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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.


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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.




Wuhan – one year on

A year ago Wuhan imposed a lockdown on its citizens, as reports filtered through of the first human-to-human transmission of a new strain of Coronavirus. A delegation from the World Health Organisation has now arrived in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the outbreak. Robin Brant returned to the wet food market in the city where life has returned to normal - almost. Washington was transformed into a fortress this week – both for visitors and residents alike in the lead up to the...


Ireland's shame

This week, the Irish Taoiseach described the findings of an official report into decades of abuse of women and children at mother and baby homes as a “dark, difficult and very shameful chapter of very recent Irish history.” The report acknowledged the harsh treatment was supported and condoned by the Irish State and the country’s churches. Those who survived the homes battled with long running prejudices and emotional scars, finds Chris Paige. Indonesian airlines have one of the worst safety...


President Trump’s Legacy

In Washington, he storming of Capitol Hill this week by President Trump’s supporters has dominated headlines, but many political pundits said that this should not have taken people by surprise. Anthony Zurcher has covered the White House throughout Donald Trump’s term in office – he charts the clear path that led to this moment, from President Trump’s 2016 campaign. On Thursday, Uganda will go to the polls pitting two very different presidential candidates against each other. Yoweri Museveni...


Key moments of 2020 reported by our correspondents

Kate Adie reflects on key moments of 2020 with some of the most thought provoking dispatches by our correspondents. Andrew Harding, who covers Africa and is based in Johannesburg, spends a lot of his time travelling around the continent to witness events at first hand. The Coronavirus pandemic put a stop to much of that but he still had a dramatic story to tell in the autumn. He reflected on the somewhat ironic parallels he was seeing as he compared the situation within Africa with that of...


The true state of the pandemic in Turkey

Turkey has had record numbers of new coronavirus infections recently with around 30,000 positive cases a day. That number has now dropped slightly, and the Health Ministry says restrictions have begun to bear fruit. But how did it get to this, in a country which was initially regarded as doing well in the pandemic? Now the government has been accused of covering up the spread of the virus, and putting lives at risk, as Orla Guerin reports from Istanbul. In Sudan’s western region of Darfur,...


American presidents and the Middle East

When there's change in the Middle East, there is a good chance the United States had something to do with it, as with the recent accords between Israel and four Arab states. And now a new American president is preparing to move into the White House. What could this mean for the region, asks Jeremy Bowen. Thailand has been convulsed by large demonstrations this year, in which young people have been calling for reform and for changes to the once untouchable monarchy, even though criticising...


Stamping out dissent in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong,the authorities are showing that they mean business with the new security law to stamp out demonstrations and dissent. The pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been detained, and young campaigners including protest leader Joshua Wong were sentenced to prison this week. Before that, the pro-democracy opposition resigned en masse, as Danny Vincent reports. Seventeen weeks after the presidential election that is widely thought to have been rigged and that led to Belarus's...


Facing defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, became the frontline of a war again this autumn. This resulted in Azerbaijan regaining some of the territory lost in previous conflicts – and with it, homes and landmarks that are precious to Armenians. Peter Oborne was there just as the current Russian-backed peacekeeping deal was announced. Political dramas in Peru reached new heights this month, when the country saw no fewer than three presidents in power in a single week....


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...