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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.




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...


The Kremlin and its opponents

This week, as the leading opposition figure in Russia, Alexei Navalny, lies comatose in Berlin’s Charité hospital, Sarah Rainsford in Moscow considers the Kremlin’s peculiar hate and fear of its critics and the methods it is widely thought to have employed in dealing with them. Gabriel Gatehouse in Beirut observes the sharp generational divide that characterises post-civil war Lebanon – and wonders what it might portend for the country's future. North America Correspondent, Jane O’Brien,...


From Our Home Correspondent 25/08/2020

Mishal Husain presents a range of perspectives on Britain today. Edinburgh is usually thronged with crowds and alive with performers from around the world at Festival time. But the Scottish capital is in decidedly unfamiliar guise this August. Long-time resident, James Naughtie, experiences a city that is not itself. Sparked by the shift in living patterns during lockdown, councils in England have implemented low traffic neigbourhoods aimed at cutting the number of vehicles on busy streets....


The Democrats unconventional convention

Former US Vice-president Joe Biden accepted the Democratic party’s nomination for the presidency via video-link from his home in Wilmington, Delaware. The party convention was going to be a big celebratory event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with balloons and standing ovations. But not during the pandemic. Laura Trevelyan reports from this unconventional convention. South Africa banned alcohol to help keep hospital beds free for Covid-19 patients. So many have a drinking problem in the country...


Japan's Second World War Legacy

It's the 75th anniversary of VJ Day today, Victory over Japan, when Japan surrendered to the US, Britain and China. That ended the Second World War. Japan was given a new, pacifist constitution by the Americans, and seems to have left its former, more aggressive and militaristic, path behind. But, as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes has been finding in Tokyo, there's more that connects the current political leadership to wartime Japan than one might think. Colombia's decades-long civil war came to an...


The death knell for Beirut?

In Lebanon, shock is turning to anger at the authorities and political class at large, after the catastrophic blast in the capital Beirut. It was caused by explosive chemicals stored improperly at the city’s port, and caused much loss of life, thousands of injuries, and damaged large swathes of the city. Lizzie Porter asks what impact this will have on the residents. In South Africa coronavirus infections have surpassed half a million cases. That makes it the fifth worst affected country in...


From Our Home Correspondent 04/08/2020

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom reflecting contemporary life. When lockdown dramatically curtailed orders, those businesses providing perishable products suffered particularly badly. Artisan cheese-makers had been growing in rural Wales creating much needed jobs there in recent years. But what does the future hold? BBC Radio Cymru's Garry Owen visited one cheese-maker in Carmarthenshire...