Stories from Singapore, the US, Britain, Germany and Antarctica on battling COVID-19.
From Our Home Correspondent 22/03/2020
Mishal Husain presents pieces by writers and journalists across the UK presenting portraits of life today. Garry Owen of BBC Radio Cymru visits Llanelli and Hospital Notes - an amateur choir there comprising hospital and care workers and members of the emergency services. He discovers how its members de-compress at times of stress - when social distancing restrictions permit it - and what benefits they derive from singing together. The writer, Damian Barr, author of the Radio 4 Books of the Week, "Maggie & Me" and "You Will Be Safe Here", takes us to north Lanarkshire and the South Downs in his quest for glow worms. His search is part journey of discovery and part self-revelation. Along the way, he explains the enduring appeal of these elusive insects at this - or, indeed - any time. Andrew Green has journeyed around England in search of the special memorials which are stained glass windows in parish churches commemorating the Fallen of the Great War. From Cornwall to Suffolk, Leicestershire to Devon, he has been speaking with those entrusted with the care of both old and new windows and has heard why they matter so much to local communities. The Edwardian bandstand in the West Yorkshire town of Todmorden is sadly neglected. But, as Andy Kershaw has been discovering, there are plans afoot from local campaigners to restore it. Might they, though, be defeated by local bureaucracy or will this rare structure come to enjoy a new lease of life over a hundred years after it first came into use? And the poet and broadcaster, Ian McMillan, considers how we mark out our lives. For him, it's the regular visit to the same place for a ritual that’s barely altered over the decades. But if the location hasn’t changed the people certainly have…
Producer: Simon Coates
Italy's Invisible Enemy
Italy marked a grim milestone at the end of this week as its number of deaths from the coronavirus exceeded those in China. Yet most Italians are supportive of the country's struggling authorities says Mark Lowen who has covered the crisis from its outset.
Across the world ten of millions of people are having to adapt their way of life to avoid infection. Fergal Keane has spent decades reporting on conflicts and natural disasters across the globe. He reflects on what it means to be caught up in the universal war against a potentially fatal disease.
In New York all non-essential businesses have been ordered to close. For the army of low paid workers and small business owners in particular, this is an exceptionally difficult time says Laura Trevelyan.
Young men and women looking for love often turn to their phone and swipe through a gallery of faces. But the leaders of the Indonesia's anti-dating movement say casual relationships are expensive, get in the way of study, and go against religious teaching. Josephine Casserly met a pair of newly weds who have made not dating cool.
In these days of self-isolation and working from home, many turn to the comforting familiarity of favourite books – and memories of where we first encountered them. Forty years ago Kevin Connolly fell for a largely forgotten thriller. His love was rekindled by a recent trip to the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.
Mixed Messages in Bolsonaro's Brazil.
While Europe seals its borders, Latin America, which has far fewer confirmed Coronavirus cases, has started to do the same to stop the disease spreading. But not all leaders are taking the threats seriously says Katy Watson.
All over the world Coronavirus is spreading, unseen. Paul Adams found himself in Beirut as it approached. He watched as the city shut down and found himself reflecting on this hidden enemy.
Aung San Suu Kyi was once a much admired recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. But her repeated denials over the persecution of the Rohingya, the country’s Muslim minority, have earned her global opprobrium. As Nick Beake bids farewell to his life in Yangon and to Myanmar, he reflects on its elusive first lady.
The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah which is backed by Iran has lost at least one thousand two hundred men in Syria. But by no means all Syrians are grateful for these sacrifices says Lizzie Porter.
Living in an online world makes tracking down something or someone infinitely easier. Rob Cameron spotted a face in a film from the Prague Spring, and was so besotted with the man that he set out to find him – 50 years later.
For well over a decade, the Al Qaeda linked group Al Shabab has struck terror in Somalia, Kenya and beyond blowing up shopping malls and hotels. Its senior leaders want to establish a caliphate, where their draconian form of Islam is imposed. But most Al Shabaab foot-soldiers come from deprived backgrounds and now hundreds have defected and are rebuilding their lives. Mary Harper visited a rehabilitation centre in the capital Mogadishu.
In Afghanistan too, there are hopes of militants disarming, Taliban prisoners being released and of an end to a long drawn out conflict. But the peace process is overshadowed by a crisis in government. The defeated candidate in the presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah, proclaimed himself as president at the same time as the official inauguration of President Ghani earlier this week. David Loyn was there.
There was much praise for the three journalists whose dogged investigations ultimately led to Harvey Weinsteins's conviction. But an important question remains says Kirsty Lang: why was the movie mogul's systematic abuse of women, kept out of the media for so many years?
In France schools are closing until further notice as the government battles to stem the spread of the coronavirus. But President Macron said local elections would go ahead as planned. Elderly people, most at risk, may stay away from the polls. But in Pamiers, Chris Bockman met a candidate for mayor, a hardy nonagenarian.
Despite its beautiful lakes, forests and hilltop castles Estonia had a hard time attracting tourists in the 1970s. Few Westerners fancied spending their holidays on that side of the Iron Curtain. But then the Soviet authorities built a luxury hotel fitted out with state of the art listening devices says Rob Crossan.