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I'm Jonathan Savage. And in the early hours of Wednesday, the 7th of April, these are our main stories. The United States says the first day of talks on rescuing Iran's international nuclear deal were constructive. Brazil has registered more than 4000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours. A new record for the country two U.N. agencies say more than 27 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are facing acute hunger, the highest number anywhere in the world. Also in Utah, in utero, the American dads are being made to share mom's prenatal costs.
No woman should have to worry about where to find the money to cover health care costs when she learns she's pregnant.
The United States has hailed the start of talks in Vienna, which aimed to revive the international deal on Iran's nuclear program as a welcome and constructive step. The two sides aren't meeting directly. They're relying instead on European diplomats to shuttle between them. Donald Trump withdrew from the deal three years ago, but President Biden wants to rejoin it. A US State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said he expected the discussions to be difficult.
Even though we are not meeting directly with the Iranians, as we have said, it is a welcome step is a constructive step. It is a potentially useful step as we seek to determine what it is that the Iranians are prepared to do to return to compliance with the stringent limitations under the 2015 deal and as a result, what we might need to do to return to compliance ourselves.
A spokesman for the Iranian government, Ali Rabei, said he believed the talks could bring about a nuclear agreement that was not in the shadows.
We are neither optimistic nor pessimistic about the outcome of this meeting now, but we are confident that we are on the right track. And if America's will, seriousness and honesty is proven, it could be a good sign for a better future, a future of peace and security for the region and the world.
Our correspondent Bethany Bell assesses the first day of the talks in Vienna.
What happened today in Vienna? And a luxury hotel. The remaining signatories to this deal that Britain, France, Germany, Iran, Russia and China met. And then across the road in another luxury hotel, the American delegation is there. At the meeting today, they decided on work groups. So they're going to have one work group that will be looking at how they might be able to lift the sanctions. And another group that's looking at how they can bring Iran back in terms of compliance, in terms of its nuclear activities.
So they've figured that out. We've had a Russian diplomat here in Vienna say that there was a successful start, but nobody knows quite how long this is going to go on for. Nobody thinks that's going to be a simple process. There is a lot of trust that has been lost on both sides because of the US withdrawing from the deal and also because Iran, in response to the US retreating from the deal, has overstepped the limits on its nuclear work under the deal.
So there's a great deal of lost ground to be made up right now, and that could take rather a long time.
Bethany Bell, Brazilian health officials say they've registered more than 4000 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours. A new record, President Jacob Wassenaar, who has faced widespread criticism and a recent wave of high profile resignations over his handling of the pandemic. Steve Jackson reports with these latest figures.
The number of Brazilians who've died since the start of the pandemic has now passed more than a third of a million. This remains the second highest total in the world after the United States. Many Brazilians are blaming one man for the scale of the covid-19 outbreak in their country. President Paul Senario has consistently played down the severity of the virus and has undermined public health messages by refusing to maintain social distancing and insisting that he won't have a vaccine, although he still has loyal supporters.
His approach last month triggered a political crisis which he's been struggling to contain.
Steve Jackson. Meanwhile, President Biden says the US is on track to exceed his goal of giving 200 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, Mr. Biden said more than 80 percent of teachers had received at least one jab and reiterated that every American adult would be eligible for a job from the 19th of April. The president also announced a reduction in the number of people declining the vaccine. But he warned that new variants of the virus were increasing and the country was still in a life or death race.
The United Nations is warning that about a third of the entire population of the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing acute hunger to UN agencies. Describe the scale of the problem. A staggering will. Ross reports.
The World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization say it's never been this bad. With more than 27 million Congolese now urgently in need of food, the highest number in any country in the world. Conflict is a key cause of hunger, especially in the eastern provinces where dozens of rebel groups carry out frequent deadly attacks. The situation is dire in the central Kasai provinces, where there's also been conflict. The UN agencies say the covid-19 pandemic and an economic downturn have made the situation even worse.
No lockdown, no compulsory face masks, no vaccine, the way the late Tanzanian president John Magufuli dealt with the covid-19 pandemic was quite different from that of other leaders. He died suddenly last month, and now his successor, Samiya Soula, who Hassan says Tanzania cannot ignore the pandemic.
She wants to listen to experts now and become my. I intend to form a committee of experts to have an in-depth look at the issue of covid-19 and look at the remedies we're being told will help us expertly and in depth. And then they can advise the government that we cannot keep silent on it, accept it or deny it without expert research findings, billable fornia, Daffy Duck.
So how much of a change is to be expected under her leadership? A question for our reporter Ataman Amulya in Dar es Salaam.
This is a sign that, you know, this is going to be a big shift because, you know, the former president, you know, was skeptical about covid, who was doubting the efficacy of the vaccines. His government had earlier said this year that, you know, they've contained the pandemic. And before that, the president himself said the country was coronavirus free, thanks to the prayers. Now for a new president to come out and saying that, you know, the country cannot isolate itself as an island in the global fight against the pandemic is quite a big sign.
As you see, the last president said that the country had contained coronavirus. But how bad is it really?
That's really hard to tell because we don't have any data for the almost one year now, the government stopped publishing daily covid data. And, you know, they've been really limited testing and mostly for for travellers. What we've been relying on is circumstantial and anecdotal evidence.
Do you think then that this will be a popular move by the new president? It is really hard to tell how the public will receive this. For instance, if there will be a lockdown in the near future, then obviously opinion will be divided. But there are people who are excited, are saying, definitely we will be heading towards the vaccine route.
Are there any other signs, any other signals coming from the new president that she's going to do things differently more broadly?
Well, broadly speaking, the last president or the former president was more combative and confrontational, but President SAMEA is quite calm. Another important sign of change today was lifting of a ban, all media houses or outlets that have been suspended in the recent past. She has been saying that, you know, the country should not be seen as curtailing media freedom. The last president actually warned media owners and editors, you know, the not that free and they should, you know, avert what the government was saying.
So this, again, is going to be a really significant move. The editors now issued a statement. They support this, but they want more broad legislative changes in as far as media laws are concerned in the country at the moment.
On Tulear in Dharamsala, the World Bank has said covid has created the worst crisis to education and learning in a century. In Zimbabwe, the impact is already being felt after a marked drop in the national pass rate for primary school public exams. The BBC's Shingai Nishioka reports from Harare.
Excited pupils are heading back to boarding school, wheeling their trunks to the waiting buses.
Parents are not just concerned about the coronavirus, but also about whether their children can recover from the impact of the last year.
I can say everything because, you know, teaching in the House sometimes is very difficult. With no money for online lessons or private tutors, those from low income homes were worst affected by the lockdowns. The 2020 pass rate for the primary school public exams dropped from 46 to 37 per cent. It's the latest blow to an education system that, in the eyes of many, was already coming apart.
Unfortunately, the momentum has been maintained.
Father Martin now leads St. Peter's Church and school in the popular Sunbury Township in battle with six primary schools and four secondary schools.
And that has been about the number of schools we've had for the past 20 years or so and many more informal schools that some people are taking advantage of. The fact that there are many kids we would who don't have space, who cannot be enrolled in the schools that we have here each year. We keep trying to squeeze in more kids because they are plenty more. We've got nowhere else to go.
At another primary school, young pupils use wooden benches for desks. The school isn't registered. Another sign of the crumbling system. In the 1990s, the government spent a remarkable 44 per cent of GDP on education. It's now six per cent. The literacy rate, which soared to 95 per cent, now stands at 89 per cent, according to the UN, by its own standards. The government believes the education system has remained top notch.
Yeah, they are literate to an extent of about 94 per cent. Only six per cent is what we need to work on. These are our standards to challenge.
Unanderra is the public relations director in the Education Ministry.
The quality of education that is provided by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education is the best kind of education in the whole of Africa.
The ministry says it has put in measures to regain the lesson and time lost during the lockdown's. It'll take much more of them to restore the quality of education that Zimbabweans once enjoyed.
Shingai Niurka, a trial of the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on children and teenagers, has been suspended in the UK, while the country's regulator investigates possible links to rare blood clots in adults. A professor from the University of Oxford said there were no concerns about the safety of the trial, but scientists were waiting for more information. Earlier, the UK's prime minister, Boris Johnson, urged people to keep getting the job.
I think that the best thing people should do is, is look at what the HRA say, our independent regulator. That's that's why we have them. That's why they're they're independent. And their advice to people is to, you know, keep going out there, get your get your job, get your second job. Very, very important. I think we've now done 31 and a half million people in the UK with the first job, at least well over five million for the for the second job.
We need to keep that going.
A number of countries, including Germany, have temporarily stopped giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to those under 60. The British regulator has said the jobs benefits far outweigh its risks.
Carsten Voxel is the secretary general of the German Society for Immunology. Evan Davis asked him how would he describe the evidence as regards to blood clots right now?
Right now we have the fact that we have an increase of these rare blood clots in the people that have gotten the vaccine when we compare them to people who have not been vaccinated. And this increase is certainly a statistical anomaly, let's put it this way, and would suggest that there's a causal link to the vaccine, how this works and how the details are. There certainly has to be worked out. But I would be very surprised if it would be just a chance finding that now pops up in several European countries.
Can you tell us anything about the cases of people who have been affected? We've heard that they tend to be younger women, for example. Do we know much about whether they had particular conditions that made them more vulnerable to clotting?
One theory how this clotting would work is that it's more like an auto immune reaction so that the body produces specialised antibodies against the platelets and that causes the disease. And we know that women are more affected by autoimmune diseases. And this could be one link to explain why women are preferentially affected and could also potentially explain why it's more the younger females, because also the immune system is stronger and younger ages.
Do you know if there's anything, anything at all that might act as a predictor of who is going to be more more vulnerable to the clotting as opposed to less vulnerable?
To my knowledge, there is no good predictor right now. And the problem, of course, is we are talking about just a handful of cases. I mean, 30 cases may sound a lot, but to find the common denominator among such few cases is very hard. I mean, the other good thing is if it really comes down to that mechanism and if this can't be confirmed, then at least one could take. It's very early on, so if people do develop symptoms, they could be diagnosed and also potentially treated very effectively.
What is the the way this presents? It's how long after the vaccine, what are we looking for? These side effects occur very recent after the vaccination. So within four to 16 days, that was the time frame here in Germany. And the warning signs are basically, if you have strong headaches longer than four days after vaccination, that may even increase afterwards. So if you have swelling in the arms or the legs or if you have red spots appearing on the skin, so if you have bleeding in the skin, those could be indications and then you should go to the doctor.
And then the doctor can do some diagnostic tests to determine if there is some form of blood clotting going on. And then that could be escalated to better diagnosis and treatment. Then in the end, cost benefit.
I mean, you're still better off, I think, aren't you, in most cases getting a vaccine than than getting covid, right?
That is correct. This is age related and we have these side effects more in the younger people who have less of a problem with it. But even in those younger people, of course, the risk benefit is still pro vaccination because there have a higher risk of getting some serious side effect from the infection itself. But the thing is, the assassinator vaccine is not the only vaccine that we have. If it would be the only vaccine, it would be a no no brainer to really recommend this vaccine to everybody.
But we do have other vaccines that seem to be more safe in this age group. I think this is the reason why, at least in Germany, you have taken the course that we don't recommend AstraZeneca for the younger younger people and use other vaccines instead.
Carsten Voxel, the secretary general of the German Society for Immunology, the International Monetary Fund, has raised its forecast for the global economy for this year and next.
The IMF now predicts growth of six percent in 2021 and four point four percent next year. This follows a sharp contraction due to the pandemic in 2020. Here's our economics correspondent Andrew Walker.
The IMF says a way out of the health and economic crisis is increasingly visible due to vaccines and adaptations that people and businesses have made to the reduced mobility caused by the pandemic. But the recovery is diverging between countries due in part to variations in vaccine rollout and economic policy support, both of which are more difficult for developing countries. The IMF also expects increasing income inequality within countries. The economic impact of the pandemic has been especially severe for younger workers, women and those with relatively low levels of skills.
Still to come, as ice melts in the Arctic, there are more opportunities for mining and new shipping lanes develop. And it has a big impact and the big potential in the future.
Some see an environmental catastrophe. Other smell money in Greenland's big thaw. Russian police have detained the doctor of the opposition activist Alexei Navalny, outside the penal colony where he's serving a jail sentence. Mr. Navalny started a hunger strike last week to demand proper medical attention. The Kremlin says he's getting appropriate care.
Our correspondent Sarah Rainsford travelled to the detention center in the town of Pocker of east of Moscow, where there were extra police lining the dirt road to Pycroft prison as doctors who support Alexei Navalny headed there to demand he gets proper medical care for six days. Russia's most famous prisoner has been on hunger strike, calling for a specialist medic as his list of health problems grows.
The opposition politician is complaining of severe back pain and numbness in both legs on top of that. He now has a temperature and bad cough and says several cellmates were diagnosed with tuberculosis at the prison gates. We met Dr. Anastasia Vasiliev are trying to negotiate her way past the line of police to meet the prison governor and ask for help for Alexei Navalny, a very, really very afraid of his health and his condition.
I don't want to be worse. That's why I'm here. No. Do you trust the prison doctor? No, no.
That's not surprising. Just months after Vladimir Putin's most vocal critic was poisoned with a nerve agent, the Kremlin must have hoped that with Alexei Navalny behind bars, he'd slowly fade into irrelevance.
But he is very much staying on the agenda here, managing to post messages about his health and his treatment to social media via his lawyers.
Frustration with that was clear today when the mood outside prison changed in an instant, instead of letting Dr. Anastasiya through. Police officers surrounded her and several others and arrested them.
Sarah Rainsford in Russia. Greenland has hit the headlines several times in recent years, notably when the former US president Donald Trump suggested that the US could buy the territory. Greenland belongs to Denmark but is autonomous and is on the front line for global warming. Its ice is retreating and as it does so, it's opening up shipping lanes and mining opportunities. On Tuesday, 40000 Greenlanders took part in a snap parliamentary election, which could have consequences for international interests in the Arctic.
The election campaign has focused on whether permission should be granted for a giant rare earth and uranium mine. Victoria Biscet from BBC Online has been following the story.
From the forward party, which has been in power for most of the past few decades, has argued that the mine would provide hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars every year, and also that that would take it a step closer to some more independence from Denmark because Greenland is semi-autonomous region. However, the opposition party and many locals are worried about the environmental impact because they think there's a possibility of radioactive dust and long term toxic waste.
We're talking about a territory with a population of about 56000, an electorate of about 40000. In short, there's not a lot of people there, but it is globally a very significant place.
Why is that? Yes, it definitely is. And on the one hand, it's because this particular site is owned by an Australian company and its largest shareholder is a Chinese company. So there those international interest there. But you might remember that a couple of years ago, President Donald Trump was offering to buy Greenland. Obviously, the Danish government wasn't happy with that and turned it down. But it shows that there's been increasing interest in the area because as ice melts in the Arctic, there are more opportunities for mining and new shipping lanes develop and it has a big impact and the big potential in the future.
So, Victoria, do you then see us talking about Greenland a lot more in future as it becomes more internationally significant?
Yes, definitely. For one thing, the territory is on the front line of global warming. And last year, scientists said that there had been record ice loss, which will have consequences for coastal communities around the world, and it could cause flooding. But also these minerals will not go away. So at the moment, China has most of these natural resources that are used in technologies they used in weapons, and that demand will only increase in the coming years.
Biological fathers and the American state of Utah will be legally required to pay half of a woman's prenatal child support costs under a new law unique to the state. Beth Timmons has been looking into the story.
The law will apply to a number of costs faced by pregnant women, including insurance premiums and any prenatal medical. The new bill has been presented in an effort to decrease the financial burden of pregnancy on single mothers and increase responsibility for men to equally pay for pre birth expenses. Eutaw is the first state to mandate prenatal child support, according to the bill's sponsor. But a few states, such as New York and Wisconsin, have similar provisions that can result in fathers being financially responsible for pre birth expenses.
And Utah, 38 percent of single mothers live below the federal poverty line, according to data from the 2015 census. The proposal has received widespread support in the Republican controlled legislature. But some critics say the law doesn't do enough to adequately address maternal health care needs and could make abusive situations even more dangerous for pregnant women. Professor of Law at the University of Utah, Erika George, told me her reaction.
It's important to recognize that no woman should have to worry about where to find the money to cover her health care costs when she learned she was pregnant. And while the bill highlights how expensive it is to be pregnant and frankly, how risky it is to be pregnant, there are real risks to complicated pregnancies and maternal health problems or mortality. Many women will struggle with covering costs. What concerns me about this bill is there might be ways that you're introducing additional struggle.
Seeking child support is difficult even when we have a born child. So I'm not convinced that it does enough for mothers or expectant mothers.
If there's a paternity dispute, fathers won't be required to pay until paternity is verified. The bill also states that if a mother receives an abortion without the biological father's consent, the father owes no money unless the abortion is necessary to avert the death of the mother or if the mother was pregnant as a result of rape or incest. The new law comes after Utah place more restrictions on abortion. The state approved a measure last year which would make abortions illegal. If the Supreme Court were to overturn the Roe vs.
Wade 1973 ruling that made abortions legal across the US, Beth Timmins.
Dutch police have arrested a 58 year old man who suspected of stealing paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and France Hulce last year. Police said he was detained at his home in the central town of Baan Anna Holligan reports from The Hague.
According to police, the thief arrived on a motorbike, used a sledgehammer to smash through the reinforced glass entrance and took off with the oil on paper. Van Gogh painting gripped onto his right arm. It was the early hours of the 30th of March last year. The museum had recently been closed due to the pandemic. The two laughing boys were stolen a few months later from the half year of Mauffray of an art museum. Police describe the arrest as a breakthrough, though neither artwork was recovered in a search of the suspect's home.
Anna Holligan know the American songwriter Burt Bacharach has written some of the most memorable pop songs. Magic Moments Walk On By Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head. Now aged 92, he's still writing and recording. His latest album is a cross generational collaboration with the singer and producer Daniel Tashjian. The two of them have been speaking to our reporter James Alexander, the new.
In a career spanning eight decades, Burt Bacharach has written classic hits for the likes of Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones and Aretha Franklin.
At his home in Los Angeles, Bacharach has continued composing through the covid pandemic, coming up with melodies for his latest album, Blue Umbrella, featuring lyrics and vocals by Daniel Tashjian. And if you see. And all of the lights and Ron. With Daniel is a great working process, first of all, I love singing an outstanding producer and he's an outstanding friend, you know, and appreciate it, Bert.
I always loved his melodies, loved his songs, and I never thought that I'd get to write a song with the man.
But we just hit it off right away, started writing songs.
And because of the pandemic, you've both had to get used to working remotely. Absolutely.
You know, we jump on Zoom's all the time and, you know, sending files back and forth.
Yeah, it's kept me sustained. It kept me alive. It kept me interested. It kept me off of watching another series of something on Netflix 21st century.
Looking for something. He can understand when you actually are in the hot seat and you're in front of the microphone and you've got to sing these melodies, there are some unusual jumps happening. And if you don't watch out, you can fall off the ski slope. Would you say that's true?
But I do agree there's no room and no time to have eight bars in the middle that don't sound so great. But hey, the rest of the song is great. No, the stuff that's in the middle that doesn't sound great. Should sound as good. And that fast writer trying to work through something at the keyboard and be happy with the melody. See how it felt about the key, you know, it felt the tempo three and a half minutes, we got to say it all.
I was laying down on the street, but all the shadows followed.
I know, but you had to cancel some live shows because of covid. Do you hope you can get back touring again soon?
I've been working with a physical trainer every day trying to get my body back to some semblance of where it was. You know, my fingers are not as simple as they were. They're arthritic. They're good enough to be able to write songs. Are they good enough to go on tour? Some of them are going to. I don't think about every day, but I do think about it.
I never envisioned how old are they at this point in my life, but I'm very grateful for every day, every day is a gift Tiscali range from.
Three of these. Moments for. The song Magic Moments, sung by Perry Como, one of the many hits by Burt Bacharach, ending that report by James Alexander.
And that's all 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 covered in it may be your favorite Burt Bacharach song. You can send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC, Dalziell Dot UK.
The studio manager was George Thomas. The producer was Leon McAffrey. The editor is Karen Martin. I'm Jonathan Savage. Until next time. Goodbye. The breakthroughs that have shaped the way in which we live today and much of the state of the art that has revolutionized industry, New York had this incredible explosion of posters, the people who have made a difference. My sorrow was inspiring other people in other places and the moments that have made history. It's going to advance knowledge for humanity, witness history, just such for witness history wherever you get your podcasts.