There are many considerations to take into account when naming a new disease. We hear about some of the pitfalls the World Health Organization avoided when it came up with Covid-19. Also, an American couple tries to make the best of their cruise ship quarantine; some Chinese people travelling in the US are getting tired of being asked if they’re sick; the long and unfounded history of migrants bringing disease to the US; plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has deployed disease detectives to combat the coronavirus.
(Photo: Passengers wear face masks to protect against the spread of the Coronavirus as they arrive on a flight from Asia at Los Angeles International Airport, California, on January 29, 2020. Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)
First in the nation
If there’s one lesson to be taken from the Iowa caucuses, it’s that elections and smartphone apps don’t always mix well. An app that was developed to count caucus-goers in the state malfunctioned, and caused major disruption. Officials say no hacking was involved but it has raised questions about moves to take the US election process online. Boston Calling reports from Iowa as we kick off our 2020 election coverage.
(Carl Voss, Des Moines City Councilman and a precinct chair, shows photographers the app that was used for caucus results reporting on his phone after he unsuccessfully attempted to drop off a caucus results packet from Precinct 55 at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Two sides to a story
Carbon dioxide isn't the only greenhouse gas that's a threat to the planet. Nitrous oxide, emitted when farmers fertilise their fields, is a growing climate change threat as well. We find out about an environmentally-friendly potential solution.
Also, in Africa the agriculture sector wants more fertiliser so that farmers can boost crop yields; a controversial new novel about a Mexican woman forced to flee from drug cartels shines light on the world of American publishing; on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, a Colombian volunteer opens up her home to desperate migrants; and on opposite sides of the world, two guys try to make a planet Earth sandwich.
(David Melevsky, owner of Go Green Organic Land Care, treats grass areas that have been reseeded to repair winter damage with fertilizer at Ocean Park Meadow condos. Credit: Derek Davis/Getty Images)
An impeachment trial is a rare event in the United States but there is something unprecedented about this one. President Trump's troubles are rooted in his approach to US foreign policy and diplomacy. The president is accused of pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son, in exchange for US military assistance. The implications of the senate's verdict will be felt far beyond America's borders. Former US ambassador Nicholas Burns says that despite the pressure, diplomats from the US state department have acted courageously and have set a positive example for a new generation of foreign service officers.
Also, the death of a US citizen in an Egyptian prison raises questions about US diplomacy; the internet has made cheating by students more digital and more global than ever before, and that has opened up business opportunities in places like Kenya; we look to the Mexico-Guatemala border where a new migrant caravan has been stopped by Mexican security forces; and we compare the cost of maternity healthcare in the US with other countries around the world.
(Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns testifies during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The Trump administration insists that the president has a firm legal basis for ordering the attack that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Legal scholars, though, are skeptical. We look into the American constitutional issues surrounding the president’s use of force.
Also, the United States and Iran may no longer be on the brink of war, but Iran’s proxies, like Hezbollah, are armed and ready for revenge; An Israeli spy thriller goes on location in Iran, the story behind the production is a thriller unto itself; In Los Angeles, thousands of kilometres from Tehran, Muslim and Jewish Iranians come together for a long-awaited high school reunion; and Iranian-American author Dina Nayeri reflects on her refugee experience.
(Anti-war activist march from the White House to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. Demonstrators are protesting the US drone attack which killed Iran's Major General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Credit: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)