300 episodes

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.

From Our Own Correspondent Podcast BBC

    • News
    • 4.3, 741 Ratings

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.

    Japan's Second World War Legacy

    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 end in 2016, it had pitted leftist guerrilla groups like the FARC against government forces and right-wing paramilitaries. Now the Supreme Court has ordered the house arrest of ex-president Alvaro Uribe, amid an investigation into allegations of bribing witnesses to deny his alleged involvement with these militias, charges he denies. Uribe remains divisive, and as Mat Charles reports, his arrest has split public opinion along the same fault lines that stoked the violence previously.
    Tourism accounts for around a quarter of all jobs in Greece, and was a lifeline during the austerity years of the Greek Debt crisis. But this year the pandemic has kept a lot of visitors away, even though lockdown restrictions started to be lifted early. That has hit seasonal workers particularly hard. On the island of Crete, Heidi Fuller-Love went to meet a family, for whom Covid-19 has been the last straw.
    On the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca, the German tourists are back. For them, a sunny holiday on Mallorca is an annual ritual not to be missed, be they celebrities on their private estates, or revellers in Palma, on the capital’s party mile. What is it about the Germans and their favourite Mediterranean island, asks John Kampfner.
    Presenter: Kate Adie
    Producer: Arlene Gregorius

    • 26 min
    The death knell for Beirut?

    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 the world. The nation had been doing well initially - measures to contain the virus were working. But, then, other problems reared their ugly heads, says Andrew Harding in Johannesburg.
    Around 20,000 people took to the streets of Berlin last weekend to protest against the anti-coronavirus restrictions, even though few of them remain in force. Most of the demonstrators had been bussed in from elsewhere, and as it turns out, their real agenda had relatively little to do with measures to combat the pandemic, as Damien McGuinness reports.

    In Iran, Covid-19 carries great social stigma, as Jiyar Gol has learned. Some people claim their relatives died of other illnesses, and others fear that no one will marry their daughters if anyone finds out they ever had Covid-19. The state, too, is less than fully transparent. The real number of cases could be three times that of government reports.

    According to a recent, yet ineffective campaign, France is the European champion for the abandoning of pets. Never more so than at this time of year, when so many people drive to their holiday destinations that the motorways are congested. Why won't they take their cats or dogs along, asks Chris Bockman in the southwest of the country.

    Presenter: Kate Adie
    Producer: Arlene Gregorius

    • 28 min
    From Our Home Correspondent 04/08/2020

    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 to find out.

    As well as foodstuffs, farmers responsible for other products - such as wool - have been affected by the consequences of Covid-19. In places like the Scottish borders, where sheep are currently being shorn, fleeces are worth nothing - even less than that after allowing for their transport. John Forsyth has been to the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish borders and spoke to producers and wool graders.

    What is it like to like with the after-effects of brain surgery? Each year at this time, the children's writer, Caroline Golding, reflects on the removal over twenty years ago of a tumour she had and how her thinking about the experience and what it meant has evolved.

    Finally being able to bury his brother whose funeral took place just before lockdown has prompted Martin Vennard to consider how the place where they both lived still tells the story of the times they shared.

    And Tim Hartley, profoundly missing his regular visit to the Cardiff City Stadium to watch his favourite team play in the EFL Championship, understandably jumped at the chance to see them recently in a vital match. But the experience for this football veteran turned out to be a salutary one.

    Producer: Simon Coates

    • 27 min
    Taking on the ruler of Belarus

    Taking on the ruler of Belarus

    Svetlana Tikhanovskaya had nothing to do with politics until recently, and has now become the main opposition candidate for the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August. She became a candidate when her husband, a leading opposition leader, was suddenly jailed. Jean Mackenzie was able to meet her, and the other women taking on President Lukashenko who has ruled for 26 years.
    In Australia, relations with its main trading partner China are the worst they've been for decades, over issues ranging from the coronavirus to tariffs on beef and barley. And Australians of Chinese descent are increasingly becoming the victims of racist abuse. Frances Mao, Chinese-Australian herself, reports from Sydney.
    Florida has reported a record high daily death toll from Covid-19, and governor Ron DeSantis has been under pressure to toughen up restrictions. There is no state-wide requirement to wear masks, but individual cities like Miami have imposed them. Attitudes to the virus remain quite divided, as Tamara Gil has been discovering in Miami.
    Laos was neutral in the Vietnam war, but was heavily bombed by the Americans anyway, as their North Vietnamese enemies ran supply routes to American-backed South Vietnam via the country. Unexploded ordinance from that time are blighting lives in Laos decades later, as Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent found out.
    If a common language divides Britain and America, as they say, then how much more does a separate language divide Britain and France? The single word postilion or postillon in French sheds quite a lot of light on what makes these countries so different, says Hugh Schofield in Paris, who is fluent in both languages.

    Presenter: Kate Adie
    Producer: Arlene Gregorius

    • 28 min
    Unrest in Russia's eastern outpost

    Unrest in Russia's eastern outpost

    Tens of thousands of people in Russia's Far-Eastern city of Khabarovsk have been demonstrating against the removal of the popular local governor Sergei Furgal. He was arrested on old murder charges dating back 15 years, and taken to Moscow. He had beaten the Kremlin-appointed candidate in the elections. Steve Rosenberg reports on the mood in a city closer to Tokyo than Moscow.
    A five-year old black boy has died in Brazil, while briefly under the care of a white woman. This has renewed questions about racism in Brazil, which likes to think of itself as being free of racial discrimination. But it was the last country in the Americas to abolish slavery, and the police kill thousands of young black men a year. Katy Watson reports.
    Laszlo Bogdan was mayor of Cserdi in Hungary, which became known for the "Cserdi miracle" as he was reported to reduce the local crime rate to zero, and young women now go on to university rather than become teenage mothers. Bogdan was a Roma, or Gypsy, as are many villagers. But last week he died - in an apparent suicide. Nick Thorpe had met him many times.
    Cuba's most popular sport is baseball, unlike in other Latin American countries where football reigns supreme. But that has been changing, and more and more Cubans now play football. Many follow foreign teams, particularly Spain's Barcelona and Real Madrid. And then there are the die-hard fans of the newly-crowned Premier League champion Liverpool. Among them, Will Grant.

    Presenter: Kate Adie
    Producer: Arlene Gregorius

    • 28 min
    Can Bosnia move on from genocide?

    Can Bosnia move on from genocide?

    This week, Bosnia is marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Srebrenica Massacre – Europe’s worst atrocity since the Second World War. Those who ordered the executions were convicted of genocide. Today Bosnia is deeply divided, impoverished, and governed by politicians who stir up the remaining ethnic enmity. Now young Bosnians are leaving in droves, says Guy De Launey.
    Turkmenistan is a secretive and authoritarian state, and has not registered a single case of Covid-19. But independent media organisations, based outside the country, say their sources are reporting numerous cases of people falling ill with Covid-like symptoms. Now experts from the World Health Organisation have visited. What did they find, asks Rayhan Demytrie?
    Tanzania announced that it had defeated the coronavirus last month, but it has not released full data on infections or deaths for many weeks. There was no lockdown, as the president declared that God would protect the country. But the US embassy warned that hospitals were overwhelmed. Where does that leave Tanzanians, like Sammy Awami?
    Singapore pressed ahead with a general election despite the pandemic last week. The People’s Action Party has ruled for decades and won again, but with a reduced majority. The opposition Worker’s party had its best result to date. Could there be change in the air? Sharanjit Leyl visited a woman in a poorer district.
    Germany already made the wearing of face-coverings in shops compulsory in April and has been seen to handle the pandemic well. Germans have adapted to having to wear masks quite creatively, with designs ranging from leopard skin to bridal lace and denim. So what style did Damien McGuinness go for in Berlin?

    Presenter: Kate Adie
    Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Serena Tarling

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
741 Ratings

741 Ratings

PhilWarne ,

Window to the World

An eclectic and wonderful mix of descriptive journalism covering global stories, big and small. A window to the World.

# alone at xmas ,

Israel PM

The PM is akin to terrorist , he is committing genocide and what does the world do nothing
Why ? Just like Syrian leader Things don’t add up , what is wrong global leaders allowing this level of religion intolerance
The dots don’t add up these leaders are no different to Hitler in their actions So I ask myself what is really going on

Bobfarnes ,

Pronunciation

Is it necessary to appoint presenters with speech impediments to comply with statutory requirements concerning rights or discrimination? What are towerwing twees, twaining, farver fwoots, dwove and wif? This report otherwise was interesting and well constructed.

FOOC is generally a first class, well written and professionally presented programme.

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