The numbat – a small and little-known Australian marsupial – is one of the world’s most endangered animals. Conservationists are working hard to save them by building vast, predator-free sanctuaries.
The numbat is an insectivorous marsupial. It is diurnal and its diet consists almost exclusively of termites. It was once widespread across southern Australia, but is now restricted to several small colonies in Western Australia. It is therefore considered an endangered species and protected by conservation programs.
Afghanistan was once a firm fixture on the backpacker trail, but decades of war and violence have crossed it off the destination list for almost all tourists. Most governments advise against travel there. But American blogger Drew Binksy is one traveller bucking the trend. He says he has a coronavirus test before travelling to new countries, and follows local measures in the places he visits.
Video produced by the BBC’s Suhrab Sirat and Kawoon Khamoosh
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
From the race to roll-out coronavirus vaccinations around the world, to other concerns such as mental health and measles, BBC Health Reporter Smitha Mundasad looks at the health challenges facing the world in the next year.
Michael Portillo’s 1936 Bradshaw’s Guide brings him to the Italian ‘treasure island’ of Sicily, full of natural beauty and ‘scenery of the greatest charm’. But the interwar guide book also tells Michael that the head of government in Italy is the fascist leader Signor Benito Mussolini.
On a railway journey from the capital, Palermo, through the ancient town of Agrigento and the port of Siracusa, to Europe’s largest volcano, Mount Etna, Michael explores Sicilian life under the dictatorship. Michael finds out how the dictator took on the mafia and asks whether it is true that under Mussolini, the trains ran on time. In Palermo, Michael takes in the art and architecture of the futurists and feasts on a Sicilian speciality – spaghetti and sardines – in the city’s Ballaro street market. In the Capo district, Michael learns how the island’s distinctive puppets are made and is enchanted to see them in action.
Among the spectacular ancient Greek and Roman temples of Agrigento, Michael hears of the passionate ten-year search by a British archaeologist at the time of his guide for a long-lost ancient Greek theatre. The drama of the interwar period comes to life in front of Michael’s eyes as he joins six characters in search of an author at the Teatro Pirandello.
Michael takes the helm to explore the port of Siracusa by boat before visiting a controversial monument, which depicts a dark chapter in Italian history. He concludes his Sicilian journey on the circular railway around Mount Etna, aboard the sleek, futurist-inspired train inaugurated by Mussolini in 1937 – La Littorina.
Penguins have the ability to forage for food in the sub-temperature waters of the Antarctic, where Krill and other sea life have also found a home. But Penguins aren’t the only inhabitants here…
The emperor penguin is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The male and female are similar in plumage and size, reaching 100 cm in length and weighing from 22 to 45 kg.
Michael Portillo embarks on a rail journey through Germany, steered by a Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide published in 1936. His unique window on Europe between the world wars takes him through a tumultuous period in German history, when the nation’s first democracy and its vibrant culture of art, design and decadence were swept away by fascism, nationalism and the increasing likelihood of war.
In a vast stadium, Michael hears how new rail lines were constructed to transport crowds of spectators to the Nazi Olympic Games of 1936. Michael learns how a planned boycott by the United States and other European nations failed and how the success of a black American athlete undermined the Nazi ideology of Aryan superiority.
At the Museum of Modern Art in Berlin’s Kreuzberg, Michael sees how a leading artist of the era, George Grosz, warned of the rise of fascism in a haunting self-portrait. Michael goes to the movies in Potsdam and discovers the success of the Babelsberg Studios, where directors such as Fritz Lang and stars such as Marlene Dietrich worked. He hears how production was taken over by the Nazis for propaganda.
In the Schöneberg district of the capital, Michael researches the decadent night scene of the 1920s, where sexual freedoms attracted gay and lesbian visitors from across the world. Michael sees how cabaret culture is being revived today – a burlesque performance is on the bill. At the birthplace of German democracy in Weimar,
Michael investigates the beginnings of Bauhaus design and visits the movement’s first building – a single-family house which went beyond a statement of style to present a vision of how people would live in the 20th century. Travelling with author Julia Boyd to Nuremberg, Michael discovers that during the 1930s, despite the First World War and the Third Reich, Britons and Americans loved Germany and German culture.
Michael hears how one Briton above all was welcomed by Hitler to Germany – the Duke of Windsor, former King Edward VIII. In the medieval Bavarian city of Nuremberg, Michael visits the monumental buildings and parade grounds, which were the stage for vast Nazi rallies to publicise the regime around the world and arouse popular support at home.
Michael finishes in Stuttgart, where an ambitious engineering project is under way, which will integrate the city into a high-speed train route connecting Paris with Bratislava. Michael bags a ride in a high-performance Porsche to the manufacturer’s Stuttgart headquarters and discovers that in the 1930s, the founder designed an affordable car for mass production – the Beetle.
Reindeer live in some of the coldest parts of the world. Sit back and enjoy this selection of wonderful reindeer moments selected from the BBC Earth library.
The reindeer, also known as the caribou in North America, is a species of deer with circumpolar distribution, native to Arctic, sub-Arctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. This includes both sedentary and migratory populations.
US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has said she is “honoured and humbled” to be President Trump’s pick for a place in the top court during a tense Senate confirmation hearing.
The 48-year-old conservative jurist vowed to judge legal cases impartially. But her selection so close to the 3 November presidential election has sparked a fierce political battle.
The panel’s Republican chairman has predicted a “contentious week” of questioning ahead. Judge Barrett’s approval would cement a 6-3 conservative majority on the nine-member court, altering the ideological balance of the court for potentially decades to come.