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From Our Own Correspondent Podcast


Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines. Presented by Kate Adie and Pascale Harter.

Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines. Presented by Kate Adie and Pascale Harter.


United Kingdom


World News




Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines. Presented by Kate Adie and Pascale Harter.




United States: Presidential transitions

In the United States, President Trump still hasn’t conceded that he has lost the election. His campaign is doubling down making claims of voter fraud. But without evidence. Meanwhile, the election winner, Joe Biden, is preparing to become president while being denied access to the briefings he is entitled to as President-elect, as Anthony Zurcher reports from Washington. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been dubbed the Trump of the Tropics. Despite widespread criticism of his handling...


Diwali in India during the pandemic

For Hindus, Sikhs and Jains it's Diwali - the festival of lights. But this year there's the pandemic. What impact is that having in India, asks Rajini Vaidyanathan in Delhi. In Azerbaijan, the decades-long intermittent war with Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh flared up again in September. Earlier this week, Russia brokered a deal to end the conflict. Olga Ivshina has just returned from the Azeri side of the frontline, where reporters' safety was not just threatened by...


US election: Georgia, the new swing state?

In the US, lots of eyes are still on the outcome of the election in Georgia. Joe Biden appears to have to have narrowly won the state, but the margin is so narrow that local law requires a recount. Suzanne Kianpour hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and found herself back there as the votes were being counted. Parts of South East Asia’s largest remaining rainforests, in Indonesia’s Papua province, are being cleared to make way for oil palm plantations. Rebecca Henschke has been investigating...


The Murder of Afghanistan's Dreams

A brutal assault on Kabul University, the biggest and oldest in the country, left at least 35 dead and 50 wounded. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group, but the Afghan government and the Taliban are blaming each other for it, when the two sides are meant to be focusing on peace talks. Lyse Doucet speaks to one University lecturer about the students he lost. There was an attack in Austria too, in Vienna, which killed four people and injured more than 20 others, in a neighbourhood...


Investigating Nigeria's protest shootings

Nigeria's EndSARS demonstrations have ground to a halt following the fatal shooting of at least 12 people, although that number is disputed. Investigations into the incident are underway and a panel has been hearing evidence in Lagos. But as Mayeni Jones has found out, the search for the truth in Nigeria, involves a great deal of theatre. In China, ethnic Mongolians appear to have become the latest target for an ever-more repressive Communist Party under Xi Jinping. The central government –...


An unprecedented US election

Record numbers of Americans have already voted early in the US elections. The country has become more polarised under President Trump, but it remains to be seen whether the high early turnout is due to heightened political feelings, or concerns about catching the virus on polling day. Nick Bryant reflects on the political state of the nation, and on an election campaign that turned out very differently from how it looked before the pandemic struck. Thousands of young Nigerians have protested...


Voting Early in the US Elections

Five days before the American election, record numbers have cast their ballots already, making use of the expansion in early voting due to the pandemic. Naturalised US citizens make up one in ten eligible voters this year. Among them Laura Trevelyan, who voted in the presidential race as a US citizen for the first time, joining the queues in New York City. For Lebanon, 2020 has been a veritable annus horribilis: the pandemic, an unprecedented economic crisis, and the huge blast that...


Tensions in rural South Africa

In South Africa, racial tensions have been heightened in some rural areas, particularly after the murder of Brendin Horner, a young white farm manager. Cases like his have led to claims of ethnic cleansing. But as President Ramaphosa pointed out, the killings are cases of criminality, not genocide. Andrew Harding went to the small town of Senekal to investigate what's underlying these racial tensions. In Paraguay in South America, the river of the same name last week dipped to its lowest...


The King and Thais

Thailand has been rocked by months of student street protests that have intensified in recent days. They're unprecedented in that they don't just criticise the government, but also the monarchy - a taboo in Thailand. Jonathan Head in Bangkok reports on what may be a critical turning point in a political upheaval. This week it’s exactly a year since the Spanish government exhumed the remains of dictator General Francisco Franco from his mausoleum. But the question of how to handle the...


Looking at America

Journalists in Africa like to play a game where they take language often used in Western reports on African stories ("armed militias", "strongmen", "rigged elections") and apply it to the US. This has become more tempting, and yielding more ironies, recently. There is a further similarity in South Africa: could ex-president Jacob Zuma be a "proto-Trump"? Andrew Harding teases out the parallels. China, too, is watching the US elections closely. And opinions are quite divided. Not, however,...


Stuck on Lesbos

Last month a fire burned down the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which had been hugely overcrowded. The cause was arson, but what was the real reason, and who stoked the fire once it was lit? Gabriel Gatehouse has been investigating the blaze, and Europe's dysfunctional migration policy. In Kenya, schools have reopened this week for the first time since March, at least for some year groups. The seven-month closure was to help stop the spread of Covid-19. But how have...


US: the Covid Campaign

For President Trump to have had Covid-19 so close to the election presents political dilemmas. Play it down, and you offend the relatives of the dead. Play it up, you highlight the seriousness of the disease that killed so many on your watch. And then there are the pitfalls for the Democrats. Anthony Zurcher navigates the minefield in Washington. A state of emergency has been declared in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan, and troops have been ordered onto the streets of the capital...


War in Nagorno-Karabakh - or Artsakh

Fighting has continued in Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory inhabited and run by ethnic Armenians, but officially still part of Azerbaijan. The armed clashes have included Azerbaijani shelling of residential areas in the main town Stepanakert, from where Jonah Fisher reports that residents have had to take shelter or flee to neighbouring Armenia. US President Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19 and was taken to a top military hospital on Friday. It was a fast-moving and seismic day not...


Mozambique: the birth of a new conflict

In Mozambique, the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado may have become the latest outpost of the so-called Islamic State insurgency, with reports of massacres and beheadings. The area is rich in precious gemstones and has huge natural gas reserves, but the local people are poor and increasingly have to flee. Andrew Harding reports on a region where everything is at stake. War has erupted again in Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory disputed by Armenia and Azerbaijan. Most of the residents are...


Leaving Lebanon

Lebanon has suffered not just a catastrophic blast that cost around two hundred lives, but also a devastating economic crisis. The value of the currency has plunged and the pandemic lockdown forced nearly a third of businesses to close, leaving thousands jobless. Is Lebanon now a sinking ship? People are leaving in droves, as Leila Molana-Allen reports from Beirut. Chile's central region has been so dry over the past ten years, that scientists speak of a “mega-drought”. But how do you farm...


Have the Taliban changed?

The first formal face-to-face Afghanistan peace talks are underway in Doha, the capital of the Gulf State of Qatar. These historic negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and a delegation of the Afghan government are focused on finding a negotiated end to a destructive war that’s now lasted more than four decades. How much have the Taliban changed since their harsh rule of the 1990’s, asks Lyse Doucet. In Yemen, the United Nations have this week announced that the critical aid they supply...


Will Greece and Turkey go to war?

Greece and Turkey have agreed to hold talks to help defuse their stand-off over disputed gas reserves near their shores. Ankara had deployed a research vessel accompanied by warships near a Greek island, and military exercises on both sides followed, giving rise to fears of war between the two long-term rivals, as Heidi Fuller Love reports from Crete. Pakistan was shocked by the gang-rape of a woman on a motorway leading out of the city of Lahore late at night. Sexual violence towards women...


Making peace with Israel

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements to normalise relations with Israel, this week, motivated by a desire to build a united front against Iran. Palestinians have condemned the move as a betrayal. Yolande Knell reports on out how the deal has gone down with young Emiratis and Israelis. Wildfires continue to rage across the West Coast region of the United States. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as over four and a half million acres of land...


Can India cope with Covid-19?

India now has the second highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, having overtaken Brazil. This is placing huge demands on hospitals and ambulances. The medical services, particularly in smaller cities and rural areas, can find it hard to cope, sometimes leading to what relatives think were preventable deaths, as Yogita Limaye reports. Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is retiring. His politically conservative party will elect his successor on Monday. Mr...


“You must come with us!”

This week’s dispatches, introduced by Kate Adie, are: Steve Rosenberg in Belarus reflects on the history he shares with President Lukashenko, recently re-elected in a poll widely regarded as fradulent. It’s based on their separate links with a small town in the countryside. Yet even these didn’t prevent him from being detained by the regime’s police force. Phil Mercer in Sydney considers the strains being placed on Australia’s cohesion as many of its principal states and territories close...