Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
Hello, this is the global news podcast from the BBC World Service with reports and analysis from across the world. The latest news, seven days a week. BBC World Service podcasts are supported by advertising.
This is the Global News podcast from the BBC World Service.
I'm Jonathan Savage. And in the early hours of Saturday, the 5th of September, these are our main stories. Unemployment falls again in the United States, but is it all good news for President Trump and his re-election campaign? Iran has more than 10 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under its international nuclear agreement. That's according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog. And victory or defeat, the Dutch far right politician builders reacts to a court ruling on his remarks about Moroccans.
Also in this podcast, how the migrant crisis five years ago changed the political landscape in Austria.
For me, it's traumatic to see how the politics that have been in place for the past five years crack down on people's lives.
And what is the free Brittni movement and what are its aims? But first, US President Donald Trump loves to talk about the success of the world's largest economy and to tweet about how his policies are making that economy even stronger. In January alone, Bloomberg spotted 10 occasions when Mr. Trump drew a direct connection between the increase in American companies market values with his own political decisions.
But of course, since the spring, businesses have been devastated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and struggle to recover. And the economy is one of the key battlegrounds in the race for the White House attacking Donald Trump. At a news conference, the Democrat's candidate, Joe Biden, said he was mishandling the United States economy.
More and more, temporary layoffs are turning into permanent layoffs. 28 million people have filed for unemployment. And after six months in the pandemic, we're less than halfway back to where we were. In fact, Donald Trump may be the only president in modern history to leave office with fewer jobs than when he took office.
Despite the criticism, today's numbers on new jobs and falling unemployment could be seen as good news for President Trump. But job creation is slowing and millions are struggling to pay their monthly bills. Know that various stimulus programs have ended. Our US business reporter Michelle Fleury told me more about the raw numbers.
So we saw the number of jobs being created by American companies increasing by one point four million in the month of August. The unemployment rate, it fell to eight point four percent. A pretty dramatic improvement, a decline of one point eight percent from the previous month. And so what we're seeing is this trend that for the fourth month in a row, there has been improvement in the US labor market from that awful, precipitous fall that we saw in March and April when the pandemic and those lockdowns really first kicked in and ground the economy, the US economy, to a halt.
Now, one of Donald Trump's key election arguments is going to be that he is the person to revive the economy. Will those numbers affect that argument?
Yeah, I mean, you have to go back in time to the start of this year. And Donald Trump was absolutely going to campaign on the strength of the election, the sort of one of the reasons for reelecting him, that obviously that argument disappeared when the pandemic first hit. And so he's taking this kind of rebound that we're seeing as a sign of, look, things are coming back, keep the faith with me. But the flip side of all of this, which is the argument that Joe Biden was making, is that there are still 13 million Americans who are out of work.
That is a huge figure. And the concern that economists have is that the initial jobs that were lost, they were thought to be temporary. And the fear is that some of them will actually become permanent. And so that trek back, that slog back to where we were way back in February, not that long ago, and yet it seems a lifetime ago will be a very difficult one. Yes.
Speaking of a slog, there have been negotiations between the White House and Congress to get money to those Americans you mentioned and the businesses. Why has there been no progress?
Price tag, as it's always about the price. Both sides remain very far on sort of how much the stimulus should be. Initially, you had the Democrats pushing for three trillion dollars. The Republicans coalesced around a figure that was closer to 500 billion dollars. They're also arguing about how much money states and local governments should receive. I mean, here in New York, there is all sorts of talk about, you know, whether the city is going back to the days of the 70s and 80s when it went bankrupt because they've seen a tax receipts go down.
Of course, they're paying a huge amount in unemployment benefits. They all agree that some stimulus is needed. The question is how much? In the meantime, the early help in terms of stimulus payments and help for small businesses has run out. And there is a lot of economic pain being felt right now.
Michelle Flurry in New York. Five years ago, Iran reached agreement with a group of world powers to limit its nuclear ambitions in return for an easing of international sanctions. President Trump then withdrew the United States from the accord, saying he wanted to see it renegotiated. That never happened. And now comes proof that Iran has used the intervening period to radically breach the limits set on uranium enrichment. Our Middle East analyst Alan Johnston told me what the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors had found at one Iranian site they had been allowed to visit.
In a way, all this begins with President Trump. He always hated the nuclear accord that President Obama signed with the Iranians. He was always determined to destroy it, cause the Iranians to negotiate again. And two years ago, he ripped up the deal and imposed sanctions on Iran that had been wrecking its economy in retaliation. The Iranians have been reneging on commitments that they made under the nuclear. And one way in which they did that was to produce more enriched uranium than they were allowed.
And today the inspectors have said that that stockpile of low level enriched uranium has grown and grown to a point now where it's more than 10 times beyond that that the Iranians should have. So it's just an indication of the extent to which the Iranian operation is working beyond the confines of that important nuclear deal.
And, Alan, what can you tell us about the site in particular that the Iranians have allowed the inspectors to visit because there were suspicions about its earlier, weren't there?
That's right. Some time ago, they got suspicious about two particular sites where they believe that the Iranians may have been up to nuclear activity. There was secret that they'd never declared and they wanted access to those two sites. The Iranians were saying, no, there's no need for that. There's nothing to see there. They were saying that the inspectors had been given bogus information by Israeli spies and this became a major standoff between the inspectors and the Iranians. Last month.
There was a claim down by the Iranians and they did say that an inspection could go ahead. And the inspectors have gone into one of those sites we understand now and taken samples. We wait to find out what they may unearth in those samples and that nuclear accord you were talking about, is there anything left of that?
President Trump is as determined as ever to kill the process, but the other signatories to the deal, the Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese, feel that the accord is the best way to stop Iran ever getting a nuclear weapon. Worth saying that, the Iranians would say all of this is unnecessary. They argue that their nuclear program is entirely peaceful and they've never wanted a nuclear weapon.
Our Middle East analyst Alan Johnston now in our earlier podcast on Friday, we brought you news that the Dutch far right politician here to builders had been cleared of inciting hatred and discrimination. But the court upheld his conviction for insulting a distinct racial group, Moroccans, during a political rally several years ago.
Although the accused has damaged the self-esteem of a group of people because of their race and has shown no respect for the honour and reputation of that group according to objective standards. The offensive nature of those statements is thus established for the court.
Just after the ruling, Mr Vildan dismissed the case as a political show trial and said he'd be appealing to the Dutch Supreme Court to overturn his remaining conviction.
That is totally unacceptable. While you see that the Moroccans who make sure that many places in our major cities are in fear nowadays, that they don't even see a court of justice in their life, that the minister of justice, who doesn't abide by his own rules, gets no penalty at all, or that a politician who speaks for maybe one and a half million people that voted for me will ask questions about Moroccans is sent.
At the same time, I asked our correspondent in the Netherlands, Anna Holligan, what had happened at that rally.
Well, there's a political campaign rally here in The Hague, actually, in 2014.
Hurtsville, who might know from his trademark dyed blonde hair, asked this room packed with supporters and, of course, reporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the city and in the Netherlands. And the crowds chanted back a few or fewer, fewer.
He also said that The Hague should be a city with fewer problems and if possible, fewer Moroccans. And that phrase mayor of Menander, more or fewer, became one of the defining phrases of politics over the last 10 years, really. And the appeals judges agreed with the original verdict that his words were insulting to the 400000 people of Moroccan ancestry in the Netherlands. But he was cleared of inciting discrimination.
So one conviction upheld and one overturned. Does that mean it's a win or a defeat for Mr. Childers?
Well, you know, if you listen to his tone and his words in the moments after the hearing there, you would think he had lost. He called the Netherlands a banana republic for bringing what he still believes were politically motivated charges against him.
And he was actually successful in having the most serious charge of incitement to racial hatred overtones. Actually, in the summary, the judge said Mr. Villagers' comments at that campaign rally were for the purposes of political gain and other statements made in front of the cameras as a marqise a few days before that were unscripted. They weren't designed to incite hatred against people of Moroccan heritage. And actually, if you look at the immediate reaction of many of his supporters on social media, as far as they're concerned, this was a victory for the populist leader and free speech.
And Holligan in The Hague, South Korea, a country widely praised for containing the coronavirus, has put its capital into near lockdown after a surge in cases businesses in Seoul have been forced to close. At certain times, schools have been shut and 25 million people. Urged to stay at home and what's been branded a week of standstill, the current outbreak has spread partly through right wing churches whose followers believe they've been infected as part of a government conspiracy. Our correspondent Laura Beker has sent this report from Seoul.
I don't know why the fever sent to his followers.
Pastor John Clarke, who is an old right rock star, the.
To others, he and his ultra conservative church posed the biggest coronaviruses threat this country has faced. After a rally in August, hundreds of cases were confirmed in more than 20 churches, some worshippers, many of them elderly, are refusing to be tested.
They argue with contact tracers, telling them the virus was planted in the church by a government determined to silence them. We spoke to one young follower.
Why are you not being tested for covid-19 after being at the rally?
If it if it is something I can accept, then I will accept to cooperate. But the purpose of this is absolutely to track down all the Christians or people who are raising their voices against the government.
It's proving a huge challenge for this country's virus hunters. Usually they can trace over a thousand people. And I were using mobile technology, but this is the kind of opposition they face to control to get help.
If you need to go home and self isolate, this person is told that's nuts. How could I have the virus is the reply. And another refuses to give.
Their husband's name is Ahmed. This is as close to a lockdown as this capital city of Seoul has had since the start of this pandemic. It almost feels like a curfew just a little after 9:00 p.m. This normally boisterous, noisy, vibrant street is silent.
At a nearby hotpot restaurant, the owner wipes down empty tables that have seen no customers of this particular business is down by 90 percent.
It feels like the whole world is falling apart.
The virus is invisible, not tangible, but the entire world is affected and we don't know where to turn to.
I only know. But there is some good news. The church, which once face the wrath of the South Korean people, is now trying to help others recover from covid-19. Members of the Church of Jesus, a sect blamed for the country's early virus outbreak in February, are donating their blood plasma for treatment and research. I call I was terribly sick and during my hospital stay, the medical staff was so kind. To me, the virus is spreading again and I really hope a cure can be developed quickly.
As one religious group seeks redemption, another remains defiant. A heady mix of politics and religion has collided with coronavirus in this country and threatens its well publicized success in fighting the pandemic. That report by Laura Beker in Seoul.
Still to come, he wanted to leave. Now he's staying. What's behind Massey's decision to carry on at Barcelona?
The United Nations has been giving grim details on the scale of intercommunal clashes in South Sudan, violence that has been going on for months in the state of Jonglei. The head of the UN's mission in South Sudan is David Shearer.
Tensions still remain very high, and every effort must be made to ensure that fighting does not flare up again. The past six months of fighting has killed over 600 people. And our estimate, although that could be quite conservative, women and children have been kidnapped and cattle stolen. Thousands have fled the area. Homes and villages have been burned.
Nicola Mandele is a journalist based in Juba, and he told Williams more about the fighting.
The violence in Jonglei has always been exacerbated by intercommunal clashes, cattle raiding and abduction of children between the three neighboring communities of Dinka loanword and Mallie.
And why has it gone on for so long?
Well, this is something that has always been there every year, every month, almost every every week. One factor could be the presence of weapons in the in the hands of civilians, especially. Jonglei is a very vast area in South Sudan. And the civilians in this area have not been disarmed. So it is in a way contributes to to this violence, which is always going on between loanword, from Akobo, Dinka, from more and more live from Grétar people.
So these issues that you talk about, what's been done to resolve them, the government has started a disarmament exercise in parts of battle Gazal.
But they are also saying once they are finished with parts of battle Gazal, they might go to other areas and we hope that will be Jonglei. The next step will be in Jonglei and Nicola Mandele in South Sudan's capital, Juba.
The Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, widely regarded as possibly the best player of all time, has said he won't be leaving Barcelona after all. Messi has announced his desire to leave after the team was thrashed by Bayern Munich in the other Champion's League. But on Friday, he said he'd seek out his contract with the club, albeit under duress. Our reporter Nigel Atalay explains the significance of Massey's move.
Messi spent his entire career at Barcelona, and he's become the most powerful figure at the club. And there was some speculation he was using the threat of his departure to try and get the changes he wanted. Right at the very top, Messi said he's staying because it's impossible for any club to pay the 700 million dollars release clause. In his contract, Manchester City and his former coach, Pep Guardiola, were heavily linked with trying to extract him from Catalonia.
But I think that I've only done it if the release clause had been challenged legally. But Messi says he loves Barsa too much to try and do that. And he's also used today's statement to be highly critical of the club president Joseph Bertman, claiming the club lacks direction. And this has been a long term issue. The eight to defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League recently wasn't an isolated incident. As for the Barcelona fans, well, they'll be delighted that their hero is staying, but he's clearly there under sufferance.
And the final year of his contract could be a very awkward period for both the president and the club's new coach, Ronald Neumann. Nigel Atalay.
During the migrant crisis of 2015 and 16, Austria took in about one percent of its population. But since then, the number of asylum applications has dropped dramatically in the early months. Austria welcomed the refugees, but the mood quickly changed. The issue has reshaped Austrian politics. Bethany Bell reports from Austria.
In September 2015, I watched thousands of refugees and migrants walk from Hungary into Austria, tired and cold, they were given food and clothes by local volunteers. And the Red Cross at the Nicole Stoffe border crossing dilemma from Syria said she was very relieved to be in Austria.
I want to free every country and its respect, our our thoughts and our freedom. We need this country, this place. There is no war and we are safe.
A few weeks earlier, a small lorry containing the dead bodies of 71 refugees had been found on a motorway in Austria. The shocking discovery unleashed a huge wave of sympathy for migrants, but that didn't last long. These days, the number of new arrivals is very low, but the political rhetoric against them is very much alive, meaning something concerning the illegal immigrants.
All of you are going to see if they came in and he did get this wilgus.
The interior minister, Carnamah from the leading Conservative Party went back to Nicole stuff to announce that they'll be drone surveillance at the border to track illegal migration. The political analyst, Thomas Hofer, says the anti-immigrant message has been key to the success of the conservatives and their leader, Sebastian Kootz, helping them take away votes from the far right Freedom Party.
The migrant crisis has completely changed the Austrian political landscape. There was one big change on on the level of personnel, and that was Sebastian Kootz. He dominates the political arena since 2015, took over his party in 2017, won two elections actually in a landslide, and also cut back the Freedom Party.
For Sebastian Kurtz, it's very relevant and crucial to stick to his message to to stay on his message when it comes to to migrants simply because he wants to build a wall in terms of not letting any voters go back to the Freedom Party.
Well, this is spiel felt on the Austrian Slovenian border, and it's a place where many refugees passed into Austria and the authorities here built a big asylum processing center. And you can still see the big marquees and the prefab buildings that they set up, although they're pretty empty these days. In fact, I can even see that the gate through which the refugees had to pass is actually rather overgrown with weeds. I'm here with petrol patients who spent a lot of time here as a volunteer helping refugees five years ago.
For me, it's traumatic to see how the politics that have been in place for the past five years crack down on people's lives because there are no winners here.
If you crush the hopes of a 25 year old Afghan student who might have been a very eager and motivated worker in tourism in Austria.
I have the feeling that there was a window of opportunity opening in this period that is now closed to the activist and lawyer Petrelis Schantz, ending that report by Bethany Bell.
No to a pop star best known for a string of hits including Toxic I'm a Slave for You. And of course, hit me baby one more time.
As if you needed a reminder of what that sounded like as one of the biggest pop stars of the past few decades, Britney Spears private and professional lives are deeply intertwined and no more so than the legal arrangements that have control significant parts of her life for more than a decade, including her finances. Her father, Jamie, has mostly filled the role of a court appointed guardian since the star's public breakdown in 2008. She's now trying to take back that power and argues the public has a right to know what's happening.
Tim Spears also appeared to endorse the hashtag Free Britney Fan Movement, which argues she's being held against her will.
I asked Mark Savage to explain what it all meant to free Britney is a fun campaign organized by a lot of people who say they're concerned about Britney Spears. She has been under the protection of what's called a conservator since 2008, which means her father and sometimes other people act as her legal guardian. They are in charge of her career decisions. They're in charge of her medication. They're in charge of her finances. Some people have taken the view that she is being held in this arrangement against her will, that she's essentially being held captive and that the people who are in charge stand to benefit financially by being in that position.
They protest outside the court when there are hearings about Britney's future. And they are saying that she is sending subtle messages on social media, that she wants to be freed from this conservatorship.
She's sending subtle messages. So what is she thinking about this? And how do we how do we know? Is she thinking about this?
Well, what's interesting is at the moment, she is trying to change who acts as her legal guardian. So like I say, for the most of the last 12 years, it has been her father. He stood aside last year because he had some health problems. Another person was put in his place. Britney is saying she wants this person to remain know that her father is feeling better. She doesn't want him to step back into that role. And as part of the court filings for that, she has said that she appreciates that her fans are watching out for her.
She says she is opposed to the effort by her father to keep the legal struggle hidden away as a family secret. And she has kind of indicated that she appreciates the fact that people are on her side. However, she also has made it clear that this is a voluntary arrangement, that she wants the conservatorship to continue and that she's not being held against her will.
So what's going to happen next?
So at the minute, there's a flurry. I mean, every day we're seeing new court filings from her father and her sister has got involved as well, saying she wants to take over Britney's financial affairs. Britney is responding to those saying that she wants to make sure that all of the records are kept public. She doesn't want this to be hidden away from sites. She wants the whole process to be transparent. She's also nominating people who she wants to be in charge of her finances and wants it to be in charge of her career decisions.
She's asking essentially for more autonomy at the moment. The conservatorship, as it's called, in California, legal guardianship and other parts of the US in the world is projected to continue until February next year. But there is a court hearing in October which Britney is expected to attend, where they will decide what happens next. Mark Savage.
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 edition or the topics covered in it, you can send us an email. The address is Global Podcast at BBC, Dalziell Dot U.K.. I'm Jonathan Savage. Until next time. Goodbye.