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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

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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 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
    Poland's political divide

    Poland's political divide

    In Poland, the socially conservative President Andrzej Duda was very narrowly re-elected, defeating the more progressive mayor of Warsaw, Rafal Trzaskowski. Mr Duda is a close ally of the nationalist and Catholic Law and Justice government. Mr Trzaskowski favours a more proactive role in the EU and supports minorities’ rights. Adam Easton speaks with young activists.

    Los Angeles has become a coronavirus hotspot, LA County has more cases than any other county in the US. Hospitals are running short of beds and a second lockdown may be imposed. Hollywood films aren't being screened, and the homeless have nowhere to sleep or wash. David Willis reports on the dark side of the City of Angels.

    Ghana declared 2019 the Year of Return, appealing to African Americans to visit the homeland their ancestors had been taken from, 400 years after the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia. Following the George Floyd killing in the US, the appeal was renewed. Thomas Naadi meets some of the 5000 African Americans who now live in Ghana.

    Italy's city of Rimini on the Adriatic coast is celebrating its local son, famous film director Federico Fellini, who would have been 100 years old this year. The coronavirus has been affecting some of the plans, but not all is lost. Juliet Rix visits Fellini's favourite hotel in Rimini, and has lunch with his niece.
    Cuba has dealt with the pandemic better than most in Latin America, with monthly death rates now in single digits. During the worst of the outbreak , our correspondent there, Will Grant, was in the UK and has only now managed to make it back to his patch – where he found a nation well on top of Covid-19 but facing serious economic challenges.

    Presenter: Kate Adie
    Producers: Arlene Gregorius and Serena Tarling

    • 28 min
    Lockdown again in Melbourne

    Lockdown again in Melbourne

    Australia had widely been seen as having successfully contained the coronavirus – an example to countries like the UK and the US where numbers of cases and deaths have been so much worse. In Australia they locked down early, closed the country’s borders and have had fewer than ten thousand cases. But this week has seen a resurgence in Melbourne and the city’s five million residents are now barred from leaving home for six weeks, except for essential reasons. The whole of the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, has been closed, making it particularly hard for communities straddling the state's boundaries, from where Shaimaa Khalil reports.

    In France this week, where they’re still reeling from the economic and human cost of the coronavirus epidemic, the country has been getting to know its new government. There’s a new prime minister, Jean Castex, and a new direction promised by the President – all part of Mr Macron’s plan to reboot his mandate after the crises of recent years. But what are the challenges facing this government in a post-lockdown France? Lucy Williamson reports from Paris.

    Passenger ferries are essential to life along the Norwegian Coast – acting as a link between island and coastal communities and the wider world. But recent times have seen these ferries in troubled waters. Locals are angry about fare increases. The ferry companies say it’s so they can invest in environmentally friendly electric and hydrogen-powered boats. But some people in Norway’s island archipelago are feeling trapped by the cost of leaving home, as Oliver Smith reports.

    A holiday in the resort of Magaluf on the island of Mallorca won’t ever be quite the same again – and not just because of coronavirus. This year has seen a new law in some Balearic resorts aimed at clamping down on alcohol-fuelled tourism. Out goes the promotion of boozy boat parties and pub crawls and in comes a more sedate, family friendly experience - the authorities hope. Lottie Gross has been to find out how it’s looking in Mallorca’s party resort.

    When our correspondent in Moscow, Steve Rosenberg, was granted an interview with Russia’s spy chief – Sergei Naryshkin – he couldn’t help feeling rather excited as this was both rare and unexpected. The visit to the fortified headquarters of the Foreign Intelligence Service contained all the ingredients of a classic spy novel . And after the spy chief blamed America for trying to rule the world the interview ended with a party – complete with toasts and Russian jokes.

    Presenter: Kate Adie

    Producers: Caroline Bayley and Serena Tarling

    • 28 min

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