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Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.


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Faranak Amidi takes a fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 40 language sections.




Sudan's IDP crisis

It's seven months since fighting in Sudan erupted between the national army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. Peace talks in Saudi Arabia have so far failed to secure a truce, leaving over five million Sudanese internally displaced, and a humanitarian crisis imminent without a ceasefire according to the UN. BBC Arabic's Mohamed Osman was forced to leave his home in Omdurman, but returned to Port Sudan, the country's de facto capital, to report on those made homeless by the war. Kimchi Day in Little Korea This week South Koreans celebrated Kimchi Day in honour of the famous national dish made from tangy and spicy fermented vegetables. And for the first time, this year Kimchi Day was also celebrated in Europe, and more specifically the London suburb of New Malden. BBC Korean's Yuna Ku explains why. The Ukrainian teenager called up by the Russian army Bogdan Yermokhin is a 17-year-old Ukrainian forcefully removed from occupied Ukraine to Russia. He recently received conscription papers from the Russian army, to fight against Ukraine. Nina Nazarova of BBC Russian shares his story. Mumbai’s women cricketers As cricket lovers in India grapple with the disappointment of losing to Australia in the men’s Cricket World Cup, BBC Marathi have been reporting a good news cricket story. Janhavee Moole of BBC Marathi visited a women’s cricket club in Mumbai, which has 300 members, the eldest of whom is 72, and the youngest 9. Argentina's president-elect and the woman he calls "The Boss" Meet Karina, sister of president-elect Javier Milei. She was by his side at every step of his presidential campaign, and presented him to his euphoric supporters when his victory was announced. But what do we know about her? Answers from BBC Mundo’s Fernanda Paul. (Photo: Sudanese IDP camp in Port Sudan where those displaced by war live in makeshift tents. Credit: BBC)


Eagles helping locate Israel's dead

Following the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7th October, conservationists have been using unconventional methods to locate the bodies of the dead. Its civilian Nature and Parks Authority is using tracking devices on rare migratory birds to help locate the missing, passing information on where they stop onto the authorities. It says one eagle has helped recover four bodies, as BBC Arabic’s Michael Shuval reports. Indonesia's village influencers Two young village women in Indonesia have become surprise social media stars for their video posts about simple village life. BBC Indonesian's Trisha Husada spoke to Lika and Nia to find out more about their lives. The life and legacy of Iranian singer 'Golpa' Many Iranians have been mourning the loss of one their most prominent vocalists, Akbar Golpayegani who has died, aged 90. His performances on Tehran's 'Radio Golha Programmes' between 1953 and 1979 helped popularise traditional Persian music, but his career stalled after the Islamic Revolution when, like many artists, he was forced into silence. Faraj Balafkan has been covering the story for BBC Persian. Freeing Luis Díaz Sr: Colombia and the ELN It's a week since the father of Liverpool FC player Luis Díaz was handed over by Colombian guerrilla group the ELN after being held for twelve days. BBC Monitoring in Miami's Luis Fajardo is Colombian, and explains what the story reveals about the difficult situation in Columbia right now. Tree planting in Kenya Kenyan's were granted a special tree-planting holiday on Monday as part of a government initiative to plant 15 billion trees over ten years. BBC Africa journalist Kenneth Mungai spent some time at a site near the river Athi meeting residents involved in the project. (Photo: A white-tailed eagle. Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)


A lifeline for Gaza

Presented by Andrea Kennedy BBC Arabic has begun an emergency radio service for Gaza in response to the conflict in the region. Adel Soliman tells us about providing news and information, and also key lifeline advice on access to medical care, food and water. The floating duck farms of Bangladesh Low-lying farmland in north east Bangladesh is flooded every year during the monsoon, and local people used to survive by fishing as well as farming. But climate change and over-fishing have ruined their livelihoods, and, as BBC Bangla's Shahnewaj Rocky found out, many have turned to duck farming instead. Theatre in wartime Russia The war in Ukraine has dealt a severe blow to Russia’s rich theatrical scene. Directors, actors, playwrights, choreographers and musicians have been sacked for opposing the war, and many theatre professionals have left the country. Amaliya Zatari of BBC Russian tells us about the impact. China's Belt and Road, 10 years on Ten years after China unveiled its Belt and Road Initiative, creating energy, industry and transport projects across the world, Chen Yan of BBC Chinese tells us about its successes and failures. We also get the perspective from Central Asia, from Akbarjon Musaev of BBC Monitoring. (Photo: A man holds a portable radio receiver in the southern Gaza Strip on October 31 2023. Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)


What's happening in Ukraine?

Presented by Irena Taranyuk The intense focus of the world’s media on events in the Middle East has taken attention away from the war in Ukraine. We ask what's the latest on the war, and what important stories are being reported from the region? Answers from Diana Kuryshko of BBC Ukrainian and Vitaliy Shevchenko, Russia editor at BBC Monitoring and co-presenter of Ukrainecast. Factories versus fishermen: the story of Rempang Island A small Indonesian island off Sumatra has been in the news because of a threat to evict local residents to make way for industrial development. Villagers on Rempang Island mostly make a living from fishing, and they have been protesting against the plan. BBC Indonesian's Astudestra Ajengrastri went to Rempang Island to investigate. Pakistan bump shaming Pictures of the cute babies of celebrities are popular on social media in Pakistan. But it seems Pakistanis are not so keen on images of the previous stage: pregnancy. Women have been trolled or banned from the screen for proudly showing their fully-covered baby bumps. BBC Urdu's Shumaila Khan has been asking why this is so shocking. Pre-hispanic Latin America Gender equality, tolerance of same-sex relations, no extreme poverty and sustainable lifestyles: these are all areas in which indigenous cultures in Latin America were ahead of their time, according to research done by BBC Mundo. It's a story which really caught the imagination of the Spanish-speaking audience - reporter Jose Carlos Cueto tells us more. (Photo: A resident is seen after shelling in the Ukrainian frontline city of Avdiivka on October 17, 2023. Credit: Ozge Elif Kizil/Anadolu via Getty Images)


Meet the BBC Korean team in Seoul

The Fifth Floor visits the BBC's Seoul Bureau to meet the journalists working for BBC Korean, serving audiences across the whole of the Korean peninsula, with different output for both North and South Korea. Journalists David Oh, Hyunjung Kim and Yuna Ku talk about the stories they've been working on for the domestic audience, from the growing global interest in Korean popular culture to what divides, and unites, Koreans. They also broadcast a daily radio programme to North Korea. Editor Woongbee Lee and journalist Rachel Lee explain how they keep this largely unknown audience informed about worldwide news, as well as stories about their own country unreported by their state broadcasters. And on the first anniversary of the Itaewon Halloween tragedy in which 159 people became trapped in huge crowds and died, unable to breathe, we hear from Jungmin Choi who filmed on the scene in the days after the disaster, and Yuna Ku, who is working on stories to mark the anniversary, about the victims' families' fight for justice. (Photo: Faranak Amidi and BBC Korean editor Woongbee Lee in central Seoul. Credit: BBC)


Israel Gaza conflict: the war of words

With constant new developments in Israel and Gaza, we find out how BBC Monitoring is reporting and analysing news from the heart of the conflict. Joel Greenberg from the team in Jerusalem tells us about the war of words between Israeli and Palestinian media; Kian Sharifi analyses what’s being said on Iranian state media and social media; and Alex Wright has been looking at online jihadist sources to see how they are exploiting the conflict. Feeling the heat in Brazil Parts of Brazil have just come through an intense heatwave and are braced for another – and it’s not even the summer season yet. For BBC Brasil, Julia Braun has been to two contrasting neighbourhoods in Sao Paulo to see how differently the heat is experienced, according to where you live. Dars - the BBC's distance learning for children in Afghanistan As a result of the Taliban exclusion of girls aged over 11 from education in Afghanistan, BBC Afghan decided to bring the classroom to their homes. Dars - which means lessons - is a multi-platform series in Pashto and Dari, and a second season has just been launched. We find out more from producer Mariam Aman. The return from the brink of Kazakhstan's saiga antelope The rare saiga antelope of Kazakhstan has turned into a success story - and caused a headache for farmers. Twenty years ago, numbers were critically low, but a successful rehabilitation programme has led to a population of close to two and a half million. Now the animals are moving onto farmland in search of food, and farmers are complaining. Elbek Daniyarov of BBC Monitoring shares the story. (Photo: A map of the Gaza Strip under a magnifying glass. Credit: Pawel.Gaul/Getty Images)


Reporting the Israel Gaza conflict

A week after the attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, we look at how some of the BBC’s major language services have been covering the conflict for their audiences, with William Marquez from BBC Mundo, Zubair Ahmed from BBC Delhi and Daniel Dadzie from the Focus on Africa podcast team. Banking and slavery in Brazil Brazil’s oldest bank, the Banco do Brasil, is facing a public inquiry into its alleged involvement in the slave trade during the 19th century. It's been a big story for BBC Brasil, and editor Caio Quero tells us it has started a national debate. Indonesia's disappearing mangroves Indonesia's vast mangrove forests are disappearing, with charcoal made from mangrove wood a valued commodity in China, Europe and Japan. Mangrove logging is illegal, but the number of charcoal furnaces continues to grow, as BBC Indonesian's Astudestra Ajengrastri discovered on a visit to the island of Borneo. (Photo: Smoke plumes billow during Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on October 12, 2023. Credit: Ibrahim Hams/AFP via Getty Images)


Pakistan and Iran: expelling Afghans

Presented by Sana Safi Millions of Afghans living in Pakistan and Iran are facing growing pressure to return to Afghanistan. In Pakistan, around 1.7 million unauthorised Afghan asylum seekers have been ordered to leave by the end of this month. In Iran, the authorities say there are five million Afghans living without legal status, and forced removals are increasing. We hear from BBC Urdu’s Asif Farooqi and BBC Persian’s Zia Shahreyar about the latest developments. Turkish beach towel revolution Fences, fees for sun loungers and private beach clubs are on the rise in Turkey, and in many tourist areas it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a free place to lay your beach towel. But now some locals are protesting, as Mahmut Hamsici of BBC Turkish explains. Celebrating Mahatma Gandhi's iconic loincloth BBC Indian marked the anniversary of Gandhi's birth this week with a story about the history of his iconic loincloth or dhoti, and why he chose to wear it, as Vandana in Delhi explains. Flappy Bird and beyond: Vietnam's gaming industry Vietnam today has become a regional hub for game app development, spurred on by the success of Flappy Bird, which 10 years ago took the world by storm. Thuong Le from BBC Vietnamese is a gaming fan, and tells us about the growth of the homegrown games development industry. Sudan's all-female rap group BBC Arabic's Sarah Magdy took her personal interest in conflict rap to report a story for their culture show about Sudan's first all-female rap group, 249 Gang. (Photo: Afghan families on the road in Pakistan's Khyber district, returning to Afghanistan. Credit: Abdul Majeed/AFP via Getty Images)


Venezuela's extraordinary prison raid

Last week Venezuela sent 11,000 troops into the notorious Tocorón jail to retake control. For years it's been run by inmates, and was headquarters to the international crime organisation, the "Aragua Train", although its leader, Héctor Guerrero, escaped. BBC Mundo's Valentina Oropeza shares insights into the story and the prison, which boasted a pool, nightclub and even a mini-zoo. Esports at the Asian games The 19th Asian Games kicked off in the Chinese city of Hangzhou last Saturday. Esports made its debut as a medal winning event, and the high price tickets in the space-age stadium rapidly sold out. BBC Chinese Zhijie Shao sheds light on esports, and some of the regional geopolitics also on display. Lebanon's celebration gun deaths An average of 8 people a year are killed in Lebanon by stray bullets from celebratory gunfire, and despite widespread calls to end this deadly ritual, many seem unwilling to leave their guns behind for big events. Carine Torbey of BBC Arabic has been looking into the causes and social significance of this problem. Syrian single mums in Turkey Turkey has the world’s largest refugee population with an estimated 3.3 million Syrians living there. Attitudes to them have shifted, and many now face outright hostility from Turks wanting them gone. BBC Turkish journalist Fundanur Öztürk recently reported on the sexual harassment facing Syrian single mothers in this hostile environment. Gurkhas in the Indian Army For decades, Nepal has allowed its Gurkha soldiers to join the Indian army under a special agreement. The tradition has been passed down through the generations, but since India unilaterally changed its contracts to a short 4 year term the Nepali government has paused recruitment, as the BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan explains. (Photo: An armored vehicle drives near the Tocorón prison, Aragua State, Venezuela. Credit: Yuri Cortez/AFP)


Helping Libya’s flood survivors

In the aftermath of the devastating floods in Derna, following the collapse of two dams, we hear from Sara Alhouni, outreach officer for BBC Media Action's platform for Libyan audiences, about their response to the catastrophe and how they are providing lifesaving information for those affected. India or Bharat? Could India be officially renamed “Bharat”? The idea was reported in the press this week after invitations to G20 summit members asked them to join the “President of Bharat”, not India, for dinner. So what is Bharat and why might it replace India? Zubair Ahmed of BBC Delhi explains. Indigenous protests in Argentina Large protests have been taking place in the northern province of Jujuy as indiginous groups oppose lithium mining there. For the BBC Berta Reventós spent a week with protesters in the village of Purmamarca, high up in the Andes mountains, to find out more. Africa Eye: Operation Dudula vigilantes in South Africa South African anti-migrant group, Operation Dudula, has become notorious for targetting people they suspect are foreign nationals, forcing their businesses to close, and evicting tenants from their homes. Ayanda Charlie for BBC Africa Eye gained rare access to members of the country's most-prominent anti-migrant street movement. (Photo: Arabic poster saying “do not go to Derna without coordination” from BBC Media Action. Credit: BBC Media Action for Libya)


Mahsa Amini: the woman behind the icon

As the world marks the first anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s death, we hear from journalist Farzad Seifikaran, who gained an exclusive interview with her mother, Mojgan Eftekhari, for BBC Persian. Farzad, who’s from Mahsa’s home town in Kurdistan, tells us what he learned from Mojgan about the young woman whose death led to protests that shook Iran. Job-hunting in Africa and “full-time children” A growing number of young people in China, especially recent college graduates, are struggling to find jobs. There’s fierce competition in the domestic market, and many of those who succeed in finding work get disillusioned with the long hours and constant pressure. Sylvia Chang from BBC Chinese has been talking to some who’ve opted for different solutions. Vast destruction and vast need: Libya and Morocco Rescue teams in Morocco are still struggling to get help to some of the areas worst affected by last week's earthquake in the Atlas Mountains. Meanwhile more details are emerging of devastation caused by flooding in the Libyan city of Derna. BBC Arabic’s Saida Badri tells us about the challenges of these stories for the news team, and reflects on the aftermath of the Moroccan earthquake. Her own town was affected, and she shares the same Amazigh heritage as the people of the Atlas Mountains. Kim Jong Un's famous train Earlier this week, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un travelled on his private train to the Vostochny space centre in Russia's Far East for talks with President Vladimir Putin. BBC Korean's Yuna Ku tells us that the old Soviet-style green train has been the subject of much intrigue over the years, and we also hear from Suping from BBC Monitoring about the late Mao Zedong's passion for train travel. (Photo: Protest sign showing Mahsa Amini at the Iranian consulate on October 24, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Ozan Güzelce/Dia Images via Getty Images)


Anti-government protests in Syria

There has been a spate of protests across Syria, with unrest spilling into areas which were previously strongholds of support for President Bashar al-Assad. Anger at poor living conditions has spiralled into calls for political change. Amira Fathalla is a Middle East specialist with BBC Monitoring and she tells us why this is so significant. A new image for millet in Nepal The United Nations is encouraging farmers around the world to plant more millet, and has declared 2023 the International Year of Millets. In Nepal, the crop fell out of favour with some people, being considered a food for the poor. BBC Nepali's Bishnu Pokarel tells us how a growing awareness of its health benefits is transforming its image. Boxing returns to Zanzibar after nearly 60 years Boxing fans in Zanzibar last week witnessed their first tournament on the island in almost six decades. A ban which had been imposed in 1964 was lifted in September last year by the president. BBC Africa's Alfred Lasteck attended the much anticipated tournament. The bloggers selling Russia’s war Since the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia's pro-war influencers have gained millions of followers on social media. They frequently embed themselves with the Russian army and post footage from the front line, calling on young Russians to enlist. Grigor Atanesian has investigated their activities for the BBC Disinformation Unit. The catacombs of Lima Beneath the streets of the Peruvian capital Lima lies a network of tunnels and crypts, which served as a vast underground cemetery for hundreds of years. Many of these catacombs remain unexplored, but some are open to the public. One recent visitor was BBC Mundo’s Guillermo Olmo. (Photo: People protesting in Syria's southern city of Sweida, September 2023. Credit: Sam Hariri/AFP via Getty Images)


Reporting Pakistan's cable car rescue

BBC Urdu’s Azizullah Khan was on the scene soon after last week’s dramatic rescue in northwest Pakistan, when a broken cable car was left dangling hundreds of metres above the ground. He interviewed survivors and local people, and tells us about the harshness of their lives. The rescue put an international spotlight on these remote villages, but will that change anything? Andalusian Spanish BBC Mundo's Alicia Hernandez is from Andalusia in the south of Spain, and she published an online piece about the unique dialect of Spanish spoken there, which differs from the standard form. She explains why it's the basis of the Spanish spoken across Latin America. Chinese shoppers stockpiling salt Consumers in mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong have been panic-buying table salt after Japan began releasing treated radioactive wastewater from the damaged Fukushima power plant. Martin Yip of BBC Chinese explains why. Lebanon's beauty treatment boom Despite the economic crisis in Lebanon, its cosmetic procedures industry is thriving. The pressure to look good has forced many women to continue costly beauty treatments, with diaspora remittances and visits home keeping the clinics busy. We hear more from BBC Arabic's Carine Torbey. Gold smuggling in Nepal The recent seizure of 60 kilograms of gold at Kathmandu airport has shone light on the scale of smuggling in Nepal’s tightly controlled gold market. It’s a story that hints at corruption and shady dealings in high places. BBC Nepali’s Sanjaya Dhakal has been covering the story. (Photo: Army soldier descends from a helicopter during a rescue mission to recover students stuck in a chairlift in a remote village in Pakistan. Credit: AFP via Getty Images)


Families facing starvation in Tigray

Officials in Ethiopia's Tigray region have reported that more than 1,400 have died of starvation since international food aid was suspended a few months ago. Deliveries were halted after reports of widespread theft and corruption, but the impact has been catastrophic for many people living there. BBC Tigrinya’s Girmay Gebru tells us what he's seen in displaced people's camps in the region, where people are forced to beg to survive. ‘With my own eyes’: witnessing historic moments in Azerbaijan A new BBC Azerbaijani series hears from people who witnessed key moments in the country's history. Presenter Vusal Hamzayev tells us about one guest, Alexey Manvelyan, who's BBC Azerbaijani's correspondent in the Armenian capital Yerevan. Alexey recalls the era when Azerbaijan and Armenia were part of the Soviet Union. He, like many Armenians, lived in Azerbaijan, and many Azerbaijanis lived in Armenia. Then war broke out over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh. Africa’s first English slave fort An archaeological dig in Ghana has discovered what is thought to be the first English slave fort in Africa. Parts of the foundations of Fort Kormantine, as well as 17th century artefacts, were discovered beneath the existing Fort Amsterdam, ending decades of speculation. BBC Africa’s Favour Nunoo visited the site and met those making the discoveries. Ecuador votes against oil extraction in the Amazon The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world and home to the country’s last remaining uncontacted tribes. But the discovery of oil there 20 years ago divided Ecuadorians, with some wanting the park to remain untouched, and others arguing that this oil was vital for economic development. Now a referendum has decided to ban oil extraction. BBC Mundo’s Ana Maria Roura explains why this area and this decision are so unique. Jakarta tops the list of polluted cities Earlier this month, Jakarta was ranked the world's most polluted city. The government has instructed civil servants to work from home, blaming vehicle emissions and global warming, but some experts claim that the power plants which surround the city are to blame. BBC Indonesian's Trisha Husada has been following one of the, literally, hottest topics in the country. (Photo: Tigrayan woman and her children in an IDP camp in Shire. Credit: BBC)


Peshawar's school for Afghans

Since August 2021 when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an estimated 600,000 Afghans have crossed the border into Pakistan. Pakistan has hosted millions of refugees over the years, but has recently cracked down on undocumented Afghans, who now struggle to find jobs and housing, and to educate their children. BBC Urdu's Nazish Faiz met a teacher who’s set up a free school in Peshawar for Afghan children. K-pop bands with no Koreans Black Swan is the first K-pop girl group with no Korean members. They're from Belgium, the US, Germany and India. Yuna Ku from BBC Korean recently met the group to find out how this came about, and what makes a band K-pop if there are no Koreans. Iran’s Ashuradeh Island: a wildlife sanctuary under threat Ashuradeh Island in the Caspian Sea is a wildlife sanctuary now threatened by plans for tourism development. BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan tells us about the island, and also the bigger picture of the many threats facing habitats and wildlife in Iran. Caucasus women escaping for a better life Women in Russia's North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan report being denied education, forced into marriage and subjected to FGM in the conservative village communties. Zlata Onufrieva of BBC Russian tells the stories of some who've fled their family homes for a freer life. Elections and the oligarchy in Guatemala Sunday sees the second round of voting in Guatemala's presidential election, following the surprise success of centre left candidate Bernardo Arévalo, who's challenging former first lady Sandra Torres. The election has thrown the spotlight on Guatemala's business elites, who have held enormous power since colonial times. BBC Mundo's Gerardo Lissardy explains their influence.


Reporting the global heatwave

July 2023 was world’s hottest month on record, with extreme temperatures and weather patterns making global headlines. We asked colleagues from the language services how they had been covering the story. BBC Arabic's North Africa correspondent Bassam Bounenni reported on the heatwave in Tunisia, and the wildfires that spilled over from Algeria. BBC Korean's Damin Jung shares the stories of South Korea's extreme heat and torrential rains, which led to several deaths and severely disrupted the international Scout Jamboree. And Haider Ahmed reported from Iraq for BBC Arabic about the life of a Baghdad baker, working with temperatures hitting 50C outside and 60C inside. Miami Vice and jai alai Jai alai is the world’s fastest ball game. It originated in the Basque region of Spain, and became synonymous with the ‘Miami vice’ era of drug violence and excess of 1970s and 80s, with packed stadiums hosting millionaires, celebrities, and mobsters. BBC Mundo's Atahualpa Amerise charts the changing fortunes of the game. Sexism and misogyny in Pakistan Sexist attitudes in Pakistan have been in the spotlight after a senior minister called female leaders of the opposition PTI party “trash and leftovers”. For BBC Urdu, Saher Baloch has been reporting on the fierce backlash that followed. Kyiv statue makeover Kyiv’s towering Soviet-era Motherland Monument shows a woman raising a sword in her right hand and a shield in her left. The hammer and sickle emblem that used to be on the shield is being replaced with a tryzub, the three-pronged emblem of Ukraine. BBC Ukrainian’s Irena Taranyuk explains the significance of the tryzub and why this change matters.


Beirut port explosion: 3 years on

Beirut's devastating port explosion killed more than 200, and injured thousands, but three years on, while neighbourhoods have largely returned to normal the families of victims are still waiting for answers. BBC Arabic's Carine Torbey spoke to three people directly affected by the explosion about their experiences and perspectives. Why being a 'pure vegetarian' got Sudha Murty into trouble Sudha Murty is married to one of the richest men in India and mother-in-law to the British Prime Minister. But she recently sparked debates with comments about vegetarianism on a popular TV food programme, with her claim to being a ‘pure vegetarian’ offending many. From BBC Delhi, Geeta Pandey joins us to explore why vegetarianism can be such a controversial topic in India. Ibrat Safo: finding my Ukrainian nanny When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, BBC journalist Ibrat Safo's first thought was for Natasha, the Ukrainian nanny who had cared for him as a baby in Uzbekistan. He decided to try and find her, and after more than a year, finally tracked her down. Iran's hijab problem Efforts to enforce hijab rules in Iran have stepped up recently, with businesses being shut down, and women convicted of breaking the rules given bizarre sentences by courts, like being compelled to receive psychotherapy, or washing corpses. BBC Monitoring Iranian journalist Sonia has been following the story. Myanmar's new banknote The military regime in Myanmar has just issued a new banknote worth 20,000 kyat, just less than $10. It bears the image of a white elephant, and its issue coincided with the unveiling of an enormous statue of Buddha in the capital Naypyidaw. BBC Burmese editor Soe Win Than explains the significance of the imagery and the timing. (Photo: Lebanese army member by damaged grain silo, Beirut port blast site (August 7, 2020). Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo)


India shamed: Manipur women speak up

It’s been two months since violence in Manipur broke out between the majority Meitei and minority Kuki communities. When a video emerged showing two women being sexually assaulted, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it ‘shamed’ India. BBC Delhi's Divya Arya has covered women’s affairs for many years, and explains how in Manipur, as in many other inter-community conflicts, women’s bodies have become the battlefield. Liang Shi - China's "No.1 Gaokao holdout" China’s Gaokao university entrance exam is notoriously tough, but one man claims to have sat it, and failed, 27 times. Fan Wang of BBC Chinese shares Mr Liang’s story. Nepalis joining the Russian army A growing number of young Nepalese men have enlisted with the Russian army, tempted by offers of good pay and a fast track to citizenship. BBC Nepali’s Swechhya Raut spoke to some of those who have signed up about their experiences. Power cuts and water shortages in South Africa South Africa has been experiencing regular electricity blackouts which in turn have affected water supplies, with some South Africans drilling boreholes on their properties. Pumza Fihlani from BBC Johannesburg explains the long history behind the crisis. Syrian refugees in Turkey Turkey is home to more than 3.3 million Syrians who fled because of war and insecurity. But there's growing pressure on them to go back, with many in the Turkish press and social media arguing that Syria is now safe. Nihan Kalle of BBC Monitoring reports on a popular Turkish travel vlogger whose videos from Syria reinforce this narrative. (Photo: Women protest against sexual violence in India's north-eastern state of Manipur following inter-communal violence and sexual assault. Credit: AFP via Getty Images)


Stories from Sudan Lifeline radio

It's three months since the beginning of the conflict in Sudan between the army and the Rapid Support Forces militia, and since the launch of BBC Arabic's Sudan Lifeline radio service. We hear from Mays Baki in London and Zeinab Dabaa in Cairo about the scope of their work and stories they have been covering, from the barber offering free haircuts in Khartoum to the tragic killing of the governor of West Darfur. Eritrea’s cycling star Biniam Girmay Biniam Girmay is attracting world attention as the only black African cyclist competing in this year’s Tour de France. He’s seen as one of the finest talents in the sport, and is a hero at home and across Africa. Fellow Eritrean Habtom Weldeyowhannes from BBC Tigrinya has been following his rise to fame. The Taliban closes beauty salons in Afghanistan Following the Taliban decision to close all hair and beauty salons in Afghanistan, Shekiba Habib of BBC Pashto and Aaliya Farzan of BBC Dari discuss this latest restriction in the lives of women, and share memories of Afghan beauty. (Photo: Sudanese man listening to radio. Credit: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP/Getty Images)


Prigozhin and the President

BBC Russian editor Famil Ismailov shares his insights into what's been going on between Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and President Vladimir Putin. How vulnerable is Prigozhin after his failed mutiny, and how has his relationship with the president changed? Inter Miami and Messi Why would footballing superstar Lionel Messi, who earlier this year captained Argentina to World Cup victory, sign with a team currently at the bottom of America's Major League Soccer? BBC Mundo's Atahualpa Amerise sheds light on the appeal of his new club Inter Miami for Spanish-speaking followers of the beautiful game. India and the Koh-i-Noor diamond For decades, campaigners in India have called for the repatriation of thousands of precious artefacts taken out of the country by the British, chief among them the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which forms part of the Crown Jewels. Zubair Ahmed from BBC Delhi explains why this is such a hot topic in India at the moment. Tunisia's anti-migrant attacks The killing of a Tunisian man during a brawl between Tunisians and migrants in the port city of Sfax on 3 July triggered a surge of racially motivated attacks. Over recent years, Sfax has seen the arrival of large numbers of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa en route to Europe. BBC Arabic's Bassam Bounenni visited the city to report on the aftermath of the violence. The Serbian love of swearing Language experts who’ve studied Serbian say that it stands out for the richness and creativity of its swearing. It was a topic tastefully tackled by BBC Serbian’s Jovana Georgievski. (Photo: Yevgeny Prigozhin and President Vladimir Putin. Credit: Reuters (L) and SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (R)