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00:00: Hello, this is the Global News Podcast from the BBC World Service with reports and analysis
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00:36: This is the Global News Podcast from the BBC World Service.
00:42: I'm Robin Brandt and in the early hours of Friday 11th of August, these are our main stories.
00:47: Five US citizens have been freed from prison in Iran and moved to house arrest.
00:52: Wildfires in Hawaii have been declared to be a disaster, allowing federal aid for the recovery
00:58: effort. The president of Ivory Coast says he will deploy soldiers to potentially intervene
01:02: in Niger, where the military seized power last month.
01:09: Also in this podcast, Virgin Galactic has completed its first flight for paying customers.
01:14: I watched the three of them go up for 90 minutes and return safely, back down to earth.
01:23: We start with news from Iran about four Americans in prison there.
01:27: They have left prison and have been moved to house arrest.
01:30: A fifth man is said to have already been moved to conditions with fewer restrictions on his liberty.
01:36: Talks have been taking place for years to secure their release.
01:39: The U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has just described their house's detention
01:43: as a positive step that he hoped would lead to their eventual return to the U.S.
01:48: I asked our chief international correspondent, Lee Stusset, how significant this development
01:53: is, given that there are no formal diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington
01:59: It is a huge moment, President Biden and indeed President Obama before him, but certainly
02:04: during President Biden's administration, he has made it a priority to bring home Americans
02:10: who are in legal terms said to be wrongfully detained.
02:14: And when it comes to the United States and indeed other countries, including Russia, North
02:18: Korea, it's seen that they are hostages to be used as bargaining chips. So there have been
02:23: difficult negotiations for some time. There have been moments where we've had reports that they
02:28: are close to a deal or that a deal was all but done and then fell apart. It's involved the state
02:34: of Qatar, sometimes the Gulf state of Oman, sometimes Switzerland. But this announcement by the lawyer
02:42: for one of the detained, C.M. Namazee, is the first sign that a deal is all but done. This
02:51: is a rare, bright spot, but it could still be weeks before they are free.
02:57: Well, that was going to be my next question. I mean, it clearly is a very gradual and
03:01: incremental process negotiations, possible move to house arrest. What's the expectation on if and
03:06: when they will actually be allowed to leave Iran? So, what we understand so far and it has to
03:11: be confirmed officially. But we have known that these elements have been in play for a very
03:16: long time. Is that in exchange for the freedom, for these dual Iranian-American citizens,
03:23: the US will transfer some six billion dollars of Iran's frozen assets in South Korea. Those
03:30: funds we put into account in the central bank in Qatar, because there will be criticism
03:35: in the United States and why is Iran being given money? It is Iran's own money frozen as part
03:40: of sanctions, but to ensure that it is only used for humanitarian reasons, the account will
03:46: be controlled by the government of Qatar so that they can only use it to pay for humanitarian
03:51: purchases such as medicine and food. And we understand that this will be a difficult process,
03:56: given the amount of money and given all the the web of sanctions that could take several weeks
04:01: before that money is deposited. And once it is deposited, then you'll see the movement
04:06: possibly, if all goes according to plan, of those American hostages for prisoners in Iran,
04:12: and then you will see also freedom for some Iranians in American jails.
04:16: So it is complicated, as you can see.
04:18: Least to set.
04:19: Now, President Biden has declared a major disaster in Hawaii, where wildfires on the island
04:24: of Maui have killed at least 36 people.
04:28: The declaration allows the release of emergency federal support to help recovery efforts in areas affected by wildfires.
04:35: Mr. Biden spoke to reporters.
04:37: We're working as quickly as possible to fight these fires in the evacuated residents and
04:41: tourists. In the meantime, our prayers were the people of Hawaii, but not just our prayers.
04:46: Every asset we have will be available to them, and we've seen their homes, their business
04:51: destroyed, and some of lost loved ones. And it's not over yet.
04:56: The president has also ordered the U.S. Coast Guard, Army and Navy to join the relief effort.
05:02: 2000 residents of western Maui remain in emergency shelters. Thousands of visitors have been evacuated
05:08: from the island. Helicopters have dropped more than half a million litres of water to try to
05:13: suppress the fires. Its thought fallen power cables may have started the blaze.
05:18: Reports say the historic town of Lahaina has been mostly destroyed. Kikoa Landsford lives there,
05:24: he said help didn't arrive fast enough.
05:26: It's going to take years for fix, years.
05:30: This is not even the worst of it.
05:32: Still get dead bodies in the water, floating, and on the seawall.
05:36: They've been sitting there since last night.
05:38: We've been pulling people out since last night, trying to save people's lives.
05:43: And I feel like we're not getting the help we need.
05:46: On Wednesday, we spoke to Malika Dudley, a meteorologist in Maui, who was evacuated from her home.
05:51: A day later, we contacted her again to see how she's coping.
05:55: I woke up to just heroing stories from some of my Instagram followers.
06:01: I'll tell you one.
06:03: There is a woman who said that she had seconds.
06:07: She had to run for her life, jumped over the sea wall into the ocean,
06:12: and spent seven hours in the ocean waiting to be rescued.
06:17: She and her apartment mates were experiencing hypothermic type of issues, medical issues,
06:25: and so they would approach things that were on fire
06:28: in the water to try to stay warm.
06:31: Yet then they would experience burn conditions.
06:34: So these are the types of stories that we're hearing coming out of that area.
06:39: These are the types of people that have been rescued over the last several hours.
06:44: this is a national emergency. There are mass casualties and, you know, though we had a red flag
06:52: warning predicting a fire, nobody could have predicted this. This is a catastrophe. We're so thankful
06:59: for all of the officials, for the firefighters, our first responders, was so thankful for the work
07:04: that they're doing, you know, with something of this magnitude. It's difficult to get it right,
07:11: you know quote unquote, but I think they're doing their best. It's just when it's life and death,
07:17: your best is not good enough." Malika Dudley in Maui. Now the president of Ivory Coast says about
07:24: a thousand troops from his country will join an international force that's been put on standby
07:29: to intervene in Niger. Alassani Uttaro was speaking after an emergency meeting of the West African
07:35: regional block, ECHO-AS, which has put the troops on alert. He said the group was determined
07:40: to restore Nishir's elected president, Mohammad Bazoum, who was ousted in a coup last month.
07:47: ECHO-AS had previously warned those behind the takeover to reinstate Mohammad Bazoum by
07:52: last Sunday all risk the potential use of force. But now they say engaging in dialogue
07:58: is the priority, as our Africa correspondent Andrew Harding explains.
08:03: Niger's neighbours are looking for ways to push the country back to democracy.
08:07: After a meeting of regional leaders, it was announced that a relatively small joint military
08:12: force would be put on alert, most likely to secure Niger's borders at this stage.
08:18: At the same meeting, Nigeria's President, Bolla Tinnubu, said diplomacy needed to be given more of a chance.
08:25: Area Feminari Lentlands Commitment to Democracy, Human Rights and the weapon of the people
08:33: of Niche, it is crucial that we prioritize diplomatic negotiations and dialogue as the bedrock of our approach.
08:43: Some will find that reassuring.
08:45: There's a chance that economic sanctions and political pressure on impoverished landlock
08:50: Niger will persuade the generals there to agree to a timetable for a return to democracy.
08:57: But the coup-plotters may equally feel emboldened. They've just named a new cabinet,
09:03: and they're still holding Niger's legitimate president in custody with growing international
09:08: concern about his safety. There are certainly good reasons for concern, even alarm.
09:14: In recent years, coups and conflicts have spread right across a sway of Africa,
09:19: just below the Sahara desert. From Mali to Sudan and now Niger, instability is growing.
09:26: Democracy is in retreat. Russian mercenaries and Islamist militants are gaining influence
09:31: and millions of civilians are struggling." Andrew Harding reporting.
09:35: Next, here in the UK, members of militant groups in Northern Ireland said they've acquired
09:40: private details of police officers, including some who work with the British Security Service,
09:46: MI5. The information was accidentally placed online this week, as a result of what the
09:51: police service in Northern Ireland, or the PSNI, says was human error. Peace Accords signed
09:57: in 1998, largely brought an end to decades of sectarian violence in the region, but some
10:03: groups there have never accepted the peace process. They claim to have accessed private
10:08: information hasn't been verified. But the head of Northern Ireland's police-the-chief
10:12: Constable Simon Burn says they're providing advice to those potentially at risk. He added,
10:18: he won't be resigning. From Belfast, Charlotte Gallagher has more.
10:22: This has been a disastrous few days for the police service of Northern Ireland, with
10:26: morale among officers at rock bottom. All of their names were accidentally published online
10:34: when the force was responding to a freedom of information request. Then details of a second
10:40: data breach emerged just 24 hours later. A police laptop, radio and another list of names
10:48: were stolen from a car in July. An emergency policing board meeting was called
10:52: so senior politicians could question the chief constable. Simon Burn cut short his holiday
10:58: to return to Belfast to deal with the crisis. Admitting the data breach was on an industrial
11:04: scale. Mr Burns said he was deeply sorry, but played down fears the list of 10,000 names,
11:11: including those working with MI5 here, was in the hands of dissident Republicans.
11:17: We are now aware that dissident Republicans claimed to be in possession of some of this information
11:24: circulating on WhatsApp, and as we speak we are advising officers and staff about how to do
11:30: with that and any further risk that they face. We haven't yet been able to verify what
11:35: the substances behind that claim or see any of the information that dissident Republicans
11:41: assert that they have. It's that suggestion that has been most worrying to officers.
11:46: Decident Republicans were behind the attempted murder of a well-known detective in Oma in
11:51: February. The security situation in Northern Ireland means some officers don't even tell
11:57: family and friends what they do for work. No staff have been rehoused yet and it's not
12:02: known if any are asking to be moved. The immediate concerns for the PSNI are the safety of
12:08: officers and ensuring a data breach like this can never happen again. But the financial
12:14: implications of this era may be huge. Lawyers are already making it known that they will represent
12:21: officers and other employees who have had their identities revealed. With more than 10,000
12:27: people affected, the potential compensation bill could run to tens of millions of pounds.
12:33: Charlotte Gallagher in Belfast. Now let's go to Ukraine where a temporary humanitarian corridor
12:39: is reportedly going to open in the Black Sea on Friday so that stranded ships carrying grain
12:45: and other products can get out. The Ukrainian Navy announced the move, although it admitted
12:49: With their still a threat from sea mines and the Russian Navy, Moscow has not confirmed
12:55: whether it has agreed to the plan.
12:57: Our Kiev correspondent James Waterhouse said international shipping companies and crucially insurers are yet to be convinced.
13:04: I'm going to stick my neck out here Robyn and say no, it is not going to happen.
13:09: I'm struggling to see an armada of Ukrainian vessels making their way out into the Black Sea.
13:17: that are still dominated by the Russian Navy, which seems to have resumed its blockade of
13:25: the Ukrainian ports that it doesn't occupy. And not just that, since it's withdrawal from a
13:30: landmark agreement, which allowed Ukraine to export grain, it has pummeled those ports with
13:36: relentless missile strikes. So I still don't know what the tactic here is from Kiev, where we have
13:42: Ukraine's navy announcing this humanitarian corridor. They say it's for commercial vessels,
13:48: so passenger ships, as well as cargo vessels, to make their way out that have been trapped there
13:53: since February last year with the full-scale invasion. They even go as far to say that cameras
13:58: will be installed on these vessels that would live stream content proving that it's a humanitarian
14:03: endeavor and not military focused. But we don't know whether they're going to be escorted and
14:08: what's crucially missing from all of these proposals are any kind of
14:13: acknowledgement or confirmation from Russia's end and I think until you have
14:18: that I think these are just words at this moment in time. Even if there was
14:22: some kind of reassurance from Moscow and it was practically able to happen
14:27: at what about the insurers I mean crucially in the shipping industry what would
14:30: there be on it? Well it's interesting it reminds me of I was in a desert in
14:35: July last year when this grain deal was getting hashed together and even with the political
14:40: declarations from Russia and Ukraine with the UN and Turkey being the main brokers here,
14:47: even with those declarations, what the process lacks was confidence. What it was waiting for were
14:53: insurers for those major shipping companies to watch the first few voyages go out for them to
14:58: see that ships weren't being targeted and it gained momentum and frankly it works. You know,
15:04: Ukraine is able to export two-thirds of what it could do before the full-scale
15:09: invasion. But what's lacking here is is that confidence once more because would
15:13: you fancy getting on a vessel and traveling out into mine-infested waters?
15:17: And crucially it's in the detail of what Ukraine is proposing. It's saying there
15:21: is still a threat posed by sea mines as well as Russia itself. I think that is
15:25: the giveaway here. I think this is Ukraine either trying to highlight Russia's
15:29: continued blockade or at least trying to pressure Moscow into trying to restore
15:33: the grain deal, but as we've seen in the past, that hasn't brought much success.
15:37: James Waterhouse in Kiev.
15:39: Let's go to something a little lighter now.
15:41: Virgin Galactic has completed its first space tourism flight from a site in the United States.
15:47: For the first time, a mom and her daughter, Keisha Shahaf and Anna Mayers, headed to the edge of space.
15:52: They won their ticket in a sweepstake.
15:55: Also on board with them was a Teorod John Goodwin.
15:58: He bought his ticket for $250,000 back in 2005.
16:03: had feared that a later diagnosis of Parkinson's disease might have stopped him.
16:08: Our correspondence, Safelong, sent this report from the deserts in New Mexico.
16:15: As the passengers of Galactic 2 made their way out of the hangar,
16:19: they were greeted with huge cheers from the friends and family who had gathered
16:22: at Spaceport America to wish them well on their journey.
16:26: This day has been a long time coming for 80-year-old John Goodwin,
16:29: who bought his ticket nearly 20 years ago.
16:32: his wife Pauline said she never doubted it would come, even after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's.
16:38: When you say that he's on his way, it makes me emotional again, but I keep going in waves,
16:42: actually. But it's been an incredibly emotional week with all the activities.
16:48: But I'm feeling absolutely fine. I'm very happy that he's doing it. It's something that he's
16:52: wanted to do from the word go. Carried by the Virgin Mother Ship Eve, the spaceship unity
16:58: lifted off in perfect conditions from the New Mexico desert. As the craft reached
17:02: apogee its highest point, crowds on the ground watched on a big screen and cheered as
17:07: the crew experienced zero gravity and views of earth that only a select few have ever seen.
17:14: Others watched at parties and antiga with the billionaire founder of Virgin Galactics
17:18: Richard Branson and in John Goodwin's hometown of Newcastle underline.
17:22: He's a main part of Parkinson's. He comes in, talks to everybody. He never
17:29: sits on his own. Anything that he puts his mind to he does. I had a
17:34: fog and a kiss off him before he went. I was really pleased about that.
17:39: As the spaceship unity touched down there was duberlation and relief.
17:43: The flight was a major milestone for space tourism, at least for those who
17:47: who can afford it. Tickets are currently selling for more than £350,000 and there's a queue
17:53: of around 800 people who already have them.
17:56: Well once she was safely back on Earth, 18-year-old Anna Mayer said it was an unbelievable experience.
18:01: I was shocked at the things that you feel. You are so much more connected to everything
18:07: than you would expect to be. You felt like a part of the team, a part of the ship, a part
18:13: of the universe, a part of Earth, it was incredible and I'm still starting.
18:20: Anomaius, the new astronaut, Anomaius.
18:26: Still to come.
18:27: Humans are very bad at even repairing cartilage, but lizard spontaneously regrow large amounts of cartilage when they regrow their tails.
18:36: That means Lizards could help scientists find a treatment for osteoarthritis, which is currently incurable.
18:48: World football, where the women's world cup is the podcast, telling the global story of the tournament.
18:53: Now so proud of our team, of our guests.
18:55: We're speaking to the fans who have traveled down under it as they share all the excitement of this incredible competition.
19:02: Oh, mega!
19:03: I think we're still in the running to go all the way.
19:05: I'm really, really proud of Vietnam.
19:07: This is probably the biggest moment in their careers and Australians right behind them.
19:10: World football at the Women's World Cup from the BBC World Service.
19:14: Find it wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
19:18: Welcome back to the Global News Podcast.
19:19: Let's go to Ecuador in Latin America.
19:22: And security has been reinforced outside a detention facility in the country's capital, Keto, where six people suspected of killing a presidential candidate are being held.
19:32: Fernando Velova-Ceniel was shot in their head
19:35: at the end of a rally on Wednesday evening.
19:37: One of the gummen was killed in a shootout that followed.
19:40: It's believed that a local gang linked to a Mexican drug cartel carried out the attack.
19:46: And as our South America correspondent Katie Watson reports, a state of emergency is now in place. and walking towards a pickup truck.
20:06: When the shooting starts, the person filming clearly drops down behind the vehicle to protect themselves.
20:13: The killing comes less than two weeks before the presidential elections.
20:17: Mr. Veevi Sensios' popularity was rising and recent polls put him in second place.
20:23: The current president Guillermo Lassa has declared a state of emergency
20:27: that said the elections wouldn't be called off.
20:32: Faced with the loss of a Democrat and a fighter, the elections aren't suspended.
20:37: On the contrary, they have to be held and democracy has to be strengthened.
20:42: This is a political crime that has a terrorist character,
20:46: and we don't doubt that this assassination
20:48: is an attempt to sabotage the electoral process.
20:51: Mr. V. V. V. Sencio has been very outspoken about crime and corruption
20:55: and was one of the few candidates to alleged links between the government and organised crime in Ecuador.
21:00: This attack, though, is clear evidence of just how much power the gangs have.
21:05: The group which claims to have carried out the murder, lost Lobos or the wolves,
21:09: is the second biggest in the country with as many as 8,000 members.
21:14: It's also been involved in deadly prison fights that have left many inmates dead.
21:18: South America correspondent Katie Watson reporting.
21:21: There's been an explosive outbreak of the M-Pox virus in China, with infection numbers
21:26: jumping almost fivefold in just a month. Almost 500 cases were diagnosed in July. Will
21:32: Leonardo has more?
21:33: A year after M-Pox tore through gay communities in the West, the disease is now surging in
21:38: China. Health officials say 80% of the new infections can't be traced. Cases have
21:43: centred in the southern Guangdong region and the capital Beijing. M-Pox renamed for monkey
21:48: Pox causes a fever and rash and is largely spread among gay men through sexual contact.
21:53: No one has yet died in this outbreak, but officials are concerned. They say they'll counter
21:58: the disease with information campaigns, although there are doubts this will be enough.
22:02: In the West, transmission has been contained through coordinated public health action,
22:06: including gay men coming forward for vaccinations.
22:08: Going to France next, where it's harvest season. In Europe's biggest farming country,
22:13: fields of asparagus, lettuce and radishes have been left to rot, though, because of a shortage
22:18: of people to pick them. This report from John Lawrenceson starts on a farm southeast of Paris.
22:26: A woman armed with pruning shears in a jungle of tomato vines, snips off bunches of ripe
22:32: red fruit and tosses them into a sack as the radio plays in the background. We're in
22:37: one of the greenhouses of Lissever de Chey, a large tomato cucumber and strawberry farm near Fontainebleau, south-east of Paris.
22:46: Farma Banja Manseminau de Vos says it has become more and more difficult to hire and retain workers over the past 20 years.
22:54: Now each season begins with the fear they won't have enough hands to get the harvest in.
23:00: We have had to abandon some of our production because we can't harvest quickly enough due to lack of workers.
23:08: The worst is when there is an odd spell and big volumes of strawberries need to be
23:12: are visited at the same time. Then it's a catastrophe. Foot-wattings are fields. We are thinking
23:18: of planting less in the future because harvesting in all has become so uncertain.
23:22: Seen worker Lydia Pereira has been coming from Portugal every year since 2015 to pick tomatoes
23:36: at another farm called Tondayki near Bordeaux. She works long seasons, March to October.
23:42: She likes this work, she says, but she only picks cherry tomatoes. She says she's too
23:47: short to pick the big ones. Farmer Banja Mart's Seminole de Vos says, this sort of work
23:54: is much less grueling than it used to be, thanks to technical innovations. But still,
24:00: Few French people are willing to do it.
24:02: People think it's too tough.
24:07: They are just not as hard-working as they used to be.
24:10: And there is not enough difference between what they earn when they work
24:14: and the end-outs they get when they don't.
24:16: So people prefer to stay at home.
24:18: You want to work in agriculture for the next season?
24:23: It seems no work, a recruitment film,
24:26: aimed at the French, posted by farmers on social media.
24:31: Atra bientôt.
24:33: The farmers are also casting their net wider.
24:36: Seline Comgran-Vila is a vegetable grower in charge of employment issues
24:42: at the vegetables of France, growers' association.
24:45: It's much more difficult to find workers from other EU countries as well.
24:52: We used to have a lot of Armenians, a lot of Bulgarians, but not anymore.
24:57: So we're looking further afield.
24:59: For example, we're setting up a partnership with the French immigration office in Morocco
25:04: in order to offer our member seasonal workers from our own ports of Morocco
25:08: with common working France for up to six months before returning home to their country.
25:15: And there are others from even further away, but who are already here.
25:20: Corinne DeLuke is in charge of human resources at Tondakhi, the cooperative which employs
25:26: Lydia Perera.
25:27: We are working with an association on terms of culture.
25:30: We work with the association that enables political refugees to integrate through seasonal jobs.
25:37: We work with Afghans in particular.
25:39: We have 12 Afghans working here at the moment, along with workers of other nationalities,
25:45: Ukrainian from Latin America as well. Most of them are from rural areas and I used to hard work.
25:52: I am familiar with the bosses.
25:55: Back at his farm in the Man Valley, I ask farmer Simino De Vast what he thinks of migrant
26:00: labor as a solution to France's seasonal worker shortage.
26:04: After a while they'll just turn into the French, he says, and prefer to do something easier
26:09: or live off benefits in some the wrong sort of integration.
26:13: In the meantime though, the Afghans are helping get the harvesting.
26:18: John Larson reporting from France.
26:21: Scientists from the University of Southern California have identified key cells involved in cartilage regeneration in lizards.
26:29: So you might ask why that's important.
26:31: Well, the discovery could offer insights into the treatment of osteoarthritis, which is currently incurable.
26:38: Gary O'Donohue spoke to the author of the study Thomas Luzito and asked him how they identified
26:43: these cells. We use a technique called single cell sequencing that allows us to
26:48: break down a complex process into individual cells and we were able to
26:52: identify both the cells that were turning into the cartilage and then the cells
26:56: that were regulating that differentiation. And so is there kind of similarity
27:00: between these cells and what goes on in the human body? Yes, all of these cells
27:04: are found in the human body. The cells that become the cartilage are called
27:08: fibroblasts and they're one of the most common cell types found in any
27:11: organism. And then the cells doing the cartilage regulation are called septic
27:15: class. These are a special immune cells. So humans have immune cells just like
27:20: these lizards, but lizards are able to tweak them in a way that favors cartilage
27:24: regeneration over scar formation. So just to be clear, humans can't grow their own
27:28: cartilage, but lizards can, is that right?
27:30: Correct. Humans are very bad at even repairing cartilage, but lizards
27:34: spontaneously regrow large amounts of cartilage when they regrow their
27:38: tails. So they are a very applicable model when you're trying to study cartilage
27:43: formation and regeneration. And what's the possibility of doing this to scale?
27:48: The interesting thing about this is that basically lizards are able to spin
27:52: straw and to gold. They're able to take those common fiber blasts and turn them
27:56: into cartilage. If we can do something similar in humans, that would be a source
28:00: of regenerated cartilage that can be formed pretty much in any joint or skeletal
28:05: source in the human body. You say the important word there if? How do you use that if?
28:09: So right now we're looking at how exactly the lizards are remodeling their DNA. Something that we
28:14: know that happens during this cartilage differentiation process. If we're able to tack down those DNA
28:20: changes, we should be able to recreate them in human cells. And what sort of timescale would you be
28:24: looking at for that sort of research? One of the interesting things about this study is that we
28:28: applied what we learned and formed new cartilage and a lizard limb, a situation that doesn't
28:34: normally form cartilage at all. So the next step here would be transferring process into something
28:39: like a mouse and then be on a way to try it in other mammals such as humans.
28:45: Thomas Luzito from the University of Southern California. Now we heard earlier about
28:50: Virgin Galactic Space Tourist mission, but as we record this podcast, a launch has taken place
28:55: of Luna 25, a far more ambitious spaceflight. Russia is going to the moon for the first time in
29:01: nearly half a century. And it's hoping to land on the South Pole before an Indian craft,
29:07: also on the way, gets there first. Are Europe regional editor Paul Moss? Tell me more.
29:12: It's often forgotten that Russia once had its own moon exploration program. In fact,
29:17: the first human object to land on the moon was a Russian probe which crashed into the surface
29:22: in 1959. That's 10 years before Neil Armstrong did his famous one giant step. Now, Russia
29:28: carried on sending missions. They're right through to the 1970s. In fact, they sent
29:33: space ships there which then came back to Earth with samples, but that all stopped in 1976
29:38: and they haven't been back until now. They're going to send a rocket up from the Vostoshnikost
29:44: Cosmodrome in Russia's Far East and the aim is to reach the Moon's south pole. And
29:50: unlike that probe I mentioned which crashed into the lunar surface this one, they want
29:55: to land softly so it can do some experiments. Why the South Pole? Well, a very simple reason.
30:01: Scientists think that the South Pole of the Moon probably has water there. And if they
30:06: were ever going to build a permanent lunar base, that water would be useful, perhaps essential.
30:11: So that's what this Russian spacecraft is supposed to be looking for.
30:15: OK, so we know where they want to go, what they want to do, but why now? Why in 2023?
30:21: an awful sense of deja vu here, back in the Cold War days, competition between the old
30:26: Soviet Union and the US was fought down on earth with sort of saber-attling and proxy wars,
30:31: but it was also famously fought up in the heavens with the so-called space race.
30:36: And then for a long time there was cooperation in space with the United States and Russia
30:41: working together on, for example, the International Space Station, along with other nationalities.
30:47: That all began to fall apart when Russia occupied Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.
30:51: And then it fell apart completely when Russian troops invaded Ukraine last year.
30:57: And you know, pretty awfully when we hear about Russian rockets these days, it's usually
31:01: the military kind that are being fired at cities.
31:04: So here we are again with Moscow once again at odds with the West.
31:08: And once again, the man in the Kremlin wants to show who's top dog.
31:13: Russia is launching this attempt to be the first at something in space, in this case, a soft landing at the South Pole.
31:18: And I should say that conflict in Ukraine has caused problems for this space mission, or
31:23: sorts of pieces of kit Russian needs they can't get hold of because of sanctions they've had to work around that.
31:30: And that's led some people to say they don't think this mission is very likely to succeed or at least 50-50 chance.
31:36: Paul Moss on Russia and the new space race.
31:42: that's all from us for now but there will be a new edition of the Global News Podcast
31:45: later. If you want to comment on this podcast or the topics covered in it, you can send
31:51: us an email as always the address is globalpodcast.bbc.co.uk. You can also find us on Twitter at Global
31:57: NewsPod. This edition was mixed by Holly Palmer, the producer was Liam McChephry. The editor
32:02: is Karen Martin. I'm Robin Brandt. Until next time, that's it. Goodbye. Thank you for listening.