The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

By BBC World Service

A window into our world, through in-depth storytelling from the BBC. Investigating, reporting and uncovering true stories from everywhere. Award-winning journalism, unheard voices, amazing culture and global issues.

From far-right voters in Europe, to the last Christians of Gaza, to the rise of the Myanmar resistance, to the Three Million mini-series on the Bengal Famine, The Documentary investigates major global stories.

We delve into social media, take you into the minds of the world’s most creative people and explore personal approaches to spirituality. Every week, we also bring together people from around the globe to discuss how news stories are affecting their lives.

A new episode most days, all year round. From our BBC World Service teams at: Assignment, Heart and Soul, In the Studio, OS Conversations, The Fifth Floor and Trending.

Episodes

In the Studio: Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has twice been named the world’s best restaurant. Situated in Bottura’s hometown of Modena, a place renowned for racing cars and balsamic vinegar, the triple Michelin-starred establishment blends traditional Italian cooking with a truly avant-garde sense of design and creativity. Bottura is the leader of the culinary movement that sees food as edible art. Food journalist and cookbook author Emiko Davies spends a weekend in Modena with Bottura and his restauranteur wife Lara Gilmore.
22/07/2426m 26s

The Romani holocaust: An unfinished history

The destruction of the Roma by the Nazi state and allies and their subsequent post war fate is little understood and still being written. Historian Celia Donert tells the story of this forgotten holocaust and explores its contested memory and legacy.
21/07/2449m 26s

The Fifth Floor: From Paris to the world, Olympics 2024

What is it like to cover such a globally significant sporting event such as the Olympic Games? We've invited three of our Fifth Floor colleagues to discuss what the Olympics means to their audiences and to tell us about some of the lesser known stories behind this year's games. Joining us are Celestine Korey from BBC Sports Africa, based in Nairobi and Pooria Jefereh from BBC Persian, who are both heading to Paris for the games. We'll also hear from BBC Uzbek’s Firuz Rahimi who has spent the past few years following the incredible story of two sisters from Afghanistan who'll represent their country in the cycling despite the road to geting there being anything but smooth. (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
20/07/2426m 44s

BBC OS Conversations: After the attempted assassination of Donald Trump

The former President, with his face bloodied, surrounded by Secret Service agents, the American flag behind him, his fist in the air defiant – how much will that image change the United States? This is the focus of our conversations in this week’s edition of the programme. We bring together witnesses to the shooting in Pennsylvania and hear from people at this week’s Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, supporters with tears in their eyes and bandages on their ears, show their love for Donald Trump.
20/07/2423m 10s

Heart and Soul: Georgia's maverick Bishop and his peace cathedral

In Tbilisi, Georgia, a radical experiment in interfaith relations is taking place. The Peace Project is one of the world’s first to bring a mosque, synagogue, church, and other places of worship together under one roof. Sounds of Muslim prayer, Shabbat services, and Georgian hymns fill the air as worshippers from different faiths mingle and break bread in the communal Hall of Abraham. The project is the brainchild of Malkhaz Songulashvili, a maverick Bishop of Georgia’s Evangelical-Baptist Church, and is attracting attention from religious leaders around the world.
19/07/2426m 30s

Instagram's fake guru

Former Brazilian model, wellness influencer and spiritual life coach Kat Torres was an inspiration and a lifeline to women all over the world. More than a million people on Instagram followed her extraordinary career trajectory from extreme poverty in Brazil, to a European modelling career and a life of luxury in the US. But behind the perfectly curated posts is a story of witchcraft, sexual exploitation and human trafficking; a dark and secretive sorority that led to missing women and sent their families and the FBI on a desperate search to find them. After months of investigations, a team from BBC Eye and BBC News Brasil uncover a wellness empire built on half-truths and lies. For the documentary Hannah Price tells the story of her enslaved followers and the heavy price they paid. And for the first time - in a surreal confrontation behind the walls of a Brazilian prison - we hear from the self-proclaimed “guru” who exerted absolute control.
18/07/2426m 29s

Assignment: A slogan and a land, part two

In this second part of his journey from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Israel, reporter Tim Whewell continues his exploration of the physical and human reality behind the slogan “From the River to the Sea”, a phrase which creates intense controversy. Tim descends from the high ridge of the West Bank hills to the Israeli Mediterranean coast at Herzlia, known for its beaches and high-tech industry – and then continues along the sea, to end his journey at the ruined ancient city of Caesarea. He encounters a Palestinian dry stone waller, an Israeli hairdresser, and then, crossing into Israel, he talks to Jewish Israelis including teachers, activists and a journalist – and to Palestinian citizens of Israel. What future do all these people hope for?This programme was edited on 19th July 2024.
17/07/2446m 57s

Assignment: A slogan and a land, part one

Since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas last year, the cry “From the River to the Sea” has been heard more and more as a pro-Palestinian slogan. But what river? What sea? And what exactly does the phrase mean? It is the subject of intense controversy. Reporter Tim Whewell travels from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, across a tiny stretch of land – just over an hour by car if you don’t stop - that is perhaps the most argued-over in the world. He goes from the Jordan, through the Israeli settlement of Argaman, the Palestinian herding community of al-Farisiyah and the Palestinian village of Duma, ending up at the Israeli settlement of Shilo. What do people in those places think now and do they have any hope for the future?
17/07/2439m 56s

Assignment: The child rescue con

Project Rescue Children claims to save children from trafficking and abuse across the world, but the BBC has uncovered evidence of false and misleading social media posts. The charity's director, Adam Whittington, has raised thousands of pounds from sponsors and donors. But the BBC’s Hayley Mortimer has found that unsuspecting children are being used as props, and the rescue centres have no children. Project Rescue Children rejects the BBC's findings and says its work has benefitted hundreds of children worldwide.
16/07/2426m 35s

In the Studio: Anchi Lin (Ciwas Tahos)

Inspired by a story told to her by an Indigenous elder, Taipei-based artist Anchi Lin, also known by her Atayal name Ciwas Tahos, is working on a new multi-media installation. Anchi has dedicated her research and creative work to exploring the Indigenous space of Temahahoi, a place where queer, gender non-conforming people lived and could communicate with bees, who were also their protection from approaching intruders. Combining new technology, handmade ceramics and traditional bee chasing skills, Anchi Lin celebrates her Indigenous culture and identity in her work.
15/07/2426m 29s

The Fifth Floor: The reality of conscription

Hundreds of thousands of men are currently fighting for Ukraine, and the army needs yet more soldiers. We speak to three BBC Ukrainian colleagues about the way this is changing the country, and how it's viewed by Ukrainians. Daria Taradai and Ilona Hromliuk join us from Kyiv, and Anastasiya Zanuda joins us from Warsaw. (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
13/07/2426m 51s

BBC OS Conversations: Voters in Britain and France

People in both the UK and France have voted for change in snap elections, sending a signal that they are unhappy with many aspects of their lives. To get a sense of why people voted the way they did, host James Reynolds takes a mini tour of towns and cities across the UK. In Bradford, a city in the north of England, he meets Anna who wanted equal opportunities and voters in the town of Worthing on England’s south coast, which has just elected its first ever Labour MP. Pam and Mike tell us about the challenges they have experienced since Brexit, when Britain left the European Union. We also visit a café and shop in the port town of Dover, and we end our journey, across the English Channel in France.
13/07/2423m 10s

Heart and Soul: How should I remember Mum in Islam?

The BBC's Rahila Bano, explains why her family decided to break with the Muslim tradition of a congregational prayer reading for her mother after she passed away. Instead she decided to concentrate on one of the five pillars of Islam - to give alms or charity and on her mother's wishes to focus on those who are poor and in need. Rahila spoke to her sister about it for the first time since her mum’s death. She also spoke to a friend who lost her mother about why she decided to organise a prayer gathering in her mother's memory and to an Islamic scholar who says  “khatams” are not really part of Islam
12/07/2426m 26s

Shaken goalposts

Football rarely stops in Turkey, but when two earthquakes causes tens of thousands to die in the south-east region of the country early in 2023, even the passionately followed Super Lig top division is suspended. Hatayspor - a team from the league - loses its star player Christian Atsu to the rubble of a collapsed building. Its home city of Antakya is all but wiped from the map. A year later, football writer James Montague travels to his home nation of Turkey to tell the story of the indomitable club's improbable, and symbolic fight to survive in the aftermath of the disaster.
11/07/2426m 28s

Trending: The scammers who make you kidnap yourself

It is one of the most bizarre crimes of our times. Con men posing as police officers are forcing Chinese students to fake their own kidnapping. Elaine Chong reports on the extremes to which criminals will go to make money from their victims. The scammers trick Chinese people studying abroad into believing that they are wanted for crimes back in their homeland, and that they must hand over large sums of money to avoid repercussions for them or their family. When the students can no longer meet the escalating demands they are told to fake their own kidnapping so the fake police can seek a ransom from their relatives back in China.
10/07/2419m 8s

In the Studio: Wendy Sharpe

In a new exhibition Wendy breaks conventions, painting on walls and installing herself in the gallery, becoming part of the art. Wendy Sharpe is an multi-award winning Australian artist working on a new exhibition Spellbound for the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. In this exhibition she breaks all the rules, by painting directly onto walls, hanging works upside down or touching and installing not only her studio in this museum, but also herself, as she paints a mural directly on the wall in front of the public. Regina Botros joins her as she works towards this immersive, labyrinth-like exhibition, where the lines between art and artist are blurred.
09/07/2426m 31s

Assignment: Cry witch - take my land, take my life

In a coastal region of eastern Kenya at least one elderly person is being killed every week – in the name of witchcraft. There are violent attacks on people accused of being witches across much of Africa. But, according to human rights groups, the seventy or so murders every year in Kilifi County are about more than fear of the supernatural. For Assignment, Njeri Nwangi from BBC Africa Eye investigates the real motives behind these brutal attacks and the impunity that enables them. She meets victims, relatives and perpetrators. Listeners might find some of the details in this programme upsetting. Archive: ‘Witches’ Burnt in Kenya, NTD News
08/07/2426m 28s

Three Million: 7. Live show

The BBC’s Yogita Limaye speaks to Kavita Puri, the creator and presenter of Three Million, to explore how the series was made, and how she went about tracking down eye-witnesses to the Bengal Famine of 1943. They are joined by author and historian Srimanjari and ‘memory collector’ Sailen Sarkar, who recorded testimonies of the very last survivors of the famine. Together they explore the legacy of the Bengal famine, and why its memory is still so fraught today. A special episode recorded with an audience at the India International Centre in New Delhi.
07/07/2449m 42s

The Fifth Floor: Can climate change stories be cool?

A virtual tour of Brazil's giant ravines, the radio shows helping Maasai people to protect their land and a real life Squid Game in South Korea: how BBC journalists around the world are finding new and engaging ways to cover climate change stories. Featuring Carol Olona and Shin Suzuki, Caroline Mwende and Suhnwook Lee. Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson. (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
06/07/2426m 32s

BBC OS Conversations: Kenya’s Gen Z protesters

Like many countries, Kenya is struggling with a cost of living crisis and how to balance the books. The government’s answer was a plan to raise taxes, in what was called the Finance Bill, and this created a spark for protests across the country. According to estimates by the state-funded rights commission, 39 people have been killed in those demonstrations. Parliament was set on fire and hundreds were arrested. Many of those protesters are in their 20s, from what is known as Generation Z. Ultimately, President Ruto said he would not go ahead with tax increases, and he would listen to the country’s youth - but the protests continue. Host James Reynolds brings together several Gen Z protesters to discuss what is making them so angry.
06/07/2423m 2s

Bonus: The Global Story - Keir Starmer: Who is the UK's new prime minister

In a bonus episode of The Global Story podcast - A historic loss for the conservatives ushers in a new era in British politics.The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC World Service. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.On Thursday, voters in the UK delivered a decisive political verdict. Keir Starmer became the new Prime Minister, as the Labour party won a landslide victory. The Conservatives, who have run Britain for 14 years, suffered the worst election defeat in their long history. So, who is Keir Starmer? And can his party deliver the change the people voted for?Lucy Hockings speaks to Rob Watson - the BBC World Service's UK Political Correspondent. He explains how the Labour majority will command a huge majority in the House of Commons, but not necessarily the same level of support among the public.This episode was made by Richard Moran, Alix Pickles, Peter Goffin and Eleanor Sly. The technical producers were Ricardo McCarthy. The assistant editor is Sergi Forcada Freixas and the senior news editor is Sam Bonham.
05/07/2427m 56s

Heart and Soul: Journey to Sepharad

Sepharad is the Hebrew word for Spain and Jews who trace their ancestry there are called Sephardic Jews. Five hundred years ago they were expelled from Spain. Their exile created new communities stretching from Brazil to Amsterdam to Istanbul and today, Israel. It is a culture filled with food and songs of longing for a homeland. Michael Goldfarb goes on a journey from the past to the present in search of Sepharad.
05/07/2426m 29s

Suicide's silent survivors

In many countries around the world, trying to take your own life is still a criminal offence. People who have attempted suicide are often put in prison and deep-rooted religious beliefs and cultural attitudes are often behind the criminalisation laws. Journalist Ashley Byrne looks into Malawi where people face jail sentences of up to two years and Bangladesh and Kenya who have been arrested, beaten up and faced problems rebuilding their lives. Ashley (whose partner tried to take his own life twice) also speaks to mental health specialists in countries which have recently changed the law like Singapore and Pakistan. He hears how despite decriminalisation stigma around suicide prevails.
04/07/2426m 40s

Trending: Scammed by the fake Chinese police

Chinese people around the world are being targeted by a scam in which conmen posing as police, trick them into believing they are wanted for a crime back in China. Victims are threatened with extradition to China unless they hand over “bail” money. In the first of a two-part investigation into Chinese police impersonation scams, Elaine Chong speaks to Helen, a British Chinese woman who handed over her life savings. The gang convinced Helen they were genuine police by faking documents and creating the impression they were calling her from a police station.
03/07/2418m 47s

Assignment: Loving, living and dying together in the Netherlands

Els and Jan have fewer than three days left on Earth. Childhood sweethearts who met in kindergarten more than six decades ago, they know precisely when they will die. And how. On an early summer’s Monday morning they will travel to a nearby hospice. Some of their family and friends will accompany them. And then precisely at 10.30am - holding hands, they hope - two doctors will administer lethal medication to each of them.In the Netherlands, euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal if someone is suffering unbearably with no prospect of getting better. The suffering can be physical or psychological. Els was diagnosed with dementia. Jan lived with pain 24/7.Last year, 33 Dutch couples chose to die like Els and Jan. And in February, one of the Netherlands’ former Prime Ministers ended his life by euthanasia together with his wife. For Assignment, Linda Pressly meets Els and Jan as they prepare for the end. And she explores the complex issue of allowing euthanasia in cases of dementia. A warning: some listeners might find the content of this documentary upsetting.
01/07/2427m 31s

In the Studio: Baek Mi-kyoung

Script writer Baek Mi-kyoung has pioneered female narratives on Korean television, putting women front and centre of acclaimed dramas like Mine and The Lady in Dignity. Seven years ago, her K-drama Strong Girl Bong-soon was a huge success. Audiences fell in love with this rom-com about a cute girl with supernatural strength. / Next, Baek wanted to create an all-action multigenerational female superhero series. But would the budget match her ambitions? Vibeke Venema meets her as the series, Strong Girl Nam-soon, is going to air - and the all-important TV ratings are coming in.
01/07/2426m 27s

Bonus: What in the World - Why are so many young people leaving Nigeria?

Nigeria is Africa’s economic powerhouse - so why are so many young people trying to leave and find opportunities in other countries? It’s become so common there’s even a word for it: Japa, Yoruba for escape.Last year, Nigeria’s immigration service issued a record number of passports - almost 2 million.So when we were in Lagos we spoke to the BBC’s Faith Oshoko, who explained what drives young professionals to move abroad.And we chatted to students - would they ever Japa? And would they come back?To find out more of what is going on in the world search for "What in the World" wherever you get your BBC Podcasts.
30/06/2416m 38s

The Fifth Floor: India's deadliest scam

Instant loan apps promise easy money. But what's the catch? Investigative reporter Poonam Agarwal and filmmaker Ronny Sen take us behind the scenes of their award-winning documentary The Trap: Inside the blackmail scam destroying lives across India.This programme contains discussion of suicide and suicide attempts. If you feel affected by this topic, you could speak to a health professional or an organisation that offers support. Details of help available in many countries can be found at: www.befrienders.orgProduced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson. (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
29/06/2421m 29s

BBC OS Conversations: Hajj pilgrims

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, is something millions of people look forward to as an immensely spiritual experience. A main pillar of Islam, Muslims try to do it at least once in their lives, if they are physically and financially able. Saudi Arabia says 1.8 million people took part in Hajj this year. It coincided with a heatwave where temperatures reached more than 50C. Some 1,300 people died, many of those due to the intense heat. Three Muslims - from Kenya, the United States and Saudi Arabia – share their experiences of Hajj, including spiritual enlightenment, overcrowding, bereavement and sexual harassment.
29/06/2424m 32s

Saint Sara: Patron saint of the Romani people

Roma photographer Artúr Čonka joins the annual Romani pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the south of France. Thousands of Romani from across western Europe gather in the small town in Provence each year to honour their patron saint, Sara-la-Kâli, who represents motherly love, is a protector of the oppressed, and is even said to help couples conceive. It is Artúr's first time on the pilgrimage and is keen to uncover the legends behind this enigmatic saint and what she represents to the Romani community today. The streets are packed with musicians playing rumba, flamenco and manouche jazz. Artúr meets writer and scrap metal dealer Kerensa Smith, film-maker and journalist Jake Bowers and Dutch pilgrim Kali Van Esch who has been coming every year since she was a baby.
28/06/2428m 16s

The West Indies’ first black captain: Sir Frank Worrell

The brilliant cricketer Frank Worrell became the first permanent Black captain of the West Indies team in 1960 – but he had to wait for a decade to get the job, denied by the elitism, insularity and racism of Caribbean cricket's rulers. BBC producer and cricket author Simon Lister travels to Barbados to find out how Worrell's upbringing, his cricketing adventures and his determination not to be cowed by the powers that ran island cricket, shaped a man who changed the West Indian game for ever. Simon Lister also considers Frank Worrell's legacy for today, speaking to Ebony Rainford-Brent, England's women's first Black cricketer who discovered that she had a unique connection to Frank Worrell that changed her life. ***This programme contains outdated and discriminatory language***
27/06/2428m 32s

Trending: The American pushing Russian disinformation

The websites have names like DC Weekly and Chicago Crier. They are filled with thousands of legitimate-looking stories, plucked from real news websites and rewritten by artificial intelligence. But BBC Trending has found that these sites are part of a wide-ranging operation designed to insert false stories into political debates, over Ukraine and now gradually shifting to the US election campaign. One of the people involved is John Dougan, a former Florida police officer now living in Moscow. Online evidence links him to the network of sites, which reference American cities and are populated by fake journalists. Experts believe they are part of a wide effort to influence American public opinion in advance of November’s presidential election.
26/06/2417m 42s

Assignment: Germany’s AI detectives

In late 2023 a group of German journalists released a podcast series, Legion: Most Wanted. It described their ultimately unsuccessful search for a terrorist suspect, Daniela Klette, using an AI facial recognition tool. She had been on the run for more than 30 years, together with two accomplices. The trio are believed by the police to have been members of the Red Army Faction, the RAF, an anti-imperialist terrorist group, often referred to as the Baader Meinhof gang. The RAF claimed responsibility in the late 1980s and early 1990s for the assassination of a number of prominent Germans. None of these crimes has ever been cleared up.
25/06/2426m 34s

In the Studio: Hanna Harris

Hanna Harris is Helsinki’s chief design officer and the second person in the job since the role was created in 2016. But why does a city need a chief design officer? And, what can design do to boost wellbeing? Erika Benke joins Hanna as she searches for new pioneering opportunities that have the potential to change people’s lives. They visit a vast decommissioned power plant, inviting local people to share their views on how to give an industrial facility that has served its purpose, a new lease of life. They also go to an old playground that is about to be transformed into a new themed playground where children can learn about computing, algorithms and AI. As Hanna travels a cross the city, we hear her plotting, planning and exploring ideas and infecting others with her passion for design.
24/06/2426m 29s

The Global Jigsaw: The evolution of the Islamic State Group

After a lull in activities, in 2024 the Islamic State Group claimed to be behind several major attacks, showing the world they have not gone away. Among them was the storming by gunmen of a Moscow concert hall. Ten years after the Islamist extremists declared the establishment of a caliphate, our Jihadist Media Monitoring Team considers the current capabilities and ambitions of the group that once ruled over a large territory in Iraq and Syria. Producer: Kriszta Satori Presenter: Krassi Twigg
23/06/2437m 41s

Alvin Hall's other America

Writer Alvin Hall returns to Wakulla County, Florida, the world he grew up in, to shed light on the political present and share a haunting portrait of a disappearing way of life. It has long been deeply rural, a place of unspoilt wilderness and incredible natural beauty. But it has also been a place with a violent history of racial segregation and oppression. But change is coming. Since Alvin’s last visit almost 10 years ago, unprecedented development has swept the county and it seems as if decades of racial division might really be starting to wear away. Is this really the beginning of the end?
23/06/2449m 26s

The Fifth Floor: Is Islamic State still a threat?

10 years ago, IS proclaimed the creation of an Islamic State or Caliphate in Iraq and Syria. They went on to dominate headlines for years, committing terrible attacks and atrocities in the Middle East and beyond. Despite losing territory in 2019, the group still exists and is active in many countries around the world. Jihadist media specialist Mina Al-Lami analyses IS' most recent activities and the threats posed by them and other militant groups.Produced by Caroline Ferguson and Alice Gioia.(Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
22/06/2427m 0s

BBC OS Conversations: National service

The war in Ukraine has contributed to a heightened awareness of security in parts of Europe, and in some countries, the reintroduction of different forms of national service has become a debate once again. In the UK, the ruling Conservative party has promised a system of national service if re-elected. In Italy too, deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has introduced a controversial bill to bring back mandatory military service. In Germany, the defence minister has presented a proposal for selective military service focused on volunteers to boost its depleted armed forces. Our conversations in this edition bring people together who have completed national service in some form.
22/06/2423m 11s

The Antarctic Midwinter Broadcast 2024

This special programme is dedicated to the team of scientists and support staff isolated at British research stations in the Antarctic midwinter. For the staff living at three British Antarctic Survey research stations (Rothera, Bird Island and South Georgia), and at other national bases across the frozen continent, midwinter is a special time. With no sunlight, Antarctica is at its coldest and those stationed on the frozen continent face months of total isolation. Midwinter celebrations at the British research stations include a feast, exchange of presents, watching the 1982 horror film The Thing (where an alien monster terrorises an Antarctic base) and listening - on short wave - to the BBC’s Midwinter Broadcast. Presenter Cerys Matthews features messages from family and friends at home, as well as music requests from Antarctica.
21/06/2434m 27s

Ukraine to Korea

Over 800 ethnically-Korean refugees fled Ukraine for Koryo Village in South Korea’s Gwangju province following Russia’s invasion. Many Koryoin are women and children who escaped Ukraine when male family members were drafted. Some have secured legal status and jobs, while others await document processing. They are descendants of Koreans who fled to the Soviet Union during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Journalist So Jeong Lee visits the village, observing new arrivals and a school where children learn Korean. But recent elections have led to new government policies which will impact the Koryoin.
20/06/2426m 30s

Trending: Colombia’s guerrilla recruitment video problem

Fighters from dissident armed groups in Colombia are using TikTok to glorify their lives as guerrillas and recruit youngsters. These armed groups did not like the terms of a peace treaty negotiated between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government in 2016, and they kept fighting against the Colombian government. Videos glorifying life inside the guerrilla: money, cars, guns, women, community and purpose, have struck a chord with teens, particularly in rural areas like the Cauca region in west Colombia. So how popular are these TikToks and what does it mean for Colombia?
19/06/2418m 36s

Assignment: Decolonising Russia

Is Russia Europe’s last empire? Is its invasion of Ukraine a “colonial war”? Is “decolonising” the country the only way of ensuring it stops being a threat to its neighbours and world peace?Since last year, “decolonising Russia” has become a buzz-phrase in Ukraine and other former members of the soviet union, among many Western strategists and politicians, Russian studies experts – and Russia’s own liberal opposition and ethnic minorities.And that’s triggered a vigorous debate about whether the term “decolonisation” is really relevant to Russia – and what it means. Is it about challenging the “imperial mindset” of its rulers – and perhaps of every ordinary Russian? Or perhaps it means dismembering the country itself?In “Assignment: Decolonising Russia” Tim Whewell dissects a new and vital controversy with the help of historians, policy makers and activists in the former Soviet Union, the West and the Global South.
18/06/2427m 31s

In the Studio: Nazanin Moradi

For artist Nazanin Moradi, who was brought up in Iran where women are “second-class citizens in every sense,” reversing the “unfair” gender roles is paramount. In her new project, the multidisciplinary artist challenges male domination and toxic masculinity, within a fragmented historical context where fantasy meets rebellion. She does this by changing the narrative of ancient Mesopotamian mythology, fixating on the legendary battle where the supremely powerful dragon goddess of oceans Tiamat, was killed by the storm god Marduk. Sahar Zand spends time with Nazanin as she embarks on the ambitious project.
17/06/2426m 29s

Three Million: 6. Silk scarves

Eighty years ago at least three million Indians, who were British subjects, died in the Bengal Famine. But today different generations in Britain are coming to terms with this difficult past. Kavita Puri meets Susannah Herbert the granddaughter of Sir John Herbert, the governor of Bengal, who is only just learning about her grandfather's role in the famine. Initially she feels shame, but discoveries in her family archive change her perspective. A 97 year-old British man makes a surprising revelation about his role in the Bengal famine. And three generations on, British Bengalis mark the famine in Britain, in an unexpected way. To hear the other episodes in the mini-series Three Million, scroll down to 23 February 2024.
16/06/2429m 11s

The Fifth Floor: My AI boyfriend

Would you turn to AI to create your perfect partner? Wanqing Zhang from the BBC Global China Unit has been looking into an AI dating trend that is going viral in China. Plus, Daria Taradai from BBC Ukraine tells us what it's like to live and work with power cuts in Kyiv. Produced by Caroline Ferguson and Alice Gioia. (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
15/06/2426m 31s

BBC OS Conversations: Far-right voters in Europe

Politics in Europe took a shift to the right following the recent European parliamentary elections, with far-right parties making gains in several countries, most notably France. The size of victory for the opposition National Rally Party led President Macron to call a snap national election. We bring together two men who support Marine Le Pen’s far-right party to discuss what’s informing their views. A major concern, they say, is fear about crime and security, which causes some people to carry knives.
15/06/2423m 9s

Losing Attar

Attar is the essential oil that is produced when aromatics like jasmine and sandalwood are pressed and distilled. It has been a feature of life in India, as well as many other parts of the world, for over 5,000 years, and it has been the defining industry of the Indian city of Kannauj for over a thousand. But whereas once this ancient discipline employed nearly all the city’s residents, it’s now suffering severely from the impact of climate change and the rise of synthetic perfumes. Journalist Jigyasa Mishra meets the farmers, flower pickers and traditional perfumers of Kannauj to better understand the way of life attar sustains and to ask: can anything be done to reverse the trend?Producers: Jigyasa Mishra and Artemis IrvineA Whistledown Production for BBC World Service
14/06/2426m 35s

Heart and Soul: Last Christians of Gaza

George Antone is a member of the only Roman Catholic Church in Gaza, part of a dwindling Christian community whose roots in this area, go back to the 4th Century. When war broke out in October 2023, he is convinced that staying in Gaza City is the right option - for safety and to continue bearing witness to Jesus in this part of the world. His is the first family to move into the compound of the Holy Family Church and he helps lead the parish through the next months as they suffer deaths of loved ones, near starvation and destruction of their homes. Throughout it all, he keeps in contact with BBC Producer Catherine Murray sending her WhatsApp messages from a warzone.
14/06/2426m 29s

Trending: The Kenyan influencer championing climate denial

Jusper Machogu is a farmer from south-western Kenya who describes himself as a “climate sceptic”. He wrongly claims that climate change is a “scam” or a “hoax” designed to hold Africa back. On social media, he has also become known as a staunch defender of fossil fuel exploration in Africa. His views have caught the eye of those in the West who, like him, deny the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming. They have helped him grow his following and spread his message globally. But, in doing so, has Mr Machogu unwittingly become a tool for the fossil fuel industry? How dangerous is the message of social media influencers like him?
12/06/2420m 10s

Assignment: Ireland’s phone-free town

Greystones made global headlines a year ago when, concerned by rising anxiety levels among their pupils, the headteachers from all the primary schools in the town invited parents to sign a voluntary pact or code; not to buy their child a smartphone before they moved up to secondary school. In Ireland that’s usually at age 12. Beth McLeod talks to teachers, pupils and parents about their reaction to the initiative. Has there been any backlash? At one of the town’s secondary schools she meets an assistant headteacher who is passionately demanding a culture change around phone use for older students too, warning parents that although they think they are giving their children access to the internet, they are really giving the internet access to their children. She speaks to teenagers about their views on what is the right age to be on social media and asks the Irish Health Minister what the government is doing to hold tech companies to account.
11/06/2426m 29s

In the Studio: Senua's Saga - Hellblade II

Released in 2017, the video game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice saw players take control of dark-age warrior Senua as she battled to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the Norse underworld. The action-adventure game from British studio Ninja Theory won awards for its gameplay, acting and storytelling, as well as plaudits for its nuanced and well-researched depiction of psychosis. German actor Melina Juergens was awarded a Bafta for her performance as the titular character. Now studio head Dominic Matthews and his team are working on the sequel, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Nathan Jones joins Dominic, Melina and the rest of the team in Cambridge as they tell this next chapter of their story.
10/06/2426m 30s

Greening the Hajj

The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, attracted no fewer than two million pilgrims in 2023. But this pilgrim boom has an environmental downside: climate scientists are warning that the five-day Hajj alone, with its bargain flights, hotels, catering and local transport, produces over 1.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gases, roughly the amount New York City emits every two weeks. Yet the Saudi government has plans to go much bigger still: by 2030, they want 30 million pilgrims a year to take part in the Hajj and Umrah. Zubeida Malik asks what the Saudi authorities, local groups and campaigners, religious scholars and the pilgrims themselves can do to reduce the environmental footprint of one of the largest religious gatherings on the planet.
09/06/2426m 29s

The forgotten people of the Ravi River

For the hundreds of people who live in a cluster of villages between India and Pakistan, a map drawn up long ago still causes daily struggles. Punjab - the land of the five rivers - was carved up to create Pakistan during The Partition of 1947 when India gained its independence. Two rivers went to Pakistan, two stayed with India and one, the Ravi, crosses both countries. For 72 years, communities who live by the Ravi on the Indian side have been asking for a permanent bridge, so they can access hospitals, schools, shops, banks. What they have is a makeshift pontoon bridge, which has to be dismantled for the monsoon season. Journalist Chhavi Sachdev travels to the western part of India to meet the Indian people whose lives are shaped by the Ravi river.
09/06/2449m 29s

BBC OS Conversations: Stories from Mexico

The election of Mexico's President Claudia Sheinbaum is a moment of history. For the first time, a woman is in charge of the country. Host James Reynolds travels around the country hearing about the challenges facing the new president through the lives and concerns and hopes of the people he spoke to. Many live in fear of criminal cartels and armed gangs, and women feel unsafe on the streets. Ricardo, whose brother was abducted and sister was murdered, is afraid to go out with his daughters. In a migration camp in Tijuana, a couple with two young daughters describe how they left their hometown after receiving death threats from a cartel and Ana, who wants to be a doctor, hopes a woman in power will make a difference.
08/06/2423m 5s

Heart and Soul: Losing my religion

'Spiritual but not religious’ is the fastest growing faith category amongst Gen Z and Millennials around the world. However, in Nigeria, where most people identify as either Christian or Muslim, questioning doctrine or exploring alternative beliefs is still often seen as taboo. Kamsy and Ore were both raised in evangelical Christian households, but began questioning their faith in their early 20s. Separately, they began reading about other belief systems, such as Judaism, Buddhism and traditional African religions, and posting their thoughts and experiences on social media. Neither were prepared for the backlash they received. When the two of them finally connected, they bonded over how lonely their ‘deconstruction’ journeys had been. So they created a WhatsApp group for others like them. Today, The Table defines itself as a community for the irreligious yet spiritual, and aims to provide a space for connection and discussion free from the dogma.
07/06/2426m 28s

The Fifth Floor: For the love of football

Why is football such a universal language? Three BBC World Service journalists and football fans - Matias Zibell Garcia, Pooria Jafereh and Njoroge Muigai – explain what the game mean to their audiences in Argentina, Iran and Kenya, and look ahead at the summer season. Plus, Tamara Ebiwei from BBC Pidgin on why Nigerian players have to learn a new national anthem.Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson. (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
06/06/2426m 36s

Bonus: What in the world - Africa and FGM: When will it end?

Female genital mutilation affects around 230 million women and girls globally, with rates highest in Africa. FGM is considered a human rights violation and has no health benefits. That’s according to World Health Organisation. Hibo Wardere, a survivor from Somalia, recounts her ordeal and discusses the importance of education in ending the practice.The Gambia banned FGM in 2015, but it could be about to reverse this. BBC journalist Esther Ogola, who’s based in Nairobi, explains why. We also hear how Kenya has more than halved its victims - and discuss the likelihood of the practice ending by 2030, which is the UN’s goal.To find out more of what is going on in the world search for "What in the World" wherever you get your BBC Podcasts.Note: This episode contains some graphic descriptions of FGM.
06/06/2412m 31s

Whose Truth?: Online women haters

Attacked on social media - how Nobel Prize laureate Maria Ressa came under fire for doing her job as a journalist in the Philippines, covering the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. She talks to Babita Sharma about the fight to stop social media being used to spread lies and hate against powerful women. Babita also speaks to two female digital pioneers. Lucina Di Meco is the co-founder of the US-based group #ShePersisted, which addresses the digital threat faced by women in politics. Audrey Pe is founder of the non-profit organisation WiTech, which aims to inspire young people to use technology to bring positive change.This content was created as a co-production between Nobel Prize Outreach and the BBC. Image of Maria Ressa: Getty Images
05/06/2417m 29s

Whose Truth?: Climate change denial

Nobel Prize laureate Sir Paul Nurse wants science, not politics, to guide the debate surrounding climate change. But how do you convince the denialists? Babita Sharma takes us through the evolving strategies of those who claim climate change isn’t real, and speaks to two young people who are trying to make a difference. UK climate activist Phoebe L Hanson founded Teach the Teacher, which gives school children the resources to engage with their teachers on climate change. Ugandan Nyombi Morris set up a non-profit organisation, Earth Volunteers, to mobilise young people like him who wanted to promote the fight against the climate crisis.This content was created as a co-production between Nobel Prize Outreach and the BBC. Image credit: Francis Crick Institute
05/06/2417m 29s

Whose Truth?: Russia v Ukraine

Can information become a weapon of war? Oleksandra Matviichuk, whose organisation was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is documenting alleged Russian war crimes against Ukraine. She talks to Babita Sharma about how she uncovers the evidence. Babita also speaks to Anastasiia Romaniuk, a young Ukrainian digital platforms analyst, who is exposing disinformation around the war, and to Lisa Kaplan, founder and CEO of a US company which helps organisations protect themselves from social media manipulation.This content was created as a co-production between Nobel Prize Outreach and the BBC. Image: Courtesy of Oleksandra Matviichuk
05/06/2417m 29s

Whose Truth?: The vaccine

How Nobel Prize laureate Katalin Kariko got caught up in the Covid vaccine disinformation wars. What was it like - as someone behind one of the vaccines – to be in the eye of the false information storm? Katalin tells her story to Babita Sharma. And US educator and artist Young Elder tells Babita how she helped to build trust in the vaccine among Baltimore’s black community. She works with Hip Hop Health, an organisation combating health and vaccine disinformation, started by rapper Doug E Fresh.This content was created as a co-production between Nobel Prize Outreach and the BBC. Image: Courtesy of Katalin Kariko
05/06/2417m 29s

Trending: Is Russia targeting Poland's farmers’ protests?

Farmers' protests have been erupting across Europe, and on 20 February one image from a protest in Poland went viral. It showed a tractor carrying a soviet flag and bearing a slogan calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to ‘bring order to Ukraine, Brussels and our rulers’. The man driving the tractor was arrested and is currently awaiting trial. After the image was released Poland’s foreign ministry spokesperson released a statement warning of attempts to take over the country’s agricultural protest movement by extreme and irresponsible groups ‘possibly under the influence of Russian agents.’ We attempt to track down the man behind the banner. Who is he? And what is the evidence for Russian involvement in, or amplification of, farmers’ protests in Poland and beyond?
05/06/2419m 46s

Assignment: El Salvador – life after the gangs

El Salvador used to be known as one of the most dangerous places in the world. The central American country was dominated by rival gangs who terrorised the population. President Bukele declared a State of Emergency in 2022 and since then more than 76,000 people have been arrested – around 1% of the population. Two years on Jane Chambers travels to El Salvador to find out how people’s lives have changed – for better and for worse - since the crack down on crime.
04/06/2426m 36s

In the Studio: Andy Riley

Andy Riley is an Emmy-winning scriptwriter and a million-selling author and cartoonist published in more than 20 countries, notably with the Bunny Suicides book series. Antonia Quirke follows him as he begins to write and draw the third book in his graphic novel series for children. The series is called Action Dude.  That's the name of the main character, too; he lives for danger, he lives for excitement, he lives with his Mum because he's eight years old. Antonia also follows Andy as he performs a semi-improvised, hour-long stand up show with live drawing.
03/06/2426m 29s

The Fifth Floor: Russia's lost troops

How many soldiers are fighting - and dying - for Russia in Ukraine? Who are they, and what do their stories tell us about Russia's frontline tactics? We'll ask Olga Ivshina, who has been monitoring Russian losses in Ukraine from day one. Plus, Anne McAlpine from BBC Alba dives into the history of Gaelic proverbs. Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson.(Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
01/06/2426m 35s

BBC OS Conversations: Toxic politics

Anyone seeking election as a politician can expect to have to argue their case with the electorate, and deal with opposition and criticism. But what happens when that democratic debate turns toxic and politicians face personal abuse, intimidation and threats of violence? With election campaigns being fought in several countries around the world, we bring together politicians in Canada, France and the UK to discuss some of their experiences of public office. Heather Williams, a councillor in the east of England tells presenter Luke Jones how she was threatened with being shot and Catherine McKenna who served in the Canadian government, and her son Matt share the challenges they faced living life under the political spotlight.
01/06/2423m 10s

Heart and Soul: Hijabs and skinny jeans

Anna Holligan spends time with Dutch Muslim Nora Akachar, whose world was turned upside down with the traditional progressive country voted for right-wing politician Geert Wilders. Nora is left questioning her identity and what it means for her to be Muslim in the Netherlands today.
31/05/2426m 30s

Gaming Africa

Ghanaian gamer and broadcaster Kobby Spiky explores the video game landscape across Africa. He speaks to everyday gamers and developers about their experiences of playing and creating them. While Asia and North America are seen as the hubs of the video game industry - the homes of the three major console manufacturers and some of the largest publishers in the world, countries like Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria are paving the way for Africa to emerge as the next big thing in gaming. As smartphones and tablets become more accessible, mobile gaming has taken hold across the continent, and African developers are standing out from their foreign competitors.
30/05/2426m 37s

Trending: Love and deception in the age of AI

In a viral thread posted on X in January this year, a 23-year-old Russian man claims he used ChatGPT to filter through and chat thousands of women on Tinder, eventually proposing to one that was selected by the algorithm. The scale and success of his experiment sparked scepticism. Some raised doubts about the technical plausibility of it, while others voiced concerns about the ethical implications of such an endeavour. In an attempt to better understand his experiment, BBC Trending interviewed the Russian man and asked experts what they made of it. As AI becomes more advanced and accessible, the story also highlights broader concerns about the future of this technology in online dating. How will AI reshape the landscape of online dating in the coming years? What biases may be inherent in its algorithms? Is using AI in this manner a form of catfishing?
29/05/2419m 46s

Assignment: Myanmar - Rise of the resistance

Myanmar is in the grip of a country-wide insurgency as armed resistance groups, including many young people from the cities, attempt to overthrow a military regime which seized power in a coup three years ago. As much as two thirds of Myanmar, mostly the countryside, may now be under the control of the resistance. Access is extremely difficult, hundreds of journalists have been jailed, but our correspondent Quentin Sommerville has managed to travel to Karenni and Shan states – in the east of the Myanmar - with young revolutionaries. Some have taken up arms, but others - doctors and teachers - are supporting the insurgency with skills of their own.Presenter: Quentin Sommerville Producer: Lindle Markwell Editor: Penny Murphy Sound Engineer: Andy Fell Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashmanimage: KNDF graduates in Myanmar. Credit: BBC
28/05/2426m 33s

Perfume’s dark secret

The global perfume industry is worth billions. Some luxury brands sell for hundreds of dollars a bottle. But BBC Eye Investigations has discovered that, when the sun goes down in Egypt, there is a hidden human cost to this industry. In the summer of 2023, the BBC visited four different locations in Egypt’s main jasmine-growing area, Al Gharbia, and found children - some as young as five - working at night to pick the jasmine that was supplied to some of the world’s leading perfume brands through factories in Egypt. The UN’s Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery tells the BBC what it’s uncovered ‘may constitute the worst form of child labour’. We hear the story of one family who say they have no choice but to take their children into the jasmine fields to work, in order to earn enough money to live. Reporter: Natasha Cox Producers: Ahmed El Shamy and Louise Hidalgo Editors: Rebecca Henschke and Rosie Garthwaite Sound engineer: Neil Churchill + James Beard
27/05/2426m 29s

Mad Women: Portraying mental health in theatre

As a unique creative experiment, Chilean director and playwright Constanza Hola Chamy is directing in parallel both a professional cast and a community cast of her new play Mad Women. Highlighting bipolar disorder, it’s inspired by the lives and deaths of three outstanding Latin American artists: the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Chilean singer-songwriter and visual artist Violeta Parra and Columbian painter Judith Marquez, and their struggles with mental health. The professional actors are from the same country as their characters, while the community cast have volunteered to participate in the project, having experienced mental health challenges themselves. They’re women from underrepresented sections of the community in the East End of London, which is where some of the performances will take place. ‘Mad Women’ is fighting the stereotypes and stigma of what it has historically meant to be a woman with mental health conditions, in different countries, through sometimes brutal conversations about sexuality, motherhood, gender oppression and the role of women in the arts, as artists and muses. Felicity Finch follows Constanza as she and her international creative team collaborate and face the challenges of working with the two casts: juggling rehearsals, coping with a very tight deadline, while making sure they are sensitive to the needs of the four women in the understandably vulnerable community cast. Constanza is also making plans to take her play and this unique way of working to different communities of women internationally, including her native Chile. If you need support following anything you’ve heard in this episode, there’s information at bbc.com/actionlinePresenter and Producer: Felicity Finch Exec producer: Andrea Kidd(Photo: Professional Cast of Mad Women. Credit: Héctor Manchego)
27/05/2426m 31s

Shadow War: China and the West

The rise of China is a defining challenge for the West. How far should it co-operate, compete or confront Beijing? And were Western countries slow to respond to China’s growing assertiveness? The BBC’s Security Correspondent, Gordon Corera, delves into the worlds of espionage, surveillance, technology, the theft of commercial secrets, free speech at universities and political interference to explore the points of friction. In this documentary, he speaks to spy chiefs, former prime ministers and dissidents as well as those on the frontline of this Shadow War.
26/05/2449m 28s

The Fifth Floor: Life in exile

What's the price journalists pay for telling the truth? For many it's exile. We'll hear from two colleagues, TV presenter Shazia Haya from BBC Pashto and Nina Nazarova from BBC Russian, both living and working in exile.Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson.(Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)Show less
25/05/2426m 34s

BBC OS Conversations: Beauty pageants

In the United States, questions are being asked after two beauty queens, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, stepped down in as many weeks. The sudden and controversial resignations have put the spotlight on a global, multi-million dollar business. We get a broader overview of what it is like to take part with former winners from Germany, Finland and Nigeria. Presenter James Reynolds also hears from two pageant judges and an organiser on how protections are put in place for those taking part.
25/05/2423m 4s

Heart and Soul: Hervé's Way, the story of a one-legged pilgrim

Hervé lost a leg in a motorbike accident. On the eve of the operation, he made a deal with God: “If I walk again, I'll go to Santiago.” He did walk again, but not on pilgrimage. Instead, he got caught up in his business affairs, had a burn out, tried to kill himself and spent several months in a psychiatric hospital before he decided to keep his side of the bargain. He set out, with crutches and a prosthetic leg, for Santiago de Compostela, a journey of 1,920 kilometres from his home in Brittany in north west France to the cathedral that contains the relics of Saint James at the tip of north west Spain. John Laurenson walks with him for a couple of days to hear his story and talk about life, God, pilgrimage.
24/05/2426m 29s

Denmark's esports revolution

The world of esports is a wide and varied domain which has captured audiences around the world. OJ Borg explores how Denmark is leading the way in embracing the sport. Speaking to star players, schools that have embraced it in their curriculum and the fans pushing it forward, OJ investigates Denmark’s esports revolution.
23/05/2426m 30s

Trending: Long Covid: Think yourself well?

Long Covid can ruin lives, and scientists are striving to understand the condition and beginning to get some early clues about possible treatments. While there are still more questions than answers, though, many have turned online for help. But could what they find there sometimes do more harm than good? Rachel Schraer goes undercover to investigate the Lightning Process, a controversial treatment programme for Long Covid being promoted online. Reporter: Rachel Schraer Producer: Paul Grant Editor: Flora Carmichael
22/05/2423m 9s

Assignment: The Caspian crisis

The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world. Bordered by Kazakhstan, Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan it spans 371,000 square kilometres and bridges Europe and Central Asia. It’s fed mainly by Russia’s Volga and Ural rivers and the sea is not only rich in oil and gas but is also home to numerous rare and endemic species, including the Caspian seal and 90% of the world’s remaining wild sturgeon. But the Caspian Sea is in crisis. Climate change and the damming of Russia’s rivers are causing the coastline to recede at an alarming rate. The sea’s levels have fallen by a metre in the last 4 years, a trend likely to increase. Recent studies have shown that the levels could drop between 9 and 18 metres by 2100. Last June Kazakh government officials declared a state of emergency over the Caspian. Iran has also raised the alarm with the UN. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent travels to Kazakhstan for Assignment to report from the shores of the Caspian Sea on what can be done to prevent an environmental disaster.
21/05/2428m 20s

In the Studio: Zoë Barrett and Patrick Eley

Zoë Barrett and Patrick Eley have a unique way of thinking about space. They know just how to guide people from A to B with ease, no matter how higgledy-piggledy the building or complex the environment. Zoë and Patrick consider every detail of their work carefully, with aspects such as shape, colour, typeface, graphic design, materials and iconography forming an integral part of their strategically placed signage and maps. Their job is to make sense of confusion with beautiful, simple, modern designs and attractive invitations to ‘walk this way’.
20/05/2426m 29s

Bonus: The Global Jigsaw

A bonus episode from The Global Jigsaw podcast. “China is not buying Africa, it is building Africa” is the view from Beijing. How is this landing with local audiences? There have been hints of a cooling down of Sino-African friendship. For this episode, the team travels to the Kenyan capital Nairobi to get a sense of Chinese influence on the ground, and understand why Beijing has chosen it as a hub for its media operation in Africa. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globaljigsaw or search for The Global Jigsaw wherever you get your BBC podcasts.Producer: Kriszta Satori Presenter: Krassi Twigg
19/05/2441m 1s

Labelling the world: The power of DSM

The number of labels to describe different types of mental disorder has mushroomed in recent years. New categories include Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Prolonged Grief Disorder and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Many classifications have been created or influenced by a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Advocates of DSM say labels help people take ownership of their situation, provide them with answers, treatments and social support. Critics think it creates stigma, medicalises normality and leads to a glut of unnecessary and harmful drug prescriptions. UK based musician Jay Emme asks if labels help or hinders in everyday life and whether it’s time to drop the terms ‘mental’ and ‘disorder’?
19/05/2448m 16s

The Fifth Floor: Message in a bottle to North Korea

Park Jung-oh defected to South Korea from the North 26 years ago. Hearing how North Koreans in the Hwanghae Province suffer from food shortage, he started throwing bottles filled with rice and a USB stick into the Yellow Sea, hoping they would land on North Korean shores. Did his messages ever reach anyone? Rachel Lee from BBC Korean brings us this extraordinary story. Plus, Madina Dahiru Maishanu, the youngest presenter at BBC Hausa, shares stories from her award-winning show, Mahangar Zamani, and Thomas Naadi tells us about Stevie Wonder's love affair with Ghana.Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson.(Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
18/05/2426m 36s

BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Brazil

Vast areas of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul remain under water after the worst flooding in 80 years. Homes have been destroyed, thousands are without power or drinking water, and entire towns remain cut-off. The torrential rains began in Rio Grande do Sul at the end of April, saturating the ground and bursting the banks of the Taquari and Caí rivers. Those rivers flow into the Guaíba, which has led to severe flooding in the state capital, Porto Alegre. We bring together three residents of Porto Alegre and volunteer rescue workers to share their experiences of the flooding.
18/05/2423m 15s

Heart and Soul: Glorifying God through wine

When Father Père Basile was 12 years of age, he started thinking of a religious life. But it never crossed his mind that he would someday be living in a cloistered abbey in the south of France producing wine. This monastery has incredible history as it is the site of the oldest papal vineyard in the world, dating back to the 14th Century. When Pope Clement V moved the papal capital from Rome to Avignon in France, his palace needed a steady stream of wine and so the vineyard was planted in Le Barroux. Presenter Colm Flynn travels to the abbey to meet Fr Père Basile, and hears his amazing story of growing up as the son of wealthy, world-travelling diplomats, and turning his back on that to pursue a deeper calling in life.
17/05/2426m 30s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. EncroChat: The crime family brought down by their violent messages. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.This programme contains descriptions some of you may find upsetting.
16/05/2425m 58s

Bonus: Lives Less Ordinary

A bonus episode from the Lives Less Ordinary podcast. Manni Coe’s brother Reuben has Down’s syndrome, and had become isolated and non-verbal in a UK care home during the Covid pandemic – so he decided to stage a lockdown rescue mission. For more extraordinary personal stories from around the world, go to bbcworldservice.com/liveslessordinary or search for Live Less Ordinary wherever you get your BBC podcasts.Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: May Cameron
15/05/2441m 1s

Assignment: Return of the Benin Bronzes

In 1897 British colonial forces attacked and looted the ancient Kingdom of Benin in what is now southern Nigeria. Thousands of precious objects were taken, including stunning sculptures made of bronze, brass, ivory and terracotta. Some were decorative, some were sacred. Known collectively as the Benin Bronzes, they were famed for their craftsmanship and beauty. The majority ended up in museums around the world. But ever since, Nigerians have been demanding their return. The Bronzes became symbols of the wider global campaign for restitution by former colonial powers. Now finally, some have been handed back. Peter Macjob travels to Nigeria to track the return of the Bronzes, and find out what it means for Nigeria to have these lost treasures come home.
14/05/2428m 6s

Crime and punishment in South Africa

Outside of a war zone, South Africa is one of the most dangerous places in the world. The country’s murder rate is now at a 20-year high. With trust in the police falling, communities say they have no option but to defend themselves. BBC Africa Eye’s Ayanda Charlie joins two volunteer units, a team of farmers near Pretoria, and a group in Diepsloot, a poor township near Johannesburg. We see the risks they take, and ask who holds patrols accountable.
12/05/2426m 29s

In the Studio: Cressida Cowell

Enter the magical world of children’s writer Cressida Cowell. She created the hugely successful How to Train Your Dragon series, which continues to excite children across the globe and has been turned into Oscar nominated animated films. For her latest series, Cressida explores teenage magic and Iron Age warriors. As she works on the illustrations for the second book in this new trilogy, The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic, she gives fellow children’s author Michael Rosen an insight into how she creates these worlds.
12/05/2426m 29s

The Fifth Floor: China’s global mining for green tech

The BBC's new Global China Unit tell Faranak Amidi about their investigation into Chinese mines overseas, and what it's like to work in them and live near them.
11/05/2427m 9s

OS Conversations: Mass tourism

The pandemic stopped most of us travelling anywhere, but now the United Nations predicts that international tourism will soon return to pre-Covid levels. While that might be welcome if you’re making money from tourism, the number of visitors can also cause problems. Hosts James Reynolds and Lukwesa Burak discuss how you balance the tourist dollar.Residents of Venice, Bali and Spain’s Canary Islands discuss their concerns, ranging from a lack of infrastructure and non-tourist housing to cultural insensitivity and the distribution of tourism income.“Tenerife has about one million residents and six million tourists visit every year,” says Brian. “With over 36 percent of the population living in or at risk of poverty, it’s obvious that mass tourism has failed the islanders.”We also discuss the role of travel influencers who share videos and photos with a mass audience on social media. Kristen Sarah in Costa Rica, who runs @Hopscotchtheglobe vlog, says: “As influencers, it’s our messaging that encourages and inspires others to follow in our footsteps,” she says. “A photo is just a photo. But if you don’t take in the place that you’re visiting, then what’s the point of even going?”A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
11/05/2423m 12s

Heart and Soul: A Colombian Christmas in February

In the heart of Colombia, very special Christmas celebrations take place not in December but in February. Its roots lie in the days of slavery when many Afro-Colombians were serving their masters' festivities during that time. In an act of cultural and racial resistance that has been preserved for nearly 200 years, Christmas celebrations in Quinamayo are held 40 days after the traditional birth date of Jesus and the amount of time that the Virgin Mary is said to have rested after delivery, and right after the end of harvest season. Christina Noreiga asks how the celebrations came about and why they have a special magic for both young and old.
10/05/2426m 30s

Twin towns

The small rural town of Igbo-Ora in south-western Nigeria proclaims itself to be the “twin capital of the world". It has an astonishingly high twin birth rate. Everyone here wants to have twins because in Yoruba culture they are believed to bring good fortune and are celebrated almost as deities. And yet, in another part of Nigeria, near the capital Abuja, a different community once viewed twins with fear. Twins were seen as the manifestations of evil spirits. There were even reports that some twins were killed as infants. Nigerian journalist Peter Macjob visits both communities, to hear about the lives of twins and explore the power of traditional beliefs.
09/05/2426m 34s

Bonus: World of Secrets: The Disciples investigation live show

A bonus episode from the World of Secrets podcast. Inside the World of Secrets investigation – the story of the journalism behind The Disciples. Hear from the journalists and the whistleblowers about the investigation into TB Joshua. A special episode with season 2 presenters Charlie Northcott and Yemisi Adegoke, producer Rob Byrne and whistleblowers Rae and Ajoke. Hosted by Hannah Ajala, presenter of the Love, Janessa podcast, and recorded in front of an audience at World Service Presents in London. Plus we hear from the presenter of the first season of World of Secrets, Rianna Croxford, about how she investigated allegations of sexual exploitation made against the former CEO of fashion giant Abercrombie and Fitch. Season 2 of World of Secrets is a story of miracles, faith and manipulation – the cult of Nigerian prophet TB Joshua. Content warning: This episode contains references to sexual, physical and psychological abuse. If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this podcast, please contact support organisations in your own country. For a list of organisations in the UK that can provide support for survivors of sexual abuse, go to bbc.co.uk/actionline If you are suffering distress and need support, details of help available in many countries can be found at Befrienders Worldwide: www.befrienders.org
08/05/2444m 53s

Assignment: Italy's mafia whistleblower

Last year in Italy the biggest anti-mafia trial in 30 years reached a climax. On the stand were the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta: they are estimated to run 80 percent of Europe’s cocaine and to make more money in a year than McDonalds and Deutsche Bank put together.With access to mafioso-turned-collaborator Emanuele Mancuso, journalist Francisco Garcia looks at why Emanuele testified against his powerful family. What has this trial meant for the 'Ndrangheta? And has it changed life for Calabrians today?
07/05/2426m 38s

In the Studio: Abhishek Singh

Indian artist Abhishek Singh’s comic books have sold more than half a million copies and been translated into Italian, Spanish, French and English. His interpretation of the Indian myth, Krishna: A Journey Within, was the first graphic novel by an Indian writer and artist to be published in American comic book history. Abhishek has long included environmental themes in his work, but after travelling round the mountains and forests of India, and spending time with elephants in particular, he realised that most mythic tales concern kings and queens and battles, all about humans and human activity. He decided it was time to create a new non-human mythology, one which centres on our vulnerable environment and the animals who live within it. Paul Waters joins him in Delhi as he paints one of his pictures for his new graphic novel The Hymns of Medhini.
06/05/2426m 29s

The Fifth Floor: Love and politics in Russia

Nataliya Zotova of BBC Russian tells us how Yulia Navalnaya has stepped in for her husband since his death and how there is somewhat of a precedent for this in Russia. Plus Ikechukwu Kalu explains how the BBC Igbo social media team use proverbs to connect with their audience. Produced by Caroline Ferguson and Alice Gioia (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
04/05/2426m 32s

BBC OS Conversations: Student protests in the US

The war in Gaza has triggered demonstrations at dozens of universities thousands of miles away in the United States. There have been hundreds of arrests as police have gone in to break them up and remove the protest camps that have been set up. Amid the heightened tensions, three Jewish students with different views towards Israel and its government, share their experience on campus and the impact on their studies.. We also hear from protesters at two Ivy League universities in the US, Colombia and Harvard. One describes witnessing the police raids. They explain their motivation for being part of the protest and reflect on whether their actions might have possible repercussions in the future.
04/05/2423m 11s

Heart and Soul: Jewish dating

Dating in the Jewish world can be a struggle - different denominations, beliefs, being Kosher or not Kosher, ideologies and geography makes navigating this world difficult to decode. Amie Liebowitz talks to matchmaker and dating coach Aleeza Ben Shalom from Netflix's Jewish Matchmaker and goes on her own quest to learn about the traditional and religious values of matchmaking.
03/05/2426m 29s

South Africa: The people shall govern

South Africa is marking 30 years of democracy this year, reflecting on the remarkable transition from apartheid that captivated the world. While some South Africans are celebrating, others are questioning whether the promises of democracy have delivered. The BBC’s Nomsa Maseko embarks on a personal journey, starting from the polling station she accompanied her mother to in April 1994, to meet the people who fought for South Africa’s freedom, built its democratic institutions, and are seeking to improve their own lives today. She asks all of them: what does 30 years of democracy mean to you?
02/05/2427m 51s

Bonus: Lives Less Ordinary

A bonus episode from the Lives Less Ordinary podcast. Evy Mages grew up in and out of foster care in 1970s and 80s Austria. But even when she started a new life in the US, she was haunted by traumatic memories of a strange yellow house high up in the Alps, where she had been placed as an eight-year-old. It took an idle internet search in her 50s to reveal that this was actually an institution called a 'Kinderbeobachtungsstation', or 'child-observation station', where vulnerable children were experimented on by a psychologist using shocking methods. She decided to step back into her past to uncover the full, disturbing truth of what happened there. Evy's story first appeared in the New Yorker in 2023. Presenter: India Rakusen Producer: Edgar Maddicott Editor: Rebecca Vincent Get in touch: outlook@bbc.com or WhatsApp +44 330 678 2707For more extraordinary personal stories from around the world, go to bbcworldservice.com/liveslessordinary or search for Live Less Ordinary wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
01/05/2448m 53s

Assignment: Kosovo - euro or bust?

It's a quarter of a century since Kosovo emerged from a brutal war, one which pitted local ethnic Albanians against Serbs. Twenty-five years on, the government in Pristina is pressing ahead with reforms that could reinforce its separation from Serbia. They include banning the use of Serb dinars and curbing the import of things like Serb medicines. Pristina says the moves are needed to curb illegality and tax-evasion. But they have brought widespread complaints from local Serbs who feel victimised. Is the government justified in claiming there is a rising risk of violence, or are the restrictions themselves making this more likely?
30/04/2426m 44s

In the Studio: Kenyan artist Wangari Mathenge

Wangari Mathenge used to be a high-flying corporate lawyer before turning to her first love of art. She likes to express herself through her colourful palette and figurative paintings, exploring her African culture, identity and past. More recently she has turned to immersive installation. For this In The Studio, arts journalist Anna Bailey follows Wangari as she creates her second immersive experience at the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. It’s a life-sized replica of her Nairobi studio and this is where she invited 20 female domestic workers to have a day of rest, while also painting large-scale portraits of them for a new series of work which celebrates female domestic workers in Kenya. Wangari also invites listeners into her Chicago studio, where she is working on the next painting in the series. But as Anna finds out, rest is not only important to the workers but to Wangari herself. Presenter and producer Anna Bailey Executive producer Andrea Kidd.
29/04/2426m 29s

The Cultural Frontline: Exposing the fake Russian modern art collection

Over the past twenty years, paintings from a private collection of Russian and Ukrainian modern art have been sold to museums and private collectors around the world. Paintings were sold for hundreds of thousands of pounds from the Zaks collection, as it’s known. It was said to include over 200 oil paintings of some of the most treasured Russian and Ukrainian avant-garde artists, including those by El Lissitzky, Exter, Goncharova and Popova, putting it among the largest in the world. This has caught the eye of three art detectives and the BBC’s Grigor Atanesian follows them, along with forensic experts, to discover more about the collection, what’s been happening and if the paintings are real or worthless fakes.
28/04/2426m 31s

The Fifth Floor: The disinformation wars

How is disinformation created and spread, and how is it impacting the way journalists work? We'll look at what's going on in Latin America, Russia and Nigeria with the help of three World Service journalists: Luis Fajardo is a senior editor with BBC Monitoring, covering South American media; Olga Robinson, also with Monitoring, is a disinformation analyst specialised in Russian affairs; and Olaronke Alo is part of the Disinformation Unit in Nigeria. Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson (Photo: Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
27/04/2426m 36s

BBC OS Conversations: Ukrainian aid from the US

After months of delays, US politicians agreed a $61bn aid package of military assistance for Ukraine to support their fight with Russia. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said it could save thousands of lives in the war and President Joe Biden said it would make the world safer. In this edition, host Luke Jones hears from Americans who continuously raise support of their own for the Ukraine war effort. Many have family or friends in Ukraine and their fundraising supports everything from vehicles to medical aid to art therapy.
27/04/2423m 20s

Heart and Soul: The whale worshippers of Vietnam

On the southern shores of Vietnam, whales are revered as gods of the oceans. Eliza Lomas visits whale temples and a whale cemetery, hearing about the roots and rituals of the belief. We learn how worshippers’ lives are entwined with the sea, joining a festival where whales are honoured with a ceremonial journey. With lives at sea full of risk, we hear how these sacred creatures ensure fishermen a safe return to land.
26/04/2426m 28s

Super-rich Swedes

Sweden has a global reputation for championing high taxes and social equality, but it has more dollar billionaires, relative to its population size, than almost anywhere else on the planet. Stockholm-based journalist Maddy Savage untangles the rise of the super rich, from the country’s booming tech sector to wealth and taxation policy shifts. She also delves into the deep-rooted cultural norms which can discourage Swedes from celebrating money, and investigates the rise in impact investing, as some of Sweden’s richest business leaders plough their cash into new startups prioritizing social and environmental sustainability. A Podlit AB production.
25/04/2432m 57s

Forward Thinking: Can feminism fix the internet?

From deepfakes to the fear of AI taking jobs, to the social media giants making money from abusive content, our technology dominated world is in a crisis – what are the solutions?AI researcher Kerry McInerney applies a feminist perspective to data, algorithms and intelligent machines. AI-powered tech, and generative AI in particular, pose new challenges for cybersecurity. Kerry proposes a new take on AI, looking at how it can be used on a small scale, acknowledging culture and gender, tailoring the technology for local applications rather than trying to push for global, one size fits all strategies.And in addressing corporate responsibility for Big Tech, Kerry discusses how tackling harassment online requires an understanding of the social, political and psychological dimensions of harassment, particularly of women in the wider world, as opposed to seeing this as a technical problem.Dr Kerry McInerney is a research fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, and the AI Now Institute.This is the last of four programmes from the Oxford Literary Festival, presented by Nuala McGovern, produced by Julian Siddle.Recorded in front of an audience at Worcester College Oxford.
24/04/2449m 26s

Assignment: Armenia's lost garden

For three decades Armenians ruled Karabakh – literally “Black Garden” – an unrecognised statelet inside neighbouring Azerbaijan. Many saw it as the cradle of their civilisation. But as Azerbaijan retook control last autumn, the entire population fled in just a few days. It was a historic catastrophe for Armenia. But the world barely noticed. How is Armenia coping with its loss? Can 100,000 refugees rebuild their lives? And will the cycle of hatred that caused the conflict ever be broken? Grigor Atanesian reports.
23/04/2427m 17s

In the Studio: David Haig and Max Webster

Philip K. Dick's novella The Minority Report was famously adapted into a science fiction blockbuster by director Steven Spielberg in 2002. More than 20 years later, it is now being adapted for the stage by writer David Haig and director Max Webster. Mark Burman goes behind the scenes of this bold adaptation, as the clock ticks down to opening night.
22/04/2426m 29s

Bonus: What in the World: South Korea’s shamans are now online

A bonus episode from the What in the World podcast. Korean shamans hold significant cultural importance in Korean society. They are often portrayed in Korean dramas and films, adorned in shiny and colourful traditional attire, dancing on sharp knives, summoning spirits, and banishing demons. They offer fortune telling services and perform rituals to help people with their personal issues. In South Korean media, shamans are often portrayed as deceitful characters who misuse their status to manipulate people and profit from others… but that negative image is slowly changing as young shamans are modernising their approach. They now have shrines in the busy centre of Seoul and they've become big on social media, even offering consultations online. BBC journalist Soo Min Kim has been speaking to shamans and their customers about why people go to see them and how social media is making them more accessible.Instagram: @bbcwhatintheworldWhatsApp: +44 0330 12 33 22 6Email: whatintheworld@bbc.co.ukPresenter: Hannah Gelbart with Soo Min KimProducers: Emily Horler and Adam ChowdhuryEditor: Julia Ross-Roy
21/04/2415m 56s

The Fifth Floor: My emergency kit list

How do you prepare for the worst-case scenario? Juna Moon has been talking to young people in South Korea about how they perceive the threat of war in the region and how they’re planning for it. Growing up in Taiwan after the 1999 Jiji earthquake, Joy Chang has been trained on what to do in case another quake hit. So when the ground started to shake in early April, she knew exactly what to do. Plus Hernando Álvarez shares the life advice he received from Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, and the story behind a handwritten note listing the author's favourite books.
20/04/2426m 29s

BBC OS Conversations: Living in Israel

The situation in the Middle East is being described as uncharted territory following strikes involving Iran and Israel. This is framed around the war between Israel and Hamas, now in its seventh month. Three people in Israel share their experiences with host James Reynolds. Avi, Lianne and Liah describe what it was like when Iran launched drones and missiles at their country and how the Hamas-led attack of 7 October continues to impact every moment of their lives.
20/04/2423m 7s

Heart and Soul: Should I change my name?

What if you carry an inherited surname that you feel is profoundly un-Christian? Should you keep it or change it? Robert Beckford is going through this dilemma. His surname is a slave name, a brand of ownership passed down from his enslaved African ancestors in Jamaica. Over time, Robert has grown deeply uncomfortable with the meaning of this name and now wants to find a more spiritual alternative. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery, considering whether he should change or keep his inherited name.
19/04/2426m 30s

The poker parent

An eight-year-old girl holds two cards in her hand. She places several plastic poker chips into the middle of the dining room table and makes a bet. Science writer Alex O’Brien has been teaching her daughter how to play poker for three years. She believes that the game will give her daughter important life lessons for the future - critical thinking skills, empowerment, controlling emotions and understanding psychology, probability and risk. But when the game is associated with casinos, gambling and men (95% of players are male), not every one agrees with her decision - including poker players.
18/04/2427m 18s

Forward Thinking: Can going vegan feed the world?

Could going vegan help feed the world and save the planet? While industry and energy production are often singled out as the main drivers of climate change, the global meat production industry is a bigger polluter. Veganism advocate Gary Francione and nutritionist Dr Ron Weiss join Nuala McGovern to discuss the pros and cons of veganism. While it might make sense from an ethical and climate change perspective, it is a massive cultural leap for many. We ask whether veganism could really be useful in places where food might not be readily available. And answer concerns over whether a non-meat diet can provide adequate nutrition.
17/04/2449m 36s

Assignment: Reggaeton - the pride of Puerto Rico?

Reggaeton’s the soundtrack to Puerto Rico. The globally popular music reflects what’s going on in the cultural and political scene of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean Island.It started out as underground music in marginalised communities but was criticised for allegedly promoting violence and being too sexually explicit. Reggaeton has since been used as an anthem to overthrow a local governor and a way to criticise the island’s complex relationship with the United States. It’s also evolved from misogynist roots to reach new audiences in the LGBTQ community. Jane Chambers travels to Puerto Rico to meet the people and hear the music which is both maligned and revered.
16/04/2427m 10s

Bonus: The Global Story on Iran-Israel attacks

A special bonus episode on the Iran-Israel attacks from The Global Story podcast. Israel says 99% of the missiles and drones fired by Iran on Saturday night were intercepted without hitting their targets. Iran said the assault was in response to a deadly attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria two weeks ago. Now all eyes are on how Israel will respond to Iran's unprecedented move. James Reynolds talks to the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent, Lyse Doucet, who says the attack marks “a whole new chapter” in the relations between Iran and Israel. James is also joined by the BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera and Siavash Ardalan, from BBC Persian, to discuss how the players at the centre of this confrontation might decide their next move. The Global Story brings you trusted insights from BBC journalists worldwide. We’re keen to hear from you, wherever you are in the world. We want your ideas, stories and experiences to help us understand and tell #TheGlobalStory. Email us at theglobalstory@bbc.com You can also message us or leave a voice note via WhatsApp on +44 330 123 9480. The Global Story is part of the BBC News Podcasts family. The team that makes The Global Story also makes several other podcasts, such as Americast and Ukrainecast, which cover US news and the war in Ukraine. If you enjoy The Global Story, then we think that you will enjoy some of our other podcasts too. To find them, simply search on your favourite podcast app. This episode was made by Richard Moran. The technical producer was Annie Smith. The assistant editor is Sergi Forcada Freixas and the senior news editor is Sam Bonham.
15/04/2424m 33s

In the Studio: Helle Nebelong

Danish landscape architect Helle Nebelong is a pioneer of the natural playground movement. Natural playgrounds are made of natural materials, rather than plastics, but they also encourage creativity and independence rather than rule-based games. In The Studio follows Helle as she faces her biggest challenge yet - designing one of America's largest natural playgrounds, at Colene Hoose School in Normal, Illinois.
15/04/2426m 28s

His and hers medicine

Dr Zoe Williams talks to researchers and clinicians around the world as she investigates how and why the care of women has been so neglected, and what moves are afoot to change that. She examines the historical inequalities in the diagnosis and treatment of women, particularly in the area of heart disease. There is an abiding myth that men are much more likely to suffer heart attacks than women, but heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US, and the British Heart Foundation estimates that nearly 10,000 British women would still be alive over the last decade alone had they received the same quality of care as men. This is a global problem. Dr Zoe Williams is a general practitioner in the NHS. She's also the resident doctor on ITV's This Morning and a regular expert on the BBC's The One Show. Producer: Alison Vernon-Smith Executive producer: Susan Marling
14/04/2449m 28s

The Fifth Floor: A journalist's life in Israel

What is it like to work in Jerusalem right now? BBC journalist Shaina Oppenheimer shares her experience of living in Israel and monitoring the conflicting narratives published on Israeli and Palestinian media. Plus, BBC Mundo's Alicia Hernandez explains why Equatorial Guinea is the only African country which has Spanish as one of its official languages and shares the unusual local Spanish words she discovered.
13/04/2426m 32s

BBC OS Conversations: Sudan's war - One year on

Sudan has experienced a year of civil war. It’s been described by the United Nations as “one of the worst humanitarian nightmares in recent history”. Over the past 12 months, we’ve heard from people in Sudan living through the violence and destruction. More than 14,000 people have died and more than 8 million people have been driven from their homes . In this edition, with Luke Jones and James Reynolds, we hear from Omnia, a recent college graduate, whose been separated from her family for a year. Her life stopped when the fighting began: “I have experienced displacement four times. I have experienced living in a war zone under bombings and shellings and mass shootings. Life has changed completely from what it was. But I would also say it’s a year of resilience and strength that I did not know I had in me.” Another of our guests is Samreen. She is an aid worker in Sudan, herself displaced by the war. She describes how overwhelmed she can be by requests for help: ”Knowing that you’re an aid worker, they ask you for stuff, they ask you to flee the country, they ask you to get to other safer locations, they ask you to help them in asylum seeking and there’s so little that we can do.” A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
13/04/2423m 20s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast: Washington’s antitrust cases against Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta The US government is suing some of the biggest tech companies on the planet – Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta – in antitrust cases. The face of Washington’s crackdown is Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, the youngest person ever to hold the post.So, who is the woman taking on Silicon Valley? And can she succeed? To answer these questions, host Adam Fleming speaks the BBC's North America business correspondent Michelle Fleury and former North America tech reporter James Clayton.
12/04/2426m 55s

From the Archive: Heart and Soul - Faith, terrorists and mercy at Guantanamo

An episode of Heart and Soul from our Archive. Dr Jennifer Bryson interrogated suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists at the infamous Guantanamo Bay. She worked at the detention centre in Cuba for two years and says that some of the inmates bragged openly about helping to organise the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that killed 3,000 people. Bryson was the first woman to take up the role of lead interrogator at Guantanamo, and the first who was not a member of the military. She would carry out interrogations herself but was also responsible for signing off methods and techniques used by other interrogators. After some time, she started to feel uneasy about some of the 'enhanced interrogation' methods she was asked to approve, such as playing extremely loud music to inmates for prolonged periods, exposing them to strobe lighting, etc. In her gut, she felt something was not right. She says it was her faith-formed conscience that led her to deny her colleagues’ requests to use such interrogation techniques.What are the moral challenges of this work for a person of faith? Are 'enhanced interrogation techniques' ever justified? What if these methods help to prevent more deaths in the future? In this edition of Heart & Soul for the BBC World Service, Colm Flynn explores these questions with Dr Jennifer Bryson. He discovers how her faith guided her through what she regards as the most radical time of her life.Producer/ Presenter: Colm Flynn Series Producer: Rajeev Gupta Production Coordinator: Mica Nepomuceno Editor: Helen Grady
12/04/2426m 49s

Bonus: What in the World

A bonus episode from the What in the World podcast. When it comes to elephant conservation, Botswana is the world leader. It is now home to more than 130,000 elephants — or around a third of the world's elephant population. But this growing number poses major problems for humans: the animals destroy homes and crops, and even injure and kill people. To manage its elephant population, Botswana allows so-called “trophy hunting”. Hunters from abroad pay for permits to shoot and kill elephants — and can then take a piece of the elephant home. Botswana then re-invests this income into conservation efforts. It’s a controversial practice. Animal rights activists want Botswana’s government to seek alternatives to trophy hunting, which they deem as cruel. And in Germany — Europe’s biggest importer of African elephant trophies — the government has suggested there should be stricter limits on importing them. The president of Botswana recently threatened to send 20,000 elephants to Germany as part of the dispute. Shingai Nyoka, a BBC reporter in neighbouring Zimbabwe, explains the laws that govern trophy hunting and why they’re up for debate. And John Murphy, a BBC News reporter in London, recounts his experience visiting an “elephant corridor” — regular routes taken by elephants in their daily commute between their feeding grounds on one side and water on the other. Instagram: @bbcwhatintheworld WhatsApp: +44 0330 12 33 22 6 Email: whatintheworld@bbc.co.uk Presenter: Hannah Gelbart with Shingai Nyoka Producers: Alex Rhodes and William Lee Adams Editors: Verity Wilde and Simon Peeks
11/04/2416m 1s

Forward Thinking: Jocelyn Bell Burnell

In 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered a previously unknown kind of star, the Pulsar. A Nobel prize followed, but not for Jocelyn; her male boss took the honour. Jocelyn has never been bitter about the award, but says that today things should have moved much further than they have. More women are working in space research, but is it enough? In conversation with Nuala McGovern, she argues that different perspectives are essential for moving the science forward. One of these is a more global, inclusive vision to exploring the cosmos. India and China have prestigious space programmes, and the low-key space missions of Japan and South Africa collaborate with international partners from around the world. We discuss how global enthusiasm for space research can be used to propel change. Jocelyn Bell Burnell is professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford.This is the second of a series of four programmes from the Oxford Literary Festival, presented by Nuala McGovern, produced by Julian Siddle.Recorded in front of an audience at Worcester College Oxford.
10/04/2449m 25s

Assignment: New Caledonia - new agreement needed

New Caledonia is an island archipelago in the south Pacific. It has an incredible diversity of birds and plants. Its history includes a period serving as a 19th Century penal colony for the French colonisers and being an allied naval base during World War Two. An agreement signed 26 years ago about how the islands are run is expiring. But talks to make a new one have stalled, as the opposing sides - French settlers and indigenous Kanak - both demand their rights. Peter Hadfield has been to New Caledonia to see if a new deal can be made.
09/04/2426m 56s

In the Studio: Ellie Simmonds

Public swimming pools are more than just concrete and water. Often, they are the heart of a community, a place to exercise, to meet people and connect. Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds explores what it takes to design and build a swimming pool, and asks why they are so important in a post-pandemic era. She joins award-winning Dutch architects VenhoevenCS as they sign off their biggest project to date - the aquatic centre for Paris 2024. Their lead architects talk us through their plans for the new pool, looking at sustainability, accessibility and safety. She also hears from British architect, author and swimming advocate Chris Romer Lee about the importance of public pools, and why he thinks more of us should be getting into the water.
08/04/2426m 31s

El Salvador's missing children

During El Salvador’s brutal civil war hundreds of children were separated from their families. Some were seized by soldiers during military operations against left-wing rebels, and later found living with new families in Europe and North America. Others were given up for adoption by mothers forced into poverty or displaced by the conflict. Three decades on some of those adopted are trying to piece together their lives and find their birth relatives. Former BBC correspondent in Central America, Mike Lanchin, follows their dramatic stories. Mike meets Jazmin who was raised in France and two sisters who managed to locate the son of one of their younger siblings and Flor who has long struggled to understand why her birth mother gave her up.
07/04/2452m 58s

The Fifth Floor: My Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It’s a period of prayer, celebrations and community gatherings and Muslims worldwide observe it by fasting from dawn to sunset. As this year’s Ramadan draws to a close, Faranak Amidi is joined by three BBC World Service colleagues who share their personal experiences and the stories that made headlines in their countries during this year’s celebrations.Asif Farooqi, Aalia Farzan and Deena Easa have been looking at how conflict, natural disasters and the cost-of-living crisis are impacting people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Gaza. Plus... Ramadan cricket, why do people want to get married during the Holy Month, and the TV series that everyone’s talking about.Produced by Alice Gioia and Caroline Ferguson(Image: Presenter Faranak Amidi. Credit: Tricia Yourkevich)
06/04/2426m 31s

BBC OS Conversations: Living with cancer

The world was shocked to hear the news that the Princess of Wales is being treated for cancer. In her video message, Catherine encouraged everyone facing the disease not to lose hope. Presenter James Reynolds, speaks to young women around the world who talk candidly about their diagnosis; how it has affected them, their families and their approach to the future, particularly when their news came as young adults. According to research from the World Health Organisation, one in five people will develop cancer in their lifetime. Two young mothers talk about the challenge of explaining a diagnosis of cancer to their children.
06/04/2423m 15s

Heart and Soul: The caste faultlines in Modi’s India

As India completes 10 years of being governed by the Hindu nationalist BJP, Divya Arya explores the divergent political and religious views of different castes in modern day India. Despite government-led programmes to increase job opportunities and reduced caste based discrimination, inequalities still exist particularly in smaller towns and villages. Divya meets a young Brahman influencer who makes reels about her caste pride, a man from the lower Dalit caste who has moved away from Hinduism and another Dalit man who has joined an organisation with close links to the ruling BJP.
05/04/2426m 30s

Azovstal: The 80 day siege

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in darkness underground for 80 days, while bombs and missile strikes rain down from above and rations are so tight you can only eat once a day. Next, imagine having to choose between feeding yourself and feeding your baby. This was the reality for those trapped in Azovstal steelworks in the Spring of 2022 while Russian military continued their assault. Every day was a gamble with death. Senior journalist for the BBC's Ukraine Service, Diana Kuryshko, meets the Ukrainian citizens and soldiers who survived to tell the tale.
04/04/2426m 37s

Forward Thinking: Is it ethical to live longer?

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Venki Ramakrishnan considers both why we might live longer, and the dilemmas this raises. In the last few years, medical advances have led to treatments that really do offer the potential to tackle life-threatening cancers and debilitating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In discussion with Nuala McGovern, Venki also explores the questions such treatments raise. Initially, they will be expensive, and we already have a global society in which there is a direct link between life expectancy and affluence; will access to these treatments, or lack of it, increase that disparity? And although your incurable disease may now be cured, what about the rest of your quality of life? Can the planet support an increasingly needy older and older generation? Does trying to live longer become a selfish act?Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Venki Ramakrishnan heads a research group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.This is the first in a series of four programmes from the Oxford Literary Festival, presented by Nuala McGovern and produced by Julian Siddle.Recorded in front of an audience at Worcester College, Oxford.
03/04/2449m 10s

Assignment: Secret Sisters. Political prisoners in Belarus

Belarus has huge numbers of political prisoners - around three times as many as in Russia, in a far smaller country. Almost industrial scale arrests began after huge, peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations swept the country in 2020 after Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in presidential elections. Mr Lukashenko has been in power for 30 years. Protestors said the result was a fraud, and that they’d been cheated of their vote.Almost four years on, the authorities are still making mass arrests. Many of those detained are women. The most prominent woman prisoner, Maria Kolesnikova, a professional flute player, has been incommunicado for over a year, with no word at all reaching her family or lawyers. Political prisoners are made to wear a yellow patch on their clothes. The women say they kept short of food and made to sew uniforms for the security forces, to clean the prison yard with rags and shovel snow. They speak of undergoing humiliating punishments such as standing in parade grounds under the sun for hours.Yet they also tell us of camaraderie and warmth in their tiny cells as they try to keep one other going. And women on the outside continue to take personal risks to help the prisoners by sending in food, warm clothes and letters.
02/04/2428m 40s

In the Studio: Maria Grachvogel

Maria Grachvogel’s design have been worn by many famous names including actors Emma Thompson and Angelina Jolie, as well as Spice Girl and now designer Victoria Beckham. As she celebrates 30 years in the fashion business, the BBC’s Rachel Royce follows Maria as she creates her new collection for her autumn-winter season 2024. From design sketches and colour palettes, to draping fabric over mannequins, Maria then always tries the garments on herself and her team before finalising every piece.
01/04/2426m 29s

Bonus: Lives Less Ordinary

A bonus episode from the Lives Less Ordinary podcast. The Jordanian coach who started a refugee kids’ football team in the US after being rejected by her own family. For more extraordinary personal stories from around the world, go to bbcworldservice.com/liveslessordinary or search for Live Less Ordinary wherever you get your BBC podcasts. Presenter: Jo Fidgen Producer: Helen Fitzhenry
31/03/2443m 58s

Bonus: The Global Jigsaw: Moscow attack: disinfo wars

A bonus episode from the Global Jigsaw podcast.Who is behind the Crocus City Hall attack? Within an hour of last week’s deadly attack on a concert hall outside Moscow, a campaign was gathering momentum to blame Kyiv for the atrocity while a parallel storyline claimed it was a Russian false flag operation. We track the blame game: the narratives and the counter-narratives underpinned by generous doses of disinformation. Producer: Kriszta Satori Presenter: Krassi Twigg For more, search for The Global Jigsaw wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
30/03/2432m 15s

BBC OS Conversations: Messages from Gaza

BBC OS producer Kristina Völk has been following the lives of several people in Gaza since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war in October last year. They have been in contact with her via voice messages, text updates or chats whenever they are able. Kristina shares the experiences across a timeline of six months of four women: Batool, Sanabel, Aseel and Layan. Kristina guides us through the messages that give a sense of the resilience, fear, strength and despair experienced under the bombardments of war.
30/03/2430m 8s

Heart and Soul: An ‘Encore’ for Jesus

The Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour is a Catholic order of nuns made up of mature women called to a religious life in their later years. It was founded by Mother Antonia Brenner – a twice-divorced, former Hollywood socialite and mother of seven, who ministered to the incarcerated for three decades in the notorious La Mesa prison in Tijuana, Mexico. At first the Catholic Church declined to support Mother Antonia – indeed, as a divorcee, she was unable to take Holy Communion herself for many years. Then Pope John Paul II gave her his blessing, and Mother Antonia began the process of forming a religious community. The order was founded in 1997. Mother Antonia died in 2013. But her work continues on both sides of the US/Mexico border through women who have vowed to dedicate the remainder of their time on earth – in the eleventh hour of their lives – to uplifting the poor. For these nuns it’s a kind of ‘encore’ dedicated to Jesus Christ. So, who are the women in their 50s and 60s who leave their often comfortable and privileged lives behind to minister in La Mesa prison and work with people who find themselves at the bottom of everyone’s pile? [Photo Credit: Sister Viola, one of the Eudist Sisters of the Eleventh Hour, in the women’s section of La Mesa prison in Tijuana, Mexico. The sisters visit the prisoners every day to pray with them and provide spiritual support. They also bring toiletries and treats.Photo by Tim ManselProducer/ Presenter: Linda Pressly Producer: Tim Mansel Producer in Mexico: Ulises Escamilla Series Producer: Rajeev Gupta Production Coordinator: Mica Nepomuceno Sound:Tanzy Leitner
29/03/2427m 34s

Bonus: HARDtalk

A bonus episode from HARDtalk, in-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities. Stephen Sackur is on the road in Guyana, South America, home to globally significant ecosystems and now one of the world's biggest offshore oil and gas reserves. As Guyana experiences record economic growth, will its people feel the benefit?
29/03/2424m 47s

Assignment: Choking in Chiang Mai

For a period earlier this month, the historic city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand had the worst air of any city in the world.The city gained the same unwanted accolade last year. The practice of agricultural burning in the hills around Chiang Mai renders the air so toxic from February to April that it becomes unsafe to breathe. Respiratory problems and allergies caused by PM2.5, a type of pollution, led to more than 12,000 people being admitted to hospital in 2023.The bad air affects everyone, including the young and physically fit. In December 2023, Krittai Tanasombatkul, a 29-year-old doctor and basketball fanatic, succumbed to lung cancer. Like 40% of people with the disease in the city, he was not a smoker.
28/03/2427m 53s

Rwanda 30 years on

Victoria Uwonkunda makes an emotional journey back to Rwanda, where she grew up. It is the first time she has visited since the age of 12, when she fled the 1994 genocide with her family. Victoria retraces her journey to safety out of the capital Kigali, to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Along the way she speaks to survivors of the violence – both victims and perpetrators - to find out how the country is healing, through reconciliation and forgiveness. Victoria meets Evariste and Narcisse, who work together on a reconciliation project called Cows for Peace. Evariste killed Narcisse’s mother during the 1994 genocide. And she meets Claudette, who suffered unimaginable horrors at the hands of a man, Jean Claude, sitting next to her as she tells her story.
27/03/2450m 17s

Bonus: The Black 14

A bonus episode from the Amazing Sport Stories podcast - The Black 14. Sport, racism and protests are about to change the lives of “the Black 14” American footballers. It’s 1969 in the United States. They’ve arrived on scholarships at the University of Wyoming to play for its Cowboys American football team. It was a predominantly white college. The team is treated like a second religion. Then, the players make a decision to take a stand against racism in a game against another university. This is episode one of a four-part season from the Amazing Sport Stories podcast. Content warning: This episode contains lived experiences which involve the use of strong racist language
26/03/2433m 13s

In the Studio: Helmut Deutsch and Michael Volle - Staging Winterreise

Michael Volle is a baritone singer who has made his name with magisterial operatic performances, particularly Wagner. Helmut Deutsch has been playing the piano alongside the great and the good of the classical world for five decades, including the soprano Ileana Cotrubas and the tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Performing the 24-song cycle that Franz Schubert wrote at the end of his short life, Die Winterreise, or the Winter’s Journey, is considered the pinnacle of the recital repertoire, even for such accomplished musicians. The trust between singer and pianist must be absolute, because the two performers are, in Volle’s words, “naked and pure on stage”. Deutsch and Volle have a 20-year friendship and working partnership to build on, a musical connection that brings them together to perform this “summit” of singing over and over again. Yet their next performance will be something out of the ordinary. They are undertaking a staged performance at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, in Barcelona. The musicians will be joined by actresses on the stage, photographs accompanying the music, and newly developed poems interspersed between songs. How will the staging affect the relationship between singer and pianist, and how will it impact the music? Writer and journalist Lluís Amiguet joins rehearsals in Barcelona to find out. Image: Helmut Deutsch (Credit: Kartal Karagedik) and Michael Volle (Credit: David Ruano)
25/03/2427m 50s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Rare access inside Sudan's forgotten war. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
24/03/2428m 2s

The Cultural Frontline: Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels is the Danish architect who is responsible for creating the flood defence project for Manhattan. In 2012 Hurricane Sandy saw flood water rise up to 2.4 metres. Lives were lost, the city’s transportation system was brought to a stand-still and the New York Stock exchange was closed for two days. As a child, Bjarke wanted to draw comic books and walk on roofs and the buildings that he’s designed include a power station with a ski slope. How can he build his sense of fun and creativity into vital protection against climate change? Razia Iqbal meets Bjarke for The Cultural Frontline on the BBC World Service.
23/03/2427m 20s

BBC OS Conversations: Protesting farmers

Long lines of tractors have become an increasingly common site in recent months on the streets of many European cities. In Poland, farmers blocked roads this week in protest at rising costs and competition from cheaper imports from Ukraine. Farmers have also been protesting in the UK, Hungary, Belgium, Spain, Greece and Italy on a range of issues from fuel prices to new environment rules. To understand the challenges farmers are facing – but also get an insight into their lives, we speak to farmers in the UK, France and an aspiring farmer in Germany who share their experiences. We also bring together three farmers in India. With a forthcoming national election, thousands recently marched – once again – on the capital Delhi. They tell us why they farm and share with us their emotional connection to the land.
23/03/2424m 9s

Heart and Soul: How the Church’s role in Argentina’s dictatorship shook the nation’s faith

Next Year will mark 50 years since the start of a seven-year violent military dictatorship in Argentina. During this period, many who opposed the fascist regime were detained, kidnapped, tortured – and in some cases they disappeared never to be seen again. The Catholic church has always been very powerful in Argentina, and closely linked to the state. While some in the church were victims themselves, the hierarchy of the Church has been accused of playing a role in the dictatorship. At best, it has faced allegations of knowing what was going on and not doing enough to stop it. At worst, it has faced allegations of being actively complicit in some of the abuse the military was perpetrating. A group of mothers and grandmothers during this period set up a campaign to try and find their missing children. The ‘Madres’ and ‘Abuelas’ of Plaza de Mayo movement started on a pilgrimage in 1977, where the women wore the white cloth of their missing children’s diapers on their heads to identify themselves. Today, many of them are still looking for their children, and still identifiable by the white headscarves they wear to campaign each week. In this episode of Heart and Soul, the BBC’s Ione Wells and Jessica Cruz travel to Argentina to speak to some of the victims of the dictatorship. These include people who were kidnapped, detained and in some cases tortured themselves – sometimes in the presence of Church officials. And one of the ‘Madres’, aged 93, who still hopes to find her missing son before she dies. How did this affect their relationship with the Church? And how did witnessing atrocities like this impact their faith? Presenter: Ione Wells Producer: Jessica Cruz / Ione Wells Researcher: Emma Smith Series Producer: Rajeev Gupta
22/03/2427m 19s

Assignment: Border Stories, part 2 - Coyotes and Kidnap

Thousands of people every day are on the move across Mexico towards the border with the US. But for migrants, this is one of the most perilous journeys in the world: land routes are dominated by powerful drug cartels and organised crime groups.In this episode of Border Stories, Linda Pressly hears terrifying stories of kidnap and extortion from those who have risked everything to enter the United States. The US/Mexico border has become the most important battleground for Americans in this year’s presidential election, but it seems no one can stop the men with guns who operate with impunity south of the border in Mexico.
21/03/2428m 12s

Bonus: What in the World

The Philippines is one of the most at risk countries in the world from the effects of climate change, with typhoons becoming more severe. At the same time, it has some of the most expensive energy in Southeast Asia. The country currently relies heavily on imported coal. But a recent report by the NGO Climate Analytics found that, by 2050, the Philippines could get its energy entirely from renewable sources. In this episode Hannah Gelbart is joined by three Filipinos - a journalist, an activist and an engineer - to talk about the future of energy in the Philippines. Jhesset Enano, Mitzi Jonelle Tan and Joshua Miguel Lopez also discuss the importance of protecting indigenous communities, and they share examples of how localised solar panels have helped power rural communities. This programme was recorded in Manila, in the Philippines, and is an extended version of the What in the World podcast – a daily podcast which explain what in the world is going on. Producers: Mora Morrison and Emily Horler
20/03/2423m 38s

A reckoning with drugs in Oregon

In 2020, the people of Portland, Oregon - a famed city of progressives and counterculture - voted to pass Measure 110, the USA’s boldest drug policy reform yet. It came after years of campaigning, and was aimed at inverting the thinking of the war on drugs.Measure 110 decriminalised possession of all illicit substances, including heroin, methamphetamine and oxycodone. The campaigners accurately predicted that the new law would ease tensions around racial disparities within policing, but it also coincided with the spread of the deadly and addictive drug fentanyl, and a tidal wave of homelessness. Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin, and is now the drug of choice for nearly all heroin users. It’s also more deadly - activists and the police now regularly carry the opioid-blocking drug Narcan to treat people overdosing on the streets. Homelessness also continues to rise as the cheap and available fentanyl spreads, creating an epidemic on two fronts.Local journalist Winston Ross explores the complex issues behind Portland’s fentanyl crisis, speaking across the political divide and to many of those in the eye of the storm.
20/03/2427m 21s

Trapped in Oman

A story of humanity in the face of inhumanity.It starts with women from Malawi who travel to Oman in the hope of improving their lives. Instead, they find themselves trapped in servitude as domestic workers. BBC Africa Eye has spent months uncovering evidence of physical and sexual abuse through voice notes, videos, and texts. But as reporter Florence Phiri reveals, there’s a network of women working across continents, fighting to try to bring them home. Warning: Some people may find details in this story distressing.Presenter: Florence Phiri Producers: Nicky Milne and Rob Wilson Editors: Tom Watson and Rebecca Henschke Sound engineer: Rod Farquhar
19/03/2427m 21s

In the Studio: Colm Tóibín

Irish author Colm Tóibín is among the world’s most celebrated contemporary writers. His works includes novels such as Nora Webster and The Blackwater Lightship, but also journalism, criticism, drama and more. His book Brooklyn was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Saoirse Ronan, and his writing has been translated into over 30 languages. Alongside the release of his debut collection of poems, Vinegar Hill, Colm gives fellow Irish writer Helen Cullen an insight into how he works, taking her through his writing process, how he gathers his ideas and his approach to refining his work.
18/03/2424m 14s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Panama Canal: It's running dry and it's going to cost us. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
17/03/2425m 17s

BBC OS Conversations: Haiti gangs and stray bullets

Haiti is facing its most most acute humanitarian crisis for more than a decade. There’s been a surge in violence with armed gangs in control of most of the capital. The prime minister has resigned, there’s a month long state of emergency and a curfew has been extended. The gangs have destroyed police buildings and, after storming a prison in the capital Port-au-Prince, thousands of escaped prisoners are back on the streets. Hosted by Lukwesa Burak and Luke Jones, they hear from Haitians caught up in this latest violence
16/03/2423m 50s

Heart and Soul: Not even water?

They are the top questions asked to anyone who is fasting for Ramadan: no food or water? But what is Ramadan? Why Fast? And how do young Muslims manage Ramadan in their respective lives and work? Former teacher turned journalist Mehreen Baig goes in search of the answers by speaking to Muslims from different cultural backgrounds. She explores all aspects of fasting like abstaining from food, sex, music and of course…water.this edition was first published in 2022
15/03/2427m 33s

Assignment: Border Stories, part one - Zero Tolerance

In 2018 the US government under President Trump introduced a policy of “Zero Tolerance” at its border with Mexico. Anyone attempting to enter the US without documentation would be prosecuted, even if it was a first offence. If they were travelling with children, their children would be taken from them. The policy was cancelled within weeks but not before thousands of families had been separated. Six years on, several hundred are still to be reunited. Migration is perhaps the most important battleground in this year’s presidential election. Both President Biden and his challenger, Donald Trump, have made recent visits to the border. And Zero Tolerance still resonates.Linda Pressly hears about the pain of separation as experienced by a man from Guatemala; speaks to the people still trying to put families back together; and asks if a new administration might turn again to Zero Tolerance in an attempt to deter would-be migrants to the United States.
14/03/2427m 48s

Running out of sand

It is hard to believe but the world is running out of sand. Our insatiable appetite for the substance that makes everything from skyscrapers to smartphones has led to environmental destruction in countries like Cambodia, where there has been a long history of illegal sand mining along the Mekong river. We are in the rapidly developing city of Phnom Penh to hear from the people whose lives and livelihoods have been threatened by the struggle for sand. Those who have fished the river for decades are finding that their nets are empty as the sand miners move in. People living alongside the Mekong have seen their houses crumble into the water as the riverbanks collapse.
13/03/2450m 26s

Bonus: Lives Less Ordinary

A bonus episode from Lives Less Ordinary podcast. Miracle on the ocean floor. Have you ever locked eyes with a stranger and wondered, "What’s their story?" Step into someone else’s life and expect the unexpected. Extraordinary stories from around the world. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/liveslessordinary or search for Live Less Ordinary wherever you get your BBC podcasts.Producers: Eric Mugaju and Harry Graham
12/03/2441m 45s

In the Studio: Peter Beatty

In 2021, with UK Covid restrictions putting plans for his creative collaborations on hold, British artist and musician Peter Beatty decided to take the plunge into animation. He wanted to create an animated film as a music video to accompany a song he had written called Tell Me Where to Go. To make things extra interesting (and complicated!) he decided to shun modern digital approaches and instead to build a multiplane camera – a meticulous, painstaking system for stop-motion animation invented by Disney Studios in the 1930s and now rarely used. He then set to work animating with his film-making/photographer friend Joseph Boyle. Neither had made a stop motion animation before, but their final film has won seven international awards - and counting!
11/03/2426m 32s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Why young people are having less sex. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
10/03/2422m 52s

BBC OS Conversations: The cost of living crisis in Nigeria

Nigeria is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a generation. Over the past year the price of the staple food, rice, has more than doubled and a litre of petrol now costs more than three times what it did. Host Kupra Padhy hears what this means for people trying to make a living, feed their family or run a business. We bring together two women who run food businesses in the country. Onimba, a chef in Port Harcourt, tells us how on a recent visit to the market the price of a bag of sugar had doubled overnight. Plus, three health workers tell us how rising prices are not only having a direct effect on their families, but also their patients.
09/03/2423m 59s

Heart and Soul: I joined the Taliban after they kept me hostage

Bara’atu Ibrahim speaks to Jibra’il Omar, formerly Timothy Weeks; an Australian educator who was held captive for three years in Afghanistan by the Taliban. However Jibra’il Omar made news six years ago, after he converted to Islam whilst in captivity and astonishingly became a full-fledged member of the Taliban after his release. For some months, Bara’atu built up a relationship with Jibra’il over a messaging service whilst he was in Kabul. She spoke to him on two occasions, where he shared his story and gives the reasons of why he decided it was right for him to become a Muslim and moreover celebrate with his captors once they came back into power. This podcast has been edited since it was originally published.
08/03/2427m 30s

Assignment: Educating Tibet

Schools in Tibet are changing - and not for the better, say activists. Micky Bristow investigates China’s educational reforms: children as young as four separated from their families and forced into boarding schools, it’s claimed, learning in Chinese, not Tibetan. Is this an attempt at social engineering to undermine Tibetan culture, or is it, as China claims, a bold effort to bring progress to an underdeveloped region?
07/03/2427m 36s

Diving With a Purpose

Diving With a Purpose is a collective of Black scuba divers who search for long-lost slave wrecks. They are on a mission to raise the silent voices of the captive Africans who went down with those vessels and bring them back into our collective memory. We join their youth diving program - YDWP - in Biscayne National Park, Florida Keys, as they head out onto the ocean in search of the Guerrero. The Guerrero was a pirate ship being chased by a British ship HMS Nimble when it ran aground in 1827. It had 561 captive Africans on board, of which 41 drowned.
06/03/2427m 20s

Trending - The anti-vax candidate?

How is Robert F Kennedy’s long record of spreading anti-vaccine misinformation impacting on his bid to be elected US President in 2024? In 2024 yet another Kennedy is making a bid for the White House. Robert F Kennedy Jr - nephew of the late President John F Kennedy - is enjoying strong polling numbers for an independent candidate. He’s running on a platform of promising to take on powerful vested interests to create a better life for the average American. But away from his Camelot-infused stump speeches, he is facing questions about his long and controversial record of spreading misinformation about the safety of vaccines. In this episode, the BBC’s Health and Disinformation Reporter Rachel Schraer investigates how Kennedy is building a base from across the political spectrum, in spite of, or because of, his views on public health policy.
06/03/2419m 50s

Tumaini

Tumaini (‘hope’ in Swahili) Festival is a unique refugee-led celebration of music, culture and solidarity in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi. Founded by Tresor Mpauni, who lived in the camp after being forced to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo, it uses arts and culture to build connections between refugees and the host community in Malawi. Each year it welcomes musicians and artists from all over Africa, and hosts guests from all over the world within the camp; providing a space to celebrate the artistic skills and organisational talents of an increasingly marginalised refugee community. Against considerable odds, they’ve created the largest festival in Malawi with over 50,000 people attending and over 115 artists performing in 2023. It is the refugee camp’s largest source of commercial income.
05/03/2427m 14s

In the Studio: Ghawgha

Ghawgha is a singer-songwriter originally from Afghanistan. Growing up between Afghanistan and Iran, she now lives in Norway, as part of ICORN programme - a residency for artists at risk. However, the situation facing women and minorities in her native country still run deep in her music and her songs reflect the current situation in Afghanistan under a second Taliban rule. Ghawgha’s single of 2019, I Kiss You Amid the Taliban, celebrated the hard-gained freedoms of the new generation in Afghanistan before the Taliban takeover in 2021. Kawoon Khamoosh follows Ghawgha as she works on and records her new album called Qaf. Qaf refers to a mysterious mountain that exists in legends where the mythological bird Simurgh had her nest and Ghawgha has been working with both poets from Afghanistan, as well as writing her own lyrics.
04/03/2427m 20s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Are you ever too old to have a baby?. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
03/03/2426m 17s

BBC OS Conversations: Beyoncé and the changing face of country music

The latest Beyoncé song, Texas Hold ‘Em, has topped the charts in the US and UK. More significantly, however, this is the first time a black woman has gone to No. 1 in the US country music charts, provoking several talking points about diversity within the country music genre. Host James Reynolds brings together three African American women in country music, including musician Rissi Palmer who first reached the country charts in 2007 and has had several hits since. And, three people involved in country music on three continents, in Argentina, Nigeria and Sweden, tell James about their love for country.
02/03/2422m 59s

Heart and Soul: The new iconographers

Dr Irena Bradley and Kelly Latimore are both iconographers taking the ancient tradition of iconography into the 21st Century. Both interpret their icons very differently. Irena is more traditional in her approach - creating an icon is an act of worship and to bring in the faithful who look at them in the presence of God. However Kelly’s approach maybe considered more modern, painting images that reflect modern day social injustices within biblical settings. Nastaran Tavakoli-Far hears from both of them. What drives them to do what they do and do they see their work as inspired by god? She brings them together to hear how they relate to and interpret one another’s work.
01/03/2427m 26s

Assignment: Botswana - living with elephants

The battle to keep the peace between people and elephants in northern Botswana. The earth’s largest land mammal, the elephant, is an endangered species. Poaching, habitat loss and disease have decimated elephant populations. But not in Botswana, which has the world’s biggest population of elephants. In the north of the country, in the area around the remarkable Okavango Delta (the world’s largest inland delta), elephant numbers are growing and they outnumber people. This can pose serious problems for the human population, particularly local subsistence farmers. A crop raid by elephants can destroy a family’s annual food supply overnight. Elephants also pose a risk to life in their daily commute between their feeding grounds and their water sources. John Murphy travels to the top of the Okavango Delta, to see what efforts are being made to keep both people and elephants safe, and to persuade locals that these giant animals are an asset not a liability. He also explores threats from further afield to this green jewel in the desert, the Okavango Delta, which animals and people alike depend on.
29/02/2427m 54s

Trending - The disinformation war in the Middle East

"A flood of disinformation has erupted across social media in the online propaganda battle that’s being waged alongside the physical conflict between Israel and Hamas.Everything from video game clips falsely presented as genuine combat footage, to the outright denial of civilian deaths, have been deployed to try to skew the online narrative and warp public perceptions.BBC Verify’s Olga Robinson and Shayan Sardarizadeh examine the trends in this alternative war over the Middle East with the help of Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, the independent investigative organisation."
28/02/2419m 37s

Storm over a teacup

In the mountainous east of Nepal many communities are dependent on tea. The nitrogen-rich soil of the high-elevation estates allow tea bushes to produce a unique flavour, but the picking has to be done by hand. Phanindra Dahal talks to farmers, factory managers, tea estate supervisors and leaders in the business to find out how this small nation is looking to compete globally and the challenges they are up against. One challenge is a complex relationship with its neighbour, India.
27/02/2427m 46s

In the Studio: Claudia Piñeiro

Claudia Piñeiro is a multi-award winning novelist, with many of her books being adapted for television. She's one of Argentina's most translated writers, as well as being a popular screenwriter and playwright. The BBC's Andrea Kidd joins Claudia in her apartment in Buenos Aires, as she works on her latest, as yet, untitled novel. It follows the story of two step-sisters, one a radio journalist, the other an escort, both unaware of the other's existence, until a dramatic incident brings their lives together. But was it an accident or something more sinister?
26/02/2427m 19s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Is #Me Too finally exploding in French cinema?. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
25/02/2425m 54s

Bonus: Hardtalk - Defying Putin

Russian authorities have announced the death of one of the country’s most significant opposition leaders Alexey Navalny in a remote penal colony in the Arctic Circle. Stephen Sackur spoke to him in Moscow in 2017 about the risks involved in being a prominent critic of President Putin.
24/02/2424m 27s

BBC OS Conversations: Ukraine war babies and returning home

It is two years since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives, left millions of Ukrainians as refugees, and wrought much destruction. When your home is invaded and everything is shattered and turned upside down, what happens to your life? Host James Reynolds hears from three women in Ukraine who, despite the dangers of war, chose to have a baby. At the start of the war, millions of women and children escaped to safety abroad. With the passing of time, some have decided to return. Three of those women come together to discuss their decisions to go back home.
24/02/2424m 1s

Three Million: 5. Ghosts

The Bengal Famine, particularly the experiences of people in the rural areas who suffered the most, is not well remembered today. There is no memorial, museum, or plaque to the victims or survivors anywhere in the world.One man has made it his life’s work to record their testimonies with paper and pen. Kavita hears from him, and tries to understand more about why the three million people who perished aren’t better remembered or memorialised in India, Bangladesh and Britain.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee and Professor Joya Chatterji
23/02/2428m 55s

Three Million: 4. The tapes

Kavita Puri discovers a set of cassette tapes containing rare interviews with Indian civil servants who were on the ground across Bengal during the famine, shedding new light on colonial responsibility. And as the need for relief in Bengal becomes ever greater, more pressure is put on the British government from India’s new Viceroy. He asks for more food imports. Could the War Cabinet and Prime Minister Winston Churchill have done more to help alleviate the famine in the middle of the war? Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production co-ordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee and Professor Joya ChatterjiInterviews conducted by Lance Brennan courtesy of University of CambridgeInterviews with GS Khosla courtesy of University of Cambridge
23/02/2431m 21s

Three Million: 3. The f-word

Colonial authorities wanted to censor the famine. They were worried that Britain’s wartime enemies - the Germans and the Japanese - would use it as propaganda against them.But as more and more starving people arrive in cities across Bengal, it becomes harder to suppress. Indian writers, photographers and artists document the humanitarian catastrophe, but it was risky, as the censor forbade mention of the famine. A British journalist and editor of the English language Statesman newspaper, in Calcutta, decides to challenge the censor and begins publishing photographs and scathing editorials about what was really going on in Bengal. It shocks the world. In London, the BBC reports on “famine conditions” and, as we uncover, the British government tries to pressurise the broadcaster to tone down its coverage.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee, Professor Joya Chatterji and Dr Diya Gupta
23/02/2429m 37s

Three Million: 2. The cigarette tin

A boy decides how much rice he can give from a cigarette tin to hungry people. A Christian missionary sets up a makeshift relief hospital. A small child watches through the gates of his house in Calcutta as emaciated women clutching children ask for food. As the food crisis deepens, shocking testimonies from the countryside show the extent of starvation. Many thousands of hungry people begin moving from the rural areas towards the cities.Indians - including children - are forced into life-or-death decisions.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee, Professor Joya Chatterji and Dr Diya Gupta.Interview with Alan McLeod courtesy of the University of Cambridge
23/02/2426m 35s

Three Million: 1. War

During the Second World War, at least three million Indian people, who were British subjects, died in the Bengal Famine. It was one of the largest losses of civilian life on the Allied side. But there is no memorial to them anywhere in the world - not even a plaque. Can three million people disappear from public memory?From the creator and presenter of the award-winning series Three Pounds in my Pocket and Partition Voices, this is the story of the Bengal Famine of 1943. For the first time it is told by those who were there - farmers and fishermen, artists and writers, colonial British and everyday citizens. Nearly all of the testimony in the series has never been broadcast before. Eighty years on, those who lived through it are a vanishing generation. Time is running out to record their memories.We begin in 1942. As the Japanese sweep through South East Asia, Calcutta (now Kolkata) is inundated with hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers from all over the world. Fear of a Japanese invasion of British India provokes a consequential decision.Presenter: Kavita Puri Series producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Emma Rippon Sound design and mix: Eloise Whitmore Production coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Original music: Felix TaylorWith thanks to Dr Janam Mukherjee, Professor Joya Chatterji and Dr Diya Gupta. Interviews with American soldiers courtesy of The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: nationalww2museum.org/ Interviews with G S Khosla and Debotosh Das Gupta courtesy of the University of Cambridge Major General Dharitri Kumar Palit interviewed by Gillian Wright, 1987, British Library reference C63/195/09. Audio © British Library Board and the interviewee. The British Library has been unable to locate the family of the interviewee. Please contact oralhistory@bl.uk with any relevant information.
23/02/2428m 50s

Heart and Soul: Ladino - Saving Greece’s ancient Jewish language

For centuries, the Judaeo-Spanish language of Ladino was spoken in the vibrant streets of Thessaloniki. But today, it is a language on the verge of fading away, its echoes becoming fainter with each passing generation. Journalist and language enthusiast Sophia Smith Galer heads to the city to find out what happened to Ladino, and where its traces may still be found today - hearing from the teachers, community members and even singers who do not want Greece to forget one of their linguistic jewels.
23/02/2427m 20s

Assignment: Pakistan - journalists under fire

Journalists in Pakistan say they’re under threat of abduction and even of being killed if they criticise the state authorities. Whoever is in power, legal action against journalists who’ve spoken out against the authorities is nothing new. Press freedom campaigners say that in 12 months 140 journalists were threatened or attacked with some saying that democracy itself is under attack. For Assignment Mobeen Azhar hears the allegations made by those who say they’ve been targeted to shut them up - allegations which the authorities deny.Archive: AAJ News, May 2023 GNN, February 2023, Naya Daur February 2022, GEO TV October 2022
22/02/2426m 14s

Trending: The new fight for land rights

In Malaysian Borneo, indigenous people have struggled for land rights against companies and the state. Using new mapping technology, communities in Borneo’s rainforests are racing to prove their claims. We explore how technology and social media are being used and misused to shift the balance of power.
21/02/2418m 20s

Two Years of War: Voices from Russia

As the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches, Oleg Boldyrev reports on how ordinary Russians are dealing with life in a country at war with its close neighbour. Are there new economic and social challenges, and what do we know of attitudes to the invasion? We talk to Russians across the country to gauge the mood.Photo by ANATOLY MALTSEV/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (14329432c) People stand at a bus stop near an image depicting St. Isaac's Cathedral (back) on a sunny day in St. Petersburg, Russia, 02 February 2024. Temperatures in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, reached minus two degrees Celsius on the day.
20/02/2427m 0s

In the Studio: Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz says he owes his artistic career to being shot as a young man, not because he had an epiphany about the meaning of his life, but because he won enough compensation from the accident to move to New York and kick-start his career in the art world. He is now probably one of Brazil’s most successful visual artists and his pieces can range from tiny specs that are photographed by microscopes to giant landscapes captured from helicopters. He is known for working with unconventional materials; some of his most famous works have been created out of sugar, chocolate and a plate of left over spaghetti. Andrea Kennedy went to New York to meet him as he prepared for an exhibition full of illusions.
19/02/2427m 19s

World Wide Waves '24

Radio can be a lifeline for women: a place to speak out in safety; a place to find their voices. We hear from women taking to the air and making waves in the cracks left by the Taliban in Afghanistan; in Fiji's scattered archipelago threatened by climate change; in the migrant farmworker community of the Yakima Valley in North America's Pacific north-west; and in the Ecuadorean Amazon, where indigenous women are coming together to save their land from pollution and destruction by oil companies.
18/02/2450m 10s

Bonus: The Global Jigsaw - Does Russia’s election matter?

Putin’s re-election is certain, but there is still a lot at stake for the Kremlin. We look into the efforts aimed at achieving unequivocal victory in what seems to be the most oppressive election in Russia for two decades. What are the stories state media can and cannot touch, how much of a headache does dissent from the mothers and wives of soldiers pose to the authorities and does Putin really have body doubles? We have the answers. Producer: Kriszta Satori Presenter: Krassi Twigg Editor: Judy King Twitter handle of contributors: @VitalyBBC, @jen_mon1, @oivshina Original music: Pete Cunningham Sound engineer: Martin Appleby
17/02/2436m 2s

BBC OS Conversations: The earthquake in Turkey and Syria – one year on

When we first reported on the earthquake in February 2023, the scale was overwhelming. We heard from families who had escaped as buildings around them collapsed and rescue workers described the devastation as the worst they had ever seen. Each day the casualty figures mounted. It is now thought that at least 55,000 people died.A year on, we have been catching-up with survivors to hear how their lives have changed. One family – Iman, Karim and their 7-year-old daughter Nada – had fled from the war in Syria to have a new life in Turkey. They lost family, friends and their home in the earthquake. When host James Reynolds called the family up in the last few days, they told him they were doing much better. Young Nada, however, is still having nightmares about the floor shaking and people she has lost. “I have a dream about my friend Iman, she died from the earthquake,” Nada tells James. “I’m so sad about her, and I have a friend who moved to Canada – I miss her so much.”We also hear messages from BBC listeners in Turkey and reunite with Harun, an English teacher in southern Turkey, and Bilal who is living in the east of the country and had his business destroyed last year. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
17/02/2423m 56s

Bonus: HARDtalk - Alexey Navalny: The interview

Russian authorities have announced the death of one of the country’s most significant opposition leaders Alexey Navalny in a remote penal colony in the Arctic Circle. Stephen Sackur spoke to him in Moscow in 2017 about the risks involved in being a prominent critic of President Putin.
16/02/2425m 12s

Heart and Soul: The killer's counsel

Doctor Gwen Adshead is a forensic psychiatrist working with the UK’s most violent offenders, many of them serving life sentences at Broadmoor Prison for murder. Gwen believes that empathy starts with a recognition that there is a capacity for evil in all of us. She believes that for her patients, “no matter what their history”, therapeutic treatment works. She speaks to the writer and convicted murderer Erwin James. Together they reflect on Erwin’s life story and how he came to commit the crime he did. Erwin asks Gwen about her relationship with Christianity and how it has supported her in her work.
16/02/2427m 21s

Assignment: Tempting fate - Istanbul's earthquake dilemma

Millions of residents living in Istanbul face the dilemma of whether or not to find out if the buildings where they live are resilient to earthquakes. Many cannot afford to do anything about it even if they are unsafe. A year on from the earthquakes in south-east Turkey that killed over 53,000 people, it is clear poorly built homes, hospitals and hotels that collapsed within seconds contributed to the high death toll. There are warnings that a similar fate awaits Istanbul, where scientists predict a major earthquake could strike any day now. Emily Wither looks at the challenges facing Istanbul and discovers a story of politics, poor urban planning and a struggle to find safe housing.
15/02/2428m 1s

Trending: The Mexican mayor and a deepfake scandal

When an audio recording alleged to be from the Mayor of one of the world's largest cities started circulating online, reality was called into question. Mexico City's mayor, claimed the clip- which sounded like he was discussing a campaign against a political candidate- was AI generated. Others are convinced the audio is real. In this episode of Trending’s Power season, Jack Goodman and Laura García go on the hunt for answers. Using the latest AI detection tools, they explore the possibilities and limitations of verifying such content, and question how disinformation may shape Mexico's general election in June. Could AI disrupt elections around the world?
14/02/2419m 0s

Reporting Greece

Greece is the birthplace of democracy. But how free is Greece’s media? Nikos Papanikolaou travels to his home town, Athens, to speak to journalists who have had their phones hacked by an advanced new spyware, been sued for defamation, and been under surveillance by the Greek national intelligence agency. In the south of the city he visits the widow of the an investigative journalist – murdered just outside their family home. Nikos also hears from Members of the European Parliament – those who want the EU to withhold funds until Greece improves the position for journalists – and those outraged by the idea that Greece does not already have a free media. Presented by Nikos Papanikolaou Produced by Giles Edwards.This podcast was edited after it was published
13/02/2426m 42s

In the Studio: Jon Foreman

Jon Foreman is a land artist. He creates work in natural spaces using natural materials like stones, sand, leaves and driftwood. Known for his mesmerising sculptures that harmonise with nature, Jon’s work has captured the imagination of art enthusiasts worldwide. His artwork may last as little as 10 minutes before the sea washes it away, but his sculptures are not meant to last; his art is a testament to the beauty found in the ephemeral moment. From the ancient tools he uses to create his sculptures to the modern technology he employs to capture it, we follow Jon's creative process as he takes us to his favourite location to work - the pristine beach of Lindsway Bay on the Pembrokeshire coast, west Wales.
12/02/2428m 58s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Could Taylor Swift swing the US election?The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
11/02/2425m 9s

Bonus: Sportshour at the Super Bowl Las Vegas edition

Some claim that the romance between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce has been manufactured by the NFL for political gain, and whilst that is clearly nonsense we look at the impact of Swift's relationship with the NFL.Shaquem Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome causing the fingers on his left hand not to fully develop. The pain was so intense that at 4 years of age he grabbed a butcher knife, planning to cut the hand off. His mother took the knife away, and scheduled an amputation the next day… Despite the obvious setback of only having one hand, Shaquem still fulfilled his dream and played in the NFL for four seasons. He tells us his story.And Cyndy Feasel who watched on helpless as her husband, former NFL star Grant Feasel died the victim of alcohol abuse and a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. She tells us about one NFL wife’s story of concussions, loss, and the faith that saw her through.Plus, in the year America elects its next president we explore the relationship between the Super Bowl and the Commander in Chief.And we speak to SpongeBob Square pants best friend Patrick Starr as he prepares to give an alternative commentary of Sunday's game for younger viewers!
10/02/2445m 45s

BBC OS Conversations: Deepfake attacks

After explicit faked photos of Taylor Swift went around the world, US politicians have called for new laws to criminalise the creation of deepfake images. The term ‘deepfake’ describes how artificial intelligence – AI – can be used to digitally alter pictures, audio or video and trick us into seeing or hearing something that is not real.It is not just the famous who are being targeted. Host James Reynolds hears the story of how a daughter’s voice was copied and used to make a scam phone call to her mother. “She said mom I messed up, and all of a sudden a man said ‘put your head back and lay down’ and that’s when I started to get really concerned that she was either really hurt or something more was going on,” Jennifer tells us. “And then she goes ‘mom, mom, these bad men have me, help me, help me and she starts crying and sobbing.”Thankfully her daughter, Brianna, had not been kidnapped but the call has had a lasting effect on the family.Technology has made the process of adjusting images easier but artificial intelligence provides the means to create media from scratch to generate completely fake content. We bring together two women – in the US and Australia – who have had their faces manipulated using AI to produce malicious pornographic images and videos.
10/02/2424m 5s

Heart and Soul: Religion in the 21st century - Buddhism (episode 3)

What does it mean to be a Buddhist today? For this last programme in a special series on religion in the 21st century, Heart and Soul on the BBC World Service brings together three global Buddhists from Singapore, the USA and the UK. Venerable Canda Theri Bhikkhuni is the only fully ordained bhikkhuni, or female Buddhist monastic, in the UK. She founded the Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project, which aims to provide the country’s first monastery where women can train towards full ordination.Heng Xuan Tio is based in Singapore and is the co-founder of Handful of Leaves, an online community which aims to show young people how Buddhism is relevant to their modern lives.And Lama Rod Owens is a Black gay Buddhist teacher and author based in the USA. His teaching focuses on social change, identity, and spiritual practice.For this special discussion programme, the BBC’s Alice Bhandhukravi brings them together to discuss Buddhism’s difference branches, how it’s been interpreted in western countries, the differences between monastic and lay Buddhism, and the unique challenges of following a 2,500-year-old faith tradition in the present day. Presented by Alice Bhandhukravi.
09/02/2427m 24s

Assignment: Is Ireland’s reputation for tolerance under threat?

Ireland is known as the land of a hundred thousand welcomes. But the government says the country has run out of accommodation to house all new eligible refugee arrivals. Some properties earmarked to house asylum seekers have been fire-bombed and others are subject to protests. Hundreds of people seeking asylum have been forced to sleep in tents in Dublin and elsewhere. Ireland has taken in around 100,000 people from Ukraine and the number of people seeking international protection from other countries has increased four-fold since pre-Covid times. The government has slashed benefits for new arrivals from Ukraine and limited to three months the time it will guarantee to house them. As the country leads up to local, national and European elections, migration is rising up the political agenda. Is Ireland’s reputation for tolerance under threat?
08/02/2427m 49s

Bonus: Killer drug: Fentanyl in Mexico and the US

Fentanyl is deadly. Thousands of Americans die every year from a drug overdose – the majority of them after using a synthetic opioid like fentanyl. It was developed as a legal, and effective, pain killer. Now, fuelled by insatiable US demand, it is illicitly produced in makeshift laboratories in Mexico by organised crime groups. In the first part, Assignment travels to the Mexican Pacific port of Manzanillo. This is one of the main entry points for the chemical ingredients required to make fentanyl. It is a town where Mexico’s powerful cartels have fought for control, and where the mayor lives under armed guard after a failed assassination attempt. In the second part, we cross the border into the US from Mexico to explore the devastation this lethal drug has left in its wake in San Diego County. Presenter / producer: Linda Pressly Producer: Tim Mansel Producer in Mexico: Ulises EscamillaThis Podcast was originally published in March 2023
07/02/2453m 39s

Trending: Serbia’s real life ‘bots’

Over the summer, a mysterious Twitter persona published details of over 14,500 social media accounts - all of them controlled by real-life Serbian citizens, it's claimed. They stand accused of posting… whatever the President’s party tells them to.It’s long been rumoured that Serbia’s ruling SNS party commands the online activity of a small army of citizens, dubbed ‘bots’ by the opposition. But this kind of list, naming and shaming thousands of ordinary Serbians, is unprecedented.If true, their activity represents a form of political corruption according to Serbia’s public prosecutor. The government’s response has alarmed observers - it shrugged off the story, publishing instead a veiled tongue-in-cheek ‘admission’.But who is behind the list, and can it be trusted? BBC Trending has analysed the data in an attempt to establish if the ‘bots’ are indeed real people. And whether their accounts show evidence of co-ordinated activity.Featuring interviews gathered on the ground in Belgrade, we hear from opposition politicians, pro-democracy activists and a self-professed real-life ‘bot’. She tells us she trolled the President’s opponents under threat of losing her job – as a receptionist at a state-controlled electricity company in a small Serbian town.Reporter: Sam Judah
07/02/2418m 45s

Cairo in comics

Modern Cairo is a crowded metropolis. The city’s ‘thousand minarets’ are now dwarfed by a new skyline of slick tower blocks. Modern highways fly over bustling kiosks where residents gather to smoke and buy soda drinks. Inspired by the lives of their neighbours, playing out among mosques, high rise buildings and on busy streets, Egyptian writers and graphic artists, including Deena Mohamed, Shennawy and Mohamed Wahba bring their thousand-year-old capital to life.
06/02/2427m 21s

In the Studio: Awais Khan - Overcoming writer’s block

The Pakistani author, Awais Khan, is working on his latest thriller, His Sister’s Secret, a look into the dark side of dating and family life. But Awais is also struggling with a familiar challenge for many authors - writer’s block – which is stopping him finishing the book he hopes could win him a global publishing deal. Join fellow author Paul Waters as he watches Awais take a radical step to tackle this problem and try to finish his first draft. Along the way Paul meets other international authors who share how they cope when the words won’t flow. But will Awais manage to finish his own story?
05/02/2427m 26s

Bonus: The Global Story

A bonus episode from The Global Story podcast. Elon Musk says Chinese electric vehicles could destroy competition. The Global Story brings you one big story every weekday, making sense of the news with our experts around the world. Insights you can trust, from the BBC, with Katya Adler. For more, go to bbcworldservice.com/globalstory or search for The Global Story wherever you get your BBC podcasts.
04/02/2425m 30s

BBC OS Conversations: Leaving Gaza

The BBC revealed this week that more than half the buildings in the Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed since Israel launched its retaliation for the Hamas attacks in October. The war has left tens of thousands dead or injured…and an estimated 1.7 million people have been displaced. There are shortages of water, food, and medicines.This week, three US doctors who recently left Gaza share their experiences of working in a hospital in the territory with host James Reynolds. “Blast waves hit the operating room, you can see your metal table with all the instruments rattle, doors slam, the plaster falling off the walls,” Dr Chandra Hassan, from international humanitarian NGO MedGlobal tells us. “You learn to live with that, and you sleep out of exhaustion.”The escalation of the military activities left many people with no choice but to flee their homes. 35-year-old Layan and her two daughters, 12-year-old Sama and Elya, who’s 8, had to take a long – and at times dangerous – journey from Gaza City to Khan Younis in the south. They have since managed to cross the border into Egypt, where they are now living safely in Cairo. They share their experiences of leaving the Gaza Strip and Layan tells us why she feels guilty leaving the rest of her family behind. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
03/02/2424m 16s

Heart and Soul: Religion in the 21st Century - Hindus (episode 2 of 3)

What does it mean to be a young Hindu in 2024? The world's Hindu population is projected to rise by 34%, by 2050 to nearly 1.4 billion. So how does one of the world’s oldest religions fit with today's world more than 4,000 years after its inception? In the second of three discussion programmes looking at religion in the 21st century, Rajeev Gupta is joined by 36-year-old Indian-born banker Om Dhumatkar who runs a YouTube channel explaining Hindu scripture, 23-year-old Prasiddha Sudhakar, a student of information security at Carnegie Mellon University and 22-year-old Thomas Awad, a student at Cambridge University and follower of the Swaminarayan Hindu sect. With Rajeev, they discuss how they apply ancient traditions in the modern world, the way people respond to their Hindu identity and the things they want others to learn about their faith.
02/02/2427m 35s

Assignment: Spain, the kiss and the culture war

When Spanish football boss Luis Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso after her team’s world cup victory last summer, it set a match to Spanish gender relations. On every chat show, on every campus, in every couple’s bedroom, arguments started - does a kiss count as sexual violence? What is consent? Has feminism gone too far? 53% of Spaniards think it has, and that it is discriminating against men. Now, Rubiales is facing criminal trial. “Se acabó” (it’s over) trended after the kiss, but this battle is far from over. For Assignment, Sofia Bettiza travels to Madrid to hear how the Rubiales case tapped into a rift in Spanish society that has been splitting further apart for decades.
01/02/2428m 3s

Trending: Power

Crude fakes in Uganda A BBC investigation has uncovered a network of fake social media accounts seemingly working together to promote the Ugandan government and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Online, an information battle appears to be going on – one being waged by hundreds of social media accounts set on pushing narratives in line with those of the Ugandan government. As part of a coordinated campaign, they have been artificially inflating support for EACOP online and viciously targeting those that oppose the project – both at home and abroad. But who is behind these accounts? And how influential have they become?
31/01/2419m 54s

The Israeli hostages

Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October 2023, killing more than 1,200 people and taking around 240 hostages, including children and babies, women, and elderly people. The exact numbers are still changing. Some of the hostages have been released under a deal brokered by Qatar, but many remain in captivity inside Gaza. Anna Foster talks to people who were there when the attacks happened at the kibbutzim and the Nova music festival.
30/01/2427m 34s

In the Studio: Shoeshine Caddie

The search is on to find new ways to document the lives of the homeless – nowhere is this more true than in America, with increasing numbers of people sleeping rough. Sue Mitchell talks to filmmaker, Leonard Manzella, who has risen to the challenge with his award-winning film, Shoeshine Caddie.The film follows a year in the life of 61-year-old African American, Adrian Spears. He certainly stands out in the sleepy Californian town where he makes a living shining shoes: dancing around with his bowler hat, starched shirt and bright red uniform. The film opens as he folds up the cardboard sheets he sleeps on at night and makes his way to the storage unit where he keeps clothes and an iron. Everything he owns is immaculately pressed, and it was partly his quiet dignity which drew Leonard to Adrian, and which resonates throughout the movie.Leonard had thought his days in the movies business were over: he gave up his Hollywood career 30 years ago to retrain as a family therapist and through Adrian’s story he has reclaimed his passion. The BBC Producer, Sue Mitchell, came across Leonard’s film whilst recording with a homeless man living just a few miles away. She was intrigued and began exploring the background to the film and examining why it was proving so popular with audiences.
29/01/2427m 9s

Understand: The US election

Caucuses, primaries and Super Tuesday. Justin Webb, former BBC US correspondent, unpicks some of the terminology associated with the US election.
28/01/2454m 32s

BBC OS Conversations: Life in Yemen

With concerns around further instability in the Middle East – as well as international trade – Yemen is the focus for many around the world. The Red Sea runs along part of the country’s coastline, and it is in these waters where cargo ships have been attacked. The US and UK have responded with air strikes against the Houthis, the armed political and religious group, which is responsible for targeting the ships. These events are against the backdrop of a recent civil war in Yemen and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. We wanted to talk to people in Yemen to get a sense of what day to day life is like. Host, James Reynolds, is joined by two Yeminis who live and work in the capital, Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis. “It looks like normal life,” Radhya tells us. “But if you are sick you will not find a proper health system, there is no good education system at all – the disaster in Sanaa is not something you can see with your naked eye.”Others inside Yemen have sent us messages and we bring together three people who have left the country. They talk about their home and hopes to one day return. “I imagine Yemen before the nightmare, before the war,” says Ahad. “It was a beautiful place and I wish for it to go back to how it was before.”A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
27/01/2423m 55s

Heart and Soul: Religion in the 21st Century: Islam

What does it mean to be a young Muslim in the world today? In the first of three discussion programmes looking at religion in the 21st century, a panel of young Muslims look at Islam and discuss their hopes, feelings and grievances on how they see their religion shaping up in the modern era.
26/01/2427m 16s

Assignment: American mercenaries - killing in Yemen

While recent attention has focused on the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, BBC correspondent Nawal Al-Maghafi investigates a different, hidden aspect of the country’s long civil war. The conflict in Yemen began in 2014. It has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. In 2015, a coalition formed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen. Its stated aim was to return the elected government to power, and to fight terrorism. However, Nawal Al-Maghafi , from BBC Arabic Investigations has found evidence that the UAE has been funding a method of covert warfare in southern Yemen – assassinating those who have spoken out against the UAE’s operations in the country. Assassinations were initially carried out by a band of former American Special Forces operatives turned mercenaries, who were paid by the UAE. These extra-judicial killings, conducted in the name of counterterrorism, continue to this day. The UAE denies the allegations.
25/01/2428m 37s

Solutions Journalism: Reducing risks in a risky world

Since the devastating 2011 tsunami, Japan has been piloting risk reduction solutions in areas prone to severe damage from earthquakes and tsunamis. Better communication is key to these efforts - 35% of people living in affected areas in 2011 apparently did not hear the radio announcements. Sendai City is working to solve the challenge of reliable communications by developing an emergency announcement system that uses fully automated drones. These can quickly be dispatched to tell people to evacuate when tsunami alerts are issued. This new system uses a dedicated private wireless communication network and an infrared camera mounted on a drone transmits pictures of affected areas to the city's disaster response headquarters in real-time.
24/01/2433m 34s

Solutions Journalism: Ending homelessness the Finnish way

What happens if you give a homeless person a house, with no strings attached?In 2007 Finland decided to switch to a radical new approach to homelessness called ‘housing first’, in which homeless people are simply offered their own apartment, with no expectations of them except paying the rent (usually covered by their benefits); alongside this they are given whatever support they need to remain housed, for as long as they need it. Proponents of 'housing first' argue that it is much easier for homeless people to sort out issues such as addiction or poor mental health when they have a secure home.The results so far seem to bear this out: around 90% of people offered an apartment remain housed, a much higher rate than under the previous system. However, critics argue that the approach could be much harder to implement in countries without Finland’s extensive social welfare system or good stock of affordable housing.Erika Benke visits the Väinölä Housing Unit outside Helsinki, an emergency shelter which was converted into 35 individual flats for formerly homeless people. What difference has having their own place made to the residents? And are they off the streets for good?
23/01/2423m 52s

In the Studio: Maria Djurkovic

Another chance to hear from production designer Maria Djurkovic, as she takes us behind the scenes of Harry Styles' movie, My Policeman, which was made in the middle of the pandemic. Lockdown presents a number of challenges, expected ones like social distancing and sick crew members. And unexpected ones, like studios being too full and staff being in short supply because more movies were being made during the pandemic, rather than less. Maria kept an audio diary during these unprecedented times for the British film industry, as she battles with crew shortages, schedule changes and a possible bout of Covid.
22/01/2426m 15s

Paris: Football’s greatest talent factory

In the France World Cup squad, 11 were from Paris and there were also players born in the city's suburbs representing Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Qatar, Cameroon, Ghana, Portugal and Germany. What is it about Paris's banlieues that helps create such amazing football talent? We go inside the clubs that created Kylian Mbappe, William Saliba and Moussa Diaby, and speak to the coaches who helped launch their incredible careers. We also meet some of the street footballers who turned into international stars. We investigate why Paris Saint-Germain has often missed out on the talented players on its doorstep and hear about the dangers posed by agents, scouts and pushy parents.
21/01/2450m 46s

BBC OS Conversations: Surviving sepsis

The inspiring story of nurse and mother Cindy Mullins from Kentucky in the United States has captured a lot of attention online and has raised awareness of a condition that affects millions of people around the world. Following an infection that led to sepsis, Cindy’s doctor told her she would need to have both of her arms and both legs amputated. Cindy and her husband, DJ, share their experiences and emotions with host James Reynolds. “I told the doctor to shoot it to me straight and he explained what they had to do to save my life and that the very next day I would lose my legs from the knees down,” Cindy tells us. “I was okay with it, I was at peace, I was just happy to be alive.” Sepsis – sometimes known as blood poisoning – occurs when the body's immune system has an extreme reaction to an infection and starts to damage the body’s own tissues and organs. Recent figures suggest there are 50 million cases of sepsis a year worldwide. We also bring together two other survivors of sepsis who have had to adapt to life without legs or arms. Caroline from the UK contracted sepsis after falling sick from Covid-19 and pneumonia. Shan from South Africa, contracted sepsis after being bitten by a mongoose. She has since had dozens of surgical procedures but still regularly works out in the gym.A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
20/01/2423m 56s

Heart and Soul: Russia’s Africa crusade

When the Russian Orthodox Church set up its own outpost in Africa in late 2021, just months before the invasion of Ukraine, it was considered a blatant challenge to the historic authority of the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. It sparked a major split in the global Orthodox community. Moscow’s move was in response to Alexandria’s support for the newly independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine. But it was also an opportunity for Russia to try to extend its influence across the African continent. Lucy Ash hears how priests in Kenya have been lured into joining the Russian Orthodox Church and asks whether President Vladimir Putin’s crusade for hearts and minds will succeed.
19/01/2427m 17s

Assignment: Bulgaria - the people smugglers

Migration is high on the political agenda in countries across Europe, as the number of asylum seekers rises once more. As well as those who risk life and limb on flimsy boats in the Mediterranean, thousands more come via the Balkans, many of them through Turkey and across the border into Bulgaria. They don’t stay there long. Their preferred destinations are further west, Germany perhaps or Britain. And while the migrants’ stories have become well-known in recent years, we hear relatively little from the people who enable their journeys, the people smugglers.For Assignment, Nick Thorpe has been to the north-west of Bulgaria, where it meets Serbia to the west and Romania across the Danube to the north. There he meets two men who worked as drivers for a smuggling organisation, shuttling migrants from Sofia, the capital, to the border.
18/01/2427m 27s

Our House: Stories of the Holocaust

Jo Glanville meets Berliners who have researched the stories of the Jewish families who once lived in their homes. Marie, Hugh, Anke and Matthias all became fascinated by the history of the families who lived in their flats before them when the Nazis were in power and wanted to find out what happened to them. Their discoveries are an intimate portrait of how lives were turned upside down and offer a new way of honouring the memory of Berliners who lost everything in the Holocaust. Jo visits one of the surviving residents - 95-year-old Ruth, now living in the UK, who vividly remembers what it was like to grow up in Nazi Germany. She tracks down the house in Berlin where her own mother spent part of her childhood. It is a journey that uncovers the past through forgotten family stories, revealing how the Nazis deprived Jews of the right to live in their homes.
16/01/2427m 14s

In the Studio: Thelma Schoonmaker

Thelma Schoonmaker is arguably the world’s most famous film editor, winning three Oscars in her 40-year career. Ever since Raging Bull, she has worked on all of Martin Scorsese’s major feature films like Goodfellas, Gangs of New York and Killers of the Flower Moon. She tells Francine Stock some secrets of the cutting room and about the other director in her life, her late husband Michael Powell, himself a major influence on Martin Scorsese.
15/01/2427m 23s

BBC OS Conversations on graduate unemployment

The pandemic, an economic downturn and the cost of living crisis have all taken their toll on the global job market. In China, millions of young people are struggling to find a job and in India 42% of graduates under the age of 25 are unemployed.Host James Reynolds hears from graduates from India, the United States, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana who either can’t find work or have changed direction from what they studied in order to find success - be it from English via waitressing to financial education - or economics to fashion.These are stories about resilience and overcoming rejection, with many companies not even responding to job applications.23 year old Priyanka, from India, lives in the UK after obtaining her degree and then her Masters in London in 2022. She recently signed up with a graduate coach to improve her chances of employment. “I’ve probably had, out of 800 applications, maybe five interviews so far,” Priyanka says, “So it’s a very, very tough market for an entry level candidate.” A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team
13/01/2424m 0s

Heart and Soul: Facing death in Kenya

In Kenya, palliative care - which involves end of life care for terminally ill patients - is often treated with suspicion. There's a deep taboo around speaking about the death of a person before it happens, which is thought to be like welcoming it. Some feel that taking up end of life care indicates that you've lost faith in the power of a healing God to cure your illness. But serious and complex illnesses like cancer are becoming more common in Kenya, and end of life care is a much-needed service for people facing death. In Eldoret, Western Kenya, a group of Christians have made it their life's work to defy the stigma, and to help those with terminal illnesses find peace in their final days. Kimbilio Hospice, run by a Christian charity called Living Room International, was established by Pastor David Tarus over a decade ago. The hospice provides specialist medical care to ease symptoms at the very end of a patient’s life, but often they first have to convince patients' families that it's OK to accept the facility's help. BBC Africa reporter Esther Ogola visited the hospice to see what exactly that entails.
12/01/2427m 3s

Assignment: The struggle for Barbuda's future

Campaigners on the tiny Caribbean island of Barbuda are locked in a battle over its development by foreign investors who are building exclusive resorts for wealthy clients. The development of Barbuda into a high-end tourist destination is supported by the government of Antigua and Barbuda, who say it’s essential to create jobs and for the economic future of the island. But others argue that it will fundamentally change the island’s ecology and unique way of life. Caroline Bayley travels to Barbuda for Assignment to speak to both sides in the heated debate over the island’s future.
11/01/2429m 4s

Building a future for cyclone-hit Mozambique

Five years after reporting on one of Mozambique’s worst cyclones, the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko returns to the city of Beira to meet the people on the frontline of climate change. With scientists predicting that such storms will become more powerful and dangerous because of global warming, work is underway to build the resilience to withstand this extreme weather. From builders learning techniques to construct stronger houses, to volunteers educating people in how to evacuate safely. The future of life and livelihoods in this region hangs in the balance, but these people want to help their communities adapt. Presenter: Nomsa Maseko
10/01/2427m 26s

The Return

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in Virginia, America, in 2019 Ghana launched the ‘Year of Return’, an initiative to encourage the African diaspora to invest, settle and visit. After a positive response a 10-year follow-up initiative called ‘Beyond the Return’ was launched in 2020 to further promote investment, migration and tourism. As a result there has been an increase in visitor numbers, particularly from the United States with thousands of African-Americans making the trip across the Atlantic. Some have decided to stay. At least 1500 people have since moved to the West African country from the U.S and there are over 5000 African Americans currently living in Ghana. Dr Ashley Milton is one of them. An environmental science and policy expert and entrepreneur, Dr Milton relocated from Washington D.C. to Ghana’s capital Accra just as the Year Of Return was being launched. In this documentary Dr Milton travels from Cape Coast to Tema, meeting a variety of African-Americans who now call Ghana home along the way. From a Marine Corps veteran who grew up in Los Angeles to a single mother from Atlanta, through varying stories of assimilation, hope, identity and migration, Ashley highlights the personal experiences of those like herself who have moved to Ghana, whilst reflecting on the significant historical connection between both countries for the BBC World Service.
09/01/2445m 11s

In the Studio: Poet Fred D’Aguiar

The poet, novelist and playwright Fred D’Aguiar was born in Britain, grew up in Guyana and now lives in Los Angeles. There he came across the story which became his most recent collection of poems, For the Unnamed. It was originally entitled For the Unnamed Black Jockey Who Rode the Winning Steed in the Race Between Pico’s Sarco and Sepulveda’s Black Swan in Los Angeles, in 1852. That tells us what we know: the horses’ names, who owned them, where and when the race was run, and that the winning jockey was black. His name, though, was not recorded. Fred D’Aguiar recovers and re-imagines his story, in several voices – including the horses. In this edition of In the Studio, Julian May meets D’Aguiar on the cusp. For The Unnamed is written and D’Aguiar explains how he is now preparing it for publication and his way of proof-reading. He is also feeling his way towards his next project, beginning a series of poetic studies of people he has known, people he has lost and people who inspire him. This is, tentatively, entitled Lives Studied. D'Aguiar reveals his processes, how he begins, rising very early, taking his dog, Dexter, for a walk, drinking a coffee, then setting to. He speaks quickly, so writes always in longhand with a pen, to slow thought down, to consider. He speaks too of his reading and influences, for instance Robert Lowell and his collection ‘Life Studies’. For D’Aguiar the practice of writing is integral to his existence - writing is living.
08/01/2427m 14s

BBC OS Conversations: Covid-19 four years later

It is four years since we reported the first cases of an outbreak of a mysterious viral pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China. Within months, what become known as Covid-19, had spread around the world affecting most people in some way. The disease led to the creation of this programme. Since March 2020 – shortly after the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic – we began our first conversations. Four years on, we thought we would take the opportunity to return to Covid-19 and reunite some of the people we have spoken with over the past four years. Our conversations feature three doctors – in India, Italy and the US – who treated Covid-19 patients in the early days of the pandemic. Host James Reynolds also catches up with three former guests who have long Covid.
06/01/2424m 21s

Assignment: Bones that speak

In 2016, the Philippines’ newly elected president, Rodrigo Duterte declared there was one, common enemy: the drugs trade. What followed was a bloodbath. Addicts, alleged traffickers, and many who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, were gunned down in the streets by the security services. The government put the number of people killed in the ‘war on drugs’ at 6,252, a figure that does not include the thousands killed by unknown assailants. Now some of those victims are speaking from beyond the grave. A Catholic priest, Father Flaviano 'Flavie' Villanueva, offers families help to exhume and cremate the bodies. But before cremation, the remains are examined by one of only two forensic pathologists in the Philippines, Dr Raquel Fortun. Her findings often contradict police narratives. Linda Pressly reports on the efforts to uncover the truth.
04/01/2428m 8s

An octopus's garden

The octopus is prized as the most intelligent of all marine species – immortalised in stories, poems and songs worldwide. In Madagascar it is also a vital source of income. Hazel Healy takes a journey into a pioneering Madagascan closure system which is enabling one particular species of octopus to flourish and protecting incomes for the most vulnerable. She learns how the system was first developed and how it is inspiring other coastal communities in Kenya and Indonesia. Hazel also learns how the success of the system has sparked greater support for ambitious marine management efforts more widely, including the creation of permanent marine reserves in Madagascar.
03/01/2423m 47s

The Approach

Adriana Brownlee is a mountaineering pioneer. The British woman became the youngest female to summit K2 - the second-highest mountain on Earth - in 2022. But mountains are changing and becoming more unpredictable because of climate change. High mountain areas are warming faster than the rest of the planet, meaning glaciers are shrinking and permafrost holding mountain faces together are disappearing. How are mountaineers like Adriana adapting and what implications are there for communities living in the foothills of these mountains? Adriana investigates by visiting Chamonix in France, the mountaineering capital of Europe and home to Mont Blanc.
02/01/2427m 46s

In the Studio: Manal AlDowayan

Internationally renowned Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan is midway through an ambitious public installation that will be shown in the Valley of Arts, in the desert of north-west Saudi Arabia. She has just returned from collecting stories and drawings from the inhabitants of AlUla, and is starting to transform them into her own artwork. Titled Oasis of Stories, the project pays tribute to the local people of AlUla. She will carve their drawings into her installation, just like their ancestors carved petroglyphs to tell their own stories thousands of years ago. She also talks about her early work challenging the restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia, such as I Am, which questioned the way women were only allowed to perform certain roles in Saudi society.
01/01/2427m 26s

HARDtalk: Past notes

A special programme remembering past HARDtalk guests who died in 2023. All of them left an indelible mark on public life and all, in their different ways, relished the opportunity we gave them to discuss their decision-making and motivation.(Photo: Sandra Day O'Connor is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary committee during confirmation hearings as she seeks to become the first woman to take a seat on the US Supreme Court, Washington, DC, 9 September , 1981. Credit: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
31/12/2323m 49s

BBC OS Conversation: Adventurers

We have spent the last year here on BBC OS Conversations covering some of the World’s major news stories. As the year draws to a close, however, we thought it would be interesting to hear from three people who have been doing something completely different in 2023 for their perspective on the world. 53-year-old professional explorer from Australia, Geoff Wilson, joined us from Canada. He has just completed the first part of his latest expedition, Project Zero, a two-year journey to promote the concept of “carbon neutral exploring”. So far, the adventure has included crossing perilous crevasses in Patagonia and battling towering waves at sea.“I was woken up by my son and his mate Geordie who were on watch saying that the boat was surfing down 15, 16 metre waves at about 16 knots,” Geoff tells host, James Reynolds. “It just felt that everything had gone to custard very quickly.”We bring Geoff together with Kiyonah Mya Buckhalter, a 25-year-old New Yorker. Kiyonah is Muslim, black and blogs as the “Veiled Traveller” on Instagram.“Travelling the way I do,” she says, “I’ve had to grow my confidence to get people to understand that I do have a warm heart and I am smiling very hard under this veil, even though they may not see it.”We also hear from 29-year-old Noel Salmon from London. Noel has just completed a seven-month solo cycle of the old silk road from Turkey to China, which involved extreme temperatures and exploding inner tubes. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
30/12/2324m 6s

Assignment: Bolivia’s giant fish intruder

Some people said it was created by Peruvian scientists, that it gorged on the blood of farm animals, that it was a monster. Many myths have grown up in Bolivia around the Paiche, one of the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish which is native to Amazonian rivers of Brazil and Peru and can grow up to four metres long. But after young fish were accidentally released from a Peruvian fish farm, the Paiche has arrived big time in Bolivian rivers.Every year, it reaches another 40 km of river and is eating all before it, especially smaller native fish stocks including even the deadly piranha. At the same time, the Paiche is proving a boon to many local fisherman who sell it to families and restaurants who are acquiring a taste for it in a land-locked country where meat has always been the favourite form of protein. This gives scientists and the authorities a dilemma. Do they try and control or even eradicate the Paiche from rivers famed for their biodiversity where new species are being identified all the time? Or let its spread continue unabated and provide a useful livelihood for fishermen and a healthy addition to the Bolivian diet? For Assignment, Jane Chambers takes to the rivers of Bolivia
28/12/2327m 45s

HARDtalk: 2023 in review

Stephen Sackur looks back at some of HARDtalk’s most impactful and thought-provoking interviews of 2023.
27/12/2323m 50s

In the Studio: Andrea Hernández

Photographer Andrea Hernández has been travelling around her native Venezuela documenting people and nature for her ongoing project called Mango Season. Mango season in Venezuela is a time of abundance, when mango fruit is plentiful on the trees. During this time of economic crisis and food scarcity in the country, many people can now be seen roaming the streets looking for these fruits to feed themselves and their families. Andrea doesn’t want to just take photographs of the hungry, but to dignify the struggle, showing how people are helping to solve this situation and help create a bridge between the people in the photographs and the viewer. Presenter: Francis Peña
25/12/2327m 17s

Football and faith

Mani Djazmi presents a special programme as Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward and the former Portsmouth player Linvoy Primus discuss their Christian faith. We also hear from former USA international Jaelene Daniels, whose religious beliefs led her to turn down the chance to continue playing for her country.
24/12/2327m 21s

BBC OS Conversations: The Taylor Swift phenomenon

There’s no doubt this has been Taylor Swift’s year. Just 34 years old, the American singer songwriter has been in the music industry for more than half her life. She’s a multi-award winning performer whose diehard fans have helped her break all sorts of records. Time Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year is also the most streamed female artist on Spotify and Apple and this week she achieved a record 90 weeks at number 1 on the US Billboard Artist 100 chart.Swift’s Eras tour, which began in March this year and concludes at the end of 2024, has become the first to gross over $1 billion. Wherever Swift’s concerts land, they bring a big boost in the local economy.Host James Reynolds hears about Swift’s appeal from those with a professional and personal interest in the singer-songwriter. They include the first full-time Taylor Swift reporter and also the professor who is about to start teaching a ‘Taylor Swift and her World’ course to students at Harvard University. We also meet fans - or Swifties - from across four continents about why her songs are so special.“I was in the southern most part of Africa,” says Agape, who is from Cape Town and currently studying in the UK. “But I felt, even in her song lyrics, like she was writing for me or about me.”   A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
23/12/2326m 14s

Heart and Soul: Irish myths and fairy tales

Many mythological creatures and traditions we know, love, and more importantly fear, owe their origins to Celtic folklore. Borrowed to create epic franchises such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, the countless adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, this programme casts new light on the subject. Seanchaí (shan-a-key) were/are traditional Irish storytellers and the custodians of history for centuries in Ireland. They can recite ancient lore and tales of wisdom whenever it was needed and could be considered as something of the Google of ancient times. The Irish people have created a unique and beautifully poetic oral literature.
22/12/2326m 5s

Assignment: Ukraine - building back better

Rebuilding Ukraine after the destruction inflicted by Russia will be a gigantic task. Foreign donors have pledged billions of dollars. But they want reassurances that the money will be properly spent, in a country which still has high levels of corruption. For Assignment Tim Whewell visits Bucha, near the capital Kyiv, site of some of the worst Russian atrocities, to see the beginning of reconstruction. A series of shocking reports by Ukrainian journalists into alleged misuse of rebuilding funds have forced local authorities in the area to explain themselves. But a new state reconstruction agency committed to transparency has now also started work in Bucha. And anti-corruption campaigners believe a new digital accounting and monitoring system they are developing in collaboration with the authorities will help turn Ukraine into a world beacon of openness. The government's slogan is "build back better." But what exactly does that mean? And can it be achieved?
21/12/2327m 24s

Rewilding the orphaned elephants

In a remote corner of Northern Kenya, former Samburu warriors continue to rescue orphaned and abandoned baby elephants, even as drought has put on hold plans to release them back into the wild. Traditionally Samburu warriors are not only charged with protecting their community, but with caring for their livestock. Now they have turned their attention to raising elephants. At Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, they rescue baby elephants that have been injured, orphaned or abandoned. They look after them, rehabilitate them and release them back to the wild. It is transforming the way local communities relate to elephants, in a way that benefits both humans and animals. But drought has meant their rewilding programme has been put on hold until the rains come.
19/12/2327m 18s

In the Studio: Ivan Hove

Ivo van Hove is the most sought-after theatre director in the world. We join him in Paris, London and Amsterdam, where he works on productions that are often maximal - big musicals, operas and dramas such as The Damned - but where he also loves to stage minimal intimate dramas, such as The Glass Menagerie or A Little Life. How does van Hove work? Why are actors of the calibre of James Norton and Isabel Huppert so willing to work with him? And what drives his relentless thirst to bring new experiences to the theatre audience?
18/12/2327m 18s

BBC OS Conversations: Ukrainians and hope

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky knows that if he has any hope of victory in the war in his country he needs his international friends to keep backing him. Although the size of that task was pretty clear this week, in both the United States and Europe, when he returned largely empty handed - for now, at least. Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, says he remains up for the fight and talked confidently about ultimate success. It is now approaching two years of war in Ukraine. Despite both leaders talking of victory, the fighting and losses continue and neither side has been making much progress on the battlefield. In this edition, we hear conversations among Ukrainians. They talk about the emotional impact of the fighting but also how they are able to have plans despite the war. Three residents of Kyiv share their experiences, including Iryna, on how the approach of a second Christmas at war has affected her wedding plans to her British fiance. “When first he proposed I said yeah, we’re going to do it after the war, after we will win,” says Iryna. "But now it’s so long already and I feel like I just paused my life. So we decided to get married next year.” Host James Reynolds also hears from a woman whose brother was captured in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol and brings together Ukrainians in the UK and Poland. A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team. (Photo: Iryna and her fiance Reese)
16/12/2323m 53s

Heart and Soul: Queer and Christian in Kenya

What does it mean to be a gay Christian in a country where many Church leaders say your sexuality is wicked and even demonic? In 2013, a group of LGBT Christians in Kenya started meeting for Sunday worship, to practice their faith free from homophobia. The community grew and became Kenya’s first openly queer-affirming Church - a sanctuary for diverse believers who feel excluded from mainstream religious spaces. But with calls for new laws to further curtail the rights of LGBT Kenyans, and increasingly open homophobia and anti-gay protests, this sanctuary may be in jeopardy. While some members consider returning to the closet, others are determined to protect their sacred space, come what may.
15/12/2327m 25s

Assignment: Ukraine - fighting for openness

As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers defend their country against Russia, many patriotic civilians are engaged in a struggle that's less risky, but that they believe is also vital. They’re battling for a fairer, less corrupt Ukraine, worthy of its heroes. For Assignment, Tim Whewell follows one tireless citizens’ group in the city of Dnipro as they continue, even in wartime, to hold local authorities to account. They've been investigating a contract to repair housing damaged in a Russian attack. And they claim there's been corrupt profiteering. But Dnipro's powerful mayor dismisses the allegations - and deliberately insults those who question his priorities. What's the role of civil society when rockets are falling? And can Ukraine - one of the world's more corrupt countries - pursue reform while the war continues?
14/12/2327m 17s

Stories from the New Silk Road: Iceland

In 2013 Iceland made history by becoming the first European country to sign a free trade agreement with China. It was aimed at increasing exports from Iceland to China as well as opening up Iceland to cheaper Chinese consumer goods. Geothermal energy has meant that Iceland is effectively carbon neutral. Its expertise in this area has led to collaboration with China and its geothermal model is changing China's energy mix. One man behind this collaboration is Atli Jonsson, CEO of Arctic Green Energy. Anna Holligan asks him how will geothermal help shape the future needs of China's energy consumption and open further opportunities for collaboration?
12/12/2327m 27s

In the Studio: Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma has a philosophy: to enrich the connection between buildings and nature, “almost tuning-in” to the materials. His architecture is inspired by traditional Japanese design, and he is a serious critic of the global dominance of concrete. Kuma’s mission has manifested in iconic buildings including China’s Folk Art Museum, the V&A in Scotland, and Japan’s National Stadium, built for the 2020 Olympics. Broadcaster Nick Luscombe follows Kuma to Japan’s oldest and largest lake, and to the ancient capital of Otsu, where Kuma is attempting to represent the history of the area not by constructing a new building, but by creating a monument to a legendary cow.
11/12/2327m 25s

Taiwan's balancing act

Former BBC Taiwan correspondent Cindy Sui meets two young Taiwanese voters, Shirley Lin and Dennis, who have very different views about the island, its future and its relationship with Mainland China. While one is a committed peace campaigner and seeks to reduce antagonism between Taiwan and China, the other has signed up to train with a citizen's army, to be ready for Chinese aggression. We follow them in their work, with their friends and hear their differing reflections on an island and an electorate being watched by a global audience.
10/12/2350m 24s

BBC OS Conversations: Climate change and the young

World leaders are currently meeting in Dubai for the United Nations’ COP23 climate summit to discuss how to cope with a changing global climate. At the same time, a new study has suggested that air pollution from using fossil fuels is responsible for 5 million avoidable deaths around the world every year. Host James Reynolds brings together three young people in India, Uganda and Bangladesh to hear their concerns and what it’s like to live in a country struggling with air pollution.“I got up, I looked out the window, nothing. I couldn’t even see my own lane. It was extremely sad,” said 12 year old Myra in Delhi, India. “I was getting ready to go to the school. I was going to my bus and I couldn’t see anything. Almost all days smog is covering the entire city. It’s suffocating.”Three women from the United States, India and the UK - all in their twenties - also share why they decided to not have children in order to help save the planet. “Every year has become more significant,” says Melissa in London, “and of course making changes in my own life to help the climate like being plant-based and not having children seems to be quite a good decision in that regard as well.”A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.
09/12/2323m 57s

Heart and Soul: The Sarajevo Haggadah

Sarajevo’s most famous artefact, a 700 year-old Jewish prayer book called the Haggadah, captures the story the city wants to tell about itself. But is it accurate? In Sarajevo, Farrah Jarral joins members of the Jewish community to find out. In a city devastated by conflict in the 1990s, she hears stories about living together, and the wish that Jews and Muslims can still live alongside one another, as they had for hundreds of years. And the story of the Haggadah seems to capture that. Saved from the Nazis by a Muslim and a Catholic, and then again from destruction in the 1990s by another Muslim, it captures the possibility of living together, caring for one another's treasures.
08/12/2327m 13s

Assignment: Cyprus and the battle over songbird slaughter

Cyprus is one of the main resting stops for songbirds as they migrate between Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For centuries, Cypriots trapped and ate a small number of migrating songbirds, as part of a subsistence diet. But over recent decades, the consumption of songbirds became a lucrative commercial business and the level of slaughter reached industrial levels. Millions of birds were killed each year as trappers employed new technologies to attract and capture birds. The methods used by the trappers are illegal under both Cypriot and EU law. In the last few years, both the Cypriot authorities and environmental groups have been fighting back, dramatically reducing the number of birds being trapped. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent sees the trappers in action, and meets those determined to stop the mass killing of birds.
07/12/2328m 39s

The Children of Paradise: Without hope you're dead

Three decades after the momentous transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, Fergal Keane returns to see what happened to the hopes and promises of a better nation. In a famous speech thirty years ago, as he collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela spoke of a “common humanity” in which all South Africans would live “like the children of paradise.” In this final episode, in which Fergal Keane and Milton Nkosi re-visit some of the places and people they encountered 30 years ago, they are in the Western Cape, around Cape Town. They visit a school in the sprawling Khayelitsha township, and the university in Stellenbosch, once the centre of white and Afrikaner intellectual thought. With the country’s high crime rates, lack of jobs, violence and intense corruption, is all lost or can South Africans still hold onto hope?
06/12/2328m 17s

The Children of Paradise: A deadly mixture

Three decades after the momentous transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, Fergal Keane returns to see what happened to the hopes and promises of a better nation. In a famous speech thirty years ago, as he collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela spoke of a “common humanity” in which all South Africans would live “like the children of paradise.” In this second episode, in which Fergal Keane and Milton Nkosi, re-visit some of the places and people they encountered 30 years ago, they return to KwaZulu-Natal. In the early 1990s, leading up to the country's first democratic elections, the area was a hotbed of political violence. What about today?
06/12/2328m 3s

The Children of Paradise: The future must change

Three decades after the momentous transition from Apartheid to a democratic South Africa, Fergal Keane returns to see what happened to the hopes and promises of a better nation. In a famous speech thirty years ago, as he collected the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela spoke of a “common humanity” in which all South Africans would live “like the children of paradise.” As the BBC’s South Africa correspondent at the time, Fergal Keane, along with his colleague and friend Milton Nkosi, lived through some of the country’s most desperate times. It was a period of extreme violence and loss, but also of great hope. Now Fergal and Milton travel through the country, re-visiting some of the places and people they encountered in the lead up to the end of Apartheid. Through this series they will explore how and why paradise was lost. Presenter: Fergal Keane Producer: John Murphy
06/12/2328m 12s

Stories from the New Silk Road: Norway

The Norwegian town of Kirkenes set on the coast and inside the Arctic Circle, is on the edge of what the Chinese refer to as the Polar Silk Road. The Northern Sea Route or Northeast Passage is an increasingly valuable shipping route for both Russia and China, hugging the Russian coastline to eastern Siberia. In 2010 a ship departed from Kirkenes bound for China with 41,500 tons of iron ore concentrate, arriving 22 days later. Via the Suez canal, the same journey would have taken over 40 days. It was the first time that a non-Russian ship had been along the Northern Sea Route, showing that this was possible and paving the way for China’s Arctic policy. Anna Holligan shines a light on China’s wider ambitions in the Arctic.
05/12/2327m 43s

Filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk: Animating Ukraine’s War

Iryna Tsilyk is one of Ukraine’s best known young documentary makers. She made her name following the lives of soldiers, female paramedics and families living on the frontline in East Ukraine after the region was taken over by Moscow-backed separatists. However after Russia’s full-scale invasion brought the war to Iryna’s home city of Kyiv, she decided she could no longer stay behind the camera. So, in her current project, The Red Zone, Iryna is turning the lens on herself and her family.Iryna’s husband, Artem Chekh, is a well-known novelist and journalist. He volunteered to join the army and found himself in Bakhmut, scene of some of the bloodiest fighting. For five days Iryna did not know if he was alive or dead. She is focusing on the anguish she felt over this period and using a series of flashbacks to illustrate their past lives in peacetime.Iryna tells Lucy Ash that to give herself more artistic freedom she has decided on a radical new tool for her work: this film will be an animation. Making films in wartime is a challenge and animation is expensive but Iryna has foreign backers and is determined to tell her own story in her own way.
04/12/2327m 21s

Introducing Amazing Sport Stories

Sport but not as you know it. A brand new sports storytelling podcast.Imagine being stranded in the “death zone” on one of the world’s highest mountains. How about running 200 miles in a dark tunnel? We’ve been searching the world for the most amazing sport stories. Other podcasts bring you the scores and team news. This one tells the stories you’ll wish you’d known about and now probably won’t forget. You don’t need to be obsessed with sport to find yourself immersed in our mini-seasons and short stories. Search for Amazing Sport Stories wherever you get your BBC podcasts. Or find it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xtvs1/episodes/downloads
03/12/233m 23s

Kissinger’s Legacy

Henry Kissinger was one of the most important diplomatic figures of the last 50 years. James Naughtie looks back at his global influence, as he reflects on his own interview with Kissinger, conducted just a year before his death.
03/12/2327m 28s

BBC OS Conversations: Israel and Gaza - securing freedom

A week without war meant that the temporary pause in fighting was replaced by the emotions of family reunions. Before the air strikes resumed on Friday, dozens of the hostages captured by Hamas in the 7 October attacks were released, while Palestinians held in Israeli jails had been allowed to leave.In our conversations host James Reynolds hears a few of those stories of families celebrating seeing loved ones again. “My mum came out of the Earth one day and that was incredible,” Sharone Lifschitz tells us. Her 85-year-old mother, Yocheved, was one of the first hostages to be released but (at the time of recording) her father was still being held. “She told us my father was injured and so we thought that he was gone and now we know that he is there, but we also know so much more about how horrendous the conditions are.”Human rights organisations say the number of Palestinians held without charge in Israeli prisons has increased dramatically since 7 October. There are now thought to be more than 6,000 Palestinians held by Israel, many still awaiting trial. We bring together Marwan whose son, Wisam, was released after six and a half months in prison, and Eman who recently welcomed home her sister in law, Hanan.We also meet two parents living under the Israeli bombardment in Gaza who led their families to safety in Egypt. They tell us about the conditions they endured and how their children are coping.A Boffin Media production in partnership with the BBC OS team.
02/12/2324m 21s

Heart and Soul: Follow God, not the people

Brought up in a devout Catholic family in the suburbs of Kampala, Frank Mugisha knew that something was different about him even as a small boy. He was gay, although in those days he had no words for it. Growing up, he was subjected to conversion therapy, and his family took him to traditional healers to try and change his orientation. When all his prayers for God to “make him like his friends” went unanswered, Frank gradually came out to family and close friends. He started an organisation to help other LGBTQ+ people. Frank tells Mike Wooldridge why, despite the enormous risk, he has to do the right thing and continue his campaign.
01/12/2327m 14s

Kissinger

Few people can claim as much influence over the shape of the modern world as Henry Kissinger. The former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace laureate is loved, loathed and listened to - for the decisions he took, the attitude he espoused and for his knowledge and analysis of world affairs. In 2022, James Naughtie travelled to Kissinger's home to discuss six great leaders and the lessons they taught, as Kissinger reflected on his own role in creating the modern world.this programe was first published in 2022.
30/11/2349m 16s

Assignment: Poland's forest frontier

The Polish government has built a steel border wall 186km long and 5m high along its eastern frontier. It is meant to stop global migrants from Asia and Africa trying to cross from the Belarusian side. But the wall cuts straight through the Białowieza forest - the largest remaining stretch of primeval forest in Europe and a Unesco world heritage site. Grzegorz Sokol meets environmental scientists, activists and local villagers, such as Kasia Mazurkiewicz-Bylok who treks into the forest with a rucksack of supplies to try to help migrants lost in the dense, trackless forest. And, Kat Nowak, a biologist trying to log the precise effects of the wall, from the plant species brought in with the gravel for the foundation, to the possible effects on wolf behaviour.
30/11/2327m 27s

Gaza diaries

English teacher Farida and Khalid, a medical supplier, document through intimate voice messages their struggle to survive the war in Gaza. They tell a story of immense loss and resilience in a worsening humanitarian crisis.The Gaza diaries was produced by Haya Al Badarneh, Lara Elgebaly, Mamdouh Akbiek Mohammad Shalaby and Mary O’Reilly.The editors were Rebecca Henschke and Simon Cox and it was mixed by Graham Puddifoot.A BBC Arabic investigations production for the BBC World Service.
29/11/2327m 28s

Sweden: Living with guns and gangs

Sweden has become a European hotspot for deadly shootings, rocking its reputation as a safe and peaceful nation. Last year, a record 62 people were killed in gun violence in the Nordic nation, which has a population of just 10 million. Crime researchers say Sweden’s trend for shoot-to-kill murders is unique in Europe. Stockholm-based broadcaster Maddy Savage and Nikoi Djane – an ex-gang member turned criminologist – visit communities impacted by the deadly violence and explore what is being done to tackle the problem.
28/11/2327m 15s

In the Studio: Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle, the visionary behind the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony and the Oscar-winning director of films like Slumdog Millionaire, Yesterday and Trainspotting, returns to his home town of Manchester, England, to direct a hip-hop dance spectacular to open a breath-taking new venue, Aviva Studios. The show, called Free Your Mind, is based on the Wachowskis’ Matrix franchise and updates the concept of a dystopian future to reflect recent developments in artificial intelligence. We go behind the scenes to eavesdrop on rehearsals and meet Danny and his creative team.
27/11/2327m 29s

The Cultural Frontline: K-drama

Korean drama, or K-drama, is enjoying phenomenal worldwide success. South Korea is now one of the largest content providers in the world. Actress Min-ha Kim, star of Pachinko, explores how K-drama is evolving. She hears from: K-drama critic Joan MacDonald and Korean script writer Hong Eun-mi on how streaming is changing K-drama; Doctor Cha star Uhm Jung-hwa on how women’s roles have changed; Minyoung Alissia Hong on why webtoons - comics made for smartphones – revolutionised K-dramas; screenwriter Melis Veziroglu Yilmaz on adapting K-drama for a Turkish audience. And superfans Deema Abu Naser and Jeanie Chang visit K-drama locations.
26/11/2328m 9s

BBC OS Conversations: Hostages, prisoners and peace

After seven weeks of war between Hamas and Israel, there was a deal for a pause in the fighting. On Friday morning the rockets and gunfire fell silent in Gaza. The agreement also included the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons and Israeli hostages held in Gaza; plus more aid deliveries to the people of Gaza. After so much trauma and anger, host James Reynolds hears from those who say there has to be another way than war. He talks with two members of Parents for Peace - an organisation consisting of both Israeli and Palestinian parents who have lost children throughout decades of conflict. A Palestinian sniper killed Robi Damelin’s 22-year-old son, David, in 2002. An Israeli soldier killed Bassam Aram’s 10-year-old daughter, Abir, with a rubber bullet, outside her school in 2007. Today, Robi and Bassam are united in using their grief positively for peace and to help others who continue to suffer the consequences of war. “Instead of building more graves, they need to try to move on with this pain, to use it as a motivation,” says Bassam. “To build more bridges for peace for the memory of their beloved one.” We also hear how two Israelis are coping under the strain of not seeing their relatives; knowing they are probably being held hostage in Gaza, but are unlikely to be released as part of the current deal. (Photo: Robi Damelin (l) and Bassam Aram)
25/11/2324m 2s

The Trial of Oscar Pistorius

In 2014 Audrey Brown told the dramatic story of the trial of the athlete Oscar Pistorius After becoming a Paralympics champion, Oscar Pistorius rose to fame as the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics. He became a hero to millions – until the fateful night when he shot dead his girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp. His trial featured high tension and dramatic twists and turns. In often highly emotional testimony, Pistorius tried to convince the court that he shot Reeva Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was a burglar. Prosecuting barrister Gerrie Nel subjected the athlete to merciless cross-examination as he attempted to prove that Pistorius was a man with a love of guns and an uncontrolled temper. This is the story of a trial which gripped the attention of South Africa and the wider world. Picture: Oscar Pistorius leaves North Gauteng High Court on 12 September, 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa, Credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
24/11/2350m 2s

Heart and Soul: Wolves in sheep's clothing

When Kenyan-born nurse Margaret Ruto chanced upon an internet story about an American Christian missionary accused of sexually abusing children in a Kenyan orphanage, she knew she had to act. The orphanage in question was close to where Margaret had grown up. The man accused of the abuse lived 10 minutes away from her current home in Pennsylvania. Mike Wooldridge talks Margaret about her fight to bring Gregory Dow to justice.
24/11/2327m 41s

Florida's political refugees

Americans on both sides of the political spectrum are escaping states they no longer feel comfortable in. They are calling themselves ‘political refugees.’ And the sunshine state of Florida is at the heart of this political sorting. How can one US state be both a safe haven for Americans fleeing their homes in the north and a dangerous threat to liberal families? Lucy Proctor traces the journeys of America’s homegrown refugees, meeting progressives and conservatives making their move. Through their crossing paths, she explores what is behind this new wave of domestic migration, and what it might mean for America’s future.
23/11/2327m 42s

We the people are Barbados

In September 2020, Barbados announced its decision to become a republic, removing the British monarchy as head of state. November 30th, 2021 marked not only the 57th anniversary of the nation’s independence but a new beginning as a republic. Award-winning author Candice Brathwaite, explores Barbados’ transition to a republic two years after the official declaration. Through interviews with poet laureate Esther Phillips, historian Dr Pedro Welch, artist Oneka Small, journalist Krystal-Penny Bowen and socio-economics expert Professor Don Marshall, she gains insights into the Island’s evolving identity. With thanks to Barbados Today and Barbados’ Prime Minister’s Office.
21/11/2331m 30s

In The Studio: Damon Galgut - Adapting The Promise for the stage

Damon Galgut’s 2021 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Promise, chronicles the slow decline of a white family on a farm outside Pretoria, South Africa, and the ripple effects of a deathbed promise – made but not kept – to give the family’s Black housekeeper ownership of the small house in which she lives. Now, the stage adaptation of The Promise, written by Galgut and director Sylvaine Strike, is being readied to premiere at the Star Theatre, at the Homecoming Centre in Cape Town.But how does a text so praised for its formal inventiveness – the narrative voice shifting from third to first person, and inhabiting multiple interior lives, sometimes within a single paragraph – get translated for the theatre and brought to life?Writer Bongani Kona goes behind the curtain to watch the rehearsal process unfold. We trace Galgut’s journey from the play’s conception, and follow the director and cast as they workshop scenes, experiment with sound and action, and navigate the unusual set design – all in the build-up to opening night. The Promise on stage is directed by Sylvaine Strike with stage adaptation by Damon Galgut and Sylvaine Strike. Original music composition by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder.Presenter: Bongani Kona Produced by Catherine Boulle and Bongani Kona A Falling Tree production for the BBC World Service
20/11/2327m 22s

The Debate: Israel Gaza - What happens when the war ends?

The BBC’s Mishal Husain is joined by a panel of guests to discuss what happens when the Israel Gaza war ends. On the panel are Jeremy Bowen, BBC International Editor; Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations; Lord Ricketts, former chair of the UK’s intelligence committee under Tony Blair and former national security adviser to David Cameron, former national security advisor and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee; Ghada Karmi, Palestinian academic and author and joining from Washington Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for President Obama.
19/11/2340m 43s

BBC OS Conversations: Hate against Jews and Muslims

The war in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel continues to cost many lives. It is also increasing tensions and anger around the world.Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in protest marches; there are reports of a rise in Islamophobia and antisemitism in some countries; and an increase in hate crimes.We hear from Muslims and Jews living in the United States and Europe. Some of our Jewish guests say they would feel safer in Israel and the war, than in the country where they currently live.“I don’t order anything, not an Uber, not a taxi, in my real name anymore,” says 20-year-old student Deborah Kogan, who lives in Berlin. “Not because I’m a Jewish activist, but also because my name sounds very Jewish, especially in Germany. So I’m afraid to get recognised as Jewish.”Host James Reynolds also hears about the impact of Islamophobia on three Muslims living in Germany and the United States. They talk of how some people perceive them with suspicion, associate them with Hamas and call them a terrorist.“I’m on a campus that an Arab-Muslim student experienced a hit and run and was told ‘F you and your people’, says Arab American University Lecturer Maytha Alhassen in California. “He was wearing a shirt that said in Arabic, Damascus. So that’s terrifying.”A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.
18/11/2324m 3s

Heart and Soul: Israel – Gaza: Can interfaith work prevail?

The recent violence between Israel and Hamas threatens the survival of the hundreds of small-scale projects which aim to bring Jews and Palestinians together to work for peace, or at least share understanding. Now the flare up in violence threatens their future. To discuss the way forward and question the future of such projects, Caroline Wyatt brings together people from different faith backgrounds who’ve been working for years to build bridges in this volatile area of the Middle East. Presenter: Caroline Wyatt Producer: Julia Paul / Rajeev Gupta Editor: Helen Grady Production Coordinator: Mica Nepomuceno
17/11/2327m 18s

The mighty Mekong’s last hope

Tens of millions of lives depend on the Mekong river for fishing and farming as it travels through China and South East Asia. But there are increasing signs that this river with one of the richest ecosystems on earth is being strangled. A cascade of dams, intensifying climate change, and sand dredging have scientists worried. Is this region harnessing the river’s power – or are they killing it? Laura Bicker visits communities whose livelihoods rely on the Mekong and meets a new generation trying to breathe life into the dying river.
16/11/2328m 16s

Tanni's Lifetime Road to Disabled Equality

Multi gold medal winning Paralympic wheelchair athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson examines 50 years of changing attitudes to disability around the world.When Tanni was a child in the 1970s in Wales becoming an athlete with spina bifida was far from guaranteed. There was no support for her parents bringing up a disabled child and education for children with disabilities was minimal.Over the years Tanni’s suffered discrimination including when she was pregnant being offered a termination. “This woman said: ‘How did you get pregnant?’ says Tanni.In this programme Tanni reflects on experiences over her lifetime as she meets others who’ve had similar journeys in India, Pakistan, Ghana, Nigeria, Brazil and New Zealand.With Abha Khetarpal in India, Tanni reflects on several shared experiences. They both had scoliosis and use a wheelchair and faced early challenges at school - Abha having to be home schooled.Meanwhile Lois Auta in Nigeria also uses a wheelchair. She was born in 1980 and tells Tanni how she managed to challenge the status quo and stand for parliament. ‘Disability is seen in our country as something that happens through witch craft’. And Lois, who now acts as an advocate for women with disabilities says those prejudices still exist.She meets BBC war correspondent Frank Gardner who tells her how he adapted to becoming disabled after being injured during his work in a war zone in the Middle East.
15/11/2349m 36s

A man without bees

Why are all the bees dying? Simon Mitambo, an expert from Kenya's so-called 'Land of Bees', travels from his own affected community to huge industrial farms in search of answers. It is a journey both planetary and personal: without bees, can Simon's world survive?A Smoke Trail Production.
14/11/2327m 27s

In The Studio: Jenn Lee: Taiwan fashion designer

Taipei based fashion designer Jenn Lee is preparing her Spring Summer 2024 collection for London and Taipei Fashion Weeks. Inspired by the recycled materials she finds in local markets, by British designer Vivienne Westwood and the Punk movement, as well as the joy of her young son, the collection celebrates freedom, happiness and sustainability.Jenn is joined in her Taipei studio by Lucy Collingwood as she reaches the final stages of a collection that’s been many months in the making. Surrounded by sewing machines and a snooker table repurposed into a large fabric cutting table. Jenn shares her influences and attention to detail – from the running order of her catwalk show, finalising the looks on mannequins, to adding handmade accessories made of recycled zips and ribbons and choosing which eye catching creation should kick start the show.Jenn takes us to one of the places that informs her work, the Fu He Bridge Flea Market, where items from used bicycle chains to second hand motorbike jackets can end up as integral parts of her high end garments.For the catwalks of fashion weeks, Jenn is also planning something a little unusual. As well as her striking garments made in bold colours and hand-dyed fabrics, she’s also creating a digital version of her designs and collaborating on a game featuring characters who embody the themes behind her show.We share Jenn’s creative journey from Taipei to backstage at her London Fashion Week catwalk show as the audience reacts as her collection is finally revealed.Producer: Lucy Collingwood Exec Producer: Andrea Kidd(Photo: Jen Lee. Credit: BBC)
13/11/2327m 17s

BBC OS Conversations: Israeli losses

Since the Hamas attacks on Israel on 7 October, thousands of lives have been lost in the war. While rolling news and live updates give us minute by minute coverage, we want to take the opportunity to pause, reflect and hear stories from the families of a few of those killed.Last week we heard from Palestinians. This time, Israeli families share their experiences and memories of those lost. During the surprise raid on Israel, Hamas killed 1400 people and took more than 200 hostages, including children.Keren and her husband Avidor were rescued that day, under gunfire, from the Kibbutz Kfar Azar. But a few days after, the family heard that both Keren’s parents, Cindy and Igal, had been killed. “She was just the biggest soul,” says Keren of her mother. “She was a humanitarian through and through, she was just all heart.”Host James Reynolds also speaks to Magen, a teacher from Israel who lives in London. His parents, Yakov and Bilha, were both killed in the attack. We bring Magen together with Elana, the mother of Yannai who was serving as a trainer in the Israeli Defence Forces. Yannai was killed defending his base, helping to save the lives of dozens of other young men and women. He would have celebrated his 21st birthday on the day before we spoke.BBC OS Conversations is a Boffin Media production in partnership with the OS team.(Photo: Keren with her baby, her sisters and her parents)
11/11/2324m 31s

Heart and Soul: Queerly beloved: Same-sex love and the Synod

The Church of England prohibits same-sex relations. Even so, the debate on this position – in the UK and the worldwide Anglican Communion - continues. Should the Church allow and conduct LGBT blessings, and even marriages? And can the Church ever sanction sexual relations between two people who are not husband and wife, man and woman? These are the questions Anglicans tussle with.Most recently, bishops in England made a proposal that same-sex couples should be welcomed in church for a blessing. Opposition from conservative, Anglican groups has been noisy, including from some same-sex attracted Christians.Ahead of the General Synod, the Church of England’s regular gathering of bishops, and elected clergy and laity, Heart and Soul explores the most divisive and explosive issue facing Anglicans. Linda Pressly meets Christians who both accept, and struggle with, the Church’s teachings on sexuality.Producer/presenter: Linda Pressly Editor: Helen Grady Production co-ordinator: Mica Nepomuceno(Photo: Esther and Victoria were married in September, 2019 in Old Saint Paul’s Church in Edinburgh. The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, but it has allowed same-sex marriage since 2017. Credit: Marta Kacala)
10/11/2328m 24s

The Jews and Arabs coexisting in crisis

Just over 20% of Israel’s population are Palestinian - or Israeli Arabs - making them the largest minority in the country. They are distinct from the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza as most have citizenship and far greater freedoms. However, they complain of discrimination and even in “mixed” cities the Jews and Palestinians tend to coexist rather than interact. Following the attacks on 7 October by Hamas and the subsequent bombing and killing of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli army, tensions are high. Standing Together, a peace movement comprising of Jews and Palestinians, are trying to jointly diffuse tensions on the streets of their neighbourhoods. Emily Wither talks to Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel, about their different experiences of growing up in Israel and their hopes for the future.
09/11/2328m 20s

My Forgotten War

Turkey hosts the largest population of refugees and asylum seekers in the world. These include around 3.6 million Syrians, who fled there during the war in their country. Now many of those Syrian refugees feel forgotten, and again unsafe, and tensions with locals are higher than ever. Seven years ago, the EU handed Turkey 6 billion euros in a deal to stop Syrians heading to Europe. Since then, many Turks say their welcome has worn thin. And now, the Turkish government is deporting Syrians it says are in Turkey illegally, back to the warzone.Karam was 19 when the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, had security forces fire on peaceful protestors and arrest hundreds of citizens. Karam was one of those arrested, and after being released he eventually paid a people smuggler to take him to Turkey. He believes that he’ll be arrested and tortured if he returnsto Syria. But he’s also afraid to stay in Turkey, saying that local Police ask for his papers around five times a day.Hannah Lucinda Smith is in Esenyurt, a predominantly Syrian district around an hour's drive from the centre of Istanbul, speaking to both Syrians and Turks about why tensions have escalated. She's asking what’s next for Syrians living there, and whether or not it will ever be safe enough for them to return home.A Depictar production for the BBC World Service.
07/11/2328m 11s

In The Studio: Carol Morley

Carol Morley is known for films like The Falling, Dreams Of A Life, and her most recent work, Typist Artist Pirate King.Her next movie is an adaptation of her autobiographical novel Seven Miles Out. It’s about a teenage girl coming to terms with her father's suicide, and not one word of the book has made its way into the screenplay. Carol tells Stephen Hughes why she was surprised by how difficult it was to adapt her own work, and how it brought back thoughts and feelings she thought she'd learned to live with. Carol also reveals that selling a script is harder than writing one, as she waits patiently to hear back from film companies that she’d sent the screenplay to.Produced and presented by Stephen Hughes**This programme contains distressing content**During this interview, Carol speaks frankly about the effect of her father’s suicide upon her. If you need support following anything you’ve hear in this episode, there’s information at bbc.com/actionline and help is also available at befrienders.org.
06/11/2327m 45s

BBC OS Conversations: Palestinian losses

The fighting and funerals in the Israel and Hamas war are constant. Thousands have been killed.The number of fatalities don’t tell the real stories though. In recent days, the OS team has been reaching out to people on both sides who have lost loved ones in the war; inviting them to tell the stories of those killed.Next week’s programme will feature Israeli families. This edition, hosted by James Reynolds, is a conversation with two Palestinians who now live in Scotland and Turkey.Yousef Almqayyad in Istanbul, had to have a heartbreaking discussion with his seven-year-old daughter about the deaths in his family.“Your grandfather, your grandmother, your uncles and aunts and your cousins, right now are in heaven, in a good place,” he said. “Better than Gaza, better than Turkey, better than any place in this world. I told her they are waiting for us.”Dr Ibrahim Khadra also shares his final conversation with a member of his family in Gaza, who said: “If we’ll survive, we’ll pray to God and if I’ll die just pray for me.”“It was our last call,” said Dr Khadra.A co-production between the BBC OS team and Boffin Media.(Photo: Yousef Almqayyad with his parents Yaser and Inshirah)
04/11/2324m 30s

Heart and Soul: Finding Falun Gong

It’s been more than two decades since the Chinese government launched a crackdown on Falun Gong. The spiritual group claims practitioners face mass arrest, torture and are murdered by the state for their organs. The movement is seen as the most organised opposition group to the Chinese government. China calls Falun Gong an evil cult determined to bring down the Chinese Communist Party. Practitioners say the movement is non-political but critics claim the spiritual group is building an international fake news empire, are staunch supporters of Donald Trump and are sympathetic to far-right politicians. Banned in mainland China, Falun Gong believers once practiced and protested openly in Hong Kong. But since the introduction of a draconian national security law Falun Gong’s presence in the territory has all but vanished. The BBC’s Danny Vincent travels to the self-ruled island of Taiwan to talk to practitioners about their faith, persecution, the Chinese Communist Party and the future of Falun Gong. Producer: Danny Vincent Series Producer: Rajeev Gupta Editor: Helen Grady
03/11/2328m 16s

Assignment: Taught to fear - corporal punishment in the classroom

In Kenya, corporal punishment in schools has been banned for over twenty years, yet young students are being beaten by their teachers on a daily basis, and the consequences can be fatal. In the last five years alone, it’s believed more than 20 children have died at the hands of their teachers. In this week’s Assignment, BBC Africa Eye’s Tom Odula, whose own school years were marked by brutal and degrading treatment at the hands of teachers, goes on a journey to investigate the extent of the problem and what can be done to address it.He speaks to young victims who bear the scars of vicious beatings, to families who are seeking justice for their children who have reportedly been beaten, one of whom died - and to teachers who have turned their back on the cane and are now trying to spread the message that violence in the classroom is wrong. Through all of this, Tom asks the question, why is this happening, and what is being done to protect the most innocent in our society?Reporter: Tom Odula Producer: Chris Alcock and Rebecca Henschke Africa Eye Editor: Tom Watson Assignment Editor: Penny Murphy (Image: Kenyan child looks out of a school window. Credit: BBC Africa Eye)
02/11/2327m 46s

The Raspberry Visa

The ‘Raspberry Visa’ is the colloquial name given to the Portuguese passport that workers picking berries in Western Portugal can apply for after 7 years of work. Bhrikuti Rai and Fabian Federl visit Odemira, where the raspberries are grown, to find out what life is like for the workers here and whether their dream of earning an EU passport is worth the toil. Is this system the answer to the lack of workers in the West or simply another means for the unscrupulous to exploit the hopes of migrants with dreams of a better life?
01/11/2327m 44s

In the Studio: Kieran Stanley - Designing a Zoo

Zoo designer Kieran Stanley has created some of the world's most impressive spaces to care for animals ranging from the Indian rhinoceros to the giant panda. He is passionate about animal welfare, wanting to inspire people to fall in love with wildlife in order to help protect nature.Originally from Cork, Ireland, Kieran now lives in Berlin where he plans and designs zoos across the globe. He lists milestone projects in countries including the UK, Denmark, South Korea, Uzbekistan, China, and Germany. From his studios in Berlin, we find Kieran overseeing multiple international projects including a major, and slightly mysterious, new zoo development in Gujarat, India, called simply ’Zoo India’.Working with a multidisciplinary team including architects, landscape architects, interior designers and communication designers, it quickly becomes clear that design is just one element of a complex and fascinating process. A Tandem Production for BBC World Service.
30/10/2327m 21s

BBC OS Conversations: Jewish-Palestinian couples

Observing the suffering on both sides of the Israel and Gaza war, are couples and families around the world in which individuals with Jewish and Palestinian heritage have come together and built a shared life. For some there will be conflicting and mixed emotions, and some difficult questions.We hear their conversations as they talk about the beginnings of romantic relationships, and the realisation of the huge complications and family disputes that might ensure. Emotions are shared, and the challenges and decisions they face because of the present and also the past.Leya and Thaer, a Jewish-Palestinian couple living in the US, describe how both of their families were happy with the match, and how they’re bringing their son up to understand and celebrate both sides of his heritage, and to make his own choices.Becca, an American-Israeli describes meeting her Palestinian husband-to-be Mohammed in Israel, and the moment she realised the impact this could have on both of their lives. “We kissed for the first time,” she says, “and afterwards I literally said, are we playing with fire here?” Despite unease on both sides of their family, they married in 2012. Years later, shocked by the events of October 7th, Becca found herself asking Mohammed, “’Is this the sort of operation that you support?’ And he was like, ‘of course not’. But I had to ask him that question, and I regret it.”We also hear from a family of four, whose two adult sons now find themselves being asked by friends “whose side are you on?”.(Photo: Leah and Thaer with their baby)
28/10/2323m 59s

Heart and Soul: The New York Supreme Court's first female Hasidic judge

Rachel Freier was 30 when she started her training to be an attorney, and many people told her she was making a mistake. Growing up in an ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, women having high-powered careers has not been the norm, and even discouraged. But for Rachel, a mother of six, she felt that she could be a good mother, a good housewife, stay true to her Jewish faith and beliefs, while still being able to have a career – even if she was a woman. With the support of her husband she graduated law school and became an attorney, and then made history becoming the first Hasidic woman to be appointed as a judge at the civil court. Now, she is making history again, having just been elevated to the New York Supreme Court. We pay a visit to her home in Brooklyn to hear how she balances everything in her life, while managing a hugely demanding career.
27/10/2327m 15s

Assignment: The Life, Death and Rebirth of a Russian Theatre

Tatiana Frolova wasn’t born to be a theatre director. She grew up in the 1960s and ‘70s in a cut-off part of a closed country, the Soviet Far East. She was a shy, nervous girl brought up by a silent mother in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, the bleak “City of the Dawn” built on Stalin’s orders in the early 1930s and celebrated officially as a Communist “hero-project.” But in 1985, aged 24, as the first glimmerings of glasnost appeared, Tatyana founded the Soviet Union’s first independent theatre since 1927 – known as KnAM - in Komsomolsk. It was tiny – with only 26 seats. But it tried to push back the boundaries of what could be discussed, building new plays around the memories and experiences of local people. They dealt with fear and violence transmitted from generation to generation. The theatre survived for 37 years despite the narrowing of possibilities for free speech under Vladimir Putin. But when the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began last year, Tatiana realised she and her actors had to leave. Now, they’re touring Europe with a new play, "We are no longer.." It’s about who they were, and what they’ve lost. But what’s the future for Tatiana and her troupe - just a handful of the hundreds of thousands of Russians now in exile? And what image of Russia are they presenting to Western audiences? For Assignment, Tim Whewell goes to meet them. Image: A scene from “We Are No Longer” by KnAM Theatre (Picture copyright Julie Cherki)
26/10/2327m 17s

Africa's urban future: What next?

Faced with the ever-quickening pace of urbanisation, what is the future for Africa's swelling cities? Experts predict that Africa could be home to forty percent of humanity by the end of this century, and that the twenty fastest-growing cities in the world will be in sub-Saharan Africa. Will the continent have the potential for a brilliant urban future – or for an increasingly bleak one? Much will depend, in large part, on how it’s managed. How can already highly pressurised African cities provide better opportunities for all their inhabitants?In the final episode of 'Africa's Urban Future', a four-part series from the BBC World Service, Mike Wooldridge considers the future - and nothing is more pressing than the combination of this rapid urbanisation and accelerating climate change. In many cities, climate change will only add to the challenges. How the continent manages this, will not only affect the daily lives of the millions of Africans, but shape everything from migration and global economic prosperity to the future of the African nation state and the prospects for limiting climate crisis. ‘Africa’s Urban Future’ is a Ruth Evans Productions series for the BBC World Service.
24/10/2337m 50s

In the Studio: PAC NYC

September 2023 sees the opening of PAC NYC – the Perelman Performing Arts Center in New York. It’s the final building in the new piazza, situated on the site of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, which was destroyed on the 11th September 2001, when hijackers seized US passenger jets and crashed them into the Twin Towers, killing thousands of people. Jeff Lunden follows PAC NYC’s artistic director Bill Rauch and his behind the scenes team, as they get the specially built, flexible theatres ready for their opening season.
23/10/2327m 16s

Other people's children

Mothers from all over the world leave their families in search of economic opportunities elsewhere – and they often end up working as nannies, which means they spend their days with children while their own are far away.How does it feel to nurture other people’s children while someone else takes care of yours? How does it shape a family when the mother works abroad? What’s the impact on the children, and their relationship with their parents?Namulanta Kombo - host of the multi-award-winning World Service podcast Dear Daughter – explores the personal stories behind this “global care chain.”She speaks to women all over the world who’ve been in this situation, from the Philippines to Romania to Nairobi to Dubai.They tell her what led them to leave, and what it’s been like for them - the birthdays missed and late night phone calls.They talk about the thrill of watching someone else’s child take their first steps, and the challenges of keeping your family together when you’re thousands of miles apart.And she speaks to some of the people who stayed behind about the lasting impact on their families.
22/10/2350m 11s

BBC OS Conversations: Teenagers in Gaza and Israel

In recent days, there have been warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza amid continual bombardment. In Israel, the discovery of bodies continues in the communities near the border, following the attack by Hamas on 7 October. Many of those caught up in this conflict are young people. Host James Reynolds hears from teenagers, on both sides. In Gaza, roughly half the population is under 18, and although communications are very difficult, young people have been sending us voice messages when they have enough internet. Sanabel (16) is sheltering with her family. In her messages, she said: “No one cares about us.” In Israel, Neta (18) is preparing to be a solider for Israel.
21/10/2324m 0s

Understand: Israel and the Palestinians

A guide to the history and context of the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Katya Adler and guests explain the key players and set out the background to help you get to grips with what’s going on today. They explain the history of the creation of the state of Israel and look at the experience of Palestinians. They take a closer look at Hamas, the group responsible for orchestrating the recent attacks on Israel. They are regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US and the UK, but how are they seen by Palestinians? Of course outsiders have also played a crucial role. We take a tour of this Middle Eastern neighbourhood to set out the relationships with Lebanon, Hezbollah, Jordan and Egypt and explain the role global powers like the USA and Iran have had at times of war and peace.
20/10/231h 5m

Heart and Soul: My journey beyond death

Following a dramatic train accident, David Ditchfield was dragged under a speeding train in Cambridgeshire and nearly lost his life. As he lay in hospital, just before being taken into surgery, he had an extraordinary spiritual experience characterised by overwhelming love, white light and spiritual beings The experience awakened a previously hidden talent for painting and music. Despite his vision of angelic beings and a white tunnel of light, he doesn’t view his life-changing spiritual awakening as a religious experience. He tells his remarkable story and meets the founder of Near Death Experience UK who too had a profound spiritual awakening while in a critical condition.
20/10/2327m 13s

Assignment: The village versus the mine

A village in northern Portugal is fighting to prevent what could be the first large scale battery grade lithium mine in Europe from going into operation on its doorstep. For Assignment, Caroline Bayley travels to Covas do Barroso - the remote farming community with World Agricultural Heritage status and a tiny population - where villagers have formed a protest group which has gained international support. Portugal has one of the largest deposits of lithium in Europe and the Government is in favour of exploiting these resources as part of the green transition as lithium is used in electric vehicle batteries. The mining company needs to lease common land jointly owned by the villagers to access the lithium but the residents are holding out against this, in spite of the compensation on offer. They fear that the four open pit mines would destroy their agricultural way of life. The Barroso mine has been given the green light by Portugal’s environment agency subject to certain strict criteria being met. Owned by Savannah Resources, a London listed company, the mine aims to produce enough lithium for 500,000 electric car batteries a year. Produced and presented by Caroline Bayley Producer in Portugal Alison Roberts Editor: Penny Murphy Sound Engineer: Neil Churchill Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman(Image: Aida Fernandes, farmer in Covas do Barroso. Credit: BBC/Caroline Bayley)
19/10/2328m 4s

Africa’s Urban Future: South Africa

Apartheid may now be long buried politically but in and around South Africa’s main cities it has left a visible legacy. Those entrenched historical problems could be about to get worse as cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town continue to grow rapidly, as a result of both migration and the natural population growth. Persistent power cuts and creaking infrastructure are major challenges to the ever-quickening pace of urbanisation. Can an ambitious new plan for Stellenbosch, the place where apartheid was reportedly conceived, help to break down the post-apartheid legacy of urban planning?
17/10/2338m 38s

In the Studio: Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf takes us behind the scenes of the making of Kandahar, his film about life in Afghanistan that captured the world's attention when President Bush asked to see it after the attacks on 9/11. He reveals how he managed to film on a smugglers' route between Iran and Afghanistan, and how he avoided the attentions of the Taliban.
16/10/2327m 17s

Special: My Indian Life

“I’m in love with the mountains.” A special episode from Kalki Presents: My Indian Life. Savita Kanswal was an inspirational climber, who had scaled Mount Everest. At the age of 26, she was tragically killed in an avalanche in the Himalayas. Kalki Presents: My Indian Life explores stories of being young and Indian in the 21st Century. Presented by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. www.bbcworldservice.com/myindianlife #MyIndianLife
15/10/2330m 40s

BBC OS Conversations: Israel and Gaza

This is an historical conflict with decades of bloodshed but the unprecedented violence of the past week has thrown the crisis into unknown territory. It was triggered by the Islamist militant group Hamas – which is designated a terror organisation by many Western governments – breaking through the barrier between Israel and Gaza and launching a range of surprise attacks. Israel immediately announced it was at war and made threats to destroy Hamas; firing rocket attacks into Gaza. We speak to Israelis and Palestinians living in Gaza.
14/10/2324m 13s

The Cultural Frontline: How Disney redefined animation

It has been 100 years since a young animator sold his first film series, called Alice Comedies, to a distributor. Without knowing, he was starting what became one of the world’s biggest media empires. The company took his family name: Disney. The studio has led and shaped the animation industry for generations, and it’s now in the very heart of global culture. In this episode of The Cultural Frontline, we speak to animators responsible for some of Disney and Pixar’s most successful films. We also explore the creative, technological and cultural challenges Disney and the wider animation industry are facing today. Veteran animator Floyd Norman has worked with Disney since the 1950s, on films like Sleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book. His colleague Tony Bancroft was the co-director of Mulan and the creator of one of the most beloved Disney characters, Pumbaa the warthog, in The Lion King. They talk about the milestones of Disney history. Oscar-winning director Brenda Chapman reflects on the role of women on screen and in production, and talks about the inspiration for Merida, Brave’s anti-princess. Plus, Rebecca Sugar, and Frank Abney discuss how the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement are changing the animation industry.Presenter: Brian Sibley Producer: Constanza Hola
13/10/2336m 9s

Assignment: America’s hidden histories

It’s more than 150 years since the end of the American Civil War. But the replacement of a monument dedicated to the Confederate Commander Robert E Lee with a statue of black icon Henrietta Lacks has proved an emotive issue in Roanoke, Virginia. In a region steeped in the history and trauma of that war, the unveiling of a new memorial has shone a spotlight on the hidden histories of the United States. As Elizabeth Gabriel reports for Assignment, how we remember the past remains a divisive issue.Produced by Ben Wyatt Production Coordinator: Gemma Ashman Studio mix: Rod Farquhar Assignment editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Statue of Henrietta Lacks on Lacks Plaza, Roanoke. Credit: David Hungate and the Roanoke Times)
12/10/2327m 46s

Africa's urban future: Tanzania

Mike Wooldridge and Tanzanian development worker Mary Ndaro report on the opportunities and challenges for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial centre, and one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. Some six million people currently call Dar es Salaam home, but the city’s population has grown by a whopping 40% in just a decade. By the 2030s it is projected to become a megacity with a population of more than 10 million. Getting around cities like Dar es Salaam can be not only stressful but expensive, negotiating roads clogged with cars and choked with fumes, but the city is now investing in transport infrastructure to keep people moving.
10/10/2332m 24s

In the Studio: Anton Skrypets

Stay Online is the first film about the full-scale war in Ukraine. Young producer Anton Skrypets tells Antonia Quirke about the dangers and challenges of this groundbreaking production, through a series of interviews and diary entries interspersed by the sound of air raid sirens and drone attacks. Directed by his sister Yeva Strielnikova, Stay Online is a rare thing: a war movie made entirely in a war zone.
09/10/2327m 31s

BBC OS Conversations: Fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh

The territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is at the centre of one of the world’s longest running disputes that goes back more than 100 years. The latest conflict involved a lightening military operation by Azerbaijan. It resulted in nearly 120,000 Armenians, virtually the entire population, leaving Nagorno-Karabakh and making a difficult journey across the border to Armenia Host Anna Foster hears from three women who took that single route.
07/10/2323m 57s

Heart and Soul: Young Catholics on the Francis revolution

Pope Francis has launched the biggest consultation in the history of the Catholic church. Since the process started three years ago, millions of Catholics worldwide have given their responses to the question: “What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our journeying together?” Caroline Wyatt brings three young Catholics together to discuss the future of their church. She also hears other voices from around the world, to explore just what Pope Francis’s revolution means to them.
06/10/2327m 14s

Gabon’s dark football secret

Gabon is football crazy and it’s the dream of most young footballers to play internationally. But, in 2022 a long serving coach for youth national teams admitted to charges of raping, grooming, and exploiting young players. He faces up to 30 years in prison. For Assignment, BBC Africa Eye’s Khadidiatou Cissé travels to Gabon to investigate one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in the history of football. She speaks with victims and eyewitnesses who reveal a shocking culture of sexual abuse and despair, with claims that many people knew, and many stayed silent. We follow a coach who, at personal risk, is determined to bring about change. Football’s world governing body, FIFA, is facing accusations of failing to take effective action over the scandal. Presented by Khadidiatou Cissé Produced by Stephanie Stafford and Suzanne Vanhooymissen. BBC Eye editors Rebecca Henschke and Tom Watson Mixed by Neil Churchill Assignment series editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Child holding football boots. Credit: BBC)
05/10/2327m 15s

Africa's urban future: Ghana

What is the future for Africa's rapidly swelling cities? The stretch of nearly 1,000 km between Abidjan and Lagos, is by 2100 projected to be the largest zone of continuous, dense habitation on earth - and home to about half a billion people. In Ghana alone, the population which was around six million at the time of independence could exceed 50 million by 2050. There has been unprecedented migration into Accra and other cities from rural areas, straining the city’s ability to provide basic housing and services to people, and exacerbating existing inequalities. Presenter Mike Wooldridge and Ghanaian architect Ruth-Anne Richardson report on the opportunities and challenges this rapid urbanisation brings in West Africa.
04/10/2333m 59s

Will the unicorns of the sea fall silent?

The term “narwhal” derives from the old Nordic for “nár + hvalr”, meaning corpse + whale, which, for these animals, is quickly becoming prophetic. Climate change, with its accompanying increase in human marine activity, has led to the Arctic Ocean becoming noisier. As narwhal rely on sound to communicate and navigate their surroundings, this could result in the extinction of populations like East Greenland's narwhal by as soon as 2025. Mary-Ann Ochota investigates how this issue is at once political, cultural, and environmental and speaks to the scientists, traditional hunters, and activists, who are seeking a solution.
03/10/2327m 22s

In the Studio: The visitors

After its award winning premier in 2020, a new production of The Visitors by Indigenous playwright Jane Harrison sees us on the eve of colonisation. The first fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour on the 26 January 1788 bringing with them convicts, disease and violence. The play asks, what if we saw this moment from the Aboriginal perspective? What if they could decide whether or not to let the fleet land? As seven tribal elders watch the fleet arrive they must decide whether to stop them, or welcome them. Regina Botros follows the director Wesley Enoch, the writer Jane Harrison and the cast through the challenges of the play as it reflects, quite poignantly, the current political climate in Australia.
02/10/2327m 17s

October 1973: The war that changed everything

It is a war with many names - The Yom Kippur War, the Ramadan War, the October War. What is clear 50 years after it was fought is that it was a conflict that really did change the world. Michael Goldfarb tells the story of the war that began on the 6 October 1973 and ended less than three weeks later - yet somehow the Israeli and Arab states combatants, as well as the rest of the world, still live with the aftermath today.
01/10/2355m 28s

BBC OS Conversations: War and fatigue in Ukraine

Winter is approaching once again in the war and, for all the combat in the summer, the situation remains largely unchanged for both Ukrainian and Russian forces. There is talk that the conflict could go on for many years. President Volodymyr Zelensky is still firmly focused on victory for Ukraine but he admits that the mood among some of his international backers appears to be changing. But on the battlefields, what are the attitudes of Ukrainians? Host Lukwesa Burak speaks to two Ukrainian soldiers, journalists and families caught up in the conflict.
30/09/2323m 55s

Heart and Soul: The Hare Krishna MC

Jake Emlyn’s musical talents were once hailed by international pop star Robbie Williams, who mentored the young English rapper. It lead him to feature on the albums of major stars and tour worldwide. However, 10 years ago, on the verge of signing a major record deal, Jake lost his father to cancer and it prompted a journey of reflection and self-discovery. A chance meeting with a Hare Krishna monk led Jake to visit the Radha Krishna temple in central London and from then on Jake was hooked to spiritual life. For the past decade, he has devoted his life to the Hare Krishna movement, combining his rapping skills with his religious life and becoming the world’s number one Hare Krishna rapper.
29/09/2327m 15s

Germany: Jail for fare-dodging

In Germany you can go to prison for travelling on public transport without a ticket. It’s estimated that 7,000 people are serving a jail sentence for this at any one time. Most of them are serial offenders, usually unemployed or homeless, the poorest people in German society. The law that enables courts to imprison people for not paying a fare dates from the early 1930s when it was introduced by the Nazi government. The public transport companies defend its existence. They say they lose hundreds of millions of Euros a year to people cheating on their fares and that it’s important to retain the threat of prison as a deterrent.As Tim Mansel discovers for Assignment, others disagree and are campaigning for the law to be abolished. Most eye-catching is a campaign run by the Freedom Fund, set up in Berlin in 2021, which has raised hundreds of thousands of Euros. Its founder, Arne Semsrott, describes the law as “deeply unjust,” saying it “discriminates heavily against people who don’t have money, against people who don’t have housing, against people who are already in crisis.”Produced and presented by Tim Mansel(Image: Gisa März, who served a prison sentence for fare dodging. Credit: Tim Mansel/BBC)
28/09/2327m 46s

Donor babies: A question of identity

For many people around the world, donation of sperm or an egg can be the difference between becoming parents and not. But while this donation can make their dream of parenthood come true, what are the considerations for the end result, the child themselves? Donation and IVF can help jump the hurdles when it comes to the physical process of conception for would-be parents, but what about the emotional and psychological impact on the people who eventually find out they are not biologically related to one or both of their parents? Louise Mcloughlin, herself donor-conceived, hears from people around the world who have been faced with the news they are not the identity they assumed they were.
26/09/2327m 15s

In the Studio: Ken Loach: The Sequel

The shooting starts on The Old Oak and Sharuna Sagar is there to witness Ken Loach's unique style of directing. Throughout his career from Kes to The Wind That Shakes The Barley to I, Daniel Blake, the 87-year-old film-maker does not like to tell the cast what is going to happen in the next scene. He explains his reasons, while star Dave Turner reveals what it is like to be surprised every day on set.
25/09/2327m 14s

BBC OS Conversations: The floods in Libya

Storm Daniel delivered 300 times more rain than expected onto the north-east coast of Libya, causing two dams to burst and water up to 30 meters high to tear through the coastal city of Derna. The immense power of the flood smashed everything in its path, claiming thousands of lives and leaving shattered buildings, bridges and mountains of mud. Since the disaster, we have been hearing from people in the city, who have been sharing their thoughts and experiences.
23/09/2324m 0s

Heart and Soul: Poland's nuns lifting the veil

What happens when a Catholic nun in Poland chooses to leave her religious community? Nuns are rejecting their orders after experiencing what they now regard as abuse. Some say they have even been sexually abused by priests. Izabela Moscicka recently made this journey. She stopped being a nun and is now living independently in Krakow. She knows how hard it can be, so she is setting up an aid centre for nuns and former nuns, who are looking for assistance and refuge. For the first time, Izabela shares her life story, the realities of the day to day life of Polish nuns, and the difficulties they have if they decide to leave the church.
22/09/2327m 14s

How a war has changed a Norwegian town

Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway, once thrived on its close ties with neighbouring Russia. All that changed after the invasion of Ukraine. Now it’s become home to Ukrainian refugees and a safe haven for some Russian journalists escaping President Putin’s media clampdown.For decades this area popularised the phrase “High North, Low Tension.” Close economic and cultural ties developed with brisk cross-border trade. Hundreds of Russians settled in the town. But now new cross-border restrictions have been imposed and co-operation has ended. The local economy has taken a significant hit and cross-border cultural groups no longer meet. However, despite this being a NATO member, the Norwegian government is keeping the border open. Russian fishing vessels still unload their catch in Kirkenes but are no longer allowed to undergo repairs. The Norwegians have stepped up checks on these Russian boats amid concern of a rise in Russian spying and potential sabotage.For Assignment, John Murphy travels to Norway’s Arctic to see how war has changed the town and to ask what’s next for this unique community. Presenter: John Murphy Producer: Alex Last Production co-ordinator: Gemma Ashman Series editor: Penny Murphy(Image: Kirkenes, in the far north-east of Norway. Credit: BBC)
21/09/2329m 27s

Cricket and the maidens

In March 2023, the first season of the Women’s India Premier League, the world’s second most valuable cricketing league, behind only the men’s IPL, was played. Five teams battled it out to claim the crown, comprised of international teams of women cricketers at the top of their game who earned ten times more than they can elsewhere. While Indian players dominated, there was another factor that marked them out - many Indian women cricketers are single. As Indian women’s cricket has shot to the top of the global stage, how does this rapid change reflect broader changes in Indian society?
19/09/2327m 27s

In the Studio: Vhils

Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is a Portuguese artist, known for his striking huge murals that have appeared on city walls from Brazil and the US, to Senegal and Vietnam. He uses a bas-relief carving technique, which involves using chisels and even hammer drills to scrape away at the fabric of the wall, revealing the history in the layers below the surface. Abi McNeil talks to Vhils as he works on his latest project – a 31 metre long mural for the Paris headquarters of Unesco.
18/09/2327m 14s

Bonus: The Explanation

What is a war crime? How is it different to a crime against humanity and genocide? And who holds those responsible to account? Find out in this bonus episode of The Explanation, from the BBC World Service.
17/09/2319m 7s

Remembering Buthelezi

The BBC's Audrey Brown looks back at the life of South Africa's Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who died earlier in September aged 95. He played a vital - and controversial - role in the country's history during both the Apartheid era and the transition to multiracial democracy.
17/09/2326m 29s

BBC OS Conversations: The earthquake in Morocco

The earthquake struck in a region of the High Atlas Mountains. Its force destroyed entire villages and could be felt across the country, and even in neighbouring Algeria. Around 3,000 people lost their lives and thousands were injured. It’s described as the worst earthquake in the country in 60 years. Tour guide Mohamed and Majda, an architect, tell host James Reynolds what it was like when the earthquake struck their hometown of Marrakesh. We speak to Paul Philipp, a rescue volunteer in Germany and Ayça Aydın, a Turkish rescue worker, from the organisation Global Empowerment Mission. She visited some of the worst affected areas to care for survivors.
16/09/2324m 0s

Heart and Soul: Faith, terrorists and mercy at Guantanamo Bay

Dr Jennifer Bryson interrogated suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists at the infamous Guantanamo Bay. She worked at the detention centre in Cuba for two years and says that some of the inmates bragged openly about helping to organise the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that killed 3,000 people. Bryson was the first woman to take up the role of lead interrogator at Guantanamo, and the first who was not a member of the military. She would carry out interrogations herself but was also responsible for signing off methods and techniques used by other interrogators. After some time, she started to feel uneasy about some of the 'enhanced interrogation' methods she was asked to approve - in her gut, she felt something was not right. She says it was her faith-formed conscience that led her to deny her colleagues’ requests to use such interrogation techniques.
15/09/2327m 15s

Missing in Syria

There are one hundred thousand missing Syrians, according to the UN, who’ve been detained or have disappeared since the beginning of the uprising in Syria twelve years ago and the civil war that followed. Most of their families have no idea where they are and whether they’re alive or dead. Many are paying thousands of dollars for information about them which almost always comes to nothing. For Assignment, Lina Sinjab reports from Turkey and Beirut where she’s been talking to Syrian refugees about the desperate measures they'll go to in their search for their missing relatives.Presenter: Lina Sinjab Producer : Caroline Bayley Editor: Penny Murphy Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar(Image: Framed photographs of some of the people who are missing in Syria. Credit: Guevara Namer/The Syria Campaign)
14/09/2327m 22s

Building power: India’s new parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes India’s new parliament as a reflection of the “aspirations and dreams” of all Indians. But the huge triangular structure that sits next to its colonial-era predecessor is controversial: some opposition parties boycotted its inauguration. From Delhi, Shalu Yadav reports on a story that is about cost, architecture and urban design, but also power, democracy and India’s future.
13/09/2327m 14s

In the Studio: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh is one of Ireland's leading screen costume designers - working on such productions as The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Jimmy's Hall and the recent, multi award-winning The Banshees of Inisherin. For many years she has also been compiling a collection of iconic items seen on the Irish screen. Eimer has been involved in the photographing of each item to museum standard, allowing the entire collection to be available online for anybody across the world to access, free. We follow Eimer as she oversees the meticulous photographing of her applauded and distinctive knitwear for the Banshees of Inisherin.
11/09/2327m 16s

Inside an autistic mind

Science journalist Sue Nelson shares her personal journey to better understand a condition that affects millions worldwide. Inside her autistic inner world is a cacophony of brain chatter, anxiety and sensory issues - recreated within a 360 degree soundscape - that impact her life and interactions with others. Sue, who discovered she had autism last year aged 60, meets other autistic people, researchers and clinicians to try to make sense of her late diagnosis. Those who offer their own stories and experiences include Canadian actor Mickey Rowe, the first autistic actor to play the autistic lead character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime; award-winning science writer Dr Camilla Pang; and former teacher Pete Wharmby, who left the profession to write about his condition to help others.
10/09/2351m 3s

BBC OS Conversations: Climate change in Africa

Africa causes little damage to the climate but tends to feel the brunt of changing weather patterns. That was the debate in recent days as Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, hosted Africa’s first-ever climate summit. More than a dozen African leaders discussed the continent's increasing exposure to climate change and what that means for the environment, food supply and the economy. They also wanted to get their case together ahead of the next big climate conference, COP 28, which will be held in Dubai at the end of the year. We went around the continent to bring together some of those who are affected by climate change. We hear from farmers, environmental journalists and climate activists, with guests from Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi and Kenya.
09/09/2324m 0s

Izabela in the forest

Hear the marvellous sounds of Europe's last primeval forest, Białoweiza, in an immersive experience rich with all kinds of bird song and animal sounds, including that of the rare European bison. They're recorded by Polish field recordist Izabela Dłużyk.Izabela is unusual as a young woman recordist, in a profession dominated by men - all the more so because has been blind from birth. She developed a special sensitivity to birdsong ever since her family gave her a tape recorder at the age of 12, and she at once turned its microphone towards the sky. She identifies species entirely though her ears, with an extraordinarily detailed depth of field.Hearing the forest through Izabela’s acute ears, we venture into her world as well as that of the wilderness she loves. Recorded on location in Białoweiza, we also hear night and dawn recordings that bring all sorts of surprises to the microphone.Produced by Monica Whitlock. Mixed by Neil Churchill
06/09/2329m 50s

Surviving Greece's migrant boat disaster

n the early hours of 14th June, a heavily overcrowded, rusty fishing trawler carrying as many as 750 migrants capsized off the coast of Greece. The passengers - men, women and children from countries including Pakistan, Egypt and Syria - were fleeing conflict and poverty, hoping to start safer and more prosperous lives in Europe.After its engine broke down, the boat drifted for several hours while desperate passengers made distress calls and waited for rescue. Only 104 people survived the sinking. More than 600 may have drowned, making this one of the deadliest disasters in Europe’s ongoing migration crisis.For Assignment, Nick Beake travels to Greece to meet survivors of the sinking, who are now living in a refugee camp outside Athens. He hears how they endured a four-day voyage, during which several passengers died due to a lack of food, water and ventilation on board. Brutal smugglers forced them to board the dangerous boat, and confiscated water bottles and life jackets to make room for extra passengers.Many of the survivors have accused the Greek coastguard of causing the sinking by attempting to tow the heavily overloaded vessel. Greek authorities have denied these claims. Nick meets a Greek activist who volunteers for an emergency hotline that received distress calls from passengers on the ship. She explains that the June 14th disaster is not the first time the Greek coastguard has come under scrutiny, and it has previously been accused of using aggressive and illegal tactics to deter migration.Presented by Nick Beake Producer: Viv Jones Studio mix: Graham Puddifoot Series Editor: Penny Murphy
05/09/2327m 16s

Slovakia divided

Slovakia may be a small country, but its upcoming elections could have a big impact across Europe and beyond. One of the strongest supporters of Ukraine in its war against Russia, Slovakia was the first Nato country to deliver fighter jets to its eastern neighbour. But could that soon change? September’s snap elections follow the collapse of Slovakia’s staunchly pro-Western government. Leading the polls is the populist party of former Prime Minister Robert Fico. The fiercely Moscow-friendly candidate has promised to end military aid to Ukraine, if he returns to power. John Kampfner travels across Slovakia to find out why the country looks set for a dramatic political about-turn.
05/09/2327m 17s

In the Studio: Robyn Weintraub

Robyn Weintraub is a leading crossword designer who writes clues and fills in cells for the New York Times, famous for its challenging daily puzzles. She also creates for the New Yorker, People Magazine and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Robyn is known for her distinct style, and keen readers recognise a “Robyn Puzzle” from the quotes and sayings she uses as hints. Tara Gadomski follows Robyn over three intense days as she constructs a new crossword puzzle from blank page to completed grid. We get a glimpse of her long word lists and her daily puzzle-writing routine, and experience Robyn’s final verification - by pencil and paper - to make sure the puzzle is satisfying for the millions of people who will try to solve it then we discover whether Robyn’s puzzle has been accepted for publication by the New York Times
04/09/2327m 16s

BBC OS Conversations: American voters

The US elections for the next president are not until November 2024, but the campaigning for votes is underway. And it’s two familiar faces who seem to be the ones to beat. Host Lukwesa Barak hears from Democrats and Republicans across the country about what they make of their choices, and also from those who feel that neither party represents them.
02/09/2323m 55s

Heart and Soul: My sex work and my faith

Aaliyah grew up a devout Muslim but now makes adult content for the online service OnlyFans. She’s often pictured wearing a hijab. Aaliyah is her stage name. She’s had death threats but believes that expressing her sexuality and making her own choices about her body are empowering. She has also had support from young Muslim women and couples. She was brought up in the UK as a Muslim and began to question her faith at the age of 12, when her parents got divorced. She says, “My work now is definitely a rebellion against my upbringing. I’m tired of being told how women should be”. Aaliyah still describes herself as Muslim, and feels that her sex work is more important than the version of Islam she grew up with.Can you be a sex worker and still follow your faith? Sex work has always challenged religion. Although it’s broadly considered immoral within Christianity, Islam and Judaism, sacred texts carry some mixed messages. Women sex worker