From Our Own Correspondent

From Our Own Correspondent

By BBC Radio 4

Insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents, journalists and writers telling stories beyond the news headlines. Presented by Kate Adie.


Republicans anoint Donald Trump

Kate Adie presents stories from the US, the West Bank, India and ItalyDonald Trump was confirmed as the Republican party's presidential candidate this week at their National Convention in Wisconsin. He also announced his running mate, JD Vance. Anthony Zurcher was at the convention and reflects on the impact of this last week, and the attempted assassination, on the Presidential campaign.The Israel-Gaza war has exacerbated tensions in the occupied West Bank where around three quarters of a million Israeli settlers live, including East Jerusalem, alongside three million Palestinians. Under Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, settler expansion has risen sharply. Tim Whewell travelled across the West Bank and heard from both Palestinians and Israelis.In India, Hindu nationalism had been growing in prominence throughout Narendra Modi’s first terms in office. Its impact was pervasive – and left many Muslims feeling increasingly marginalised, even at risk. But the two communities share far more culturally than the febrile political atmosphere of the recent election campaign would lead you to believe, says Samira Hussain.The ancient Roman city of Pompeii holds a certain fascination for archaeologists across the world. The current dig is the biggest in a generation and is underlining Pompeii's unique window on the people and culture of the Roman empire. Natasha Fernandes went to explore.The attempted assassination of Donald Trump at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania has shaken the US and triggered several Congressional investigations. Gary O’Donoghue was at the scene and reflects on a defining moment both in the presidential campaign – as well as US history.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Tom Bigwood Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
20/07/2429m 0s

A daylight attack on Kyiv

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Australia, France, Nigeria and Costa Rica.There was international outrage after the Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital in Kyiv was hit by a missile this week, during a barrage of Russian attacks on cities across Ukraine. James Waterhouse was returning to his base in the capital when news of the strike broke and saw how Ukrainians reacted during the aftermath. The modern Australian state was built by immigration but it's always had strict rules on who was allowed in. Katy Watson examines the current stringent regulations limiting entry and residence, which can make migrating to the lucky country difficult for people with disabilities or longterm illness. Contrary to many predictions, the second round of France's general election did not bring Marine Le Pen's National Rally party to power. But some say the party's political advance has merely been paused, not prevented. In the town squares, marketplaces and mosques of Lille, Rob Young heard from voters about their needs and fears. Emigration from Nigeria is nothing new but as it confronts a serious economic downturn talk of how to make the move to work abroad is everywhere. Though only a realistic prospect for the relatively well-off, leaving is a near-universal aspiration for young, well-educated workers these days. Hannah Gelbart talks to young Nigerians who're determined to 'japa' - or jump - away from home. Costa Rica is famous for its commitment to eco-friendly policies both at home and internationally - whether it's pushing to reduce global warming or to fight deforestation at home. In the rainforest of Monteverde, John Kampfner learns how a community of American Quakers put down roots here and what they're doing to help preserve their green haven. Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Tom Bigwood
13/07/2428m 59s

The Trial of Evan Gershkovich

Kate Adie presents stories from Russia, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Vanuatu and Germany.The trial of US journalist, Evan Gershkovich in the city of Yekaterinburg will be conducted behind closed doors. He is just one of many journalists who went to Russia to report on the country, as Vladimir Putin’s clampdown on media freedoms intensified. Steve Rosenberg was in Yekaterinburg and reflects on Russia's handling of the case.Last year, just over 9000 deaths - around 5% of the total number - occurred as a result of euthanasia in the Netherlands, where it's legal. It’s very rare, but every year, there are more Dutch couples choosing to end their lives at the same time. Linda Pressly met someone whose parents made the decision to die together.In Taiwan, civil liberties are strongly supported, and it is now one of the world’s most progressive countries regarding gay rights. On a recent visit to the capital Taipei, Lucy Ash meets some who fear that should China invade in the future, hard-won rights could be taken away.In the South Pacific, Vanuatu is grappling with what happens when a significant proportion of its workforce is lured away by higher paid jobs in hospitality, agriculture and elderly care to the likes of New Zealand and Australia. In Port Vila, Rebecca Root speaks to locals about what that means for a country struggling to build up its own economy.And finally, the UEFA Euro 2024 football championship is taking place at a time when Europe is seeing many political rifts. On a tour of some of the host cities in Germany, James Helm reflects on how football tournaments still have the power to unite rather than divide.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Vadon and Tom Bigwood Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
06/07/2428m 49s

France and the Far Right

Kate Adie introduces stories from France, Israel-Gaza, Bolivia, Uzbekistan and the USA.French voters head to the polls in a snap election that President Macron says will shake people from their 'political fever' - but could also see the far right make further gains. Andrew Harding reflects on this pivotal election.It's estimated around 500 Palestinian medical workers have been killed in Gaza, since Israel's war against Hamas began. When news broke of the death of one British-trained surgeon, Yolande Knell tried to find out more about his life, and the circumstances of his death.An attempted coup in Bolivia this week raised the spectre of a darker period in the country’s history - when it was under military-rule some 40 years ago. Will Grant reflects on whether this was a genuine attempt to seize power - or a ruse by the current President to strengthen his own hold on power.Uzbekistan sits at the heart of the ancient silk road – and is still the world’s third largest producer of silkworm cocoons, after China and India. Chris Aslan travelled to a remote part of the country where silk cultivation has remained largely unchanged for centuries, and met one woman who sees her entire home taken over by the precious cocoons.The Dipsea is said to be America’s oldest trail running race and organisers leave it to the runners to forge their own path between the race start and the finishing line. Although it’s a far cry from marathon running when it comes to distance, the race is known to have stretched some of the most hardened of trail runners. Amy Steadman took up the challenge.Series producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Katie Morrison and Sophie Hill Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
29/06/2429m 15s

Ukraine’s conscription crisis

Kate Adie reports stories from Ukraine, China, US, Canada and SenegalUkraine is facing one of its most perilous moments since the start of the full-scale invasion. Russia. The Ukrainian army desperately needs more troops and has turned to enlistment squads to bolster numbers. This has pushed those who don’t want to fight into hiding, as our correspondent Jean Mackenzie reports from Odesa.Youth unemployment in China has reached record levels in recent years. Some graduates have ended up selling products online, but it’s not always clear what products they are selling. Some have accidentally stumbled into the growing online market for synthetic opioid drugs. Danny Vincent has followed the story.November’s presidential election will hinge on just a handful of states. One of them is Michigan, home to Detroit, which has suffered from decades of industrial decline. In 2016, it voted for Trump; in 2020, it was a critical swing state that voted in favour of Biden. And while crime is down and the economy has improved, many of its residents are struggling to see the benefits as Mike Wendling discovered.Haida Gwaii is an archipelago off British Columbia’s west coast with a population of around five thousand people, half of whom are the indigenous Haida people. Sally Howard went there and learned how their totem poles, of huge cultural significance for the community, are seeing a renaissance.We visit the West African nation of Senegal, home to Africa's biggest jazz festival and many other cultural events. But this celebrated hub has been jolted by the arrival of a new president and some political wrangling, as Natasha Booty reports
22/06/2428m 37s

Kosovo and the new world of war

Kate Adie presents stories from Kosovo, the US, East Jerusalem, Ghana and El SalvadorIts 25 years this week since Serbian forces withdrew from Kosovo. Jeremy Bowen went back for the anniversary celebrations and reflects on how conflicts have changed in the 21st century.All eyes were on Wilmington in the US State of Delaware this week where a jury took just three hours to deliver a guilty verdict in the case against President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on three felony counts. Bernd de Busmann Jr followed the twists and turns of the case and considers what ramifications the verdict might have on Joe Biden’s run for a second term in office.Visitors to the Old City in East Jerusalem have dropped sharply since the Israel-Gaza war began in October. And there’s increased tension between the different communities inside the Old City Walls. Emily Wither spoke to Palestinian and Jewish business owners about how the on-going conflict is impacting their daily lives.Millions of people in the UK were born outside the country. But what's involved in taking the plunge and making your life anew in another land? Elaina Boateng recently spoke to her mother about what had motivated her to leave her West African homeland of Ghana in the eighties– and her reflections on how it had changed when she returned.And finally, El Salvador's coffee industry took a pounding during years of civil war and natural disasters like rust disease which ruined crops and sent prices plummeting, But the country’s 18,000 coffee farmers have embraced agroforestry – a farming technique which integrates trees with crops or pasture, as Jane Chambers discovered.
15/06/2429m 3s

Modi’s Modest Victory

Kate Adie introduces stories from India, Mexico, South Africa, Russia and a trans-continental sleeper train.Narendra Modi has returned for a third term as India's Prime Minister, but has seemingly lost some of his star power among voters, as the BJP lost its parliamentary majority. Yogita Limaye reflects on what this surprising election outcome says about the current health of Indian democracy.In another major election, Claudia Sheinbaum was elected as Mexico's first female president – the first in nearly 200 years. Many cite her victory as a tipping point, following decades of campaigning by Mexico’s pioneering women politicians. Will Grant met the new president’s celebrating supporters.When the African National Congress came to power in 1994, it promised greater equality and economic opportunity for black South Africans. But last week's election saw its support drain, as voters punished the party of Nelson Mandela for the economic hardship they still face. Anne Soy reflects on the difficult choices ahead for the ANC.The St Petersburg International Economic Forum, which took place this week, used to attract the biggest players in global finance, from the US to Europe. Their presence has dissolved somewhat since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent onset of Western sanctions. That friction is not new, of course, and Paul Moss remembers an encounter he had in Russia when the effects of mass privatisation were still being felt – and arguably, still are today.‘Train bragging’ is a Swedish phenomenon that encourages travellers to take pride in opting for climate-friendly rail travel over polluting aeroplanes - and it’s becoming more popular, as new overnight sleeper routes proliferate across Europe. Horatio Clare reflects on the enduring romance of transcontinental train travel.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
08/06/2428m 37s

Haiti’s Shattered State

Kate Adie introduces dispatches on Haiti, China, Lebanon, Spain and Italy.Haitians fear their plight is being forgotten after criminal gangs took control of the capital. An international peacekeeping force is scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks, but how quickly can law and order be restored? Catherine Norris Trent reports from the capital Port au Prince, where she met a community of displaced locals, now living in an abandoned government building.This week marks 35 years since student-led demonstrations took over Tiananmen Square in Beijing. BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera tracked down two former student leaders who were at the protests in 1989, who reveal that the Chinese government is still watching them.As Israel’s bombardment of Gaza continues, in response to the Hamas attacks on the 7th of October, violence has also flared up on the country’s northern border with Lebanon. A new arrival in Beirut, the BBC's Hugo Bachega has learned much about the mood in the country as he searches for a new home.Spain’s efforts to tackle the legacy of its civil war and the Franco dictatorship have long been the cause of political rancour. Guy Hedgecoe discovers the issue is once again causing social division, amid the rise in popularity of far fight political parties.The Allied soldiers in the Italian Campaign of World War Two were unfairly derided for sunbathing on Italian beaches, while escaping the Normandy Landings. Yet this was far from the reality faced by soldiers involved in assaults such as 1944’s Battle for Monte Cassino. Kasia Madera met some of the surviving veterans from the campaign, which took place 80 years ago.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production coordinator: Katie Morrison
01/06/2429m 18s

Myanmar’s Jungle Revolutionaries

Kate Adie introduces stories from Myanmar, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mexico.In Myanmar, tens of thousands of people have been killed since the military seized power in a coup in 2021, halting the country’s tentative transition to democracy - a further 2.5m people have been displaced. Quentin Sommerville has spent a month in the east of the country, living alongside resistance groups fighting the junta the jungles of Karenni state on the border with Thailand, and Shan state, which borders China.In a visit to Kyiv this week, Germany’s foreign minister urged Western governments to supply more air defence weapons to protect Ukrainians from what she described as 'the rain of Russian missiles.' Jonathan Beale met with a Ukrainian military unit known as The Peaky Blinders, which is defending territory near Kharkiv with armed drones.The world’s largest inland body of water, the Caspian Sea, is shrinking at an unprecedented rate. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent travelled to Mangystau, in western Kazakhstan, to find out why this is happening, and how it’s affecting the people and the wildlife along its coastal communities.In the city of Tijuana. right on the Mexico-US border, 3,000 men are incarcerated in La Mesa Prison, living six to a cell, and sharing a tiny bathroom. It’s a claustrophobic and monotonous regime, so any distraction is welcome - and that might come in the form of a visit from a group of mostly elderly nuns. Linda Pressly joined them on a mission to provide spiritual support – and some small comfort.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Sophie Hill
25/05/2428m 29s

Inside the trial of Donald Trump

Kate Adie presents stories from the US, Russia, Afghanistan, Germany and BhutanIt’s been a week of high drama in Manhattan as Donald Trump’s former ally and fixer, Michael Cohen took to the witness stand in the former President’s criminal trial. Kayla Epstein was watching events unfold in the courtroom in New York and reflects on what it might mean for Donald Trump’s re-election chances.A new front opened up in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine this week, as Russian troops made gains in the country’s north-east. Ukraine is still suffering from a lack of ammunition and personnel, even as the US long-promised aid begins to filter through to the frontline. Vitaliy Shevchenko has been finding out how Russian troops are being supplemented by fighters from Cuba.It’s been nearly three years since the Taliban took back control of Afghanistan in a rapid offensive. Since then, the freedoms that women had come to know, such as the right to education and work have been curtailed. John Kampfner has met one woman who embarked on a perilous journey to CanadaThe island of Fehmarn, off Germany’s north-east coast is something of an oasis for holidaymakers. But it’s also soon to be the entrance to the world’s longest underwater rail and road tunnel. Rail travel times from Hamburg in Germany to Copenhagen in Demark will reportedly be cut from around five hours to less than three. But for those living on the island – it’s changing a long-cherished way of life, and many are concerned about the threats to the region’s eco-system. Lesley Curwen has been speaking to some of the locals. At soaring altitudes, foragers in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan seek out a special parasitic fungus, highly prized for its therapeutic qualities. Sara Wheeler’s been hearing about the special status afforded to those who harvest the delicacy.Note: The programme script incorrectly stated that the Denmark-Germany tunnel will connect Germany and Denmark for the first time. Editor: Bridget Harney Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Janet Staples
18/05/2429m 5s

Protests in Georgia

Kate Adie presents stories from Georgia, Serbia, Colombia, Thailand and the PhilippinesGeorgians have been protesting for weeks about a draft law requiring organisations to declare foreign funding, which many see as a turning point in Tbilisi's relationship with Russia and the West. Rayhan Demytrie explores why the law has proved so divisive. China’s President Xi Jinping has been on a tour of Europe this week, including a carefully timed visit to the Serbian capital, Belgrade. Guy De Launey witnessed a growing courtship and considers what Beijing's broader agenda might be. The Darién Gap, an expanse of inhospitable jungle between Colombia and Panama, is now the site of the largest migration crisis in the Western Hemisphere. The 70 mile route is fraught with danger, but for many people fleeing poverty and persecution, the deadly Darién is the only passageway to the US. Peter Yeung joined families crossing the Darién on foot. Chiang Mai in Thailand's north is popular with travellers who enjoy the famously laid-back atmosphere - but it recently recorded the worst air quality of any city in the world. William Kremer met people directly affected. You may have heard of J-pop and K-Pop – but have you heard of P-Pop? Philippine pop, or Pinoy pop is hoping to get a share of K-Pop's global success, but it’s determined to do so in its own, distinctly Filipino way. Hannah Gelbart has been to meet one of the most popular groups in Manila.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Bridget Harney Production Coordinator: Rosie Strawbridge
11/05/2428m 37s

US student protests and the youth vote

Kate Adie introduces stories from the US, Portugal, the South China Sea, Argentina and Antarctica.University campuses across the US have been gripped by protests over the war in Gaza, with students demanding their schools divest from Israeli interests. Nomia Iqbal considers the ramifications of the protests for Joe Biden, who will need the youth vote on his side if he is to win re-election in November.In the days after the Hamas attacks, some 200,000 Israelis were evacuated from Israel's border regions with Gaza and Lebanon, and moved into temporary accommodation. While some have since decided to return home, others have decided to seek safety further afield, as Mark Lowen discovered in Lisbon.Confrontations between the Philippines and China are on the rise in the South China Sea, as the countries clash over a territorial dispute. Jonathan Head saw this maritime feud up close, while on board a Filipino coastguard ship as it came into contact with a Chinese patrol.Argentina's President Javier Milei was elected last year on a manifesto of slashing public spending. Yet, with inflation at 300 per cent, prices are still spiralling, and another national strike is on the horizon. Mimi Swaby discovers it’s a crisis that continues to affect all corners of this vast country.And we’re amid the icebergs and marine life of Antarctica, as Janie Hampton recounts her voyage to trace her family connections to the continent - revealing how the downfall of the Soviet Union led to the cut-price sale of a British research base.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
04/05/2428m 57s

The Rise and Fall of Nagorno Karabakh

Katie Adie presents dispatches from Armenia, India, China, Belgium and the Middle East.The flight of more than 100,000 Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh last year, after a rapid offensive by Azerbaijan, quickly faded from news headlines. Tim Whewell remembers how the self-declared republic first emerged, as the Soviet Union was in its last throes, and reflects on how nations are born, and re-buried.More than a billion Indians are heading to the polls over the next six weeks to vote in a general election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a 'digital India' has been a policy priority during his leadership - but to what extent are the less developed parts of the country on board and online? James Coomarasamy visits a village in Karnataka.The Chinese government is focused on green growth, providing subsidies for the manufacture of solar panels and electric vehicles. Yet in some cities, factory workers have been laid off and fear being left behind. Laura Bicker reports from the once bustling manufacturing city of Dongguan.The Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium was originally built to showcase artefacts from the country's former colony, Congo. Today, visitors to the museum are encouraged to reflect on the impact of Belgium’s colonization, finds Beth Timmins.Reporters always carry some kind of baggage with them when they head off to cover a story. It was on a recent deployment that the BBC’s middle east analyst Sebastian Usher suddenly noticed that the often unwanted companion that seemingly always accompanied him on trips abroad… had suddenly gone missing.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
27/04/2428m 30s

The Ayatollah and Israel

Kate Adie introduces dispatches on Iran, Ukraine, South Africa, Portugal and Hong Kong.As the world nervously watches the developments between Iran and Israel, Lyse Doucet reflects on the rise of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Since coming to power three decades ago, he has managed to avoid taking Iran into an all-out war - could that change as tensions continue to rise?A missile attack in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv this week laid bare the weakness of the country’s air defences. Depleted ammunition supplies, as well as a worsening situation on the frontline, have heightened fears that the tide is continuing to turn against Ukraine in its war with Russia. Sarah Rainsford reports from Kharkiv.South Africa is preparing to go to the polls, and for the first time since the end of white-minority rule, the governing ANC party is predicted to get less than 50 per cent of the vote. As in many other countries, immigration is high on the list of many voters’ concerns. Jenny Hill reports from the border with Zimbabwe.Next week Portugal marks the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution and its transition to democracy. Simon Busch met some of the men who joined the resistance against the country's former dictator Antonio Salazar, to find out what they think about politics in Portugal today.And exotic birds have adapted to live alongside humans in some of the world’s major cities – and in Hong Kong it's yellow-crested cockatoos that you might see swooping through the skyline. Stephen Moss tells the story of why they’re now thriving.Series producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Katie Morrison Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
20/04/2428m 55s

A perilous moment between Israel and Iran

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, Nigeria, the US, Lithuania and FranceTensions between Iran and Israel this week have ramped up further after Tehran issued a warning that it would retaliate for a recent strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel never claimed responsibility for the attack but is widely considered to be behind it. This has compounded fears the conflict between Israel and Gaza will spill into a wider regional war. James Landale has been on an air drop mission to Gaza and reflects on recent events.Ten years ago, 276 secondary school children were kidnapped in Nigeria's north-east by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. Ninety one of the girls are still unaccounted for. Yemisi Adegoke went to meet some of the girls who escaped captivity – to hear about their memories of that day and its impact on their lives. Mental health experts have expressed alarm in the United States about an increase in the rates of suicide there, with a particularly steep rise among young people. Will Vernon went to North Carolina to investigate why the deaths are happening.Simon Worrall tells the story of the provenance of a wood panel painting by Rembrandt - a portrait of a beggar with a bulbous, drunkard’s nose. He traces it back from its origins in a Lithuanian Baltic Oak Forest to an auction house in Maryland. One hundred and twenty years after the ‘entente cordiale’ was signed between Britain and France, French troops this week took part in the Changing the Guard ceremony in London at the same time as their British counterparts in Paris. Hugh Schofield reflects on whether – despite appearances – the relationship has in fact grown more detached.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Bridget Harney Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
13/04/2428m 49s

Returning to Rwanda

Kate Adie introduces stories from Rwanda, Estonia, St Helena and Puerto Rico.This weekend marks the start of the genocide in Rwanda that led to the death of more than 800,000 people – most from the country’s Tutsi minority. Three decades on, Emma Ailes met those who, against the odds, survived the violence – but continue to live with the trauma to this day.Among those who survived the genocide is the BBC’s Victoria Uwonkunda, who was just 12 years old at the time. She recently returned for the first time in three decades, where she retraced her journey to sanctuary, and spoke to genocide survivors - and perpetrators - about the difficult path towards reconciliation and forgiveness.As a result of the conflict in Ukraine, NATO countries close to Russia, such as Norway, Latvia and Lithuania, are expanding their military conscription programmes. In Estonia - where military service is already mandatory – our correspondent Nick Beake met some of the country’s new recruits.Coffee from Jamaica to Ethiopia to Guatemala is a common sight in high-street cafes, but a more rarified blend comes from the Atlantic Island of St Helena. It’s high-quality and short-supply means it fetches a high price – but as Mark Stratton discovered, that doesn’t mean locals are reaping the benefits.It's hard to escape the Puerto Rican sound of reggaeton. Now a global phenomenon, it's created superstars in artists like Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee and Vico C. Jane Chambers went to find out how this multi-faceted music reflects both the island’s culture – and politics.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
06/04/2428m 46s

Prospects for Peace in the Middle East

Kate Adie introduces stories from Israel and the Palestinian Territories, India, Tibet, Ireland and Guinea.What are the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Yolande Knell has been asking Israelis and Palestinians about their hopes and fears for the future, and whether the recent war in Gaza can be an impetus , or impediment, for a future peace settlement.In India, the Muslim minority which makes up about 200 million people, has been feeling under pressure as a result of the deepening religious polarisation that has marked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's time in office. Yogita Limaye has been hearing their concerns.China has introduced educational reforms in the western region of Tibet, which mean that most Tibetan children are now educated in boarding schools, where they are taught in Mandarin Chinese, not Tibetan. Micky Bristow hears concerns from parents that their Tibetan culture is being erased.Ireland has been experiencing a housing crisis, which has been compounded by a rise in people applying for asylum, and seeking shelter from the war in Ukraine. This has led to increasing numbers of homeless people on city streets. Bob Howard visited a cafe in Dublin that tries to makes the lives of the homeless a little easier.Guinea in West Africa has so many poisonous snakes, that it accounts for one in ten of all snakebite deaths in Africa. Despite this, there is only one specialised snakebite clinic in the whole country. so many people turn to traditional healers and natural remedies, with sometimes devastating consequences, as Sam Bradpiece has been finding out.Producers: Polly Hope and Arlene Gregorius Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman
30/03/2428m 50s

Surviving 'chemical detention' in Belarus

Kate Adie introduces stories from Belarus, Senegal, the US-Mexico border, Cambodia and Brazil.Political prisoners in Belarus attract less international attention than those in Russia - but there are far more of them, even in a smaller country. Many are women, held in a kind of house arrest known as 'chemical detention', under stringent rules which control their every move. Monica Whitlock gathered testimony from some living under these conditions.After months of political turbulence, Senegal eventually did hold its planned presidential election - and the popular vote brought Africa's youngest leader, 44-year-old Bassirou Diomaye Faye, to power. James Copnall reported on the final days of the campaign and reflects on how Senegalese democracy proved itself.Controlling migration to the United States will be one of the most contentious issues in this November's American presidential election. Amid talk of a crisis, and after record numbers of apprehensions of undocumented migrants by the US Border Patrol in December, Tim Mansel visited the border between Mexico and Arizona.Sand might seem as a cheap and almost inexhaustible resource - but far from it. With the world using up more than 50 billion tonnes of it per year, to make everything from skyscrapers to smartphones, reserves could soon run low. In Cambodia there's now a flourishing black market in illegal sand mining along the banks of the Mekong river, as Robin Markwell has seen.And Ione Wells, the BBC's new South America correspondent, explores her new base: the industrial megacity of Sao Paulo. Some people call it 'Rio's ugly sister', but she's found much to appreciate amid its high-rise sprawl.
28/03/2428m 31s

Putin: Russia’s modern-day Tsar

Kate Adie introduces stories from Russia, Germany, Timor Leste and OmanAt a recent gathering in a gilded hall in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin thanked VIP supporters for his re-election. As he commenced his fifth term in office, he has reminded his voters that the annexation of Crimea is just the beginning of Moscow's ambitions. Steve Rosenberg reflects on how this latest election has emboldened the President but there are voices of opposition willing to take a stand in spite of the consequences.When German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged the country was seeing a paradigm shift, or Zeitenwende, in supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia, he did not foresee how this would divide public opinion over Germany's potential involvement in a military campaign. Damien McGuinness reports on the ongoing political rifts in Berlin.Timor Leste has had a troubled history and faces multiple economic and social challenges including malnutrition and rural poverty. But marine scientists are discovering that Timor Leste lies on a vast migration route for a wide range of ocean wildlife, which some hope could fuel a fledgling tourism industry, reports Michelle Jana Chan.And we're in Oman, where a journey to the medieval capital of Nizwa leads to a conversation about the changes for women in the country, with a female driving instructor. Women have been legally allowed to drive in the country for more than 2 decades, unlike its neighbour Saudi Arabia, and a rise in the number of women in the workplace means more women are getting behind the wheel, says Sara Wheeler.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
23/03/2428m 37s

No escape from Haiti

Kate Adie introduces stories from Haiti, Chad, the Netherlands, Palau and Mexico. Haiti remains mired in crisis, with the capital in the grip of gang violence - more than 350,000 people have been displaced. Will Grant reports from Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic, where he has witnessed the growing desperation among people flocking to find food and supplies and escape the violence.It’s nearly a year since civil war erupted in Sudan between rival military forces - more than a million have fled to neighbouring countries, including Chad. Mercy Jumar covered the refugee crisis there last year and now returns to the border town of Adre.Despite his dramatic win in the 2023 elections, Dutch far-right populist Geert Wilders has abandoned his bid to become the next prime minister. After weeks of negotiations to try to form a coalition, he realised he couldn’t convince other parties to serve under him. Anna Holligan explains what happened.Western Pacific watchers have continued to warn that China is trying to gain more of a footing with the ocean's island nations that control large swathes of it. Frey Lindsay reports from Palau in the Western Pacific, which has long-standing ties to the US, but is increasingly being courted by China.From Parma ham to Cheddar cheese, Darjeeling tea to Islay whiskey, there are many fabulous foods and delicious drinks from around the world that help put towns, cities and regions on the map. But, often these places have a reputation for more than just one thing. As Proinsias O’Coinn discovered when he travelled to a world-famous town in Mexico.
21/03/2428m 39s

Life after the Lord’s Resistance Army

Kate Adie presents dispatches from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, the United States, Croatia and France.The brutality of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army once made headlines around the world, as #Kony2012 became a global social media cause. While the world soon moved on, the forgotten victims of LRA violence living in the Democratic Republic of Congo are still trying to heal. Hugh Kinsella Cunningham reports from Haut-Uele province.The Islamic Revolution in Iran put an end to a once thriving cabaret culture and music scene. But over the years, people have still found ways to party - albeit underground and out of sight of the religious police. Among them was Faranak Amidi, who’s met some of Iran’s women DJs, who dream of playing to clubbers all over the world.A controversial court ruling in Alabama has divided Christian conservatives on the issue of reproductive rights, as the state's supreme court ruled that frozen embryos should be considered as children. Nomia Iqbal reports on the schism that has emerged between pro-life Republicans.Rab Island off the north coast of Croatia was once home to a lesser-known Italian concentration camp, where some 4,000 people were killed during World War Two. Mary Novakovich visited the island, where she met a woman who began her life in one of the camps.And our Paris Correspondent Hugh Schofield takes on the challenge of running the city's half-marathon - with some welcome assistance from The Rolling Stones.Producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Katie Morrison Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
16/03/2428m 42s

Channel migrant deaths on the rise

Kate Adie presents stories from France, India, the US, Panama and Spain.It’s been a year since the UK signed a deal with France to help reduce the number of boats crossing the Channel and break up the smuggling gangs. And whilst the number of crossings is falling, there’s been a sharp rise in migrant deaths, mostly by drowning, as they take ever greater risks to reach the UK. Andrew Harding is in Calais to find out why.In the coming days, India will be calling national elections. Voting will take place over several weeks. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, seems unstoppable, with many expecting he will win a third consecutive term in office. Samira Hussain examines his enduring popularity.The film Oppenheimer, about the creator of the atomic bomb, dominated the Oscars with seven Academy awards. Much of the film is set in the town of Los Alamos, in New Mexico where physicist J Robert Oppenheimer carried out his research. Emma Vardy reports on its lasting effects on local communities.The Panama canal is vital to international trade, providing an essential shipping route and a short cut between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. But, as Michelle Fleury explains, fewer ships are able to use it at the moment, because of a drought.And in southern Spain, we join Polly Hope in Seville cathedral, amongst the visitors and the faithful as they mark Lent with a procession through the historic streets of the city.Producer: Sally Abrahams Production co-ordinator: Sophie Hill Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
14/03/2428m 44s

Haiti: ‘There’s nothing but the gangs’

Kate Adie presents stories from Haiti, South Korea, the US, Senegal and the Vatican City.Haiti's government have declared a state of emergency after armed gangs attacked the country's airport and stormed two of the main prisons. Harold Isaac gives a first-hand account of the chaos that unfolded and how the capital went into full lockdown.South Korean women are increasingly shunning the dating scene and choosing not to have children. And the country's birth rate recently fell again, to just 0.72. This poses a serious problem for South Korea's economy and its security, with politicians describing it as a national emergency. But, as Jean MacKenzie finds, they've been unable to reverse the trend.Mouse Green travels on the freight trains criss-crossing the US, some of which stretch over two miles long. He meets members of the counter-culture community who call the rail cars home and uncovers a hidden world.Senegal has been a beacon of stability in the Sahel region, which has seen a series of coups over recent years. But, as Beverly Ochieng reports, the move by the West African country's outgoing President, Macky Sall, to delay elections sparked outrage. It also follows a clampdown on the opposition over the last year.Sara Monetta goes on an exclusive tour of the Sistine Chapel to watch how technology is being used to maintain Michelangelo's famous frescoes, as millions of people visit the museum every year. She describes the painstaking process of identifying any signs of deterioration and meets the experts involved.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
09/03/2428m 49s

Nigeria’s growing economic crisis

Kate Adie presents stories from Nigeria, Ukraine, Iran, Uzbekistan and Nepal.Nigeria is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a generation, with soaring inflation and a depreciating currency, making many basic food items unaffordable for the majority. Mayeni Jones describes the challenges of daily living in a country where inflation is around 30 per cent.In the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine, several villages have been captured after Russian forces took control of the town of Avdiivka last month. James Waterhouse has been to cities just behind the front-line as they prepare for what might be coming their wayTurnout in Iran’s parliamentary elections last week was at a record low of 41 per cent - though voters had a limited choice, as only candidates approved by the Supreme Leader’s Guardian Council could stand. Our correspondent, Caroline Davies, was given rare permission to report from the capital Tehran, where young people explained why they chose not to vote.We travel to Uzbekistan, a Muslim-majority country – but, as we discover, not all visitors are in tune with the country’s traditional conservative values. Chris Aslan reports on how religious piety is increasingly being embraced in the country.And, for those climbing Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, it's not just reaching the summit that's taking their breath away. Our Environment Correspondent, Navin Singh Khadka, finds out what's causing a stink. Producer: Sally Abrahams Production Co-ordinator: Sophie Hill Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
07/03/2428m 20s

Gaza’s Humanitarian Nightmare

Kate Adie presents stories from Gaza, Turkey, Somalia, Ecuador and Japan.US President Joe Biden raised hopes that a ceasefire deal was close to being reached this week over the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners. But these hopes faded after a tragic incident in which more than 100 people were killed as aid was being delivered to Gaza City. Paul Adams says the incident also highlighted wider problems as the war continues.Lizzie Porter follows the story of a family who fled Gaza early on in the war, and who fled to Turkey as dual nationals, leaving family, friends and valuables behind. They told her about their new life in Turkey and their fears for those left behind.After the militant group, Al Shabaab withdrew from the Somalian capital Mogadishu, the city has become safer. Nonetheless the group remains a potent threat. Yet there is an even greater menace in the country: climate change, after severe droughts, followed by flooding forced farmers off their land. Peter Oborne met some of those who were displaced and who are trying to support themselves in other ways.A project in Ecuador is using the Amazon’s “ancestral highways” – rivers – and a fleet of solar-powered boats run by Indigenous communities to provide a sustainable model of transport for the future. Peter Yeung went for a ride and heard how this has been met with a mixed response by some indigenous leaders.And we're in Inazawa in Japan, where the Hadaka Matsuri - or Naked Festival - has come up with a solution to flagging numbers of participants: involve women. Shaimaa Khalil met a group of 40 women who took part (in robes) for the first time.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Matt Willis Production Coordinator: Rosie Strawbridge
02/03/2428m 49s

Trump edges closer to Republican nomination

Kate Adie presents stories from the US, Indonesia, Georgia, Thailand and Colombia.Donald Trump’s only Republican rival for the US presidency, Nikki Haley, says she’ll fight on, despite roundly losing to him in her home state of South Carolina, where she was governor twice. Our Correspondent, Will Vernon, joined Republican campaigners in South Carolina, as they went door-to-door.In Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto, a former army general with a questionable past humans rights record, is set to become the country’s next president. Our South East Asia Correspondent, Jonathan Head, remembers first meeting Mr Subianto, when he served under the dictator General Suharto.Thousands of babies in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia were stolen from their parents at birth and sold. Our Correspondent, Fay Nurse, meets some mothers who were told their new-borns had died suddenly, but who now wonder if they may still be alive.Thailand is moving a step closer to legalising same-sex marriage. In Bangkok, Rebecca Root meets couples who are keen to tie the knot.And we’re in Colombia, where a literary festival encourages people to debate divisive issues without turning to violence. Kirsty Lang finds out more.Producer: Sally Abrahams Production Co-ordinator: Sophie Hill Editor: Matt Willis
29/02/2428m 55s

Ukraine: Two Years of War

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Ukraine, Russia, the USA and Georgia.Sarah Rainsford was in Ukraine when Vladimir Putin first launched his full-scale invasion two years ago, reporting on the defiance and rush to defend the country. On a recent trip back to the border city of Kharkiv, she found a much more sombre mood.Steve Rosenberg reflects on how the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, along with two years of war with Ukraine, has affected the outlook of many ordinary Russians. Many wish for change, but are unclear on how that can be achieved.Over recent months, the stalled passage of a $60bn military aid package through the US Congress has heightened concerns that Washington’s support for Ukraine is on the wane. Anthony Zurcher reflects on how the current US position has changed since his trip to Kyiv in the weeks before the Russian invasion began.Georgia has become a prime destination for Russians fleeing the war with Ukraine, especially those escaping conscription. The sudden arrival of tens of thousands of Russians has proved overwhelming at times, and given Georgia’s own past conflict with Russia, not everyone is happy to see them, reports Vitaliy Shevchenko.Since Russia’s invasion, more than 6 million Ukrainians have sought refuge overseas – but many people have stayed put, often by choice, determined to carry on living their lives as they have always done. Caroline Eden meets some market traders in Ukraine’s southern port of Odessa, who are trying to ensure it's business as usual.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Katie Morrison Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
24/02/2428m 57s

Talking and listening in an insecure world

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Germany, the Red Sea, Argentina, the Hungary-Serbia border and Costa Rica.BBC security correspondent, Frank Gardner takes us behind the scenes at the Munich security conference, where the sudden announcement of the death of Alexei Navalny brought home the diplomatic challenges facing world leaders.Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis say they will continue to target ships in the Red Sea, in solidarity with Palestinian people in Gaza. This has had a major impact on global shipping and the US and UK has retaliated with air strikes. BBC Persian’s Nafiseh Kohnavard has been given rare access to US navy warships patrolling in the Red Sea.In Argentina, President Javier Milei, has defended his huge public spending cuts after annual inflation in the country soared beyond 250 per cent. Our South America correspondent, Ione Wells, has been finding out what people in Argentina make of his controversial plans for change.Migration continues to fill headlines – from the ongoing saga of the Rwanda asylum plan to Republicans playing hardball over how to stem illegal crossings on the US-Mexico border. Our Central Europe correspondent, Nick Thorpe, is never far from a border flash-point, and reflects on the characters he has crossed paths with on the frontier of Hungary and Serbia.Costa Rica is often portrayed as a gold standard of eco-tourism and its Corcovado national park is one of the best places on earth to watch wildlife. But, there are concerns that some species there are in decline, in part due to illegal gold mining, hunting and logging in the region. Qasa Alom has been exploring the challenges.Producer: Sally Abrahams Production coordinator: Sophie Hill Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
22/02/2428m 57s

Reporting Gaza

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel and Gaza, Guyana, Finland and the USA.International media have been campaigning to gain access to Gaza in the months since the Israeli bombardment began - with only occasional access granted, which is closely supervised by the Israeli military. More often, news organisations have relied on Palestinian journalists already living and working in Gaza, who continue to operate under dangerous conditions. Jeremy Bowen reflects on the difficulties of telling the story of the Israel-Gaza war.After Guyana discovered it had substantial oil reserves almost ten years ago, its economy was quickly transformed and it's now the world's fastest growing economy. But its neighbour, Venezuela, recently contested Guyana's claim to oil-rich Essequibo region, which makes up two-thirds of Guyana's territory, reviving a centuries-old territorial dispute. Michelle Jana Chan went to see how the country had changed.Alexander Stubb was elected as Finland's president in polls last weekend, heralding a more hawkish approach to Russia. Finland acceded to NATO last year, and has a strategic role to play given its long border with its giant neighbour. Emilia Jansson reflects on what sort of President, Mr Stubb will be - and on what the presidential campaign revealed about Finnish attitudes.And in the US, the decor of the Oval Office in the White House is always closely watched when there's a change of President. Donald Trump's military flags were replaced with busts of influential figures from America's past, ranging from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Rosa Parks. Nick Bryant reports on what the contents of the President's bookshelf might reveal.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production coordinator: Katie Morrison
17/02/2428m 36s

Fear of Famine in Ethiopia

Kate Adie presents stories from Ethiopia, Sweden, India, Australia and Ecuador. Ethiopia's Tigray region has already been devastated by war - now its people are facing starvation as swathes of land have been parched by drought. Our Diplomatic Editor, James Landale has been given rare access to the region, where he visited a clinic helping the hungry.Rising gang violence in Sweden has wrecked the country’s peaceful image. Now the government plans to introduce so-called ‘police search zones’ allowing officers to frisk people or search vehicles, even if they are not formally suspected of a crime. Matilda Welin reports on the dramatic upsurge in bombings, shootings and arson.In India, thousands of men, desperate for secure jobs, have been queuing at recruitment centres hoping to land work... in Israel. In a treaty signed last year, India’s government promised to send more than 40,000 workers to Israel, to help plug shortfalls in the construction industry there. Soutik Biswas has been talking to some hopeful recruits in India’s northern state of Haryana.A convenience store in Sydney, Australia, offers more than the usual variety of groceries. Amongst the tinned tomatoes and toiletries is a full-size, working Airbus A320 flight simulator - so you can learn to pilot a plane while picking up a pint of milk. Eleanor Smallwood has been to meet the man behind the machine.And, with its Elvis hairdo and eye-catching feathery necktie, we meet the rare, Long-wattled Umbrellabird. Stephen Moss trudges through the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, to make his acquaintance (just don’t forget the binoculars).Producer: Sally Abrahams Production Co-ordinator: Sophie Hill Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
15/02/2428m 35s

Who will govern Pakistan

Kate Adie presents stories from Pakistan, Syria, Gaza, Trinidad and Tobago and Ivory Coast.With most of the results now declared in Pakistan's general election, no political force has a clear majority. Jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan is claiming victory, and another ex-PM, Nawaz Sharif, says his party has emerged the largest and is urging others to join his coalition. Caroline Davies reflects on how the vote has divided the nation.Residents of the tightly-controlled rebel-held area of Idlib, in Syria's north-west, are struggling to survive as aid funding has been cut one year on from the quake which struck Syria and Turkey. Leila Molana Allen visits an orphanage where children try to imagine a better future.Lucy Williamson follows the story of six-year-old Hind Rajab who was caught up in crossfire when she tried to leave Gaza City, following evacuation orders by Israel's military. She describes the efforts to stay in contact with her after her family died, and the perilous nature of rescue efforts that are replicated every day.Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean, thanks to significant oil and gas reserves. But Tobagans often complain that Trinidad has reaped the benefits at the expense of their own smaller island. Sara Wheeler paid the island a visit.And finally, on Sunday Nigeria faces Ivory Coast in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. James Copnall was there for the tournament, twenty years after he worked there as a correspondent. He charts its transformation after years of civil war.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison
12/02/2429m 1s

Who will govern Pakistan?

Kate Adie presents stories from Pakistan, Syria, Gaza, Trinidad and Tobago and Ivory Coast.With most of the results now declared in Pakistan's general election, no political force has a clear majority. Jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan is claiming victory, and another ex-PM, Nawaz Sharif, says his party has emerged the largest and is urging others to join his coalition. Caroline Davies reflects on how the vote has divided the nation.Residents of the tightly-controlled rebel-held area of Idlib, in Syria's north-west, are struggling to survive as aid funding has been cut one year on from the quake which struck Syria and Turkey. Leila Molana Allen visits an orphanage where children try to imagine a better future.Lucy Williamson follows the story of six-year-old Hind Rajab who was caught up in crossfire when she tried to leave Gaza City, following evacuation orders by Israel's military. She describes the efforts to stay in contact with her after her family died, and the perilous nature of rescue efforts that are replicated every day.Trinidad and Tobago is one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean, thanks to significant oil and gas reserves. But Tobagans often complain that Trinidad has reaped the benefits at the expense of their own smaller island. Sara Wheeler paid the island a visit.And finally, on Sunday Nigeria faces Ivory Coast in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. James Copnall was there for the tournament, twenty years after he worked there as a correspondent. He charts its transformation after years of civil war.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie MorrisonSeries Producer From Our Own Correspondent BBC Long Form Audio
10/02/2428m 42s

America’s Endless Fentanyl Epidemic

Kate Adie presents stories from the US-Mexico border, Chile, Spain, the US and India. The synthetic opioid Fentanyl is fifty times stronger than heroin, and was responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths in the US last year. Relatively easy to produce, it is smuggled in large quantities across the Mexico-US border. Will Grant reports from El Paso in Texas, and hears how it is poisoning young lives. Chile held two days of national mourning this week after wildfires wreaked a path of destruction through the central coastal region of Valparaiso. More than 120 people were killed with many more are missing. Jane Chambers has spoken to those directly affected.Spain has one of the most powerful feminist movements in Europe and the country recently passed new laws to protect women against violence – but only women. Now, some Spaniards are asking, has feminism gone too far? Ellie House reports from Madrid.Over the past 20 years, a charity has flown hundreds of thousands of military veterans to Washington DC to visit the war memorials built in honour of their service and sacrifice. Sophie Williams went to meet veterans from WW2, and the Korean and Vietnam wars who'd taken these 'honor flights'.India's economic boom has created some 169 billionaires. Many of India’s super-rich choose Mumbai as their home yet alongside this great wealth is enormous poverty. Half of Mumbai’s population live in slums – some just a stone’s throw from the millionaire mansions. For some, this can be the inspiration they need – after all, Mumbai is known as the city of dreams. Philip McCreery met one teenager who’s close to seeing hers come true.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Sally Abrahams Production Co-ordinator: Sophie Hill Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
08/02/2429m 2s

French Farmers and the 'Siege of Paris

Kate Adie presents stories from France, Turkey, Cambodia, Canada and Chile.French farmers have staged nationwide protests this week, blocking roads to vent their anger over falling incomes, rising bureaucracy, and competition from imports. Andrew Harding reflects on how these latest protests are a sign of a broader social and political schism that has been emerging in France.Next week marks a year since Turkey and Syria were hit by a devastating earthquake, which killed more than 60,000 people and displaced millions more. Victoria Craig travelled to Antakya in southern Turkey, one of the worst-hit regions, and spoke to people trying to rebuild their lives while still dealing with the grief of losing loved ones.Brick kiln workers in Cambodia work in some of the hottest and harshest conditions in the world. The factories often use a mix of fabric, plastic and rubber to fuel the kiln fires, which emit toxic fumes and trigger health conditions. Laura Bicker went to visit workers on the outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh.Louis Harnett O'Meara takes to the road in British Columbia, Canada, to see some of the region's iconic redwoods. He hears how efforts to protect these centuries-old trees, along with the wider biodiversity of the region, are being met with opposition from communities dependent on logging for their livelihoods.In Chilean Patagonia, Kirsty Lang explores a remote region which has been converted into national parkland. encountering sea lions and a lone penguin along the way. It's now one of the world's most protected areas of wilderness, thanks to the work of two American philanthropists.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Rosie Strawbridge
03/02/2428m 53s

Rebranding Indonesia's politicians

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' reflections from Indonesia, Argentina, Kenya, Colombia and Germany.Prabowo Subianto was once a military hardman at the forefront of Indonesian politics. He's run for the country's presidency twice before - and failed. Will it be third time lucky for him on the 14th of February? The BBC's former Indonesia correspondent Rebecca Henschke recently revisited the country and was startled by his apparent image makeover to appeal to first-time voters.When Javier Milei was elected President of Argentina in November, it was largely thanks to his promises of radical change to save the economy. In Buenos Aires recently, James Menendez saw signs of fiscal distress everywhere.Kenya's Penal Code outlaws abortion - with limited exceptions after cases of rape or incest, or where mothers are ill or aged under 18. Yet each year, tens of thousands of women and girls facing unwanted pregnancies resort to backstreet clinics, or try to induce terminations themselves. Linda Ngari explores the dangers they face - and the reasons they're willing to run the risk.Going from armed rebel to eco-tourism enabler might seem a drastic career change - but it's a path some former guerrilla fighters in Colombia are keen to take. Zoe Gelber talked to some demobilised former members of the FARC movement who hope to make a more peaceful living guiding travellers through the rainforests they once fought in.And Rob Crossan goes on the trail of the bratwurst in Nuremberg. It seem like just a humble sausage - but it's protected by European legislation, has hundreds of years of history behind it, and is deeply beloved by locals looking for reassurance.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-Ordinator: Sophie Hill
01/02/2428m 42s

Ayodhya: a defining moment for India

Kate Adie presents stories from India, Bangladesh, the US, Switzerland and Finland.This week, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opened a grand Hindu temple in the northern city of Ayodhya. The site on which it sits was once home to a centuries-old mosque which was demolished by a Hindu mob thirty years ago. Yogita Limaye reflects on the impact of the new temple, which fulfils a dream for many Hindus, but has alienated much of India's Muslim minority.Samira Hussain attends a press conference in Bangladesh, soon after Sheikh Hasina was returned to power for a fourth consecutive term as prime minister. With voter turnout at almost half that of the previous election, Samira explores why Bangladeshi voters are feeling despondent, amid claims of growing autocracy in the country.After securing victory in the Republican primary in New Hampshire, Donald Trump is currently in a strong position to clinch the party's presidential nomination. Within his base is a sizeable contingent of evangelical Christians. Mike Wendling met with some of them, to hear how they have become a political force.China's human rights record has been under the microscope at the UN in Geneva this week. It's attracted particular interest as, since the last review, China has faced criticism for its continued repression of Uyghur Muslims, while clamping down on democratic freedoms in Hong Kong. Micky Bristow was there to watch proceedings.And John Kampfner visits one of the world's last remaining museums dedicated to Vladimir Lenin. Located in the Finnish city of Tampere, it tells the story of the complex relationship between Finland and Russia over the last century.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
27/01/2428m 42s

Taiwan’s defiant message to China

: Kate Adie presents stories from Taiwan, Ecuador, Germany, Georgia and IndonesiaThe pro-sovereignty candidate William Lai won Taiwan's presidential election this week. Our correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes charts the key moments that led to this historic vote, as Taiwan's voters sent a signal to Beijing.Will Grant has been in the Ecuadorean city of Guayaquil which experienced a sudden descent into violence after two gang members escaped from prison, and a TV station was raided during a live broadcast. He meets one family who encountered tragedy in the crossfire.In Germany, Jessica Parker recounts her encounters at some of the nationwide tractor protests which blocked streets in towns and cities this week, as farmers took a stand against the removal of tax relief on diesel - but that's not the only thing German voters are angry about.Amelia Stewart visits a family trying to revive Georgia's once-thriving tea industry, which supplied 95 per cent of tea to the former Soviet Union. She visits Racha, in the country's north-west and hears how it's providing a welcome source of income for locals.And finally we travel on Indonesia's new high-speed 'Whoosh' railway. Funded by Chinese loans, the train runs from Jakarta to the economic hub, Bandung. Such infrastructure projects are one way for China to exert influence via its Belt and Road Initiative - but does the train live up to the hype? Nick Marshall takes a ride.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
20/01/2428m 32s

Japan: Learning Lessons from Earthquakes

Kate Adie introduces stories from Japan, the USA, the Thailand-Myanmar border, Barbuda and Guinea-Bissau.The earthquake which shook Japan on New Year's Day brought considerable damage to the mostly-rural Noto peninsula. One noticeable pattern amidst the destruction was how much more robust modern buildings had proved to be over older, wooden homes. Jean Mackenzie reflects on Japan's evolving ability to cope with earthquakes.Every four years, the citizens of Iowa welcome a political circus to town - as national and international media, political grandees and pollsters flood in to cover the Iowa caucuses. Justin Webb explains how and why Iowa has such a special role in the electoral process.Although the world's attention may have shifted away from Myanmar's internal conflict, there are still several serious regional insurgencies raging against its ruling military regime. This fighting causes casualties - many of whom now have to seek health care outside Myanmar. after hospitals were targeted. Rebecca Root reports from a clinic on the Thailand-Myanmar border trying to treat Myanmar's sick and wounded.The tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda is beautiful and relatively undeveloped - but for how long? Caroline Bayley visited this idyllic spot to delve into a local dispute over a new airstrip and resort complex which could change its ecosystem and culture for ever.Despite their scruffy appearance and lack of cuteness, vultures have value - particularly in West Africa. They can help fight disease - and some people in Guinea Bissau believe their body parts work as cures. Sam Bradpiece explains why Guinea Bissau's government has moved to protect them.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-Ordinator: Gemma Ashman
13/01/2428m 35s

Running Out of Road For A Two-State Solution

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, Guatemala, The Philippines, Greece and the Faroe IslandsUS Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is in the Middle East for another round of crisis diplomacy. After the assassination of a senior Hamas leader this week, there are now concerns the conflict will widen. Tom Bateman has just left his post in the Middle East and is now covering US foreign policy from Washington - which as he reflects - might have to draw on some lessons from history.Ahead of his inauguration next weekend, Bernardo Arevalo, Guatemala's President-elect, has had to contend with a series of attempts to prevent him from taking power. His victory in elections last year confounded all expectations, and was widely seen as a repudiation of Guatemala's political elite, which has been dogged by corruption allegations for many years. But, the country's democratic future is still hanging in the balance, says Rory Sullivan.Linda Pressly meets with a Catholic priest and a forensic pathologist in the Philippines, who are exhuming the remains of victims of Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. In the process they discover evidence that points to a very different version of events to the official line.Heidi Fuller-Love visits the Greek island, Antikythera, whose remote and idyllic setting is its greatest allure for visitors, but it also poses its biggest challenge for the small number of residents there. Now the Greek government is paying people 500 euros to live there.And finally - Tim Ecott reports from the Faroe Islands of the North Atlantic where residents are trying to conserve their land and traditions in the face of an influx of tourists.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Vadon Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
06/01/2428m 55s

The Changing Face of Modern China

Kate Adie presents stories from China, Bolivia, the US and Italy.BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonell arrived in Beijing as a student 20 years ago and jumped straight into the city's buzzing nightlife. But the bohemian club scene he fell in love with was rapidly replaced by shiny new shopping malls, and towering skyscrapers as China's wealth and ambition grew. Along with the economic boom came substantial military expansion and a tightening of control in political and cultural life under Xi Jinping's leadership. Stephen ponders if change is always for the better.The southern US state of Louisiana is on the front-line of climate change. Its famous wetlands are now disappearing at a rate among the fastest in the world, and the state has lost nearly 2000 square miles of land over the past century leaving coastal communities increasingly vulnerable. Beth Timmins has met residents fearful for their future.The invasive Paiche fish is so large and voracious it’s been called King of the River by fishermen in Bolivia. It’s thought that the breed escaped from fish farms in Peru and swam downstream, to take over the waterways of the Beni region in northern Bolivia. This mighty invader has changed the lives of locals as Jane Chambers learned.And wild boars are on the rampage in Italy in rural areas - and now in cities too. Last year hunting laws were relaxed, to allow for the animals to be captured and killed in urban areas. This move was welcomed by Italy’s farming lobby – but has faced considerable criticism from city-dwelling conservationists. Nicholas Walton tells the story of how matters recently came to a head in his local village group-chat.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
30/12/2328m 30s

A Pivotal Moment in Ukraine's War

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Tajikistan, Brazil and MexicoOver recent weeks, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has battled in vain to ensure further US funding for the war in Ukraine. Just one year ago, he received a standing ovation in Congress, such was the strength of support to see Ukraine victorious. Now, the reality is very different. James Waterhouse has been following events in Washington and in Kyiv and says why this is a defining moment for Ukraine in the war.In Dnipro, away from the frontline in central-eastern Ukraine, Tim Whewell encounters a group of men who have not yet been called up to fight. He hears about everyday life in the country's economic hub and how young men are making a living by any means as they live under the looming threat of conscription.When you’re based full-time in a country the stories you cover as a correspondent, from political strikes to a pandemic, are often also the stories you live yourself – and that certainly has been the case for the BBC's South America correspondent Katy Watson. As she prepares to move on to a posting in Australia, she reflects on the past decade she’s spent living in Brazil and Mexico.In the mountains of Tajikistan, in the region of Gorno-Badakshan, locals decorate their homes, light up trees and celebrate the life of a saviour - but it's not Christmas. This is home to more than 200,000 Ismaili Muslims, whose spiritual leader is the Aga Khan, whose life is the focus of the festivities. Chris Aslan joined in on the fun.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinators: Gemma Ashman and Janet Staples
23/12/2328m 39s

Poland’s Political Drama

Kate Adie presents stories from Poland, CAR, Hong Kong, Armenia and TunisiaThis week the former Polish PM Donald Tusk returned to power marking a clear break from the right-wing, populist government that has been in office for the last eight years. Voters filled cinemas screening the parliamentary proceedings, as the country was gripped by the political drama. Sarah Rainsford was in Warsaw.In the Central African Republic, the Wagner Group is wielding significant political, economic and cultural influence. Yemisi Adegoke visited the capital Bangui and spoke to the President about his reliance on Russian mercenary group, despite allegations of abuse and extra judicial killings.The introduction of the Beijing-imposed national security law in 2020 led to an immediate crackdown on anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Several people were arrested under the new law, including the billionaire media mogul Jimmy Lai, whose trial is due to start on Monday - and there are many others. Danny Vincent spoke to another activist currently on remand.In Armenia, Julia Paul speaks to journalists who fled the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in September, along with more than 100,000 others after the takeover by Azerbaijan. They tell her about the lives they left behind.And the latest round of climate talks in the UAE, looked to end in disappointment as leaders failed to incorporate any reference to the phasing out of fossil fuels in the conference’s initial draft agreement. But in a dramatic turnaround, nations finally announced a ‘transition away’ from coal, oil, and gas. Justin Rowlatt was behind the scenes of the talks in Dubai.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
16/12/2329m 0s

Hope and Disillusion in South Africa

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from South Africa, Syria, the Netherlands and Germany.Fergal Keane reported from South Africa during the country's difficult transition to democracy after the end of apartheid. He revisits some familiar neighbourhoods and reflects on what happened to the hope and ambition that gripped the country at the time.Four years after Islamic State was defeated in Syria, thousands of children whose parents supported the group, are living in camps and detention centres with their mothers. Poonam Taneja met some of the children with uncertain futures, still hoping for a return to a normal life.The Dutch far-right populist leader Geert Wilders swept to a surprise victory in parliamentary elections last month, but there is still no guarantee he will become prime minister. Housing, immigration and the cost of living dominated the election campaign. Anna Holligan spoke to voters in the seaside suburbs of The Hague.Germany's plans for its much-vaunted ‘green energy transition’ are in deep water after a ruling by the country’s constitutional court blew a 60 billion euro hole in the project’s finances. Meanwhile German voters are questioning the cost of going green. Bob Howard was in Bremen.Series producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
09/12/2328m 39s

The UAE’s Air Pollution Problem

Kate Adie presents stories from the UAE, Iran, Ireland, Finland and CambodiaAs the world's seventh largest oil producer, the UAE may seem an odd choice to host the world's annual climate summit, but the Emiratis have been keen to showcase their green credentials. But the UAE’s desired image is falling short of the reality, says Owen Pinnell, as he reveals the devastating impact of gas-flaring.In Iran, the enforcement of the mandatory hijab rule was once again in the spotlight after the death of 16-year-old Armita Geravand, following an alleged altercation with morality police in Tehran. While the mass protests seen last year may have faded, Faranak Amidi reflects on her own childhood in Tehran and the will of Iranian women to continue taking a stand.The Irish government has promised better resources for police and stronger hate crime laws after rioting in Dublin city centre just over a week ago. Our correspondent Chris Page says a combination of disinformation, growing anti-immigrant sentiment, and changing social dynamics is presenting new challenges in Ireland.Finland this week announced the temporary closure of all crossings on its border with Russia amid claims that Moscow has been deliberately channeling asylum seekers into the country. After Finland’s decision to join NATO, relations with Russia have soured considerably. Richard Dove was in HelsinkiA new Chinese-funded airport has opened in Cambodia's north-east, serving as the main gateway to the Angkor Wat temple complex. China’s influence on the Cambodian economy is everywhere with numerous projects funded by Chinese loans. But this foreign influence is nothing new, says Sara WheelerSeries Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
02/12/2329m 5s

Crime and Punishment in Putin’s Russia

Kate Adie presents stories from Russia, the US, Argentina, Iraq and Iceland.In the wake of President Putin's invasion of Ukraine, repressive laws were passed which effectively criminalise all anti-war activism. The recent trial of artist Sasha Skochilenko underscored the heavy-handed enforcement of these laws, as well as the inconsistent way in which justice is applied in Russia. Steve Rosenberg was in St Petersburg.Democratic and Republican states are introducing radically different laws on issues ranging from LGBTQ rights to the teaching of black history. As a result, people on either side of the political divide are on the move – as they flee from one state to another more aligned with their politics. Lucy Proctor was in Chicago and Miami.Argentina has elected far-right outsider Javier Milei as President, bringing an end to an era that has largely been dominated by left-leaning ‘Peronist’ parties. Mr Milei has pledged big spending cuts and low taxes alongside other more radical policies. Natalio Cosoy was in Buenos Aires to find out why voters backed Mr Milei.While armed violence in Iraq has ebbed in recent years, hundreds of people are still dying in accidents caused by poorly enforced safety standards as the country struggles to recover from years of war. For Iraqis who have lived through decades of conflict, these incidents represent another awful failure, says Lizzie Porter.In Iceland, residents of the fishing town of Grindavik have all been evacuated owing to warnings of an imminent volcanic eruption. Jessica Parker met locals recovering their belongings and saw the impact of the recent earthquakes first hand.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
25/11/2328m 39s

An Emergency Summit in Riyadh

Kate Adie presents stories from Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Spain, Chile and Taiwan.Amid glittering chandeliers and floral bouquets, leaders from 57 Arab and Muslim countries gathered in the Saudi Arabian capital for an Emergency Summit on the situation in Gaza. So, did it produce anything beyond the speeches? Our Security Correspondent Frank Gardner was there.The occupied West Bank has also seen an increase in outbreaks of violence since the Hamas massacre in October. There are now concerns Israel’s conflict in Gaza is spilling over into the wider region. Joe Inwood visited an Israeli settlement where Israelis and Palestinians live near each other and found a creeping unease has taken root.In Spain, the Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez clinched a vote in parliament to lead Spain for another term as PM. However, a deal he has made with Catalan nationalists triggered a fierce backlash, suggesting this could be an extremely turbulent legislature. Guy Hedgecoe reports from Madrid.In Chile, the protests against inequality that took place a few years ago drew hundreds of thousands of people to the streets. But the unrest also left 34 people dead and many more injured in clashes with the security forces. A group of musicians, who were among those injured during the protests, have found other ways of making their voices heard as Charis McGowan discovered.As Presidents Xi and Biden met last week, Taiwan remained a sticking point between the leaders. But Taiwan faces another serious threat beyond that of Chinese invasion: its rapidly declining birth rate, which has implications for its economic future. Nuala McGovern was in Taipei.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
18/11/2328m 2s

Cambodia’s sunken Mekong villages

Kate Adie presents stories from Cambodia, Colombia, India, Fiji and Kenya.The Mekong river provides a living for tens of millions of people who live along its banks across five East and South East Asian countries. However, new hydroelectric dams have upended communities which have lived along the river for millennia, with some Cambodian villages flooded to make way for new dam projects. Laura Bicker takes a journey to the heart of the Mekong river system to meet people recently displaced.Four people have been arrested in Colombia in connection with the kidnapping of the father of the Liverpool footballer, Luis Diaz, who was released after two weeks of being held captive. The suspects are said to belong to a gang called Los Primos, with ties to the leftist rebel group, the National Liberation Army or ELN. Will Grant – an ardent Liverpool fan – was in Colombia as the situation unfolded.Delhi’s air pollution is a year-round, chronic problem, but the city’s toxic smog becomes especially dangerous each winter. This year is no exception and the levels of pollutants in the air have been measuring close to ten times the acceptable limit in recent weeks. Geeta Pandey reports on how her fellow Delhiites are coping.Kava is a psychoactive drink made from the bitter kava plant, and has been enjoyed in by Pacific Islanders for centuries - but in recent years there’s been rising international demand for the drink. Mark Stratton travelled to Fiji to see how this is affecting communities there, and to try kava for himself.On Monday, Kenyans were given a special holiday to plant trees as part of the government’s ambitious goal to plant 15 billion new trees over the next ten years. Although the national tree planting initiative has proved popular, some have criticised the government for its recent decision to lift a ban on logging, reports Anne Soy.Producer: Viv Jones Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
16/11/2328m 37s

A Tribute To Hope

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, the Middle East, Peru and Japan.The Israel-Gaza conflict has been framed by harsh words, and when talk of peace and reconciliation seem more distant than ever, is there space for understanding - or hope? Our correspondent Fergal Keane has spent his career reporting on divided societies, and after spending the last few weeks in Jerusalem, he reflects on the question of hope.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been back in the Middle East this week, working to keep diplomatic channels open to negotiate 'humanitarian pauses' in the Israel-Gaza conflict. Our correspondent Anthony Zurcher travelled with him.The ultra-fine wool of the vicuna was once reserved for the royal dynasties of the Inca empire, and today it is equally adored by European fashion houses. Stefania Gozzer has been in Peru, where she met the communities benefiting from this luxury trade.And in Japan, baseball's Hanshin Tigers finally broke one of sport's longest standing 'curses' this week when they won the Japan Series. Tigers fan Guy De Launey tells the story of how his team broke a 40 year losing streak.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
11/11/2328m 39s

Acapulco in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis

Kate Adie presents stories from Mexico, Israel, Pakistan, Georgia and Romania.On October 24, high winds started howling around the Mexican beach city of Acapulco. In barely 12 hours, unseasonably warm seawater off the coast had turned a common tropical storm into Category 5 Hurricane Otis. The ferocity of the storm was unexpected, and left locals and tourists with little time to prepare before 200-mile-per-hour winds hit - some of the strongest ever recorded on earth. James Fredrick visited Acapulco in the days after the storm.Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, tensions have been rising in Israel’s mixed cities: places which, while majority Jewish, have a sizeable Arab population. One in five people in Israel’s population are Palestinian citizens of Israel – sometimes known as Israeli Arabs – making them the largest minority in the country. Emily Wither meets a grassroots peace group working to bring people from both communities together.In October, Pakistan’s government announced that any foreign national who does not have the paperwork to stay in the country would be deported from 1st November. The policy will mostly affect an estimated 1.7 million Afghan nationals in the country. In the last two months around 200,000 Afghan nationals are believed to have already left Pakistan ahead of the deadline, streaming over the Afghan border. Caroline Davies travelled to the border region to meet them.Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, a valley region not far from the border with Russia, has a troubled history. In the early 2000s the region became a base for Chechen separatists in their war with Russia, and in the decades since Pankisi has become synonymous in media coverage with Islamist extremism. In recent years, a group of Chechen women entrepreneurs have taken it upon themselves to change the negative stereotype of their community, as Sally Howard found.Romania’s state healthcare service is one of the most poorly funded in the European Union. In recent years it has been the subject of a series of negative news stories, from a string of deadly hospital fires, to investigations into high-level corruption. Stephen McGrath has reported on Romania’s medical system many times, but recently he found himself at the heart of it - as a patient.Producer: Viv Jones Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
09/11/2328m 38s

Shocked To The Core

: Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, DRC and IndonesiaFour weeks on from Hamas' deadly attack in Israel, details continue to emerge about the killing spree. Israelis are wrestling with the impact and the consequences - and the release by Hamas of a hostage video this week has added pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu to secure their release. Paul Adams finds there’s a pervasive sense of insecurity in the streets of Jerusalem, with violent incidents puncturing any veneer of calm.Victoria Craig spoke to people at a rally in Istanbul's Ataturk airport, where the Turkish President was vocal in his support for Hamas and unflinching in his criticism of Israel's offensive in Gaza. She reflects on how far this is a step change in Turkey's relationship with Israel.It's Peace Week in Geneva. Diplomats, aid workers and academics gather annually here to discuss ways to achieve peace. This year, as conflict rages in the Middle East and beyond, some are asking whether international organisations – and international law, are losing their relevance, says Imogen Foulkes.The east of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a region which has endured multiple crises – with many still unfolding. Hugh Kinsella Cunningham tracked the Congolese military as it tackled the most pressing challenge of fighting the rebel group, M23.Since Russia invaded Ukraine last year, millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes; they’re internally displaced or finding refuge in neighbouring countries. And some have taken longer-haul journeys to the other side of the world. Michelle Jana Chan discovered the Ukrainian community on the Indonesian island of Bali.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Bridget Harney Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
04/11/2328m 37s

Voices from Gaza and Israel

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, Gaza, Germany, New Caledonia and Hungary.Public pressure is growing on Israel’s prime minister to secure the release of more than 200 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. Lucy Williamson has been talking to one man whose family was taken captive from Kibbutz Be’eri.Deirdre Finnerty spoke to an Irish-Palestinian family, who were visiting relatives in northern Gaza when the conflict began, and fled to Khan Younis. She hears about the struggle to access basic supplies and the risks faced on a daily basis.The German government has staunchly backed Israel’s right to defend itself in the wake of the 7th October attacks by Hamas. Israeli security is, in fact, a cornerstone of German foreign policy. Some pro-Palestinian demonstrations have even been banned because of concerns about anti-Semitic slogans. That’s led to clashes with police and debates about freedom of speech as Jessica Parker reports.New Caledonia is home to a small and diverse population. One of its many communities is made up of the descendants of Algerian exiles, who were deported in the late 19th century after uprisings against French colonial rule. Many lost their lives on the gruelling sea voyage from North Africa. Those who survived and settled brought their religion, customs and ancestral memories with them. Chahrazade Douah reports.The conservative British philosopher, Roger Scruton was a great personal friend of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Nick Thorpe reports from Budapest, on the intellectual love affair between the two men, and how ‘Scrutopia’ now serves the Hungarian leader.Producer: Viv Jones Editor: Bridget Harney Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Photo by MARTIN DIVISEK/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
02/11/2328m 42s

Israel, Gaza and the view from the Middle East

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel and Gaza, South Korea and Turkey.Three years ago the Gulf states of Bahrain and the UAE agreed to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel - and it was Joe Biden's hope that Saudi Arabia would soon join them. But where do the Arab nations stand today amid a new Israel-Gaza conflict, asks the BBC’s Security Correspondent Frank Gardner.Reporting on the Israel-Gaza conflict is a particular challenge, as so few journalists currently have access or permission to work in Gaza. As a former BBC correspondent in Gaza, Jon Donnison reflects on the current difficulties of reporting on the reality of life there today.The trauma of what happened on the 7th of October continues to reverberate in Israel, as those killed during Hamas’ attack are buried. Helping to ensure families are able to bid farewell to their loved ones, is a team of volunteers tasked with recovering the bodies of the dead – a job they see as a religious duty. Joel Gunter has been to meet them.This weekend marks a bleak anniversary in South Korea, as it was a year ago that revellers gathered in Seoul's party district to celebrate Halloween – only to never return home. A deadly crush that formed during the night, killed 158 people, and injured nearly 200 more. Jean Mackenzie returned to the streets she reported from last year, and meets survivors still looking for answers.The Republic of Turkey is 100 years old, and Misha Glenny has been recording a series for Radio 4 on the history of the formation of the state. He recounts an incident at Istanbul’s ornate Dolmabahce Palace – the former residence of Ottoman Sultans, and, in his final days, Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Attaturk.
28/10/2328m 42s

The Thai workers caught up in the Israel-Gaza conflict

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, Ukraine, Argentina, Mauritius and Greece.When Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel from Gaza on the 7th October, over 200 of the people killed were foreign nationals. At least 30 of them were from Thailand, and at least 19 Thais are believed to have been abducted by Hamas. More than 25,000 Thai migrant agricultural workers living in Israel. Jonathan Head travels to north-eastern Thailand to meet returning survivors, and relatives of those still missing.This week marks 20 months since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For journalists reporting on the war, not to mention Ukraine’s people, it can be a challenge to ensure the ongoing conflict continues to receive the world’s attention. The BBC’s long-serving Ukraine Correspondent, James Waterhouse reflects on the particular rhythm of covering this war.Last weekend, Argentina voted in its first round of presidential elections. The results surprised pollsters who had predicted an outright win for populist Javier Milei - a colourful candidate, whose ‘shock-jock’ style has led to comparisons with Donald Trump. Instead, Mr Milei will face the country’s incumbent economy minister, Sergio Massa in a run-off in November. In Argentinian politics, surprises are to be expected, says Katy Watson.Mauritius is among Africa’s wealthiest nations per capita. However, its position in the middle of the Indian Ocean has made it an ideal hub for international drug traffickers. The country is now battling a growing drug epidemic, with young people particularly affected. Lorraine Mallinder reports.The Mount Athos peninsula in Northern Greece is one of Orthodox Christianity’s holiest sites. The region is semi-independent from Greece, and sometimes referred to as a monastic republic. Women are banned from visiting, and only a small number of men are permitted entry each day. The monks who live here control their own finances, and Greece's money laundering authority has recently taken a critical look at Russian finances flowing into the monasteries. William Edwards makes a pilgrimage there.Producer: Viv Jones Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Katie Morrison(Image: Narissara Chanthasang, the wife of a Thai migrant worker in southern Israel, has had no news of her husband since Hamas militants stormed the country.)
26/10/2328m 18s

Israel, Gaza and The information war

Kate Adie presents stories on Israel and Gaza, Lebanon and Poland.An explosion at a hospital in Gaza this week has thrown into sharp relief the challenges of establishing the facts during a time of war. Amid the claim and counterclaim, getting to the truth is harder than ever. Jeremy Bowen reflects on the speed at which stories unfold these days, and the challenges of reporting during the conflict, as competing narratives clash online.The British and US governments urged their nationals to leave Lebanon this week due to risks associated with the on-going conflict between Israel and Gaza. Israel’s military has also evacuated 28 communities near the northern border because of escalating hostilities with Hezbollah militants. Earlier this week, the group called for a ‘day of unprecedented anger’ in response the conflict between Israel and Gaza. Hugo Bachega is in Lebanon.In Poland, the right-wing Law and Justice party lost its majority in parliamentary elections last week – with a pro-EU coalition of opposition parties now likely to form a new government. It was young voters and women whose votes proved decisive, as Sarah Rainsford explains.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
21/10/2328m 1s

Afghan migrants in limbo in Pakistan

Kate Adie presents stories from Pakistan, Germany, Portugal, Senegal and the United States.Pakistan's government has issued an order for illegal migrants to leave the country by the beginning of November. This includes around 1.7 million Afghans, according to official figures. Among the many caught in the middle are nearly 2,000 Afghans who risked their lives working with or for British armed forces during the war in Afghanistan. They’ve been promised visas by the British government that would allow them to resettle in the UK, but many now fear they will be forced to return to Afghanistan, to an uncertain future. Caroline Davies has been speaking to them.Recent state elections in Germany showed a clear rise in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany party, or AfD. The results have sent shockwaves across Germany, as Damien McGuinness found out.An ancient farming village in the Portuguese mountains is fighting plans for an open-cast lithium mine on its doorstep. The lithium would be used for electric car batteries, as part of Europe’s green energy transition. But local villagers say the mine will damage their environment, and their way of life. As Europe tries to reduce its dependence on China for lithium imports, the outcome of this dispute is being watched closely, as Caroline Bayley reports.In Senegal, many parents send their sons to study and live in Islamic schools called daaras, often because they cannot afford to raise them themselves. While many daaras provide good education and care, some subject their pupils to abuse and neglect, or force them to beg in the streets. Sam Bradpiece travelled to the capital, Dakar to investigate the story.Although Hollywood’s writers have recently ended their five-month strike, the actors strike continues. Virtually all Hollywood film and TV production has stalled, and negotiations last week ended without agreement. David Willis has been covering the story.Producer: Viv Jones Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
19/10/2328m 22s

A Deadly Week in Israel and Gaza

Kate Adie presents a special edition reflecting on the brutal attack in Israel this week by Hamas militants and the subsequent siege and bombardment of Gaza.Anna Foster reports from Ashkelon in Israel’s south, where revellers were attending a music festival, before Hamas’ assault. She met one man who managed to escape, who tells her his story.As details emerged of how Hamas’ brutal assault unfolded in kibbutzim last weekend, communities living near the Gaza border have been left traumatised by the scale of the attack. Dan Johnson spent time with one Israeli family struggling to process what happened, while preparing for what might come next.As Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel – hospitals have struggled to cope, with doctors saying they are having to make tough decisions on who to operate on. Yolande Knell has been speaking to people in Gaza about the impact of Israel’s counter-attack.Our chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet has been reporting from the region for the past three decades, and reflects on Gaza's recent history and the broken dreams of peace.And as Israel buries those killed by Hamas, Nick Beake witnesses the return of thousands of Israeli reservists, as the country moves to a war footing.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
14/10/2328m 43s

Australia’s Indigenous referendum

Kate Adie presents stories from Australia, Poland, the US, Cameroon and Cape Verde.Australians are voting in a historic referendum on whether or not to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the country’s constitution, and create a body that can advise governments on issues affecting their communities. After months of campaigning voters are bitterly divided, as Katy Watson found out.Poland’s upcoming election could result in an unprecedented third consecutive term for the incumbent right-wing populist government. Adam Easton travels to the Polish countryside to find out why the government remains popular.The suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona’s state capital, are among the fastest-growing in America. As brand new homes and offices spring up, there’s a problem developing beneath them. Mark Moran reports from a desert state that is running out of groundwater.The Ngonnso statue, held in the collection of a Berlin museum, holds cultural and spiritual significance for the Nso people of Cameroon. Kim Chakanetsa meets the activist who successfully campaigned for the Ngonnso’s repatriation.And October marks the end of the nesting and hatching season for Cape Verde’s loggerhead sea turtles. Rob Crossan takes a night time walk along the beach to catch sight of one.Producer: Viv Jones Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
12/10/2328m 20s

A Tumultuous Week in US Politics

Kate Adie presents stories from the US, Slovakia, Turkey, Greece and Democratic Republic of Congo.In a break with history, a right-wing faction of the US Republican party moved to oust the speaker of the lower chamber of Congress, Kevin McCarthy. The party must now begin the task of uniting behind another candidate. And as Donald Trump appeared at his civil fraud trial in New York, Gary O'Donoghue reflects on an extraordinary week in Washington.We visit the Slovakian capital, Bratislava where coalition talks are underway in earnest after Robert Fico, the pro-Russian leftist, won the biggest share of the vote in elections last weekend. Fico's former deputy, Peter Pelligrini of the social democratic party is now the kingmaker to form a government which could have major ramifications for the country, and Europe, says Rob Cameron.Turkey's long war on Kurdish armed rebel groups seemed to have faded into the background after the huge earthquake there this year, along with President Erdogan's victory in the general election. But the conflict still goes on and an attack in Ankara on the day of Turkey's opening of parliament has raised tensions once more. Emily Wither reports on the impact.Thessaly in Greece was one of the regions that was hit hardest by Storm Daniel last month, with much farmland still submerged under water. The region provides much of Greece's agricultural produce and livestock. Maria Margaronis spoke to farmers whose lives were upended.And in Democratic Republic of Congo, Hugh Kinsella-Cunningham camps with heavily armed rangers as they await the arrival on a jungle airstrip of two white rhinoceros as part of conservation efforts in the region.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: China Collins Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
07/10/2328m 27s

Rising tensions in the Balkans

Kate Adie presents stories from Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Russia’s western borders.A day of shooting in majority-Serb north Kosovo left a police officer and three members of an armed group dead. Guy De Launey reports on one of the most serious confrontations between Serbia and Kosovo since Kosovo declared independence in 2008.2023 marks the tenth anniversary of Xi Jinping’s announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious project to connect China with the Central Asian countries on its western border. Jacob Mardell visits Torugart pass in Kyrgyzstan, an important stop on a planned railway that will connect China with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He encounters smuggling and nomad hospitality, and asks how the new railway might change this underdeveloped region.Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees have been returning to the villages they were forced to flee from, during decades of war in the region. On their return they are met with a new danger: landmines and unexploded bombs. In South Sudan it’s mostly women who take on the dangerous job of clearing unexploded ordinance. Sira Thierij joins a team of young women deminers making their country safer.Sri Lanka has been suffering the worst economic crisis in its history as an independent nation. Sri Lankans have endured power cuts, fuel shortages, rising prices and rapid inflation. After loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the country’s financial situation is improving. But when Archana Shukla travelled across the island nation, she discovered many people are still struggling to make ends meet.Katya Adler travels from southern Poland to the northernmost point of mainland Norway to ask people what it’s like living next door to Putin, since he brought war back to Europe on a scale not seen since World War Two. She meets ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help the war effort in Ukraine. Katya Adler’s two-part series, Living Next Door to Putin, is available now on BBC iPlayer.Producer: Viv Jones Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: China Collins
05/10/2328m 34s

Niger: After the coup

Kate Adie presents stories from Niger, Syria, Portugal, Costa Rica and the US.French President, Emmanuel Macron announced he is withdrawing French troops from Niger, once seen as a key ally in the fight against jihadists in the Sahel, and withdrew his ambassador. Meanwhile in Niamey, people are adjusting to life under military rule after the coup in July. Mayeni Jones recounts her recent visit there.Thousands of people have gone missing or been detained since the Syrian protests began in 2011, which escalated into a brutal civil war. Lina Sinjab spoke to people in Lebanon and Istanbul about their attempts to find out information about their relatives, often involving vast sums of money.Portugal has for the last twenty years taken a softer approach to narcotics than other countries across the world, which impose tough penalties for the production, distribution and the consumption of substances such as heroin and cocaine. It's no longer a crime to possess drugs there for personal use. James Cook visits the city of Porto to find out what this means in practice.Costa Rica is known for its high-quality coffee, which is grown in the mountainous regions of the central American country. But its traditionally been a male-dominated industry there. Matilda Welin visited a farm to meet one of the emerging group of female growers to hear how things are changing.And as Republican debates get into full swing for the presidential candidacy, and an imminent US budget shutdown looms, Gary O'Donoghue reports on another flashpoint which has diverted attention from other matters of state: the Senate's dress code.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: China Collins
30/09/2328m 34s

Exodus From Nagorno-Karabakh

Kate Adie presents stories from Nagorno-Karabakh, Canada, South Africa, Peru and Germany.Tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians have fled the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in the last week. Rayhan Demytrie spoke to some on the Armenian border about the devastating impact of the recent Azeri blockade. And now they face the loss of their homeland, with distrust between both communities running deep.Canada's assertion that India appears to have been involved in the murder of a Canadian Sikh has sparked outrage in New Delhi and beyond. The Indian government has strongly denied the allegation. In Vancouver, Neal Razzell visits the Sikh temple where the dead man, Hardeep Singh Nijjar was leader, and found out more about what happened on the fateful day.A fire in Johannesburg at the end of August threw into sharp relief the terrible conditions in some affordable housing, which is often taken over by gangs who illegally rent out the buildings. Samantha Granville spoke to residents of the site that burned down, along with others in similarly precarious accommodation.In Peru's capital Lima, around 2 million residents living in the poorer suburbs have no access to running water and have to pay high prices for it to be delivered to them. Peter Yeung met someone who has come up with an innovative solution: an improvised canal system which collects water from the clouds - known as 'fog-catchers'.And finally, in Germany, a campaign is being launched to change a law that sees thousands of people sent to prison every year for travelling on public transport without a ticket. Tim Mansel meets one man helping to get people released because they haven't paid their fine.
28/09/2328m 44s

Voices From Libya’s Flood-hit East

Kate Adie presents stories from Libya, Ukraine, Australia and the USAnna Foster visits the flood-affected region of Derna, in Libya's east, where she speaks to survivors of the storm surge after two dams collapsed in the hills above the city.In the Russian-controlled areas of Donbass in Ukraine's east, Nick Sturdee hears from residents there who have lived through nearly a decade of fighting. In an area which is hard to reach for Western journalists, he gains an insight into how the conflict is seen and understood there.Australians are poised to vote in a referendum in October which would create a formal body for its indigenous people to give advice on laws. But the battle between the Yes and the No campaigns is reaching fever pitch - which some have described as Australia's Brexit moment. Nick Bryant has followed the storyAnd in the US, Maryam Ahmed talks to New Yorkers about their latest obsession: the battle against the spotted lanternfly. She learns a few techniques from locals and hears how the insects have achieved cult status.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: China Collins Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
23/09/2327m 52s

Morocco: Tragedy in the High Atlas Mountains

Stories from Morocco, Gabon, Pakistan, Norway and CanadaA community in the High Atlas Mountains grapples with the devastation wrought by the strongest earthquake to hit Morocco in more than one hundred years. James Copnall visited Amizmiz where several lives were lost and homes destroyed and a harsh winter lies ahead.The West African country of Gabon has become the latest in the region to witness a military coup, overthrowing the government of President Ali Bongo, scion of the Bongo dynasty. Catherine Norris-Trent encountered jubilation on the streets of Libraville - but asks whether pledges of democratic elections will be fulfilled.In Pakistan, we followed the search in the country for three relatives of Sara Sharif, the ten-year old who was found dead in Woking. Her father, step-mother and Uncle have now been charged with her murder since they returned to the UK. Caroline Davies visited Sara's grandfather in his village in Punjab.On the Norway-Russian border, there used to be a steady stream of visitors, but the war in Ukraine changed that. It remains open but Norwegians have introduced more checks on those coming over. John Murphy found a more active border in the waters of a river nearby where locals are battling to keep out a different kind of visitor.As he returns from paternity leave, our Rome correspondent, Mark Lowen, recounts his experience of becoming a father using a surrogate in Canada, even as Italy moves to ban its nationals from engaging a surrogate abroad.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Bridget Harney
16/09/2328m 40s

The parents suing over Gambia’s cough syrup scandal

Kate Adie introduces stories from The Gambia, Iran, the USA, Chile and Hungary.Dozens of bereaved families in the Gambia are taking legal action against an Indian drug manufacturer and Gambian health authorities, after more than 70 infants died after taking apparently toxic cough remedies. Sam Bradpiece heard their stories and traces how these medicines came to market.As Iran approaches the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, the authorities are already cracking down on signs of public dissent. She was a young woman arrested for "incorrect hijab", whose fate triggered a wave of protest across Iran. Lois Pryce speaks to some of the generation of young women who took to the streets a year ago, and now say they're ready to do so again.The Capitol riot on the 6th of January 2021 is still roiling American politics - as some high-profile Republican politicians say the people who were involved were patriots who shouldn't be punished. But the courts have issued verdict after verdict against the architects of the disorder. Mike Wendling reports from Washington DC on the sentencing of a leading figure in the chaos - Enrique Tarrio, former leader of activist group the Proud Boys.In Chile there's been heated debate over how best to mark the fifty years since General Pinochet's military takeover. These days few people deny the killings, torture and disappearances were committed during his dictatorship - but up to a third of Chileans are willing to say the coup was necessary. Jane Chambers considers the nuances of a country torn between left and right.It's been a terrible year for fruit in Hungary - so Nick Thorpe was prepared to go without his usual annual ritual of making his pear crop into homemade brandy. But as it turned out, an unexpected windfall of 200kilos of sour cherries would fuel an even more potent brew...Producer: Polly HopeEditor: Bridget HarneyProduction Co-Ordinator: Gemma Ashman
09/09/2328m 42s

The press under pressure in Indian-administered Kashmir

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' dispatches from Kashmir, Russia, Nigeria, Slovakia and Paraguay.Understanding the complexities of politics and identity in Indian-administered Kashmir is not easy - and so the Kashmir Press Club was not just a social spot for local reporters, but an informal university for visiting journalists from elsewhere. It was recently closed down by the Indian government: just one sign of the narrowing margins for media freedom in the region. Yogita Limaye reflects on the challenges to reporting on Kashmir in such a climate.Amid the fog of war, it's harder than ever to separate truth from misinformation about public opinion in Russia. So Will Vernon took to the streets of Moscow to ask members of that public what they think. In their answers, there were words of resignation and nervousness as well as of patriotism. He also heard from an anonymous Russian military analyst and people within the "ever-shrinking world" of opposition politics.The recent coup in Niger was roundly condemned by the regional trade and diplomatic bloc ECOWAS, led by Nigeria. ECOWAS threatened military action and immediately suspended trade with Niger. That had immediate effects for the truckers and traders who regularly cross the border between Niger and Nigeria - as well as the families and religious groups with extensive networks in both countries. Catherine Norris Trent hears of their concerns over the crisis.The double murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova in 2018 caused outrage in Slovakia. It set off a wave of public protests which eventually brought down a government. So how has it happened that five years later, the legal cases to convict all the killers is still ongoing, and that Robert Fico, who was unseated by that protest movement, is a contender to be re-elected Prime Minister? John Kampfner investigates a story of secrets and lies.By some estimates, a language dies, along with its last speaker, around every 40 days; a loss of human knowledge and worldviews we might not come to regret until it's too late. All over the world, indigenous languages are disappearing fast. But in South America there's a notable exception: Guarani, which is widely spoken in Paraguay and beyond - and not only by people of Guarani descent. Grace Livingstone listens to some of the language's most passionate defenders and promoters, who say they'd like their mother tongue to get a little more respect.
02/09/2328m 41s

Drug cartel violence spreads through Ecuador

Kate Adie introduces stories from Ecuador, Italy, North Korea, Denmark and South Africa.Ecuador was once seen as an oasis of calm in a violent region: despite lying between the drug producing hubs of Peru and Colombia, its society and politics had stayed largely free of drug cartel influence. But not any more. This year's presidential election campaign saw several targeted killings of politicians and the fear of violence is now ever-present on the streets. Katy Watson reports from Guayaquil.Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni promised to get tough on migration - especially by cracking down on those who try to enter the EU waters after crossing the Mediterranean in boats organised by people smugglers. Yet the number of arrivals is still growing. What might they find in Italy? James Copnall visited two small communities in Calabria which showed different sides of the phenomenon.There are reports of food shortages in North Korea so severe that people have died of starvation. Yet the regime in Pyongyang controls access and information so stringently that it's hard to verify the scale or intensity of the hunger across the country. Michael Bristow explains the obstacles to finding out the truth - and what CAN be gleaned from sources and observation from South Korea and from North Korean defectors.Going carbon neutral is a challenge at any scale - local, national, international or just household-by-household. Graihagh Jackson travelled to a community which is trying to make it work, and which may even be ahead of schedule: the Danish island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea.And after fifteen years based in the "rough and tumble" city of Johannesburg, Andrew Harding considers the time he's spent in South Africa - and where the country is heading.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Bridget Harney Production Co-Ordinator: Gemma Ashman
26/08/2328m 31s

The Sudanese refugees sheltering in Chad

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' and writers' stories from the Chad/Sudan border, Hawaii's Maui island, Belize, Portugal and AzerbaijanMore than a million people have fled violence in Sudan for relative safety over the border in Chad - but conditions there are harsh, and medical help running desperately short. Mercy Juma spent a week near the refugee camp in Adre hearing stories of what had driven so many from their homes in Darfur.Maui island is still reeling in shock and grief after the wildfires, fanned up by strong winds, which have ripped across it and burned the town of Lahaina to the ground. John Sudworth reflects on the anger and concern - as well as the resilience - he's heard expressed by Hawaiians over their state's emergency response.How can one of the Western Hemisphere's smallest countries, Belize, take care of one of its longest barrier reefs? In a heavily indebted nation of under half a million people that's also highly vulnerable to climate change, NGOs must often step in where the state can't enforce conservation measures. Linda Pressly took took a boat to a speck in the Caribbean called Laughing Bird Caye, to hear of the threats from fishing boats, tourists - and even drug smugglers - in these waters.Portugal's government has drawn up a plan promising the nation "More Housing" - trying to address a runaway property boom and a sense that a decent home is now out of reach for far too many people. But as Alison Roberts explains, rebalancing both rental and buyers' markets will not be easy.And in the cities of Baku and Shusha, Simon Broughton pays close attention to sounds from Azerbaijan's own classical music tradition: the genre called mugha, which mixes delicate instrumentation with poetic vocals, lively improvisation and deep human feeling.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Bridget Harney Production Co-Ordinator: Gemma Ashman
19/08/2328m 34s

Life and war in Yemen

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from Yemen, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Turkey and Ireland.The city of Taiz in southwestern Yemen has survived thousands of days of siege conditions during the conflict between Iranian-backed Houthi forces and the Saudi-led alliance. But there are still civilians trying to find moments of normality in wartime - and some surprising facilities on offer. Orla Guerin met a dermatologist who treats both the war wounded, and customers wanting purely cosmetic procedures.The summit on the future of the Amazon rainforest, held in the Brazilian state of Para, didn't result in a grand international pact. But it did showcase a new emphasis: on helping the tens millions of people who live in this vast region, as the key to protecting its biodiversity and tree cover. Katy Watson travelled there to hear from local farmers on what can be done to improve their lives.Zimbabwe's general election is due on the 23rd of August - but there seems little hope for great change through the ballot box. Charlotte Ashton was recently in Harare and found a mood of exhaustion - not least because the creaking economy leaves many people having to juggle several jobs, just to make ends meet.For centuries, the Turkish city of Antakya was a renowned centre of culture, trade and religion: a cosmopolitan metropolis home to Turks, Arabs, Kurds, Jews and Armenians. But six months ago it was rocked by earthquakes. Lizzie Porter found a place once famous for its historic, honey-coloured buildings now full of dust, smoke, and the noise of demolition.In Dublin, after years of economic anxiety after the collapse of the 'Celtic Tiger' and the European financial crisis, the Irish government now enjoys a very large budget surplus. Yet many don't feel they're prospering, as Chris Page explains.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Bridget Harney Production Co-Ordinator: Gemma Ashman
12/08/2328m 50s

Cambodia's strongman bows out

Kate Adie introduces stories about Cambodia's outgoing Prime Minister, and from Pakistan, Romania, New Zealand and Germany.Cambodia has suffered more tragedy than most, including civil wars, American bombing, and the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime. For the last 38 years, the country has been ruled by one, increasingly autocratic man, Prime Minister Hun Sen. He is now handing power to a new Prime Minister next week – his own son. Jonathan Head has just been to Cambodia, and reflects on Hun Sen’s remarkable longevity in office.Three hundred young Pakistani men are still missing, feared drowned, in the Mediterranean after the Greek shipping disaster in June. Why did they want to leave their country, at the mercy of people smugglers? Caroline Davies has been finding out, and asks what the police are doing to stop the human trafficking. She also meets a family whose teenage sons died in the Greek shipwreck.In Romania on the other hand, the economy is booming, and people are moving to it, rather than away from it. That includes many Romanian emigrants who are now returning home, armed with new skills and attracted back by improved salaries. Tessa Dunlop detects a new confidence in the country. She also finds that this new Romanian tiger, has teeth, and claws.New Zealand is trying to eradicate all rats, possums and stoats. These are not native to New Zealand but were brought there by humans in recent centuries. They have been decimating the local wildlife, like flightless and ground-nesting birds that evolved without those predators. Killing all individuals of several species across a whole country is a tall order however. And what about ethical qualms? Henri Astier joins a rat-catching expedition in Wellington to find out more.Culture wars are raging in many countries, about different issues. In Germany, it's sausages, motorway speeds, and grammar. German is a gendered language, with male and female forms of nouns that denote people, like actor/actress. In German however, the -ess applies to everything. Doctoress. Prime Ministeress. But in the plural, the male form is used no matter the gender of the individuals. This makes some feel that women don't count. The answer? Doctor*esses or Prime Minister:esses, using * or : to indicate that a group does or could include both genders. Damien McGuinness carefully wades into the debate.Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Bridget Harney Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar(Image: Outgoing Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Credit: Kith Serey/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
05/08/2328m 40s

Israel's culture war over the Supreme Court

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' and reporters' stories from Israel, Ukraine, Lebanon, the Czech Republic and GhanaThis year has seen the streets of Jerusalem thronged with protests and demonstrations over the Netanyahu government's plans for legal and constitutional reforms, limiting the powers of Israel's Supreme Court. Paul Adams examines the wider social chasms underlying political divides over the Court's role.The Russian missile attack on the Ria pizzeria in Kramatorsk on Tuesday the 27th of June 2023 killed thirteen people and injured over 60 more. Colin Freeman had been waiting to eat there that evening - but was called away less than an hour before the place was hit. He reflects on what Russia targets in Ukraine - and how.With wildfires ripping through forested hillsides all around the Mediterranean, Lebanon is watching nervously. Its own woodlands - oak, cedar and pine - were badly burnt by forest fires in 2021, but experts hope that enlisting the help of local goat and sheep herders might prevent worse outbreaks this year. Lemma Shehadi explains.Frank Gardner, the BBC's Security Correspondent, has visited Prague many times over the past 40 years - and was recently there to hear the head of Britain's MI6 speak in public about the modern world's security concerns. He remembers scenes from 1983 and 1990 - and an entirely different Europe.And in Ghana, Naomi Grimley goes on a flight of fancy - with some of the species of bats to be found in and around Accra. As a global health reporter, she used to see them more as a reserve for possible disease outbreaks, but some of the passionate bat researchers and academics at the University of Accra opened her eyes to the animals' more appealing qualities.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Bridget Harney Production Co-ordinator: Sabine Schereck
29/07/2328m 39s

Sudan: a neglected conflict

Kate Adie introduces BBC correspondents' reports from Sudan, Spain, Tunisia, Italy and Mexico.Sudan's newest civil war has been raging for more than three months - but first-hand images and reports of conflict are not easy to find. Barbara Plett Usher has been working to cover the violence from Nairobi, in Kenya, and reflects on what it's been possible to confirm.In this weekend's snap general election in Spain, current Socialist PM Pedro Sanchez tests his mandate against growing pressure from the right - not just the traditional conservatives of the Partido Popular, but also a range of more firmly nationalist parties. Each major blocs has questioned the other's alliances - whether with smaller parties from the far right, or others from the Basque-nationalist movement. Guy Hedgecoe reports from Madrid.Tunisia may have been the birthplace of the so-called Arab Spring, but these days its democratic credentials seem corroded. President Kais Saied is on an increasingly authoritarian tear, the economy's sputtering and the country's treatment of sub-Saharan African migrants has been growing ever harsher. And as Mike Thomson experienced on a recent trip, the media are still under VERY close supervision.Much of Southern Europe is baking - if not burning - in a searing heatwave. Sofia Bettiza saw how people are adapting to the soaring temperatures on the streets of Palermo, in Sicily - and heard about concerns for Italians' health in this heat.And from Mexico City, an unexpected casualty of gentrification. The BBC's Central America correspondent Will Grant has been trying to keep ahead of a wave of affluent foreigners - especially US citizens - moving in, but recently his young daughters' nursery has been priced out of the neighbourhood.
22/07/2328m 32s

Uruguay's Water Crisis

Kate Adie introduces stories from Uruguay, India, Haiti, New Zealand and Botswana.A long and severe drought in Uruguay has caused the country's worst ever water crisis. As fresh water reservoirs run dry, water from the River Plate estuary has been added to the mix, leaving locals in the capital with a salty taste in their mouths - and an increasing reliance on bottled water. Dr Grace Livingstone discovers how it's affecting daily life.The northeast Indian state of Manipur has been caught in a spiral of ethnic violence for two months, pitting the dominant Meitei community against the tribal Kuki people. Almost 150 have died in the violence, as the two communities become increasingly segregated, as Raghvendra Rao has found.Haiti has qualified for the football World Cup finals for the first time ever, and will take on England in their first game. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Americas, and plagued by earthquakes, political murders and gang violence. But the footballers are keen to project a more positive image to the world, as Joe Rindl heard when he spoke to Haiti goalkeeper, Kerly Theus.A special holiday or the experience of expat life can lead to certain countries finding a special place in our hearts. That's what happened to Ash Bhardwaj in New Zealand, where he found that a polished blue aotea stone connects his baby daughter, his late mother - and Maori culture.Botswana is now home to a third of Africa's elephants, and its Okawango delta has become something of an elephant sanctuary. But there are difficulties when the territories of animals and people overlap, reports John Murphy.Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
20/07/2328m 36s

Wagner Group: Business as Usual?

Kate Adie presents stories exploring events in Russia, the United States, Mexico, Lanzarote and South Africa.After its failed march on Moscow, the Wagner Group was supposedly going to be disbanded and its leader exiled to Belarus. But as our Eastern Europe correspondent Sarah Rainsford found out, this mercenary army still appears to be recruiting new members to its ranks.Across the United States, tens of millions of Americans still believe that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election - some of them are serving in public office. Mike Wendling is just back from Iowa, where he met one former conspiracy theorist whose own political appointment is causing friction among local Democrats and Republicans.The Tren Maya project is a huge looping railway line, nearly a thousand miles long, which (if completed) would connect the dots in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula - once the heartland of Mayan civilisation. As with any groundbreaking transport works, not everyone is happy - there have been objections over its potential environmental impact. Louise Morris recently followed the journey of a convoy which aimed to stiffen resistance to the project.The Canary Islands were well known to ancient civilisations of the Mediterranean. There are accounts of Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians all reaching the islands, as they hunted for valuable plants which were sources of red dye for fabrics. These days, the islands belong to Spain and among them is Lanzarote - a popular destination for European sun-seekers. But beyond its tourist hotels and restaurants, Charles Emmerson stumbled across the origins of one modern European empire.In South Africa, questions over the nation’s education system can get seriously heated. Decades after the end of apartheid, many people argue that South Africa’s schoolrooms are still far too focused on European scholarship - so does that explain the indifference to one of the country's most valuable literary treasures? Oxford Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Emma Smith, finds herself the only one excited by a rare copy of Shakespeare's first folio.Producer: Polly Hope Production coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
15/07/2328m 35s

After Jenin

Kate Adie introduces stories from the Occupied Territories, the Mediterranean Sea, Ukraine, California and Algeria.After violent clashes in Jenin last week, an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal seems as remote as its ever been. And with some Arab states now normalising relations with Israel, some observers say it is a sign some countries want to move on from the Palestinian cause. Jeremy Bowen hears one view that international support for a Palestinian state might eventually disappear from view, like the once ubiquitous Free Tibet movement has done in recent years. But, he says, a new generation of angry, desperate young Palestinians are driven to continue fighting their cause, whether the world is on their side or not.Almost 2000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe this year. But as Alice Cuddy found on a ship that had just rescued young migrants from The Gambia, the deaths do not seem to deter desperate teenage boys and young men from seeking a better life.The breach of the Karkhovka dam in Ukraine caused catastrophic flooding. But as the vast reservoir emptied, elements of the region's local history that had long been submerged began to see the light of day again. Vitaliy Shevchenko explores how Ukraine's fight for its future, is shedding new light on its past too.Californian officials have recommended the payment of reparations to the descendants of enslaved Africans, for slavery and for the effects of racial discrimination. Chelsea Bailey meets one family seeking justice, after local authorities in Palm Springs burned down their family home back in the 1960s.Algeria boasts beautiful landscapes, old Kasbahs and well-preserved Roman ruins. But unlike other Mediterranean countries, it has hardly any tourists. Why not? Simon Calder has been to Algeria and has some answers.Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
13/07/2328m 52s

The Yazidis who survived Islamic State

Kate Adie introduces stories from Iraqi Kurdistan's Yazidi community, the streets of Marseille, the former USSR and the Caribbean island of Nevis.From 2011 to 2017, the Yazidi minority in Iraq lived in terror, as the community was targeted by Islamic State's fighters for especially brutal repression. There were fears of genocide - that the whole community might be wiped out. That didn't happen - but as Rachel Wright has seen, Yazidis who survived captivity and slavery under IS are still finding life extremely tough today, trying to eke out a living in tented cities of refugees.After the mass civil disorder across France, there's passionate debate over the root causes of the revolt on the streets, and what the rioters really wanted. Jenny Hill reports from Marseille on what she heard from residents of the city's vast and decaying Frais Vallon housing project.Ibrat Safo reveals a personal story of childhood in the former USSR - and making contact again with the woman who helped to raise him. His family were Uzbek, while his nanny was of Uzbek and Ukrainian descent. They grew up together speaking Russian in a provincial Soviet town. So when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, he felt an urgent need to track her down, and find out where life has taken her.And Rob Crossan reveals why the Caribbean island of Nevis hasn't turned much of a profit from its connection with one of America's Founding Fathers - the celebrated Alexander Hamilton.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-Ordinator: Gemma Ashman
08/07/2328m 40s

Grief in France's banlieues

The bereaved mother of Nahel M., who was killed by police in Paris. And stories from Brazil, Somalia, Finland and Sicily.Last week French police killed a 17-year old young man of North African origin during a traffic stop. This led to angry rioting and looting in Paris and other cities. But what underlies the anger and what does the death mean for the mother who lost her only child? Katya Adler has been to the Paris suburb where Nahel died.Brazil's former president Jair Bolsonaro has been convicted of abusing his power for casting doubt on the country's voting system, and banned from running for office for 8 years. But, says Camilla Mota, political divisions remain deep. There's even a dating app for those who don't fancy a Bolsonarista.Somalia has a large diaspora that fled the civil war of the 1980s and 90s and the instability, even famine, that have afflicted the country since. At least 100,000 live in Britain. Many are second-generation Somalis who have never been to Somalia. Among them, Soraya Ali - until now. So what was it like to go "back"?As a consequence of the war in Ukraine, Finland joined NATO this year. It was a big turning point, because Finland’s history has long been intertwined with Russia. And so as Emilia Jansson found, the pivot to the West brought many changes. But not the giving up of paskha, a Russian cheesecake.Sicily’s capital Palermo prides itself in its UNESCO world heritage-listed old town, with monuments from the times of Byzantine, Arab and Norman rule. And now there is a square marking the stay of an Irish debutante, Violet Gibson, who almost killed Mussolini. Richard Dove has her story.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: China Collins Credit: Photo by YOAN VALAT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
06/07/2328m 51s

Tracing Syria's Captagon Trade

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' and writers' despatches from Lebanon and Jordan, Ukraine's battle fronts, the Caribbean island of Grenada, the BBC's bureaux abroad and the streets of the South Bronx in New York City.Captagon is a small, amphetamine-like pill which has become one of the most popular illegal drugs in the Middle East. There is increasing evidence that large amounts of it are being manufactured inside Syria in collusion with allies of the ruling Assad family - then brought out into neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan by Bedouin smugglers. Emir Nader joined the soldiers and lawmen trying to choke off the drug supply routes.Despite the Wagner Group's apparent mutiny last weekend, Russia's war in Ukraine has not stopped - or even abated. Along the front line, Andrew Harding saw how Ukrainian soldiers and medics are continuing their fight, eavesdropping on Russian troops, and treating the wounded.It's been nearly 40 years since the US invasion of Grenada - triggered by a chaotic power struggle within the island's avowedly Marxist-Leninist New Jewel Movement. On Grenada's "Bloody Wednesday" 1983, there were more than a dozen firing-squad executions - and there are still enduring questions about the events. Mark Stratton asked why some of the bodies are still missing - including that of the island's widely admired leader Maurice Bishop.Simon Wilson has worked abroad for the BBC for more than twenty years, in some of its most prestigious bureaux, including Jerusalem, Brussels and Washington DC. But his foreign news career started out in much less promising conditions - at the notoriously dismal office in Bonn. He pulls back the curtain on some of the more unexpected features of the BBC's premises overseas.And in the South Bronx, there are signs of creeping gentrification on what used to be some of New York City's meanest streets. Not everyone is a fan of the changes, though. Writer and broadcaster Lindsay Johns has been exploring today's cultural scene in the Boogie Down - including a thriving Black-owned bookshop.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Vadon Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
01/07/2328m 56s

The Wagner mutiny in Russia

The Wagner mutiny in Russia; and other stories from Russia, Peru, Bangladesh and Denmark.The mutiny by Russia's Wagner mercenaries ended as quickly as it started. The fighters had taken the southern Russian city and military hub Rostov-on-Don, and were heading for Moscow, when their leader called it all off. How do the capital's residents view these events?Russia says it has lost 6000 soldiers in Ukraine, but the true figure is thought to be 40,000 to 60,000. Olga Ivshina has been tracking her country's military fatalities with other volunteers, and has so far counted 25,000. Sometimes their relatives didn't even know they had died.Peru is suffering its worst outbreak of dengue fever on record, following unusually hot and wet weather conditions. The viral disease is carried by mosquitoes and can cause severe joint and muscle pain, even death. Dan Collyns travelled to the centre of Peru's epidemic in Piura in northern Peru.Bangladesh used to have high rates of pregnancy or childbirth-related deaths, and of children dying in infancy due to low rates of vaccination. But now illness and deaths have been drastically reduced, thanks to the "disease detectives" scheme - women offering healthcare to millions. Peter Young went to see how it works.Denmark's small prison population has been growing due to harsher sentencing, but the number of prison officers is falling, leading to concerns about overcrowding, and the quality of the prison regime. Polina Bachlakova found the impact is even felt in a prison’s choir.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Arlene Gregorius Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Vadon Photo: Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin leaving Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Copyright: REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
29/06/2328m 46s

Ghana's healthcare brain drain

Kate Adie introduces stories from Ghana's hospitals, the Chinese-Russian border, Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a research station on Australia's Great Barrier Reef and the streets of Limerick in Ireland. Ghana is one of several African countries which say their health services are being sapped by a slow bleed of doctors and nurses going abroad - to earn vastly better salaries in the UK and elsewhere. Naomi Grimley spoke to medical staff in rural Kwaso and in the city of Accra about the push and pull factors on their minds.After a drastic contraction during the periods of pandemic lockdown, China-Russia trade is on the rebound, and China's government is bullish about the prospects for recovery. At ground level things may not look so rosy. Ankur Shah reflects on the cross-border relations he saw reflected on the streets of the city of Manzhouli.There's been a backlash in Lebanon against the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees still living in the country - twelve years after the start of the civil war in Syria. Recently there was an outcry over the case of a seven-year-old schoolgirl whose parents had been deported back to Damascus - while she sat in a Lebanese classroom. Carine Torbey went to meet her and hear her story.The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most-studied coral formations on Earth - and Australia's government often claims that it's also one of the best-protected and best-managed. Marine scientists who've been working there over the long term have seen some changes, and are concerned about the future - especially if ocean temperatures continue to rise. Michelle Jana Chan hear about the state of the science on Lizard Island.And: is keeping horses in a lockup garage in a major city - or driving them with two-wheeled carriages on a main road - a public nuisance, or a wholesome pastime? Bob Howard has been talking to the "sulky racers" of Limerick, and hearing why the sound of horses' hooves seems unlikely to disappear from Ireland's urban landscapes.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Vadon Production Co-Ordinator: Janet Staples
24/06/2328m 42s

Life and Death in North Korea

Kate Adie introduces stories from North Korea, Canada, Guinea-Bissau, Peru and Jamaica.North Korea sealed its borders when the pandemic struck, and little news from the isolated, oppressive state has leaked out since. The BBC's Jean Mackenzie, with Daily NK, an organisation with sources inside North Korea, has managed to make contact with North Koreans who reveal lives defined by fear - and the growing threat of starvation.Canada is on course for its worst year for wildfires on record. Unusually, there have been many blazes in Quebec - a province not used to wildfires, and which subsequently lacks the specialist firefighters needed to tame forest fires. Nadine Yousif hears how they're already exhausted - and it's still only June.Guinea-Bissau is a major hub for drug traffickers from South America transporting drugs to Europe - and this has fuelled high levels of addiction to crack cocaine. Yet the country has only two drug rehab centres - one of them run by a Pentecostal pastor, who claims to cure addiction through prayer. Sam Bradpiece paid a a visit, and found evidence of staff cruelty and residents being chained to bars and cages.Peru has become the world's largest exporter of blueberries - a fruit native to the northern hemisphere, where it thrives in colder temperatures. So how do they grow it in tropical Peru? Stefania Gozzer has been to a blueberry plantation along Peru's arid Pacific coast to find out.The Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in Essex 75 years ago. On board were 802 people from the Caribbean, who had made the voyage to find better jobs, and build a better life - but the Windrush Generation also faced hostility and prejudice. Horatio Clare recently visited Jamaica, and found that amid the warm welcomes was a demand for a different relationship between the UK and its former colony.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Arlene Gregorius Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-SmithPhoto: painting of the sealed border of North Korea. Copyright BBC.
22/06/2328m 19s

Donald Trump's courtroom drama

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Japan and Italy.In Florida this week, Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges relating to unauthorised possession of classified material, obstruction of justice and making false statements to law enforcement. Nomia Iqbal was outside the federal courthouse in Miami where the arraignment took place, and spoke to some of the former president's supporters.Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan was once omnipresent in the country's media - from the headlines to the fiery evening TV talk shows. But since his removal from power in a vote of no confidence, his public profile has almost disappeared, as his political party and its supporters are being silenced. Caroline Davies reports on a new climate of apprehension in the Pakistani media.How should a German town with a steady stream of tourists deal with an antisemitic sculpture in public view? In Wittenberg, home town of Protestant reformer Martin Luther, the answer is not straightforward. What to do with a medieval carving on the side of a church has stoked some serious debate, says John Kampfner.Kesennuma, in northeastern Japan, was one of many coastal towns devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 which triggered the Fukushima nuclear accident. Ellie House recently visited the city, and saw lasting signs of the damage done. Yet despite the ever-present risks, some younger people in Japan seem far less prepared for disaster.And as Italy mourns the late Silvio Berlusconi, David Willey remembers a visit to the media magnate and politician's palatial villa in Milan - when he went to see the almost pharaonic mausoleum where Mr Berlusconi planned to be buried, along with family, friends... and some business associates.
17/06/2328m 35s

The Myanmar soldiers refusing to fight

Kate Adie introduces stories from Myanmar's civil war, Iran, Moldova, Denmark and South Georgia.Since the military overthrow of the democratically elected government in Myanmar in 2021, the country has slid into civil war. When initial, peaceful demonstrations against the military coup failed, civilians took up arms. Now, some of the soldiers they are fighting are deciding to defect - refusing to fight against their own people. Many have fled to Thailand, where Rebecca Henschke spoke to them.When an Iranian former political prisoner goes missing, who should his family turn to for help? The daughter of Ebrahim Babie was rightly reluctant to contact the Iranian authorities who had targeted her father, and instead she called the BBC's Persian Service. Jiyar Gol tells the story of his search for a missing dissident.Moldova shares a large border with its much larger neighbour Ukraine, and since Russia's invasion, Moldovans have been on edge. Disinformation about the war have widened the unease between pro-western and pro-Russian factions in the country. But Moldova's president has big plans for a future in the EU, and was boosted by a recent European summit held in the capital, Chisinau. Stephen McGrath reports.Hidden in a forest in northern Jutland, nearly 250 miles from Copenhagen, the sprawling REGAN Vest complex was built at the height of the Cold War. This huge nuclear bunker is where the Danish government and queen would have sheltered in the event of nuclear attack. Adrienne Murray paid a recent and discovered a remarkable time capsule that continues to resonate.The island of South Georgia, eight hundred miles north of Antarctica, was plundered by Antarctic explorers, with its whales, seals and penguins killed for their oils, furs and meat. But now the island lies within a vast nature reserve, and on a recent visit Mark Stratton found an island restored.Producer: Claire Bowes Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Janet Staples
15/06/2328m 50s

The Taliban's Opium War

Kate Adie introduces stories from Afghanistan, Nigeria, India, Ukraine and Panama.Opium poppies from Afghanistan have provided the raw materials for the world's heroin trade for decades, with successive governments failing to curtail this illicit crop. Now back in power, the Taliban have decreed a new ban on opium cultivation, sending patrols to destroy crops across the country - often leaving poor farmers with no other means of income. Yogita Limaye joined a patrol in Nangahar province.When Nigeria's new President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was sworn in at the end of May, he called the occasion 'a sublime moment'. Few people expected any revelations or surprises in his inaugural speech - but when he went off-script, there was a scramble for petrol across the country. Mayeni Jones weighs up the mood as Mr Tinubu took power.The scale of the recent rail disaster in Orissa state in India was shocking: nearly three hundred people died and more than a thousand more were injured. Amid the chaos of the aftermath, Archana Shukla reported on the human losses, and spoke to many families desperate for news of relatives who'd been travelling that day.The forcible removal of children from Ukraine to Russia, or Russian-controlled territory, has been a sinister element of Moscow's tactics during the invasion and occupation of the country. Sarah Rainsford has spent months tracing what really happened to these children - and met Ukrainian mothers and grandmothers who ventured into Russian territory to get them back.One swallow doesn't make a summer - but how many swifts make a spring? Stephen Moss is a passionate naturalist who's travelled around the world to spot some of its most threatened species. On a recent visit to Panama, he was worried to hear that climate change is now affecting the timing of huge seasonal bird and wildlife migrations.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
10/06/2328m 49s

Erdogan Wins Again

Kate Adie introduces' stories from Turkey, South Africa, China, Germany and Sri Lanka.Recep Tayyep Erdogan now has a mandate to rule for another five years. After living in Istanbul for more than four years, Orla Guerin considers the roots of his success and what the future holds for Turkey.South Africa's electricity supply crisis has made 'load shedding' a term many people now dread - as it can mean power cuts of 8 to 10 hours a day. Stephen Sackur saw the effects on life in the township of Khayelitsha in Cape Town, and asked whether the problem's now fuelling demands for political change.After China's authorities failed to see the funny side of a joke about a military catchphrase, live performance is a riskier business these days in Beijing. Stephen McDonell is a regular at the city's sometimes raucous music venues, and detects a slight muting of the atmosphere, as Party officials' scrutiny of their paperwork - and the musicians' permits - sharpens.Stretches of Germany's most picturesque and beloved forests are dying off - especially areas heavily planted with spruce for the timber industry. Even the Harz mountains where nature-lovers go to hike aren't as green as they used to be. Caroline Bayley went for several walks in the woods, and spoke to the Germans living in a different landscape.And in northern Sri Lanka, Nick Redmayne recently saw signs of enduring mistrust and unease, more than a decade after the end of the state's conflict with the Tamil Tigers. While the civil war is over, the scars can still be seen.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
03/06/2328m 41s

Gun Violence in Serbia

Kate Adie presents dispatches from Serbia, Tunisia, India, France and Ukraine. There has been a wave of protests in Serbia against gun violence following two mass shootings last month that left 17 people dead. Serbia has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe, but people flocked to hand in old weapons after the government announced a gun amnesty following the attacks. Our Balkans correspondent Guy Delauney reveals how many Serbians are now questioning the culture which encourages violence. Tunisia is a hub for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Many people have died trying to make the dangerous sea crossing, but that hasn't deterred thousands more from risking their lives. Bella Saltiel has been to the Tunisian port city of Sfax to try understand what is driving them towards Europe and finds a mix of poverty and prejudice. We hear about a forgotten group of native Americans, from the Osage Nation, left destitute in France in the 19th Century, who found sanctuary in the southern French town of Montauban - forging a connection that is still celebrated today. Chris Bockman traces their story. The south Indian city of Chennai has one of the longest associations with the country's former colonial rulers, Britain, of any city in India. But, as Andrew Whitehead explains, the city is so comfortable with its past that its streets, shops and famous beer still echo the colonial era. In Ukraine, many families still don’t know what has happened to their relatives since the Russian invasion over a year ago. Many have been detained or disappeared in Russian-controlled areas. Jen Stout tells the story of one man, a popular children’s author and poet, who went missing in the early weeks of the war.Producer: Louise Hidalgo Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith(Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)
01/06/2329m 55s

Ukraine's Counter-Offensive

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Ukraine, Greece, Armenia, the US-Mexico border and Indonesia's Raja Ampat Islands.There have been months of speculation about when and how Ukraine might use its armed forces, and their new weaponry, in a counter-offensive to take back territory occupied by Russia. Russian attacks are still hitting Ukrainian cities almost every day. Hugo Bachega describes how two men in Kyiv - a civilian whose home was bombed, and the President, who must lead the country through this war - are keeping their nerve.Before the Greek election there was plenty of talk about the frustrated ambitions of young Greeks, and public outrage over cronyism in politics. Yet Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was re-elected, and his wasn't the only familiar face to be brought back to govern in Athens. Nick Beake covered the campaign, and gained a few insights into the enduring power of the country's political dynasties along the way.Armenia and Azerbaijan have been discussing normalising relations, and reopening transport links, in peace talks in Moscow - but there are still many potential stumbling blocks along the road to a settlement. The disputed enclave of Nagorno Karabakh is at the heart of the matter, but as Emily Craig heard while visiting southern Armenia, many people in the country still feel they're on a permanent war footing.Last week, international media readied themselves to cover an expected surge of people trying to cross the border into the United States from Mexico. It was believed that the expiry of the Title 42 regulations would trigger a new migration crisis. Yet it didn't happen - even though there are thousands of people still trying to enter the US. Bernd Debussman reports from the streets of El Paso.And in the island archipelago of Raja Ampat, in the Southwest Papua province of Indonesia, Sara Wheeler has recently seen wonders - including a rare glimpse of the purple tail of a Wilson's bird of paradise, and a walking shark in some of the world's most biodiverse waters.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
27/05/2329m 52s

The Families Fleeing Sudan

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' dispatches from South Sudan, from the air war over Ukraine, a troubled area of Chicago, a small island off Western Australia and Sweden's capital, Stockholm.The conflict in Sudan which began in April continues to tear its capital city, Khartoum, apart. Hundreds have been killed and more than a million people have fled their homes. Some have connections to South Sudan - which split from Sudan in 2011. Catherine Byaruhanga has been to the South Sudanese town of Renk and heard from families who've managed to return.After attending the G7 summit in Japan, Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted that peace was 'closer today'. One tangible outcome of the meeting was the promise from President Biden that the US would allow countries to supply F16 fighter jets to Ukraine - something President Zelensky has been requesting for months. But just how will these jets help? Our correspondent Abdujalil Abdurasulov talked to two Ukrainian fighter pilots.Chicago has a new mayor. At his swearing-in, Brandon Johnson - a former teacher and union organiser - spoke proudly of his humble beginnings in one of the most violent neighbourhoods in the Americas. He continues to live in Austin, Chicago and has promised to take a new approach to fighting crime. Mike Wendling has been to the mayor's neighbourhood to see how data science is being used to tackle the city's gun violence problem.Visitors to Western Australia's Rottnest Island have only recently begun to discover the island's hidden, tragic past. While many tourists come to the island to see the quokkas, cute marsupials with happy grins, more and more of them, like Emma Thomson, are learning about the historic mistreatment of its indigenous people, the Wadjemup.And in Sweden, Rob Crossan takes a walk around an area of Stockholm that has always fascinated him - and meets a homeless man who asks why anyone should be destitute in a country which is often celebrated as a showcase for the best in humanity.
25/05/2328m 48s

El Salvador's brutal battle with gangs

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' dispatches from El Salvador, the streets of Pakistan's cities, the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, North Korea and Germany.Since the 1990s, El Salvador fell into the grip of street gangs which terrorised the country. Now its President, Nayib Bukele, is running a harsh crackdown on gang members, introducing sweeping new police powers, summary arrests, mass trials and heavy sentences for alleged offenders. Will Grant spoke to some who've suffered, and others who've gained, in this new climate.The last month has seen huge, passionate demonstrations in many of Pakistan's cities in support of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Once he was seen as an ally of the country's military and security establishment, but recently those ties have cooled and he's faced a slew of legal challenges. Caroline Davies has seen how this political drama is playing out in court and on the streets.What happened to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims driven out of Myanmar in 2017? Rajini Vaidyanathan visits the world's largest refugee camp, in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where many Rohingya families are trying to survive in cramped, squalid conditions. She reunites with a young boy the BBC first met five years ago.Visitors to North Korea often have a hard time understanding what locals really think. But once North Koreans leave the country, they can finally speak out about feelings locked inside - or just not confronted - for a lifetime. Michael Bristow met one North Korean woman who's now making a new life in the north of England.And in Germany, Tim Mansel explores why the future of small-town family butchers' shops appear to be on the chopping block. Like many other sectors in the German economy, retail butchery is struggling to fill all the empty vacancies.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
20/05/2328m 49s

Erdogan, the Earthquakes and the Election

This weekend's election in Turkey may be the most consequential vote President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has faced yet. Amid the ruined city of Antakya, Orla Guerin heard strong opinions from his supporters and detractors, as they contemplate their and their country's future.Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan, the space for women in any kind of public life has been steadily shrinking. Yogita Limaye has often met with their spokesmen and challenged their stance on women's education and employment. While the conversations were cordial, there were few signs of any relaxation of the rules.It's a long way from the foothills of Mount Everest to the southwestern state of Karnataka in India; but in this new landscape, some of Tibet's ancient arts and beliefs are still celebrated at a Buddhist monastery in exile. Earlier this year, Simon Broughton joined the monks of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery for the Tibetan Gutor festival, which features blaring horns, crashing cymbals, and dancers dressed as skeletal tormentors.And as Liverpool gets ready for the culmination of the Eurovision Song Contest, Daniel Rosney retraces the six months he's spent criss-crossing Europe in the run-up to the event, and reflects on the special relationship that's been formed between the United Kingdom and last year's winner, Ukraine.Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-Ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
13/05/2329m 4s

Thailand’s Young Reformers

Kate Adie presents stories from Thailand, Israel, Laos, Switzerland and Ireland.Thailand is standing at a crossroads, with many wondering if the country can move on to a more dynamic, democratic future in the forthcoming election on 14th May. Recent polls put progressive parties ahead, and on target to win a majority of the seats - but can they overcome the conservative status quo? Jonathan Head has been on the campaign trail with one of the young, progressive candidates hoping for change.Israel has been in the grip of nationwide protests over the right-wing coalition's plans for judicial reform, but Israeli Arabs have been conspicuous by their absence. Rhodri Davies spoke to people about why this is in an Arab city in northern Israel.Laos is the most bombed country in the world per capita and is still suffering the consequences of American air strikes 50 years ago. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent heard stories of the dangers posed by unexploded ordinance to farmers and children.In Switzerland, thousands of older Swiss women, nicknamed 'Climate Grannies' are bringing a case against their government to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming the government's lack of action on climate change is putting their health at risk. Imogen Foulkes heard about their fight.And finally, as world leaders, both past and present, have descended on Ireland recently, and after Ireland's victory over England in the Six Nations Rugby grand slam, James Helm reflects on Irish soft power around the world.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Louise Hidalgo Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
29/04/2328m 31s

The Trial of Vladimir Kara-Murza

Kate Adie presents stories from Russia, Germany, India, Iceland and JapanRussian political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Moscow court this week. Sarah Rainsford exchanged letters with him during his time in prison and reflects on his trial, and how it's being used by Vladimir Putin to send a stern warning to those who oppose him.The trial in Moscow stands in contrast to the highly visible trials watched by the world after World War Two, where high-ranking Nazis appeared before a tribunal in Nuremberg. John Kampfner visited the southern German city, and reflects on what we can still learn from the Nuremberg idea today.Rani Singh travels to Uttar Pradesh – India’s largest state, lying east of the capital Delhi - seen by many as a microcosm of the country. Traditionally, it has not been a progressive place for women. but the situation may be changing: at least in one community, she finds.Despite being a founding member of Nato, Iceland has no standing armed forces of its own. It does however provide support for the 31 member military alliance. And it’s perfectly placed to host Nato’s air surveillance missions. In recent months, the F35s of the Norwegian airforce have made use of an air base in Keflavik in the island’s south-west. David Baillie was there to watch them in action.Dairy consumption – and production - is not something that’s traditionally been associated with Japan, though it has steadily grown in popularity since the mid 20th Century. And in recent decades, a cluster of cheesemakers has sprung up – and Japan’s artisans are now causing a stir on the international stage, says Amy GuttmanSeries Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
22/04/2328m 51s

Mexico's clergy and the cartels

Young Mexicans preparing to join the priesthood don't only have to struggle with matters of mortal sin or individual guilt. They are also often sent to serve communities where the country's drug-trafficking networks are highly active - and extremely violent. Will Grant spoke to some of the men who must run the deadly risks of ministering in 'cartel land'.The regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran has driven events across the Middle East in recent decades - with the two powers backing opposing sides in the conflicts in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Recently, Riyadh and Tehran agreed to re-establish diplomatic ties, but as Sebastian Usher explains, even as some red lines shift, the limits on public debate at home are still very much in force.The Chaco region of Paraguay was once called 'the green hell' for its spiky, almost impenetrable scrubland. It's now opening up to the outside world, thanks to a new highway called the Bi-oceanic Corridor. Some communities living in the Chaco - like the Mennonite groups whose dairy farms now dot the landscape, and the Ayoreo indigenous people of the area - welcome the new opportunities for their produce, but worry about whether newcomers will change their way of life. Jane Chambers heard their concerns.Deal or no deal? Not a game-show question, but a repetitive refrain in the long saga of diplomacy in the Balkans. The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borell recently trumpeted 'we have a deal' after a round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo. Guy De Launey found the devil lay in the detail... or, rather, the lack of it.And on the beaches of Jersey, Christine Finn recently received some lessons in frugality - including advice on the best uses for foraged seaweed, and how to benefit from a cut-price, one-clawed lobster.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Polly Hope Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
15/04/2329m 17s

Escape from North Korea

Kate Adie presents stories from North Korea, the US, France, Antigua and Ireland.Kim Jong-Un has made it harder to escape North Korea, and numbers of people who have done so successfully have dropped from a thousand each year to just 67 in 2022. 17-year-old Songmi Park was one of the last known people to escape, and Jean MacKenzie heard the story of her childhood there, and her reunion with her mother in Seoul.Last year more than a hundred thousand Americans died from a drug overdose - two-thirds of them after using synthetic opioids like Fentanyl. Tim Mansel was in San Diego where he saw first hand how the opioid crisis still has a firm grip on American communities.Paul Moss was in Paris during the street protests that have escalated across France after President Emmanuel Macron pushed through his pension reforms by decree. He ponders whether the writing is on the wall for President Macron's leadership.Around 900 Cameroonians arrived in Antigua at the end of last year, though many had expected to touch down in the US, where they hoped to build a new life. Gemma Handy investigates why they failed to reach their final destination.On the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Chris Page explores how, at critical moments during the peace process, it was the personal relationships between leaders which helped to finally get the agreement over the line. He spoke to many of the key players about their memories of that period.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Louise Hidalgo Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
08/04/2328m 29s

Israel’s Deep Divisions

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, the US, Nigeria, Ukraine and Austria.After months of protests, Israel's Prime Minister moved to delay his controversial judicial reforms, which many have criticised for being undemocratic. But the underlying tensions over the future direction of the government have not gone away, and the protest movement is now split, says Tom Bateman.In Florida, several laws have come into force that restrict what can be taught in classrooms. Led by Governor Ron DeSantis, state Republicans say the laws are necessary to shield children from inappropriate content and liberal indoctrination around issues of race and sexual orientation. Chelsea Bailey visited one high school, where teachers say they are being scared into silence.In northwest Nigeria, gangs of bandits have been raiding villages and kidnapping men, women and children for ransom. Villagers have become reliant on local vigilantes to help protect them, but they are ill-equipped to take them on. Alex Last was in Katsina.James Landale, the BBC's Diplomatic correspondent, has spoken to a bartender in Kyiv who had to relocate from Kharkiv with his family when his apartment block was destroyed by a Russian missile. He and a group of bartenders have pooled their resources to start a new business in the capital.And finally, Bethany Bell reflects on the elevated status afforded to a regular of bars or restaurants - known as a 'Stammgast' which comes with bonus privileges. We hear how she finally acquired this honour at her local espresso bar.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Researcher: Bethan Ashmead Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Sabine Schreck
01/04/2328m 44s

Mississippi: After the Tornado

Kate Adie presents stories from the US, Indonesia, Finland, Turkey and Australia
30/03/2328m 35s

Ukraine’s Second Spring Of War

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Malawi, Switzerland and Germany.Bakhmut has long been a prize for Russian forces since it invaded Ukraine a year ago. Tens of thousands of troops have died in a protracted fight for the city, in what is the longest battle of the war so far. Quentin Sommerville has been travelling through the front line, and reveals the changing nature of the war.A 14-day period of national mourning is underway in Malawi, after more than 200 people died when the country was hit by Cyclone Freddy. More than 200,000 people have been displaced. Rhoda Odhiambo visited Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, which is among the worst-affected areas.South Korean pop culture has taken the world by storm in recent years, with K-Pop superstars like BTS and BlackPink scoring number one hits around the world. Korean TV dramas have also been a huge hit - and Sophie Williams says one show in particular has put a small village in Switzerland on the map.In Germany public nudity has a long tradition, but the question of whether the freedom to go naked in public was a legal right was unclear until two women challenged orders asking them to cover up in a public swimming pool. Jenny Hill reports from Berlin.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Researcher: Beth Ashmead Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
25/03/2328m 18s

Jeremy Bowen: Memories of Iraq

Kate Adie presents stories from Iraq, on the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion, Brazil and Colombia.The BBC's International Editor Jeremy Bowen first reported from Iraq in 1990, and went on to visit the country on many more occasions - including during the US-led invasion in 2003. Twenty years on since the start of that war, he charts how events during the decade prior shaped the country's destiny.The city of Fallujah has had to rebuild many times following the invasion by coalition forces, which was followed by the Iraqi insurgency and a takeover by Al Qaeda and Isis. Leila Molana Allen speaks to residents of the city about their memories of the last 20 years, and what life is like today.In Brazil, measures have been taken to enshrine protection for those who are overweight, including preferential seats on subways, larger desks in schools and an annual day to promote the rights of obese people. But despite these moves, it can take longer for societal attitudes to change, says Bob Howard.And we're in Colombia on a journey by ferry on the Magdalena river to the old colonial trading hub, Mompox, which later became crucial to the fight for independence. The ripple effects of this region's rich history are still felt today, says Sara Wheeler.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Bethan Ashmead Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
23/03/2328m 26s

Kidnappings in DR Congo

Kate Adie presents stories from DR Congo, Mexico, Hungary, Argentina, and South Africa.The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing multiple conflicts over territory, ethnic tensions and minerals. In the last month, fighting between the M23 rebel group and the government is believed to have displaced around 300,000 people. But the presence of other armed groups is making the situation even more perilous. One group, the Allied Democratic Forces, has reportedly killed more than 60 people in recent weeks, and kidnapped many others. Hugh Kinsella-Cunningham spoke to one woman who had recently escaped captivity in Beni territory.The Mexican port of Manzinillo has become a battleground for cartels, as it's where many of the raw materials for drugs such as Fentanyl are imported from Asia. Linda Pressly meets the town's mayor who is trying to turn the tide of crime - and hears of the personal sacrifices she has to make to keep safe.Hungary has faced criticism for its progress on women's rights, but in specific areas of women's healthcare it is leading the way. Rosie Blunt was in Hungary to access care for her endometriosis and found the support on offer was second-to-none.Off the beaten track in north-West Argentina, John Kampfner explores the high peaks and brightly-coloured lagoons that are home to vast numbers of flamingos. He also makes a curious discovery in a local museum, with deep cultural ties to the mountains.Which is the harder language to learn - Welsh, or Xhosa? BBC Wales sports reporter Gareth Rhys Owen recently took a trip to South Africa, where he met rugby legend Makaya Jack – and also met his match when it came to deciding whose mother tongue was hardest to master.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Researcher: Beth Ashmead Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
18/03/2328m 24s

Protests in Georgia

Kate Adie presents stories from Georgia, Egypt, The Netherlands, Iceland and Brazil.
16/03/2328m 27s

South Africa’s Rolling Blackouts

Kate Adie presents stories from South Africa, Russia, Japan, New York, and Ukraine.Unprecedented power cuts has seen South Africa's national power company become the butt of jokes, but the continual outages are hitting the country's already struggling economy. Ed Habershon reveals how people adapt when the traffic lights stop working.Vladimir Putin’s sabre-rattling has become a permanent feature on Russian state-run media, since the invasion of Ukraine began. But a more subtle device the Russian President has employed, is to appeal to Russia’s sense of victim-hood. Francis Scarr reveals the impact this daily narrative has had on his old friends in Russia.Japan struggles with diversity and female representation in both its commercial and political spheres. Shaimaa Khalil met Tokyo’s first female district mayor, who is breaking through the barriers of tradition, to ensure women are seen and heard.Puppy ownership saw a surge during the pandemic, as people discovered the joys of a four-legged companion during lockdown. In New York, the dog of choice for many was a doodle – a poodle hybrid. But there is now a growing backlash against the now ubiquitous doodle, as Laura Trevelyan reports from the dog parks of Brooklyn.Transcarpathia, on the far western edge of Ukraine, is a mosaic of nationalities, languages and religious identities which once made up the Austro-Hungarian empire. But the strains of emigration, war, and displaced populations from elsewhere in the country, are erasing cultural differences, and creating a more uniform Ukraine, reports Nick Thorpe.Producers: Serena Tarling & Emma Close Researcher: Beth Ashmead Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
11/03/2328m 40s

Greek Train Crash Triggers Grief And Anger

Kate Adie presents stories from Greece, Turkey, Senegal, Guatemala and SwitzerlandAs relatives of victims in the train crash in Greece mourn their loss, broader questions are being asked about the state management of the railways, unleashing public anger as elections loom. Nick Beake was in Larissa.Turkey has become a top destination for Russia's fleeing the invasion of Ukraine but as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes a firmer stance on migration, Russian applications for residency permits are increasingly being rejected. Emily Wither met one Russia who is helping people relocate in Antalya.The African Renaissance statue is the tallest in Africa and towers over Senegal's capital city, Senegal. Rob Crossan scaled the statue on a recent visit and heard how locals see it as more of a national embarrassment, given its exorbitant cost and domineering presence.Tikal national park in Guatemala's north is renowned both for its archaeological significance and biodiversity. The ancient Mayan city was once part of a great trading network- stretching across from Calakmul in Mexico to Copan in Honduras. Beth Timmins explore the area and spoke to locals about its World Heritage status.Xander Brett visits the alpine resort of St Moritz in Switzerland where, for over a hundred years, the 'White Turf horse race has taken place - on snow and ice. He finds that global warming and safety fears are now casting a shadow over this well-attended spectacle.
09/03/2328m 52s

Nigeria’s Young Voters Find Their Voice

Nigeria's recent presidential election encouraged many young Nigerians to engage with the political process for the first time and cast a vote, despite a backdrop of voter intimidation and claims of election fraud. Yemisi Adegoke says this impetus is set to continue.The sinking of a migrant boat off the coast of Calabria once again highlighted the dangers of migrant crossings on the high seas. Frey Lindsay travelled on a rescue boat run by a charity from Libya to Ravenna and heard from those on board about what they left behind.The verdict in the trial of former Mexican government drug tsar, Genaro Garcia Luna, has been a spectacular fall from grace for a man Mexicans saw as corrupt but untouchable, writes Will Grant.Banana farmers in central Lebanon have been hit hard by the country's financial crisis and the effects of a changing climate. Now they are looking for a new, more reliable crop, says Hannah McCarthy.Nick Sturdee recounts the story of a 56-year-old man who decided to join the Ukrainian army in the fight against Russia after he witnessed a missile attack. On the reporting assignment, Nick was involved in a life-threatening car accident, which threw everything around him into sharp relief.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
04/03/2328m 31s

Uzbekistan’s Winter Energy Crisis

Kate Adie presents stories from Uzbekistan, Turkey, USA, South Africa and Sweden.Uzbekistan is one of the largest gas producers in the world but is in the throes of a full-blown energy crisis. People are struggling to keep warm amid the country's harshest winter in decades. Ibrat Safo reveals how people have taken to cooking outdoors on open fires, as the poor gas supply means it can take an hour just to boil a pot of hot tea.The village of Ovakent in southeast Turkey is known locally as Little Afghanistan. After the catastrophic earthquake last month, the Afghan diaspora - who arrived in Turkey after escaping war in their homeland - are once again living with displacement and uncertainty. Mahjooba Nowrouzi has been to visit the village, which is located near the epicentre of the earthquake.In East Palestine, Ohio, the derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals has left many residents fearful of the long-term health effects. Bernd Debusmann Jr travelled to the town, where people expressed their disappointment in the response to the disaster from authorities, leaving them fearful for the future.South Africa is continuing to battle rising inflation and unemployment, with the country's worst social unrest since the end of apartheid a recent memory. But in the picturesque vineyards that surround Cape Town, it’s easy to forget the extent of South Africa’s problems, says Charlotte Ashton as she visits the 'Stellenbosch bubble'.In Sweden’s far north, near the Norwegian border, where the northern lights frequently light up the winter night sky, Matilda Welin embarked on a journey off the beaten track. She recounts an increasingly rare experience – of unlimited access to the natural world.Series producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Louise HIdalgo Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
02/03/2328m 40s

Moldova’s Divided Loyalties.

Kate Adie presents stories from Moldova, Estonia, Cambodia, Chile and the Seychelles.Lucy Williamson visits the Moldovan enclave of Moldova Noua, which has been surrounded by pro-Russian forces since the 1990s. Villagers tell her they feel isolated by pro-Western rhetoric and are being lured closer to Moscow by the cheap energy and lower food prices available in the breakaway Russian-backed region of TransnistriaIn Estonia's easternmost city of Narva, on the Russian border, Nick Robinson finds there is a generational divide when it comes to views about life under former Soviet rule. Increasingly, locals have to choose which side they're on as they wrestle with the implications of the invasion of Ukraine.Celia Hatton follows the story of stolen Cambodian jewels which have finally been returned from Britain to the southeast Asian country. Under the Khmer Rouge regime, antiques were looted and sold through dealers in Asia to Europe and the US. She meets an archaeologist who is piecing together her country's lost past.Chile has seen some of its worst wildfires in years, with forests destroyed, crops ruined and homes burnt to the ground. More than 25 people have been killed. Jane Chambers drove through one of the worst affected regions.The Coco de Mer tree is a much treasured species that can only be found on two islands in the Seychelles archipelago off East Africa. Rhodri Davies discovers how the region has seen a rise in poaching of its highly prized nut, due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
25/02/2329m 3s

Ukraine: One Year On

Orla Guerin, senior international correspondent, reports from Ukraine's east, a region she has covered on different trips during the last year, on the permanent sense of danger lingering there, that has become a way of life since the Russian invasion.Russia Editor, Steve Rosenberg recounts his own feelings of surprise at Vladimir Putin's decision to invade - and how far everyday Russians have swallowed the government propaganda. He explores the motivations as to why this might be.US Editor, Sarah Smith describes the secrecy surrounding President Joe Biden's surprise visit to Kyiv - and what the political climate is like in Washington amid pledges the US will support the war for 'as long as it takes'.Sarah Rainsford, Eastern Europe Correspondent, has followed the story of Ukrainians fleeing the war from the outset of the invasion. She speaks to those who have only recently fled in Poland's east and what prompted their decisions to leave now.Vitaliy Shevchenko, presenter of Ukrainecast, has lost friends during the conflict. Over the last year, he evacuated his parents from Zaporizhzhia, now controlled by Russians, and also watched a broader shift in Ukraine's standing in the world - and that of its leader.
23/02/2328m 52s

The questions after Turkey's earthquake

Kate Adie introduces analysis and reportage from correspondents in Turkey, Israel, Nigeria, Georgia and South Sudan.While reporting from across southern Turkey after the February 6 earthquake, Nick Beake often came across moments of astonishing kindness and generosity - but also found an incalculable burden of grief and a growing sense of anger. How and why did the natural disaster have such devastating human consequences - and can anyone be held responsible for the deaths and damage?There's a war of words going on in Israel over moves by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to reform the status and powers of the country's Supreme Court. Amid the fervent demonstrations and political horse-trading in and around the Knesset building, Yolande Knell's been hearing the cases for and against the proposed changes to the system.Nigeria is due to elect its next President on the 25th of February, but the scheduled election day comes as the nation grapples with a string of crises. Soaring inflation, burgeoning insecurity and dire fuel shortages have been capped off by currency chaos - as the entire country struggles to find enough cash to pay for its daily needs. Mayeni Jones reports from Lagos.The political career of Mikhail Saakashvili has never been short of passionate rhetoric or dramatic twists, but recently, people in Tbilisi have been worried by a series of images which seemed to show their former President wasting away in a prison clinic. Rayhan Demytrie explains why 'Misha' still provokes strong feelings in Georgia.And: what is really the point of a Papal visit? As Aleem Maqbool followed the route of Pope Francis's recent travels to the D R Congo and South Sudan, he was moved by the joy of the crowds - and considered how Popes can move politicians to act.Producer: Polly Hope Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
18/02/2328m 2s

Rescue hopes fade in Turkey and Syria

Kate Adie presents stories from Turkey, Ukraine, the USA, Sao Tome and Principe and Lithuania.Lyse Doucet has been in Southern Turkey reporting on the earthquake which has devastated towns there and in North West Syria. She describes how the rescue effort has now changed to a recovery mission as hope of finding survivors fades - yet families still hope for miracles.It's four months since Russia first launched a wave of drone and missile attacks aimed at destroying Ukraine's power grid. Millions of Ukrainians have had to put up with regular power cuts, sometimes lasting for days. Paul Adams meets the army of engineers who, despite the huge damage, are busy re-connecting towns and cities.In California selling cannabis for recreational use has been legal since 2016. In Oakland Sharon Hemans hears about a scheme to help communities previously targeted by the so-called War on Drugs make the most of the now legal cannabis trade. She meets one man who's experienced selling cannabis on both sides of the law and hears of the new challenges he now faces.Petroc Trelwany finds the West African island of Principe has such a young population that schools are having to adapt by teaching classes in shifts. At lunchtime when the schools switch over the streets are flooded with students.And it's the 700th birthday of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Lucy Ash visits for the celebrations and discovers a small country determined to stand up for itself and continue the legacy of its medieval founder.Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
16/02/2328m 35s

Southern Turkey: The Earthquake's Epicentre

Kate Adie presents stories from Turkey, the USA, Myanmar, Italy and Ukraine.Anna Foster has been in Kahramanmaras, the epicentre of the recent earthquake, where diggers work to remove the debris, revealing small personal items that tell of so many lives lost. Even after the rescue teams have left for the day, relatives continue the search for loved ones through the night.President Joe Biden has switched to campaign mode in both his State of the Union speech to Congress and on his recent visit to Florida - celebrating the achievements of his presidency. But a fight looms with Republicans who now control the House, and there are potential trip wires on the road ahead, says Anthony Zurcher.A journalist from Myanmar shares his story of how hope turned to despair when the military seized power in a coup in 2021 - and how he was forced to flee with his family. The regime has used intimidation and harassment to shut down the media, says Rebecca Henschke.In Italy, Daniel Gordon tells the story of a man who managed to escape the clutches of the mafia. Having grown up in a crime family, the man reveals the challenges of leaving 'the family' when he was still a young man, before starting a new life in the north of Italy.And Nick Redmayne takes the ever-punctual Ukrainian Railways overnight sleeper from Poland's far east to Kyiv. As the train departs, following a timetable undeterred by war, Nick chats to his travel companions over cups of hot tea served to passengers in elegant glasses.Producers: Serena Tarling and Louise Hidalgo Editor: China Collins Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
11/02/2327m 57s

Voices from Syria’s North-West

Kate Adie presents stories from Syria, Nigeria, Romania, Armenia and PakistanLeila Molana-Allen has spoken to anxious friends and relatives in the Syrian diaspora who are preparing for the worst as roads are blocked and airports closed. Many relief workers are running low on supplies as they battle to reach those stranded.Mayeni Jones has been in the midst of the chaotic fall-out from the Nigerian Central Bank's decision to replace the high denomination bank notes, which led to fights breaking out in banks and long queues forming as the new notes became scarce to find.Paul Kenyon visits the Romanian home of former championship boxer and social media influencer Andrew Tate, who's been detained in the country due to allegations of people trafficking and rape. He finds the house wasn't quite what he expected for someone who boasts about a glamour lifestyle - and went to hear what the locals make of him.A group of teenagers got stranded on the Armenian border after they travelled to Yerevan from Nagorno-Karabakh for the Eurovision Junior Song Contest. Azerbaijani political activists staged a sit in on the only road connection Armenia to the breakaway region and have stopped all civilian traffic from passing. Gabriel Gavin spoke to the children caught in the middle of the conflict.And finally, over this past year, Pakistan has marked the 75th anniversary of its formation. There were many individual stories of communities and families who were split or who chose to relocate and the reverberations of that partition are still felt today. Ash Bhardwaj reflects on his first visit to Pakistan as someone who is half Indian and grew up in England.Producers: Serena Tarling and Louise Hidalgo Editor: China Collins Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
09/02/2328m 29s

Grief and Grievances in Israel and the Occupied West Bank

After a surge in violence over the last week, in which several were killed in a military raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank and a synagogue attack in Israel, Yolande Knell visited the both areas and spoke to friends and relatives of those who died about their fears for the future.Rob Cameron extols the virtue of the old Soviet escalator in his local metro station in Prague, which is now being upgraded. And, as he sits down with pro-EU President-elect Petr Pavel, after recent elections, he reflects on the tensions between the old Soviet links, and modernisation in the country.In Uruguay, Jane Chambers meets a new breed of cattle rancher - investors based in the city who buy cattle to be managed by local ranchers. She visits the farms beyond the capital, and hears how they've been focused on burnishing their environmental credentials to compete with Brazil and Argentina.In the Canadian province of British Colombia, Mark Stratton visits a non-profit group who've teamed up with first nation people to promote bear tourism, as an alternative to bear hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest.And finally, former Brussels Correspondent, Adam Fleming returns to Berlaymont three years after Brexit - for a spot of reminiscing over friends made, sleep lost and screeds of reports written on the twists and turns of the Brexit negotiations.Producers: Serena Tarling, Louise Hidalgo and Arlene Gregorious Editor: China Collins and Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
04/02/2328m 48s

A Mosque Attack in Peshawar

Kate Adie presents stories from Pakistan Ukraine, Gibraltar, Uzbekistan and NamibiaMore than 100 people were killed in an attack targeting police in a high security mosque in the northern city of Peshawar in Pakistan earlier this week. An investigation is now underway as to how the bomber managed to enter the high-security zone. Caroline Davies went to the city and met some of the survivors.Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelensky has launched a anti-corruption drive, which led to the resignation of several government and regional ministers. James Waterhouse was in Kyiv and said the upheaval marked a shift in the government’s narrative, with a new focus on accountability.Gibraltar, the British territory which borders Spain, remains deeply patriotic despite its geographical location. Joe Inwood met the chief minister there and discovered how a simple mispronunciation opened up deeper cultural differences.We visit Samarkand in Uzbekistan, for centuries a major trading hub on the Silk Road. But under the former President Islam Karimov, the country experienced economic stagnation and isolation. His successor is trying to revive the economy by boosting tourism. Heidi Fuller-Love went to visit a shiny new complex near Samarkand - a different world from the heritage sites of the old city.And Stephen Moss explores the sand dunes of the Namib desert - one of the most arid places on earth. He finds that, although Chinese investment in nearby Walvis Bay is reaping returns, the wider ecosystem is under threat.Producers: Serena Tarling, Louise Hidalgo and Arlene Gregorius Editor: China Collins Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross
02/02/2328m 31s

A Bitter Winter in Afghanistan

Kate Adie presents stories from Afghanistan, Peru, Russia, the US and SpainAs Afghanistan experiences its harshest winter in a decade, Lyse Doucet travels to Salang, the world's highest road tunnel. After roadside service comes to her team's rescue, she visits a struggling family who are cut off from aid and battling to keep warm.Peru is seeing some of its worst clashes since the return of democracy, with protesters demanding that interim president, Dina Boluarte, resign and make way for a general election and a new constitution. Many of the biggest protests were in southern Peru but Mitra Taj spoke to those who took their grievances to the capital, Lima.We meet a drag queen in Saint Petersburg who says Russia's new anti-LGBT law is crushing gay nightlife in the city. Our correspondent Will Vernon discovers this increased censorship also extends to bookshops, streaming services and high street shops -all part of Vladimir Putin's battle against Western values.Barbara Plett Usher was in Washington for the anti-abortion activists' annual March for Life, which has been held every year since the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. She meets protesters on both sides of the debate, and finds America's battle over abortion is far from over.In Spain, Guy Hedgecoe visits San Fernando, the hometown of the much revered flamenco singer, Camarón de la Isla, where, three decades after the singer's death, his memory is as cherished as the legacy of his music.Producers: Serena Tarling and Louise Hidalgo Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
28/01/2327m 45s

Ukraine Dreams Of A Different Future

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Nepal, Iraq, Norway and the USAndrew Harding is at the frontline in Eastern Donbas, close to Russian lines, where soldiers share their dreams of the future after the war, as artillery fire rains down on them.The Yeti airlines crash into a gorge in Nepal last Sunday was the worst in 30 years. Rajini Vaidyanathan saw the grim reality of the crash site and spoke to mourners as they prepared to bury their loved ones.From chocolate biscuits, to porcelain to air-conditioning units, Iranian produce lines the shelves of Baghdad's stores. But despite the strong commercial ties and shared cultural influences, political tensions are flaring in the Kurdistan region of Iraq after the death of Mahsa Amini, writes Lizzie Porter.In Arctic Norway, cod fisherman rely on Russian cooperation to share fish stocks in the Barents Sea equally. Hugh Francis Anderson was in Tromso where he spoke to fisherman increasingly wary that souring relations with Russia could impact their livelihoods.Mark Moran reports from Arizona on the water wars in the state, where rural farmers and ranchers are launching a fightback against the move to divert water to the expanding city of Queen's Creek.
21/01/2328m 23s

China’s Great Reopening

Kate Adie presents stories from China, Brazil, Sri Lanka, the US and Portugal.China has opened up its borders again ahead of the New Year festival. Late las year, Xi Jinping eased Covid restrictions after anti-Zero Covid protests, which has led to a surge in cases across major cities and provinces. Many in the country are divided about whether to savour their new found freedoms and travel, or stay put to protect elderly relatives, says Stephen McDonnell.The storming of Brazil's congress, presidential palace and supreme court by supporters of Jair Bolsonaro has led many to draw parallels with the attack on the Capitol building in Washington in 2021. Katy Watson looks at who the protestors are and who might be behind them.Zeinab Badawi is in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, where she meets Sinhalese artist, Jagath, whose work mainly focuses on the country's brutal history. She hears the story of how one of his monuments to commemorate those who died in the conflict was destroyed in favour of a new building project.David Adams is in Miami, Florida, where, during a stroll one day, he encounters some iguanas which have fallen from surrounding trees. And although Florida escaped much of the worst of the recent freeze in the US, he reflects on whether these creatures could be a canary in the coal mine for climate change.Alastair Leithead chose to move to southern Portugal for a more settled life, after years on the road as a foreign correspondent. He writes about his experiences of trying to live an off-grid lifestyle - and some of its challenges.
14/01/2328m 38s

Brazil: United In Grief, Divided By Politics

Kate Adie presents stories from Brazil, Russia, the US, South Korea and ItalyBrazilians this week mourned the loss of one of their greatest footballers, Pele, with hundreds of thousands going to view his open casket in Santos. Meanwhile, the politics continue to divide the nation as Lula Da Silva returned to power. Katy Watson was in Brasilia for his inauguration and reflects on the challenges ahead.Vladimir Putin used his New Year address this year to rally the nation once more for war, as festive ice sculptures even depicted military figures. The announcement of a ceasefire for Orthodox Christmas appeared incongruous with Putin's rhetoric and was dismissed by Ukrainians as a plot to stay their advances. Steve Rosenberg was in Moscow as Russians were once more put on a war footing.Linda Pressly has a dispatch from Tucson in Arizona where she met a group of committed Christians helping migrants who've crossed from Mexico into the harsh landscape of the Sonoran desert, and lost their way. This comes as President Joe Biden prepares to visit the border next week.John Murphy visits the rooftop apartments of South Korea's capital Seoul to hear why they hold such appeal for young Koreans - and how economic circumstances, and social expectations are causing some to leave the city altogether.Rome was also in mourning for another iconic figure - of the Catholic church. 50 000 mourners reportedly attended the funeral of Pope Benedict in St Peter's Square and tens of thousands more paid homage to him as he lay in state. David Willey has covered the Vatican for half a decade, and says there is a bigger sea change underway.
07/01/2328m 56s

A Year in Ukraine

Kate Adie presents a selection of stories from correspondents who have covered the war, from the invasion of Kyiv to the present day. Fergal Keane remembers the beekeepers of the Donbas who he met in 2014, following Russia's annexation of Crimea. As he witnessed the throngs of Ukrainians fleeing war in February of this year, he wonders if he will meet his friends again. Quentin Sommerville reported close to Russian lines in Kharkiv as it came under attack. He reflects on the realities of war and the decision to show dead bodies in his television reporting - to not show them would be a lie, he says. Yogita Limaye writes on the atrocities which emerged in Bucha after Russian forces withdrew, and her encounter with Irina - a woman trying to rebuild her life after she lost her home, and her husband. In July, Orla Guerin reported on the effects of Russia's propaganda machine, and its influence within Russian-speaking communities in Ukraine. Suspicion and mistrust left some locals wondering on whose side their neighbours were on. And acclaimed Ukrainian writer, Andrey Kurkov reflects on his return to Ukraine to celebrate Christmas after several months in Europe and the somewhat muted festivities as the unpredictability of the war continues. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
31/12/2228m 52s

Friendship, Fury and a French Suit

Kate Adie presents highlights from 2022, beginning in Moscow, where we hear the story of the friendship between BBC Russia editor Steve Rosenberg and Valentina, a vendor at a newspaper kiosk. Earlier this year, Ryanair introduced a compulsory nationality test - in Afrikaans - for South African travellers coming into the UK. Audrey Brown describes what the language means to her as a Black South African and for so many others who grew up under apartheid. Protesters took to the streets in Sri Lanka this year, as the country spiralled into an economic crisis which saw Sri Lankans facing shortages of fuel, food and medicine. Rajini Vaidyanathan was in Colombo. And finally, Emmanuel Macron has been criticised for being out of touch with regular voters, so in the French elections this year he tried a more casual approach - in both manner and attire. Our Paris correspondent, Hugh Schofield, decided upon a makeover of his own, and went in search of a new suit - from the President's own tailor. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
24/12/2229m 1s

Haiti: A Gangster’s Paradise

Kate Adie presents stories from Haiti, Germany, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Sweden.Orla Guerin reports from Haiti where gangs now control 60 per cent of the capital and surrounding areas. Hundreds of people have been killed amid reports of kidnapping, gang rape and torture.After a far-right coup on the German government was foiled in recent weeks, Jenny Hill visits one of the 'German kingdoms' which espouses the same conspiracy theories as those who were arrested.56, 000 children in Sri Lanka are suffering from severe malnutrition, according to the UN. Archana Shukla visits a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka where several families are having to cut back on food amid inflation and shortages.Morocco's World Cup performances have surprised many and led to euphoria on the streets of Rabat, Casablanca and Marrakech. And, despite France beating them in the semi-finals, the team's earlier successes have changed how Moroccans are seen - and how they see themselves, says James Copnall.And finally, Maddy Savage visits the Sami reindeer herders of Sweden's north to hear how the country's switch to more renewable energy presents its challenges for this community.Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
17/12/2229m 35s

‘Everything that is good has been taken’

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Iran, Niger, Bhutan and Lithuania.Russian troops captured Irpin, north-west of Kyiv, early on in the invasion. When the satellite town was liberated, the atrocities of Russian soldiers were laid bare. Nick Redmayne spoke to the residents who returned home about how they are trying to rebuild their lives.Following the protests which began in mid-September, after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, news of the first public execution of a protestor in Iran drew international condemnation this week - though protests show no sign of abating. Azadeh Moaveni was in Tehran when the protests began and found the desire for change runs deep in Iranian society.Michela Wrong visits a safe house in Niamey, Niger, where eight elderly Rwandan men are being detained, having been prosecuted for their role in the Rwandan genocide. Four have now been acquitted, and four have served their prison sentences. She hears what happened to them since their trial- and the challenges posed by their rehabilitation.Last year, Bhutan decriminalised homosexuality. Michelle Jana Chan speaks to gay activists, including Miss Universe Bhutan, about how far the population in the Himalayan Kingdom, is keeping step with political change.Lithuania was once the heart of a large empire in the Middle Ages, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Hundreds of years ago, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania invited members of the Karaim community from Crimea to serve as guards and soldiers of an empire. Simon Broughton attended a festival celebrating their culture in Trakai.
10/12/2229m 26s

From Our Own Correspondent

Kate Adie presents stories from China, Ukraine, Moldova, Zimbabwe and the US.Protests have taken place across China, from Shanghai, to Guangdong to Beijing after a fire in Urumqi killed ten people who were thought to have been under Covid restrictions. Celia Hatton asks whether this is a watershed moment for Xi Jinping and his Zero Covid policy.In Ukraine, a bloody war is being fought in towns and cities in Donetsk, such as Bakhmut and Avdiivka, with high numbers of casualties on both sides. Abdujalil Abdurasulov went to Avdiivka and spoke to some of the 2000 residents who've decided to stay amid intensive shelling, in bombed-out buildings.Joe Inwood goes to neighbouring Moldova where local businesses, including a winery, are trying to switch to renewable energy to avoid the power outages caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Moldova and Ukraine's power infrastructure are intrinsically interlinked, so cities across the country are affected by Russian attacks.In Zimbabwe, despite initial hopes that President Ernest Mnangagwa would bring economic and political stability, the reappearance of road blocks harks back to the regime of Robert Mugabe. Meanwhile inflation is once again soaring, and the country remains locked in an economic spiral, says Kim Chakanetsa.And in Washington DC, the leader of the far-right, anti-government Oath Keepers militia was found guilty of plotting an armed rebellion to stop President Joe Biden from taking office in 2020. Mike Wendling went to Montana to meet the ring leader, Stewart Rhodes' son.Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
03/12/2228m 50s

A Bleak Future For Afghanistan’s Young Women

Kate Adie presents stories from Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Colombia and Ireland.The Taliban announced a ban on women going to parks, swimming pools and gyms this month, following one on girls attending secondary schools. Yogita Limaye spoke to one young woman about what life is like in Kabul as these once cherished freedoms disappear.The story of Gao Zhisheng, a Chinese human rights lawyer, who was repeatedly detained for his work defending members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and Christians, is a cautionary tale of Xi Jinping's China. Michael Bristow followed his story from his initial arrest in 2006.The UN has said Iraq is the world's fifth most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The country's two main rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris have seen their water levels drop significantly this year as the country experienced one of its worst droughts. Leila Molana Allen spoke to locals about the impact on their livelihoods.Colombia's new leftist president, Gustavo Petro, campaigned on a manifesto of tackling inequality and switching to a greener economy. But rising inflation and a depreciation of the peso has proved a challenge to enforcing his radical agenda. Rohan Montgomery went for a ride with motorcyclists in Medellin and heard their views on life under Petro.The story of the 'Sack of Baltimore', where a village in Ireland's County Cork was ambushed by Barbary pirates, intrigues visitors to the area, in particular to the Algiers Inn. The attack. in 1631, was the worst on Ireland who took their captives back to North Africa and eventually sold them into slavery. Vincent Dowd went to speak to the locals about what happened.Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
26/11/2228m 54s

Letters from Russia

Kate Adie presents stories from Russia, the Netherlands, France, Tunisia and the US.A vocal critic of Putin's invasion of Ukraine writes to Sarah Rainsford from Detention Centre no 5 in Moscow. In those letters, he speaks frankly about the damage wrought by the war and his hopes for a better future after Vladimir Putin.The verdict in the trial of three Russians and one Ukrainian suspected of involvement in the shooting down of passenger jet MH17 disaster in 2014 over Eastern Ukraine, was passed down on Friday. Anna Holligan spoke to families of the victims about whether they felt justice had been done.Lucy Williamson has been on patrol with French border police in Calais and Dunkerque, after a migrant deal was struck between the UK and France this week. Despite the media storm in the UK, she found the view looked very different from the French end.Rob Crossan visits the small Tunisian island of Djerba, where Jews and Muslims co-exist peacefully - something of a rareity in the Arab world - and murals in the winding streets reflect the culture of mutual tolerance.And James Clayton has been getting the word on the street in San Francisco, the home of Twitter, after a turbulent week at the social media platform, and he explores the impact of Elon Musk's takeover.Producers: Serena Tarling and Caroline Bayley Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
19/11/2229m 28s

Kherson: After the Russian Retreat

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, the West Bank, Pakistan, the US and the Faroe Islands.Jeremy Bowen was in Kherson in Ukraine shortly after the Russians retreated, but he found that occupation and liberation can lead to suspicion and division.There is unease among Palestinians living in the hamlets of Masafer Yatta in the occupied West Bank as the new Israeli government takes shape. Yolande Knell spoke to villagers there, who found out earlier this year about the Israeli Supreme Court decision to recognise a military training zone around their homes.Samira Hussain attends one of the rallies of former PM Imran Khan on his March to Islamabad and meets him again after an assassination attempt a fortnight later - wounded but determined to continue his political fight.In New York, there's a population explosion - of rats. The mayor has a plan to tackle the problem but requiring residents to put their refuse out after 8pm each night. But there's more to the expanding rat population than meets the eye, finds Laura Trevelyan.And in the Faroe Islands, Tim Ecott is in amidst a sheep mustering where he learns about the local meat-eating tradition, and the desire to be self-sustainable amid the threat of European recession, inflation and the energy crisis.Producers: Caroline Bayley and Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
17/11/2228m 52s

The Red Wave That Wasn’t

Kate Adie presents dispatches from the US, Australia, Egypt, Portugal and SloveniaThe predicted “giant red wave” of Republican support did not materialise in this week’s midterm elections – though they are still poised to regain control of the House of Representatives and could still seize full control of Congress. John Sudworth weighs what the outcome means for Donald Trump's RepublicansThe death of a 15-year-old Aboriginal boy in Western Australia has triggered a public outcry. Last month, Cassius Turvey was walking home from school with friends, when they were allegedly attacked. Cassius was beaten up and later died in hospital. His death has posed hard questions, about pervasive racism in the country, says Shaimaa KhalilThe Egyptian beach resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is this week hosting the UN Climate Change summit. The gathering is often criticised for its lack of progress on climate change targets and its heavy carbon footprint. But Justin Rowlatt says there’s a new proposal, which is gaining traction – led by the Prime Minister of Barbados.Portugal's golden visa scheme, which rewarded wealthy foreign investors with citizenship, has pushed house prices up over the last ten years. The government recently announced it plans to end the scheme - but it may be too late for many young people who’re still unable to get a foot on the housing ladder, says Natasha Fernandez.In Slovenia, Nick Hunt follows the 'Walk of Peace' trail amid trenches and memorials to fallen soldiers in the First World War. He hears from locals how forest fires last Summer wreaked fresh devastation on the region. Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie HouseEditor: Richard Fenton-SmithProduction Coordinator: Iona Hammond
12/11/2228m 54s

Surviving Mariupol

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Nigeria, the US, Mexico and an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. News this week of the discovery of another mass grave in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol has left families with missing relatives, fearing for their plight. And as media access has grown increasingly limited, understanding what really happened in Mariupol has become less clear. Hillary Anderson has spent much of the year trying to find out.In Nigeria, the case of Mubarak Bala, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for blasphemy, has thrown into the spotlight the limits on freedom of expression. Across the country, atheists, face discrimination at work and even violence. Yemisi Adegoke followed Mubarak's case and learned what can happen to those who decide to live openly without faith.Residents of Jackson, Mississippi have long complained about their failing water system. And this summer, the crisis came to a head. Jackson’s residents were faced with dirty brown water coming from their taps, or no water at all - but the crisis is far from over. Nick Judin met some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.The UN Secretary General this week warned that the world is on a 'highway to climate hell' as world leaders gathered for COP 27, in Egypt. Kate Vandy travelled to Svalbard – a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, which is warming six times faster than anywhere else on the planet.Every year, the start of November brings the traditional Mexican holiday The Day of the Dead. People paint their faces, wear flowers in their hair, and hang skeleton-themed decorations in the streets. But in Mexico City, Olaf Furniss wonders whether today’s festivities are veering from tradition.Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Ellie House and Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
10/11/2228m 27s

Albania’s Young Migrants

Albania’s Prime Minister this week has accused the UK of scapegoating his country's citizens to excuse its ‘failed policies’ on migration. This comes amid a deepening crisis over the UK’s handling of asylum seekers. Sara Monetta spoke to people in the suburbs of Tirana about why many of Albania’s young people are choosing to leave.Last weekend, young people gathered in the district of Itaewon, in the South Korean capital Seoul, to celebrate Halloween in far greater numbers than usual. The subsequent crush killed more than 150 people. Laila Shahrokhshahi experienced first-hand the force of the crowds before tragedy struck.Voters in Israel chose to return Benjamin Netanyahu to power in this week's election. The big story of his dramatic comeback has been about the rise of Israel’s far-right, which he helped cultivate as a parliamentary alliance to boost the numbers for his right-wing bloc in the Knesset. Tom Bateman looks at the emergence of a new kingmaker, Itamar Ben-Gvir.Ahead of the midterm elections, the abortion debate still polarises the US, following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs Wade. During those proceedings, there was also talk of Safe Haven laws, which exist in every state, and allow mothers to leave their new-borns at a designated safe site if they feel they are unable to take care of them. In Arizona, Linda Pressly met a family with direct experience of this.Ukraine's President has accused the Kremlin of 'energy terrorism', saying millions of people have been left without power because of Russian attacks on the country's power grid. Hugo Bachega has been living in the city for the past few months, and describes how Kyiv’s citizens have once again adapted to rapidly changing circumstances.Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
05/11/2228m 50s

The return of Lula

Brazil's left-wing Presidential candidate Lula da Silva made a political comeback this week, narrowly beating the incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro. In Lula’s victory speech, he promised to tackle hunger, which is affecting more than 33 million people there. Sofia Bettiza travelled to Northeastern Brazil, where many people voted for Lula. This week, Lebanon entered unchartered territory with no president, a caretaker cabinet and deeply divided parliament. And with the Lebanese currency losing around 90 per cent of its value, the country’s citizens have been taken matters into their own hands. More than a dozen banks have been raided this year by customers demanding to take out their own money rather than see their savings diminish further. Leila Molana-Allen spoke to several of those affected by the rapidly falling exchange rate. In September, clashes erupted along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The hostilities marked the most serious escalation since 2020, when they fought a bloody war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. A tentative ceasefire is now in place. But Gabriel Gavin found increasing numbers of Armenian women signing up to defend the country Norway this week put its military on a raised level of alert in response to the war in Ukraine. David Baillie was recently on Norway’s border with Russia where he encountered some young students manning the border posts. In Senegal, we hear how a certain food staple introduced by the former French colonisers has become a much-loved feature of the diet of the Serer people. Tim Whewell recently went to seek out the story of how this food item came to be so cherished.Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Editor: Simon Watts Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
03/11/2229m 11s

Ukraine’s Eastern Frontline

The battle on Ukraine’s eastern frontline, in Donbas, has turned into a protracted artillery war, which Ukraine has described as the biggest on European soil since World War Two. And as battlefields surrender to the frost of Winter, the conditions for soldiers are becoming more perilous. Jeremy Bowen recently embedded with a Ukrainian artillery unit on the front line where, despite months of relentless fighting, soldiers are maintaining their resolve.The conflict in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has left a population facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. And although formal peace talks are currently underway in South Africa, between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces, fighting is still on-going. Catherine Byaruhanga has been speaking to health workers dealing with the fallout of this conflict, who fear, without basic supplies, the situation will only get worse.The southern state of Georgia looks set to be a crucial battleground for Democrats and Republicans in the forthcoming mid-term elections in the United States. The outcome of the Senate race in Georgia is likely to determine which party has control of the upper chamber of Congress. Kayla Epstein has been following the campaign of the high-profile Republican candidate, Herschel Walker.Bullfighting is a centuries old tradition most often associated with Spain and one which arouses passion amongst both its supporters and its detractors. But the traditional arena bull fight is not, in fact, the most common bull-related activity in the country. There are numerous smaller festivals involving bulls which have recently come under the spotlight, after nine people died earlier this year after taking part in bull runs in Northern Valencia. Victor Lloret travelled to Lucena del Cid to find out what happens to the bulls during these local festivities.French overseas territories don’t run their own domestic affairs like their British equivalents, but elect representatives to the French parliament and vote for a presidential candidate. This year, the far right leader Marine Le Pen scored her best presidential first round result in Mayotte, a tiny island in the Indian Ocean. Tim Fenton is just back from the island, where he found the politics was almost as striking as its beauty. Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
29/10/2228m 56s

Brazil votes on the Amazon's future

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Brazil, Taiwan, Zambia, Sweden and the USA.On Sunday Brazilians vote in the final stage of their presidential election, and the slate offers a very clear choice. Meanwhile, the indigenous peoples of Brazil are facing a host of outside threats, as illegal gold miners flood into their traditional lands to seek their fortunes. While the mining process itself damages the forest, the social effects are also insidious. Katy Watson has been to the world's largest indigenous reserve, territory of the Yanomami people, to hear how the gold rush is playing out.The issue of Taiwan's identity is one of the most vexed geopolitical questions around. On the Chinese mainland, there's no doubt - Taiwan is historically part of China and reunification should happen as soon as possible. On the island itself, most people have very different views. In Taipei, Zeinab Badawi considers the past, present and future of a possible flashpoint for regional conflict.Food prices have been rising almost everywhere, in the wake of the war in Ukraine and several seasons of drought and natural disaster in many of the world's usual 'breadbaskets'. Some feel the effects far more keenly than others. In Zambia, the soaring cost of bottled gas and vegetable oil means even the simplest snack is now out of reach for some. Qasa Alom stopped off in a small town to talk about the price of potato chips with a woman who earns her living selling them from a stall.Most stereotypes of Sweden revolve around ABBA and Ikea, a strong welfare state and political moderation. But the results of the most recent general election shook those certainties, as a far-right nativist party, the Sweden Democrats, gained over a fifth of the votes and became a key part of the new right-wing coalition in government. Matilda Welin's been wondering if it's time for Swedes and others to rethink what the country's really about.Can the United States of America ever really make amends for the sins of its past? Paying reparations to the descendants of enslaved people was a central demand for the Black Lives Matter movement. Calculating the best way to pay out is a challenge to communities and institutions. Mike Wendling reports from Evanston, Illinois, on one scheme which has made some first steps.Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Iona Hammond
27/10/2229m 2s

Nigeria’s Flood-hit State

Nigeria is suffering its worst flooding in a decade with 1.4 million people displaced and more than 600 killed. There are now concerns that the country may face catastrophic levels of hunger. The BBC’s West Africa correspondent, Mayeni Jones, visited flood-hit Kogi state and reflects on what her journey revealed about the state of the country. The Netherlands is currently lurching from crisis to crisis - including a tense debate over how to accommodate thousands of asylum seekers. In recent weeks, judges ordered the Dutch government to raise the standards in the reception of refugees in line with the European minimum. Anna Holligan visited a reception centre in the country's rural north.Many who fled Iran after the revolution in 1979 had to find their way in new countries, including Israel. Suzanne Kianpour met with a singer who left Iran for Israel as a child and spoke to her about how she managed to adjust to the different culture and her desire to build bridges between enemy countries.Bhutan has kept its borders firmly closed for two and a half years. Now it’s re-opened to tourists, and an additional daily tourist tax is set to make it a much more exclusive. Locals who cater for less extravagant budgets are being hit hard, says Michelle Jana was just a normal Friday afternoon when tragedy struck the village of Creeslough in county Donegal in Ireland. An explosion at a petrol station killed ten people - with police describing it as a tragic accident. Members of the local community have pulled together in their grief with small acts of kindness, says Chris Page. Presenter: Kate AdieProducers: Serena Tarling and Ellie HouseProduction Coordinator: Iona HammondEditor: Emma RipponPhoto credit: Ayo Bello, BBC
22/10/2229m 9s

Tracing Ukraine’s missing people

In Ukraine, rights groups are reporting growing numbers of missing civilians in areas occupied by Russia. Many are believed to have been taken to Russian prisons, but the husbands, wives and relatives are left behind, scouring news bulletins and online message boards in a desperate attempt to track them down. Bel Trew met some of them. The UK government is being urged to make a formal apology for alleged war crimes by British troops in historical Palestine nearly a century ago. The petition is being brought by an elderly Palestinian business owner who was shot and wounded by UK forces as a boy. Tom Bateman came across the vivid accounts of some of the soldiers. The sinking of a government-owned Senegalese ferry, the Joola, in 2002 took more lives than the infamous Titanic - leaving 1,800 people dead. Subsequent inquiries highlighted poor safety measures and the overcrowding of the boat as major factors in the disaster. Our correspondent, Efrem Gebreab met two of the survivors in Senegal. Sporadic protests have been taking place across Cuba amid a nationwide blackout following Hurricane Ian. Cuba's economy had been brought to its knees due to economic mismanagement and the impact of Covid-19. And the recent disaster at the island’s biggest fuel depot meant a powerful hurricane was the last thing the weary Cuban people needed, says Will Grant. Naples in Southern Italy is renowned for its Roman ruins but what about its Greek heritage? Part of an ancient Greek cemetery, discovered under a 19th century palazzo has now been opened to the public. Julia Buckley went to visit the intricately decorated tombs.
20/10/2228m 55s

Ukraine: A War of Nerves

The past week has been one of contrasting emotions in Ukraine. The country celebrated a dramatic and unexpected development: an attack on a key bridge linking Russia with Crimea was seen as a major strategic blow to Vladimir Putin. But days later, Russia launched some of the most widespread missile attacks of the war. Paul Adams, says there is a lingering unease in Ukraine about Putin’s next move. Last month, a bold counter-offensive by Ukraine’s military in the country’s east led to a retreat by Russian forces. But as the Russians left behind cities they occupied for months, allegations of atrocities they committed began to emerge. Sofia Bettiza met some Sri Lankans held captive in the city of Kharkiv. A shocking attack on a nursery in Thailand’s north-east stunned the country. Jonathan Head was in the village of Uthai Sawan, and reflects on the part that the hardship of life may have played in the tragedy. After the Soviet Union collapsed, Tajikistan slid into a 5 year civil war which cost 100,000 lives and forced a million people from their homes. Among the pursuits of daily life that has suffered amid the violence is bee-keeping. But, thanks to a conservation initiative, it's seeing a revival says Antonia Bolingbroke Kent. A dream inspires a visit to a fishing village in Romania across the Danube from Ukraine. Its name is Periprava – once the site of a Communist-prison camp, now razed to the ground. Nick Thorpe was given a tour of the secluded, small community, much transformed. But despite its charm, the sound of sirens can still be heard across the waters – and a colder reality breaks the spell.Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Editor: Bridget Harney Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
15/10/2228m 59s

Mahsa Amini’s Kurdish Heritage

Protests in Iran, following the death in custody of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, are now in their fourth week despite the intensifying crackdown. Mahsa became a symbol of Iranian repression after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. Anna Foster met members of Mahsa's family who live across the border in Iraqi Kurdistan. In India, a new extremist Hindu movement - made up mostly of young men- is growing. They call themselves “trads”, short for traditionalists, and share many of the hallmarks of America’s alt-right movement and mainly operate online. Reha Kansara met one of them on India’s southern coast. Rising inflation is now a global problem, but in Argentina it’s a way of life. This year has proved particularly challenging in the country as it teeters on the edge of hyperinflation. Jane Chambers was in Buenos Aires recently and spoke to some of the city’s residents about how they are managing. A crush at an Indonesian football stadium in Malang West Java which left 131 people dead is being counted as one of the worst stadium disasters in sporting history. There has been public outcry over the incident, with concerns raised about the heavy-handed response of the police and the lack of safety measures in place, says Aliefia Malik. The UK’s frosty relationship with the EU has become an almost permanent backdrop since the Brexit referendum. But in recent weeks, the UK’s presence at the European Political Community meeting in Prague, along with other signs of cooperation, have raised diplomatic hopes that a thaw was underway. But does this amount to a genuine shift, ask James Landale.Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Editor: Bridget Harney Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
13/10/2229m 1s

Famine looms in Somalia

A fight for survival is underway in Somalia as the country faces its worst drought in 40 years. Andrew Harding travelled to the southwestern city of Baidoa - one of the worst-affected areas in the country, where people are now flooding to in hope of finding humanitarian assistance.The story of two teenage sisters who were raped and hanged in their village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has shaken communities there. The case has also been complicated by spurious suggestions by local politicians that there was a religious motivation behind the killings. Geeta Pandy met the family of the victims.Henry Wilkins is in Burkina Faso, where two coups have now taken place this year. The West African country lacks strong democratic institutions and the military have long been dominant. It’s also found itself increasingly embroiled in a new cold war rivalry between France and Russia.Set in the hills north of Spoleto in the southern Appenines is the small Italian town of Montefalco. The local grape, the Sagrantino, is known to be one of the tougher varieties to make into wine. Ellie House met one vineyard owner in the region and learnt how the production process is still one based on trial – and a few errors.Saudi Arabia’s been burnishing its credentials as host for the world’s biggest sporting events this year, with speculation its even lining itself up for an Olympic bid. Steve Bunce considers whether the presence of the world’s best athletes can really distract critical eyes, as the kingdom’s rulers might hope.Presenter: Kate Adie Producers: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Production coordinator: Iona Hammond Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
08/10/2228m 53s

China’s media control

China’s communist party is preparing for a crucial meeting of the annual congress, which is expected to award President, Xi Jinping a third term in office. But amid the tightened security surrounding this event, economic storm clouds are gathering. And investigating and reporting on the effects of this downturn is becoming ever more tricky, as Stephen McDonnell has found. The storm surge triggered by Hurricane Ian engulfed several cities on Florida’s Coast. Buildings were torn apart and 600 000 homes and businesses were left without power. Alexandra Ostasiewicz went to a trailer park community in Fort Myers where residents are now trying rebuild their lives and homes. There have been reports this week of a breakthrough by Ukrainian troops fighting in the South of the country in the Kherson region after further gains had been made in the East against the Russians. Abdujalil Abdurasulov was embedded with Ukrainian troops on the southern frontline where a protracted battle is underway. Mexico is known the world over for its vibrant and spicy cuisine. But Will Grant is one of the unlucky few who is unable to savour the country's culinary delights due to losing his sense of taste several months after contracting Covid. He's now resorting to more extreme measures to get it back. Concealed among the algae or and broken seashells on Lithuania's coast are little pieces of drift amber. Its origins can be traced back thousands of years, when resin that fell from trees in vast forests was washed out to sea and transformed into the gemstone on the ocean floor. Heidi Fuller Love went on an amber trail.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling and Ellie House Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
06/10/2228m 11s

Flight From Russia

Russian men have been flooding across the border to escape Vladimir Putin's military draft. Around 10,000 Russian citizens have been entering the republic of Georgia daily since the call-up was announced. Rayhan Demytrie has spoken to Russians crossing the border. As protests continue across Iran, following the death in custody of a young woman after allegedly breaking headscarf rules, Rana Rahimpour reflects on how restrictions on women have evolved since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and her own experience growing up in Tehran. Giorgia Meloni is set to be Italy's next Prime Minister, after winning a convincing victory in last weekend’s election. The far-right leader has been quick to denounce the party’s fascist links but not all are convinced. Mark Lowen has been looking at how history weighs on Italy – and whether its likely first female Prime Minister will tone down in office. The strategically well-placed Pacific Islands continue to be a battleground for influence for the US and China. Among the island nations they’re courting is Fiji - Suranjana Tewari travelled there recently and found the country is looking to a self-sustained future, with the advent of a thriving start up scene. And finally, we’re in the forests of Northern Ukraine where the war has not only taken a human toll but has also had a dramatic effect on an oft-forgotten aspect of life in that country: the rare flora and fauna. Moose, deer, lynx and wolves are all known to live in this remote corner of the continent. Our Security Correspondent Frank Gardner travelled to Ukraine’s northern forests to visit a part of Europe few visitors ever see.
01/10/2228m 19s

Brazil at a crossroads

Brazilians will vote in the first round of presidential elections on Sunday. The front-runner is former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – currently, polls suggest he has a healthy lead over the incumbent far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Political observers say these will be the most closely watched elections since Brazil returned to democracy in 1989 - and some of the most polarised, as Katy Watson explains Tensions flared up again earlier this month between the former Soviet states of Armenia and Azerbaijan leaving more than 200 people dead. The fighting is linked to decades-old hostilities over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. A fragile ceasefire is now in place. Grigor Atenesian spoke to one family who have twice been forced from their home. Singapore recently announced it will repeal its strict laws banning gay sex after years of fierce debate. But even during that period, Singapore’s gay bars, nightclubs and festivals continued to thrive and are being showcased in the city-state’s first LGBT walking tour. Tessa Wong went for a stroll. In North America, John Murphy watches a game of lacrosse in the region where it first originated, among Native Americans. Following the arrival of European colonisers, the original game was adopted and adapted with indigenous players being excluded. Now, there’s a move to reclaim the indigenous game. The Roman emperor Domitian was known for his tyrannical rule. After his death, by assassination, the Roman Senate condemned his memory to oblivion, but not everything was eradicated, as Hugh Levinson discovered on a visit to the walled city of Kotor in Montenegro.
29/09/2229m 10s

Putin’s Gamble

Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial conscription to fight in the war in Ukraine was interpreted by many as an act of desperation. Within Russia, the news sparked protests by Russians who are against fighting a war they don’t believe in. Until now many Russians had continued with life almost as normal, unaffected by Putin’s so-called special operation. This week changed that, says Sarah Rainsford Iran is facing the most serious challenge to its leadership in years. The death of a young woman in police custody, after she was arrested for allegedly failing to follow hijab rules has triggered nationwide protests in both middle class and working-class areas. Kian Sharifi says these protests show a stiffening resolve. Rajini Vaidyanathan visits a hospital in Sindh Province in Pakistan, which was the worst affected area in recent floods. The World Health Organisation has warned that the country now faces a second disaster amid an outbreak of waterborne diseases. Over the past year, Israel's Ultra-orthodox community has struggled to deal with a series of sex abuse scandals. One of the biggest involved a leading light of the ultra-Orthodox world, Rabbi Chaim Walder who was accused of abusing women and children. Yolande Knell, reports on the shockwaves these revelations have caused. Centuries ago, Getaria, a town on Spain’s Atlantic coast, gave birth to a man who changed the world: Juan Sebastián Elkano, the first person to navigate a ship around the globe. Julius Purcell was in Getaria for the anniversary of Elkano’s mighty achievement and finds the town caught in a national debate over Spain’s imperial legacy.
24/09/2229m 16s

A turning point for Ukraine?

The news of Ukraine’s stunning counter-offensive in the country’s north-east has raised hopes of a possible turning point in the war with Russia. But tentative celebrations about Ukraine’s advances were quickly tempered after the gruesome discovery of a mass grave in Izyum. Hugo Bachega reports. As Pakistan confronts the damage wrought by catastrophic floods in recent weeks, Secunder Kermani reflects on this and other major events he has covered as he leaves the region: the US invasion and withdrawal from Afghanistan, local politics and the Taliban’s resurgence. In the US, the use of the death penalty has gradually declined over recent decades. Several states have abolished it altogether but 11 states continue to perform executions including Texas. Maria Margaronis travelled to Livingston, where she met one prisoner with just weeks left before his execution date. Greece has finally emerged from a strict monitoring programme imposed by the EU. This marks the end of a chapter in a debt crisis which was first triggered by the 2008 financial turmoil. Antonia Quirke has been to the Peloponnese region where she met a tourist guide harking back to an era long before the European project. Australia's PM, Anthony Albanese is going to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, despite being an avowed Republican. For many Australians, she become a beloved friend. But, beyond this period of mourning, questions remain about the British Monarch’s role as the country’s head of state. Nick Bryant explores a rather paradoxical relationship.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Researcher: Ellie House Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
17/09/2228m 54s

Queen Elizabeth II and the World

From the Commonwealth country of Canada, to the fifth republic of France, we reflect on how the world remembers Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.As Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen had to negotiate the ever-evolving relationship with its member states as they declared independence and as Britain’s relationship to its former colonies underwent profound change. The British Monarch remains head of state of 14 countries, from Canada to the Solomon Islands. Lyse Doucet is in Ottawa where Canada’s leaders have made warm tributes and reflects back on her own encounters with the Queen.Despite its anti-monarchist history, one of the more powerful tributes to the Queen emerged from French President Emmanuel Macron. He spoke fondly of her as a ‘great head of state’ and a ‘kind-hearted queen.’ So what was the Queen’s relationship to France? In 1972 Queen Elizabeth famously told former President Georges Pompidou 'we are not driving on the same side of the road, but we are going in the same direction', when he lifted the veto to Britain entering the Common Market. Hugh Schofield reflects on a unique relationship.The Oscar-winning film Parasite portrays the story of a low-income South Korean family living in a basement apartment. In one memorable scene, the heavens open and floodwater fills the family home. Last month, in a cruel example of life imitating art, Seoul experienced its heaviest flooding in 100 years. Water rushed into homes, trapping residents inside – four people were killed. The city government has since promised to get rid of the basement apartments and create more social housing. But as Jean Mackenzie has been finding out, this offers little comfort to those who live there.The Gambia is Africa’s smallest nation, where the process of reconciliation is proving arduous, five years after the end of a murderous dictatorship. Former President Yahya Jammeh, who fled to Equatorial Guinea in 2017 after losing a re-election bid, is wanted internationally for crimes against humanity, including extrajudicial killings, torture, forced disappearances, and sexual violence. Because he still enjoys a measure of loyalty back home, the nation he left behind is divided. Most of Jammeh’s hit men fled when he did, and many Gambians say reconciliation is impossible until they are all brought to justice. When Alexa Dvorson visited the country she witnessed a rare act of contrition.The Republic of Moldova sits on a fault line of geo-politics, with warring Ukraine on one side and Romania, firmly ensconced in the EU and Nato, on the other. Within its borders, is Transnistria, where a Russian-backed separatist war broke out thirty years ago. Today the area is a frozen conflict zone, but Russia still has a military presence. Piggy-in-the-middle between East and West, perhaps nothing tells Moldova’s complicated story more clearly than its main industry – wine - as Tessa Dunlop finds.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Production coordinator: Iona Hammond Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
10/09/2228m 59s

'A Monsoon on Steroids'

Stories about the floods that have submerged a third of Pakistan; the violent clashes in Iraq; Brazil's bizarre bicentennial and farewell to the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.In Pakistan, heavy rains and floods have submerged a third of the country. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the calamity “a monsoon on steroids". At least 1100 people have been killed, and an estimated 33 million are now displaced or homeless. Shahzeb Jillani reports from the southern province of Sindh, the worst affected, where victims are disappointed with their politicians, but young people have sprung into action.At least 23 people were killed, and many injured, in some of the worst violence in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in years. Supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, a powerful Shia Muslim cleric, political leader and militia commander, clashed with Iran-backed armed groups. There'd been a long stand-off following inconclusive parliamentary elections, and then al-Sadr announced his retirement from politics. Shelly Kittleson in Baghdad explains.Next week, it’ll be 200 years since Brazil became an independent country, breaking free of its colonial ruler Portugal. There’ll be military parades – and more. But one ceremony has already taken place, held to receive a bizarre royal relic from Portugal. Reactions to this occasion seem as divided as the views about what to celebrate, if anything. Julia Carneiro reflects on her country's bicentennial.Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, was liked and admired in the West, for bringing about the end of the Cold War, lifting the Iron Curtain that kept Eastern Europe under Communism, and dissolving the Soviet Union. But in Russia, he is reviled by many for breaking up the Soviet Union. Steve Rosenberg met Mr Gorbachev on several occasions - and got to hear him sing.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Arlene Gregorius Production coordinator: Iona Hammond Editor: Hugh Levinson
03/09/2228m 35s

Somalia's searing drought

Stories from Russia, Israel, Thailand, Greece and Somalia, where more than 90% of the country is still enduring extremely dry weather. Since October 2020, four successive rainy seasons have effectively failed. Now human lives are at risk, with more than one and a half million children in the country classified as acutely malnourished. Mercy Juma recently saw just how parched and how hungry the landscape has become.When a car bomb exploded in Moscow last weekend killing Daria Dugina, a Russian TV pundit, the conspiracy theories multiplied. Some suspected perhaps the real target was her father: Alexander Dugin, a prominent conservative philosopher. In the West, some called Mr Dugin “Putin’s brain” – or even “Putin’s Rasputin”. But that didn’t quite ring true, at least not to Gabriel Gatehouse, who has spent many years covering Russia and Ukraine, and who met Alexander Dugin in 2016.The war has also been vexing both Russian and Ukrainian relations with Israel. The Israeli government has spoken out publicly against the war and moved to shelter refugees, while also offering to act as a diplomatic go-between the two sides. Russia's justice ministry is currently seeking to liquidate the Russian branch of the non-profit Jewish Agency, which helps Jews around the world move to Israel. Tim Samuels recently met some of those trying to start again in a new land.The elephant is, famously, a symbol of Thailand – but it’s more than symbolic. There are thousands of real live elephants in the country. Around half are kept in captivity as working animals, used either to move earth or timber, or, in a modern twist, to take tourists for rides. As tourism reopens, some Karen communities near the Thai-Myanmar border are trying a new kind of venture, based on a more respectful relationship with the animals. Mark Stratton went to see how it's working out.Many might dream of making a holiday home idyll last longer – perhaps even for good. But staying all year round in a rural village in Europe can be a much more gruelling prospect, if there aren’t any local services, shops or even many neighbours to call on. Alba Arikha has been restoring and settling into an old house in a Greek hamlet not far from the town of Kardamyli, on the western coast of the Mani peninsula.
27/08/2229m 9s

Brutality in Russia's prisons

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Russia, Haiti, North Macedonia, Chile and the Republic of the CongoAllegations of organised brutality in the Russian penitentiary system have circulated for many years. Inmates’ accounts of beatings and humiliation were frequent – but more recently, there has also been hard evidence in the form of leaked video footage showing organized physical and sexual abuse. As he spent months investigating the culture of violence inside, Oleg Bodyrev heard shocking stories of torture and sexual assault from former inmates.Haiti is facing multiple crises right now. Chronic instability, dictatorships and natural disasters in recent decades have left it as the poorest nation in the Americas. Still grappling with the Covid pandemic, gang violence has escalated in the capital, Port au Prince, with more than 200 people left dead after ten days of fighting back in July. But as Harold Isaac explains, for Haitians, this is just the backdrop of a much bigger problem, as the country's fuel supply dries up.It’s now almost twenty years since the European Union promised membership to the countries of the Western Balkans. But since the Thessaloniki Declaration of 2003, just one country in the region has completed the accession process. Other countries’ hopes of joining Croatia have been stuck in different levels of bureaucratic purgatory. North Macedonia and Albania have now formally started membership talks, but it’s a still very long way from a done deal. Guy De Launey finds the endless delays have some people in Skopje asking how much they really want to join the club.Chile is gearing up for a referendum vote on the 4th of September – on whether to approve or reject a new constitution. But at the moment, the country is still deeply polarised over its proposed 366 articles - not to mention confused over when, and how they may be finalised. Jane Chambers reports from Santiago.The population in the Republic of Congo is growing fast - it's also predominantly young and extremely urbanised, with over 85 per cent of people living in towns and cities. In this part of the world, the forces of rain and rivers are immense, and tropical storms can reshape the landscape at a stroke. Building homes to resist natural disaster has always been a challenge, so how can the expanding communities of Brazzaville stay safe? Nick Loomis has seen just how dramatic the risks can be.
20/08/2228m 48s

Colombia's countryside not yet at peace

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Colombia, Taiwan, Tunisia, Iraq and Germany.Colombia's first-ever left-wing President, the former guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro, has been sworn in, and questions about the country's peace dividend have sharpened. With the long-running insurgency disarmed, many Colombians hoped they’d soon be able to breathe more freely. Katy Watson visited the Cauca valley, where the benefits of peace have yet to trickle down to the grass roots.The recent furore over Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was a sharp reminder of just how much of a regional flashpoint this island's status can be. Rupert Wingfield Hayes knows this part of the world well – and he's seen its Taiwanese democracy evolve over several decades.Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings just over a decade ago. The country ejected its long-time leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and brought in a full parliamentary democracy, but since then it's seen prolonged political stalemate and infighting. The current President, Kais Saied, wrote a new framework which hugely extends the powers of his own office, which was approved by an apparently overwhelming majority at the polls. But the BBC's Middle East correspondent Anna Foster found that not everyone was celebrating.In Baghdad, followers of the Shia cleric-cum-politician Muqtada al-Sadr took over the main parliament building recently. But having central government at a standstill leaves the prospect of finding solutions to Iraq's multiple social problems even further out of reach. The Sadrists insist their leader has the answers and should be enabled to govern unobstructed - Lizzie Porter talked to the demonstrators about what they really want.The energy squeeze applied by rising fuel prices are being felt particularly sharply in Germany, which has historically depended on cheap gas from Russia. Some German regions are now proposing new limits on energy usage. Jenny Hill is in Bavaria, where frugal plans for the winter are very much on the minds of local politicians.Producer: Polly Hope Production Co-Ordinator: Iona Hammond
13/08/2228m 51s

Kenya goes to the polls

Kenyans go to the polls to elect a new president. Plus, our correspondent says farewell to the Philippines; the personal consequences of Poland’s strict abortion laws; and how a women-only shopping mall is providing new opportunities in Yemen.
06/08/2227m 56s

Farewell, Super Mario

Stories from Italy, Ukraine, Peru and Sri Lanka. We're in Italy, which last week saw the resignation of Mario Draghi as PM after only 18 months in office. Initially a popular choice as PM – Mr Draghi has guided Italy and the eurozone through numerous crises. But having failed to win support for a new economic package among his broad-based unity government, he called a vote of confidence – and lost. Mark Lowen reflects on a very Italian situation. In Ukraine, Dan Johnson visits some of the Soviet era institutions where children and young people with disabilities are confined. He found that many of these residential homes are ill equipped to provide proper care and cope with their complex needs. Human rights investigators say the neglect disabled people face in Ukraine reflects the failings of a system that has been deficient long before the war started. Amid the political and economic crisis in Sri Lanka, we hear from correspondent Aanya Wipulasena about the people growing their own fruit and vegetables to cope with the soaring costs of food. And about the broader impact of the instability on education and people's livelihoods. In Peru, we meet the farmer behind a David and Goliath-style lawsuit, who has taken on Germany energy company over the impact of emissions on the local environment. The case centres on determining the link between climate change and the melting of a nearby glacier, and the risk this poses to the lake it feeds. Olivia Acland followed the story. And finally - Roger Harrabin reflects on his 35 years covering the natural world, focusing, in particular, on the threat posed by human-induced climate change. He reflects on how reporting on this issue has changed over the years.
30/07/2228m 41s

Valentina’s Kiosk

Stories from Russia, Ukraine, Lebanon and South Africa Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is now entering its six-month and there’s still no signs of any possible resolution or ceasefire. Russian citizens continue to be fed a daily diet of propaganda on State TV, with fewer and fewer sources of independent news. But the conflict is nevertheless taking its toll on Russian citizens as soldiers go out to the frontline, never to return, which has left families questioning the government line that the Ukraine invasion is necessary. To keep abreast of the Russian point of view, Steve Rosenburg has a daily ritual: buying his newspapers each day from his local newspaper kiosk, run by a woman called Valentina. He tells her story. In Ukraine, a recent missile attack in the city of Vinnytsia, in central-west Ukraine has served as a stark reminder of the indiscriminate nature of Russia's military onslaught. Everyday routines have become fraught with hazard, from a trip to the shops to a walk to school, even in those cities considered to be safe. Sarah Rainsford has been in Vinnytsia and Mykolaiv. The Lebanese economy is in a state of collapse, but the government hopes that the summer tourist season, when many Lebanese living abroad return for a holiday, will provide a much-needed boost. But any visitor must navigate a tangled web of erratic exchange rates, as Angelica Jopson has found. And finally, to South Africa’s West Coast, the site of a large saltwater lagoon situated in a National Park, around 55 miles north of Cape Town. The area, which is also a marine reserve, attracts numerous water birds and sea life, as the Atlantic waves pound its edge. Antonia Quirke went to explore the lagoon.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
23/07/2229m 25s

The Crown Prince and the President

The meeting between US President, Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at the weekend was closely watched back in Washington. Mr Biden said his visit would focus mainly on human rights and regional security - but a request for an increase in oil output was also on the agenda. Anna Foster was in Jeddah. Beyond the official meetings, Sebastian Usher speaks to artists who are taking part in an exhibition in Qatif, in Saudi Arabia's east, reflecting on some of the lost heritage both there and in the historic quarter of Jeddah, amid the rapid pace of development in the Kingdom. Wildfires have broken out across Europe as a heatwave has brought soaring temperatures. Portugal has seen 30,000 hectares of land destroyed by wildfires already this year, and its leaders have moved quickly to try and avoid repeating the same mistakes they did in the deadly fires of 2017. Alison Roberts has been following the story. We visit the town of Pacific Grove, California which has become renowned for its butterfly visitors over the years, which migrate from the frostier climes of Canada to the Golden State. Ben Wyatt hears about efforts by locals in 'Butterfly Town USA' to help protect the various species of butterflies which are at risk of extinction. Finally, we're in Greenland, which is prioritising tourism as a means of growing its economy, rather than mineral exploration. The island remains a challenging environment in which to travel but is not lacking for luxury, as Tim Ecott finds. On his visit, he discovers a Michelin-starred restaurant on the shores of an Ice Fjord. Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
21/07/2228m 21s

The legacy of Shinzo Abe

Japan has been in mourning after the assassination of former prime minister, Shinzo Abe, at an election rally in the Western city of Nara. Mr Abe was a towering figure in Japanese politics. He was known for his efforts to bring Japan out of years of economic stagnation. Yet it was his firm belief that Japan should move away from its pacifist past that proved most divisive. Rupert Wingfield Hayes reflects his legacy.In Ethiopia, the federal government has been in armed conflict with rebel authorities in the northern region of Tigray since November 2020. Tens of thousands of people have been killed. A state of emergency was imposed between last November and in February this year, and the country’s human rights watch dog said the period was marked by a significant number of arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions. The Ethiopian government is now saying it plans to negotiate with forces from the Tigray region, but a culture of impunity prevails, says Kalkidan Yibeltal.We visit a mosque and a church in Norway to hear how an agreement between Christian and Muslim leaders, recognising the right to convert between faiths, has affected the respective communities. Maddy Savage is in Oslo.Jamaica has this year set the process in motion to remove the Queen as head of state and become a Republic. Adina Campbell recently visited the country and found the issue was the subject of fervent discussion wherever she went.The Shandur Polo Festival in north-west Pakistan is held each July. The event draws enthusiastic crowds from all the surrounding regions, willing to brave the nerve-wracking journey to the highest polo ground in the world, says Hannah McCarthy.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
16/07/2228m 36s

Suspicions in Soweto

South Africa saw a spate of violent shootings over the last week triggering conspiracy theories and suspicions. South Africa has been simmering since last Summer, when the country saw some of the worst outbreaks of violence in decades. Andrew Harding says there is a jittery mood in the country. Next, the authorities in Uzbekistan - a former Soviet republic - have declared a state of emergency and a night-time curfew in the region of Karakalpakstan following protests about moves to restrict its autonomy. Although the planned constitutional changes have now been withdrawn, Uzbek authorities have imposed a security clampdown and an information black-out. Joanna Lillis was there. At the local abortion clinics in Arkansas, the recent Supreme Court ruling in the US had an immediate impact, effectively giving states the right to determine their own abortion laws. In the case of Arkansas, the state’s Attorney-General then implemented an almost complete ban. Sophie Long was at an abortion clinic in Little Rock when the news broke. We visit one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. An eruption at the Fuego volcano four years ago devastated the surrounding region, killing at least 200 hundred people. Several thousand were displaced, but many have since returned both to live and to farm the mineral rich land in the surrounding area. Isabelle Stanley set up camp on a nearby peak. The Dolomites Marathon in the Italian Alps is one of the major annual cycling events, approximately 86 miles in length, weaving its way through spectacular mountain passes. Dominic Casciani decided to make his return after a twelve-year reprieve.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
14/07/2229m 2s

Sri Lanka on the edge

Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since independence, with inflation soaring to the highest rate in Asia. The country’s energy minister warned at the weekend that the country would soon run out fuel as long queues formed at petrol stations, with many staying for days at a time. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has even sought help from Russia to help import fuel. Rajini Vaidyanathan has been in Colombo speaking to those most affected.Will Grant reflects on dual tragedies in Texas: the shooting in a primary school in Uvalde in Texas and 53 migrant deaths in a people smuggling operation. In both these horrific events, the correspondent heard stories of thwarted hopes – and life ambitions cut short.In Syria, cities like Damascus and Palmyra were once heralded for their history and architectural grandeur but much of their cultural heritage has been destroyed during the years of civil war. Nick Redmayne travelled to Palmyra on a guided tour, one of a few businesses that are trying to revive their fortunes despite an on-going economic crisis.In Algeria, we hear how people are working to restore the land that was burned in wildfires last year, in the country's northeast. Tens of thousands of hectares were destroyed in the flames and much of the natural landscape has morphed into charred remains. Amy Liptrot visited a project which is involved in restoring some of the land that was destroyed by the fires.And finally, we hear about one French farmer who has come up with a cunning plan to help generate a new source of revenue at his family run farm: it's a cabaret show with a difference, far away from the Folies Bergère. Chris Bockman paid it a visit. Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Emma Rippon Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman
10/07/2229m 0s

Confronting racism on Chinese social media

We track down a Chinese film maker in Malawi who used local children to film personalised greeting videos, some of which included racist content. These videos were sold on Chinese media and internet platforms – with the communities in Malawi none the wiser about the purpose of the content. Runako Celina reflects on how the attitudes she encountered on this investigation were reminiscent of her own experience as a black woman living in Beijing.Russians have been glued to talk shows presenting an alternative narrative of the invasion of Ukraine: characterising the invasion as a special operation. Frances Scarr speaks to those who believe Putin's actions are legitimate - confronting a perceived aggressor - and necessary.In Catalonia, support for the independence movement has dwindled in recent years. But it was thrown back in the spotlight during the Pegasus scandal, in which spyware was found to have been used by Spain's authorities to monitor independence supporters. Victor Lloret met someone who was also tracked by Pegasus. Iraqi Airways was once a badge of pride for many people. But the analogue-era service from Iraq's ageing flag carrier is a symptom of the country's state bloat. According to critics, money is spent on hiring huge numbers of staff in government-owned companies rather than investing in much-needed infrastructure. But the flights themselves are at least reliable, says Lizzie Porter.Our correspondent joins a kayak trip in Fajardo, in Puerto Rico’s East. The region is famous for its nature reserves and for the coqui frog. The singer Dessa encountered these frogs on a recent visit to the island.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinators: Gemma Ashman and Iona Hammond Editor: Hugh Levinson
07/07/2228m 4s

Suspicion and mistrust in the Donbas

Stories from Ukraine, Afghanistan, the US and Rwanda. Russia is focusing its military might on Ukraine's east where some of the locals have been heavily influenced by Vladimir Putin's propaganda machine. Allegiances have become blurred, with Ukrainian informants tipping off Russian soldiers on the whereabouts of their compatriots, says Orla Guerin.People in Afghanistan's Paktika province are trying to rebuild lives from the rubble of the recent earthquake. It's now estimated more than 1,000 people were killed and several villages were destroyed. Secunder Kermani met with some of the survivors who showed both resilience and generosity.Access to abortion will be a critical issue in the US mid-term elections in November: with battle lines drawn in Pennsylvania and many other states between Republican and Democratic candidates who either want to protect the right to abortion or want an outright ban. Christine Spolar is a Pennsylvania native and was back there as the Supreme Court's decision was announced.Rwanda has been in the spotlight as the country hosted a gathering of Commonwealth leaders, and amid controversy over its immigration deal with the UK. President Paul Kagame was eager to present a polished image to the international community, whilst also rebutting any criticisms of his own poor human rights record, says Anne Soy.Before the war, cities like Kyiv and Odessa were known for their bustling cafes and a lively arts scene. But just as they try to spring back to life, Russia fires another deadly missile, reminding the country and its people of the perils of dropping their guard. Nick Beake was in Kremenchuk and Kyiv this week.
02/07/2228m 49s

A Summit in the Bavarian Alps

The Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps hosted dignitaries as they tried to present a united front against Russian aggression and tackle the global food crisis. James Landale also found the castle had an interesting story of its own when he was reporting from the summit. Russian soldiers have employed brutal tactics throughout the Ukrainian invasion. Attempts to escape cities like Severodonetsk and Mariupol often proved perilous for Ukrainians, fleeing in bullet ridden cars, under constant threat of attack. Hugo Bachega, met with some of the people who managed to get away. The ripple effect of the war in Ukraine is far-reaching – from grain shortages to a surge in electricity prices globally. Even energy rich Australia has found itself asking citizens to ration their use of electricity. Its new Prime Minister has pledged a greener future for the country, with less reliance on coal. But this transition may be harder than it might seem, says Shaimaa Khalil. Panama may be known for its banking secrecy and the canal, but more than half the country is covered in tropical forests and mangroves. Grace Livingstone recently visited the indigenous community of Arimae, in the east of the country, which is finding innovative ways to defend and protect their land. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover and Beijing has in the last few years been tightening its grip. In recent weeks, one of the city’s most famous institutions, the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, closed its doors and subsequently sank. The restaurant failed to survive the impact of the pandemic. But it remains a symbol of a bygone era, says Louisa Lim.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinators: Gemma Ashman and Iona Hammond
30/06/2228m 40s

Colombia breaks with its past

Gustavo Petro has been voted in as Colombia’s first ever leftist president – the former rebel and long-time senator campaigned to radically overhaul Colombia’s economy and bring an end to inequality. Katy Watson reports from Colombia’s capital Bogota on the country’s decisive break from its past. Despite his presidential victory earlier this year, Emmanuel Macron saw his party lose 100 seats in French parliamentary elections . Meanwhile Marine Le Pen's far-right party saw an elevenfold increase in MPs, and the hard-left alliance, under Jean-Luc Melanchon, saw their own support double. As the battle to forge a consensus begins, Lucy Williamson went to meet some of the new arrivals. Congressional hearings in Washington DC concerning the attack on the US Capitol building last year has made for gripping viewing. The committee panel has already heard a raft of Donald Trump’s former allies recount examples of presidential pressure to overturn the 2021 election result. Gabriel Gatehouse says, despite the evidence, the nation remains divided over which narrative to accept. The effort to protect the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas in Uganda is reckoned to be a conservation triumph. But this success has come at a terrible price for the Batwa – or pygmy – people who used to share the forest with the gorillas. Justin Rowlatt met with a Batwa man who still yearns for his former home. Domestic cats have been getting an uncharacteristically bad press recently in Iceland. One town proposed a cat curfew earlier this year – sparking fierce opposition from the newly-formed Cat Party in local elections. Egill Bjarnason has been following the ‘Cat Wars’.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Iona Hammond
25/06/2228m 35s

More Killing in Kashmir

The situation in Kashmir is deteriorating again, with a new wave of attacks on civilians. Militant separatist groups appear to be targeting people purely because of their religion, while the Indian army stands accused of human rights violations. Yogita Limaye has been hearing from two families affected by the violence.Turkey appears to be in the midst of a crackdown on live music. The country's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already condemned what he regards as immoral influences on television and film. Now, a series of popular singers have seen their concerts cancelled. Ayla Jean Yackley has been speaking to them.Across huge swathes of the world, it is the norm for people to earn money from day-to-day opportunities, rather than having a fixed job. There is an on-going debate about whether or not this is a good idea - for the people involved, and for the societies they live in. Samuel Derbyshire has been hearing about the ups and downs of life as an informal worker in Kenya.The Suwalki Gap has been described as the most important place in the world that almost nobody has heard of - the spot where some fear World War Three could one day start. This small stretch of land in northern Poland sits in a crucial strategic position - and people fear that if Russia took control, it could cut off three Baltic states from their NATO allies. Sadakat Kadri visited Suwalki, to ask people there how they felt about living in this geopolitical hotspot.Amsterdam today is a picture postcard city, famous for its museums, its coffee shops, and its canals. However, hundreds of years ago, those canals, and also the city's docks made the city notorious for its smell. Now, those odours have been recreated, and will soon be offered to visitors as part of a scent-focused guided tour. Christa Larwood had a preview.
23/06/2228m 31s

Ukraine's Battlefield Doctors

The task of a surgeon is not an easy one at the best of times, but some in Ukraine are having learn how to carry out operations in the midst of a battlefield. Many have been taught how to do this by the British surgeon, David Nott, who has worked in conflict zones around the globe. Wyre Davies joined one of his classes.Russia’s attack on Ukraine has left other countries wondering if they might be next. Fourteen countries have land borders with Russia, and eight of these were once part of the old Soviet Union, which Vladimir Putin at times seems keen to resurrect. Zeinab Badawi has been to Georgia, where she says many feel like they are now right on the front line.We owe the planet’s peat bogs a debt of gratitude, as they effectively suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and store it underground. Andrew Harding travelled deep into the Republic of Congo, to see a vast area of peat the size of England, which is currently under threat.The Yazidi people of northern Iraq suffered horrific atrocities at the hands of the group which calls itself Islamic State. IS has now been driven out of the Yazidi homeland, Mount Sinjar, but the Yazidi people now find themselves caught up in their country's fractious politics, with different groups fighting for their loyalty, and with guns as well as persuasion. Shelly Kittleson learns how this has left communities - and families - bitterly divided.Banks want your custom., or at least, you might think so, given the number of adverts suggesting they offering the most favourable interest rates, and perhaps the broadest smile on the faces of their staff. However, when Alba Arikha recently had to open a bank account in Greece, she found herself having to fight hard just to give them her money
18/06/2228m 16s

Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: Amazon Defenders

Brazilian police say a suspect has confessed to burying the bodies of missing British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, who disappeared in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest on 5 June. Mr Phillips' wife said in a statement that 'today begins our quest for justice'. Andrew Downie remembers his friend.Britain's Civil Aviation Authority has warned that the service wheelchair users get at airports has worsened: one man was recently left on a plane for two hours after everyone else had got off, and ended up calling the police for help - stories which are horribly familiar to Tom Shakespeare. His work has required him to fly around the globe, and it has certainly not been easy.The reasons the Kremlin has given to justify Russia’s attack on Ukraine are many, varied, and sometimes contradictory. What they all have in common is that few people outside the country believe them. Anastasia Koro says that lying has become so common in Russia, that even the most ordinary interactions now have the shadow of mendacity hanging over them.Crowds have now returned to sports stadiums in Japan, but Covid safety measures remain in place. This means that fans are required to keep their mouths shut, for fear that cheers and yelling might spread the coronavirus. So, it was a strange atmosphere that greeted Hannah Kilcoyne, as she turned up to see her first ever Japanese baseball game.James Joyce's epic novel, Ulysses, has not always been well received: a 'colossal muck heap' said one critic, while another described it as 'an unspeakable heap of printed filth.' It is now a hundred years since Ulysses was published, and today the novel is regarded as a masterpiece, albeit a tough read. Chris Page says that its increasing popularity in Ireland reflects the country's changing social attitudes.
16/06/2228m 40s

Afrikaans: The Language Which Still Divides

Passengers travelling with Ryanair to the UK on a South African passport are being asked to complete a test to prove their nationality. The airline says this necessary to combat a substantial increase in fake South African passports - an airline found to have taken a passenger to the UK on a fake passport can face a fine of £2,000. However, the required test is in Afrikaans, which has outraged many South Africans who view it as the language of apartheid. Audrey Brown is one of them, and explains why.More than 100,000 Cubans have fled the island this year - the biggest surge since1980. Some have set off on the tested route towards Florida in small boats, but others are taking detours via other Latin American countries. So why this sudden exodus? Will Grant has been talking to Cubans about their new desperation to leave.When BBC producer Mat Morrison was sent to Dnipro in Ukraine, it was his first experience of reporting in a country at war. Slowly, he says, he has learned how to recognise the sound of missile attacks, and what to do when they land nearby.When he first stood for election, Emmanuel Macron promised to shake up French politics. One way he proposed to do this was by radically changing the make-up of parliament, encouraging people from all kinds of social and professional backgrounds to stand as MPs. Five years later, and the French people are returning to the polls, to vote for a new parliament. As Lucy Williamson reports, some of the political neophytes from the previous contest are now feeling rather jaded.The nomad's way of life is under threat. Peoples who have been on the move for millennia are increasingly being told by governments to give up their wandering and settle. Anthony Sattin has spent the past few years with nomads in different parts of the globe, including a group of shepherds, based in a small corner of the Middle East.
11/06/2228m 42s

Life Under Russian Occupation

Evidence suggests that war crimes have been committed in the Ukrainian towns and cities which fell under Russian occupation. Bodies of civilians have been left behind where Russian troops withdrew, and those Ukrainians who remained in their homes throughout have spoken of imprisonment, torture and murder. Sophie Williams spoke to a woman who managed to escape from Izyum, a city that Russian forces took over back in April, and she revealed what life was like there.Ukraine is effectively fighting a war on two fronts: there is the battle on the ground, but also the battle for public opinion, fought on the world stage. If Ukraine is to continue receiving arms from countries abroad, it must make sure it has those countries' support. That is particularly crucial when it comes to the US, which is supplying more assistance than any other. Tara McKelvey was watching as President Joe Biden tried to persuade people in the rural Midwest that such support is necessary.It is forty years since Argentinian troops invaded the Falkland Islands, and Britain sent a task force to drive them out. Tributes have been paid to the hundreds of servicemen who were killed or injured, but what is sometimes overlooked is the role played by the Islanders themselves. Beth Timmins has been hearing how civilians there used a secret system of radio communication, to help those who had come to liberate themPaddy O'Connell has been a regular visitor to the beaches of Normandy, where his father fought in the allied landings of 1944. On his latest visit, he met the French son of a British soldier, trying to find out what had happened to his own father.Stephen Moss is a glote-trotting birdwatcher, whose hobby has taken him as far as Costa Rica. On a recent visit, he found that ornithology enthusiasts have been kept away by the Covid pandemic, meaning that local nature sanctuaries could close down.
09/06/2228m 42s

The Arab World's New Drug of Choice

Captagon is a popular recreational drug used across the Middle East and Arabian Gulf. It can temporarily boost a user’s mood - though long-term it is highly addictive. Production is concentrated in Syria, and smuggled across the border into Jordan and onto the Gulf. Officials in Jordan say militant groups are profiting from the production of the drug, and Yolande Knell has been out on patrol with the people trying to stop them.About 2500 miles due south of Jordan, there is another criminal trade at large: the illegal catching and selling of Tanzanian fish. Mark Weston has been to Lake Victoria to hear about its controversial local delicacy: Nile Perch.Celebrations of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee are not restricted to Britain. Elizabeth II is head of state in 14 other countries, and a figurehead around the Commonwealth. Another country which feels a connection to Britain’s royal family is Greece, because Prince Philip was born there, on the island of Corfu. Julia Langdon has been to the spot where the Queen’s future husband began his life.The recent shootings in Texas and Buffalo garnered headlines around the world, but gun-violence is a full-time tragedy in the United States. More than 40,000 people are killed each year by gun-related injuries, and this affects many others indirectly. In New York, there has been a spate of shootings and other crimes on the subway, and now Laura Trevelyan thinks twice about whether to use it.For many Ukrainians, it has become a matter of principle to try and retain their normal way of life as far as possible, amidst the current horrors of the Russian invasion. Those horrors have touched the city of Odessa among others, with a series of missile strikes reminding residents how close they are to the invading troops. When Colin Freeman reached Odessa, however, he found himself in what, at times, felt suspiciously like a regular holiday resort.
04/06/2228m 35s

The Ukrainians deported to Russia

Allegations have continued to emerge that Ukrainian civilians are being transported into Russia by occupying troops. Some have returned, with stories of being held in camps, and of being tortured. Jen Stout heard about one village near the city of Kharkiv where locals say that 90 people were 'tricked' into boarding lorries and then taken away.The changing borders of Poland mean that families in some regions have lived in different countries over the years, without ever having to move home. Monica Whitlock visited a village where these geographical shifts mean locals speak multiple languages, and sometimes go by multiple names.The conflict in Ukraine has drawn attention to how vulnerable supply lines can be, with grain, gas and sunflower oil among the exports now threatened. If our cupboards and fridges are kept fully stocked, that is be down to the great flotillas of lorries which criss-cross Europe’s borders. Horatio Clare joined a couple of long-distance drivers, to get a taste of their life on the road.The Hungarian composer, Béla Bartók, drew inspiration from folk music, and particularly the blended influences coming from his own country and Romania. He was no armchair anthropologist, but travelled round rural areas to hear the music played in local villages. More than a hundred years later, Nick Thorpe retraces one of his journeys.When Germany was split after World War Two, Bonn was the unexpected pick to become capital of the new West Germany. But four decades later, the Berlin Wall fell and Berlin resumed its place as Germany’s capital, while Bonn was relegated to being a more provincial place. When Rob Crossan recently visited Bonn, he found some locals displaying a somewhat volatile temperament - might this be connected to their city's diminished prestige?
02/06/2229m 1s

Violent Protest in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has been rocked by violent protests. The country is out of cash, which means it is struggling to import fuel, food and basic medicines. This in turn has prompted political turmoil, with anti-government protestors coming under attack from supporters of the ousted government. Rajini Vaidyanathan was there as battles broke out.It was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who first called South Africa the 'Rainbow Nation', reflecting hopes for a new era of equality for the country and as it emerged from decades of apartheid. Now though, migrants in South Africa are being blamed for unemployment and other social problems - some have been murdered by vigilantes. Shingai Nyoka reflects on this rising animosity with particular personal interest, as she herself moved to South Africa from Zimbabwe.It’s eight years since King Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated, following a string of highly embarrassing scandals. But just recently, the former king returned to Spain for a brief visit - the first since he left. Plenty of Spanish people turned out to welcome their former ruler with full-on patriotic fervour, but as Guy Hedgecoe explains, such sentiments were far from universal.The death toll in Ukraine numbers the tens of thousands, but there are fears that vastly more people could die as an indirect result of the conflict, as supply lines for wheat and fertiliser are severely disrupted. Jonathan Head reports on how the war is affecting rice farmers thousands of miles away in Thailand.The war in Ukraine has presented a huge logistical challenge - for citizens and the military, and also for journalists. Joe Inwood has spent most of his BBC career as a producer, but as his team moved across Ukraine, he found himself having to help run a hotel after all the local staff left town.
28/05/2228m 44s

Escape From Russian Occupation

Reports have emerged of terrible atrocities committed against civilians in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. Some people have tried to escape, braving bullets and artillery fire in order to reach government-controlled areas. Among those helping them are volunteers carrying out rescue missions by driving into Russian held territory to pick up those wanting to flee and then taking them back out again across enemy lines. Carrie Davies has met them.Some of those who have escaped from Russian-held territory have fled Ukraine altogether - nearly a million people have ended up in neighbouring Romania. Once again, volunteers have stepped up to the mark, helping to provide the new arrivals with food, housing and healthcare. As Tessa Dunlop found, some say they feel a particular affinity with people who have lost so much, and suffered so greatly.There is a good reason why companies have chosen to base themselves in the Cayman Islands. This Caribbean nation has no income tax, or corporation tax, but does have a great climate, and luxury lifestyle for the wealthy. But because so many in the corporate world have made the Cayman Islands their home, a huge number of other people are now needed to keep basic services going: cleaners, drivers, hotel workers. James Innes-Smith has been hearing how different their lives are from the people they work for.The western US state of Montana is beset by division over what to do about wolves. They were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in the 1990s, and some credit them with keeping down the numbers of elk and other wildlife, promoting the fortunes of other animals. Yet critics say wolves are vermin, and that they ravage local livestock. Emilie Filou went to see for herself.The national parks of America pride themselves on being unspoiled, yet there are other places even more remote. The Mustang area of Nepal is an enclave, jutting into what is, geographically, Tibet, and with its own customs and traditions. However, when Peter Morgan reached Mustang, he found plans afoot to encourage more people to come.
26/05/2229m 3s

Disappeared: The Women Gone Missing in Afghanistan's Prisons

First hand reports from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Estonia, Lebanon and the German village of Oberammergau.Taliban promises to respect women's rights seem to be fading. Reports have emerged of Afghan women being arrested for alleged “moral crimes,” and thrown in prison without charge. Ramita Navai managed to get into one of the prisons where these women are being held.Cambodia has some of the greatest Buddhist sites in the world, but many of these have suffered at the hand of looters. As Celia Hatton discovered, some of this theft has occurred very recently.Estonia is attempting to win over its Russian-speaking minority. One third of the country speak Russian as their first language, and in some regions, almost everyone does. Could Vladimir Putin use an alleged attack on Russian speakers’ rights as an excuse to intervene? Estonia's innovative strategy is to offer them a series of fun events in the Estonian language, which Lucy Ash went to watch.The politics of Lebanon are complex, and often bitterly divided. Lebanon held an election last weekend, against a backdrop of economic collapse. Leila Molana-Allen found many voters hoping that this time round, change may be afoot, although predictable cynicism was also evident.This year, there is a new donkey for the Oberammergau Passion Play. In a tradition going back to the Seventeenth Century, two thousand residents of this small village in Bavaria present the tale of Jesus Christ and the crucifixion, for one season, every decade. Obergammerau has once again welcomed spectators to what is a unique performance. Adrian Bridge went to meet the cast.
21/05/2229m 4s

Lockdown Life in Shanghai

China has been warned by the World Health Organisation that its so-called 'zero covid' approach is unsustainable. Hundreds of millions of people have been kept under lockdown in cities across the country, leaving the economy severely jolted, and critics calling it an abuse of human rights. However, the Chinese authorities seem determined to carry on as before, and have announced that the city of Shanghai will be placed under its tightest restrictions yet. The news came as a disappointment to Rebecca Kanthor, who has already gone through seven weeks of lockdown.Choosing what to wear in El Salvador can be literally a matter of life or death. The country is plagued by gang violence, with eighty people murdered over just one weekend this year. The government has promised a crackdown, passing new laws which allow police to lock up suspected gang members as young as 12. Mike Lanchin lived in El Salvador during the 1990s, and when he returned for a visit with his family, he quickly learned the value of covering up.More than five million people have now fled Ukraine, and have been taken in by countries across Europe. Switzerland has offered homes to tens of thousands, giving them an immediate right to work, and other benefits too. Yet this hospitality has left refugees from other countries questioning what they see as double standards. As Imogen Foulkes explains, plenty have run from war and persecution elsewhere, and yet have not found the Swiss to be quite so accepting.Germany has been commemorating the end of World War Two - a complicated anniversary, remembering both the country's dead, but with an eye to its Nazi past. This year’s anniversary comes amidst Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and furious arguments in Germany about how far to intervene. John Kampfner was invited to one remembrance ceremony in the old East Berlin, where Germany’s complex relationship with Russia was to the fore.Women’s boxing celebrated its biggest night ever recently, as Ireland’s Katy Taylor defended her world lightweight title against Amanda Serrano from Puerto Rico, at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Women’s boxing has always struggled to win recognition, but women have fought hard to prove it is not just a men’s sport. Steve Bunce was ring-side at the recent bout.
14/05/2229m 1s

The Story of a Russian War Crime

The small city of Bucha, not far from Kyiv, has experienced some of the worst atrocities of the Russian invasion so far. It's understood that hundreds of civilians have been tortured, raped and murdered by Russian forces. Yogita Limaye has been hearing the story of one woman who experienced this horror first hand. The war in Ukraine has caused particular worry in Finland, which shares a long border - and turbulent history - with Russia. Finland only became independent from Russia in 1917, and, historically, the price of sustaining that independence was neutrality. Joining other European countries in NATO was out of the question - and by and large, most Finns were not interested anyway. But what a difference a few weeks make, as Allan Little found. As far as Singapore’s prosecutors were concerned, he was a drug smuggler, pure and simple. His mother though insisted he was a victim, a man of limited intelligence, who’d been tricked into carrying a small amount of heroin across the border from his home in Malaysia. Whatever the truth, the execution of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam was provided a moment of reflection in Singapore when it comes to the country's tough justice system, reports Suranjana Tewari. Journalism has long been a risky business in The Philippines - nearly a hundred journalists have been murdered there in the past decade. So when one receives a death threat there, they know it’s to be taken seriously. And that’s what happened to Howard Johnson, as the country's presidential election starts to heat up. He has found himself under fire from internet trolls who have taken exception to his attempt to pose the tough questions to election front-runner Bong Bong Marcos - son of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Somalia is a country which has suffered its fair share of problems – and to outsiders, it is seen perhaps as a country savaged by war. And yet, there is a side to Somalia and Somalian people which we never get to see, says Mary Harper. For a start, she says, wherever they settle, one thing you can be sure of is there’ll be a place to get a bit of personal pampering – and with it, the chance to learn more about the reality of Somalian culture.
07/05/2227m 47s

Tackling the Cocaine Trade in Honduras

The former President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez was voted out of power in January, and within weeks was arrested, accused of being part of a major international drugs ring. This month, Mr Hernandez was extradited to the US, where he will face charges of drug trafficking and money laundering - charges he denies. Meanwhile, back in Honduras, police say they are now trying to destroy the drug industry, and invited our correspondent Will Grant along to show how.A British man was killed this week while fighting in Ukraine, emphasising the international aspect of the crisis. Thousands of foreigners have travelled to Ukraine to take up arms, encouraged by the country’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky. But why would someone travel to a distant country, to fight in towns and cities they may have struggled to find on a map? Hugh Barnes found a wide variety of reasons - and people - who have answered the call.Across Ukraine, there are reminders of the warm relationship the country once had with its neighbour, Russia. The southern city of Odessa had a particular closeness, many of its population being native Russian speakers. But Odessa has been hit by Russian missiles, and with significant civilian casualties. Jen Stout tried to find out what local attitudes are now.One of the tragedies of climate change is that those who will suffer worst from its consequences are often those who played little role in causing it - he West African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe is particularly exposed, a poor place made poorer still by environmental damage. Now it may have a chance to alleviate some of that poverty, by selling the oil which some believe lies under its ocean. Yet it is burning oil which has caused the country's climate problems in the first place, presenting a dilemma which Tamasine Forde witnessed first hand.As Emmanuel Macron savours victory in the French election, some will be putting it down in part to the studied attempt to change his image and look more casual. Often depicted as stuck up and aloof, Monsieur Macron appeared in a much-publicised, and indeed much-mocked photograph, with no jacket and an open-neck shirt. However, while the re-elected President may have swapped his tie for tufts of very-visible chest hair, the same cannot be said of his staff. Indeed, the 'Macronistas' seem keen to preserve France’s international reputation for sartorial suaveness. Our correspondent, Hugh Schofield, found himself wondering whether he should follow their lead.
30/04/2228m 43s

The Threat of Rising Waters in Bangladesh

Rivers and the sea have long-battered waterfront villages in Bangladesh, but this is a problem now made worse by climate change. Many people have had to flee several times, as land erodes and their homes crumble. Qasa Alom went to meet those forced to repeatedly restart their lives, and joins locals working on a solution to provide more permanent sanctuary.Morocco was once home to a thriving Jewish community, who began an exodus from the country in the 1950s as relations deteriorated between the Arab world and Israel. At its peak, there were several hundred thousand Jews living in the country, many in the coastal town of Essouira. With diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel now restored, some citizens of Essouira are reaching out to Israelis. Elizabeth Gowing found herself wondering whether tensions of the recent past really can be replaced by fonder memories of a one-time shared communal history.When the US and its allies overthrew Saddam Hussein, they promised a new era for the people of Iraq, providing democracy, freedom, and also the rule of law. Iraq does now have a functioning legal system, with police, lawyers, and courts to try cases. But when Shelly Kittleson bumped into an old acquaintance, she was reminded of how justice often works in practice, for those caught up in what is an overburdened system, fraught with delays, lack of training and sometimes corruption too.People from Ireland have often suffered from negative stereotypes, and sometimes from outright discrimination. However, there is one group which claims to be on the receiving end of particular contempt: Irish travellers. That prejudice is not just found abroad, but also in Ireland itself, they say, with reduced access to education, to healthcare and employment. Chris Page has been hearing stories of one man from an old Irish travelling family.Vladimir Putin has sought to justify his invasion of Ukraine by citing those in the country who speak Russian as their first language. Russian-speakers, Mr Putin claims, actually see themselves as Russian, rather than Ukrainian. It is a claim which has been rejected by Ukraine, and yet it potentially threatens the position of Russian-speakers elsewhere in Eastern Europe: is their loyalty to Moscow first, some ask? Latvia has around half a million Russian speakers, and relations are not always easy, discovers Beth Timmins.
23/04/2229m 1s

What do Russians think of the war in Ukraine?

What do Russians make of their country’s invasion of Ukraine? It is no easy matter to conduct opinion polls in Russia at the best of times, sampling views from St Petersburg to Siberia. Right now though, Russian people are not free to express their opinions anyway, with a new law in place making it a criminal offence to say anything about the Ukraine conflict which the authorities consider untrue. Jenny Hill is in Moscow, and has been keeping her ear to the ground.Globalisation, the extraordinary interconnectedness of modern life, means that the events in Ukraine are having profound effects in places far from any battle. Kenya, for example, has already been suffering from drought, but this has now been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion: because Ukrainian farmers have been kept from their fields, global food prices have risen. Ben Henderson recently travelled to Kenya’s far north, and found what looks like a major crisis in the making.2018 saw South Korea hold a successful Winter Olympics, in which North Korean athletes were also allowed to take part. Later that year, the then US President, Donald Trump met with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and attempted to tone down hostilities. Watching these events was the BBC’s newly arrived South Korea correspondent, Laura Bicker. Four years later, she is now leaving her post, at a time when relations between South and North are far worse. Yet Laura insists that she is leaving with some sense of optimism.Sports figures famously have short careers, with even the biggest stars having to reinvent themselves in mid-life. Few though have managed it quite so successfully as Imran Khan: already one of Pakistan’s greatest ever cricketing heroes, he ended up becoming Prime Minister. However, the world of politics can be as unforgiving as any sport, and this week, Prime Minister Khan was ousted in a Parliamentary vote of no confidence. Secunder Kermani has been following his dramatic fall from favour.Life has not been much fun for performers during the various phases of Covid lockdown, with actors, dancers and even stand-up comedians facing closed down venues. Musicians had a particularly hard time of it, certainly those accustomed to playing before sweaty crowds keen on dancing, something very much forbidden for much of the time. So when the Belgian rock band, Demisec, were offered a gig, they jumped at the chance. The bassist and BBC cameraman Maarten Lernout did not mind that they were being asked to play in a local prison.
16/04/2229m 16s

Ukraine: The War in the Countryside

The destruction of Ukrainian cities such as Mariupol has garnered global headlines, but the fighting has also filtered out to the rural towns and villages which surround it. These lack the city’s resources for dealing with the dead, the injured, and the bereaved, and when Wyre Davis reached one of these rural spots, he found even the most day-to-day tasks present significant challenges and risks.Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to occupy the middle ground on Ukraine; he remains on good terms with Vladimir Putin, but Turkey is also a member of NATO. This has enabled President Erdogan to take a central role in efforts to reach a peace deal, inviting negotiators to meet in Istanbul. And this is perhaps the ideal city for discussions aimed at healing division. Istanbul marks the point where Europe and Asia meet, with the Bosphorus Strait running between the two. The Bosphorus also occupies a key strategic position in this conflict, which Ellie House found herself reflecting on as she took a boat ride along one of its busier stretches.A series of setbacks have left Sri Lanka running out of cash, meaning there is now no money to pay for food or fuel. This has resulted in power cuts for up to thirteen hours a day, and prices rising to the point where people are having to skip meals, while hospitals run out of medicine. The protestors who have been out on Sri Lanka’s streets this week knew who to blame, pointing the finger at the government and its economic mismanagement. Rajini Vaidyanathan says that for ordinary Sri Lankan people, the situation remains dire.Once upon a time, VIktor Orban was seen as a brave campaigner for democracy, demanding Soviet troops leave Hungary during the Cold War. Nowadays, he is a reliable friend of the Kremlin - a matter of some concern to his European Union and NATO allies, but something they will have to continue to live with. This week, Mr Orban won a fourth successive term as Prime Minister. Nick Thorpe has met him many times over the years, and has a few ideas about what lies behind his success.How can a city and its people recover from war? This is something the people of Mosul in Iraq have had time to consider. It has been fought over at various points in the past two decades, by US troops, the Iraqi national army, Al Qaeda, and then, by Islamic State. IS attempted to destroy much of Mosul's tradition and culture, yet the city is now undergoing something of a renaissance, as Leila Molana-Allen found on a recent night out.
09/04/2229m 22s

Argentina’s Memories of war

It’s 40 years since Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands – or the Malvinas – as they are known in Spanish. Nearly 1,000 soldiers were killed in the war – more than 600 of whom were Argentinian. Katy Watson spoke to people about what happened in the war and how relations between the two countries have changed An estimated quarter of a million Russians have fled their homeland since the invasion of Ukraine. An estimated 35000 have relocated across Russia's southern border to Georgia. The capital Tbilisi is a melting pot of several nationalities – all escaping the war. Rayhan Demytrie has spent the past week meeting some of them The island of Taiwan may have its own constitution and a democratically-elected government – but its legal status remains contested. China sees it as a breakaway state, which it has vowed to retake by force if necessary. As events have unfolded in Ukraine, it has left Taiwanese asking if Beijing would follow a similar course to that of Moscow, says Rupert Wingfield-Hayes. People in Serbia are going to the polls this weekend – for presidential and parliamentary elections, with relations with Russia firmly on the agenda. In the run up to the vote, executives from Russian Railways were among guests as Serbia’s president opened the first phase of a new, high speed train line. Guy De Launey was on board The first round of the French presidential elections is just one week away – but, much like the UK, the news bulletins have been focused on the war in Ukraine. The polls all predict that President Emmanuel Macron will hold on to power – so, no change is expected, which is in itself something of a change, says Hugh Schofield.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Hugh Levinson
02/04/2229m 6s

Russia’s path of destruction

The pounding of civilian infrastructure by Russian forces has continued this week in cities like Mykolaiv and Mariupol even as peace talks were underway. And Russia's claims it will reduce its military activity in the north and focus more on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region are being treated with scepticism. Orla Guerin is in Kyiv. Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, described the siege of Mariupol as a ‘crime against humanity’ this week. Mariupol’s mayor has called for the evacuation of the entire city. But the journey away from the city is fraught with danger and a safe passage is far from guaranteed. Hugo Bachega spoke to those that did manage to escape. A few days after the invasion, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz unexpectedly announced a massive boost in military spending. It’s arguably one of the most dramatic shifts in German foreign policy since the Second World War. According to polls most Germans support the new policy, but enthusiasm for it is muted. Our correspondent Damien McGuinness is in Berlin. In Sudan, women have been celebrated for leading the revolution that saw former military ruler Omar al-Bashir toppled. But the Generals still have the upper hand. After two years of sharing power with civilian politicians they staged a coup in October and instituted a transitional military council. Sudan’s women and men have been protesting daily and at least 90 people have been killed in a crackdown. Catherine Byaruhanga was in Khartoum. Nearly 1.4 million people in Canada are of Ukrainian heritage. Many of them trace their roots to Ukrainian immigrants who came to Canada in the late 19th century. Greg Mercer’s heard how they are rallying to the defence of the old country.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Hugh Levinson
31/03/2228m 50s

Thwarted hopes in Afghanistan

Since the Taliban took power last year, more than half a million Afghans have lost their jobs, and the country now faces a severe economic crisis. There was a glimmer of hope for secondary school girls this week though as they prepared to go back to school - but it was short-lived, says Secunder Kermani. Allan Little reflects on the parallels between this war and a previous conflict, in the former Yugoslavia, where cities also came under siege as Serbian nationalists sought to take back control of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Bosnians, like the Ukrainians, while out-powered, put up a courageous resistance, and, in that conflict, Nato ultimately decided to intervene. International observers are increasingly worried that a cash-strapped Palestinian Authority could face financial collapse. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund described the fiscal outlook as “dire." Meanwhile vital healthcare services are being dramatically affected. Yolande Knell visited a hospital in East Jerusalem. Texas has the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. But for some Texans the law doesn’t go far enough – they want a complete ban. The campaign to outlaw abortion altogether is being played out in towns across this huge state led by evangelical Christians. Linda Pressly visits west Texas to meet some of the activists. Oaxaca city in Mexico has become a much-desired location for destination weddings for both Europeans and North Americans. But the community there is divided over whether this is a helpful source of income for the locals, or an exercise in exploitation which ends up eroding the indigenous culture and customs finds Louis Harnett O’Meara.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
26/03/2228m 47s

Ukraine’s unified resistance

It’s one month since Russia first invaded Ukraine, under the pretext of denazifying the country. But Putin’s calculation that his troops would be greeted as liberators by Russian-speaking Ukrainians has proved to be wrong. Nick Sturdee has found that the invasion appears to have unified the disparate parts of the Ukrainian population. Romania's Prime Minister pledged “unconditional political support” for Ukraine in February and so far, has welcomed more than half a million refugees. Jen Stout has been to one of the border crossings and finds the arrival of the Ukrainians has helped locals forget their own differences. In Washington, the process of holding those responsible for the storming of the US Capitol last year has reached a new phase, as the first trial - Guy Reffitt, of Texas came to court earlier this month. Tara McKelvey spent time with the defendant’s relatives at the federal courthouse and saw the impact of the political divisions on that family and across the US. Ecuador’s president this year signed a declaration to expand the boundaries of the Galapagos Marine reserve by more than 23 000 square miles. It's being seen as a victory for wildlife conservation and for local fishing communities, as the area had been vulnerable to overfishing by mainly Chinese trawlers. But, finds Mark Stratton, these were not the only threat to the region’s eco-system. The Caribbean island of Martinique is an overseas territory of France. Today it has a semi-autonomous status, but over the last decade, relations have deteriorated with their old colonisers. Lindsay Johns remembers his father, a soldier from Martinique, who fought proudly for the French whilst enduring racial oppression.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-SmithPresenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling and Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
24/03/2228m 32s

On Kharkiv’s Frontline

Ukraine saw further indiscriminate attacks across the country this week, including an attack on a theatre sheltering civilians in Mariupol. The city of Kharkiv, like Mariupol, has been under constant attack; bodies line the streets as its often too dangerous to bury them. Quentin Sommerville reflects on the horror unfolding on the ground. The tactics the Russians are using in Ukraine are familiar to countries not just in the former Soviet domain – but also Syria. Vladimir Putin’s military support for President Assad in the country’s civil war helped raise cities to the ground. Leila Molana-Allen spoke to some of the people who have lived through that war Western intelligence sources have expressed concerns about Russian activity in Moldova, which neighbours Ukraine. Moldova is also a former Soviet state, with a Russian-speaking separatist insurgency in the east. Newsnight’s Sima Kotecha spoke to Moldova’s Prime Minister about her fears for what may lie ahead and how the country is struggling to cope with the influx of refugees. In rural Kenya, most of the population live and work on the farms that are the backbone of the country’s economy. But access to electricity is sparse. So in one village, a young entrepreneur decided to give himself a crash course in engineering, so he could supply power to the residents in his village. Mercy Juma went to Kenyanjeru. Last year, Chile elected a radical left wing, ex-student leader who won a landslide victory. The new President, Gabriel Boric, keen to diverge from the style of his predecessors, has embarked on a property hunt in a working-class district in downtown Santiago. Jane Chambers went to explore his new neighbourhood.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling and Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
19/03/2228m 36s

Crossing into unknown territory

Refugees cramming onto trains brings back memories of the Second World War, amid an invasion that heralds a grim new political realityThe war in Ukraine has brought back some uncomfortable memories. Refugees crowding on to trains in eastern European snow to escape a war. Young men volunteering to fight for their country and being sent into harm's way with almost no training. And the possibility that a new Cold War between Russia and the US and Europeans could be upon us, says Jeremy Bowen.When Belarus opened its country to tens of thousands of mostly Middle Eastern migrants and refugees last year and started pushing them across the border into Poland, most Poles supported the government’s refusal to let them in. Yet Poland is now facing a refugee crisis on a much bigger scale. Close to two million people, have crossed into Poland in just three weeks. Adam Easton met one of those Poles and the refugee he is supporting. Attempts to create humanitarian corridors over recent weeks from besieged cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv have frequently been stymied by continued Russian attacks, imperilling efforts by residents to flee. At the border between Poland and Ukraine, Kasia Madera met one woman travelling from Kharkiv to Germany with her children.Australia’s east coast has seen some of the worst flooding in the country’s history over recent weeks with more than 20 people killed in intense downpours. Viv Nunis met some of the residents whose homes had been destroyed.China was the place where Covid-19 first emerged, but it was also the first place to get back to something resembling normality. But that all changed this week, as new cases jumped - and authorities imposed draconian new restrictions to maintain its 'zero Covid strategy'. Normal life for tens of millions of people, says Robin Brant in Shanghai - has stopped, again.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Emma Close
17/03/2228m 38s

Ukraine’s living nightmare

Millions of lives are being uprooted, or destroyed as Russia's bombardment of Ukrainian cities widens. Fergal Keane has covered the conflict with Russia and its proxy forces since 2014 – and has followed the story of a beekeeper from the Donbas, and his wife. Ukrainian journalists covering the crisis at a distance have been watching the horror unfold and grappling with its implications on friends, colleagues and loved ones. Irena Taranyuk, of the BBC’s Ukraine service, tells of her experience of putting the story out on the night the invasion began. Russia is becoming increasingly isolated internationally, with western companies stopping operations there. Thousands of Russians are packing up and leaving. Many say it’s because they have political concerns about the sort of country Russia will become; others fear of the imposition of martial law or worry that the economy will crumble. Caroline Davies spoke to some of them. More than 180 million voters went to the polls in 5 of India’s states this week, including the country's largest - Uttar Pradesh. The governing BJP has a firm hold on the state, and its chief minister – a hindu-monk-turned politician, Yogi Adityanath is emerging as a favourite to succeed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But during his leadership, he has been criticised for anti-muslim rhetoric. Rajini Vaidyanathan followed the campaign trail. It's 20 years since James Helm arrived in Dublin as BBC Correspondent there, with his wife Charlotte and their young son. The original posting was for a year, but the family stayed on in Ireland for almost a decade - a period of enormous change for the country. After several years away, James and his sons recently made a return trip.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Emma Close
12/03/2229m 2s

Peace talks in Antalya

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters a third week, hopes are wearing thin of a ceasefire after several rounds of unsuccessful talks. But a potential mediator tried to enter the fray this week: Israel, as Tom Bateman reports from Jerusalem. Russia’s foreign minister is due to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday in the southern Turkish resort of Antalya. It’s a city that’s in other times popular with both Russians and Ukrainian tourists. Mahjooba Nowrouzi visited the coastal town and found opposing narratives about the conflict surfaced in the chatter of the bazaars Russian warships have been circling menacingly in the waters near the Black Sea port city of Odessa in southern Ukraine. The city's residents are braced for a possible assault and many are leaving their homes. For Damien McGuinness, who lived and worked in eastern Europe, their experiences are horribly reminiscent of the traumas suffered a generation ago in Georgia. In 2015, Jamaica passed a law that decriminalised the possession of small amounts of cannabis and authorised a regulated medical cannabis industry. Initially seen as a boon for cannabis farmers, some traditional growers say they can’t afford to meet the strict legal requirements for growing the plant. Rachel Wright visited a farm. The medieval village of Lagrasse in south-west France is home to an eight century Abbey which is divided in two parts – one side is occupied by a group of left-leaning intellectuals, the other by a traditional catholic religious order. This arrangement ran relatively smoothly at first until a contretemps over a festival some fifteen years ago. Since then relations have deteriorated. Chris Bockman went to find out more.Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Emma Close
10/03/2229m 0s

Kyiv’s last stand

Ukrainian civilians have taken up arms in the face of the Russian onslaught over the last nine days, while women and children were forced to flee. Attacks on residential buildings and infrastructure have killed hundreds of civilians and the French President has warned that worse is yet to come. Lyse Doucet is in Kyiv has seen the week’s events unfold. Over one million refugees have fled Ukraine in the days since the Russian invasion began. And as the long convoy of Russian military tanks closes in on Kyiv, the rush to escape to neighbouring countries has become ever more frantic. Nick Thorpe is at the Hungarian border and reflects on a different invasion. This week Switzerland, after much soul searching – some might say dithering – decided to adopt all the European Union’s sanctions against Russia. It was hailed around the world as a huge step, a virtual abandonment of the country’s strict neutrality. But was it? Imogen Foulkes gauges the reaction of Swiss locals. The Kasbah of Algiers has been recognised as a world heritage site. The ancient mosques, Ottoman palaces and souks are well-conserved. But the city’s young people are disillusioned, with unemployment levels running high and the splendour of the citadel offers little opportunity for jobs. Rob Crossan spoke to some young men in a queue for liver sandwiches. Media organisations have deployed large numbers of correspondents to Ukraine since the Russian offensive began. Several of the correspondents have experience of reporting on conflict, but Nick Robinson found himself in unfamiliar terrain. This is his experience as a witness to the days preceding Putin’s invasion and the sudden turn of events that everyone hoped would never happen.
05/03/2228m 45s

Shock and anger in Eastern Siberia

Ukrainians have mounted a defiant response since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country began. But scores of lives have nonetheless been lost. Moscow’s propaganda machine has been in full swing domestically, trying to conceal any Russian casualties from the outside world. Caroline Davies visited went to a village in Eastern Siberia to speak to the families and friends of one of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine – who’s believed to have been captured. Finland once signed a treaty which ensured it would not face a Soviet invasion, providing it stayed out of Nato and gave Moscow to influence its domestic and foreign policy. To date, Finland has remained outside Nato but a debate is now underway as to whether it should eventually join following threats from Vladimir Putin this week. Emilia Jansson reports that attitudes on the ground are beginning to shift. For the majority of those attending the annual Republican Conference in Florida, the crisis in Ukraine was a subject best avoided. Instead, President Joe Biden was cast as their greatest threat. Anthony Zurcher reports on the conference. Thousands of miles off the coast of Chile, sits the Polynesian island of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island. The islanders are eagerly anticipating the return of one of their beloved Moai – figures carved out of rock. It was first brought to Chile in 1870. Jane Chambers has been following the twists and turns of the great home coming of one of them. Copenhagen is home to one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid warehouses. The warehouse can store more than 36 000 pallets of life-saving equipment. It’s sorted and packed by robots, humans and mechanised wheelbarrows. Sandra Kanthal has been to the warehouse, run by Unicef, to meet the people who work there.
03/03/2228m 38s

Putin's Soviet Ambitions

Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago, Russia has been grappling with how to keep its old empire close to it, using a variety of tactics. This week, Russia stunned Nato member states when it embarked on a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Andrew Harding spent the 1990s reporting on the aftermath of the Soviet collapse and reflects on current events. Russia's attack on Georgia in 2008 also came in response to the NATO alliance promising membership to both states. And ever since that war, Russia has occupied two separate regions of Georgia. Experts call it a frozen conflict, which Russia can stir up at any time -- as Andrew North found when he visited a village on the boundary between areas under Georgian and Russian control. Iceland has a strong track record for championing women’s rights and gender equality policies. Yet, despite this, the country still sees persistently high cases of domestic violence. Maddy Savage followed a police project in Reykjavik that’s trying to tackle the problem. Zimbabwe’s healthcare system was once viewed as one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa. After independence, the majority of Zimbabweans gained access to education and health care. Now, the health system is collapsing and the nurses and doctors are leaving the country in ever higher numbers. Shingai Nyoka visited two clinics in Harare. The Philippines is holding elections in May and the son of the late military dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Jr has taken a strong lead in the polls. Sarah Duterte, the daughter of the country’s incumbent authoritarian leader, is his running mate, and the two of them have embarked on a fervent campaign to rebrand their respective family’s legacies. Howard Johnson reports from a rally.
26/02/2228m 27s

Brazil's Deadly Landslides

Flash floods and mudslides in the Brazilian city of Petrópolis north of Rio de Janeiro have left more than 170 people dead. Authorities blamed the intensity of the rainfall yet one of the biggest factors was inequality – most of the worst-affected neighbourhoods were poorer, unofficially built areas. Katy Watson met with survivors who had lost family members and were helping with the rescue effort. In recent years, the Catholic church has been overwhelmed by the scandal of sexual abuse of minors. It’s been exposed and investigated in several countries, yet Italy, which has the highest number of priests of any country hasn’t confronted it. Mark Lowen went out to investigate one such case, and set out to find the priest involved. We visit the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur in Iraq. Believed by many to be the birthplace of Abraham, the site was excavated in the early 20th century by a British man, Leonard Woolley, who recovered bountiful treasures. Once popular with tourists, decades of war and political instability - and now Covid – have kept visitors away and there has been very limited recent efforts towards conserving the site. Charlie Metcalfe was given a tour by a local. Australia has imposed one of the world’s strictest travel bans throughout the pandemic, but this week, finally, the country re-opened to foreign travellers in all states except Western Australia. Australian citizens were allowed to return from late last year, but the return of tourism to the country has been greeted with relief by many businesses who have struggled during the pandemic. Shaimaa Khalil worked in Sydney throughout the pandemic and reflects on being reunited with her husband recently after eighteen months apart.
24/02/2228m 32s

Return of the Chagos Islanders

When a boat carrying a group of Chagos Islanders landed on their homeland this week, it represented return after half a century of exile. The Islands were once part of British-run Mauritius, and in 1972, Britain removed the inhabitants, so it could hand one of the islands over to the United States, to build a military base. The move has been condemned by the International Court of Justice, and by the United Nations, but the UK has so far refused to allow the Islanders back. This week, they took matters into their own hands, and returned by boat for a visit. Andrew Harding was on board.It was in the 1960s that gas was discovered in The Netherlands, and since then, it has provided the country with both cash and energy security. However, some people living near the gas fields claim that the exploration has damaged their homes, and even destroyed them. Anna Holligan has visited the damaged properties, and met the residents who say their lives have been ruined.Kenya's world-wide image is often restricted to wildlife and beaches. However, the country now plays host to one of the most vibrant tech sectors in Africa, with a particular emphasis on putting tech into practice. The aim is to find a development route which does not necessarily copy the heavy industrialisation of wealthier countries. Indeed, Zeinab Badawi says Kenya is already pursuing a greener path, which could make for a more prosperous future.The French-Algerian writer, Fatima Daas has won huge praise for her first book, a semi-autobiographical account of a life attempting to reconcile being a Muslim and Lesbian. Mike Wooldridge joined her for a walk round the Paris neighbourhood where she grew up.Japan's current Prime Minister is the first for many years to live in his official Tokyo residence, and reports claim this is because previous holders of the post were scared the building was haunted. This should not be too surprising, according to Rupert Wingfield-Haye, as Japanese people regularly take account of ghosts when considering where to live.
19/02/2228m 36s

Still There: The Migrants Trapped in Calais Limbo

Many migrants still set off by boat from Calais each week, in the hope of reaching Britain. The French authorities insist they are trying to deter people from coming to Calais, by making conditions there tougher. Horatio Clare says they are removing tents, mattresses, and even the blankets people sleep under.More than 150 thousand Russians with learning disabilities live in institutions which have been criticised as inhumane or cruel. The aim, Lucy Ash says, is to keep out of sight people who are considered a social embarrassment. She has been meeting activists in Moscow, trying to provide alternative ways for them to be cared for and supported.LSD and magic mushrooms were once supposed to be a means to tap into an alternative universe, to “Break on Through to the Other Side,” as the Doors singer, Jim Morrison put it. Nowadays, conventional medical establishments are exploring how various psychedelics can be used to treat people with mental health problems. Stephanie Theobald went to a convention in the US state of Nevada, which proclaimed a new psychedelic renaissance.Stephen Moss has travelled the world as a producer for the BBC’s Natural History Unit, seeing plenty of unusual wildlife along the way. But he had a particular, yet unfulfilled ambition to see the bird species known as the “Resplendent Quetzal.” In the end, he had to travel to Costa Rica to catch sight of it.It is sometimes hard to believe that border requirements such as visas and passports are a relatively modern development, passports themselves only being standardised in the 1920s. So how has all this affected those who seek to roam around the continent - for pleasure, for exploration, to experience other cultures? Nick Hunt has made many such journeys, and reflects now on how they have changed, and how they have stayed the same.
17/02/2228m 58s

The Paris Terrorism Attack Goes To Trial

A hundred and thirty people died during the 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris. Now, one alleged participant has gone on trial, along with others charged as accomplices. What is it like for families of the victims, and those who were there on the night, to come face to face with those they believe may be partly responsible? Lucy Williamson was watching in court, and sees more at work than just deciding on innocence or guilt.According to Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, Ukrainians and Russians are one people. Yet the French President, Emmanuel Macron has referred to Ukrainians as: “our European brothers.” Observers have sometimes simplified matters, by assuming that those in Ukraine who speak Russian lean towards Moscow, while the Ukrainian speakers see Kiev as their capital, and western Europe as their allies. Whether or not such a neat division was ever valid, Sarah Rainsford has found it seriously wanting now.Given Russia currently has such a tense relationship with the west, the country is keen to improve its links elsewhere, both political and commercial. That could well be helped by a road being built, which aims to carry more Russian freight and other traffic south into neighbouring Georgia. Yet it is being constructed right on top of another, very old road, and also passes through the “Khada Valley,” a spot famous in Georgia for its beauty and wildlife. So when Amelia Stewart visited, she found environmentalists and some locals up in arms about the project.There are some spectators, and there have been the usual triumphs and disappointments of any sporting event. Yet nobody can claim that this year’s Beijing Winter Olympics have been anything like a normal contest. China has imposed one of the most severe lockdown of any country in the world, in response to Covid, so those attending have had their experience highly restricted. They include our correspondent, Stephen McDonell, who has been attempting to report from the scene.Australian English is famously expressive, particularly when it comes to its inventive insults. This goes for the political realm as well; indeed, the current Prime Minister has just has a few choice words thrown at him by his own Deputy. However, as Phil Mercer explains, this is nothing new.
12/02/2228m 57s

Snow and Sorrow: Winter in a Lebanon Refugee Camp

Lebanon hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, mostly living in very basic accommodation. Now the country has been hit by freakishly cold weather, while in the midst of an economic crisis. That has left refugees exposed to the elements, with families unable to cook, children falling ill, and little sign of help on its way. Leila Molana-Allen found many in despair.Just as millions suffer from freezing cold under Lebanon’s snowfall, it is the lack of snow which some fear. Those making a living from winter sports are seeing ski seasons shorten, as climate change speeds up the rate at which mountain snow is melting. Yet when Polina Bachlackova went to a ski resort in France, she found some locals sceptical about whether humans were the cause of a changing climate, and rejecting the suggestion that urgent action is needed to tackle it.China has been generous to Sri Lanka lately, paying for roads, other transport infrastructure, and retail developments. Some of these have been outright gifts, some were funded by loans, but others were more of a swap, provided in return for access to land. One of the biggest developments is in the harbour area of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, where a huge retail, residential, and business area is under way. Anbarasan Ehirajan was given a tour, and found himself asking whether it was what the people of Sri Lanka really needed.Just across the water from Sri Lanka, India has been holding two days of national mourning for the singer, Lata Mangeshkar. Described as the "Nightingale of Bollywood," hers was the voice on the soundtrack in hundreds of Indian musicals. The country's President said her death was heart-breaking, while the Prime Minister said she left a void in the nation. Rajini Vaidyanathan is among those feeling the loss.Italy is just recovering from the annual “Sanremo Festival,” its annual marathon song contest. Often compared to the Eurovision song contest, San Remo is famous for kitsch performances, which millions of Italians tune into. Dany Mitzman joined in the fun.
10/02/2228m 34s

Myanmar: One Year Under Military Rule

Myanmar this week marked one year since its democratically-elected government was overthrown by a coup. The generals who took over have promised to restore democracy, “once the emergency is over.” However, protestors calling for democracy have been arrested and beaten, while the army stands accused of murdering more than a thousand civilians, in its efforts to quash opposition to military rule. Jonathan Head has spoken to some of those still resisting the junta.In the year since Myanmar’s military coup, three countries in West Africa have also suffered the same fate: Mali, Guinea, and most recently, Burkina Faso. The coup leaders there have explained that they took over because the government was failing to tackle Islamist militants. Henry Wilkins tried to report on what was going on, but found himself arrested at gunpoint.When a volcano erupted off the Pacific Island of Tonga, it triggered a tsunami and covered the island in ash. It also cut the underwater cable which connects Tonga to the outside world, meaning no phone-calls or internet were possible. This was a particular cause of concern for Tongans abroad, anxious to know about the welfare of friends and family. They turned to a small online broadcaster, operating from the outskirts of Brisbane, Australia. Simon Atkinson paid it a visit.US special forces this week raided the home of Islamic State's leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. It appears he then blew himself up, along with members of his family. This was only a month since al-Qurayshi was held responsible for Islamic State's attack on a prison in Syria, where members of the group were held. The resulting battle went on for more than a week, and Shelly Kittleson has managed to hear from some of those who witnessed it.Yalda Hakim was six months old, when her family fled Afghanistan. Going back there recently, she found dramatic changes since her last visit. Under Taliban rule, there have been widespread reports of Taliban soldiers carrying out summary executions. And when she spoke to women determined to maintain their role in the workplace and wider society, she found their efforts were proving dangerous, and potentially fatal.
05/02/2228m 37s

Mass Migration and the Families Left Behind

Every week, every month, thousands of would-be migrants are still turning up at Mexico’s border with the United States, hoping to get across. This has a profound effect on the people left behind, the families and wider communities where they grew up. Guatemala, for example, has a population of about sixteen million, and some estimates suggest a million of these have left. Megan Janetsky went there to meet some of the many people who have had to wave their relatives goodbye.It is not only poverty-stricken Latin Americans who go abroad in search of opportunity. This programme depends on people who are working overseas: the foreign correspondents who take up a posting, and then regale us with tales of their adopted countries. Any traveller though will tell you that returning home can also be an interesting experience, the chance to see a once familiar country through fresh eyes. Nick Bryant has just gone back to Australia after eight years, and says that it is not just him who changed during that time away.It started with her going to the police to complain that she had been gang raped; it resulted in a court case, with her in the dock. The case dates back to 2019, when a British student said she had been raped by up to twelve Israelis at a hotel room in Cyprus. She then retracted the allegation, and found herself convicted for making it up. That sentence has now been overturned, by a panel of judges in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. Anna Holligan watched the hearing, and says it focused attention on the way cases of rape and sexual assault are treated in Cyprus.With more than a hundred thousand Russian troops massed on its border, the Ukrainian Army is on high alert, while ordinary citizens are being mobilised for civil defence. In the capital, Kiev, these efforts are being overseen by the city’s Mayor, the former world champion boxer, Vitali Klitschko. Colin Freeman met him while he was out campaigning, and ponders now how well he’s suited to this new role.
03/02/2228m 47s

Fear and Fatalism in Kiev

More than a hundred and twenty thousand Russian troops are sitting on Ukraine’s border, with talks still underway to reduce tensions, but no sign of success so far. Yet Ukraine has already experienced Russia's invasion of Crimea, and Russian backed troops taking over an eastern region of the country. When James Waterhouse arrived to take up his new post as Kiev Correspondent, he found local people sometimes fearful, but also rather stoical in the face of this threat.The face-off between Ukraine and Russia has in turn provoked division, over how the US and Europe should respond if Russian troops were to cross the border and invade. This debate is particularly acute in Germany, which has traditionally avoided getting involved in conflicts abroad. As Jenny Hill explains, that is in part because of the country's history, and specifically the Second World War. The death toll Germany inflicted on both Ukraine and Russia means some in the country argue that they should not intervene there now.Children from Romania continue to be coerced into a life of prostitution - hundreds every year, it seems. Many of the adult prostitutes on the country’s streets started out when they were girls, and many of these are then trafficked abroad. Jean Mackenzie has found that even children from responsible and loving homes are not protected from those determined to make money out of them.It was a mark of pride for Cameroon, when the country was chosen to host football’s Africa Cup of Nations. Some did have doubts, given that Cameroon still has a major insurgency going on, led by people in the English-speaking part of the country who want to secede. Yet when disaster befell the tournament, it was not of a military kind, but fans being crushed as they tried to get into a stadium in Cameroon’s capital. Nick Cavell was watching the match that day.Politics in Senegal is a lively affair. When the country held local elections last week, one mayoral candidate in the capital had previously been jailed for corruption, and an opposition candidate had been arrested on a rape charge. Meanwhile, the country’s previous president has accused the current president of coming from a cannibal family, with parents who ate babies. However, it is not only the candidates who make for colourful characters. When Lucinda Rouse rented a room in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, she found herself living above the home of a community leader with considerable political influence.
29/01/2228m 47s

Russa’s Troops: Not Really a Threat to Ukraine?

Russia's tense stand-off with Ukraine might seem like a straightforward case of one country menacing another, with about a hundred and twenty thousand Russian troops mustering on their neighbour’s border. Russia has already occupied the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and is widely believed to be helping separatists in the country’s east. But, as an old saying has it, where you stand depends on where you sit; perspectives can vary widely. Francis Scarr was recently sitting in the rather intimate surrounds of a Russian bathhouse, and found his companions holding a very different view of who was threatening whom.The foreign troops have left, and the fighting is much diminished. Afghanistan is at relative peace, and this has given the opportunity for many refugees to return to their homes. More than two million people have fled Afghanistan over the years, but the many conflicts there have forced more than three million to leave their cities, towns and villages, while remaining within the country. Some of these have now gone back, in the hope of picking up from where they left of, but often to find all that they once owned has been taken away or is lying in ruins. Andrew North went to meet some in the southern Afghan region of Helmand.Turkey seems determined to have influence abroad to a degree - some say - not seen since the days of the Ottoman Empire. The country has already intervened militarily in both Syria and Libya and built semi-permanent military bases in Northern Iraq. Whatever one thinks of Turkey’s ambitions though, the country is not usually seen as a seafaring power, yet it seems that some in the country want that to change. They explained why to Tim Whewell, during a recent trip to Istanbul.A writer who visited Scandinavia once said that theirs were the only languages where it was the vowels that were the greatest challenge. While many struggle with a French “je” or the “ch” of Germany's “Bach,” it’s the a, o and u of Swedish, for example, which can be tough for foreigners to master. And then there’s the intonation: much fun is made of Swede’s almost sing-song way of talking. Yet, there is only so much mockery of their language that people will take, particularly when it comes to the pronunciation of their own names. The many different ways in which Mathilde Weilin's name has been pronouced have given her something of an existential crisis.The Turkana region in northern Kenya is a remote and barren place, where some of the oldest pre-human fossils have been found, remains of Homo sapiens' long-distant ancestors. However, life for the present-day people of Turkana is not easy: the land they live off has been hit by environmental damage, with drought more common than ever – the result of climate change, many believe. When Samuel Derbyshire went to study their way of life, he found the legacy of many previous efforts to help Turkana’s people, and to show them more reliable means of subsistence. And yet he ended up wondering who it was that should be teaching, and who learning.
27/01/2228m 40s

Searching for Mexico's Drug War Disappeared

The drug-related violence in Mexico is sometimes described as being “like a war.” Certainly the death toll justifies calling it that, with three hundred thousand people killed in the past fifteen years, many of them innocent civilians. About a hundred thousand have simply disappeared, presumed dead, and with their families left to search for them. Will Grant travelled to the northern state of Sonora, and joined locals digging in the ground, both hopeful - and fearful - of what they might find.The long-running civil war in Syria has forced half the country to leave their homes: around six and a half million are internally displaced within Syria, and another six and a half million have fled abroad. Most of those who reached Europe have gone to Germany, many traumatised, having survived bombings, or lost family members in the fighting – some have been tortured. You might expect these people would form tight-knit communities, as victims of similar harsh experiences looking out for each other. However, when Michael Ertl spoke to Syrian refugees in Berlin he found a community divided by mistrust.The streets in Kazakhstan's cities are quiet now, and the Russian soldiers have gone home; the country is returning to some semblance of normality, after anti-government protests which left at least two hundred people dead. However, the country’s Defence Minister has been sacked for failing to quell the protests when they started, and the head of Kazakhstan’s intelligence agency, the KNB, has been arrested for treason. Meanwhile, Abdujalil Abdurasulov says, thousands of protestors remain in detention, with allegations they have been tortured.Here’ a puzzle: what cost nearly a billion pounds, has not been finished, and will not do what it was designed for any time soon? The answer is: a new road in Montenegro. It was supposed to link the country’s main port to Montenegro’s neighbour, Serbia, encouraging valuable cargo to the country. However, the project is already two year’s late, and so far, this road to the sea does not actually reach the sea, but stops way short. Chinese money is involved, along with Montenegrin politicians past and present, and some allege corruption behind what Linda Pressly says is fast becoming another Balkan scandal.If it is true that cats have nine lives, then Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu must be running them a close second. A former BBC journalist, Mohamed has been caught up in no fewer than five suicide attacks, all in his home country, Somalia. Number five came last Sunday; he survived, but another suicide attack that same day killed at least eight people – just another weekend in a country torn apart by violence for the past three decades. So what makes someone like Mohamed continue to do work which places them directly in harm’s way? Mary Harper has known him for many years, and even she struggles to understand how he keeps going.
22/01/2228m 42s

Serbia and Djokovic: More Than a Matter of Tennis

When Novak Djokovic landed in Melbourne, few could have imagined that his impending encounters on the tennis court would be upstaged by a legal battle, one which then prompted a row between his country and Australia. After immigration officials held the Serb player in a hotel, Djokovic’s father said his son was being “crucified”. Then Serbia’s Foreign Ministry claimed that the player had been deliberately lured to Australia in order to humiliate him, as part of a “political game.” Guy Delauney explains that the affair has touched a raw nerve in Serbia, with an importance way beyond the tennis court.While the war of words was going on between Serbia and Australia, the government of Cameroon was trying to keep everyone’s attention focused on sport, and not on politics. The country is hosting the Africa-wide football tournament, the Africa Cup of Nations, a chance for the country to shine on the international stage. Like any contest, the Cup provides an opportunity for all countries to unite and rally behind their national team. However, there is a distinct shortage of unity among some people of this West African nation. Cameroon has suffered a long-running separatist insurgency in the English-speaking part of the country, and that was where James Copnall went to watch one of the games.You might think Ukraine was used to conflict; it suffered some of the worst casualties of the Second World War, and previously lost millions to murder and starvation, as Stalin imposed communist rule on a population which often resisted it. Today, around a hundred thousand Russian troops are massed on the Ukrainian border, and when Zeinab Badawi visited the capital Kiev, she found a very different mood to what she experienced on previous trips.What have sectarian murders in Northern Ireland got in common with the dawn of democracy in Czechoslovakia, and the start of negotiations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions? The answer is that all of them were reported on by Mary Hockaday, whose career of more than three decades at the BBC has just come to an end. Her departure has left her reflecting on time, and how the world changes with it.The housing market has been rather perky this past year, so it might be a good time to sell your home, but not if you’re a princess, you don’t actually want to move out, and the property in question is a Seventeenth Century palace. Such though is the fate of one of Rome’s more unusual inhabitants, living in one of the city’s more distinctive buildings. The Villa Aurora will go under the auctioneer’s hammer next week, and is valued at more than four hundred million pounds. David Willey has been a regular visitor
15/01/2228m 33s

Uncovering China's Internet Trolls

Plenty of journalists have had the experience of being “trolled” – attacked on social media for what they have written or said, often in terms which can be both offensive and sometimes frightening. Tessa Wong was trolled after reporting on China, but rather than simply accepting the abuse, she tried to find out why so many people had launched these attacks. What she found was that some of them were not the spontaneous outbursts of outraged citizens which they might have appeared. Rather it seems that key social media political influencers are being encouraged in their work by the Chinese authorities.It should have been a fairly straight-forward task for our reporter in the Seychelles, Patrick Muirhead. A financial scandal has hit the island nation, and various high profile people have been accused of taking money intended for its citizens. Patrick was in court to cover the proceedings, and was also offered the chance to interview the Seychelles’ President about the affair. However, this is a small country, and he was on first name terms with both the President, and with some of those in the dock. He admits, it was quite a challenge to report on the story with detachment.2022 has started with some speculating that this could be the year in which Covid is beaten – not that the virus will disappear completely, but that it might become endemic, and certainly not killing people on anything like the scale seen so far. Yet even if by some miracle the Coronavirus were to vanish altogether, the effects of these past two years will be with us for a long time. In Peru, for example, tens of thousands of children have lost parents to Covid, and this in a country which already suffers from widespread poverty. As Jane Chambers explains, the death of a family breadwinner can leave children facing terrible hardship, along with the grief.Meeting a rebel leader can be difficult at the best of times, but particularly so if that leader is under arrest. Joshua Craze, was on the trail of General Simon Gatwich, from one of the factions which has been fighting in South Sudan. The country broke away from Sudan following a long battle for independence, but then itself split into different factions. Although a peace agreement has been reached, it’s considered a fragile one. General Gatwich headed north, to Sudan itself, so Joshua Craze tried to find out what exactly he was up to there.History has seen many symbolic acts of resistance: banging saucepans, for example, was an expression of rebellion in revolutionary France, and was more recently taken up by protestors in Latin America. Pro-democracy campaigners in Thailand and Myanmar, meanwhile, have taken to given a three finger salute, taken from the film, The Hunger Games. But there is another historical act of rebellion which might have passed you by: eating cake. That is what people in Denmark did for more than a century, as Amy Guttman explains.
08/01/2228m 51s

2022: A Year of Recovery?

What are you hoping for in the twelve months ahead? What might you be fearing? These are questions which we often ask ourselves at this time of year, and yet it is hard to imagine a year when they have felt quite so pressing. In this special, New Year’s Day edition of From Our Own Correspondent, we hear about sentiment both optimistic and pessimistic, and about the efforts people are making to rebuild after a year of loss. Plus there is a look at why many people seem to be optimistic, whatever the challenges ahead.2021 saw terrible, weather-related destruction, which many blamed on climate change. In California, more than eight thousand major fires broke out, their number and intensity a marked increase on what is normally seen there. Justin Rowlatt witnessed the resulting devastation, but says that amidst the burned out ruins, people were still holding out hope of recovery and reconstruction.There was plenty of destruction in 2021 that did not come from nature, war continuing to take its toll in many parts of the world. Ethiopia and Yemen were perhaps the worst examples, but there were also small-scale conflicts, like the insurgency in Myanmar. Then there were the conflicts which never really went away, like that between Israel and the Palestinians. An exchange of rocket fire with Gaza back in May, along with Israeli airstrikes, left more than two hundred dead, the overwhelming majority on the Palestinian side. When Tom Bateman went to Gaza, he met a woman trying to restart her life as a sculptor.The Coronavirus has been described as offering a lesson in humility, a challenge to our belief in humanity’s power to control and manage the world around us. This tiny, sub-microscopic string of rogue DNA, has led to death on a scale most will not have experienced in their lifetime. At the same time though, vaccines and anti-viral drugs have been developed in response to Covid, which use new technologies that promise cures for other diseases in future. Rajini Vaidyanathan saw some of the worst of Covid, reporting from India where hundreds of thousands died, perhaps more than a million. But while off duty recently, she found herself struck by the effects of one individual death, in a place very familiar to her.People often talk about climate change in terms of future trouble ahead: rising sea levels, and crops no longer able to thrive. In the Pacific island nation of Fiji, whole villages have already had to be evacuated, because of current weather conditions, and what that weather is expected to do in the years ahead. Many Fijians traditionally have a strong attachment to the land they live on, so moving from their homes presents a challenge that goes way beyond mere inconvenience. When Megha Mohan visited, she found local people trying hard to retain a sense of connection to their original homes.Despite Covid, climate change, and all the other challenges which humanity faces, many remain optimistic that normal life can continue or be restored, or perhaps that something new, and better can emerge from the ashes of the old. In fact, according to Marnie Chesterton, most people are predisposed to have an optimistic outlook, and to believe there are solutions to the challenges we face.
01/01/2229m 5s

Turkey's Cost of Living CrisisTurkey's Cost of Living Crisis

What is it like to spend years saving up your money, and then watch as its value rapidly declines? Or to have a pension which no longer pays for even your basic needs? Inflation in Turkey is soaring, with some estimates putting the annual rate at fifty percent. The Covid pandemic has meant that prices are rising around the world, but Turkey's particularly high figure has led some to blame the unorthodox economic policies of the country’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ayla Jean Yackley visited an Istanbul market to hear more.When our correspondent in Colombia contracted Covid, he assumed he would get the medical treatment he needed; after all, he did have health insurance. However, that was not how it turned out, and in the process, Matthew Charles got a first-hand picture of how things work in the Colombian healthcare system: who gets the help they need, and why it is they who get it.Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, has a problem with street prostitution, in the sense that prostitutes and clients sometimes have sex actually in the street, or else they end up going back to the client's homes, where the women may not be safe. As a way of tackling this, the city’s sex workers are now being offered a new place to see their clients: in the back of a van. Linda Pressly was invited to see how this works.Conspiracy theorists are hard to argue with, as any fact offered to challenge their world view can be dismissed as a lie of the mainstream media. So when Stephanie Hegarty travelled to the US to meet adherents of the “QAnon” theory, she did not expect to change their minds. These are people who believe there is an international, underground sex ring, linked to senior world leaders with a secret fondness for worshipping the devil. However, she was surprised at the details of QAnon beliefs, and the tenacity with which supporters cling to them.We are all probably aware of the lasting effect that children’s books can have. Stories discovered in our early years may stay with us for the rest of our lives, so too the pictures and plots. Our Paris Correspondent, Hugh Schofield has long held a candle for Caroline, the bold little girl who featured in a long-running series of French children's books dating back to the 1950s. So it was a great surprise when he had the chance to actually meet her.
18/12/2128m 54s

Madagascar: The Threat of Starvation

Madagascar is the second largest island nation in the world, yet quietly, largely unreported, its people are falling into starvation. 1.3 million are already suffering what’s called “severe food insecurity,” with the United Nations warning of worse to come. The World Food Programme says climate change is at the root of the problem, while others blame poverty and government mismanagement. Catherine Byaruhanga visited the stricken villages.They are still finding dead bodies on the borderland between Poland and Belarus, a few of the thousands who tried to cross over, most of them originally from the Middle East. Poland was accused of breaking international law when it refused to let them in. and at least a dozen died from hypothermia while trapped between the two countries. Lucy Ash has found that the crisis also left some of the border guards themselves suffering psychological damage, from what proved to be a traumatic experience.It is never great to lose an election, particularly if you happen to be in power at the time. However, the President of Honduras faces a more serious reversal of fortune than most politicians. Juan Orlando Hernandez was not actually on the ballot paper, but one of his political allies was, and he lost. This means not only will Mr Hernandez leave the Presidential Palace, he may also be extradited to the United States on drugs charges, as he no longer enjoys the protection of public office. Meanwhile the woman who won the election is promising a fresh start for the country, prompting wild celebrations, which Will Grant was there to see.Keeping children safe from Covid has been a major challenge throughout the pandemic, but that does not just mean protecting them from the disease itself; relatively few get seriously ill from the Coronavirus. The question for many has been how to keep children's lives as normal as possible - continuing their education, and bringing them up in an era where parents are at home instead of going out to work, where people wear masks, and many are dying. Laura Trevelyan has three children who she’s raising in New York, and has been looking at the pandemic's effect on them and their fellow junior New Yorkers.Plenty of people have pointless items stuck in an attic, or at the back of a cupboard, things they know deep down they will never use, and rarely even look at, yet somehow cannot throw away. Colin Freeman has spent the past couple of decades working as a foreign correspondent, and those years of roaming the globe have left him with some highly unusual keepsakes.
11/12/2128m 44s

Sleepless in Seoul: South Korea’s Exhausted Workforce

This year's surprise international television success is the dystopian South Korean series, Squid Game, which imagines people competing in a series of ever more violent contests, hundreds dying along the way. The show is a shameless satire on the cut-throat competitiveness of ordinary South Korean life; some characters explicitly state they are taking part in the tournament because it is no worse than how they were living anyway. When Chloe Hadjimatheou went to South Korea recently, she could see what the programme’s creators were getting at.It is not just the death toll in Ethiopia that is so disturbing but also the manner by which many people are dying: civilians have been murdered in ethnically-based violence, while others have starved. Both sides have accused the other of committing atrocities, while denying any carried out by their own people. This war-of-words is being played out on social media with just as much fervour as the physical war on the ground. Our correspondent, Andrew Harding, found himself caught in the middle.Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme were never going to be easy, but the two sides cannot even agree how to start. China, Russia, the UK and US are among those with teams in Vienna, hoping to persuade Iran to stop what they believe is an attempt to develop nuclear weapons. That would mean they cease enriching uranium towards the level required to make a warhead or bomb. However, the Iranians don't want to discuss this until sanctions imposed on their country are lifted. James Landale warns this presents a serious challenge to the chances of a deal being reached.Nobody is sure who first came up with the suggestion that one could “See Naples and die.” Nor is it even clear whether that counts as a recommendation or a warning. But if the quote caught on, that is perhaps because it sums up the dark associations many have with the biggest city in Italy’s deep south: less economically developed than its northern counterparts, and affected by all kinds of travails, from earthquakes to mafia violence. The neighbourhood of Sanita is among the city's most deprived, but locals have used a famous church there as the centre for a whole series of regeneration programmes. Mark Stratton was shown around.There are still question marks over how Christmas will be celebrated this year – whether new restrictions might need to be imposed, because of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, or even a lockdown. In some countries though, it was already clear long ago that the Christmas period would provide little opportunity for celebrating. In Venezuela, three quarters of the population are now living in extreme poverty, living on less than two pounds a day. Yet as Katy Watson explains, Venezuelans do really like Christmas, and are making greats effort to mark the festive season, even with their circumstances so straitened.
04/12/2128m 46s

Anti-Lockdown Protests Hit The Netherlands

History has long seen people protest against government-imposed restrictions, designed to stem pandemics. Meanwhile, opposition to vaccination is as old as vaccination itself. Yet anyone who thought rioting in the face of disease was something consigned to the distant past has had a rude awakening this week. There have been violent protests in Austria and Belgium in response to new Covid-related restrictions. However. the most bitter street battles were seen in The Netherlands, where police at one point fired live rounds. Anna Holligan was there.Ever since the coronavirus first appeared, it has caused social division: between those in favour of and against lockdown, or pro and anti-vaccination, and also between those able to carry on working and those who could not. Yet these splits came at a time when many believe the world was already increasingly polarised, and there were signs of that in Chile this week, where the first round of presidential elections were held. Centrist candidates were eliminated, and the two front runners who got through to the next round are a man who defends some aspects of the military dictatorship let by General Pinochet, and another whose critics accuse of having Communist leanings. Jane Chambers says this has happened partly because many Chilean voters seem to have their minds on the past.While Chile may be split along political lines, the split in Cyprus is geographical. Turkey invaded the island in 1974, leaving it divided between a mainly Turkish speaking part, and one where most are ethnically Greek. However, Cyprus has a third, far smaller community: Maronite Christians, whose ancestors arrived from the Middle East many centuries ago. Adelle Kalakouti grew up in one of the Maronite Christian villages, and says their future is now at risk.Plenty of autocratic leaders have attempted to hand over power to their children, but The Philippines seems to be taking this one step further; two politicians' offspring are attempting to win power on a joint ticket. Presidential elections will be held in The Philippines next year, and one man who has just announced his candidacy is Bongbong Marcos, son of the country’s former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. Meanwhile, his running mate, standing for Vice President, is Sara Duterte, whose father, Rodrigo Duterte is The Philippines current President. Howard Johnson has been trying to understand why these family familiars remain popular.When the writer, Tishani Doshi accepted a temporary academic post in Abu Dhabi, she did not expect to end up helping refugees there. But Abu Dhabi has taken in more than eight thousand Afghans, who fled when the Taliban took over their country. One day, Tishani got a call, asking if she could lend them a hand.
27/11/2128m 49s

The Desperation of Asylum Seekers on Poland's Border

During the Cold War, the border between NATO countries and the Soviet bloc was heavily fortified, each side fearing the other might one day roll across it in their tanks. Since then, alliances have shifted, and Poland is now firmly within the western military ambit. But that means it is also on the front line in what some call a new Cold War, facing Belarus, a staunch ally of Russia. And these days, Poland is not worrying about tanks crossing any time soon, but people: the asylum seekers who were mustered on the Belarus side. As Nick Beak explains, most seemed desperate to cross over.There have been several thousand attempts by asylum seekers to cross into Poland from Belarus. Compare that figure to the situation in Turkey, which now plays host to four million people who fled there, most of them escaping the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Turkey and its President won international praise for accepting these new arrivals, and devoted considerable resources to providing them with food and housing. However, it seems the mood is changing. Ayla Jean Yackley says Turks are now ever less willing to see money spent on helping refugees, when their country’s own economy is in poor shape.The United States plays host to a wide variety of wild animals, such as grizzly bears, alligators and rattle snakes. It was once also home to millions of wild turkeys, a bird seen almost as a symbol of the US, as it is eaten each year for the Thanksgiving Festival. The wild turkey population had declined in recent decades, but a concerted conservation effort has restored some of this lost population. However, Alice Hutton says the birds are now causing havoc in some American cities.Libya might soon be ruled over by President Gadhafi - not that the late Colonel Gadhafi has been restored to life, nor did it turn out that his death was faked. But Libya is holding presidential elections next month, and among the candidates are one Saif Al Islam Gadhafi, Muammar Gadhafi’s son. He was one of his father’s more strident supporters, and the fact that he is being taken seriously says much about Libya today, according to Orla Guerin.The coronavirus outbreak and its lockdowns have meant isolation for many people, but few have been affected like sailors in the Royal Navy. They are accustomed to being cut off, being away at sea for long periods. However, with many countries closed to visitors, sailors have no longer been able even to enjoy shore leave the way they did previously, as Hannah King found when she visited one of Britain’s newest aircraft carriers.
20/11/2128m 55s

The Battle for Ethiopia

Kate Adie presents reporters' despatches from Ethiopia, the Cop26 climate summit, Switzerland, Georgia and Brazil.The conflict in Ethiopia has left the country's northern Tigray region largely cut off, with millions facing starvation. Among the many combatants now on manoeuvres are the “Oromo Liberation Army” – the Oromo being a people who live mostly in the centre and south of the country. Catherine Byaruhanga was given a rare invitation to meet them.Ethiopia is one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change - the subject of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow. Among those attending were the BBC’s David Shukman, a veteran of ten previous Cops, and someone who has watched at close hand the long battle to see the dangers of climate change.The ski industry is already preparing for warmer temperatures, with predictions that the snow at many resorts will regularly melt, or never form in the first place. So what can these resorts do to stay in business? Simon Mills reports from Switzerland.After former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was smuggled back into the country, and then chucked in prison, he went on a hunger strike leading to protests in the street. What exactly is happening is still unclear, but then Rayhan Demytrie says that when it comes to Saakashvili, it has always been hard to separate myth from reality.The pandemic meant that Sao Paulo's bars and restaurants were forced to shut – and yet there was one kind of food outlet which was permitted to say open, deemed an essential part of Brazilian life. They are called lanchonetes, local eateries with a tradition going back more than a hundred years. Andrew Downie explains why he is a lanchonete fan.
13/11/2128m 47s

A Cup of Tea with the Taliban Neighbours

The news from Afghanistan is ever more dire. Twenty three million people are at risk of starvation, according to the World Food Programme, a fate which gets ever nearer as winter approaches. For international donors and aid agencies, this presents an acute dilemma: whether or not to work with the Afghan authorities to try to solve this crisis. To do so might require handing over food and other supplies to the Taliban government, a regime which no country even recognises. That is because nobody is quite sure just what kind of rulers the Taliban will be. Since they took over in August, there have been reports of brutality, which in some cases meant the cold-blooded murder of people who were seen as Taliban opponents. Yet there have not been the kind of mass atrocities which many feared. Visiting Kabul, Andrew North has found a variety of attitudes among the Taliban members he’s come across, and they include his next