Interviews, news and analysis of the day’s global events.

Interviews, news and analysis of the day’s global events.


London, United Kingdom




Interviews, news and analysis of the day’s global events.




Covid-19: Omicron cases surge in South Africa

The new variant drives a sharp increase in infections at an unprecedented rate - so will it become dominant worldwide? Also in the programme: Who appears to be gaining the upper-hand in the war in Ethiopia? And Stephen Spielberg decides to make another film adaptation of the US musical West Side Story. (Photo: A woman wears a protective face mask as the new Covid-19 variant Omicron spreads in South Africa. Credit: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)


Covid: South Africa battles Omicron variant

South African health officials say coronavirus cases are surging at an unprecedented rate, as the Omicron variant takes hold. The World Health Organisation says all nations must prepare for a surge in infections. Also on the programme: Environmental campaigners welcome a decision by the energy giant Shell to pull out of a new oil project in the North Sea; why China's version of Uber is switching its listing from New York to Hong Kong; and little-known story of the 18th century slave...


Covid: Germany announces restrictions for unvaccinated

Germany's national and regional leaders have agreed to bar unvaccinated people from much of public life in a bid to fend off a fourth wave of Covid-19. Only those who have been vaccinated or who've recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops. Also on the programme: the South African intensive care doctor seeing the effects of the Omicron wave; and how 'atmospheric rivers' are behind the extreme weather in British Columbia, Canada....


Omicron drives major surge in South Africa Covid cases

South African health officials say the emergence of the Covid variant, Omicron, appears to be leading to an increase in the number of people contracting the disease for a second time. We speak to a director of an ICU unit in Soweto to know what the situation is like on the ground and a to an Africa’s CDC advisor to have a continent perspective. Also in the programme: the ramping deterioration of Venezuela’s health system; and the United Nations is today calling for a record $41 billion to...


US Supreme Court hears landmark abortion case

The US Supreme Court is hearing arguments in the most important abortion case in decades. The case is about a Mississippi state law that bars abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Lawyers defending the Mississippi law have explicitly asked the court to overturn two landmark decisions regarding abortion, including Roe v Wade. The ruling is expected in June and may see millions of women lose abortion access. Also in the programme: We find out why the European Union is investing more than 300...


Supreme Court to hear latest challenge to US abortion laws

Mississippi state wants to ban all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The final ruling is due in June next year. Also on the programme the EU sets out plans to invest than three hundred billion dollars on infrastructure, digital and climate projects around the world by 2027. But is this just too late to compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative? And we return to the northern city of Marib in Yemen and hear about the terrible conditions in that city's hospitals. (Picture: Pro Choice...


In Yemen, Houthi rebels close in on key city

Rebel Houthis, a group based in the north, and allied to Iran, have seized large amounts of strategically important territory -- and are advancing on the oil rich city of Marib, where 800,000 people are displaced. We hear from our correspondent as well as a former Yemeni deputy foreign minister. Also on the programme, as incoming German chancellor Olaf Scholz announces he wants to hold a vote to determine whether to make the vaccine compulsory, we discuss the new Omicron variant with the...


Yemen: Houthi rebels come closer to encircling the city of Marib

Marib is at the centre of Yemen’s oilfields, and is the government’s last stronghold in the north. We have an exclusive report from there. Also on the programme Poland's Prime Minister urges NATO to unify against Russia. Will that organisation, currently meeting in Latvia, do that? And a new report from Australia states that more than a quarter of those working in federal parliamentary offices have been sexually harassed by MPs. (Picture: Portraits of slain Houthi fighters which are to be...


President Biden calls for vaccination of the developing world

US President Joe Biden has called the Omicron Covid variant a "cause for concern, not a cause for panic". He called on American to get their jabs and urged rich countries to help people in the developing world get vaccines. We ask if we are likely to see more variants of concern unless poorer countries get their jabs. Also in the programme: The trial against Jeffrey Epstein’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell starts in the US; and opposition candidate Xiomara Castro takes the lead in Hondura’s...


New cases of the Covid variant Omicron found in different parts of the world

Meetings at the World Health Organisation and the G7 countries are taking place to discuss ways of combating the latest Covid variant. Also on the programme; the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a close associate of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, begins today in New York. And we have the strange tale of a painting by the late British artist Lucien Freud, which art experts have described as a genuine work by Freud, but which the artist himself denied ever painting. (Picture: A lab worker...


Netherlands finds at least 13 Omicron cases

At least thirteen cases of the new variant of the Covid virus have now been confirmed in the Netherlands. They were all on flights coming from South Africa where the variant was first detected. The Dutch government has announced a partial lockdown. We speak with our reporter in the Netherlands and the New York Times correspondent who was on the flight that had the variant. Also on the programme, amid the Ethiopian civil war several Sudanese soldiers have been killed along their common...


Covid: Will current vaccines be effective against Omicron variant?

As global concern mounts over the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, the biotech firm Moderna says it's racing to develop a new vaccine -- and should know soon whether its current jab is still effective. We have an interview with the medical director of the US pharmaceutical company Moderna, Dr Paul Burton. European ministers are meeting in France today to discuss how to deter migrants from risking their lives by trying to reach Britain in small boats. Also, the film director Ridley...


New Covid variant cases detected in Europe

A growing list of countries have imposed travel restrictions on South Africa, after the detection of a new Covid variant called Omicron. Multiple cases of the variant have been detected around the world in nations such as Belgium, Germany, Israel, Botswana, Hong Kong and Britain. Also in the programme: a look ahead to elections in Honduras; and protests in Burkina Faso. (Photo: A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed South Africa flag. CREDIT: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)


Covid: New race to contain Omicron variant

Countries around the world are racing to introduce travel bans and restrictions on southern African countries in an effort to contain a new variant of Covid-19, called Omicron. The moves come after the variant was officially named by health officials. But there is a huge economic cost – we will speak to the South African tourism minister The legendary US composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim has died aged 91. Can the Iran nuclear deal be revived? Talks begin again next week – we will hear...


Covid-19 variant classed 'of concern' by WHO

Long: The variant was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on Wednesday. It has also been identified in Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel. We hear from the scientist who headed the lab which first sequenced the Omicron variant. Also in the programme: ahead of talks next week on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, we'll hear from the US special envoy to Iran on what America expects; and Ukraine's President claims people in Russia are plotting a coup against him. (Photo: Getty...


New COVID-19 variant reaches Europe

The spread of a new variant of COVID-19 in South Africa begins to alarm health officials. Several governments, including the UK, Spain and Israel, announced travel restrictions from southern Africa as a precaution. We hear from Dr. Shabir Madhi, a professor of Vaccinology at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, as well as Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy on COVID-19 for the World Health Organisation. The WHO is meeting today in Geneva to assess the new variant. Also in the...


UN says Channel deaths were avoidable

The UN says the deaths of 27 people - who drowned trying to cross the English channel- could have been avoided if more legal routes were provided. The French and British governments vow to break the traffickers. But who are these crime gangs? Also in the programme: The moment an amateur archaeologist realised he was digging up a major Roman mosaic in his father's field in England; and are political divisions getting in the way of Thanksgiving? (Photo: People take part in a protest outside...


Channel disaster: France calls for co-operation

President Macron of France calls for greater European co-operation to tackle human traffickers, after 27 people died trying to cross the English channel in an inflatable boat; we hear from his party. Also in the programme: Australia sends police and soldiers to the Solomon Islands after two days of rioting; and we hear from eastern Ukraine as tensions rise on the border with Russia. (Photo: Remains of damaged inflatable boat and personal belongings left by people attempting to cross the...


24/11/2021 21:06 GMT

Interviews, news and analysis of the day’s global events.


Haqqani network blames US for violence in Afghanistan

A senior member of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Anas Haqqani, has called on all sides in the two-decade conflict to forgive each other, but insisted that the United States was the main cause of the hostilities. In a BBC interview, Anas Haqqani said that all the participants were sorry there had been casualties. Also in the programme: Is Colombia's peace process faltering? We will hear from the man who negotiated the peace deal for the government five years ago; and rescuing the Afghanistan...