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From Our Own Correspondent


Alan Johnston with insights into world events from BBC correspondents

Alan Johnston with insights into world events from BBC correspondents
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Alan Johnston with insights into world events from BBC correspondents




Trump in Trouble?

President Trump and his supporters remain defiant in the face of the impeachment inquiry against him. But many of Mr Trump's political allies are troubled by another issue: the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, which has allowed Turkey to attack Kurdish targets in Syria. Jon Sopel says Syria may turn into Mr Trump's bigger problem. The Kalash are a mountain people who live in a series of valleys in the Hindu Kush in northern Pakistan. They number only a few thousand today and there...


A Hong Kong Wedding

The wedding banquet put on hold by protests and emergency legislation in Hong Kong. Helier Cheung describes how she had to tell 300 guests the party was off. It's 250 years since Captain Cook first set foot in New Zealand and the first time the Maori encountered Europeans. That anniversary is being marked this month and this week a replica of Cook's ship, the Endeavour, docked in the small city of Gisborne. But the anniversary has not been universally welcomed, as Colin Peacock reports....


The Prosecutor General

Viktor Shokin was forced out as Prosecutor General of Ukraine in 2016. Since then he's been variously portrayed as a hapless bumbler or a fearless investigator of corruption. Jonah Fisher in Kiev has been trying to track him down. In Vanuatu, an archipelago in the Pacific, they've come up with a new way of raising government revenue - selling passports for a princely sum. But Sarah Treanor says very few of those who take up the offer are likely to set foot there. Italy is well known for its...


No Love Lost

Relations between Japan and South Korea have often been delicate. But they may now have reached their lowest ebb since they established diplomatic relations in 1965. Peter Hadfield reports from Tokyo on the background to the dispute and how it's playing out in Japan. The European migrant crisis has receded from its peak of 2015, but large numbers of people are still seeking refuge in Europe, their first stop often being the Greek islands. But the camps are overcrowded and the people living...


Can Afghanistan find peace?

As Afghanistan goes to the polls this weekend, Lyse Doucet reflects on the country's paused peace talks. Frank Gardner finds service with a smile in Saudi Arabia, but wonders if conflict could interrupt the kingdom’s economic reforms. There's a birthday parade in Beijing next week, as the People's Republic of China celebrates its 70th anniversary. In that time China has been transformed beyond recognition, and next week's events are more than just a commemoration says John Sudworth. Could...


Who Will Lead Israel?

After the second indecisive general election in Israel this year, Benjamin Netanyahu has been asked to form a new government - but can he make it work? Some observers said last week's election would mark the end of the Netanyahu era, but Jeremy Bowen warns that premature political obituaries for Mr Netanyahu have proved wrong before. Plus: Hugo Bachega reports on a controversial crackdown on street gangs in the favelas of the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, which has led to the death of a...


From Our Home Correspondent 22/09/2019

In the latest programme of the monthly series, Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. Tom Edwards meets two people counting the cost – literally – of a delayed major infrastructure project and discovers whether they will be able to survive until it is finally finished. Hannah Moore ruminates on her twelfth move before she has even reached her thirtieth birthday and the contrast...


Will Myanmar's Rohingya Return?

Myanmar’s government wants Rohingya refugees to return, but can it guarantee their safety and way of life? Jonathan Head takes a rare trip to Rakhine state to see the government’s resettlement plans. In Assam state in India, another migrant crisis is on the rise, following a drive to identify and deport illegal immigrants. This has left nearly 2 million people without Indian citizenship. Rajini Vaidyanathan meets some of the people now left stateless. Spain’s northern Basque region has been...


Cash, Credit and Control in China

Paper money is going out of fashion in China, but is the rise of mobile payments about convenience or control, asks Celia Hatton? Mark Lowen reflects on the 5 years he has spent reporting from Istanbul and beyond. Juliet Rix travels to the far east of Russia, where she finds a community trying to reconcile tradition with modern-life. 'Gravity biking' involves hurtling down precipitous mountain roads on specially-modified bikes. Simon Maybin meets a group of 'gravitosos' in Colombia and finds...


Mugabe Remembered

Robert Mugabe has died. How do you sum up such a complex and contradictory figure? Andrew Harding recalls his final encounter with Mr Mugabe and reflects on the perils of living too long. In Germany the far-right populist Alternative für Deutschland is celebrating after doing well in two regional elections. Damien McGuinness has been meeting some of their supporters and says that their electoral success has led to a wider debate about why east Germans have not felt the benefits of...


Forlorn, Dilapidated and Dangerous

Gang violence in the townships of Cape Town is now so serious that the South African army has been sent in to try to curb it. But the causes of violence are complex. Will the state really be able to stamp its authority? Lindsay Johns reports. Lizzie Porter finds sunflowers in bloom on the outskirts of Sinjar, the town in northern Iraq, where, five years ago so-called Islamic State kidnapped thousands of Yazidis. But the town itself is still largely empty, the streets deserted, the buildings...


Fighting white supremacy

The United States is experiencing a resurgence of far-right extremism. We meet a man trying to challenge the ideology and convert those who have been radicalised. But Aleem Maqbool says he's ploughing a lonely furrow. In Serbia the government has been investing in traditional crafts - carpentry and pottery - in an attempt to sustain rural communities. Nicola Kelly goes to meet the craftsmen and women - and finds offers of the local tipple difficult to refuse. It's not long ago that...


From Our Home Correspondent 18/08/2019

Mishal Husain introduces pieces reflecting contemporary life across the United Kingdom. Alison Williams would regularly see a young middle-aged woman sitting outside the railway station she used. They returned smiles; Alison wondered about her back story. Then suddenly the woman was gone. What happened next is a parable of our times. Each summer in recent years, Dorset has welcomed children from areas of northern Ukraine and Belarus blighted by the radioactivity released by the explosion at...


Lost Innocence

The protests at Hong Kong's international airport this week and the violence that resulted have been widely reported. Jonathan Head says not only was this the week that the protest movement lost its innocence, but also that the violence has handed the Chinese authorities a propaganda coup. Reporting from Indian-administered Kashmir has been especially challenging since the Indian government stripped it of its special status: no internet and no telephones. But Yogita Limaye finds one friendly...


Russia Burning

Fires are blazing in the far reaches of Siberia - an area the size of Belgium is on fire. Steve Rosenberg goes to have a look, a seventeen hour drive through forests of birch and cedar. But is Russia also burning socially and politically? The Italian island of Lampedusa - halfway between Tunisia and Malta - has long been at the centre of the "migrant crisis"; a welcome haven for the occupants of leaky boats. Dr Pietro Bartolo has been working with migrants for many years but now, as Emma...


A Sorry Century

Television footage from Idlib in northern Syria continues to provide distressing evidence of civilian suffering. But the world's leading nations are unwilling or unable to intercede. Jeremy Bowen recalls his visits to the region in former, peaceful times but sees no end to the current violence. The protesters have been on the streets of Hong Kong for several months, their fury with their government undiminished. But what are they saying in Beijing, the real centre of power? Celia Hatton says...


Aung San and a Disputed Legacy

It’s Martyrs’ Day in Myanmar and the country’s founding father, Aung San, is being honoured. His daughter Aung San Suu Kyi now leads the government, but with her reputation in tatters for her failure to condemn the excesses of the armed forces. Nick Beake reflects on the contradictions. 50 years after the first man walked on the moon, India has been celebrating the successful launch of its own lunar mission. Rajini Vaidyanathan joins a group of schoolchildren basking in the glow of national...


From Our Home Correspondent 21/07/2019

Mishal Husain introduces dispatches from writers and journalists which reflect the range of contemporary life in the United Kingdom. Writer and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, embarks on a high summer stroll along the bridle path that links his home with the post-industrial landscape of South Yorkshire, taking in a flattened colliery, a screaming mandrake, Peter Falk, the X19 bus to Barnsley and a magpie - or is it two? Journalist and part-time canoeist, Bob Walker, embarks on a "Three Men in a...


A World of Brandished Kippers

Jacob Zuma, the former South African president, has been in the spotlight all week – live on television responding to questions at a judicial inquiry investigating corruption at the highest level. Andrew Harding reflects on truth in the age of brandished kippers. The town of Kirkenes in northern Norway is a stone’s throw from the border with Russia. It’s now become the focus for a major spy scandal, as Sarah Rainsford has been finding out. Martin Patience was recently part of a BBC team that...


Freedom of speech in Algeria

Algerians have been celebrating the fact that their football team has made it to the final of the African Cup of Nations. But in Algeria, football is more than a sport. It was in the country’s stadiums that the desire for political change emerged. The nation’s autocratic leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika was ousted earlier this year and since then people have been getting to grips with new levels of freedom of expresssion, as Neil Kisserli has found. In the United States President Trump’s tweets...