World This Week, The [world Service]


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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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What's been happening around the world and why it matters

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Boris Leaves Uk And Eu Politics In Turmoil2016070220160703 (WS)

The front-runner to be prime minister pulled out - just the latest victim of Brexit

Boris Johnson unexpectedly dropped out of the race to be the next Conservative party leader and British prime minister. It is just one of the many political shocks to hit Britain and the EU since British voters decided on Brexit. Our correspondents discuss what has happened to British politics, whether political parties here are still able to represent their voters, and what lies ahead for Britain and the EU.

Britain's Eu Deal2016022020160221 (WS)

Britain's prime minister has secured a deal from his European Union partners after two days of sometimes fractious negotiations. He reckons it's enough to convince the British electorate to vote to stay in when they get a say in a referendum in June. But will it leave a sour taste in the rest of Europe?

Washington announces the first trip by a sitting US president to Cuba since 1928. What does it mean for relations between the two Cold War adversaries? We look at how it is going down with Cubans. And, we look for the underlying tensions behind a row over freedom of speech in India.

(Photo: David Cameron. Credit: Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Britain wrests a deal from the EU to put to British voters

China Abandons Its One Child Policy2015103120151101 (WS)

China hopes to rejuvinate economy by scrapping one child policy, Iran attends Syria talks

China hopes to rejuvinate economy by scrapping one child policy, Iran attends Syria talks, US-China diplomatic spat over islands in South China Sea.

(Photo: Two toddlers in China. Credit: EPA)

China And Us Ratify Paris Climate Accord2016091020160911 (WS)

We're much closer to activating the deal. Is this a new golden age?

Between them, China and the US are responsible for about 40% of the world's climate emissions. So the pair of them ratifying the Paris accord is a huge step towards putting the accord into effect. But did President Obama go too far when he said a few days later that this was the best time ever to be born? Also in this programme/podcast: Saudi Arabia and Iran get into a war of words over the haj; Turkey drives so-called Islamic State away from the Syrian border; and the heat gets turned up in the US presidential race - but why is Mr Putin getting mentioned so much?

Photo: President Xi of China hands over a document ratifying the Paris climate accord, watched by President Obama

Credit: Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping Courts A Willing Britain2015102420151025 (WS)

This week we look at what some would say was Britain's over-eager attitude towards new trade with China. Zhuang Chen of our Chinese service gives us the lowdown on the Chinese point of view.

Zambia holds a national prayer day. Our religious affairs correspondents past and present find that when it comes to using religion in politics, it's Europe that's out of kilter.

And the southern hemisphere rules in the World Cup rugby. But not everyone in South Africa is celebrating the success of the team.

Photo: China's President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister David Cameron

Credit: WPA/Getty Images

Currency Shock Waves In China2015081520150816 (WS)

The impact of China's devaluation, Hillary Clinton under fire, robots' babies.

It spooked the markets but should the world worry about the big fall in the value of the Yuan? Hillary Clinton under fire, the robot 'mothers' having robot 'babies'.

(Photo Credit: Getty)

Dilma Waves Goodbye2016051420160515 (WS)

Dilma Rousseff has had to leave the presidency of Brazil while the Senate puts her on trial on charges of hiding the true state of public finances. But BBC Brazil's editor Silvia Salek says the real problem is that she has presided over economic decline. Also, the lessons of the disappearing Solomon Islands; showbiz and power in North Korea; and that big corruption conference - did it make a difference?

(Photo: President Rousseff waves goodbye after leaving the Planalto palace in Brasilia. Credit: Getty Images)

Brazil is impeaching its president. It marks a huge change.

Donald Trump Changes The Nature And Language Of Us Politics2015121220151213 (WS)

Donald Trump's call for the US to bar entry to Muslims dragged Republicans to the right

Donald Trump says things that other people may think, but are reluctant to say out loud. This week, he said the US should not allow entry to Muslims. With these statements, he is changing both the language used in US politics, and politics itself. But does this make him any more likely to become president?

Also, Venezuelans say 'No' to the party of the man so many idolised for nearly two decades; why countries are now less reluctant to take action against climate change; and why the middle classes are on the decline.

(Photo: Donald Trump calls for Muslims to be denied entry to the US, at a campaign event on a decommissioned aircraft carrier. Credit: AP)

Eu And Turkey Try To Keep The Migrants Out2016031220160313 (WS)

Turkey and the EU are working on a deal to stop migrants coming to Europe. Will it work?

The EU is trying to persuade Turkey to stop migrants fleeing to Europe. Turkey is demanding a high price. But is there less to the deal than meets the eye? Also in this programme/podcast: What the Sharapova case tells us about the business of drugs and sport; why it's increasingly hard to build nuclear power stations in Western Europe; and the man whose thinking inspired much of the philosophy of the group which calls itself Islamic State.

Photo: A woman at a refugee camp in Greece, near the Macedonian border, on what used to be the route north.

Credit: Getty

Europe Migrant Crisis Grows2015082920150830 (WS)

UN migration boss tells Europe: welcome migrants, don't fear them

The week has been marked by a series of tragedies involving refugees and migrants trying to get into European Union states. The EU and its members are having trouble working out what to do. But the UN's top guy on migration, Peter Sutherland, says European states should be welcoming migrants, not fearing them.

Also in this podcast: after the French train attack - is the have-a-go hero back in fashion? South Sudan's difficult path to peace; why rubbish is channeling Lebanese frustration; and Guatemala in a minute (and a bit).

Photo: migrants walking along a railway line between Hungary and Serbia. Credit: AFP/Getty

Europe Puts Up The Barriers Again2015091920150920 (WS)

Fortress Europe is sealing its borders again, using barbed wire, water-cannon and tear-gas to keep migrants and refugees out. Internal borders are being patrolled again too. It is a crash test for the principles of the European Union, says the man who runs the think-tank set up by the man who presided over the birth of Europe without borders.

Also, why Hungarians resent being criticised for their government's forceful approach, what the Russians are doing in Syria (and how we know they are there), and has Mugabe lost his mojo? And, why Elton John is singing the blues over the conversation he did not have with the rocket man.

(Photo: Hungarian security forces drive back migrants at the Serbian border. Credit: Getty Images)

Fortress Europe is back in business, using riot police methods to repel migrants

Fallout From Saudi-iran Feud2016010920160110 (WS)

Diplomatic tension remains high between Saudi Arabia and Iran after a Shia cleric was executed in Riyadh. Middle Eastern allies of the two nations have been lining up behind the region's two main powers.

Also, the meaning of "one country, two systems" is put to the test by the mystery disappearance of a Hong Kong bookseller. Why is the Chinese leadership so worried by what happens there? Hitler's Mein Kampf has been published in Germany for the first time since World War Two. We ask whether the country is coming to terms with its past. And, as Beijing's stock market starts the new year with a shudder, what is really shaking China's economy?

(Photo: Iranian women protest at the execution of the shia cleric Sheikh Nimar. Credit: Reuters)

Diplomatic tension high between Saudi Arabia and Iran after a Shia cleric was executed

France Tries Middle East Peace Plan2016060420160605 (WS)

The French government launches a Middle East Peace Initiative

The French government launches a Middle East peace initiative -- bonne chance, say the doubters.

Nigeria vows to disarm supporters of Biafran independence -- why is a concept that cost a million lives in a civil war nearly half a century ago making a comeback?

And the death of Harambe the gorilla raises questions about zoos and human interaction with endangered animals.

Photo: The opening of the Paris Middle East peace conference

Credit: AFP

Germany At Crossroads Over Terror Threat2016081320160814 (WS)

Germany unveils sweeping new security measures to counter a new terror threat, Japan's abdication dilemma, and is a wave of anti-government protests a wake-up call for Ethiopia?


Germany new terror measures, Japan's abdication dilemma, Trumps troubles

Germany Welcomes Migrants2015091220150913 (WS)

While other European states seem to fear the wave of migrants and refugees coming from the Middle East and Africa, Germany says it can cope with 500,000 a year -- and is already giving them a warm welcome. German leaders know such large numbers will change their country - but how? Also in this edition: Turkey's struggle with Kurdish separatists enters a new phase; Ukraine seems to be experiencing an outbreak of peace; why Pakistan should speak Urdu - but doesn't; and why life has been improving for Chinese women - but not enough.

Photo: A migrant takes a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Credit: Reuter

Germany says it can cope with 500,000 migrants and refugees a year - and welcomes them.

Has Putin Won?2016120320161204 (WS)

The Syrian army and its allies, including Russia, struck what seem to be decisive blows against rebels in Aleppo. They now clearly hold the upper hand. What does it tell us about the future of the Middle East - and the world?

Picture: Damage in an area of Aleppo recently captured by Syrian government forces.

Credit: Reuters

Hillary Gets There2016061120160612 (WS)

Hillary Clinton is the first woman from a main party to be able to run for president

Hillary Clinton finally got the last votes she needed to defeat Bernie Sanders and run as the Democrats' candidate for the presidency. She is the first woman from a major party to do so. She said it was a milestone - but does she really represent change?

Also, what lies behind the rise in violence in Bangladesh; how China is changing world football; we report from Scotland on the campaign to keep Britain in the EU, or to get it to leave; and in the wake of Muhammad Ali's death, are there any more heroes?

(Photo: Hillary Clinton greets the crowd in Brooklyn on the night she secured enough votes for the nomination. Credit: Getty Images)

How One Tiny Boy Pricked Consciences Around Europe2015090520150906 (WS)

Pictures of the dead body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi shocked the publlic - and politicians.

It was an image so powerful that we don't want to use it here. But pictures of the dead body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, washed up on a beach in Turkey, horrified public opinion around Europe - and galvanised politicians into action. Sometimes a single image can have more impact that thousands of words in print or hours of airtime. Also in this podcast: anti-corruption protests in Malaysia; why casinos in Macau are losing their sheen; the clash of old and new in India; why the Pope likes forgiveness; and nearly all the news from Russia in a minute (and a bit).

Photo: Alan and his brother Galib, in happier times

How Orlando Is Playing Into The Us Presidential Election2016061820160619 (WS)

Was it religion, terrorism, hate or guns that led to the deaths of 49 people in a gay nightclub in Florida? Or all of them? Whatever the answer, it's having a big impact on the presidential campaign. Also in this programme/podcast: Russia's sporting crisis; religious advisers in Pakistan ban 'honour killings'; Microsoft buys LinkedIn; and a sombre final week to the British referendum campaign on whether or not to leave the EU.

Photo: A memorial near the nightclub in Florida where 49 people were killed.

Credit: Getty

The killings seem to mark a turning point in US politics.

Iran Oil Exports To The World Resumes2016011620160117 (WS)

With sanctions about to be lifted, Iran is preparing to start exporting oil to the world again. And Iran is going to get some other boosts too - though there are a few wrinkles along the way. But for other oil-producing countries, still more extra-low prices are very bad news indeed.

Also, why Mexico wants to hand drugs lord 'El Chapo' over to the United States; why Germany is now presenting a less friendly face to asylum-seekers; and David Bowie and the poignancy of last works.

(Photo: Iranian oil workers prepare ground at a gas refinery in Asalouyeh. Credit: AP)

Iran is getting ready to resume exporting oil to the West, once sanctions are lifted

Iraqi Troops Move Into Ramadi Centre2015122620151227 (WS)

The Iraqi army moved into the centre of Ramadi, as it continues its attempt to drive back so-called Islamic State. If the army succeeds, it will have big implications both for Iraq and for IS. Also in this programme/podcast: Burundi faces the prospect of African Union troops coming in uninvited; Spain tears up its two-party system; and are we being too precious about heroes of the past?

Picture: An Iraqi soldier watches IS movements on the front line in Ramadi

Credit: AP

Iraqi troops began a final assault on so-called Islamic State in Ramadi.

Is: The End Of The Beginning?2016052820160529 (WS)

Troops advance on Fallujah in Iraq and the IS capital, Raqqa, in Syria.

This could be a pivotal moment in the war between so-called Islamic State and much of the rest of the world. The Iraqi government began a military campaign to seize back Fallujah. And over the border in Syria, an alliance of Kurds and Arabs is trying to capture territory north of the IS capital, Raqqa. Also in this programme/podcast: Greece dodges another crisis -- and gets a promise of debt relief; why Chinese women have a tougher time than their sisters in Taiwan; and the insurance giant AXA starts pulling out of the tobacco business -- will others follow?

Photo: Smoke billows as Iraqi government forces advance near al-Sejar village north-east of Fallujah.

Credit: AFP/Getty

Israeli Roadblocks In East Jerusalem2015101720151018 (WS)

Israel responded to a growing wave of Palestinian anger and violence by putting up roadblocks in Arab East Jerusalem. It chips away at the image of an undivided city. But Israel is running out of tools to deal with what appear to be spontaneous and random acts of violence which have put Israeli citizens in fear.

Also, a surprising move on gun control in the United States, how to be a dutiful child in China, the price of cheating in the divorce court, and what Playboy's decision to stop publishing pictures of naked women tells us about US society.

(Photo: An Israeli roadblock in East Jerusalem. Credit: Getty Images)

Israel put up checkpoints in Arab East Jerusalem for the first time since 1967

Managing The Crowds At Mecca2015092620150927 (WS)

Why it's hard to safely control the millions of people at the Hajj in Mecca

Millions of people go to Mecca on the Hajj every year, and the Saudi authorities have spent billions trying to keep them safe. But as this week's deaths have shown, it is hard to keep them safe. A crowd control expert explains the problems facing the Saudi authorities. Also, why some European states feel bullied by their more important neighbours; why we could be facing the near-death of diesel cars; the king who talked a coup leader into standing down; and at last from Colombia - a real prospect of an end to decades of civil war.

(Photo: Pilgrims at the Hajj Credit: AP

Migrants Re-appear In Their Thousands2016090320160904 (WS)

One year after the death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi shocked the world, migrants have this week taken advantage of calm seas in the Mediterranean to make the risky journey to Italy in their thousands. They're changing the political map of Europe too. Also in this programme/podcast: do setbacks for TTIP and Apple mean a shift in the tectonic plates for big business? what the fall of Dilma means for Brazil; and the Zika virus reaches Singapore.

Photo: The Italian navy rescues migrants in the Mediterranean, off the Libyan coast.

Credit: EPA

Calm seas meant thousands of migrants risked the journey across the Mediterranean.

Mosul: The Problem Of Victory2016110520161106 (WS)

When Mosul falls, the winners will face new problems pitting them against one another

Many actors are involved in driving so-called Islamic State out of the Iraqi city of Mosul. For the moment, they have a common enemy. But once IS are defeated, the victors may face one another on the battlefield. Defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus and Arabic service editor Mohamed Yehia discuss.

(Photo: Iraqi tanks entering eastern Mosul. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Photo: Iraqi tanks entering eastern Mosul

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

New Peace Deal Offers Hope To Syria2016022720160228 (WS)

Why the latest ceasefire deal stands more chance than the last one

The latest deal for a pause in at least some of the fighting in Syria seems to have a better chance of success than the one earlier this month. Also, how old friendships in Europe are being eroded by the pressure of tens of thousands of migrants - many of them fleeing Syria. Corruption allegations in Brazil are getting closer to the president. And, as two former schoolmates lock horns over whether Britain should stay in the European Union or leave it - we look at the special place of Eton in British public life.

(Photo: A Syrian boy enters the Souk Tawil old market in Damascus. Credit: AP)

Not Much Shelter From Market Chaos2016012320160124 (WS)

It was a grim outlook for financial markets world-wide - stocks lost billions of dollars, as oil prices fell and China seemed to face growing problems. But did things really need to be that bad?

Also, Kenya reels under the al-Shabab attack on an African Union military base in Somalia; the US Supreme Court prepares to throw a bombshell into the presidential election by putting immigration at the top of the political agenda; and fairy-tales - they are truer than you might think.

(Photo: People wait to cross a street in front of a stock market indicator board in Tokyo. Credit: AP)

Financial markets went into virtual meltdown this week. But did they need to?

Obama Points To How Saudis Must Change2016042320160424 (WS)

Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming less popular in the US. Less important too?

President Obama visited Saudi Arabia at a time when its reputation has rarely been lower. The Saudis have their gripes with the US too. And with oil prices at rock-bottom - is Saudi Arabia still crucial? Also in this programme/podcast: Indonesia confronts its grisly past - 50 years on; dementia figures suggest some unexpected hope; and Pope Francis shows the way for Europe by taking refugees into the Vatican. Will Europeans follow his example?

Photo: President Obama and King Salman in Saudi Arabia

Credit: Reuters

'once Again, Horror Has Struck France'20160716

Why is France so often the target?

***Due to events in Turkey this programme was not broadcast as scheduled*** However, the programme is available as a download

President Hollande addressed the nation in the small hours of the morning as the full horror of the lorry attack in Nice began to sink in. France isn't the only European country to suffer terror attacks, but it does seem to suffer more of them than most others. We try to examine the reasons why.

Also in this programme are police shootings of black people in the US giving rise to a new civil rights movement? The surprising engine behind the upsurge in violence in Indian Kashmir. China is told it can't do as it pleases in the South China Sea. And we assess the avalanche of news here in Britain.

Photo: the bullet-scarred windscreen of the lorry which was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on Thursday.

Paris Responds To Is Attack2015112120151122 (WS)

The IS attack on Paris has prompted fury as well as tears. France is hitting back, tightening security at home, and upping strikes on IS in Syria. There are signs of a new anti IS-alliance being formed, with a fresh push towards peace talks on Syria.

(Photo: Lighted candles in the shape of the Eiffel Tower peace symbol near the site of the concert hall which was attacked in Paris. Credit: Reuters)

France is redoubling its attacks on IS in Syria and raising security at home

Peace Comes To Colombia - After Half A Century2016100120161002 (WS)

The last of the great guerrilla wars of the 20th century came to an end this week, when the Colombian government and FARC rebels signed a peace deal. People in Colombia are voting on it this weekend. It's part of a wave of change sweeping through Latin America.

Photo: Colombian president Santos (R) and the FARC leader Rodrigo Londono - also known as Timochenko - at the signing ceremony in Cartagena.

Credit: Reuters

Putin Brings His Boys Home From Syria2016031920160320 (WS)

Russian troops have started coming home from Syria. They've made big gains for Mr Putin, with the possibility of more to come. But there have been mixed fortunes for two other leaders who'll be crucial to events in Europe in the next few months. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel's party suffered big losses in regional elections - mainly because of concerns over mass immigration from Syria. And President Erdogan of Turkey seems to feel beset by enemies on every side. Also in this programme/podcast: what the corruption scandal in Brazil means for the government and the country; and why American football authorities are so concerned over the link they've admitted with degenerative brain disease.

Photo: President Putin and Air Force Commander Viktor Bondarev at an awards ceremony in Moscow for soldiers returning from Syria.

Credit: Reuters

President Putin has started bringing Russian troops home. What does he stand to gain?

Russia And Turkey Make Friends Again20161015

A gas pipeline deal comes as they get closer over Syria

It was only a year ago that Russia cut economic ties with Turkey, after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane over Syria. This week, Presidents Putin and Erdogan signed a deal to build a gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey. And it's not the only sign of the two countries agreeing a lot more these days -- including over Syria.

(Photo: Presidents Putin and Erdogan talking at the world energy congress in Istanbul. Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Turkish presidential press office/Kayhan Ozer)

Russia Enters The War In Syria2015100320151004 (WS)

Russian aircraft have started attacking rebel sites in Syria.

Russia shocked the West by having its aircraft attack rebel sites in Syria -- not just so-called Islamic State, but also groups backed by Western powers. It's a big boost for President Assad and a big slap in the face for President Obama. But how far is it an attempt to make the world look away from Ukraine? Also in this podcast: the Taleban take Kunduz - briefly; radio stations in France are objecting to the government's attempts to protect French culture; and the real victims of low commodity prices. Clue: it's not the glossy and glitzy multinationals you've been reading about in all the newspapers.

Photo: a Russian attack site in Syria

Credit: AP

Russia: The Arrest No-one Can Quite Believe2016111920161120 (WS)

When the Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was arrested in the middle of the night on corruption charges, he was the first cabinet minister to be so detained since the end of the Soviet Union. The charges appear ludicrous. So what is really going on? Sarah Rainsford in Moscow attempts to plumb the murky depths.

(Photo: Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev appears in court in Moscow on corruption charges. Credit: Reuters)

Russian Cruise Missiles In First Combat Action2015101020151011 (WS)

Russia's Syria message to the US: "Anything you can do we can do better".

A spectacular show of firepower signals Russian intent in the Middle East. But Turkey's President Erdogan, weeks away from a crucial general election, feels betrayed by his former friend, Vladimir Putin. Also in this podcast: US rethinks its Afghan pull-out; the global taxmen close in on the multinationals; how we're finding out if we're to blame for the weather; and - are there no sacred cows? Daring to eat beef in Hindu-majority India.

Photo: Russia fires a cruise missile.

Credit: AFP

Russian Warplanes Use Iranian Airbase2016082020160821 (WS)

Iran used to boast that it wouldn't permit foreign forces on its territory - unlike some of its neighbours. This week though, in a big change, Russian warplanes have started using an Iranian airbase for attacks on Syrian targets. This, despite Iran recently opening up to the West. Steve Rosenberg and Pooneh Ghoddoosi try to explain what's going on. Also in this programme/podcast: Shaimaa Khalil argues in favour of the much-criticised burkini; the Philippines' new strongman president tries to make peace with Muslim rebels; and what's really going on with that apparent leak of malware from the US's electronic intelligence spying agency? Our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones peers into the murky world of espionage.

Photo: A Russian bomber releases bombs over Syria after taking off from the Hamedan airbase in Iran.

Credit: Russian defence ministry via EPA

Iran is letting Russian aircraft use one of its bases. It's a big change. Why?

Russia's Diplomats Take The Exit2016123120170101 (WS)

The US gave 35 Russian diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. Washington says it's retaliation for Russian hackers getting involved in the US presidential campaign. More retaliation may be coming. What does this order signify?

Photo: A diplomatic car leaves a Russian compound in New York.

Credit: AP

The US has ordered 35 Russian diplomats out in retaliation, it says, for hacking.

Saudi Arabia Looks For Military Allies2015121920151220 (WS)

Saudi Arabia is putting together a Muslim alliance to counter so-called Islamic State.

Saudi Arabia has begun putting together a military alliance of Muslim countries to take the fight to so-called Islamic State. It's early days, but this looks like one more piece in an increasingly elaborate jigsaw of efforts to counter IS. Also in this programme/podcast: Colombia takes a big step towards peace; Jacob Zuma takes a big hit over a appointing then sacking within days his finance minister; and Ed Sheeran takes a break from social media.

Photo: Saudi security forces on parade

Credit: AP

Should The West Have Intervened?2016121720161218 (WS)

Pro-Assad forces took Aleppo, after a bitter siege. Should the West have got involved?

After years of war and the bitterest of sieges, pro-Assad forces re-took the last bits of Aleppo this week. Some civilians were bussed out. Iran has been backing Mr Assad, so this victory burnishes Iran's reputation too. And at a time when its rival Saudi Arabia was given a humiliating rebuff by Washington. But - perhaps - if Western countries had intervened in Syria in 2013 -- when they had the chance to, and before Russia became involved -- it might have turned out rather differently. James Landale covered the debate in the British parliament which rejected intervention at the time. He asks if the West will ever intervene again...

Photo: Syrian government buses evacuate rebel fighters and their families from eastern Aleppo.

Credit: EPA

Sunset For Russia's Olympic Athletes?20151114

Russian sport and the government was shaken by an official report which found that the state itself at the highest level was involved in doping athletes. Now investigators want Russian athletes banned from the Rio Olympics.

Also, Myanmar stands at the beginning of a new age after Aung San Suu Kyi's astonishing victory in parliamentary elections, Catalonia is making moves to become independent, and Britain has formally begun the process of negotiating its terms for staying in the European Union. But most people do not seem to have noticed.

(Photo: Olympics rings at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, where athletes have been training this week. Credit: AP)

An official report into doping in Russian athletics found the state itself was involved

Surprises In The Us Primaries2016020620160207 (WS)

The primary season has only just started - and it has already been full of shocks

Bernie Sanders suprised many observers by running Hillary Clinton breathtakingly close in Iowa. He is expected to do even better in New Hampshire. The contrast with the Republicans is stark, where the outsider candidate Donald Trump surprised people by not coming first. Jon Sopel reports on a contest that has been topsy-turvy throughout.

Also, oil-rich Nigeria has to borrow; the fall of a ruling family; and Britain and the EU decide the terms on which people will vote whether to leave the EU or stay.

(Photo: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders shake hands before a debate in New Hampshire.

Credit: Reuters)

Syria Drives Is Out Of Palmyra2016040220160403 (WS)

What will be the effect of IS losing Palmyra to Syria and its Russian allies?

The world watched in horror as so-called Islamic State seized and then started destroying the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Now IS has been driven out by Assad's men and their Russian allies. But Jim Muir says IS will be much more worried about losing territory in Iraq. Also in this programme/podcast: how a bomb attack in Lahore opened the way for the Pakistani army to move onto the civilian government's territory; how American politics is becoming a contest between two of the most unpopular candidates ever; and how the former colonial subjects have become the new economic masters, as an Indian company holds the fate of thousands of British workers in its hands.

Photo: Syrian pro-government forces in the ruins of Palmyra after capturing the city from so-called Islamic State.

Credit: AFP/Getty

Syria Endgame Approaches2016010220160103 (WS)

The Syrian government and rebels swap trapped fighters as the battlefield is cleared.

Rebels and government in Syria have been swapping fighters trapped behind enemy lines - as the Assad regime renews its attacks in the South. It looks as if all sides are getting ready for a final push ahead of possible peace talks later this month. Also in this programme/podcast: Japan and South Korea try - again - to end their quarrel over women forced into military brothels during the war; how oil-rich Saudi Arabia is feeling much less rich than it used to; and why so many of us are going to feel much less rich than we would like to when and if we retire.

Photo: Red Crescent ambulances and buses evacuate Syrian opposition fighters and their families from Zabadani

Credit: SANA via AP

Syria In Limbo Between Peace And War2016091720160918 (WS)

The Russia/US peace deal has reduced the fighting in Syria. But it's not peace yet.

Ceasefires in Syria have come and gone in the past. But this one has cut fighting and reduced casualties. And it's backed by possible joint military action by Russia and the US - the first time they've worked together in this way since the second world war.

Photo: Government soldiers walk through ruins in the government-held side of Aleppo, in Syria.

Credit: Youssef Karwashan/AFP/Getty Images

Syria Peace: What Russia & Turkey Want2016021320160214 (WS)

The Syria peace talks, and possible peace deal (let's see), show that two of the biggest players on the European political scene in the next few months are going to be Turkey and Russia. Neither is a member of the European Union, but they are going to be crucial to its inner workings. Also in this week's programme/podcast: a new report in Mexico means the government's explanation for how 43 students disappeared cannot be believed; how North Korea is infuriating China and the United States over its nuclear programme; and why we shouldn't be surprised by Google's attitude to money.

Photo: President Putin of Russia and President Erdogan of Turkey at talks last November at the G-20 summit in Turkey

Credit: AP

Putin and Erdogan are both looking to gain advantage from the Syria peace deal.

Thailand Unprepared For Terror2015082220150823 (WS)

Thailand rocked by shrine attack, China on pollution, infidelity on the net

How the land of smiles was rocked by the Bangkok shrine attack, the political fires raging in China after the Tianjin blasts, a surprise give-away in Gabon.

(Picture: A worshipper lights a candle at the Bangkok Erawan shrine Credit: EPA)

The Death Of Big Trade?2016112620161127 (WS)

Donald Trump says he's going to pull out of the TPP. Is this the end of big trade deals?

Starting to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership was one of the things Donald Trump said this week he would do on his first day as US president. He doesn't like NAFTA or the planned pan-European trade deal either. Is this the end of the line for big trade deals?

Photograph: Anti TPP protesters in Washington

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The Donald Counts His Enemies2016030520160306 (WS)

Republicans have turned on Donald Trump. Can they destroy his candidacy and survive?

Lots of Republican leaders agree that Donald Trump absolutely must not be their candidate in the presidential election. Rather late in the day, they have set out to destroy his candidacy. But will the effect be to stop any Republican being elected president for a generation? Also, Barclays pulls out of Africa; fighting flares up again in Ukraine; and the unlikely pro-reform coalition which made big gains in Iran's parliamentary elections.

(Photo: Donald Trump shows the size of his hands, watched by his rivals Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, at a Republican presidential candidates' debate in Detroit. Credit: Reuters)

The End Of 'la Jungle De Calais'2016102920161030 (WS)

Bulldozers level The Jungle migrant camp in Calais, good and bad news on climate change

Bulldozers level The Jungle migrant camp - a symbol of Europe's migration crisis, good and bad news on climate change, why the people of Aleppo remain trapped, is President Xi of China tightening his hold on power after a secret conclave?

The End Of Privacy?2016040920160410 (WS)

The Panama papers tell us that absolute privacy can no longer be guaranteed.

One big message emerges from the Panama papers data-leak: that however hard you try, your most sensitive financial secrets could still find their way into the public domain. It's a bit of a wake-up call... Also in this programme/podcast: diabetes, the price of prosperity; how to escape jail if you're an African leader; and is Libya moving closer to getting a proper government?

Photo: the company logo of Mossack Fonseca, the company at the centre of the data-leak, at its Hong Kong branch office.

Credit: Reuters

The Fear That Lies Over Europe2016073020160731 (WS)

Recent Islamist attacks have changed the way Europe and its people feel about themselves

Recent attacks in Europe, most though not all Islamist-inspired, have changed the atmosphere in Europe. It has become more cautious, more fearful. Plus, why pupils in Kenya are burning down their schools; the political conventions in the United States point to a fork in the road ahead; and has coal consumption in China really peaked?

(Photo: Men stand near flowers left in tribute to the French priest killed in a suburb of Rouen by men claiming allegiance to so-called Islamic State. Credit: Reuters)

The Handover Begins2016111220161113 (WS)

Donald Trump is preparing to assume office. What will his US - and the world - be like?

It clearly wasn't an easy occasion when two men who've been bitter opponents met for one to start handing over the reins of power to the other. Donald Trump has said he plans to reverse President Obama's signature policies. What will the US -- and the world -- be like in the era of President Trump? Views and analysis from Anthony Zurcher in Washington, our chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, Chris Morris - just back from Brussels, and the BBC Latin America expert Lourdes Heredia.

Photo: Donald Trump and Barack Obama shake hands in the Oval Office, in the White House in Washington

Credit: EPA

The Lessons Of Hillsborough2016043020160501 (WS)

Within minutes of people starting to die at Hillsborough, a campaign of lies and dissimulation began. It's taken 27 years and millions of pounds to expose it once and for all. Peter Marshall - who was at the ground on the fateful day when 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives - on what Hillsborough has to teach us. Also in this programme/podcast: the words may be friendly in South Sudan, but the feelings certainly aren't; protests intensify against the government of Venezuela while electricity and the economy disappear; and why IS may have made a big mistake in setting itself up as a state.

Photo: St George's Hall in Liverpool after a vigil in memory of the 96 people who died as a result of Hillsborough.

Credit: Reuters

It took 27 years, but we got there in the end. The cover-up was finally uncovered.

The Lessons Of The Iraq War2016070920160710 (WS)

The Chilcot report shows us that UK/US relations will never be the same again.

Much of the attention on the day focussed on the former British prime minister Tony Blair. But the longer-term lessons of the Chilcot report into the 2003 Iraq war go well beyond any one individual. And they mean an end to what used to be business as usual between London and Washington.

Photo: The Chilcot report

Credit: Reuters

The New Masters Of The Middle East?2016122420161225 (WS)

Back in the day, the United States was the dominant power in the Middle East, with some help from Western Europe and the UN. But Washington doesn't seem so interested any more. And Russia, Turkey and Iran have moved to fill the vacuum.

Photo: The foreign ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey at a peace meeting for Syria in Moscow, Credit: EPA

The Start Of A New Cold War?2014111420141115 (WS)

Is Gorbachev right to worry about increasing tension between East and West?

Former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev says that a new Cold War may be on the horizon, driven by conflict in the Middle East and increasing tension between East and West.

Also on the programme, the knife attacks by Palestinians in Israel; the scandal over how women are sterilised in India and the speed at which the operations occur; and how protests are spreading in Mexico over the disappearance of 43 students.

The Us Joins Battle Against Is In Libya2016080620160807 (WS)

US airpower is helping the new Libyan government against so-called Islamic State.

The US is using air power against so-called Islamic State in Libya - at the request of the UN-backed Libyan government. It could be a big moment in the fight against IS, and in the new government's attempts to exert some authority.

Photo: A US jet takes off from a US warship in the Mediterranean to attack IS targets in Sirte, Libya.

Credit: APTN

The Virus That Terrifies Brazil2016013020160131 (WS)

Zika has swept through parts of Brazil, and the fear that it's causing babies to be born with tiny brains and heads is making many Brazilians re-think their plans. The government is struggling to cope with it, while the World Health Organisation is hoping to do better than it did with ebola. Also in the programme/podcast: Israel moves to approve new settlements in the Palestinian territories; the United States officially accuses Vladimir Putin of corruption; and Denmark says it will remove valuables from refugees. Should we care?

Photo: A three-month old baby in Brazil with microcephaly.

Credit: Getty

What can Brazil do to guard against Zika and the birth malformation it's linked with?

The Week When Terror Came To Brussels2016032620160327 (WS)

We look behind the Brussels bombings with our security correspondent, and get an insight from a Belgian colleague into the suburb where the suspects found refuge. A veteran reporter of the Balkans conflict explores how the genocide conviction of Radovan Karadzic has changed the way prosecutors go after the perpetrators. A postcard from Cuba after President Obama's historic visit. And, how a backhanded compliment cost a tennis executive his job.

(Photo: Three suspects in the Brussels airport bombing. Credit: AFP/Belgian Federal Police)

We look behind the attacks in Brussels, and the verdict on Radovan Karadzic

The West Helps Libya To Aim High2016052120160522 (WS)

The UN and Western states say the time has come to arm the Libyan government.

The new unity government is being exempted from the international arms embargo on Libya. But it has to take on so-called Islamic State, as well as all the other militias. Also in this programme/podcast: Mauritania releases an anti-slavery activist; growing violence on the streets of Paris; and the opposition in Venezuela calls on the army to disobey the president.

Photo: machine-guns belonging to a pro-government group in Abu Grein, south of Misrata, the day after unity government forces recaptured the area.

Credit: AFP/Getty

The West Sends More Forces Against Is2015120520151206 (WS)

The US, UK and Germany decided to increase military pressure on so-called Islamic State.

The US said it would send special forces into Syria to help the fight against IS, while parliaments in the UK and Germany also decided to step up their countries' military action. But prospects for a political resolution seem as hazy as ever. Also in this programme/podcast: Turkey and Erdogan strike a big deal with the EU over migrants and membership; China's currency joins the big boys' club; and Saudi women get to vote and stand in elections for the first time.

Photo: a British Tornado fighter takes off from Akrotiri in Cyprus

Credit: Getty

Trump Tells China: Kowtowing Is Over2016121020161211 (WS)

Trump is changing the way the US treats China. Beijing won't like it. Taiwan will...

For four decades now the US has formally observed a one-China policy, respecting Beijing's sensitivities. Mr Trump and his team have made clear things will be different under him -- not least by having a telephone conversation with the president of Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province. But trade, currency matters and military activity in the South China Sea could all now be open to question too.

Photo: Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wem; US president-elect Donald Trump; Chinese president Xi Jinping

Credit: AP

Turkey Foils A Coup - And Then The Purge2016072320160724 (WS)

Turkey used people-power to foil the coup - then the president went after his opponents.

President Erdogan has sacked, suspended or arrested tens of thousands of people he regards as opponents - many more than could have taken an active part in last weekend's coup attempt. Both Turkey and its army are weaker. Also in this programme/podcast: the astonishing story of how the United States government took action over a theft of Malaysian government money; the impact of Russia's track and field athletes being thrown out of the Rio Olympics; and from Myanmar: why The Lady is cosying up to The General.

Photo: A civilian and a policeman relax on a tank abandoned by rebel soldiers in Turkey.

Credit: AFP/Getty

Turkey Shoots Down A Russian Bomber2015112820151129 (WS)

Turkey's missile has blasted friendship with Moscow and hit the war on IS in Syria

Turkey destroyed a Russian bomber which it and Nato said had briefly intruded into Turkish airspace. Russia is furious, and reprisals are already under way. How bad is it going to get? Will it affect the anti-IS coalition that France is trying to build? Also, after Brussels emerges from four days in lockdown - what is it like living in a major Western city where not too much is moving? And, Why China won't let Miss Canada attend the Miss World finals it is hosting, and what we should think of the makers of Viagra and Botox merging to save tax.

(Photo: A Russian plane crashes in flames after being shot down by a Turkish fighter jet. Credit: Reuters)

Turkey Takes Action In Syria2016082720160828 (WS)

We look at Turkey after its tanks rolled into Syria

Turkish tanks rolled into Syria on the very day that US Vice-President Joe Biden arrived. Many Turks saw the visit as a somewhat belated sign of continued American support after a failed coup. Our correspondent Mark Lowen talks about the problems facing Ankara.

An Indian actress-turned-politician sparks a row by praising Pakistan. How deeply ingrained are attitudes on both sides of the border?

Colombians celebrate the prospects for peace after a deal to end a conflict that has cost more than 200,000 lives over the past five decades. BBC Mundo's editor, himself a Colombian, addresses the hopes and fears.

And the Bake-Off that changed Britain's perceptions. Our arts editor Vincent Dowd wonders how a simple television show can have such an effect.

(Photo: Turkish tanks roll into Syria. Credit: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey's Strongman Takes Centre Stage Again2015110720151108 (WS)

Turkey re-elected President Erdogan's party. But at what price?

Turkey once seemed to be a poster-child for democracy in the Middle East. But when President Erdogan did not get the majority he wanted in June, things started to go downhill -- clashes with the Kurds broke out again, and the political space seemed to shrink sharply. Now his party has got a majority in a new election. But at what price?

Also, Russia has wrung some co-operation from the US over Syria. But its intervention is stoking fears of a return to Afghan-style horrors, especially after one of its passenger planes crashed over Syria. Why al-Shabab loves attacking hotels in Somalia. And, what lies behind that big meeting between the leaders of China and Taiwan?

(Photo: President Erdogan savours the fruits of electoral victory. Credit: AP

Turks Get Visa-free Access To Europe - Perhaps2016050720160508 (WS)

Turks were this week offered a date for being able to enter European countries without a visa. It's part of a complex deal designed to reduce the number of migrants and refugees risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. But Turkey still has some boxes to tick. And President Erdogan is playing hardball. Also in this programme/podcast: Iraqi protesters burst into the Green Zone for the first time; Vietnam's got a problem with dead fish and social media; and the secret of Trump's success.

Photo: A man in Turkey waits outside a visa office in Istanbul

Credit: Getty

The EU opened the door for Turks to come in without visas. But will it happen?

Ukraine Plots A New Way Forward2016041620160417 (WS)

The new government in Ukraine is going to need to give a lot of thought to the many difficult problems it faces: the economy, corruption, rebellion. Prime minister Groysman is going to need all the help he can get. Also in this programme/podcast: the campaign gets officially under way in Britain on whether to stay in or leave the EU; Argentina comes in out of the financial cold; and the virtual revolution in the music industry.

Photo: The new Ukrainian prime minister Volodymyr Groysman is surrounded by colleagues in parliament in Kiev.

Credit: AP

The new government in Kiev faces some difficult problems.

Why Did Britain Decide To Leave The Eu?2016062520160626 (WS)

Was the British decision to leave the EU made on the issues, or was it partly a protest against the system? And what are the implications for Britain's role in the world, and for the rest of the European Union?

(Photo: EU Referendum Sign. Credit: Getty Images)

The reasons and implications of the British decision to leave the EU