shared on her social media, Kamala Harris has often talked about the importance of her Indian roots.
My grandfather fought for and was a defender of the freedom of India. Poovey Gopalan was a career civil servant who traveled the world for his job.
He retired to the southern Indian city of Chennai, and he was on the pristine sounds of Elliotts Beach in Bessen Nagar. But a young Kamala Harris, his political views were shaped and I would hold his hand.
And I remember the stories that they would tell and the passion with which they spoke about the importance of democracy, the passion that they had about the importance of having a democracy that spoke for the people.
And as I reflect it, was those walks on the beach with my grandfather, Envestnet Negra, that had a profound impact.
And who I am today, her 80 year old uncle, Gopal and Balachandran, lives in Delhi. He told me how the family were raised to be open minded in an India that could be deeply conservative.
These are the values that children want to do, something that you will not do not stop them from doing just because you have no idea what black, blue, yellow, green, orange energy you can give your children.
But don't insist that they do what you tell my mother who raised me and my sister was a proud woman and those values were instilled in Carmella's mother Shamala.
In another video, Kamala Harris said she pays tribute to her late mother now.
Every time my mother proved them wrong, every time she proved them wrong. Shamala, go.
And left India for the U.S. at the age of 19, she was a strong woman who broke barriers, just like Kamler is doing now, says her uncle, 19 year old single girl going to India, and a few young 19 year old girls living alone, not only studying or doing a peer decided to find subject is not going to do. She also took part in politics and the civil rights movement.
It was a civil rights marches that she met and fell in love with fellow student Donald Harris from Jamaica. They later divorced with Shamala, a leading cancer researcher taking primary care of Comilla and her sister, Maya Angelou, the of the civil rights activities in Berkeley.
So from a very young age, Gollan Maya had been strongly influenced by Shangla in this matter.
What do you think of President Trump's attacks on Kamela Kreger?
Degerfeldt She's quite capable of doing that one thing, Charlotte. Are the children of God lying down.
And my mother Shamila raised my sister Maya and me to believe that it was up to us and every generation of Americans to keep on marching.
As she was formally introduced as the Democratic vice presidential pick in Delaware earlier this month, Kamala Harris invoked the spirit of her mother.
She tell us, don't sit around and complain about things, do something.
And it's that lesson which is driven. Kamala Harris, a lesson she says began decades ago on a beach in south India. That report by Rajini, by Jonathan Apple has become the first fully private sector firm to reach a stock market value of two trillion dollars, its share price has doubled since March when fears linked to the coronavirus pandemic rattled Wall Street. Here's our economics correspondent Andrew Walker.
Apple, in common with many businesses, saw its share price plunge is the pandemic unfolded. Many of its stores had to close its use of China for manufacturing, made it look vulnerable to the disruption caused by the health crisis and to President Trump's antipathy to Beijing. But it's a beneficiary of increased working from home. And in spite of the challenges, its most recent financial results revealed strong growth in sales. Last year, the oil giant Saudi Aramco became the first business to hit the two trillion dollar value.
But it's largely state owned and makes its money from its special access to national oil reserves.
Andrew Walker recorded sea levels have been going up worldwide for more than 100 years, but scientists have found that the rise would have been far higher if large scale dams and reservoirs hadn't been built to prevent water from reaching the oceans. The research has been written up in the journal Nature. Our environment correspondent Matt Megraw told us more.
It is a bit of a surprise. It's not something that people intended or really thought about. But over the last century or so, sea levels around the world have been going up and they've been going up because there's been quite a lot of glacier melting. Glaciers and mountains have felt the warming of the world more quickly to other places. And the seas have been expanding as well, because as water absorbs energy like anybody, billions of cattle will know it expands.
So this has been going on for those two reasons why scientists hadn't figured out, though, and only recently really discovered through this paper was the fact that actually building reservoirs and dams all over the world and there are about 55000 of these big structures around the world, they hold back an awful lot of water. And this new paper calculates that in the 1970s, at the time of peak dam construction, they were actually really slowing down almost to a stop.
They almost stopped the rise in sea levels that's been going on around the world.
And since the 1970s, of course, far fewer dams are now being built. So so sea levels are rising again.
That's exactly right. There's a number of factors that have happened here. The the great burst of dam construction has slowed down quite a lot. There's a lot of environmental concerns about dams that we've run out of the number of rivers on which we can build dams as well. But also other things have happened. The Greenland ice sheet has started to melt and contributing lots more to the global sea level rise. And the expansion of the oceans has continued as well.
So we're now basically double the rate of sea level rise that we were in the 1990s. The dams have been overcome, if you like, and they are no longer performing that function, although it hasn't stopped some scientists and doing some calculations basically to see what would happen if we built lots more dams. Could we actually stop the world from sea level rise if we actually built a lot more dams? And what was their conclusion?
You could potentially do it. There was a paper earlier this year that suggested that if you built a dam across the North Sea and between England and France, you could stop some of it. But as one of the authors pointed out to me today, to stop sea level rise as it currently stands, you'd have to build about five times the number of dams we've already got. And it would be almost impossible to do that. Hugely expensive. Nobody would want them.
It's easier and cheaper, they say, to cut emissions of CO2. That was Mark McGrath.
Dog owners in Germany are going to have to up their game. The government is planning new laws to make them take their duties even more seriously. About one in five German households has a dog say the proposed new laws are going to affect a lot of people.
Peter Hart reports.
The nation that gave the world that 2012 the session of the Rottweiler is now proposing new rules and how to look after them properly. The farming industry, which is responsible for pets to its owners, will have to take their dogs out for a walk at least twice a day for at least an hour in total. Dogs aren't cuddly toys. The farming minister, Yulia Clark method. They also have their own needs, which must be taken into account. Other proposed new animal welfare rules include stopping breeders appearing in dog shows if they have particular but disabling characteristics like flat faces and pugs, which make it harder for them to breathe.
But they and other dogs should have to spend a lot more time with their owners who won't be allowed to leave them alone all day. Puppies in particular will have to get plenty of face time with their owners. Or should that be face licking time? Yes. Yes, it should.
That was Peter Hart and that's it from us for now. But there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. If you want to comment on this podcast or the topics we've covered in it all, you want to send us pictures of your global news pets. Do you please send an email to global podcast at BBK, dot com dot UK. And now I know it's early, but we are already thinking about the end of year. Happy pod.
Not least because, let's face it, 2020 edition is not going to fill itself. So if there has been a story that has inspired you, has warmed the cockles of your heart or restores your faith in human nature. We'd like to know. I'm Jackie Leonard and until next time, goodbye.