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00:00: Hello, this is the Global News Podcast from the BBC World Service with reports and analysis
00:05: from across the world, the latest news seven days a week.
00:09: BBC World Service podcasts are supported by advertising.
00:13: This is the Global News Podcast from the BBC World Service.
00:18: I'm Valerie Sanderson and at 13 hours GMT on Friday 11 August, these are our main stories.
00:24: China says it's uncovered a spy working for the US intelligence agency, the CIA.
00:30: We have a special report on the effect of the military coup in Niger.
00:34: The world's sky-jamboree plagued with problems, including a heat wave, winds up with a pot concert.
00:43: Also, this podcast takes a lot of mental power, physical power and emotional power to even make it to this world stage. have to be the best.
00:55: Pokémon's coming home to Japan as the world championships get underway.
01:03: We begin the podcast with the tale of espionage.
01:07: China says it's uncovered a spy recruited by the US intelligence service, the CIA.
01:12: The state security ministry said the Chinese national, known only by the surname Zung,
01:17: was employed at a military organization and was taken on by the Americans during a work trip to Italy.
01:24: Ariesia Pacific editor will Leonardo is with me in the studio.
01:28: Tell us more about what China is saying about this agent.
01:31: So yes, this is a statement from the Chinese security ministry.
01:33: It says this man called Zong in his 50s, who worked for a watch
01:37: described as a military industrial group, was sent to Italy.
01:40: And there he was alleged to have met a US Embassy official by the name of Seth.
01:44: It appears they lived it up together in Italy.
01:46: They went to the dinner parties, they went on outings, they went to the
01:49: up together. And there's some interesting wording in the statement that says that Zong
01:52: became psychologically dependent and succumbed to Western values. Seth is then, is then said
01:57: to have offered Zong a large sum of money and immigration to the US for himself and
02:01: his family. And Zong signed an espionage agreement to provide sensitive material about Chinese
02:06: military once back in China. Once back in the country he met up with CIA agents to
02:11: select multiple times to provide what's been described as a large amount of core intelligence.
02:16: no word on what that is. The Ministry said it was taking compulsory measures against
02:20: the UN and would be handed to prosecution services soon, but there's been no independent
02:24: confirmation and no word from the US authorities, although it's unlikely that they'll be speaking
02:28: a lot on this topic. And what is the state of play between China
02:32: and the US when it comes to espionage? Well, there seems to be a rare detailed disclosure
02:37: from China, even though Beijing has long claimed foreign forces are trying to undermine the
02:42: It recently expanded its definition of espionage, made it slightly more vague to include things
02:47: in the private sector, including US firms and that sort of thing.
02:50: And it comes as you say amid heightened tensions between the two great powers over trade, over
02:54: military, we've had those restrictions of chips to China by the US authorities.
02:59: And it's also the latest accusation of espionage from either side.
03:02: So last week we had two US Navy sailors arrested in California for allegedly providing material to Chinese authorities.
03:10: And also, it comes a few months after the CIA director Bill Burns said the agency was
03:15: trying to expand its Chinese network after a catastrophic exposure event in which several spies were lost.
03:21: Thanks Will, we'll Leonardo.
03:24: The authorities in Hawaii's island of Marui say it will take many years and billions
03:28: of dollars to repair the damage caused by devastating wildfires.
03:34: 55 people are now known to have died.
03:36: She was visiting from Kansas City in the United States.
03:40: Once our car started exploding, we had at least 50 cars there, like a line up right behind
03:47: us and each car was just pop, pop, pop, pop.
03:50: It started shooting debris to us.
03:52: We had to move even more down.
03:54: This time we're in the water.
03:55: Water is hitting harder and harder.
03:57: So it hit us, it kept pushing us back and forth.
04:00: I got a big scrape from my bottom all the way down to my cans and the rocks is really
04:06: The military coup in Niger has caused huge concern, resulting in West African heads of
04:18: state meeting in Abuja to discuss the situation.
04:21: The group, comprising the regional block ECOWAS, has agreed to assemble a standby force to intervene if necessary.
04:29: International partners have cut aid to the country and some have imposed sanctions to try to
04:33: to convince the army leaders in Niger to step down.
04:37: But the junta appears to have popular support
04:39: because it's opposing the influence of France,
04:42: Niger's former colonial ruler.
04:44: Some people are even calling for closer ties with Russia instead.
04:48: Our Africa correspondent Catherine Bieder Hanger
04:50: has this report on how the coup is affecting daily life in Niger.
04:59: Zara Kadar stars a pot of food at her small outdoor restaurant in Niamay, the capital of Niger.
05:05: A few customers seated on wooden benches way to be served.
05:13: She and other ordinary people are beginning to feel the impact of the four-louths from Niger's
05:18: crew. Sanctions have cut off imports causing the prices of popular staples to go up,
05:25: and major cities are facing rolling electricity blackouts.
05:31: The price of rice has increased but also that of cooking oil.
05:34: An increase of four US dollars in just one week.
05:37: This causes us problems because if I prepare the rice I can't sell it.
05:41: No profit on the losses.
05:43: Since the military took power we no longer have electricity.
05:47: When I tried to find out I was told that it was Nigeria that cut electricity
05:50: to denounce the coup d'état that had taken place in our country.
05:59: Niger's soldiers seized power two weeks ago.
06:05: A series of rallies, including at the National Stadium,
06:08: have been attended by thousands of people, suggesting widespread backing for the coup that ousted the democratically elected government.
06:17: Israfeu Amaru is one of the supporters.
06:20: We like our army. Now we are free now.
06:23: We don't need the France. We don't need anything.
06:26: We like Russia. We like our country.
06:32: The Militia takeover has unleashed already present anti-French sentiments.
06:37: They have seen protesters stream the streets in support of the coup.
06:42: They have held stones and set parts of the French embassy on fire.
06:47: Some protesters carried Russian flags, calling on Moscow to step in as their preferred international ally.
06:58: Russian propaganda networks promoted as a fairer partner for African countries.
07:04: It has built close relationships with Niger's neighbours, Mali and Bukina Faso,
07:09: which are also led by military regimes.
07:16: Ibrahim Suleiman, who is a tailor in Niyame,
07:20: says Russian flags have been on demand since the military took over.
07:26: It was with advent of the Tienic coup that they started seeing flags, especially for Russia.
07:32: People come to buy a lot of them because they use them to support our soldiers of taking power.
07:38: people by them because we are in conflict with France.
07:41: For years, France has only caused us problems
07:45: and the military wants to put an end to it.
07:47: There's a worry, France and Western countries
07:50: are losing influence to Russia in this region.
07:53: But there are other Nigerians who support the deposed president,
07:57: Mohammad Basoum.
07:58: African countries and international allies
08:01: have called for him to be released for military detention and to be reinstated.
08:06: Ibrahim Mahazaki says the coup is not justified.
08:12: I condemn this coup because currently we have no problem in the country.
08:16: Not only are services working well, insecurity has decreased a lot.
08:20: There aren't labor strikes like before and financially, there is no crisis, so we have no worries in the country frankly.
08:27: Someone can't just come up and stage a coup for their own personal interests.
08:32: France, Nichea's former colonial ruler has some 1,500 troops stationed in the country.
08:38: It sees Nichea as a close ally in the fight against a growing Islamist insurgency in this part of Africa.
08:47: But the former colonial power is accused of unfairly benefiting from Nichea's natural resources
08:54: and wielding and due influence over the country's economy and politics.
08:59: anti-french sentiments are widespread across its former colonies on the
09:04: continent. Six countries from Guinea in West Africa to Sudan in the
09:08: Horn of Africa have experienced coups since 2020. Five of them are former French
09:15: colonies. Marie-Racheille Billois is a West Africa political analyst.
09:20: Unlike other colonial masters who managed to take more distance with their
09:24: their colonies after independence, France has had a very hard time accepting to loosen
09:31: grip on those countries. So very conveniently the Puchist and the elite in the Sahel traditionally
09:39: tend to scapegoat the French for their own failures like corruption or mismanagement.
09:46: And France has now its own scapegoat which is Russia and the Vatua militia. It used to to stir the anti-French resentment?
09:55: The worry is that should another coup in Africa succeed.
09:59: It will encourage other ambitious soldiers.
10:03: Catherine Biaraghanger.
10:05: South Africa's former president, Jacob Zuma, was supposed to be serving an 11-month jail sentence for contempt of court.
10:11: He reported to his local prison, but in an hour later, the authorities released him.
10:15: A correspondent in South Africa, Namsama Seko, has more on what led to that decision.
10:20: The former president came in at 6 o'clock and he left at 7 o'clock.
10:29: And he left after...
10:30: The Commissioner of Prisons, Mahoti Tawakhale, held a press conference earlier today in
10:35: which he said that the former president was released under a special remission process,
10:42: means now that he's under correctional supervision and he's one of 9,400 other prisoners who were
10:51: sentenced for non-violent or low-risk crimes. And the government is saying that the reason why they
10:57: have done this is to try and tackle overcrowding in South African prisons. So we do also know that
11:04: the president, Sira Ramapur, says the one who actually signed into law that low risk
11:11: prisoners should be released. And he did this back in April, but today is actually the first day
11:18: that the first group of the more than 9,000 offenders are actually being released.
11:23: Now, Jacob Zuma, the former president, has been in an out of jail, hasn't he? Tell us about
11:28: his case and why this is all so controversial in South Africa.
11:33: Well, this is very controversial in South Africa because Jacob's most sentenced to 15 months
11:38: in jail for refusing to testify at a judicial commission of inquiry that was investigating
11:45: government corruption during his nine year term in office.
11:48: And that is why he got that prison sentence.
11:51: However, back in 2021, on the day that he was taken into custody, there were riots that
11:59: were sparked very violent riots. In fact, one of the worst that South Africa has seen
12:04: in a democratic dispensation in which more than 350 people died and hundreds of businesses
12:11: were looted and burned. Nomsat Maseko. And now to South Korea.
12:26: Where the world's skylight jamboree has closed with a pop concert at the World Cup stadium
12:31: in Seoul. The jamboree was plagued with problems, including bug-infested fields, dirty
12:36: lavatories and a heatwave before a looming-tie phone forced everyone to leave the campsite.
12:42: More than 40,000 people from 155 countries, many of them teenagers aged between 14 to 17
12:49: years old were at the event, the first global gathering of Scouts since the pandemic.
12:55: Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Secretary-General of the World Organization of the Scat
12:58: Movement, Ahmad Al-Andawi acknowledged the difficulties.
13:03: I know this wasn't easy on you.
13:07: No other event has faced this many challenges and extreme weather conditions.
13:14: But also, no other jamboree in history showed the determination, creativity and the resilience you have shown.
13:24: Our correspondent in South Korea is Jean McKenzie.
13:28: The pop concert started at 7 o'clock this evening.
13:31: came after a bit of a closing ceremony. So this is it, the jamboree officially drawing to an end,
13:37: which I think honestly, organisers and scout leaders will be breathing a slight sigh of relief over,
13:43: because as you say it's been absolutely played by problems from the start. They are going out with
13:48: the bang though, the South Koreans, organisers have kind of pulled out all the stops with this
13:52: K-pop concert this evening, hoping I think that the tens of thousands of teenagers who've gathered
13:57: here from around the world were at least end with happy memories. So they're seeing some of South
14:01: Korea's most famous K-pop groups including New Jeans. But some of those problems that you mentioned
14:07: there, I mean the head of the world scout organisation described this event to me earlier this week
14:12: as the unlucky as jamboree in their 100 year history. Because as you say it's had a heat wave
14:19: earlier in the week we had some flooding and then of course the whole thing had to be evacuated
14:23: because of this incoming typhoon and the UK scouts along with others like the US and the Singaporean
14:29: teams actually pulled out even earlier than that because they were so concerned about hygiene and safety
14:34: on the sides. Jean McKenzie. Still to come in this podcast. Boy shouldn't only be able to play football
14:42: girls who also get to play football. My team is really good. Who says girls can't play football?
14:48: the growing popularity of women's football across Asia.
14:59: Spain and Sweden are through to next week semi-finals in the women's world cup having beaten
15:04: the Netherlands and Japan respectively earlier today. Despite losing at the quarter final stage
15:09: this year, women's football in Japan is thriving and doing better than their male counterparts.
15:15: It's a situation replicated across Asia.
15:19: Nick Marsh watched the next generation of young female players
15:22: at the Singapore Football Club to try to find out why.
15:26: Two, three!
15:30: Asia loves football. World Cup, Premier League, you name it, people here, love it.
15:36: But the football teams in this part of the world, the men's football teams in this part
15:41: of the world, rather, are not so successful and that's putting it mildly.
15:46: The last time a country from Southeast Asia qualified for the World Cup was in Dinesia
15:52: nearly a hundred years ago. In fact, the idea of the likes of Vietnam or the Philippines,
15:57: even China qualifying for the men's tournament, well that's pretty far fetched.
16:02: And yet, here they are representing themselves
16:05: admirably at this year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
16:11: So why is this?
16:15: Football across the board is actually pretty inclusive in this part of the world.
16:20: It's common to find young female fans at stadiums.
16:24: in Japan's J-League, for example, 40% of those at men's games are women.
16:31: I'm so happy.
16:32: I'm so happy.
16:33: And it's this enthusiasm that's got elite clubs and sponsors investing in training, education and talent spotting in Asia.
16:43: For us to see that women's teams in Asia are getting onto the main stage to the world's biggest tournament.
16:49: It's a credit to the countries to the investment into football.
16:53: Shannon Maloney is an ex-player who now works for Tottenham Hotspur as their global development coach.
16:59: Backed by Tottenham's main sponsor, she runs football camps in places like Vietnam, Thailand,
17:05: Indonesia and Singapore.
17:07: I feel like being a role model to young girls, when they see me they can be me.
17:11: We are seeing so many young girls getting involved in football and for us it's about how
17:16: do we embed that into the community, how do we make that normal?
17:22: Singapore Football Club striker, 11-year-old Lulu Lane certainly agrees.
17:28: Boy, shouldn't only be able to play football girls who also get to play football.
17:32: My team is really good. Who says girls can't play football?
17:38: Good point. And in other football news, Argentina has announced measures to punish foreign
17:44: football fans who burn or tear banknotes as a way of taunting local supporters. They
17:49: now face prison sentences of up to 30 days.
17:52: Our America's regional editor Leonardo Rosha reports.
17:56: The burning and ripping up of money has become common among fans who travel to Argentina
18:01: to watch their clubs in South American club competitions, particularly Brazilians and
18:07: They tease their rivals about Argentina's economic crisis and the low value of the local currency, the Pezzo.
18:14: Argentina has one of the world's highest annual inflation rates. is currently more than 100%.
18:20: The local football authorities said such behavior was highly offensive and could inside violence.
18:26: Fans will be detained and the clubs they support may also be punished if the problem persists.
18:32: Leonardo Rosha
18:34: The list of weather-related crises is growing every day, including the wildfires in Hawaii,
18:39: initially Greece and Portugal, the floods in China and record levels of melting of the
18:45: Antarctic ice sheet.
18:47: and are assessing if there's a common thread linking these events across the world.
18:52: Professor Catherine Heo is chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy, a global environmental
18:58: non-profit charity. Within our lifetime, actually right even now, we are already starting to see
19:04: individual days where it is really too hot for humans to be outside. I'm speaking to you from
19:10: Texas right now, where almost 400 high temperature records have been broken across the state of Texas,
19:17: this summer alone, it has been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a nice round number,
19:22: but about, you know, 38 degrees Celsius. It's been over that for almost every single day since
19:28: the end of June. And it is just really, really difficult and unpleasant to spend time outdoors
19:33: in that weather. Well, that's the bad news and we've heard again about what needs to be done
19:38: to combat the threat on a global level. But Professor Heihou also has ideas about how we can in our urban environments.
19:46: There are already early warning heat systems in a number of major cities, and they have
19:52: been shown to significantly reduce the health risks and even the deaths associated with these heat waves.
19:59: There are also ways to reduce the urban heat island effect.
20:05: So many large cities are quite a bit warmer than their surrounding areas.
20:10: So if we can increase the green content of the city, trees, grasses, it increases evaporation, which cools the city down.
20:20: If we can increase the reflectivity of the city instead of having black top and black roofs
20:25: have light colored surfaces that reflect the sun's energy back to space instead of soaking
20:30: it up, we can actually lower the temperature of our cities just as climate change is pushing it up.
20:36: You still need to invest in communities to make sure there's, you know,
20:40: buddy systems where people call people, especially elderly people, and check up on them and ask if
20:45: they're okay. We need all of these resilient strategies, but we also have to reduce our
20:50: emissions as much as possible, as soon as possible. Professor Catherine Heo, Chief Scientist of the
20:55: Nature Conservancy. And finally, the Pokémon World Championships are taking place in the Southern
21:01: city of Yokohama in Japan. It's the first time it's been held in the country where the game
21:07: was invented. If you're not familiar with the phenomenon Pokemon is a game involving
21:11: little virtual creatures inhabiting a mythical universe shared with humans and it first became
21:17: popular about 20 years ago. YouTube streamed more than 9 hours of coverage from the opening day.
21:24: It's going to be the water main to move first with the Daizen's gleam and Urshiku
21:27: was also there just a touch faster naturally. So the
21:30: post confetti to the Golden Go just to be able to clean it up.
21:33: And that is going to be the match going to can.
21:35: Tato, Mata Moto. Well James Coppnell spoke to content
21:39: creator glitch who's attending the championship tournament.
21:43: The atmosphere at the Pokemon World Championships here in
21:47: Yokohama has been electrifying. And that's kind of
21:50: understating it a bit because the energy that has been just
21:54: spreading around especially since the openings are money such as been like incredible.
22:00: I, this is my fifth world championship, but first time in Japan, so this means a lot to me to
22:07: actually be here, be back with the fans after a year apart globally, and it's just been so exciting
22:14: to be here. Yeah, I can hear it in your voice. It feels like for many in Japan, a homecoming,
22:19: does it? The Pokemon has come home. Oh, yes, definitely. That's what it feels like, and
22:23: And the opening ceremony this morning felt like a very welcoming type of welcome party
22:30: because they were very excited to share their culture with the world.
22:35: And they share that through Pokemon.
22:37: And I think that's just incredible.
22:39: How does a championship work?
22:41: Because high level competition is often just that.
22:44: Competition, it's aggressive sometimes.
22:47: Is it like that in Pokemon or is there more of a sharing spirit?
22:50: It's a little bit of both.
22:52: So when you think of Pokemon, you think about it with chess, but it's very, very, you
22:56: know, colorful, fun, chess, and available to everybody of all ages.
23:02: And just the way to get the championship, it takes a lot of mental power, physical
23:08: power, and emotional power to even make it to this world stage.
23:12: You have to be the best, like no one ever was.
23:16: And the road to become a champion is a very tough and growing process for all ages because
23:23: it's not just adult cell play, it's also kids of all ages as well.
23:26: So you have different divisions and you have different, different age divisions, excuse me.
23:31: And they go through multiple challenges throughout the year just to get to the stage.
23:36: What are you expecting them from the next few days?
23:38: I'm expecting a lot of surprises actually because there are four titles being showcased
23:44: here at Pokemon World here in Yokohama. And I'm from North America from the United States.
23:51: I'm used to seeing the Pokemon that is being played there. We call this the meta, the Medigame.
23:58: But it is different for each region that is competing at world. So it's going to be very
24:02: interesting seeing, you know, North American teams go up against the A-PAC teams or up against
24:08: the European teams because they all play differently. Yeah. And so it's going to be really
24:13: interesting to see that come together and see how he match up against each other globally.
24:17: Pokémon Content Creator Glitch.
24:22: And that's it for us for now, but before we go, here's Jackie with news of the next happy pot.
24:27: Yes, in this edition we'll be checking in on the baby girl,
24:30: born beneath the rubble of her family home.
24:33: You became a symbol of hope after the devastation of the earthquake that hit Syria and Turkey six
24:37: months ago. We'll be meeting the teenager who has made it his mission in life to get get us all to recycle batteries.
24:44: The wonder of gazing back at Earth from the edge of space,
24:47: we will hear from the mother and daughter from Antigua and the British man with Parkinson's who have just made that trip.
24:53: Also, and I promise you all love this,
24:55: the world dog surfing championships have just taken place
24:58: in California, we will hear from one of the competitors while his human friend.
25:03: All in the happy God, available from Saturday,
25:05: August 12th.
25:07: And the dog too, I hope Jackie,
25:08: if you want to comment on this podcast
25:11: or the topics covered in it sends an email.
25:14: The address is globalpodcast at bbc.co.uk.
25:17: You can also find us on Twitter at Global NewsPod.
25:20: This edition was mixed by Charlotte Dojimska and the producer was Iona Hampson.
25:25: The editor is ever is Karen Martin.
25:27: I'm Valerie Sounderson and till next time, bye-bye.
25:36: Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed when you check the news on your phone first thing in the morning?
25:41: Whenever I open up my phone, they're just endless warnings of more extreme weather to come.
25:46: I'm Hannah, I'm the presenter of a new podcast called What in the World from the BBC World Service.
25:51: We're going to be here trying to help you make sense of the world around you,
25:55: so you can feel a little bit better about what's happening in the world.
25:59: You can find what in the world wherever you get your BBC podcasts.