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I'm Jacki Lyden. And in the early hours of Tuesday, the twenty third of March, these are our main stories. The Biden administration, under pressure over the increasing number of migrants reaching the southern U.S. border, is asking Central American countries to help reduce the flow. The Niger government says that more than 130 civilians died in the latest raid by Islamist militants. And several Western governments have imposed sanctions on China because of alleged human rights abuses against ethnic tigers in Xinjiang.
Also in this podcast visit.
Why Aretha Franklin's family don't think a new biopic shows enough respect for. The United States government says it will ask the authorities in Mexico and Guatemala to find ways of reducing the flow of migrants and asylum seekers reaching its southern border. The US press secretary, Jen Psaki, said there was special concern about the growing number of unaccompanied children arriving at border crossings.
Our focus now is on solutions and putting in place policies, including expediting processing at the border, opening up additional facilities, something that you've seen developments on over the past several days. And they'll be certainly more on restarting our Central American Minors program, which was stopped in 2017. Thousands of kids should be eligible to apply for that. So they're not making this journey. So our focus is on solutions and implementing them as quickly as possible.
Thousands of children have made the treacherous journey across the border alone and are now being held for longer than is permitted by law. This has prompted claims that when President Biden undid the Trump administration orders in an attempt to make the immigration system more humane, he was unprepared for the consequences. Our West Coast correspondent Sophie Long reports.
Thousands of migrants are trying to cross the United States southern border every day. There have been surges in numbers before, but this time there is particular concern about the number of children making the dangerous journey alone.
We joined Sergeant Roger Rich as he patrolled the hundreds of acres of scrubland along the river that separates Texas from Mexico before the new president took office.
We didn't have these types of numbers coming across. We see company children all the time. We caught one on Monday. That was from coming in from Bolivia. There was 10 years old by himself.
So we right down to the water's edge now in the Rio Grande, looking across at Mexico, only about maybe 50 meters across. And this is one of the main crossing points, largely because even though it's still quite Steve, it's much less steep and much easier to scramble down the banks.
You can see the trails down on the other side and to get out the side as well as the sun sets on the Rio Grand, a waiting game begins on the grass on the Guatemala, soon emerging from the brush, eight scared, bewildered and exhausted boys.
They say they left Guatemala weeks ago, coming without parents or passports, just homemade plastic packages, protecting birth certificates and crucial phone numbers of relatives who've already trodden this treacherous path the through his tears, 17 year old Milkin tells me he came here because he wants to study at home.
There's only crime and gangs. Another sergeant points the boys in the direction of a temporary processing site that's been set up under a bridge. We're not allowed to follow. When we went there earlier, we were told to stop recording and to leave.
I tell them, do not come.
The Biden administration is being accused of sending mixed messages. The US Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, says they won't turn away unaccompanied minors.
We have made a different decision than the prior administration. We do not expel young children back into the environment of poverty and violence from which they are fleeing.
But how can they help those who've made it without encouraging others to follow? Some are being held in massive centers for longer than they should be. And the U.S. government is facing growing criticism for not allowing the media access to assess the conditions inside and say the boys we found on the banks of the Rio Grande have fled violence and poverty.
Malkin tells me he doesn't even know who President Biden is or he knows is how hard it was to leave his mum and young siblings.
We don't matter to you. I give him my phone so he can call the uncle.
He's desperately trying to reach across the street and they have to do so.
He'll have to travel thousands more miles to Seattle. The next steps to get there are down a pitch black, dusty dirt road. They may have made it to the promised land, but their journey is far from over. Their future now as uncertain as the day they left their families.
Sophie Long reporting. The government in Niger says the number of people now known to have been killed in attacks on Sunday by suspected Islamist militants is 137. Three villagers were targeted close to the border with Mali. David Bamford reports.
Niger is facing an unprecedented onslaught of attacks by Islamist militants who carry out hit-And-Run raids on isolated villages using motorbikes and pickup trucks. It's emerged that last Sunday's attack on three villages close to where the borders of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso meat was particularly serious, with more than 130 civilians killed. There have been similar attacks on the other side of the frontier. 33 Malian soldiers were killed a week earlier, Niger is part of a France backed alliance of countries in the Sahel region known as the G5.
A contingent of 2200 soldiers from the Chadian army, considered the region's toughest, has been deployed to help counter the threat.
David Bamford. The war in Yemen has left more than 100000 people dead and triggered a massive humanitarian crisis, the biggest in the world. According to the U.N., Houthi rebels backed by Iran controls Sanaa and much of the Northwest. They're opposed by forces loyal to the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who's backed by a Saudi led coalition of Arab states. Now, Saudi Arabia has come up with a new plan. This is what the Saudi foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, said.
We want the guns to fall completely silent. That is the initiative. And that is the only thing that can really help us get to the next step, which is a political process and a resolution that can make Yemen safe and secure for the people of Yemen timeframe. It's up to the Houthis now. We are ready to go today. We hope that we can have a ceasefire immediately.
And Lyse Doucet is our chief international correspondent. Saudi Arabia has tried before. In fact, it's been trying for a few years to extricate itself from this destructive conflict that when it unleashed it six years ago, it said it would just be a matter of weeks. And look at Yemen now, the world's worst humanitarian crisis. So they've made some new concessions in this plan. They have called for a comprehensive cease fire, which would pave the way, they hope, for talks.
All of this to be done with the United Nations as well as the United States. But they've also given in on what have been long standing Houthi demands, one for the opening of the international airport in Sana'a to allow commercial flights.
Right now, the Houthis control the capital as well as the airport terminal.
But the Saudi coalition controls the airspace and they've also offered to ease restrictions on the main port in Hudaydah in the South and to make sure the revenues can be accessed by both the Yemen government, backed by Saudi Arabia as well as the Houthis.
Will it be enough to bring the Houthis back to the table? The Houthis have been making a greater military push on the ground to gain more territory. They've accelerated their drone and missile attacks in Saudi Arabia. So they may be thinking about peace, but they're also waging war.
Both sides are.
And why make this proposal now? I think this is their latest effort. And it comes at a time when the United Nations, under the envoy, Martin Griffiths, has been accelerating their diplomacy for some months. They've actually come up with a plan. They've joined forces with the new envoy of the United States, Tim lender King, who's known to all the players in the Yemeni conflict. So the U.S. and the United Nations are accelerating their efforts out of the blue.
The Saudis decided to make their case known. Now, that even caught the U.N. and the US by surprise. They were only told yesterday. But we think the Saudis want to make it clear that they want a cease fire. They want this war to end. And if the Houthis don't play along, then the Houthis backed by Iran will be blamed. But I think the Saudis want to put their cards on the table.
And in the meantime, the people of Yemen are suffering this huge humanitarian crisis.
You cannot exaggerate the extent of the suffering of the people of Yemen. Think of any disaster the world is facing and multiply it by a thousand. So many infectious diseases, including covid-19 and famine, like conditions in many parts of the country that was to set in a flurry of announcements.
Western governments have imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses against ethnic wiggers in Xinjiang province. The European Union was the first to act, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, which said China would face consequences as long as atrocities occur. Our diplomatic correspondent James Landale has this report.
For months, British ministers have criticised the treatment of the wiggers in north west China. In the House of Commons at the United Nations, they have called out the arbitrary detention, the forced labour, the sterilization of women, the allegations of torture and rape. But to the frustration of many MPs and some allies, the government has held back from imposing sanctions at least until today. For now, Britain, alongside the US, Canada and the EU, has imposed asset freezes and travel bans on four top Chinese officials in Xinjiang and the state organisation responsible for security and policing in the region.
Officials said it was the first time Britain had sanctioned members of the Chinese government. The foreign secretary, Dominique Robb, said they were responsible for industrial scale human rights abuses by acting with our partners, 30 of us in total.
We're sending the clearest message to the Chinese government that the international community will not turn a blind eye to such serious and systematic violations of basic human rights and that we will act in concert to hold those responsible to account in the Commons.
MPs urged the government to go further and declare that what was happening in Xinjiang was genocide, something the US government has done. The shadow foreign secretary, Lisa Nandy, welcomed the sanctions but asked why it had taken so long to impose them. She accused ministers of acting only to avoid losing a vote over trade with countries where genocide is proved.
For all the talk of being a force for good in the world. It is only when this government is staring down the barrel of defeat that discovers a moral center. Only now that the US and the EU have acted is he finally moved to take this step.
China's Foreign Ministry criticized the EU sanctions and retaliated by imposing their own sanctions on 10 European political figures and four organisations. Today's measures may in practice affect only a handful of individuals, but they amount to a significant act of collective action by the West against China.
James Landale. A huge fire has destroyed tens of thousands of shelters in one of the world's largest refugee camps, Cox's Bazaar, in southern Bangladesh. Humanitarian workers have told the BBC that the fire started in a small kitchen and that the scale of destruction is devastating. Our South Asia regional editor Jim McGovern reports.
There were chaotic scenes as the fire spread through the densely populated camp. The structures are flimsy, made mostly of bamboo and wood. One eyewitness described people screaming and running in all directions, children crying out for parents. Dr Nabila Esat works there for the charity Save the Children.
It started from one camp, from one household, and within four hours it got involved. Five camps and thousands of shelter got burnt. That was really terrifying. And not only the Rohingya refugees, but also our staff got too scared.
The full extent of the damage isn't yet clear. After the last major fire in January, several thousand people were left without shelter. Dr Nabila Esat says fires are a constant hazard, even a few days back.
There was a fire in our health facility. We had some incidents before, but this one is really massive.
Emergency workers and hundreds of volunteers fought the blaze for hours. That is hilly land, hard for vehicles to access. And the camp doesn't have a proper water system. So dousing the flames isn't easy. About 900000 refugees live in these camps. Most are Muslims who fled across the border from Myanmar more than three years ago, escaping persecution. Since then, negotiations about their return have made little progress. Bangladesh complains it's been left to shoulder the burden. The refugees want safety and the chance of a better life.
Jill McGovern, the World Health Organization has warned people against assuming that a coronavirus vaccine alone will end the pandemic. The head of the show's emergency team, Dr Mike Ryan, made the comments at a news conference in Geneva.
The reality is that the disease is on the march again in countries in which we've got opening up natural fatigue, low vaccination coverage, poor surveillance and control measures in place. And we just have got to turn back and face those realities because vaccines are a huge addition to controlling and containing covid. But they are not the only solution. And I'm afraid we are investing way too much in this as the only solution to fix our problems.
Michael Jackson, the head of the show, Tedros Adhanom Gabrielsson, has called on more producers of coronavirus vaccines to follow AstraZeneca, for example, and license their technology to other manufacturers, criticizing the growing gap between rich and poor countries administering vaccines, Dr Tedros branded the situation as grotesque. AstraZeneca has licensed its job to the Serum Institute of India, enabling its supply to a large number of low and middle income countries. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, emphasised that the rollout of coronavirus vaccines is an international effort which requires international cooperation.
Our global health correspondent, Naomie Grumbly, has been looking at the complexities involved in producing vaccines and how very few countries can do it without help from abroad.
A year ago, as the enormity of covid-19 dawned on governments, the UK decided to scale up its vaccine production to plants, were ready to make the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, with another in Wrexham completing the process to get it into vials.
The EU now wants some of the decisions made at these UK plants, but Britain is also reliant on the Pfizer biotech. Scene, which is made in Belgium, and if exports from there get disrupted, it could set back the UK's vaccination pace. It gets more complicated still because some of the fatty molecules or lipids used to make the Pfizer jab come from a company in East Yorkshire. So tit for tat export bans could get very messy.
The same applies further afield. The UK has recently bought some doses of the Oxford vaccine from India's Sarum Institute. That plant is now warning. It's finding it hard to source bioreactor bags and filters from America, which is using its Defense Production Act to limit exports of raw materials in order to keep US supply chains ticking over.
For now, the lesson of this global pandemic is that supply chains, from components through to finishing processes are often interconnected and cooperation remains key.
That was Naomi grumbly. Still to come.
The long-running British TV quiz show mastermind is to get a new host. We will look at its continued appeal.
The Venezuelan armed forces say two of their soldiers have died in a border clash with Colombian rebels. Thirty two members of the Colombian group were detained. America's editor Leonardo Rossia reports.
The armed forces said they had also seized weapons, explosives and drugs in six rebel camps which were completely destroyed. Several soldiers were injured in the clashes that took place on Sunday in Venezuela. supportA province. Rebel groups, as well as criminal organizations involved in smuggling and drug trafficking, are known to operate along the border between Colombia and Venezuela, which extends for about 2000 kilometres. But the size of this operation is much larger than usual. Relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years, with both sides accusing each other of harboring criminal gangs on their side of the border.
Leonardo Rossia, an independent inquiry in Scotland, has cleared the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, of breaching the rules governing the conduct of ministers. A verdict likely to save her if a no confidence vote goes ahead. The ruling could help her party secure a mandate for a new referendum on independence in elections in May. The inquiry by James Hamilton, an Irish lawyer, found that Miss Sturgeon had not misled the Scottish Parliament over the way she handled sexual harassment complaints against her predecessor, Alex Salmond.
A parliamentary committee voted along party lines last week to reach the opposite conclusion. Our political correspondent Nick Erdely reports from Edinburgh.
For weeks, Scotland's first minister had faced the accusation she had failed to tell the Scottish Parliament the truth. But Nicola Sturgeon team has presented this as a complete vindication of the Scottish government's independent adviser. James Hamilton looked at four key areas how Miss Sturgeon recorded meetings with Mr Salmond and indeed whether she misled Parliament with an account of those meetings, whether she tried to influence the investigation into Mr Salmond and whether she ignored legal advice during a legal challenge on each. He found no breach of the ministerial code on the accusation Mr Shorten had covered up meetings.
The report does say she had provided an incomplete narrative of talks, but James Hamilton accepted that was a genuine failure of recollection. It was, the first minister said, a definitive conclusion.
Some pretty grim allegations have been levelled at me over the past months. They've not been easy. They've been difficult to contend with. I have been very clear in my own mind. I acted appropriately and did not reach the ministerial code, but that, while that might be necessary, is not sufficient, is important to the Scottish people, that they have independent verification and adjudication of that. And that, of course, is what they know.
Mr Dutton repeated an apology to two women who were let down by her government when its process for investigating harassment allegations against Mr Salmond was judged to be unlawful. He was later cleared and a criminal trial. Scottish Labour said it remained the case that nobody had taken responsibility for the government's failure. The Scottish conservatives said there was still overwhelming evidence Mr Dutton had misled parliament that was niggardly in Scotland.
Another report into whether Mr Sturgeon misled the Scottish Parliament is due on Tuesday. A BBC Burmese service reporter who was detained in Myanmar three days ago has been released. Aung 3R had been taken away by men in plain clothes outside a court in the capital, Naypyidaw. Another reporter, Fanti Khan, who was seized with him, remains in detention. Conditions for journalists covering the protest against last month's military coup have become increasingly difficult, as our South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head reports, reporting in Myanmar is increasingly risky for journalists as the tactics of the security forces have become more violent.
Just trying to report the daily protests is now very dangerous because of the indiscriminate use of high velocity gunfire by the police and army. The authorities also don't accept that the media has a legitimate role in documenting what's happening. Around 40 journalists have been detained since the coup. Of those, half are still in custody and being charged under Article 505 of the penal code, which criminalizes any reporting which might weaken the commitment of soldiers to their duty. Journalists are also being warned by the military authorities not to give publicity to illegal organisations, which now include the government and parliament ousted by the coup.
There is limited independent information available to people in Myanmar except on social media, and that is now increasingly constricted by the military's regular cuts to Internet and mobile phone services. That was Jonathan Head.
Now to the southern Philippines, the newly established banks of. Autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao is the outcome of a recent peace deal between separatist fighters and the Philippines government after decades of conflict. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front are now transitioning to politics, helping to establish a fledgling regional parliament in return for the decommissioning of firearms, but with other factions still at war with state forces. Can the peace hold? Philippines correspondent Howard Johnson visited the region with the British public body, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
We were traveling across Cotabato City at the moment, I mean, the SUV vehicle and in front of me is a police vehicle with six policemen, all in camouflage gear, wearing helmets and carrying guns. That's necessary because for a Westerner like me, there is a risk here of being kidnapped.
We leave the city and move apace along a paddy field lined road towards Mama Suparna, the site of a notorious battle between Islamic militants and the Philippine army in 2015, which left nearly 70 people dead. How are you?
We've come to the area to meet me and comany, two former fighters of the separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. I asked me why she joined the group in August.
I saw my parents being hit by some soldiers. They killed my uncle, who are standing trees, water buffalo on his farm. When they passed by, another relative was also killed. They threw their bodies into the river.
Khomeini, her husband, describes the killing in no uncertain terms they put in about Tanjung Pinang on the ethnic cleansing.
Back then was during the time of my parents. Muslims were the targets of killings. They said they will wipe out all Muslims who are just simple farmers. But we were driven away from our land and our house was burnt down.
The serious allegation is related to what the Bangsamoro people see as decades of religious discrimination from Catholic dominated Manila, culminating in the former president Joseph Estrada all out war in the year 2000.
First established as the Moro National Liberation Front in the 1960s, the MILF splintered away to form the region's most dominant insurgency in the 1990s, the group that once trained with al-Qa'ida now say they reject its violent ideology, hoping to build a better future by laying down their arms and supporting a newly established regional authority. I said I'd taken Baghdad.
Then, before we feared the government, we hid from them. The difference now I myself is an employee of the government. I became one of the instruments to continue to fight for the balance of our costs through the government, and it appears that the peace is holding.
The M.F. have publicly decommissioned hundreds of firearms, and the international NGO Conflict Alert say that violence in the area has fallen year on year since 2016 was appropriate.
In return, the Philippine government has promised greater funding and autonomy to the region, primarily through the establishment of a regional parliament.
I think he is going to hear the background. The Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament is in session as a MP currently arguing for the Civil Service Code to be changed from the national standard. Another parliamentary member is arguing that it should be kept a high standard. And really, what's a play here is an attempt to try to stop nepotism clans and friends gaining positions without the qualifications that they really represent, the ones that parliament and any other policy and decision making.
For decades, distant rule from Manila meant marginalized voices were rarely heard. But representation is improving. This women's group made up of former MYALEPT combatants a meeting to discuss issues previously considered taboo. Helen Rojas heads up the group.
You have as young as three years old or four years old being raped by her father and child early and forced marriage, forcing these young girls to be married off, specially to their rapists. That's a violation of that child's human rights. We also play a very vital role in policy and decision making.
Back Mama Suparna. We join former MYALEPT combatants Fumi and Khamenei as they attend at midday prayers with their children inside a bright pink mosque, said that the owner painted it this color to promote peace and love in an area beset by violence. As the couple leave our police escort smile and nod at them, Rumi and Khamenei was. On then kind a few years ago, this would have been an unthinkable exchange piece appears to be taking root here.
That report by Howard Johnson. In the Philippines, the family of Aretha Franklin have attacked a new dramatization of the singer's life and are encouraging her fans not to watch it. National Geographic, which made the series, says it does have permission to make a tribute to the star. Charlotte Gallagher has this report.
Naturale woman. She was one of the world's greatest divas are known as the queen of soul. Her performance of this song moved President Obama to tears and brought him to his feet. Aretha Franklin died in 2013 and two biopics have been in the works for the last few years. The film Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, is due to be released this summer with the star's family working with producers on the story and details. Aretha also handpicked Hudson to star as her.
But it's the miniseries genius made by National Geographic that has angered Aretha's family.
His her granddaughter, Grace Franklin, as immediate family feel that it's important to be involved with any biopic of my grandmother's life, as it's hard to get any accurate depiction of anyone's life without speaking to the ones closest to them during the process of writing, directing and filming this movie. We reached out to genius as a family on multiple occasions where we've been disrespected and told that we will not be working with Grace, Franklin added.
The family had no problem with the British actress Cynthia Revo, who plays Aretha in the series National Geographic, says it had permission to make the film from Franklin's estate, which is currently a separate entity because of disputes about the singer's well. But the series wasn't given permission to include Aretha's biggest songs, including Respect a Natural Woman. National Geographic says the program is a tribute to Aretha's genius, and it honors and celebrates her life.
For Aretha Franklin's immediate family, however, including them is a matter of respect to.
And Charlotte Gallagher was reporting there and staying with the world of entertainment, the BBC journalist Clive Myrie is to be the next host of the UK's long running quiz show Mastermind, replacing John Humphrys, who's stepping down. The format has been broadcast in many countries, including India, Russia, Australia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and the United States. The show features an intimidating setting and challenging questions is our entertainment correspondent Colin Patterson.
Mastermind has a new presenter, and your name is Clive Myrie, BBC News. After 18 years of asking the questions, John Humphrys will be handing over the mastermind desk to Clive Myrie. His specialist subject was being a BBC foreign correspondent before going on to present editions of Panorama and the main BBC One news bulletins, Clive Myrie has been a fan of the show since he was a child and wants to honor the traditions, the lights, the darkness, the chair.
So you're not going to mess around with that. But I suppose I can bring a little bit of my personality to it and hopefully not disrupt it too much for those purists who've been watching it from the very beginning.
Mastermind turns 50 next year, and a question that wouldn't be too out of place on the show is, apart from John Humphris name the only other three people to have hosted it. The answer, Magnus Magnason, Peter Snow and Clive Anderson. In the current series, which is on air well, concludes with John Humphrys in charge.
After all, he started, so he'll finish.
That was Colin Patterson and our entertainment correspondent now. And also what's going on. But the lights are dimming in the studio. Oh, dear.
So let's have our first contender, please.
And your name is Jackie Leonard, your occupation BBC presenter and your chosen subject.
Oh, I know this one.
Global News podcast. The studio manager was Pete Luff. The producer was Liam McAffrey. The editor is Karen Martin. I can just say that there will be an updated version of the Global News podcast later. If you'd like to comment on this podcast or the topics covered in it, do please send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC Dot Dot UK.
I'm Jackie Leonard and until next time I've started, so I'll finish. Goodbye.