Crossing Continents

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Over 900 murders are committed in Jamaica every year.

Tim Whewell talks to citizens across the island who are determined to bring about change, from former politicians to members of a civil action group.


By Moroccan law, women are still considered minors - a woman can even be imprisoned for having a child out of wedlock.

Olenka Frenkiel talks to the women who are trying to change their society.


Julian Pettifer goes to Baffin Island, off the Arctic coast of Canada, to meet the Inuit, formerly known as Eskimos, who will soon have their own government.

Will their territory, Nunavut, be a model for Aboriginal people across the world?


Julian Pettifer travels to the Baltic republic of Estonia almost a decade after the Soviet Union began to fall apart.

He investigates an innovative scheme designed to improve relations between Estonians and RUSSIAns by having Estonian farmers foster deprived RUSSIAn children from the city.


Rosie Goldsmith travels to the INDIAn state of Gujarat, to the place where ships go to die.

She talks to some of the thousands of men who scrape a living taking apart the ships on the beach at Alang and to the wealthy ship-brokers who make huge profits from one of the world's ugliest industries.


Reports on the stories that matter to people around the world.

Traditional religion is being revived in the Nigerian oilfields as poor villagers invoke magic to fight for a share in the wealth.

John Egan reports on development projects, witchcraft and the market women who enjoy power their husbands can only dream of.


Reports on the stories that matter to people around the world.

In 1998, Chicago witnessed more murders than NEW YORK or any other city in the UNITED STATES.

Olenka Frenkiel reports on a novel attempt by the city's mayor to control gun violence.


Reports on the stories that matter to people around the world.


Reports on the stories that matter to people around the world.

Turkey has rushed to the forefront of countries opening their doors to refugees from Kosovo.

Up to six million Turks are of Albanian origin, but how closely do they identify with their Muslim brothers in the Balkans? Julian Pettifer talks to Albanian refugees, Kurds and Turks to explore the dilemma confronting modern-day Turkey.


Reports on the stories that matter to people around the world.

Corsica, say the French, can drive people crazy.

In the past 16 months the government representative of PARIS on the island has been assassinated and his replacement arrested.

Rhod Sharp investigates why Corsica is such a difficult place.


Reports on the stories that matter to people around the world.

Why would a a woman who wants a son kill a baby girl? Because that was the advice given by one of the pirs - living saints - who hold sway over millions of PAKISTANis.

Now tales of sexual abuse by pirs are emerging.

Meriel Beattie investigates.


The Catholic Church has been virtually synonymous with the Republic of IRELAND since its creation, but the Celtic Tiger does not sit comfortably with the Lamb of God.

As IRELAND enjoys unprecedented wealth and social transformation, the Church is in crisis.

Rosie Goldsmith investigates.


Zanzibar is one of Africa's magical place names, conjuring up images of adventurers, sultans and spice traders.

The mix of Hindu, Muslim, CHRISTIAN and African cultures is Zanzibar's attraction - but it is also part of its political conflict.

Max Easterman explores the roots of the feud between Zanzibar's two islands and looks at the West African threat to Tanzania's traditional music.


Jill McGivering, the BBC's Hong Kong correspondent, meets the Hong Kong citizens who are being threatened with deportation following a ruling in Beijing denying residency to over a million mainland Chinese people born to Hong Kong parents.


More than a third of Mexicans cannot afford to eat properly.

John Egan investigates the Mexican government's radical new scheme to target women and children.

Plus a look at Mexico's history and cuisine, and why the country's drug barons appear to be the new heroes.


Tim Whelwell investigates the growing debate over female circumcision in Mali, the only West African country which has not outlawed the practice and where it is still practised by many of the country's ethnic groups.


Julian Pettifer meets Nandor Tanczos, New Zealand's Green MP who wants to legalise cannabis.

Will new Labour government support him? Helen Clark, New Zealand's first elected female prime minister, provides the answer.


Duncan Hewitt travels to Shanghai to find out what the Chinese authorities are doing to fend off a massive public health crisis caused by smoking.

CHINA has more smokers than anywhere else in the world - the habit is killing a million Chinese every year.


Tim Whewell reports from Yekaterinburg on the RUSSIAn MAFIA who are standing for parliament, supporting the church and waging war on drugs.


Linda Pressly investigates the extent to which policing techniques in Rio de Janeiro have been reformed.

Over the last decade, thousands of people have been shot dead, and the city's authorities have pledged to rid the streets of its trigger-happy cops.

Attending a human rights course is now obligatory for promotion, and open-plan police stations discourage torture and corruption.


Julian Pettifer visits the Philippines, where the Roman Catholic Church and women's rights activists are clashing over birth control.

With one of the fastest-growing populations in the world, experts say family planning is essential to lifting the country out of POVERTY.

With limited access to contraception, many women suffer from unwanted and dangerous pregnancies.

/ John Egan reports on Portugal's appalling record on road safety.

It has the highest death rates on the roads of Europe.

After decades of denial, the issue is now of paramount importance.

He meets Manuel Ramos, who is taking up the issue, having lost his five-year-old daughter on Portugal's most notorious road - the IP5.


Nearly half of Chile's children are born outside marriage - a statistic the country's conservative elite is trying to sweep under the carpet.

Bob Howard travels to Santiago, where divorce is illegal and abortion a taboo subject, to meet the ordinary citizens determined to modernise Chile's social laws.


Albania has become a byword for crime and corruption at every level.

Why would a young and successful painter leave his comfortable exile in FRANCE to become Minister of Culture there? Edi Rama has become one of his country's most popular and dynamic politicians.

Rosie Goldsmith hears the secret of his success.


Julian Pettifer reports from Italy on the issue of immigration, which will feature in the country's next general election.

As in Britain, there is heated debate about how to integrate the growing numbers of foreigners who seek work and asylum in the country.

Pettifer meets immigrants in Turin and follows a leading right-wing politician on an anti-immigrant night patrol.


Olenka Frenkiel reports on Ukraine's AIDS epidemic - the fastest-growing in Europe, which the UN forecasts could cost two million lives in the next decade.

The centre of the epidemic is the Black Sea port of Odessa, an elegant, cosmopolitan city with a long tradition of drug use and prostitution where she meets a police officer and a pimp who have joined forces to fight the rapid spread of HIV in their city.


Phil Rees examines how Montenegro - Serbia's last remaining partner in the Yugoslav Federation - has for the past two years been trying to manoeuvre itself out of the stranglehold of Slobodan Milosevic, and how it is preparing for a seemingly inevitable conflict with Serbia over secession.


Rosie Goldsmith reports from NEW YORK on the plight of mothers in American prisons.

The US locks up more people than any other country, and the fastest-growing sector of the prison population is women.

Most of them are mothers, and a new law has increased the likelihood that they will lose custody of their children.

Goldsmith investigates the psychological trauma caused by the separation of mother and child.


Tim Whewell investigates the collapse of the cashew nut industry in Mozambique - which many believe to be a direct result of World Bank policies.

Plus the extraordinary story of the baby born in a tree during the recent floods.


Julian Pettifer travels to Taipei to explore the growing problem of child obesity in Taiwan.

With a fifth of school-age boys now overweight, schools are singling out the heaviest children and giving them three weekly sessions of compulsory exercise.

Pettifer investigates the causes of the problem and asks how far doctors can hope for success.


Rosie Goldsmith investigates international adoption.

Last year, 1,500 children left Guatemala for a new life with an adoptive family abroad - Guatemala being a popular choice because of the speed of the adoption process and the availability of very young babies.

The UN claims that illegal adoptions take place on a large scale, while allegations abound of stolen infants, and mothers coerced into giving up their children.


Reports from around the world.

Julian Pettifer tours the Basque Country, visiting both French and Spanish parts.

He finds out about the Basques' wish for independence, and samples the local cuisine, which is reputed to be the best in Spain.


Olenka Frenkiel investigates the Lord's Resistance Army, which has abducted thousands of Ugandan children and turned them into ruthless killers.

She also assesses the merits of the much-praised President Youweri Museveni and visits to one of Kampala's trendy witch doctors.


Reports from around the world.

Max Easterman investigates deep-seated corruption and violence in the Romanian police force.

He meets the British officer who is trying to clean up the force and a Romanian whistle blower who has had to leave the country to escape reprisals.


Reports from around the world.

Olenka Frankiel visits BERLIN to find out about the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe.

All over Germany there are new bagel shops, kosher restaurants, synagogues and Yiddish schools.

How is it possible for Germany to be so popular for Jews, and what kind of Jewish community is being revived?


Reports from around the world.

Julian Pettifer reports from Fiji, six months after the coup.

The country's two largest ethnic communities, the indigenous Fijians and the Indo-Fijians, are still locked in a bitter struggle that is focused on land.


Reports from around the world.

George Arney reports from Bangladesh on the position of the country's eunuchs, who are fighting against the marginalisation to which they have traditionally been subject.


Reports from around the world.

Rosie Goldsmith investigates why the Swedes are becoming stressed at work, doubling Sweden's sick-leave bill in two years, and finds out what is being done to resolve the problem.


Julian Pettifer investigates why Japan has become scared of its young people, following a series of murders by teenagers.

New laws have been introduced to lengthen prison terms for murderers.

But Japanese methods of rehabilitating wayward teenagers used hitherto have been unusually effective, and it is statistically one of the safest countries in the world.


In a special edition, Olenka Frankiel visits Rwanda and Italy to investigate the difficult case of 41 Rwandan children who were brought to Italy at the time of the genocide seven years ago.

All have been adopted by local families, but all still have families in Rwanda.

Italy says that they are now Italians and won't be returned, so Rwanda is preparing a legal case to get them back.


George Arney asks whether IRELAND is ready to become a multi-cultural society, as it tries to cope with a new phenomenon: immigration.

It receives proportionately more asylum seekers than Britain, many pregnant and hoping their children will be born Irish citizens, but some face racial violence.


In the wake of a series of teenage gang-rape trials that shocked FRANCE, Rosie Goldsmith travels to parts of PARIS that few French people, let alone tourists, ever see.

She asks what FRANCE can do to end the alienation of a growing underclass.


George Arney tracks health workers up the Congo basin and through the jungle as they carry out an extraordinary polio vaccination campaign across four war-torn countries over just four days.


ARGENTINA: Julian Pettifer spends 24 hours in Buenos Aires, finding out how ARGENTINA's economic crisis is affecting the capital's population.


Henry Bonsu goes to Zurich to uncover a story of corporate recklessness and incompetence within recently collapsed airline Swissair.


Rosie Goldsmith investigates the persecution of HOMOSEXUALs in Egypt, where a recent series of dubious trials has seen a number of gay men sent to jail.


As East Timor prepares to become an independent state, Julian Pettifer reports on the painful process of reconciliation after years of Indonesian occupation.


Ecuador have reached the finals of the World Cup for the first time.

Linda Pressly visits the soccer school set up by local hero Agustin Delgado.


Mark Brayne reports from Moldova, once a relatively prosperous Soviet republic, but now the poorest country in Europe where a third of the working population must seek jobs abroad.


Stephen Smith meets Kay Fulton, whose brother perished in the Oklahoma bombing.

Kay has dedicated herself to the anti-terrorist cause for seven years.


Japan's ageing population and increased longevity is creating social and economic problems with more pensions to be paid, and greater demand for care.

Rosie Goldsmith reports.


This is an updated version of Claire Bolderson's report last December on misery in one of the most exclusive holiday spots of the Caribbean.

Thousands of men and women have fled Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but live in constant fear of deportation.

Many are denied health care, even if they have AIDS.

Many of their children are barred from local schools.

Britain has attempted over the years to grant considerable autonomy to its remaining ""colonies"" or overseas territories.

In attempting to shed the role of imperial ruler, is it failing in its legal duty to uphold human rights? Claire looks at the changes which have taken place since this campaigning programme was broadcast, and asks whether there's been a change of heart in Whitehall.


"As regime change is being prosecuted in Iraq, Tim Whewell goes to Serbia where four years ago allied planes were bombing another dictatorial regime out of power.

With Slobodan Milosevic in the dock in The Hague and a democratically elected government in power in Belgrade the West claimed success.

But last month the Prime Minister was assassinated in broad daylight and Tim finds the country in turmoil.

An unholy alliance of organised criminal gangs, war criminals, security forces and extreme nationalist politicians is taking on the government in a fight for power.

For Crossing Continents Tim asks will the vulnerable young democracy survive? " / As regime change is being prosecuted in Iraq, Tim Whewell goes to Serbia where four years ago allied planes were bombing another dictatorial regime out of power.

For Crossing Continents Tim asks will the vulnerable young democracy survive?


Mariusa Reyes travels to the small town of Aranda del Duero where after some 60 years Spain seems finally ready to confront an ugly side of its past, as the mass graves from Spain's Civil War are being excavated.

Mariusa meets some of the relatives, who had never dared speak out before, let alone hope to their loved ones might be exhumed and given a decent burial.

She also meets the mayor, who is one of very few officials prepared to support exhumations financially.

Mariusa meets some of the relatives, who had never dared speak out before, let alone hope that their loved ones might be exhumed and given a decent burial.


North Korean Refugees: It's the invisible exodus.

Tens of thousands of people have risked everything to flee North Korea, some making it all the way to the south.

Chris Guinness investigates what happens when they get there.

And he talks to some of the dedicated activists who have established channels of escape.

/ Tens of thousands of people have risked everything to flee North Korea.

Chris Gunness reports on the invisible exodus and what happens to the people who make it to the south.


All across Angola, families separated by decades of war are setting out to trace missing loved ones.

It's not an easy task in a country twice the size of FRANCE with a third of the population displaced and the roads riddled with mines.

But they have help, from popular TV and radio shows.

Andrew Jeffrey sets out to hear their stories.


The trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in CAMBODIA is rife.

Some commentators say its out of control.

In a fractured society, still recovering from genocide, national sexual mores have broken down.

And the domestic problem is exacerbated by the large numbers of sex tourists from both the West and other parts of Asia who see CAMBODIA as a sexual playground.

Julian Pettifer travels to Phnom Penh and reports on efforts to bring the perpetrators of sex crimes to justice.


When did you last hear a programme from inside Zimbabwe? Crossing Continents overcomes reporting restrictions to uncover the truth of life under Mugabe.

Rosie Goldsmith talks to farmers, lawyers, aid workers, families, church leaders and politicians from both Mugabe's Zanu-PF Party and the MDC Opposition.

We hear stories of starvation and AIDs, of resignation and rebellion but also of hope.


In the wake of the Beslan school tragedy, Tim Whewell travels to RUSSIA's restive north Caucasus to find disturbing evidence that terrorism is spreading through the region.

What are the links to radical Islam? And can RUSSIAn contain the threat?


The ancient INDIAn city of Hyderabad in the South INDIAn state of Andhra Pradesh teems with highly-educated entrepreneurs and IT professionals.

Thanks to the forces of globalisation, they are taking full advantage of the country's newly-found success in providing the world with computer and call centre services.

Yet just a few miles away, landless rural farmers and their families find themselves unable to afford running water or electricity.

They blame the state's controversial policy of wholesale privatisation of public services, all with the encouragement of global agencies such as the World Bank.

Nigel Cassidy travels to South INDIA to meet some of the winners and losers as globalisation changes the face of Andhra Pradesh.


The Maldive Islands have asked the international community for well over a billion dollars to help them recover from the havoc wreaked by the Asian tsunami.

The government there is keen to restore the islands' image of a palm fringed paradise surrounded by a turquoise sea of breathtaking beauty.

But for many Maldivians this carefully nurtured image belies a reality of political repression and the abuse of human rights.

According to Amnesty International dozens of people have been locked up without trial in recent years and there are well documented accounts of ill-treatment and political intimidation.

President Gayoom - who has kept a steely grip on the islands for the past 26 years - also attempts to control the internet - and has come down hard on those who use the web to criticise his leadership.

Those who persist have had to flee and now operate abroad.

In Crossing Continents, Julian Pettifer travels from Salisbury to Sri Lanka and on to the Maldives to talk to the people fighting for the political future of the islands.

He witnesses the country's parliamentary elections and assesses whether the natural disaster of the tsunami might bring about the political changes longed for by the opposition - or whether it will just be business as usual for the president and his cronies.


In two years time the European Union is to expand eastwards once again.

On January 1st 2007, Romania and Bulgaria are set to join the European family.

But both countries have some way to go before they fulfil their EU dreams.

In Crossing Continents this week, Rosie Goldsmith will be examining one particular aspect which could prove to be a major stumbling block to EU membership for Bulgaria: organised crime.


The town of Dover in rural Pennsylvania, and its population of 1800, has never been the sort of place to attract attention.

But the eyes of the world are now firmly on this small town after its high school became the first in America for several generations to introduce creationism into its science curriculum as an alternative to evolution.

The move is part of a radical new agenda being promoted by an increasingly confident CHRISTIAN Right, buoyed by its crucial role in re-electing President Bush on the dominant issue of "moral values".

Marvin Rees travels to Pennsylvania and Virginia to look at how state education has become a focal point in the battle for the heart and soul of Middle America.


In December 2004, Turkey officially knocked on the door of the biggest 'CHRISTIAN Club' in history - the EU.

But all sides seem to agree that the journey to full membership is at least 15-20 years away.

It will take that long for Turkey to shake off its old image as a Human Rights abuser and a holding bay for a vast pool of unskilled labour ready to head West.

But as Nici Marx reports for Crossing Continents, Turkey wants to show the sceptics that it can change.

'Education, education, education' is Turkey's new war cry - westernization through education.


Over three thousand people are still missing in Thailand following the Asian tsunami.

But while desperate efforts have been made to locate loved ones, there are some who prefer not to be found.

Tanya Datta travels to Thailand to track down the tsunami's invisible victims, Burmese migrant workers.

She talks to those who once worked in the coastal areas but are now in hiding, fearful of arrest and deportation and she discovers how the devastating impact of the tidal wave on one of the most vulnerable groups in Thailand has been twofold.


Annie Caulfield visits Fespaco, an African film festival held in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.


Venezuela is the world's fifth largest exporter of oil.

President Hugo Chavez, a man who has survived general strikes, civil unrest and a failed coup attempt has taken control of the state's national oil company, PDVSA, and begun to invest billions of petro-dollars in health, education and employment projects.

Thousands of poor people have benefited from the move, but many middle class Venezuelans and the political opposition argue the policy is unsustainable.

In Crossing Continents, seasoned Latin American analyst, Nick Caistor visits Caracas to assess the claims and counter-claims.


Richard Miron lived for seven weeks in the Jewish settlements in Gaza, sharing in the lives of the people who lived there.

He witnessed the final days of the settlements and the evacuation of the 8000 Jewish people from the place they say was given to them by God, but which the Palestinians say was taken from them by force.

The programme follows individuals from three Jewish settler families - Celia, a British born midwife, Debi, a devout and passionate spokeswoman for the biggest settlement in Gaza, and Avi, a secular Israeli who came to live in Gaza 20 years ago.

Richard follows them through the disengagement process, records their confrontations with the army and later catches up with them on the other side of the green line as they begin building new lives beyond Gaza.

This unique documentary provides an insight into the crisis faced by the Jewish settlers and asks what the future is for their ideology which has been at the forefront of Israeli politics for many years.


'The devil got our town', according to the mayor of Berat in southern Albania.

Paul Kirby travels to Berat to discover how much of a grip the mafia holds on the town and talks to people whose stories are seldom heard.

Among them is a 15-year-old girl who is the sole breadwinner for her family, working in a factory making paper bags for luxury western European boutiques.


Crossing Continents gains exclusive access to the judge who claims to have dealt with the Islamic terrorist threat in Yemen.

Since 2002, Judge Hamoud Al-Hitar has been going into Yemeni prisons and meeting Muslim extremists face to face, challenging their theological justification for violence.

Tim Whewell meets the judge and the prisoners, and asks what lessons we can learn back home.


It is estimated that 12% of Guatemalans - that's over a million people - have a disability.

Linda Pressly explores some of the stories behind this stark statistic, including the reasons why Guatemala has one of the highest incidences of Spina Bifida in the world.

The spectrum of disabilities associated with this condition is immense, but what is important is early diagnosis and surgery.

Neither of these are a given in Guatemala, as Hertilia finds out when her baby Dayana Sofia is born.

Guatemala is still a country recovering from decades of civil war.

One of the legacies of the conflict is endemic violence.

The United Nations has estimated there are over 1.5 million illegal weapons in Guatemala, and last year eight out of ten Guatemalans who died a violent death were shot.

There are no statistics recording the number of people disabled as a result of the violence - people like Gustavo who was a judge before he was gunned down in the street.

Gustavo's now a quadriplegic, and contemplating a very different life once he is well enough to leave hospital.

In the UK, provision for disabled people - like the availability of wheelchairs - is largely taken for granted.

But in a developing country like Guatemala, access to services may be dependent on an individual's (often meagre) resources.

In Antigua, the Transitions Foundation is challenging traditional attitudes towards disability, and providing essential material support.

In the organisation's wheelchair workshop, four year old Junior is fitted for his very first wheelchair.

It will transform his life, but this is also an epic moment for his mother, Melida, who until now has carried him everywhere since he was born.


The last remaining San Bushmen of the Central Kalahari are fighting a desperate battle to remain on their ancestral land.

Their supporters have called on tourists to boycott Botswana.

But some San say, the aggressive tactics used against the government have made matters much worse.

Paul Kenyon investigates.


With reports of plague and anthrax breaking out in Turkmenistan, Lucy Ash goes undercover to find out what ordinary life is like for the citizens.

We talk to people who are struggling to exist in a world where one man's whim is law and where the basic functions of state have long since collapsed into an anarchic quasi system of corruption.

Stories and issues that matter to people across the world.

The spotlight is on Turkmenistan, presented by Lucy Ash


The image of Bahrain is one of a wealthy, progressive and open society.

But behind the facade, this strategically positioned island in the Persian Gulf is wrestling with social and religious divisions that often explode into riots.

Bill Law investigates the causes of the tension, particularly allegations that the ruling Sunni elite is ruthlessly exploiting a Shia majority.


Rosie Goldsmith reports from Milan and Prato, the centre of Italy's textile industry which is now perceived to be under siege.

In addition to imported goods from the East, the area has seen a large influx of Chinese workers whose labour practices are seen as a threat to their Italian counterparts.

The conflict between two cultures has already spilled over into violence between Chinese clothing merchants and police in Milan.


American radio presenters Stephen Smith and Nick Spitzer offer a provocative cultural tour of New Orleans.

From its brass bands to its renowned jazz festivals, from its legendary craftsmen to its world famous cuisine, the Creole culture of New Orleans is the soul of the city and was one of its most powerful economic engines before Hurricane Katrina.

Two years after the disaster, could this be the best way to drive the city's recovery?


Bill Law tells the story behind the recent Red Mosque siege and the ongoing battle over the future of Pakistan's schools.


Geoff Adams-spink visits Spain to talk to Thalidomide survivors fighting for compensation.

He meets Pepe Riquelme, who has conducted a solo campaign for recognition for more than 20 years.

At the launch of a film based on Pepe's life, he tries to understand why the plight of Spanish Thalidomide children is only now coming to light after half a century.


Lyse Doucet reports on the influence of the mobile phone in Afghanistan.

Under the Taleban, Western influences were banned.

But the population has now enthusiastically embraced modern technology, especially the ubiquitous mobile.

Used for everything from dating to business and even war, the device is dramatically changing popular culture in the land.


Rosie Goldsmith reports on the rise of the far right in eastern Germany.

The National Democratic Party, until recently considered moribund, is winning seats on local councils and in state parliaments.

Much of its support comes from hardcore Neo-Nazi brotherhoods and alliances.

It is tapping into a general discontent with mainstream politics and targeting depressed local communities of the old GDR with local festivals, rock concerts and youth clubs.


Julia Rooke tells the story of Leila, who lives in Tehran.

Sold into prostitution by her own mother at the age of nine, Leila was sentenced to death by hanging nine years later.

Her life was saved by human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr.

Her story provides an insight into poverty in Iran and pays tribute to social workers and lawyers fighting to reform a justice system heavily biased against women.


Lucy Ash reports from Angola, which recently became China's largest supplier of oil and biggest African trading partner.

China has provided billions of dollars in credit and shipped in tens of thousands of workers to rebuild the former Portuguese colony's shattered infrastructure.

But not everyone in Angola is happy about this burgeoning trade relationship.

Critics claim that Chinese money has helped worsen Angola's notorious corruption.


Jonny Diamond meets the new generation of French protesters who have been spurred into action by the housing crisis in their country.

Occupying buildings, sports halls or even pavements in order to provoke the authorities into action, they are fighting against the lack of affordable housing, the shortage of shelters for the homeless and the abusive practices that private landlords are getting away with.


Julian Pettifer reports on the extraordinary popularity of online games in South Korea and the social problems they can cause.


Mongolia is in the grip of the deadliest winter for a decade.

People have died because they can't reach doctors or hospitals and malnutrition is increasing fast.

Most significantly for a nation where tending livestock is central to its culture, untold millions of animals have died.

Frozen carcasses of sheep and goats litter parts of the country.

Linda Pressly travels to the remote far west of the country to report on this developing emergency.

She asks what it means for Mongolia as rural refugees from the deep freeze have flooded to the capital, Ulan Bator.

And she asks about the prospects of a brighter future with recent discovery of what may be the world's largest deposits of gold.

Producer: Linda Sills.

Linda Pressly witnesses Mongolia's 'deep freeze' which has devastated much of the country.


In the past few decades, Central America has been in the grip of what has been described as the largest mass conversion in history - the explosive growth of Pentecostalism across Latin America.

The take-up of this new faith in both Guatemala and El Salvador is now estimated at over 40%.

Film maker Steve O'Hagan travelled through those countries to ask why the people there are reaching out to this new religion, after 400 years of rule from the Vatican.

Forty years ago, a radical new Catholic offshoot known as Liberation Theology looked set to transform Central American society as the theological wing of the socialist-inspired revolutions that were erupting across the region.

In a conservative backlash, Pentecostalism became the faith of those who opposed these revolutions and wanted to keep the status quo.

The two movements found themselves on opposite sides in the brutal civil wars of the 1980s and 90s.

From the space-age opulence of the biggest church in all of Latin America on the outskirts of Guatemala City, to the rapidly mushrooming micro-churches operating out of back rooms and alleyways of the working class suburbs of San Salvador, Steve O'Hagan searches for the reasons why Pentecostalism - a faith associated with wealth, televangelists, and the North American Right - has proven so successful here.

Increasingly from the margins of the society, the Catholics of Liberation Theology continue to dedicate themselves to their work.

In the mountainous former rebel strongholds of El Salvador, Steve meets a Belgian priest who ministered to the guerrillas throughout the 12-year civil war and today is still tending his flock.

But in a surprising coda, we discover that perhaps the spirit of Liberation Theology will live on in its theological 'conqueror'.

Some Pentecostal groups in El Salvador are beginning to cast off the right-wing tendencies of their past, and pick up the torch of liberation first lit by the Catholics decades earlier.

Presenter: Steve O'Hagan

Producer: Lucy Ash.

Steve O'Hagan reports on the explosive growth of Pentecostalism across Latin America.


A stolen kiss or a little pinch leaves no trace but once her hymen is broken, a woman loses everything." (Nada)

"In the future I won't be thinking with my heart or falling in love.

I will only use my mind.

He has to be a family man - a father.

Nothing else." (Mona)

"One must conform to the norms of the society we live in.

Therefore my daughter - she must remain a virgin." (Sonia)

Across the Arab world, whether the woman is Christian or Muslim, virginity before marriage is the most coveted gift on the wedding list.

It signifies the honour of the bride's family and reflects the integrity of the groom and his family.

Now women who have lost their virginity before their wedding night have discoered a face-saving solution to this controversial and sometimes life-threatening dilemma.

Under cover of the burgeoning fashion for plastic surgery, women are undergoing hymen repair surgery to artificially restore the appearance of "virginity", and so bridging this cultural and sexual divide.

Lebanese journalist Najlaa Abou Merhi from the BBC Arabic TV Service meets "Nada," "Mouna" and "Sonia" - Arab women spanning three generations who lost their virginity while teenagers but felt compelled to regain it through the medical procedure called hymenoplasty.

While they wish to remain anonymous, they hope by sharing their stories that other women in their situation will feel they are not alone and that there is a way to cross what Nada describes as an unbreachable wall.

But is this an act of liberation or repression for women? How will this cycle of cultural expectation versus the reality of sexual liberation be broken?

Producer: Linda Sills.

Najlaa Abou Merhi investigates the taboos surrounding virginity across the Arab world."


The world famous Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto believes that the key to ending poverty for countless millions is to give them the right to own the land that they live on.

If a person owns the land, his theory says, they can borrow money from banks to help build businesses and improve their quality of life.

But de Soto's ideas have proved controversial.

They have encouraged people to buy their land in the slums of Lima.

While many of them claim to have been helped, some have borrowed money that they cannot afford to replay and are still locked into a cycle of poverty.

Now de Soto's ideas are being tested in the rainforests of the Amazon.

The native Peruvian Indians who live there believe that they already own the land and protest against what they see as a failure to recognise their ancient rights.

Protests recently culminated in a massacre, which left 30 dead and hundreds unaccounted for.

Linda Pressly journeys from Lima to the heart of the Amazon region with Hernando de Soto himself to discover how plans to develop land rights have become an issue about power and politics, not just about livelihoods.

Presenter: Linda Pressly

Producer: Paul Vickers.

Can a controversial economic theory improve the lives of Peru's poorest?


Luol Deng is a giant - both physically and in the world of American professional basketball where is one of the biggest stars, and reportedly Barack Obama's favourite player.

He was born in South Sudan but had to flee as a child because of his father's political activities.

His family moved to Brixton where Luol's talents on the basketball court were spotted as a teenager.

He's now established a charity working with the "lost boys" of Sudan - young men who have lived their entire lives in refugee camps after fleeing the country as children.

Now Sudan is facing the prospects of partition, with a referendum next year expected to endorse splitting the mainly Christian South from the mainly Muslim North.

Tim Franks joins Luol Deng as he returns to Sudan to assess the prospects for peace - and of course to show his skills with a basketball.

Producer: Edward Main.

Basketball superstar Luol Deng returns to the Sudanese town where he was born and raised.


Tim Judah travels to Senegal to report on the Mourides, an increasingly powerful Senegalese Muslim movement that stresses the importance of hard work

Many of the African street sellers in cities like Paris or Rome, and on Mediterranean beaches, are in fact Mourides.

Far from being chancers who washed up on Europe's shores and now barely scrape a living from selling fake designer handbags or miniature Eiffel towers, they are part of a very organised and supportive brotherhood that now wields great economic and political power in Senegal.

Thanks to their strong work ethic and the unparalleled networking opportunities the brotherhood provides, Mourides now dominate many sectors of the economy.

They are said to constitute up to 40% of Senegalese Muslims (who make up over 90% of the population.) So not surprisingly, senior politicians, if they are not Mourides anyway, are courting the Mouride vote by going on pilgrimage to the Mouride holy city, Touba, several hours' drive east of the capital.

The president of Senegal is a Mouride, as is the man who is probably the most famous Senegalese of all: singer Youssou N'Dour, who tells Tim why his Mouridism matters to him, and why it could be a way forward for Africa.

So who are the Mourides? What do they believe and what matters to them? Tim travels to Dakar and the fabled holy city of Touba to find out.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius.

Tim Judah reports from Senegal on the growing influence of the Mouride Sufi brotherhood.


Reports from around the world.


Writer and broadcaster Maria Margaronis follows the route taken by migrants fleeing war or poverty who are risking their lives to reach the Europe Union. It is estimated that around 75 thousand people are attempting to make the perilous journey each year in the hands of unscrupulous traffickers. They are fleeing from war-torn countries like Afghanistan and Somalia or simply in search of a better life where their economic prospects aren't so bleak. Some of them never make it, suffocating in the back of a crowded lorry or drowning in the fast flowing river that marks the border between Turkey and Greece.

The programme meets up with migrants in Istanbul, on the narrow Bosphorus Strait, which has served as the crossroads of the world for thousands of years. There are children making the journey on their own and one man who has lost his fingers and toes to frostbite on a perilous journey over the mountains from Iran. Two of his companions died. The Turkish authorities confess to being overwhelmed by the numbers which are estimated to be up to 250 people a day. Illegal migrants are detained but seldom, it seems, sent back to the countries they came from. There has been an attempt to clamp down on the people traffickers but there are huge profits to be made.

The most dangerous part of the trip is along Turkey's border with Greece. The Greeks are supposed to be building an eight mile fence but that still leaves a river which is 125 miles long. Traffickers put their charges into cheap inflatable boats and push them across, regardless of whether they are able to handle a boat or to swim. Many of them can't.

For those that do make it, there is no Promised Land but an economic crisis and yet more troubles ahead.


Robert Hodierne reports on the high proportion of Native Americans joining the US military and their relatively high susceptibility to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now, in addition to counselling, some clinics are offering traditional American Indian healing methods, paid for by the Federal Government.


Tanzania is a poor country, but rich in wildlife.

Vast areas of the land are set aside for wildlife conservation, including the famous Serengeti National Park.

But poor people and conservation can make bad neighbours.

Kerri Miller of American Public Media meets a man who has tried to ease the conflict between animals and people.

Along the way, he becomes a threatened species himself.


Julian Pettifer reports on the extraordinary popularity of online games in South Korea and the social problems they can cause.

* * Uzbekistan2008040320080407

In a repressive state governed by a hardline regime in Tashkent, Natalia Antelava asks whether the radical independent Ilkhom Theatre founded by Russian Jew Mark Weil can survive without its director after Weil was stabbed to death in the street last year.

* Las Vegas2008041720080421

Nevada is the only state in the US which permits prostitution.

But in the largest city, Las Vegas, known for its sex and sleaze image, it is illegal.

The popular mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, now says he wants to legalise prostitution.

Rosie Goldsmith hears the arguments over the role of the world's oldest profession.

24 Hours In Tulsa *2010011420100118

24 Attacks by midget gangsters; incompetent thieves who resort to stealing air-conditioning units; a teenage girl with a crack habit who gets shot a few days after promising to go clean.

These are just some of the criminals and junkies encountered by one police officer cruising the streets of one Midwestern US city.

But this is Officer Jay Chiarito-Mazarrella, who created a cult following for his Street Story podcasts, vivid vignettes of his work for the Tulsa Police Department.

Hugh Levinson hears the best of the Street Stories, giving a fresh, funny and sometimes downright scary insight into policing from the horse's mouth.

Producer: Hugh Levinson.

Hugh Levinson hears the best of Officer Jay Chiarito-Mazarrella's Street Stories.

9/11 - Toxic Ash2011090120110905

David Shukman reports on the thousands who have become ill from the toxic dust that blanketed Lower Manhattan after the Twin Towers collapsed on Sept 11th.

The buildings released a cocktail of deadly carcinogens including, asbestos, lead, mercury and PCBs.

Frontline responders such as fire-fighters, police and emergency medical workers breathed in the contamination for several weeks as they toiled at Ground Zero.

The fires burned for a hundred days and many of the emergency workers toiled without respirators or proper protection amid the dust and debris.

Now officials say more than 18,000 people have received medical treatment in the last 12 months for World Trade Center related conditions - many of them serious.

The head of the federal programme overseeing victims compensation says he expects more people to die because of their exposure.

Nearly three thousand people perished on the day, but the suffering resulting from the attack is far from over.

Producer: Linda Sills.

Investigating the health impact on New York from the collapse of the World Trade Centre.

A Death In Honduras2012050320120507

A profile of the People's Funeral Service in Honduras, the most murderous nation on earth.

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. The People's Funeral Service deals daily with the fall-out from these extreme levels of violence. Set up by the Mayor of Tegucigalpa, the capital city, it distributes coffins, maintains two funeral homes, and even offers a mobile service where employees take everything necessary for a wake - including bread and coffee - to someone's house or local church. All of these services are totally free for poor people in the city.

In Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly profiles this unique organisation, and meets some of the families using its services. Among them, is the family of Ramon Orlando Varela, a 26 year old gunned down in the street after dropping his children off at school. It isn't clear why Ramon was targeted. But a toxic mix of gangs, guns, drug cartels - and fear - pervades Honduras. And it's unlikely his killers will ever be caught. Police corruption is endemic, impunity almost a given.

But in spite of the everyday challenges, the workers at the People's Funeral Service offer what help they can. At least they can lend some dignity to proceedings for families who have almost nothing.

A Journey Without Maps2009073020090803

Humphrey Hawksley retraces the extraordinary journey undertaken on foot by the novelist Graham Greene from Sierra Leone across Liberia in 1935.

He feasts on sardines and luncheon meat, meets the lightning makers and devil dancers and is involved in a near-fatal car crash.

How has West Africa changed? Is it better or worse than it was 70 years ago?

Humphrey Hawksley retraces an extraordinary journey undertaken by Graham Greene

A Small Town In Mississippi2009112620091130

In 1995, four people were murdered in Winona, Mississippi.

The black man charged with their murders is now facing his sixth trial.

Racial tensions helped lead to three convictions being overturned and two trials were deadlocked by hung juries.

Tom Mangold visits the Deep South to investigate and to speak to those most closely involved.

What he discovers says much about whether the high hopes of an increasingly race-neutral America are still justified at the close of the first year of Barack Obama's presidency.

Investigating the sixth trial of a black man over the murder of four people in Mississippi

Afghanistan *2009082020090824

Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, many fear it is unwinnable.

In response, the US-led international force has decided to adopt a counter-insurgency strategy, abandoning 40 years of military doctrine.

It emphasises security and development for the civilian population rather than simply battling the Taliban.

Lyse Doucet investigates if the US army can embrace a radical new strategy and if it will be successful.

Lyse Doucet reports on the US army's new counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan.

Americans And Litigation And Tort Reform2003112720031201

Geoff Adams-Spink examines the price Americans are paying for their love affair with litigation, a habit now so widespread that in some states health provision is being put at risk.

President Bush wants to reverse the rise in the number of lawsuits, which last year went up by 14%.

This area of the law is known as "tort" and the President sees his plans to reform it as a potential vote winner for the Republicans in the forthcoming election campaign.

Amur River Valley In Eastern Siberia2003121820031222

It's the faultline where two continents meet: the Amur River Valley in Eastern Siberia, a pivotal frontier between two empires.

On one side of the river CHINA: densely populated, thriving, assertive.

On the other side RUSSIA: POVERTY, a shrinking population, resentment and the old fears of "the yellow peril".

Once the Amur River kept the two enemies apart, today thousands of Chinese migrants - many illegal - cross the river to trade, to work in catering and construction.

Officially they're welcomed - and needed - by the RUSSIAns but in the markets and on the river banks the old rivalries live on.

Rosie Goldsmith profiles this remote region and asks whether these new tensions between CHINA and RUSSIA on the Amur River can be bridged or whether the river is a symbol of a permanent divide.

Anti Muslim Violence In Gujarat20040101

During last year's riots in Gujarat INDIA experienced the worst anti-Muslim violence in generations.

Linda Pressly travels to INDIA with the younger brother of one of the victims.

Arab America2001110120011105

`Arab America'.

George Arney visits Detroit, home to America's biggest community of people of Arab descent, to find out how the terrorist attacks have affected them.


Rosie Goldsmith talks to those who make Australia's immigration policy and to those who have sought asylum there over the past 50 years.

Australia's Northern Territory2008121120081215

Lorena Allam investigates the Australian government's intervention in the remote Aboriginal areas after claims of rampant alcoholism and child abuse.

Last year, army, police, doctors, nurses and bureaucrats were sent there in a billion-dollar state-run bid to curb violence and improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal families.

But Lorena finds that their work has had mixed results, and in some cases has led to poorer diets, premature babies and even an increase in teenage suicides.

Australia's Wood Trade2005072120050725

An almighty row is taking place between Australia's wool producers and animal welfare groups.

It centres on the controversial practice of mulesing - shaving flesh from the sheep to protect them from insects.

The animal rights organisation, PETA claims this is cruel because no pain relief is administered and they've called on retailers to boycott Australian wool.

Wendy Carlisle finds out how the row is being played out in Australia and what the long-term effect might be on Australia's wool industry.

Baghdad Airport2011032420110328

Gabriel Gatehouse hears the extraordinary tales of the people coming into and out of Iraq - and paints a portrait of a still troubled country through its international gateway.

It's not been the safest of places: one worker describes seeing a car bomb attack on the airport road and you still need to pass through five checkpoints to enter the terminal.

Gabriel meets the people entering the country - like British and Ugandan security men, and pilgrims from Iran, bound for Iraq's Shia holy sites.

There are the people leaving Iraq, including a Christian family who fear for their lives if they stay.

And then there are the people who live in the airport compound - like the American air traffic controller who never leaves, except to return home on holiday.

Producer: Becky Lipscombe.

A portrait of life in Iraq through the story of its international gateway.

Bangladesh Prawn Farming2005021720050221

Lucy Ash travels to Bangladesh to investigate the prawn farming industry, amid allegations of environmental destruction and human rights abuse.


Tim Whewell investigates the political situation in Belarus, which, since 1994, has been ruled by decree by its Soviet-style president, Alexander Lukashenko.

Whewell tries to find out what has happened to Lukashenko's opponents, particularly those who have simply disappeared.

Belarus Youth *20080804

Lucy Ash travels to Belarus ahead of parliamentary elections this autumn to ask the post-Soviet generation where they think their future lies on a country often described as the last dictatorship in Europe.

Former collective farm boss Alexander Lukashenka has kept an iron grip on power for the past 14 years in this country sandwiched between Russia and the European Union.

After rigged presidential elections in 2006, thousands took to the streets hoping to emulate the bloodless regime changes in neighbouring Ukraine and Georgia.

But they failed and the nation still seems stuck in a Communist era time warp.

So are young people happy with the status quo or are they paralysed by fear?


Meriel Beattie goes to Antwerp to meet Dyab Abou Jahjah, whose dream is to create a pan-Arab nationalist movement across Europe.

Bihar *2009082720090831

David Goldblatt reports from a small town in the Indian state of Bihar that has turned into something of an academic hothouse.

More than 50 students from the poor weaving community of Patwatoli have gained entry to the IITs, India's scientific equivalent of Oxbridge, in the last ten years.

It is the week before the annual entrance exam, and the tension among the students is mounting.

David Goldblatt reports from a small town in India that is nurturing academic excellence.


Meriel Beattie goes to Bombay, where a series of high-profile murders and blackmail threats have highlighted the links between the Bollywood film industry and organised crime.

Bombay has decided to clean up its act, but is it possible to build a new Bollywood?



George Arney meets a young man who, despite being paralysed by a sniper's bullet, has become a vigorous campaigner for the rights of others disabled by the war in Bosnia.

Bulgaria's Criminal Football2012082320120827

Investigating the links between football, corruption and politics in Bulgaria.

No fewer than 15 football club bosses have been murdered in Bulgaria's top football league in the last decade alone. In this edition of Crossing Continents Margot Dunne investigates reports that many have been deeply involved in mafia businesses.

There are continuing reports that the game is riddled with corrupt practices including match-fixing and the illegal procurement of European Union passports for overseas players.

Crossing Continents examines these claims, attending a match which has allegedly been fixed in advance and speaks to a player who says he was offered money to throw a match.

The programme also meets Todor Batkov, chairman of one of the country's best known football clubs, Levski Sofia, who accepts that corruption in the national game is as deep rooted as ever.

Producer: Ed Butler.


Lucy Ash investigates an increasingly bitter row over a major Chinese investment in Burma.

Lucy Ash asks what the explosion in popular protest over a Chinese-backed copper mine says about changes in Burma and asks if this is a test case for the government's commitment to democratic reforms.

Farmers' daughters Aye Net and Thwe Thwe Win have led thousands of villagers in protest against what they say is the unlawful seizure of thousands of acres of land to make way for a $1 billion expansion of a copper mine run by the military and a large Chinese arms manufacturer. They have been thrown in jail and they have been harassed by their own police and military, and yet they have refused to back down.

Their bravery has been celebrated by the poet Ant Maung from the nearest big city Monywa, who wrote: "The struggle made them into iron ladies...This is life or death for them - they will defend it at the cost of everything."

Burmese officials and the Chinese company say the Monywa copper mine will create jobs and bring prosperity to one of the poorest and least developed nations in Asia. But the villagers complain about pollution, damage to crops and the loss of fertile land.

A violent crackdown on the protestors was a stark reminder that the country's transition to democracy remains fraught with difficulties. Some suspect the government acted to avoid scaring away foreign investors. Others say the brutal response shows Burma's military leaders are still in charge behind the scenes and that they are not prepared to tolerate any dissent which encroaches on their economic interests.

Meanwhile there is a rising tide of Sinophobia in a country which feels overshadowed by its powerful northern neighbour. How the mine dispute is resolved may provide vital clues about the future of Burma.

Producer: Katharine Hodgson.



Clare Arthurs visits the temples of Angkor, one of the world's greatest archaeological heritage sites, which were out of bounds during the Pol Pot era.

Cambodia: Country For Sale

Tim Whewell discovers how booming demand for natural health products in the West threatens a precious African medicinal tree with extinction, and visits an orphanage for baby gorillas whose mothers have been killed for meat.

Can An Economist Save Peru?20100510

The world famous Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto believes that the key to ending poverty for countless millions is to give them the right to own the land that they live on.

If a person owns the land, and has the paperwork to prove it, his theory says, they can use it as collateral to borrow money from banks to help build businesses and improve their quality of life.

But de Soto's ideas have proved controversial.

Now they are being tested in the rainforests of the Amazon.

The indigenous Peruvians who live there believe that they already own the land and protest against what they see as the encroachment of big business.

Last year, protests culminated in more than 30 deaths at Bagua

Linda Pressly journeys from Lima to the heart of the Amazon region with Hernando de Soto to discover how he is working with indigenous people.

Presenter: Linda Pressly

Producer: Paul Vickers.

Can a controversial economic theory improve the lives of Peru's poorest?

Canada's Prescription Drug Crisis2012032920120402

Canada's First Nations communities are in crisis. Addiction to prescription pain-killers is rife, and it's devastating the fragile communities of northern Ontario.

OxyContin - an opioid drug capable of inducing a high like heroin - is widely abused in Canada. But on isolated reserves, people talk of an epidemic. For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly travels to Fort Hope - Eabametoong First Nation - to investigate the impact of drug use.

Fort Hope is accessible only by air, apart from a six week window in winter when you can drive across the frozen lakes on ice roads. It has a population of just 1200 people, but it's estimated up to 80% of the working-age population are abusing OxyContin.

The beauty of Fort Hope in deepest winter with its snow-covered streets conceals the fall-out from endemic drug use. This community has experienced a crime wave out of proportion to its size. Murder, theft and arson propelled the Chief to declare a 'state of emergency'. Even with police help it's hard to stop the pills getting onto the reserve. And the mark-up for the pushers - one 80mg tablet of OxyContin sells for up to $600 - means the addicts of Fort Hope are a lucrative market.

There's a glimmer of optimism. Doris Slipperjack, a 23 year old mother of three, is fighting back. She's determined to beat her addiction. She's become an inspiration to many First Nations people. But the road ahead is tough. The aboriginal people of Canada have a troubled history of addiction. Alcohol, gasoline and glue sniffing, drugs - this is a community that has experienced it all. But people will tell you that OxyContin is the worst, because it is so highly addictive. Who knows if people like Dave Waswa - a talented artist, will ever be able to kick the habit.

Crossing Continents investigates prescription drug abuse among Canada's aboriginal people.

Cape Town2001032920010402

Tim Whewell finds out that in Cape Town, people of all racial backgrounds are now laughing at jokes that expose prejudice, as South Africa's new generation of stand-up comics discard the old racist jokes.

But have race relations really improved that much?


A prominent human rights worker called Natalya Estemirova has been shot dead in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

She was one of the people interviewed by Lucy Ash during her investigation of the treatment of women in Chechnya.

There are reports of the police failing to investigate the common practice of the abduction of women, and of a series of murders and disappearances of women allegedly because of their immoral lifestyle.

Lucy Ash asks what the uneasy peace there means for Chechen women.

Lucy Ash investigates the treatment of women in Chechnya.

China Tweeting2012071920120723

Shanghai-based journalist Duncan Hewitt finds out how microblogging is changing China.

In just three years China's main microblogging site, Sina Weibo, has surpassed Twitter's entire global membership. More than 300 million Chinese are now tweeting, with millions more joining the national conversation every month. Shanghai-based journalist Duncan Hewitt finds out how microblogging is changing China.

Thanks to social media China is witnessing the emergence of a civil society of activists and justice-seekers. These 'netizens' are using Sina Weibo and other services to publicise miscarriages of justice, instances of corruption and environmental issues and force local and central government to act. The victim of a horrific attack shows Duncan how her desperate plea for redress on Sina Weibo led to a nationwide outcry. In Beijing he meets the dogs saved from a grisly death in the dog-eating South thanks to flashmob rescuers organised on Sina Weibo. And a group of mothers who met on Sina Weibo tell him about their campaign to promote breastfeeding across China. None of this was possible before the internet - but where will it all lead?

While some subjects are banned, Sina Weibo has also given Chinese people a new freedom to voice opinions on the news, their lives and their country.

Duncan meets the young people of Chengdu in Western China who are now part of a small but growing graffiti, hip-hop and dance scene. Just 15 years ago there was no way they could communicate with fellow fans, never mind the outside world. He'll visit Youku, China's YouTube, to watch their online X-Factor-style competition as it is filmed. And he'll meet the famous cartoonist using animation to ask questions about the materialism of the young and the detention of his fellow artist and friend, Ai Weiwei.

China: Too Old To Get Rich?2012051720120521

In this week's Crossing Continents, Mukul Devichand tells the stories of Shanghai's rapidly ageing population.

China's natural ageing process has been accelerated by the One Child Policy. Mukul tells the stories of an ageing city and asks whether China's rapid economic growth could be undermined.

Shanghai's image is youthful and contemporary, of a globalised metropolis buying into a new lifestyle at chains like Ikea. But the Ikea Shanghai store is home to a different category -- and age -- of customer. The store canteen has become a meeting point for elderly singles, looking for love and friendship. It's a story repeated across Shanghai: in places you may expect to millions of young people, you'll see the elderly.

Like the rest of urban China, Shanghai is growing old. A quarter of the city's resident population is now retired, putting it in the same demographic league as countries like the UK or Germany. But ageing in China is different. Its fertility rates have dropped at a speed unprecedented in modern history because its "One Child" policy. 30 years after the policy started, the speed of ageing is faster in China than anywhere else. The burden of ageing is not only coming faster, it's also much also harsher here, because China is still a developing country -- with hundreds of millions of poor people to support, as well as hundreds of millions of additional elderly. That has led to a deep seated anxiety in China: will the country grow too old to get rich?

Nestled amid skyscrapers, Mukul tells the stories of the old Shanghai of inner city districts, a place of tumbledown old blocks where the elderly are concentrated. He meets the couples and families struggling with new complaints, such as dementia and alzheimers, under the burden of low incomes and limited welfare. This story of poverty amid plenty symbolises the deeper worry: of the expense of an ageing China in a country where elderly care has traditionally been managed by the family.

In the same city districts, public and private nursing homes are now opening their doors. These cater to a growing demand from families who can't manage the traditional custom of "many generations under one roof" and represent a big cultural change in China. But who will pay for this kind of care nationally? Mukul tells the stories of the rural migrants, caught between the gaps of China's welfare system -- the millions for whom such care is simply not an option.

What can be done? One solution is to encourage more babies in each family. But that is antithetical to China's historically draconian "One Child" family planning, which is now deeply entrenched in the culture. Mukul visits a family planning centre, which now encourages some couples to have more than one -- and finds the couples aren't always listening. He speaks to Shanghai's leading family planning officials to ask if they are changing the "One Child" policy, and how fast.

At its root, the real problem is not just too many elderly. Rather it's a shortage of young workers, threatening China's economic model itself. A lack of willing youth is a huge issue for a country whose entire business model is based on millions of cheap workers. In the industrial zones south of Shanghai, Mukul tells the stories of a crisis in labour. Will China's factory of the world collapse under the burden of ageing?

China's Children2007081620070820

Marijke van der Meer of Radio Netherlands Worldwide talks to young Chinese, who speak frankly about being members of the first generation to be born under China's one child policy.

They claim that traditional Chinese family values are being turned upside down.

China's Migrant Worker Mega-city2011121520111219

The world economy has pinned its hopes on China's economy, which depends on over 150 million migrant workers and their labour.

The system of internal migration, based on the idea that workers do not settle in the places they work, has sustained an economic miracle and rapid development.

But the country has seen a summer of unrest, with rioting among migrants in the Pearl River Delta and angry reactions to the injustices of the system.

Mukul Devichand visits Guangzhou, the southern metropolis where 7 million migrants form half the population.

There is anger and frustration with the hukou, China's "internal passport." Meanwhile, the city is now also home to communities from around the world, with 100,000 Africans adding to the already sensitive ethnic mix.

How will the city change under the pressure of migration, and will its economic success survive the social tensions?

Tales of discontent and reform from Guangzhou, China's mega-city of migrants.

Civil War In Sudan2004031120040315

As many as two million people have been killed in the brutal civil war that has dominated Sudan for over forty years.

Now the two dominant sides in the conflict - the Khartoum government, and the rebel, southern-based SPLM - have agreed a ceasefire.

Peace negotiations are on-going.

Hopes are high for this potentially oil-rich state.

At this crucial juncture in Sudan's modern history, the writer Michael Griffin returns to a country he came to know and love a quarter of a century ago.

In 1979 he was a teacher in the southern Sudan town of Rumbek - now the administrative base of the SPLM.

When Michael left to return to the UK, he stole a nineteenth century travel book from the school's library.

"The Opening of the Nile Basin" tells the stories of the Verona Fathers - the first Europeans to journey to the upper reaches of the Nile in the mid 1840s.

In Crossing Continents, Michael Griffin makes his way back to Rumbek to return that same library book.

He travels to Khartoum to meet the politicians, oil men and refugees who are now counting on peace, and where those intrepid nineteenth century priests from the book began their journeys.

In the south - a region with practically no infrastructure as a result of the war - Michael attempts to track down his former students How has the war encroached on their lives? Were they press-ganged into the military as child soldiers? And with the conflict potentially near an end, what are their hopes for their own children? Along the way, Michael meets rebel commanders, aid workers, traders and chiefs.

And he encounters today's Verona Fathers - still preaching harmony in a nation scarred by ethnic and religious difference.

What will peace mean for Sudan?

Cold Turkey In Karachi2012080920120813

Mobeen Azhar finds out how a charity is helping heroin addicts in Karachi.

Karachi is facing a drugs epidemic. Pakistan's sprawling port city has an estimated half a million chronic heroin addicts. The drug is cheap and easily available as it comes across the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, before being shipped to Europe and the US. Mobeen Azhar finds out how a charity is trying to help addicts and their families.

An NGO called the Edhi Foundation operates what is thought to be the world's largest drug rehabilitation centre. It's here that Mobeen meets brothers Yusaf and Husein who have checked themselves in. Patients who volunteer for treatment like this can leave whenever they feel ready. But the majority of patients, like 24-year-old Saqandar, are brought in by their desperate relatives, and according to Edhi rules, only the family can decide when they will be released.

The centre offers heroin users food and painkillers to ease the physical symptoms of withdrawal - but conventional treatment like methadone is not available. So does enforced cold turkey really work?

Mobeen follows the stories of three heroin addicts and finds out how the stress of their addiction takes its toll on them and their families.

Presenter: Mobeen Azhar

Producer: Ben Crighton.


Early-onset Alzheimer's has stalked a poor extended family in Medellin, Colombia.

The family carries a dominant gene that means that half are at risk.

The disease strikes family members as young as 25 and by their 40s sufferers are in the grip of full-blown dementia.

Alzheimer's is by and large a disease of the developed world, if for no other reason than that people in the developing world don't live long enough to suffer from it.

Now by using the Colombian family to trial new drugs, researchers say they may be on the road to a global cure for Alzheimer's.

Bill Law asks if this represents an unfair exploitation of desperate people - many of them barely literate - to benefit those in the West? Or is it a case of bringing hope to those in a hopeless situation?

Producer: Natalie Morton.

Does the key to curing Alzheimer's lie with a poor extended family in Medellin, Colombia?

Confessions Of An La Gangster2008091120090126

Michael Montgomery explores some extraordinary recordings made by Rene Enriquez.

A former leader in one of America's most violent gangs, the Mexican Mafia, Enriquez is serving 20 years to life in California for murder.

Since being incarcerated, however, he has become a police informant.

Michael Montgomery tells the story of a former gang leader turned police informant.

Conversion Wars2010080520100809

In the Arab World converting from Islam to Christianity is one of the biggest taboos.

Omar Abdel Razek explores the hidden world of converts, from Egypt to Morocco to the USA.

Crossing Continents encounters converts in Egypt who live in constant fear.

We meet 'Mariam', a convert to Christianity who is secretly married to a Christian and who lives in hiding as her family have threatened to kill her.

She is now pregnant, and says that she will never be allowed to officially marry her husband and that her child will have to be raised without official papers.

But there is also a group of Christian TV channels, mostly based in the USA and run by converts, who are targeting the region's Muslims.

The programme gains rare access to one of these channels, where they discover converts using shocking language to attack Islam.

The largest of these channels, called Al-Hayat, claims to have millions of viewers in the Arab World.

Its most prominent preacher, Father Zakaria Boutros, is famous for his incendiary attacks on Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

Father Boutros lives in hiding after receiving numerous death threats.

He has inspired a new generation of preachers who are deliberately attacking Islam as a method to convert Muslims to Christianity.

His brand of 'shock' preaching has spread across the airwaves and the internet.

We track down the Al-Hayat channel to the USA, and find that it is a 'vital partner' of one the USA's most prominent TV evangelists.

Joyce Meyer Ministries (JMM) receives tens of millions of dollars a year in donations, and much of it is spent on 'Christian outreach.' While JMM deny any editorial control over the station, the BBC finds they helped to launch it and they buy airtime.

A spokesman for JMM eventually sends an email saying that Father Boutros will no longer be hosting a show on Al Hayat.

The programme is written and reported by Omar Abdel-Razak of the BBC Arabic Service and narrated by Hugh Levinson.

The controversy around Muslims converting to Christianity in the Arab World.

Croatia *2009041620090420

Matt Prodger examines the effects of organised crime and corruption in Croatia, as the country stands on the brink of EU membership.

The execution-style assassination of a young woman, a car bomb explosion killing the country's most famous newspaper editor and journalists and businessmen being beaten in the streets are just some of the events that have rocked Croatia in recent months.

Crossing Europe2007083020070903

Julian Pettifer explores the Mediterranean tourist industry.

From the ravaged concrete shores of the Costa Brava to Montenegro, the newly fashionable jewel of the Adriatic, he finds that not all is as he expected.

How can the Mediterranean survive our infatuation with sun, sand and sea?

Crossing Europe: Pills For Profit20070906

Melanie Abbott explores the European drug industry, a business worth billions of pounds but increasingly targeted by counterfeiters.

A parallel trade in medicines is emerging, whereby cheap drugs are bought in countries like Greece and sold on to UK pharmacies and the NHS.

Is this jeopardising our safe supply of vital medicines and are patients being put at risk?


Linda Pressly investigates the housing crisis in Cuba.

Even before the recent hurricanes that damaged over half a million homes, perhaps the most common cause of complaint on the island was accommodation.

The black market in property and building materials is thought to be huge.

Linda finds out about some of the unique ways that Cubans have been finding to get around regulations to secure a new home, in a nation where it is illegal to buy and sell property.

Czech Republic20080731
Czech Republic *2008082820080901

Across Europe, Roma children are often educated in special schools for children with mental disabilities.

Last year, a group of Roma children defeated the Czech government at the European Court of Justice.

The court ruled that the children had been the victims of systematic discrimination and ordered that they should be paid compensation.

How has the court ruling affected their lives? Ray Furlong reports.


This year's Commonwealth Games will be held in October in the Indian capital Delhi, the largest sporting event ever to be held there.

No expense is being spared to build the appropriate facilities and infrastructure.

But many are questioning whether spending billions of dollars hosting a two-week sporting event is the best use of resources in a city where poverty is entrenched.

As the budget for the games spirals, the organisers are being accused of hiding the true cost, and of diverting funds intended for the very poorest.

They're also accused of condoning the displacement of thousands of poor families and a blatant disregard of the rights of the workers building the stadiums.

Rupa Jha asks who are the winners and who the losers in Delhi's attempt to turn itself into a "world-class" city.

Producer: Tim Mansel.

Who are the winners and the losers as Delhi rebuilds itself for the Commonwealth Games?



Paul Henley finds out how Tvind, an educational, revolutionary movement started in Denmark in the 1970s, has become a multi-million-pound international organisation.


The Ecuadorian Amazon region is one of the most bio-diverse on the planet.

In one area, nearly 600 bird species, 80 kinds of bat and 150 varieties of amphibian have been recorded.

And it's possible that the density of one of the rarest wild cats, the jaguar, is twice as high as anywhere else in the world.

This is also home to two of the last uncontacted groups of indigenous people in the world, who choose to live undisturbed in voluntary isolation.

But beneath the rich tropical soil lies another treasure - nearly a billion barrels of untapped oil, 20% of this Latin American nation's reserves.

Ecuador has calculated that if it were to exploit this petroleum, it would make over $7 billion.

That is a significant sum of money for a relatively poor nation.

But instead, the government has a radical plan: if the international community will compensate Ecuador for half of the loss of revenue, the government will pledge to protect this unique environment and keep the drillers out.

With the funds raised, Ecuador will invest in social projects and non-carbon forms of energy, and aims to create a global template for other poor equatorial countries with oil.

This is what's known as Plan A in Ecuador, and President Correa has set a deadline of the end of 2011 to collect the first US $100 million.

If donors don't materialise, he has always said he will implement Plan B - to begin the process of extracting crude from this particular oil block, known as Yasuni-ITT.

For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly travels deep into the rainforest to find out what is at stake.

She visits a community of Haorani indigenous people who have a history of resisting - often violently - the encroachment of oil companies in the Amazon.

And with the recent court judgement against the US oil giant Chevron - who took over Texaco - and a resulting hefty fine of over US$8 billion for pollution, she traces the often dirty history of oil exploitation in Ecuador.

But how realistic is the Yasuni-ITT initiative? Ecuador's economy is dependent on oil exports.

Technology too has moved on, and an oil investor and analyst tells Crossing Continents that not only has the industry learnt some lessons, but also that it is now possible to extract oil from the pristine forest with minimal damage to the ecosystems.

So far it seems the Ecuadorean people support Plan A.

But although international donors have shown moral backing for the government's idea to save the rainforest, this hasn't been matched by contributions to the fund.

And with less than half the $100 million pledged, the clock is ticking for one of the world's most unique and precious habitats.

Producer: Emil Petrie.

Ecuador's radical plan to keep oil reserves in the ground, and save the rainforest.


A UN report in 2005 threatened that unless the gender equality issue was dealt with it would be impossible to create viable civil societies in the Arab world.

Bill Law follows the female bloggers, strikers and political prisoners to see how much progress has been made.

Egypt *2009091020090914

Magdi Abdelhadi explores what kind of society Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who has no obvious successor in place, will leave behind when he dies.

Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and is pivotal for stability in the region and beyond, but after nearly three decades in power, the absence of a potential successor to the 81-year-old President Mubarak, has raised fears of a succession crisis.

Magdi finds, to his surprise, that nearly 60 years after the military seized power and abolished the monarchy, Egyptians still look to the army for a saviour.

Magdi Abdelhadi explores what kind of Egypt President Mubarak will leave when he dies.

El Salvador's Gang Truce2012112220121126

In one of the most violent countries on earth, peace has broken out. In March, a truce was brokered between El Salvador's two most violent street gangs; they agreed to stop killing each other.

The Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 are criminal outfits that trace their origins to Los Angeles. In the 1990s, older members were deported from the US and forged local 'branches' on the streets of El Salvador. Since the truce - brokered in prisons with the gangs' leaders - the murder rate of this small Central American nation (with the highest homicide rate in the world after Honduras) has been cut by more than half.

In Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly visits the imprisoned leaders of both gangs to find out how the deal was done. And she finds many Salvadorans are relieved. Now they can go out at night, and their children can play again on the streets. But the truce has not been without its critics. Should the state sponsor a non-aggression treaty between criminal organisations? And is there more to the agreement than Salvadorans are being told?

Many are asking if this is a sustainable peace. Some question whether the murder rate is really falling, alleging that actually the gangs are continuing to kill and hiding the corpses. Claudia thinks this is what happened to her son - a teenager associated with the Barrio 18 who disappeared last month after a local shooting. She says she knows he's dead. All she wants is the return of his body.

But for all the uncertainty, the gains are dramatic. Not only has the murder rate plummeted, but the number of public hospital emergency admissions in San Salvador for people injured by guns or knives has fallen by nearly two-thirds. Can the truce last? El Salvador is holding its breath.

Escape From North Korea2011072820110801

Lucy Williamson reports from Seoul on the dangerous trade of the people brokers, smuggling desperate people out of North Korea to the safety of the South.

She investigates the way the South Korean government tries to integrate refugees from the North into their own modern, open society - and the challenges this creates for people who have only known poverty and extreme political repression.

Reporting the desperate and dangerous efforts of North Koreans to flee to the South.

Escape From North Korea20110801

Lucy Williamson reports from Seoul on the dangerous trade of the people brokers, smuggling desperate people out of North Korea to the safety of the South. She investigates the way the South Korean government tries to integrate refugees from the North into their own modern, open society - and the challenges this creates for people who have only known poverty and extreme political repression.

Reporting the desperate and dangerous efforts of North Koreans to flee to the South.

Ethiopia - Troubles Downstream2009032620090330

Peter Greste journeys down the Omo River from Ethiopia's central highlands to Northern Kenya where the lives of nearly half a million of the world's most remote tribespeople are threatened by a massive hydro-electricity project.

The tribes, already fighting over increasingly scarce water and land, have warned that the dam could plunge them into an all-out struggle for survival

Exposing Bali's Orphanages2011120820111212

Ed Butler reports on a cycle of abuse in the orphanages of Bali.

Some seventy orphanages now populate the island, housing thousands of children, many recruited from poor families, on the promise of a decent diet, education, and healthcare.

But in some cases the promises are empty, as unscrupulous owners abuse and exploit the children - using them for free labour over long hours, and forcing them to beg.

The most lucrative profits come from well-meaning tourists, who are often convinced by the tough living conditions to give generously - the hope being the money will benefit the children, not the owner.

Is such charity actually intensifying the misery of Bali's most vulnerable children?

Ed Butler investigates abuse of children and scamming of volunteers by Bali's orphanages.

Farming Zimbabwe2011120120111205

In 2000, President Robert Mugabe introduced "fast-track land reform" to Zimbabwe in a wave of often violent takeovers of mainly white-owned farms.

Led by veterans of the second Chimurenga - the Zimbabwe War of Liberation of the 1960s and 1970s - the takeover was seen internationally as a disaster.

It was widely reported that cronyism and corruption meant only the country's politically-connected elite were benefiting from the land reform programme, and in the process were leading Zimbabwe's lucrative agricultural export industry into freefall.

But what is the situation a decade on?

Martin Plaut travels across Zimbabwe to investigate new research which suggests that farm production levels are recovering.

He meets some of Zimbabwe's new black farmers - some of whom took part in the land seizures - who reveal how land reform has transformed their lives.

He also examines the fortunes of Zimbabwe's remaining white farmers and the black farm workers they employed and asks if country's wider economy has recovered from the massive disruption caused by land reform.

Reporter: Martin Plaut

Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith.

Martin Plaut investigates Zimbabwe's agriculture ten years after the farm invasions.

Forced Sterilisation In Uzbekistan2012041220120416

Natalia Antelava reports on Uzbekistan where women have become the new target of one of the most repressive regimes on earth. She uncovers evidence that women are being sterilised,often without their knowledge, in an effort by the government to control the population.

The programme speaks to victims and doctors and highlights the fear and paranoia that have made this such a difficult story to tell. Women have fled the country in order to escape the practice. Only a few brave Uzbeks have been willing to speak, often telling horrific stories the government don't want told.

Producer: Wesley Stephenson.

Natalia Antelava uncovers evidence of the involuntary sterilisation of women in Uzbekistan

Frank Wild's Last Journey20120102

Sir Ernest Shackleton has a heroic place in the annals of Antarctic exploration, famously for his expedition on the aptly-named Endurance in 1914. He intended to cross over the Antarctic landmass. Instead, his ship became stuck in ice which eventually crushed it. Shackleton and his crew made a desperate voyage in three small boats to Elephant Island, where they split up. The men on the island were left under the command of Shackleton's Number 2, Frank Wild. Shackleton and a small team sailed 800 miles to South Georgia, from where they mounted a rescue mission for Wild's group.

Nearly a century on, reporter Karen Bowerman joins a group of Wild's relatives retracing his extraordinary journey to the southern seas. They are bearing Wild's ashes, which they bury next to Shackleton, on South Georgia.

Producer: John Murphy.

Retracing the route of Antarctic explorer Frank Wild, Shackleton's second-in-command.

Gangland In Paradise
Gangland In Paradise *2009090320090907

With a spectacular natural setting and a prosperous but laid-back lifestyle, Vancouver is routinely named one of the best communities in the world in which to live.

But this west coast Canadian city, host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, is quickly developing another reputation.

Bill Law tells the story of the young gangsters who are exploiting legal loopholes to build a multi-billion dollar illicit drugs industry using a combination of business savvy and bullets.

Georgia Corruption Busting2004040820040412

After leading Georgia's November revolution, Mikhail Saakashvili won a crushing victory in Presidential elections on a ticket of beating corruption.

It's a daunting task, transforming this corrupted state into a legitimate one.

The man he's asked to lead the attack is young lawyer Irakli Okruashvili.

Tim Whewell spent a week with the new Prosecutor General.

He's already making high profile arrests but the culture of corruption is so all embracing that Okruashvili is having to introduce some novel tricks to bring perpetrators to justice.

Georgian Fir Cones2010120220101206

The Christmas tree industry is worth almost a billion pounds a year in Europe alone.

Most of the ones around us now, covered in baubles and tinsel didn't start life in the UK or even Scandinavia, but in one small village, in the mountains of Georgia close to the border with Russia.

Angus Crawford travels to the small town of Ambrolauri in the shadow of the Caucasus mountains.

There men risk their lives climbing the big firs to harvest the seeds of Abies Nordmanniana, the Nordman pine.

More than forty million are sold in Europe every year.

The harvesters are paid little and many are given no safety equipment.

If they fall they may be injured or killed.

The pine cones they gather are sold abroad and it's foreign companies that make profits from growing and selling the crop.

Meanwhile Georgia's villages are dying.

Families can't make enough money from farming and move away.

Most of those who remain have to live on less than three pounds a day.

But things are changing.

One Danish firm is working with local people to put more of the profits from the business back into their hands.

They pay their workers above the market rate, process the seed locally and for every tree sold abroad money is sent back for development projects.

There's talk of starting nurseries near Ambrolauri to feed growing markets in Eastern Europe and bring more foreign capital into the country.

Money that Georgia desperately needs.

Its economy is still only 60% of what it was in Soviet times, and it now imports eighty per cent of its food.

The rusting hulks of abandoned factories litter the countryside.

But now some Georgians are asking if the pine cone trade can provide a model of how to breathe new life into their country's crumbling economy.

Angus Crawford travels to Georgia to find poverty at the heart of the Christmas tree trade


David Goldblatt looks at whether Berlin's alternative culture is under threat from commercial pressures.

Or do developers and artists need each other to exist?

Berlin has long been a magnet for artists from within Germany and abroad.

After the wall fell in 1989 they flooded into the vast deserted buildings left in the Mitte area of the former East of the city.

But over the last few years developers have been moving into this increasingly fashionable area, increasing rents and evicting squatted buildings.

Today the right and left banks of the Spree river, the district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, has become home to underground clubs and artists studios.

But developers are increasing their grip on this area too.

A few years ago they joined together to create an consortium called "MediaSpree" with the aim of turning the East bank of the Spree into a media hub.

Universal Studios and MTV were two of the first companies to locate themselves in the converted warehouses of a deserted port in 'no man's land' where the border wall once ran.

They were attracted, in part, by the alternative vibe of the area.

But now increasing rents in this area are pushing artists and original residents out - and with them the clubs and galleries that attracted the media businesses in the first place.

Will developers and the alternative culture find a way to co-exist?

Producer: Jane Beresford.

David Goldblatt looks at whether Berlin's alternative culture is under threat.

Gold And Governance In Romania2012083020120903

Tessa Dunlop investigates why a plan for a massive gold mine is dividing Romania.

Tessa Dunlop travels to Romania to investigate why a proposed open-cast gold mine has caused the longest-lasting political storm in the country since the end of Communism.

The mine, in the rural community of Rosia Montana in the Transylvanian mountains in western Romania, would be Europe's largest. Its supporters, including most locals, say it would bring much-needed jobs to the area, which has suffered very high unemployment since the last mine closed there a few years ago, after two millennia of gold mining.

But opponents, ranging from local shopkeepers to NGOs in Bucharest and abroad, argue that the project would destroy what they see as the area's only chance for more sustainable development: turning the 2000-year old Roman mines located in those same mountains into tourist attractions, perhaps as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The mining company admits that many of the Roman galleries would be destroyed by the open-cast mine, but they are largely inaccessible anyway. As a quid pro quo, the company is already restoring those galleries that will be protected, to make them accessible and a tourism destination.

Is the destruction of the majority of the Roman mines a price worth paying for the restoration of a few? Or is the conflict about something else entirely?

Some campaigners admit that their real fight is not with the company, but with the government, because they suspect official corruption. Meanwhile politicians say it is easier to cut public salaries than to give the go-ahead to a big project like this, precisely because of the ensuing suspicion of sleaze.

The project is seen as a test case for prosperity, transparency and good governance for Romania.

Producer: Arlene Gregorius.


Rosie Goldsmith explores the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in modern Greece.

Fired by an imminent visit from the Pope and an ongoing debate about whether religious affiliation should appear on Greek identity cards, the Church is going on the offensive, seeking to defend its position at the heart of society.

Greece And Ireland20100415

were shining examples, it seemed, of what Europe could do for struggling economies.

From the moment the Greeks entered the eurozone in 2001 the economy appeared to take off.

Growth was initially fuelled by low interest rates and a burst of foreign investment.

The triumphant return of the Olympics to Athens in 2004 crowned a dizzying period of success.

Behind the façade a bloated public sector, tax avoidance on a grand scale and dishonest bookkeeping that misled Europe about the true state of the Greek economy told a very different story.

Greece has had to go cap in hand to the European powerhouses to beg for a bailout.

In Ireland the road that was taken to economic ruin was a different one but the result the same.

An economy that seemed to be the pride of Europe - the so-called Celtic Tiger" - was in reality a house of cards.

It came tumbling down under the weight of unsustainable public debt and a wildly overheated property market.

Travelling to both countries, Chris Bowlby meets the ordinary people who were caught up in the Euroland dream.

They are the middle class who bought in to Europe, who believed that the way forward was secure and certain.

Now many are facing tough choices that affect their homes, their families, their jobs.

Their governments are implementing tough austerity programmes and raising taxes.

Jobless rates are soaring and disaffected youth feel angry, ignored and alienated.

Both Greece and Ireland were diaspora countries.

The brightest and the best often left in search of better lives.

For a brief time at the turn of this century that picture changed.

Greece and Ireland were no longer exporting their people.

But with many of the benefits of European unity now at least temporarily taken away, many are thinking again about leaving.

In the streets of Athens and Dublin, in pubs and music halls, in family homes and businesses, Chris Bowlby listens to the stories of people who are facing an uncertain time.

Tough new austerity measures, with massive cuts in public spending and services, cuts in their own salaries, job losses, inflation - it is altogether a far different future than the one they believed they were moving towards.

And he asks whether they still believe in the European dream.

Presenter: Chris Bowlby

Producer: Bill Law.

Chris Bowlby asks if the economic crisis has killed the Euro dream for Ireland and Greece."

Guatemala And Canada Gold Rush2008082120080825

Bill Law reports on a controversial mining project by Vancouver-based Goldcorp in Guatemala.

Local Mayan Indians claim that the open pit mine is damaging their health and community cohesion.

Goldcorp denies this, insisting it brings benefits to local communities and that it takes its social responsibilities seriously.

Guns In The Usa2007070520070709

The Virginia Tech massacre in April rekindled the debate in America about guns.

But rather than arguing for tighter gun control, some states are now debating the rights of individuals to carry weapons in more and more places, including college campuses.

Kati Whitaker examines the American commitment to the gun and visits an extraordinary project in Chicago which invites gang members to lay down their weapons.


January's earthquake in Haiti left more than 200,000 dead and over a million homeless.

Six months on there are still one and a quarter million people living in camps.

As yet, there is still no resettlement plan.

Progress appears to be painfully slow.

The BBC's International Development Correspondent, Mark Doyle, who reported from Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, returns to ask if millions of dollars raised and the billions more pledged will help Haiti in the long run.

Despite the devastation and tragedy wrought by the earthquake on the poorest nation in the Americas, some believed that it could signal a new beginning for Haiti, a country plagued for many years by poverty, corruption, political instability and violence.

However, questions are being asked about who is in charge, who is deciding things and for whose benefit.

There are also significant concerns that the flood of money and the international organisations providing aid are distorting the local economy and making it impossible to build a self-sustaining economy.

While the government talks of the need to decentralize the economy, to encourage people to leave the crowded capital Port au Prince and return to the countryside, so far there are few signs of how that is going to be achieved.

And with the rainy season now begun, life for many of those living in camps, under tarpaulin, is deteriorating.

History is not on Haiti's side.

All past interventions by outsiders have been either disastrous for the Haitians or have failed to live up to their promise.

No surprise, then, that there is growing cynicism that all the promises of help with materialise and bring about a better country.

Producer: John Murphy.

Six months after the earthquake is life in Haiti improving?

Haiti *2008072420080728

The Caribbean state is one of the poorest countries in the world.

Malnutrition, already a widespread problem, has increased in the current climate of soaring food prices.

In April, riots led to the sacking of the prime minister.

Orin Gordon looks at the ongoing struggle for Haitians to feed themselves.

He also investigates the country's growing problem of kidnappings.

Hard Times In Middletown, Usa2009043020090504

Stephen Smith finds out how the city of Muncie in Indiana reflects the impact of the economic crisis on the American middle class.

In 1929, the Rockefeller Institute published Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture, a scientific study of a 'typical American city' which examined church, school, family and work in Muncie.

The book was an instant hit and is still in print.

It launched Muncie's reputation as the most widely studied small town in the world.

Today it is a rust-belt city grappling with de-industrialisation and deepening recession.

A co-production with American RadioWorks for BBC Radio 4.

How Muncie in Indiana reflects the impact of the economic crisis on the US middle class.


Reports from around the world.

Andy Kershaw investigates the plight of American residents being deported to Haiti, the POVERTY-stricken `homeland' they have never seen, as part of the war on drugs and crime.

He also explores the life and times of the Haitian hotel, as immortalised by Graham Greene in `The Comedians'.

Hurricanes And Housing In Cuba2008122920090101

Linda Pressly investigates the housing crisis in Cuba.

Even before the recent hurricanes that damaged over half a million homes, perhaps the most common cause of complaint on the island was accommodation.

Linda finds out about some of the unique ways that Cubans have been finding to get around regulations to secure a new home, in a nation where it is illegal to buy and sell property.


Paul Henley investigates the human impact of the economic crisis in Iceland.

He hears from Icelanders who have lost their jobs and life savings and asks what is next for them and their country.

Illegal Logging In The Siberian Taiga2008041020080414

Lucy Ash visits the Chita Oblast, an area in Siberia where the vast forests are being cut down, frequently illegally, to meet China's surging demand for wood.

She explores the illegal logging issue with local police and meets ordinary people who log forests and hears why they sometimes break the law.

She then follows the timber across the border to Manzhouli in China, a new metropolis built on the wealth generated by the Siberian forests.

Immigration To Israel2004112520041129

has slumped - with only the numbers from FRANCE going up.

Lucy Ash traveks to Israel to find out why people are leaving, and why some are still arriving in the Promised Land.

Because the Arab population of Israel and the Palestinian Territories is growing much faster than the Jewish population, immigration is a top priority for the Israeli government.

What effect will this demographic time bomb have on politics in the country.

In The Shadow Of The Cartel2008080720080811

Emilio San Pedro visits Tijuana to find a community under the influence of one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels.

Nearly fifteen hundred people have been killed so far this year in Mexico in drug-related violence, and the government has sent thousands of troops into the worst hit states in an effort to break up these criminal organisations and stem the flow of drugs into the United States.

How does the cartel shape the lives of Tijuana's inhabitants?



Rosie Goldsmith goes to the Rajasthan desert to meet the activists who are taking on - and beating - corrupt public officials.

India - The Real Slumdog Story *20090220

Mukul Devichand reports from Mumbai on a controversial scheme that may be able to provide the answer to the developing world's slum problem.

Asia's largest slum, Dharavi, has gained greater exposure thanks to the film Slumdog Millionaire.

The scheme to raze it to the ground is said by its backers to be the template for slum re-development across the developing world.

Private companies are being asked to re-house the poor in tower blocks in return for prime real estate.

But is this audacious scheme an innovative solution or simply masking a land-grab from the poor?

Mukul Devichand reports on a scheme that may solve the developing world's slum problem.

India: A Model Slum Clearance In Mumbai? *2008081420080818

Mukul Devichand reports from Mumbai on a controversial scheme that may be able to provide the answer to the developing world's slum problem.

India's Dangerous Secret Sex Lives2007041920070423

India's dangerous secret sex lives

Linda Pressly reports from India, where gay sex is a crime.

When the son of a Maharajah came out publicly in the conservative state of Gujarat, he was shunned by his family and the local community.

But Manvendra Singh Gohil is unfazed.

He is breaking new ground by working with the wives of men who have sex with men, to protect them and their husbands from the HIV/Aids virus.

India's Red Belt20100506

After 20 years of fighting, the Indian government has launched its biggest ever offensive against Maoist rebels.

The government has sent thousands of troops into remote jungle areas in an attempt to wipe out the top leadership" of the insurgents and end the fighting which has killed more than 6,000 people.

British anthropologist Alpa Shah has gained access to a Maoist-controlled region of Jharkand in eastern India.

She's been given a rare interview with a Maoist leader and she reports on day-to-day life in some of the country's poorest villages in areas under Maoist influence.

The fields are still tilled by oxen.there are few roads and 85% of the population have no electricity.

Yet Jharkhand has vast forest and mineral resources.

It produces 48% of India's coal, 40% of the country's iron, 48% of its bauxite and 100% of its kyanite.

Multi-national companies are looking to set up here.

But the Maoists say the local people are seeing little of this new-found wealth.

The Maoists are seen as terrorists by the Indian authorities.

But in these villages, Alpa discovers that they are responsible for the running of almost every aspect of day-to-day life.

They organise local festivals, make-shift courts, food markets and their own schools.

Described by many as "the family", it's a complex social landscape where the Maoists are firmly embedded.

Against this backdrop, Alpa questions Maoist fighters about why they're prepared to use brutal means to achieve their aim of overthrowing the state.

She visits a military training camp where poorly armed recruits are preparing to take on the might of the Indian paramilitary troops.

A child soldier, who's 15, tells her he's fighting to liberate the people against poverty.

Presenter: Alpa Shah

Producer: Adele Armstrong.

Alpa Shah gains rare access to an Indian community controlled by the Maoist movement."

India's Whistleblowers2011111720111121

Rupa Jha investigates how local-level campaigners against corruption in India face threats and violence - despite promises that the government will stamp out graft.

She tells the stories of two whistleblowers in two different states who faced ferocious intimidation after they tried to challenge powerful individuals on the take.

Producer: Ed Butler.

How local level campaigners against corruption in India face threats and violence.


Olenka Frankiel finds out why child slavery exists in Indonesia, meeting the children who spend months far out at sea doing backbreaking work on fishing platforms the size of tennis courts.

She then visits their home villages.

Islam And Canada - Canada's Jihadists * *2008121820081222

Bill Law investigates the extent of Islamist extremism in Canada.

Bill Law investigates the extent of Islamist extremism in Canada, after the foiling of a plot by a gang of young Islamists, born and raised in Canada, to blow up the country's parliament.

In a country which prides itself on equality and fairness and where many Muslims have prospered while maintaining their cultural and religious identity, how deep are the twin threats of Islamist extremism and of official over-reaction?

Israel Football *2008042420080730

David Goldblatt reports from Jerusalem, where the fortunes of local football club Beitar Jerusalem have changed following a takeover by Russian billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak.

The club is top of the Israeli league, but the behaviour of its hardcore fans continues to cause trouble.



Lucy Ash meets a Palestinian doctor who delivers Israeli babies and a Jewish war widow who organises medical treatment for children from the Gaza Strip.

Israel's Goodness Gracious Me *2009031920090323

Mukul Devichand meets the creators and cast of Arab Labour, a prime-time Israeli TV comedy that sees the humorous side of Arab lives in the Jewish state.

Israel's elections and its military operation in Gaza have polarised relations between Jewish Israelis and the 20 per cent Arab minority.

Mukul examines the dark humour and moral dilemmas of an Arab population caught between feelings of Palestinian brotherhood and a determination to remain Israeli citizens.

Israel's New Front Line2012090620120910

How exemption from conscription for ultra-Orthodox Jews is exposing Israel's faultlines.

When Israel was established, its tiny community of ultra-Orthodox Jews were, uniquely, exempted from the normal requirement of service in the Israeli Defence Force. They were seen as keepers of the spiritual soul of the nation, and their vital duty of studying religion and Jewish law was more important than wielding guns. 70 years on, and the community's numbers have grown massively - and there are increasing demands for the ultra-Orthodox to play their part in the defence of the nation. A Supreme Court decision which has cleared the way for the drafting of all Jewish citizens reaching the age of eighteen has divided the coalition government and led to furious rows.

Linda Pressly investigates how conscription is exposing deep faultlines among Israeli Jews. Secular and mainstream religious Jews increasingly see the ultra-Orthodox as a drain on the Israeli state, and resent this community ruthlessly exploiting their political power. Meanwhile the ultra-Orthodox see themselves as fulfilling a sacred duty which lies above the day-to-day considerations of politics or defence. Can the rifts be healed - or will Israeli society become irrevocably split?

Producer: Mark Savage.

Jam And Jerusalem On The Steppes2000072020000731

`Jam and Jerusalem on the Steppes'.

Tim Whewell travels to Mongolia to meet the women who have created a dynamic new democracy from the ruins of Communism, and to investigate attempts to persuade the meat-loving descendants of Genghis Khan to eat fruit and vegetables.

Kenya's Floral Revolution2001040520010409

Rosie Goldsmith visits Lake Naivasha, where fields and greenhouses full of roses destined for European supermarkets represent an economic success vital to the ailing KENYAn economy.

However, the amount of water drawn from the lake to irrigate the flowers and the quantity of pesticide that is seeping into the ecosystem are threatening the lake's fragile freshwater ecology.

Kenya's National Rainbow Coalition2003050820030512

KENYA's new government wants to show it's serious about clamping down on corruption, it has introduced compulsory free education and released prisoners from death row.

But schools are bursting at the seams.

There are not enough teachers and average class sizes are now up to 120.

So can KENYA's National Rainbow Coalition government really overturn decades of misrule and corruption? Esther Armah travels to NAIROBI to find out.

Kidnapping Is Big Business In Mexico2004041520040419

Mexico Kidnapping is big business in Mexico.

More money is paid in kidnap ransoms here than anywhere else in the world.

With very little trust in the police, many people turn to a private kidnap negotiator.

In Crossing Continents, Charlotte Davis is given a rare chance to witness a kidnap negotiation as it's happening.

But will the kidnappers accept a lower ransom and return the victim unharmed?


Julian Pettifer examines Korean views of the 37,000 US troops who have been keeping the peace there for decades.

Now, after 50 years, relations between the two Koreas appear to be thawing, and the troops are increasingly seen as more of a hindrance than a help.

Korea Host Bars2012081620120820

The host bars revealing the cracks in South Korea's conservative social structures.

South Korean women, tradition says, are hard-working, respectful to family, and know their place in Korea's Confucian hierarchies. But the country's rapid economic development has meant some startling changes below the surface of that conservative social structure. Perhaps the most controversial is the advent of Host Bars - all night drinking rooms where female customers can select and pay for male companions, sometimes at a cost of thousands of dollars a night. Originally set up to cater to off-duty 'hostesses' and female escorts, they're now proving popular with many other women too. The growth of the industry is throwing up new questions for South Korea's sociologists and politicians as they struggle to reconcile the country's traditional values with the effects of its rapid development. The BBC's Seoul correspondent Lucy Williamson reports.

Korean Missionaries2008032720080331

Ulli Schauen visits Korea to find out why Koreans are such fervent evangelists.

16,000 work abroad as Christian missionaries, a total surpassed only by the United States.

He meets young recruits undergoing missionary training and accompanies them as they take their message to Cambodia.


Michael Montgomery reports on alleged atrocities in Kosovo which have remained hidden for 10 years.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the war in Kosovo, and using documents and interviews he has gathered over more than five years, Michael reveals detailed evidence of another side to the conflict which the world was not meant to see.

Michael Montgomery reports on hidden alleged atrocities in Kosovo.


Julian Pettifer returns to Laos, from where he reported during the Vietnam War, to see how this secretive country is trying to balance the need to open up to the world while keeping a tight grip on its people and politics.

During the Vietnam War, Laos became the most bombed country in history.

More explosives fell on the tiny mountain kingdom than the whole of Germany during the Second World War.

But as communists took over, Laos became a forgotten corner of Asia.

Three decades later it is still governed by an authoritarian regime, wary of Western interference.

But it is now reaching out to its South East Asian neighbours, hoping to cash in on their economic growth.

Liberia: Children For Sale20090119

Nadene Ghouri goes undercover to expose the trade in children by some charities registered in the United States and operating as businesses in Liberia.

With the country still reeling from the devastation of a vicious civil war and with unemployment and hunger rampant, she reveals how desperate parents in Liberia are giving their children up to unscrupulous operators who arrange fast-track adoptions with American families.

The parents do not realise that they are unlikely ever to see their children again.

Nadene Ghouri goes undercover to expose the trade in Liberian children.

Liberia: Children For Sale2008111320081117

Nadene Ghouri goes undercover to expose the trade in children by some charities registered in the United States and operating as businesses in Liberia.

With the country still reeling from the devastation of a vicious civil war and with unemployment and hunger rampant, she reveals how desperate parents in Liberia are giving their children up to unscrupulous operators who arrange fast-track adoptions with American families.

The parents do not realise that they are unlikely ever to see their children again.


This weeks Crossing Continents offers a rare insight into life inside the secretive rogue state of Libya.

For many years Libya has been outcast for supporting terrorist groups.

Inside the country, ordinary Libyans have been left to the whims of Colonel Gadaffis personal brand of revolutionary socialism everything is run by the government and no one feels safe to talk politics.

However, there are signs that this closely controlled society is opening up both to the West and domestically.

So can we really believe that Colonel Gadaffi is about to change? Rosie Goldsmith finds out what life is like in this North African pariah state.

Libya: Life After The Revolution2012121320121217

The city of Misrata arguably suffered the most during the Libyan conflict as missiles rained on it for months on end. By the end of the revolution though, fighters from Misrata had exacted their revenge on neighbouring towns and had been responsible for the capture of Colonel Gaddafi, as well as Gaddafi strongholds. More recently Misratan fighters have been in action against the city of Bani Walid. Many residents of Bani Walid, accused of being Gaddafi supporters, have been expelled from their homes. Misrata has, effectively, set itself up as a city state, outside the control of Libya's new government.

Writer and journalist Justin Marozzi, who has been visiting Libya over the last twenty years, including during the revolution, returns to examine if this fragmented country can rebuild itself and come together. Is reconciliation possible while different armed groups continue to fight each other?

Producer: John Murphy

Libyan Refugees2011072120110725

Crossing Continents joins a British doctor volunteering to help women and children stranded in Tunisian refugee camps while the men fight Gaddafi's forces in the mountains south of Tripoli.

Producer: Bill Law.

The mountain Berbers of Libya fighting for their culture and their lives against Gaddafi.

Lithuania: The Battle For Memory *2008071720080721

The Lithuanian general prosecutor is currently seeking to question a number of Jewish survivors of the Second World War over war crimes allegations.

Tim Whewell examines why competing memories of the war are being used as political ammunition in Lithuania and other East European countries.

Lost Boy Of Sudan Returns2007071920070723

Jane Little presents the story of John Majok, a refugee from the brutal civil war which ravaged Sudan during the 1980s.

He was one of the lucky few given the chance to resettle in America, but has decided to travel to the Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya to be reunited with his mother and to marry a girl from his own Dinka tribe.

Can there be a happy ending for John and his new wife?


What happens when one of the world's biggest mining companies starts digging in one of the world's most precious, and vulnerable, natural environments, located in one of the world's poorest countries?

Olenka Frenkiel travels to Madagascar to investigate whether a major project by mining giant Rio Tinto can live up to its billing of creating jobs without harming the environment in the long term.

She also examines the fears that the mine might speed up the destruction of indigenous forests, in which rare species of plants and animals live.


is in crisis.

Since a coup last year that brought a DJ in his mid-thirties to power as president, this huge island nation has become a pariah state.

For the most part, the international community has refused to recognise the new government.

Most seriously for Madagascar, in an effort to persuade the new regime to restore democracy, most aid has been withdrawn.

This has created a huge dent in the state's coffers because donor assistance accounted for a staggering half of Madagascar's income.

The fallout for an already poor nation has been profound.

Thousands have lost their jobs in garment factories as a result of the United States' decision to suspend favourable trade tariffs for Madagascar.

Others eke out a living on the streets, or have headed for the countryside to subsist on what rice they can grow.

Hospitals and schools are under serious pressure.

Over half of all children are malnourished, and family breakdown is an everyday event.

Now there is evidence that Madagascar's unique and spectacular wildlife - ancient hardwoods, baobabs, and lemurs - is especially endangered by corruption, poverty and a breakdown in the rule of law.

The forests are being plundered.

Loggers have illegally sought out and exported rare rosewood, and there is anecdotal evidence that hunting for bush meat, and the smuggling of rare wildlife are both on the increase.

As Madagascar celebrates fifty years of independence from French rule, Linda Pressly visits the capital of Antananorivo and travels out to one of the National Parks to find out how people are surviving in this island nation seemingly in freefall.

How is Madagascar coping with an economic crisis following the 2009 coup?

Malaysia: Racial Supremacy No More?20090518

For nearly four decades, ethnic Malays have benefited from positive discrimination over Malaysians of ethnic Chinese and Indian origin - which make up nearly 40 percent of the population.

But in 2008, the country's unique racial compact began to be strongly challenged from within.

Mukul Devichand reports on the tensions and meets Malay, Indian and Chinese young people on the front lines of the struggle between ingrained racism and the possibility of a more equal future.

Mukul Devichand reports on tensions building up between Malaysian ethnic groups.

Malaysia: Racial Supremacy No More?2009010820090112

Tensions between ethnic Malays and Malaysians of ethnic Chinese and Indian origin.

For nearly four decades, ethnic Malays have benefited from positive discrimination over the nearly 40 percent of Malaysians of ethnic Chinese and Indian origin.

But in 2008, the country's unique racial compact began to be strongly challenged from within.

Mukul Devichand reports on the tensions and meets Malay, Indian and Chinese young people on the front lines of the struggle between ingrained racism and the possibility of a more equal future.

Maori In New Zealand2004102820041101

New Zealand's image of political and social harmony disintegrated in 2004 when 40 000 Maori marched on the capital, Wellington, accusing the government of a colonial-style land-grab.

The Labour government has lost ground not only to a nascent Maori Party, but to an increasingly popular conservative opposition who feel the Maori have ridden the compensation gravy-train for too long.

Rosie Goldsmith travels to New Zealand to report on the social changes which have led to this political upheaval.


In Medjugorje the age of miracles isn't over: it is alive and well and is big business.

The Catholic boom town in the Bosnian hills now rivals the better known Fatima or Lourdes.

There were eight appearances of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, yet since 1981 there have been 33,000 at Medjugorje, where she appears practically every day.

The Vatican is currently investigating the validity of the claims.

Meanwhile the pilgrims keep rolling in and spending their money.

The town is also a hotbed of Croat ultra-nationalists, who some say are using the religious fervour to boost their own political influence in the region.

Allan Little investigates the political sensitivities around Medjugorje.

Producer: Paul Vickers.

Allan Little investigates the sensitivities around Medjugorje, the Lourdes of Bosnia.



Nick Caistor reports from southern Mexico, where the discovery of genetically modified maize has raised fears that the area's rich biodiversity may be threatened.

Murder, Migration And Mexico2011081120110815

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Central Americans leave home and travel north overland, hoping to make a new life in the United States.

This has always been a difficult journey.

Now it is perilous.

Mexican drug cartels have seen a business opportunity in the migrants: they are being systematically kidnapped en route, and held to ransom.

Often they have been killed, and Mexico is currently investigating a number of mass graves.

With the Mexican government's hardline military campaign against the cartels, these criminal organisations are moving south.

The northern Guatemalan department of Peten - an area through which many migrants cross to Mexico - is vulnerable.

On May, 27 farmworkers were killed at a remote farm in Peten.

This was apparently revenge for a drug debt, and the killers are believed to be Zetas - the bloodiest Mexican cartel.

The Zetas are battling other organised crime groups to take control of Peten.

There's a fear that if they succeed, not only will they terrorise the local population, but they will begin to kidnap, extort and murder some of the thousands of migrants moving through - as they do routinely in Mexico.

Crossing Continents follows part of the migrants' route - from Peten in Guatemala, to the southern Mexican town of Tenosique.

Linda Pressly meets two Hondurans who were lucky to escape with their lives after an encounter with the Zetas.

She hears from a Franciscan monk dedicated to protecting migrants.

But the story of migration is complex.

Not only do the cartels abuse the migrants, they also recruit them.

And alongside the hopeful, innocent travellers travelling north, come criminals.

In Tenosique, she speaks to a local businessman whose son was kidnapped and killed.

Linda Pressly joins migrants on their perilous journey north through Guatemala and Mexico.

Nablus *2009121020091214

For years the West Bank town of Nablus was a community at war with Israel following the second Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, that began in 2000.

Now Israeli checkpoints have been dismantled, Palestinian police officers patrol their own streets, and Nablus has become a shopping hub with an economy that is on the up.

These kinds of changes are touted by Palestinians and the international community as evidence that the Palestinian Authority is running what could be a viable state if a peace deal were to be brokered with Israel.

But how profound and durable is this transformation of the still-occupied West Bank? Crossing Continents takes the temperature in the homes and on the streets of Nablus.

Taking the temperature on the streets of the West Bank town of Nablus.


Olenka Frankiel investigates how the turmoil in Indonesia is impacting upon the Netherlands' large Moluccan community.

Since the civil war in the old spice islands began, most Dutch-Moluccans have lost friends or family there, and a small group has begun a bombing campaign to pressurise the Dutch government, which once ruled the islands, into bringing the war to an end.

New Orleans2005112420051128

Before Hurricane Katrina the New Orleans Police Dept were amongst the lowest paid in the country and many had second jobs to help pay their way.

The force had a reputation for corruption and brutality.

Then Katrina happened.

Of the 1400 strong police force, 250 are said to have deserted immediately.

Two officers took their own lives and about 80% lost their homes.

Many are now living on a cruise ship, two to a room, their families scattered across the Southern United States.

How does such a shattered force rebuild its morale and reputation?

John Murphy tells their stories.

New Serbia?2001111520011119

`New Serbia?' Olenka Frenkiel travels to Belgrade to ask what has changed in the lives of ordinary Serbians in the year since they overthrew Slobodan Milosevic.

Nichi Vendola2010120920101213

Rosie Goldsmith profiles Nichi Vendola, the governor of Puglia and the hope for the Italian left.

Can this gay, Catholic poet and environmentalist challenge Silvio Berlusconi?

Producer: Helen Grady.

A profile of Nichi Vendola, the new hope of the left in Italy - and across Europe.

A profile of Nichi Vendola, the new hope of the left in Italy.

Northern Uganda *2008091820080922

Callum Macrae reports from a devastated region.

The conflict in northern Uganda is one of Africa's longest running and most brutal civil wars.

Now, after more than 20 years, a delicate peace reigns, but could this be under threat? The International Criminal Court has issued warrants of arrest against rebel leader Joseph Kony and some of his commanders, but many Ugandans fear that intervention may actually prolong the conflict.

On the other hand, international pressure is growing for a military solution to the war, which is now seen to threaten the strategic interests of the west in the region.

Callum investigates the risks of the West's new interest in this war and to examine claims that traditional processes of reconciliation, focusing on forgiveness rather than punishment, may hold the key to bringing a lasting peace to this unhappy land.


Julian Pettifer reports from Norway, where the blonde-haired, blue-eyed children of German soldiers and Norwegian women are fighting back against years of discrimination.

On The Road With Hillary Clinton2011071420110718

The BBC's Kim Ghattas has gained exclusive, behind the scenes access to the U.S.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during one of her recent overseas visits.

Code named "Special Air Mission 883", the trip took eight days, covered thirty thousand miles and touched down in four countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Kim joins what is affectionately known as "the bubble", the travelling band of diplomatic staffers, special security detail, international press and handlers that accompany the Secretary, or "S" as she is known, on the trip.

We share their thoughts and hopes, priorities and frustrations as Hillary Clinton pursues United States foreign policy goals.

There are meetings of high diplomacy with kings and rulers as well as more grass roots events like the promotion of democracy and good governance at an African womens collective.

A surprisingly intimate portrait of the Secretary and her closest aides.

Producer: Jane Beresford.

An on-the-road behind-the-scenes profile of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Operation Storm1999072919990802

Julian Pettifer travels to Croatia to examine the reality of ethnic cleansing through two forgotten groups of refugees.

He meets Serbs returning to their homes in southern Croatia, four years after they were expelled during Croatia's notorious `Operation Storm' - believed to be the model for Slobodan Milosevic's tactics in Kosovo.


Following the discovery that Osama Bin Laden was living close to the heart of Pakistan's military establishment in Abbotabad, Owen Bennett-Jones investigates the ties between elements of Pakistan's army, intelligence and government with jihadi and Taleban forces.

Producer: Rebecca Kesby.

Owen Bennett-Jones explores Pakistan's connections to jihadi groups.

Pakistan *20090716

Bill Law investigates if Pakistani youngsters are in danger of joining the ranks of the Taliban or if they are fighting back against the extremists.

Two-thirds of the Pakistani population is under the age of 25.

In a country under siege from the forces of religious extremism, this youth bulge serves as a ticking time bomb.

Bill Law investigates if Pakistani youngsters are in danger of joining the Taliban.

Pakistan *2009072320090727

Bill Law investigates if Pakistani youngsters are in danger of joining the ranks of the Taliban or if they are fighting back against the extremists.

Two-thirds of the Pakistani population is under the age of 25.

In a country under siege from the forces of religious extremism, this youth bulge serves as a ticking time bomb.

Pakistan Drugs2009120320091207

Julia Rooke accompanies former heroin dealer, Urfan Azad, on a journey back to the remote mountain madrassa in north west Pakistan where he received drugs rehabilitation and spiritual healing.

But during their journey Urfan reveals how young recovering addicts were given military training and sent to Afghanistan.

An ex-heroin dealer returns to the mountain hideout where he received drugs rehabilitation

A former heroin dealer and addict, Urfan Azad, who has been clean for a decade, retraces his journey back to the remote mountain hideout in Pakistan where he received drugs rehabilitation from former Mujahedin fighters.

An unlikely venue, perhaps, but could the secret of its success better equip Urfan to meet the challenges of his job as a drugs counsellor in Britain?

Urfan also speaks to tribal chiefs and opium farmers, who talk openly about the Taliban.

Pakistan Special2005102720051031

George Arney accompanies one family from Luton as they travel into remote Kashmir to bring help to their relatives.

And as criticism mounts of the military-led government relief operations, he asks whether this earthquake will shake up Pakistan's political landscape.

Palliative Care In India2011010620110110

It's estimated that nearly one million Indians with conditions like cancer die in acute, unnecessary pain because of the lack of palliative care.

Restrictions on morphine prescription are being lifted, but too slowly.

One of the most sophisticated systems of palliative care in the developing world has been established in the Indian state of Kerala.

The grassroots movement to create a much-valued and effective palliative care system in Kerala has been called a silent revolution.

Every week, thousands of volunteers across the state give up their time to go and tend to those who are dying.

They may cook food, help with chores, or simply provide a listening ear.

Hundreds of thousands more people in Kerala belong to Palliative Care Societies.

They donate money regularly - even just a few rupees - to help support this kind of outreach.

The hope is that people will not die alone, and in pain, without any support.

Linda Pressly travels to Kerala, which has more palliative care centres than the rest of the country put together, and ask whether this is a model to treat the dying that could be rolled out in other nations, as well as other parts of India.

Linda Pressly travels to Kerala to examine the silent revolution in palliative care.


Nick Caistor travels to Peru ahead of the elections in April to investigate the legacy of the man at the heart of a massive corruption scandal: ex-president Fujimori's former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos, and his meticulous videotape record of hundreds of dirty deals with the Peruvian political elite.

Philippine Death Penalty2004032520040329

More than a thousand prisoners have been sentenced to death in the Philippines for crimes like kidnapping, rape and murder.

There has been a suspension of executions for four years, while the parliament considers scrapping the death penalty.

But with elections coming up in May, President Gloria Aroyo has said executions will be resumed.

Julian Pettifer travels to the Philippines to visit the national prison, where emotions are at fever pitch.

Are they facing death to get Gloria Arroyo re-elected?

Polands History And Its Jews2003111320031117

Rosie Goldsmith travels to Poland, and finds a country dealing with complex questions as it prepares to join the European Union.

Poland is a predominantly Catholic country, whose huge Jewish population was virtually wiped out by the Nazis.

But now, some Poles are re-examining their relationship with that history - not least the individuals who have discovered their hidden Jewish roots in adulthood.

Rosie Goldsmith meets a Catholic priest, who is Jewish.

She talks to a film-maker who has questioned Polish anti-semitism and made a film about individuals converting to Judaism; and she speaks with the Chief Rabbi of Warsaw about the renaissance or normalisation of Jewish life in Poland.

She examines how a country scarred by history and years of totalitarian Communist rule, is forging a more heterogeneous and inclusive identity.

And, with painful preparations for joining the European Union club next May in full swing, she asks whether Poland's relationship with the UNITED STATES is enhancing its international status.

Has Poland benefited from assuming control of multinational troops in central Iraq? Is Poland new or old Europe, or somewhere in between?

Poland's New Immigrants2012122020121224

For decades, Poland has been a country of emigrants travelling to build new lives abroad, not least in the UK. But could things be about to change? Paul Henley travels to the country at the eastern edge of the EU, where the financial crisis has, so far, been avoided. He meets the migrants already making a life in Europe's least multicultural society, and explores the conditions that suggest Poland could be on the cusp of becoming a destination; home to a new wave of migrants.

Producer: Lila Allen.

Puerto Rico2010072220100726

is a strange place.

An island and a commonwealth, it exists in an uneasy relationship with its massive neighbour, the US.

All of its political powers, and much of its government cash, come from Washington, but Puerto Ricans can't vote in US federal elections.

And now an economic crisis generated in the US has come home to roost on the island.

Puerto Rico's Republican governor has announced a wave of layoffs of public sector workers, along with deep cuts in services.

Students responded by staging the longest ever university strike in North American history.

And this dispute plays into the bitter arguments over the island's status.

Should it seek independence, and the right to make its own decisions? Or should it push for more integration into the US, so at least it has some say in its future?

Maria Hinajosa, the distinguished journalist and presenter of Latino USA, travels to the island to examine its future through the voices of young people.

She meets the students who so furiously defied the governor.

She hears from young activists who are pushing for independence.

And she seeks out one of the many young Puerto Ricans who are signing up to serve in the US military - and who see their primary loyalty on the mainland.

Producer: Bill Law.

Will the economic crisis change Puerto Rico's uneasy relationship with the US?

Maria Hinojosa, the distinguished journalist and presenter of Latino USA, travels to the island to examine its future through the voices of young people.

Rio Law
Rio Law *2009121720091221

Brazil is booming economically and growing in confidence on the world stage, but in the city of Rio de Janeiro law and order have been turned upside down.

Gangs run the prisons and ruthless militias - often made up of former police officers - control many shanty towns, killing with impunity.

Lucy Ash asks if the authorities can end the rule of gangs, guns and greed.

Lucy Ash asks if the authorities can end the rule of gangs and guns in Rio de Janeiro.

Road Kill2010111820101122

Millions of people die on our roads each year.

Hundreds of children are killed as they try to get to school each day.

Road deaths threaten to overtake malaria and HIV in how many lives they take around the world, particularly in poorer countries.

Sheena Mcdonald visits some of the world's most dangerous roads in Kenya and Costa Rica to find out why the death toll in developing countries is rising, when the solutions to road accidents are so simple.

Kenya's poor record improves and then falls again as new transport ministers come and go; while Costa Rica struggles to implement the road safety plan it so confidently launched over 5 years ago.

When there's not much money, should reducing road deaths be a priority? The Millennium Development Goals push countries to work hard to improve the mortality rates for children under 5, but there are no goals to stop those same children being knocked down when they start school.

Sheena Mcdonald, who was nearly killed by a speeding police car just over 10 years ago, visits accident blackspots, meets victims and people campaigning for better road safety and challenges those in power who don't believe it's important enough.

Producer: Kirsten Lass.

Sheena Mcdonald asks why millions of people die on the world's roads each year.

Roma - The Traveller Gypsies2000040620000417
Roma - The Traveller Gypsies2000040620000410

John Egan reports on the appalling road safety record in Portugal, where the rate of road-related deaths is the highest in Europe.

After decades of denial, the issue is now of paramount importance.

He meets Manuel Ramos, who is taking up the issue, having lost his five-year-old daughter on Portugal's most notorious road - the IP5.

`Roma - the Traveller Gypsies'.

Olenka Frenkiel explores the plight of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe, where most Gypsies - between three and five million in number - still live.

She hears from the victims of racist attacks, from the curator of a museum in Poland, and from teachers and pupils at an experimental school in Romania.


The Romanian healthcare system is in crisis.

Earlier this year the university hospital in Bucharest announced it had just 4 euros left in the bank, and it's not alone in its financial woes.

Even the Romanian health minister hasn't denied that his country's medical system is facing imminent collapse.

National funds were due to run out in July.

Across the country doctors complain of a lack of X-ray film and surgical thread.

Operations are postponed indefinitely.

Patients are being asked to pay for their own bandages and hospital infections are spreading at alarming rates.

Over the last year 4,700 doctors, fed up with wages of around 300 euros a month, have left the country to earn a better living in western Europe.

It's not just a problem for Romanians.

As cash for drug treatments and preventive work such as needle exchanges runs out, there are fears that the country's already high rates of TB and HIV could get out of control, with the potential to spread beyond Romania's shores.

The wealthy are going to Hungary, Germany and Austria for treatment, paying up to 900 euros a day for a hospital bed.

Inside Romania a black market is growing with doctors taking back-handers to prioritise those who can afford it.

Those who can't have to put up with what state treatment they can find.

It's hard to see a solution.

Government coffers are empty and the economy shrank by over 7% in 2009.

And in May this year, to great protest, the government announced it would reduce public sector pay and pensions by 25%.

As Romania's healthcare system teeters on the edge of collapse, Oana Lungescu, the BBC European Affairs Correspondent, returns to her homeland to find out how ordinary citizens are coping.

Producer: Ben Crighton.

How is Romania coping with a healthcare system on the verge of collapse?

Roubles And Radicals In Dagestan2011112420111128

The main focus of the violence in the North Caucasus these days is in Dagestan, Chechnya's neighbour.

Shoot-outs between police and Islamist militants occur almost daily, and suicide bombings and assassinations have become common.

In response, the authorities use what many see as excessive force and the violence spirals still further.

In the past two years suicide bombings in the Moscow metro and a Moscow airport have been traced to the region.

In Dagestan it's a war that has touched almost every community and family, and one where differences between the opposing sides are apparently irreconcilable.

For the authorities, Dagestan is part of Russia and subject to its secular laws; for the militants the region should be a sharia state independent of Moscow.

After ten years trying to combat the militants and their appeal, Russian businessman Suleiman Kerimov has hit on a new idea - football.

Sports facilities and pitches are being built across this impoverished and deeply conservative Muslim republic, encouraging young boys and men to play on the pitch rather than join the militants in the forest, and girls to watch them instead of withdrawing behind the veil.

Dagestan's top club Anzhi Makhachkala has been bought up by the pro-Kremlin Dagestani billionaire and now he is buying world-class footballers, including Samuel Eto'o, currently the highest-paid player on the planet.

Lucy Ash asks whether this is just bread and circuses for the masses or whether it is making a real difference in this restive Russian republic.

Mr Kerimov is bankrolling many other projects from mosque building to job creation, from a glass factory to a glistening vision of an entirely new city.

The reclusive billionaire's representative in Dagestan says he is trying to find an economic solution to one of the poorest and most troubled regions in Russia.

The government is also trying a new tactic; it has recently set up a commission to persuade young fighters to lay down their arms and return to a peaceful civilian life.

Lucy watches an anti-terrorism policeman lecturing university students in the capital, Makhachkala, on the dangers of radical Islam.But with entrenched corruption, heavy-handed policing and a blatant disregard for law, the Islamic underground shows little sign of retreat.

More alarmingly, it looks as if the insurgency is spreading from the north to the traditionally peaceful and secular south of the republic.

Lucy visits the village of Sovetskoye where in May this year police beat up dozens of young Salafists.

A few months later the head teacher was murdered, allegedly because he'd banned the hijab in class.

Can a massive injection of cash really neuter deep-seated pressures for change?

Lucy Ash asks if a billionaire's roubles can help to end Dagestan's bloody insurgency.


Tim Whewell travels to Moscow to hear the story of one man's fight for justice for the Chechen victims of the war that continues between the breakaway republic and RUSSIA.

Russia's New Energy Frontier2012051020120514

Lucy Ash explores the impact oil and gas extraction is having in the Arctic Yamal region.

Lucy Ash visits Russia's new energy frontier in the Arctic Yamal region and explores the impact oil and gas extraction is having on the indigenous people there.

Gradually but inexorably, reindeer give way to railroads and gas rigs. She goes to stay with a family of herders near the base of the Yamal Peninsula, whose name in the local Nenets language means "the end of the earth." Yamal is home to the largest single area of reindeer husbandry in the world and unlike many indigenous people of the north in Canada, the USA and other parts of Russia, the Nenets herders have proved remarkably resilient. They survived both collectivisation in Soviet times and the chaos of the transition to a market economy in the 1990s. But now there is a new threat as Vladimir Putin has vowed to "turn Yamal into the new oil and gas province of Russia."

Lucy's host in the tundra, Nikolai Khudi, is philosophical about the changing world around him and wary of criticising the state monopoly Gazprom. The flow of oil and gas revenue to the region has brought social benefits such as decent schools and hospitals. Many nomads have willingly given up their traditional lives, and even those who've remained on the tundra now enjoy snow mobiles, satellite dishes and mobile phones. But Nikolai's brother Yevgeny worries their way of life is endangered and that fish may soon disappear from lakes and rivers because of the drilling.

But Moscow is determined to exploit the treasures under the permafrost. The president elect is heavily dependent on hydrocarbons and is counting on them to fulfil recent campaign promises. At the current levels of price and consumption, the natural gas reserves in Russia's Arctic region, would generate enough fuel to feed Europe for around 75 years, with a total value of almost $17 trillion. The fate of this frozen territory thousands of miles from the Kremlin speaks volumes about the Russian state both past and present.

Gradually but inexorably, reindeer give way to railroads and gas rigs. She goes to stay with a family of herders near the base of the Yamal Peninsula, whose name in the local Nenets language means "the end of the earth." Yamal is home to the largest single area of reindeer husbandry in the world and unlike many indigenous people of the north in Canada, the USA and other parts of Russia, the Nenets herders have proved remarkably resilient. They survived both collectivisation in Soviet times and the chaos of the transition to a market economy in the 1990s. But now there is a new threat as Vladimir Putin has vowed to "turn Yamal into the new oil and gas province of Russia."

Rwanda Cycling20120802

Rwanda's new heroes, its cycling team, are helping it to overcome the trauma of genocide.

Rwanda is a nation of bicycles; large cumbersome machines, piled high with sacks of coffee or potatoes, so heavy they can only be pushed up the steep winding roads in this "land of a thousand hills."

Rwanda -- a country known only for the genocide of 1994, when an estimated 800,000 people, mainly ethnic Tutsis, were murdered in cold blood in a mere 100 days -- is also a nation in need of heroes.

It may now have found them: lycra-clad athletes in helmets and wrap-around sunglasses on five thousand dollar racing bikes. They are Team Rwanda, the national cycling team, its tightly packed and brightly coloured peloton now a familiar sight on their training rides on the roads around Ruhengeri in the country's north-west, not far from the border with Uganda.

For this week's Crossing Continents Tim Mansel has spent a week with Team Rwanda as they prepare for their latest international competition, the Tour of Eritrea. The team assembles on a Monday night from all over Rwanda. They come by bike, some after riding for three or four hours, one after a ride of six. Their week is a series of gruelling rides, nutritious food, and daily yoga, all under the critical eye of their outspoken American coach, Jock Boyer.

It's impossible to spend time in Rwanda without being confronted by the genocide. A large purple banner adorns the main street in Ruhengeri, its message unmissable - Jenocide, it proclaims - and this year's slogan: "Learning from History to build a bright future." And only a few hundred yards from where the riders live is the town's genocide memorial, a walled garden dominated by a disturbing monument - the figure of a man pleading for his life and a machete that appears to be dripping in blood.

Team Rwanda is not immune from the genocide, indeed it makes explicit connections. Its website features biographies of several of its riders: Rafiki Uwimana, a small child in 1994, sent by his parents to live in the countryside to escape the horrors of the capital Kigali, forced to hide in the forest from the Hutu militias, and almost dying of malaria before being saved by the Tutsi RPF militia invading from Uganda; or Obed Rugovera, who lost three siblings and two uncles in the carnage.

"The genocide has affected every one of the riders profoundly and you can feel it even without talking about it," says the coach, Jock Boyer. " them the hope that they can buy a house, provide for their family, do something they're good at and that they're recognised for and that the country is not just going to be known for a genocide.".


Bill Law reports from SAUDI ARABIA where the ruling house of Saud is caught between a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism and its awkward ties to the UNITED STATES.

Saving The Brazilian Amazon2012010520120109

The Amazon rainforest is perhaps the world's greatest single environmental asset. For years the accepted wisdom has been that the remorseless tide of destruction there is unstoppable. Justin Rowlatt travels to Brazil to question this conventional account and finds that over the last five years rates of deforestation have plummeted by more than half. There is now serious and credible discussion about stopping deforestation completely and even replanting rainforest in deforested areas.

He joins raids deep in the jungle with a team of armed Brazilian environment agents - and watches as a gang of loggers are caught in the act. He meets the farmers and ranchers who are now conserving rather than cutting the forest, including one of the world's biggest farmers, the man they call the King of Soya, Blairo Maggi. He meets an Indian tribe who have been enlisted as "smoke jumpers" - frontier firefighters protecting the forest from wild fires.

He travels to the most remote state in Brazil to see a project which has created a viable market for the traditional industry of wild rubber tapping by building a condom factory in the middle of the jungle.

Of course there is still enormous pressure on the forest. 2011 saw a spike in deforestation and a big debate about the management of the forest which has shown the continued power of the rural lobby. While Brazil's success in taming deforestation remains fragile Justin asks if there is cause for hope that the greatest ecosystem on the planet can be preserved.

Producer: Keith Morris.

Justin Rowlatt investigates Brazilian successes in fighting deforestation.


It is called "Laamb" or "La Lutte Sénégalaise".

Originating in the countryside as a test of strength for farmers and fishermen, Senegalese wresting moved to the city with the migrants.

It took on punching to become "La Lutte avec frappe".

It involves special charms, singers, drummers and excited crowds, with the champions now earning huge amounts of money.

In Crossing Continents David Goldblatt examines how wrestling has become Senegal's most popular sport, deposing even football.

Producer: John Murphy.

David Goldblatt examines Senegalese wrestling; Africa's sporting spectacular.

Sexual Abuse In Us Prisons2012120620121210

Linda Pressly investigates why rape and sexual abuse is so common in America's huge prison system - and asks if new measures to fight it will succeed.

Producer: Helen Grady.

Slaves In Niger2005031020050314

"I was considered an animal and that's how I felt, an animal.

I did not even have a bed.

At times I would climb a tree and spend the night up there for fear that my master would beat me".

Azagar is eighteen years old.

From the moment he was born he was a slave.

His mother was a slave, his grandmother a slave.

As far back as he can remember his family were slaves.

"Even if I die I will always belong to my master.

You can never escape".

Azagar was born in Niger in West Africa.

In 'Crossing Continents' this week Gerry Northam travels to Niger where it is estimated that as many as 870,000 people, nearly eight per cent of the population, are slaves.

Their masters control them completely, according to human rights organisations.

They are forced to work long hours with little food.

There are reports of physical and sexual abuse and stories of slaves being forced to "mate" with other slaves to increase their numbers.

But there are signs that things are beginning to change in Niger.

In December 2003 an extraordinary and unprecedented ceremony took place in the region of Tahou.

A village chief released his ten slaves.

Chief Khadi had been spurred on by a new law which the government had just introduced making it illegal to own a slave.

"It is something that belongs to the past", says Chief Khadi, "today slavery is no longer practised in my village".

This month another 'master' is set to release on mass his slaves.

But it will take many more 'releases' before the number of slaves in Niger is reduced.


Just over a year ago, Ethiopia sent its troops into Somalia to chase an Islamist movement from the capital, Mogadishu.

But anger at the presence of Ethiopian troops has boosted support for radical Islamist groups, and in recent weeks violence has increased.

Rob Walker meets the Somali insurgents fighting against the Ethiopian troops and asks whether Ethiopia's intervention has helped to create precisely the threat they had hoped to eradicate.

South Africa2011050520110509

Martin Plaut investigates alleged shortcomings at gold mines in South Africa.

Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith.

South Africa's Promised Land2008071020080714

Rosie Goldsmith investigates the South African government's controversial attempts to speed up the process of land reform as tensions grow in the country over the issue, which has proved so disastrous in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Campaigners claim the government's promise to redistribute land to black farmers has fallen way short of the mark.

Rosie hears from both black and white farmers with a stake in the outcome.

Southern Sudan *2009080620090810

While the world's attention has focused on the conflict in Darfur, an older and even bloodier conflict between the Muslim north and mainly Christian south of Sudan is in danger of reigniting.

Four years after a peace deal was agreed, Grant Ferrett travels to Southern Sudan to investigate claims that Africa's biggest nation is sliding back to civil war.

Grant Ferrett investigate claims that Sudan is sliding back to civil war.


The growing antagonism between Spain's Socialist government and the Roman Catholic Church.

Spain *20081204

The BBC's Madrid correspondent Steve Kingstone examines the growing antagonism between Spain's Socialist government and the Roman Catholic Church, who have clashed over changes to religious and social education in schools.

Many fear that this conflict could further dilute the Catholic values that some people feel define Spain's national identity.

Spain's White Elephants2012072620120730

Spain is in economic crisis. What can a new, closed airport tell us about what went wrong?

The state-of-the-art Aeropuerto Don Quijote in Ciudad Real opened for business at the end of 2008. The vision was to create an air hub in the heart of Spain, and its backers believed it would bring business, jobs and tourists to this underdeveloped region. But just over three years later the airport closed - bankruptcy proceedings are on-going. Now it lies abandoned and empty, the silence broken only by birdsong and the occasional whoosh of a high speed train.

In Crossing Continents, Pascale Harter tells the story of a project with its roots in Spain's building boom-years. Was the airport doomed by the economic crisis, as its supporters claim? Or was it always fanciful to imagine that a region with little industry and tourism could sustain an airport with a capacity for five million passengers a year? And what does the building of the airport tell us about the relationship between local business, politicians and the now defunct local banks - the Cajas?

Sri Lanka2008112720081201

Roland Burke investigates the Sri Lankan army's war against the Tamil Tigers.

Roland Burke investigates the lengths to which the Sri Lankan army and its proxies have gone to ensure victory in their war against the Tamil Tigers.

With victory now in sight, Roland uncovers a trail of civilian massacres and abductions.


Writer Andrew Brown tries to find out if the rural heart of Sweden still lives on in the modern age.

In an entertaining and unpredictable journey he goes in search of wolves, egg-tossing merrymakers and the ideal of the Swedish summer.

Andrew Brown tries to find out if the rural heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

Sweden *20091224

The writer Andrew Brown tries to find out if the rural heart of Sweden still lives on in the modern age.

In an entertaining and unpredictable journey he goes in search of wolves, egg-tossing merrymakers and the ideal of the Swedish summer.

Andrew Brown tries to find out if the rural heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

Syrian Corruption2010123020110103

orruption in Syria is commonplace.

You can see it almost everywhere you go: from a small tip for a government worker to process paperwork, to customs officials requiring payments to allow goods into the country.

The single-party government says it's stamping out corruption and that it's determined not to let it stand in the way of the country's economic development.

But with economic reforms opening Syria up to foreign investment, it's claimed corruption is getting worse.

And those who raise the issue in public can find themselves thrown in jail.

The BBC's Damascus correspondent Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in the country, and looks at whether Syria's drive to modernise is being hampered by the millions of dollars lost in graft.

Producer: Duncan Crawford.

Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in Syria.

Taking On The Traffickers2007121320071217

Human trafficking, mostly of women and children, is the most lucrative illicit business after drugs and arms.

Linda Pressly visits El Salvador and Nicaragua to report on local efforts to protect girls and women from the trade in sexual exploitation and to prosecute those responsible.

Takoradi, Ghana's Oil City2011081820110822

In December, Ghana turned on the taps and began pumping its first commercial oil.

Production will top 100,000 barrels a day this year -- enough the government believes to more than double the country's economic growth.

At the centre of this oil rush is the once sleepy city of Takoradi.

Already things are starting to change here: new businesses setting up to service the offshore oil industry, an increase in population, and, spiralling expectations.

So can Ghana - one of the most stable countries in Africa - escape the curse of violence and corruption that has afflicted other big oil producers on the continent? Rob Walker visits Takoradi to find out, and he'll be returning to observe the transformation of Africa's newest oil city over the coming years.

Producer: Katharine Hodgson.

A portrait of the sleepy Ghanaian city of Takoradi at the start of an oil boom.

Thailand *2009042320090427

Violent clashes in Bangkok have revealed a deep political divide in Thailand.

As the Red Shirts prepared to descend on the capital, Lucy Ash joined them in their heartland in the north east of the country.

She watched the build up to the massive protest in Bangkok and discovered who the Red Shirts are, how they organise themselves and why poor villagers and rice farmers are now demanding to be heard.

The American War On Drugs In Peru2003110620031110

Javier Lizarazburu returns to his home country, Peru, to see the effects of America's war on drugs.

The US is spending more than $140 million in Peru this year to eradicate coca, the raw material from which cocaine is made.

But coca production is on the increase and now, for the first time, the desperately poor coca farmers, led by their new charismatic leader, Nancy Obregon, are making their voices heard in the capital, Lima.

Javier travels to a remote region in the Amazon rainforest to meet Nancy and hear her case against the US-backed policy of forced coca eradication and he also travels to Washington to ask top officials whether they can win the war against drugs in Peru.

The Angola 22012040520120409

Tim Franks looks at the case of two US inmates who have been held in solitary confinement in Louisiana for what will be 40 years this month. It's believed to be the longest period of time in US penal history. For most of their confinement Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace were held in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a prison often known as "Angola", after the origin of the people who worked there when it was a slave plantation. The two were originally imprisoned for armed robbery. The men who later became known as the Angola 2 were linked to the Black Panther party, and fought for better prison conditions for the black inmates, and an end to the widespread rape and harsh work conditions. While in prison there, they were charged with the murder of a prison guard, and convicted on the evidence of a prison inmate who had been promised his freedom if he testified against them. For most of the time since then they have been held in solitary confinement. The official reason has remained the same for 40 years: fear that the men would re-start their Black Panther-type activism and organise younger inmates as militants. The use of solitary confinement is on the increase in the US - we ask are there good reasons for its use, and whether it is compatible with US and international law.

Why have two Louisiana prison inmates been held in solitary confinement for 40 years?

Tim Franks looks at the case of two US inmates who have been held in solitary confinement in Louisiana for what will be 40 years this month. It's believed to be the longest period of time in US penal history. For most of their confinement Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace were held in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a prison often known as "Angola", after the origin of the people who worked there when it was a slave plantation. The two were originally imprisoned for armed robbery. The men who later became known as the Angola 2 were linked to the Black Panther party, and fought for better prison conditions for the black inmates, and an end to the widespread rape and harsh work conditions. While in prison there, they were charged with the murder of a prison guard, and convicted on the evidence of a prison inmate who had been promised his freedom if he testified against them. For most of the time since then they have been held in solitary confinement. The official reason has remained the same for 40 years: fear that the men would re-start their Black Panther-type activism and organise younger inmates as militants. The use of solitary confinement has been on the increase in the US - we ask are there good reasons for its use, and whether it is compatible with US law.

The Children Of Dushanbe2010032520100329

Angus Crawford reports on efforts to rescue vulnerable girls in Tajikistan who were locked up rather than helped.

He hears how girls who had been raped were detained for being 'degenerate'.

He also sees how a British NGO is working with the Tajik authorities to help these teenagers find freedom and safety.

Angus Crawford reports on efforts to rescue vulnerable girls in Tajikistan.

The Church In China2010090220100906

Christopher Landau explores the explosive growth of christianity in China, with millions flocking to the official Protestant and Catholic churches.

The country has the world's largest bible printing press while some factories are run on Christian principles.

Why has the Communist state, which is formally atheist, endorsed this transition? There is official interest in the idea of a "Protestant work ethic" aiding the country's economy while some branches of government hope that the church's social services will help care for an ageing population.

Producer: Caroline Finnigan.

Christopher Landau explores the explosive growth of Christianity in China.

The Congo Connection2009111920091123

Peter Greste investigates whether Rwandans in France and Germany are controlling a deadly African militia.

For the last 15 years, the rebels of the FDLR have enforced their control through a series of brutal atrocities.

Now Crossing Continents has secret intelligence suggesting that they were taking orders from political leaders living openly in Europe.

Are Rwandans in France and Germany controlling a deadly African militia?

The Gay Prince Of Rajpipla20090219

Linda Pressly reports from India, where gay sex is a crime.

When the son of a Maharajah came out publicly in the conservative state of Gujarat, he was shunned by his family and the local community.

But Manvendra Singh Gohil is unfazed.

He is breaking new ground by working with the wives of men who have sex with men, to protect them and their husbands from the HIV/Aids virus.

The Graves Of Kashmir20111222

Jill McGivering, the BBC World Service South Asia editor, investigates the discovery of thousands of bodies in mass graves in Indian Kashmir.

Human rights groups suspect they are just some of the victims of "disappearances" at the hands of the Indian military in this contested region.

The authorities respond that the bodies are in fact those of militants who have infiltrated from Pakistan.

Will an official investigation reveal the truth?

Producer: Michael Gallagher.

Who are the thousands of people discovered in mass graves in Indian Kashmir?

The Graves Of Kashmir20111226

Jill McGivering, the BBC World Service South Asia editor, investigates the discovery of thousands of bodies in mass graves in Indian Kashmir. Human rights groups suspect they are just some of the victims of "disappearances" at the hands of the Indian military in this contested region. The authorities respond that the bodies are in fact those of militants who have infiltrated from Pakistan. Will an official investigation reveal the truth?

Producer: Michael Gallagher.

Who are the thousands of people discovered in mass graves in Indian Kashmir?

The Iraqi Backstreet Boys2008122520090105

Caroline Hawley meets the Iraqi boyband Unknown to No-one who, after years of separation and uncertainty, have reformed in Beirut.

Formed in the last days of Saddam Hussein's regime, Caroline first met them during the chaotic aftermath of the fall of the regime, when they hoped that their love songs would make them a hit in the West.

She hears their stories about life in exile, about having to sing for Saddam and finds out what has happened to their dreams of stardom.

Caroline Hawley meets an Iraqi boyband formed towards the end of Saddam Hussein's rule.

Caroline Hawley meets the Iraqi boyband Unknown to No-one, who, after years of separation and uncertainty following the war in Iraq, have reformed in Beirut.

The Kingdom Of Kids *2009040220090406

Bill Law reports from Swaziland, a country laid waste by poverty and AIDS.

Impoverished children, with the help of surviving adults and local NGOs, are learning how to read and write in informal schools.

In a country with a falling population and an economy in freefall, the children of Swaziland, against all the odds, are battling for their future and taking control of their own fates.

The Marriage Breakers Of Bangladesh2012042620120430

In Bangladesh, twenty percent of girls are married before their fifteenth birthday. Jemy is likely to be one of them. She is thirteen years old and due to marry a cousin in three days time.

Meanwhile, twelve-year-old Oli is touring the slums of Dhaka, telling parents not to marry off their daughters.

And in the wards of the Dhaka Medical College lies Poppy, awaiting an operation to repair a body broken by childbirth at the age of twelve.

This week's Crossing Continents looks at the issue of Child Marriage, through the eyes of these three children.

It is a practice still rife in Bangladesh despite being illegal. Some call it modern day slavery. Child brides drop out of school and are rarely able to undertake any paid work. Often they become victims of domestic violence. And many, like Poppy, suffer severe health problems as a result of giving birth at a young age.

They lose their childhood completely.

But campaigners are fighting back, trying to persuade rural villagers not to marry off their daughters so young. Reporter Angus Crawford joins them as they try to track down Jemy and halt her wedding. But can they reach her in time?

Producer: Tony Smith.

Angus Crawford joins Bangladeshis working to halt the illegal practice of child brides.

The Mayor Of Mogadishu2012111520121119

Andrew Harding meets the Mayor with the job of running Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Can the man nicknamed "Tarzan" tackle mass corruption and the physical and psychological impact of years of brutal warfare?

Andrew joins Mohamed Ahmed Noor who, by request of the president, has returned with his wife and family from a life in London to try and clean up Mogadishu.

The mayor discusses his ambitious vision for a city, much of which currently lies in ruins. He proudly shows off the new Mogadishu Mall and talks about the constant risk of attack by the militant Islamist group al-Shabaab - and narrowly escapes death by a car bomb along the way.

Producers: Kate Forbes and Daniel Tetlow.

The Mehamn Crash2004030420040308

Was an RAF plane responsible for the crash of a Norwegian civilian plane at the height of the Cold War? Paul Henley investigates the truth behind the so-called Mehamn crash.

At the height of the Cold War, a passenger plane crashed in Northern Norway, killing all on board - thirteen passengers and two crew.

Air accident Investigators concluded the accident was the result of a convergence of freak events but there are many who remain sceptical and who believe another aircraft may have been involved.

On the day in question, British fighter planes were participating in NATO military exercise in the region.

Northern Norway borders the former Soviet Union - it was the dividing line of the Cold War.

Norwegian Aircrash Investigators and the British military have always denied that military aircraft were in the crash area, a no fly zone right next to the RUSSIAn border.

But the mystery surrounding the crash persists, with dozens of witnesses claiming to have seen British Harriers in the area.

This has led to the establishment of a third inquiry in Norway into the events of that day, due to report in the summer of this year.

Paul talks to military and civilian witnesses.

He meets bereaved family members.

He questions Norwegian investigators, and puts questions to the British MOD.

He unravels the tragedy of the plane crash and questions whether the truth surrounding the Mehamn accident remains the victim of the Cold War.

The Mysterious Story Of Dirar Abu Sisi20110825
The Mystery Of Dirar Abu Sisi20110829

On the 18th of February 2011 a Palestinian engineer by the name of Dirar Abu Sisi boarded a train in eastern Ukraine.

He was travelling to Kiev, where he hoped to apply for Ukrainian citizenship.

But when the train arrived at its destination the following morning, Mr Abu Sisi was no longer on board.

He had vanished.

For more than a week, nothing was heard from Mr Abu Sisi, a manager at Gaza's main power plant.

Then his wife got a phone call: her husband was in an Israeli jail.

Now he is awaiting trial, accused of being the brains behind Hamas' rocket programme.

Only twice in the country's history has Israel abducted someone on foreign soil to bring them back to face trial at home.

Adolf Eichmann, one of the principal organizers of the Holocaust, was kidnapped in Argentina in 1960, and subsequently tried and executed.

In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu was drugged and smuggled out of Italy after revealing the existence of Israel's nuclear programme.

So who is Dirar Abu Sisi? Did he really study rocket science at a Ukrainian military academy, as the Israeli indictment claims? Is he a senior Hamas operative? Or is he an innocent victim of mistaken identity? What role if any did the Ukrainian authorities play in his disappearance from that train?

In this edition of Crossing Continents, Gabriel Gatehouse unravels the mystery of Dirar Abu Sisi, tracking his journey across Ukraine and beyond, to Israel and Gaza.

It's a story that involves the secret services of at least two nations, and goes to the very heart of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Producer: Smita Patel.

Gabriel Gatehouse investigates the mysterious disappearance of Dirar Abu Sisi.

The Mystery Of South Africa's Missing Textbooks2012112920121203

Many schoolchildren in South Africa's northern Limpopo province have gone for months without school textbooks. There was money to buy them. There was also a contract to deliver the books. Yet they didn't arrive. Students and parents are furious with politicians of the governing ANC - and say the problem is due to mismanagement and corruption. They say the issue typifies the faults of the political system, and that their children have been the victims. Rob Walker investigates the mystery of the missing textbooks.

The Pakistani Taliban2010051320100517

The Pakistani army has quashed the Taliban in tribal areas such as Swat by the use of military force.

But has the problem of militancy been resolved? And how serious is the threat from Islamist insurgents in the heartlands of Pakistan, particularly the Punjab?

Owen Bennett-jones investigates the appeal of these movements to young Pakistanis.

How much are they about fundamentalist Islam? And how much are they a reaction to grievances about land, jobs and poverty?

Owen travels across the country, meeting both feudal landowners and the young Punjabis who are attracted by the lure of militancy.

Presenter: Owen Bennett-jones

Producer: Shelley Thakral.

Owen Bennett-jones investigates the grievances that lie behind Pakistan's Taliban movement

The Pink Certificate2012041920120423

There's a Turkish saying that every man is born a soldier; and in Turkey every man is conscripted for military service of up to 15 months. There is no alternative to this; Turkey does not recognise the concept of conscientious objection. But one group of people are exempt - homosexuals. Their presence in the army is deemed damaging to morale and operational effectiveness. But the process by which homosexual men are asked to prove their sexual orientation is arbitrary and humiliating. Some are asked to provide pornographic photographs of themselves with their partners; others, photographs of themselves dressed as women. This is also a problem for the military psychiatrists who have to compromise their professionalism by "diagnosing" someone as homosexual, despite the fact that homosexuality is no longer regarded internationally as a medical disorder, although it once was. In "The Pink Certificate" Emre Azizlerli lifts the lid on the only country within the NATO military alliance to discriminate against homosexuals in this way. Among his interviewees are gay men who have been humiliated in various ways during the application process for exemption, as well as another man, who wanted to join the military despite his homosexuality and enjoyed a varied sex life during his period of service. Emre also meets a psychiatrist who discusses the ethical dilemma he faced while in the army and being asked to "diagnose" gay men, and a well-known conscientious objector who went to prison for his principles.

Producer: Tim Mansel.

Emre Azizlerli investigates how gay men in Turkey are humiliated by the army.

The Primorsky Partisans2010112520101129

Russia's police are out of control.

They are often referred to as "werewolves in epaulettes" because so many officers prey on the public rather than protect them.

Even Prime Minister Vladimir Putin complains about the lawlessness of the country's law enforcers.

He once said upstanding citizens cross to the other side of the street as soon as they see a man in uniform.

The crimes police commit range from bribe taking to kidnapping, drug trafficking, torture and murder.

This brutality is accompanied by corruption.

Illegal raids of businesses by police are commonplace as well as the subsequent jailing of their owners on false charges.

Victims of police abuse are often helpless in a system of cover-ups long established in the law enforcement forces.

Earlier this year, a group of six young men in Primorye, the remote Maritime region of Russia's Far East, decided to fight back.

They declared a guerrilla war against the police with the sole purpose of killing as many cops as they could.

Their attacks have included shooting of traffic policemen on roads, raiding a village police station and stabbing to death the officer on duty.

Bare-chested and brandishing pistols, the 'Primorsky Partisans' posted videos on the internet to explain the motives behind their actions.

This summer the gang's exploits gripped the Russian public's imagination.

Many people in the Far East and beyond supported them: a poll on Ekho Moskvy radio indicated that 60-75 percent of listeners sympathised with the "young Robin Hoods" and would offer them help.

In June the authorities launched a manhunt with tanks and helicopters.

Eventually two members of the group died in a shoot-out with police while the rest were captured and are now behind bars awaiting trial.

The local government of the Maritime Region is jittery about the case and is reluctant to comment.

Local police and the prosecutor's office dismiss them as gangsters.

Lucy Ash visits Kirovskiy, the home village of the young men, to investigate what drove the men to act in such an extreme way.

Producer: Ibrat Jumaboyev.

Lucy Ash asks why six young men in Russia's Far East waged a guerrilla war on the police.

The Two Faces Of Bahrain2010121620101220

Bahrain projects itself towards the world as an Arab state that is open to investment, progressive about change and moving confidently toward democracy.

But there is another Bahrain where dissent is suppressed and critics jailed.

It is a country where allegations are rife that political prisoners are routinely tortured.

Bill Law investigates both sides of the Bahrain story and asks what lies behind the apparently heavy-handed repression of those who criticize the ruling al Khalifa family

Producer: Caroline Pare.

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture.

The Women Of Egypt2011041420110418

Three years ago Bill Law travelled to Egypt for Crossing Continents to meet five extraordinary women who were fighting for human rights and equal pay for women in Egypt.

For this programme, Bill returns to Egypt to tell the story of the unfolding revolution through the eyes of those very same five women.

Their stories are a unique insight into how the revolution came about and raise questions about its future.

Producer: Daniel Tetlow.

The unfolding Egyptian revolution through the eyes of five extraordinary women.

Toxic Utah20020304

`Toxic Utah'.

Julian Pettifer reports from Skull Valley, Utah, where Native Americans are planning to store 40,000 tins of high-level NUCLEAR waste on their reservation.


It has its own president, currency, stamps, customs regime, foreign policy and national anthem, but Transdniester is recognised by no nation on earth.

This tiny RUSSIAn speaking enclave wedged between Moldova and Ukraine seems caught in a time warp.

The capital, Tiraspol, is filled with Communist party slogans and huge statues of Lenin, but Transdniester is more than a Soviet era theme park.

It also has a more sinister reputation as a haven for organised crime and arms trafficking.

And it boasts the biggest munitions dump in Europe.

But, believe it or not, the Scottish football team may be going there to play an international this autumn.

Lucy Ash joins the Scottish FA security chief on his visit to this extraordinary and forgotten corner of Europe.

Scientists admit they don't know when the Mount Vesuvius volcano close to the city of Naples will erupt again, nor what exactly will happen when it does.

They hope their instruments will give them as much as two weeks' notice of a major eruption - but they're not sure.

The city authorities, meanwhile, are working on a plan to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people from their homes if the worst should happen, but many believe their plan is flawed and the authorities will struggle to get people away from their homes in time.

Malcolm Billings is in Naples talking to the scientists and the politicians and to the ordinary people who live in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius.

Vesuvius Scientists admit they don't know when the Mount Vesuvius volcano close to the city of Naples will erupt again, nor what exactly will happen when it does.


Rosie Goldsmith reports from Trinidad, the most ethnically diverse island in the Caribbean.

Unfortunately, racial tensions are entering the politics of the island.


In Turkey's conservative heartland, influential Islamic businessmen - the Imams of Industry - have turned their once-backward region into an economic powerhouse.

They're key backers of the ruling religious-based AK party that's been a driving force behind Turkey's efforts to join the EU.

But many fear they are also trying to re-Islamise the country by stealth.

With the AK poised to win another election, Tim Whewell travels to Kayseri to discover who's behind the party, and where it's leading Turkey.


is one of Britain's best friends in Africa.

It's widely praised as a model of good governance.

It gets more British aid per capita than any other country in the world.

But Uganda's been involved in the war in neighbouring Congo and UN investigators have revealed how top Ugandan army officers in north-east Congo came to control the export of diamonds, gold and coltan - the mineral used in the manufacture of mobile phones.

One trading network was established by President Museveni's own brother, General Salim Saleh.

Now, the war's officially over Uganda says its troops have gone home.

But the UN believes General Saleh was behind the training of a paramilitary force that would continue the plundering of Congo's wealth after Uganda had departed.

In this edition of ""Crossing Continents"", Tim Whewell investigates.


Anna Cavell investigates the human trafficking of Ugandan women to Iraq.

They were lured there by promises of well-paid jobs - but instead found themselves effectively in slavery, beaten and in some cases raped.

She hears the story of how a Ugandan security contractor and an American officer together organised a courageous freelance raid which freed nine of the women.

And she discovers that despite the rescue, the practice appears to be continuing.

Producer: Natalie Morton.

Investigating the human trafficking of Ugandan women to work as virtual slaves in Iraq.

Usa Energy2001070520010709

Julian Pettifer travels from Texas to Arizona, meeting oil barons, eco-warriors and some of the mass of ordinary Americans dependent on their gas guzzlers, as he reports from the front line of the UNITED STATES' energy wars.


Apart from being oil producers, Venezuela and Iran seemingly have little in common, but over the last five years they have grown increasingly close.

The relationship has caused a good deal of international disquiet.

Rumours abound about uranium sales and terrorist cells, but the Venezuelan government denies the claims and insists that it is all about economic development.

Linda Pressly sifts the evidence in Caracas.

What Happened Next?2011042820110502

Lucy Ash revisits some of the significant stories covered in recent years and discovers what has changed since our initial reports.

In some instances, there have been attempts to bring suspects to justice.

In 2009 Crossing Continents uncovered disturbing evidence of alleged atrocities by the Kosovo Liberation Army during the Kosovo War ten years ago.

Since then a trial has opened in the capital Pristina and two former KLA leaders are being prosecuted for war crimes.

The case began in March 2011, just a few months after Dick Marty, Special Rapporteur of the Council of Europe, released an explosive report claiming that the KLA summarily executed prisoners and harvested their kidneys to sell for organ transplants.

Also in 2009 Crossing Continents looked at claims that Rwandans in France and Germany were controlling a deadly African militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Reporter Peter Greste tracked down Callixte Mbarushimana to a Paris cafe.

The elegantly dressed rebel Hutu leader flatly denied his group was responsible for attacks against civilians.

But then, last October, Mbarushimana was arrested and sent to the International Criminal Court in the the Hague accused of 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including rape and murder.

Bereaved families and victims in Congo have long complained about a climate of impunity - could that be about to change?

There appears to be a disheartening lack of change in Turkmenistan.

Lucy Ash travelled there undercover in 2005 to find out what ordinary life was like for the citizens of one of the world's most repressive dictatorships.

Despite the gold and marble clad buildings in the capital Ashgabat, she found people deprived not only of all rights and freedoms, but also of basic necessities such as healthcare.

At that time the country was ruled by a man who renamed the month of April after his mother, outlawed ballet and banned gold teeth.

The current president, ex dentist Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is less flamboyant but his promised reforms have failed to materialise.

Doctors Without Borders, the last international nongovernmental organisation operating in the country recently left because the government refused to allow a programme to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis.

This special edition also catches up with an American policeman who created a cult following for his "Street Story" podcasts, vivid vignettes of his work for the Tulsa Police Department.

And now that India has decriminalised homosexuality, what has happened to the Gay Prince of Rajpipla, once shunned by his family and his community?

Lucy Ash returns to some significant stories Crossing Continents covered in recent years.

What Happened To The Kurdish Spring?2012011220120116

Twenty years ago, the Kurdish region in Northern Iraq achieved effective autonomy after the first Gulf War, establishing a liberal constitution and a democratic assembly. The region is booming economically, thanks to its huge oil reserves.

But things are not that simple on the ground. In February, there were protests in the city of Sulaimaniya against corruption and the dominance of the two parties which govern the region. The demonstration was violently suppressed, resulting in the deaths of several activists. Some Kurds believe that the generation of peshmerga guerillas who fought for autonomy in the 1980s and 1990s are now blocking more openness and democracy. Yet even critics concede that the Kurds have achieved far greater stability and security than the rest of Iraq.

Gabriel Gatehouse asks if the Kurdish region should be a model for the rest of the Middle East to follow or avoid?

Producer: Natalie Morton.

Gabriel Gatehouse investigates freedom and repression in Kurdish Iraq.

Zimbabwe *2008090420080908

Julian Pettifer scours the airwaves and the world of blogs to find out what everyday life is like in Zimbabwe today.

How are people coping with hyperinflation and food shortages in a land formerly known as the bread basket of Africa? What lengths will they go to feed their families and what kinds of self-help networks have been created?

Zimbabweans On The Move2002032820020401

Mark Ashurst talks to Zimbabweans who have left their home country to build lives elsewhere in Southern Africa.

Zimbabwe's Child Migrants2011090820110912

Mukul Devichand goes on the road with young children travelling alone on a journey of desperation, danger and hope - south from Zimbabwe and across the border to South Africa.

Producer: Judy Fladmark.

The stories of young children travelling alone from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

202D01Iraqi Kurds2002103120021104

Since 1991, Iraqi Kurds have been protected from Saddam Hussein by the British-American no-fly zone.

But what will be the consequences for the area if war breaks out in Iraq?


Julian Pettifer reports from ARGENTINA and asks how the country can emerge from the recent political and economic disaster which has engulfed it.


Meriel Beattie reports from Latvia, the small Baltic state struggling with a rising youth crime rate.

She meets Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the country's first woman president.


Mariusa Reyes reports from Cuba.

In anticipation of the US trade embargo falling, American businessmen are gearing themselves up for economic invasion.

202D05Drug Abuse In Thailand2002112820021202

Olenka Frenkiel reports on drug abuse in Thailand.

It is now estimated that the country has nearly a million methamphetamine addicts.

Prisons are full and violent crime is rife.


President Sam Nujoma blames Britain for the current problems in southern Africa.

But is he taking his country down the same road as Zimbabwe? Rosie Goldsmith reports.


Nasir Saberi is trying to plan the reconstruction of Kabul after over 20 years of civil war.

Red tape, lack of funds and a huge influx of refugees make his task more difficult / "Nasir Saberi is trying to plan the reconstruction of Kabul after over 20 years of civil war.

Red tape, lack of funds and a huge influx of refugees make his task more difficult".


Claire Bolderson reports on the plight of Haitian refugees in the Turks and Caicos Islands, who find themselves deprived of health care and education in a British colony.


"As the state of California becomes increasingly liberal and distrustful of the Bush administration, Julian Pettifer visits the local communities where activism is alive and well" / As the state of California becomes increasingly liberal and distrustful of the Bush administration, Julian Pettifer visits the local communities where activism is alive and well.


Nasir Saberi is trying to plan the reconstruction of Kabul after over 20 years of civil war.

Red tape, lack of funds and a huge influx of refugees make his task more difficult.


Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been divided since 1974.

All attempts at reunification have failed, but now Cyprus has its best chance of reconciliation.

Julian Pettifer reports.


George Arney investigates the Ukraine's coal mining industry.

Since independence, the country's pits have degenerated into death traps, and the miners are dying.


This week's Crossing Continents travels to the heart of one of the worlds deadliest diseases - Ebola.

Often found in Central Africa, the virus kills eighty percent of its victims.

Pascale Harter goes to a remote village in the Republic of Congo, where World Health Organisation doctors are desperately trying to contain an Ebola epidemic.

On her way back to the capital, Brazzaville, she begins to feel unwell and another nightmare begins.


Lucy Ash investigates the human cost of INDIA's dowry system.

She meets INDIA's new and unlikely heroine, Nisha Sharma, who recently called off her wedding at the eleventh hour after her groom demanded an extra $25,000 in dowry payment.

INDIA's dowry system, illegal for more than forty years, continues to flourish.

And the price of a groom has soared, it can now be as high as 100,000 pounds.

And demands for money don't stop at the wedding.

Often they continue well into the marriage, and if the girl or her family can't pay up, there's a heavy price to pay.

Each day at Bangalore's Victoria Hospital, three or four women are brought in, many of them suffering from 80 degree burns inflicted by their husband or in-laws, or sometimes, as an act of extreme desperation, by the women themselves.

203C03Iraq: The Search For Justice2003072420030728

Tim Whewell travels to Iraq to find out how the evidence of Saddam Hussein's crimes can be used to bring his henchmen to justice.

He joins a team of British forensic archaeologists who have the near impossible task of identifying the victims of Saddam's brutal rule.

203C04German Arts2003073120030804

An opera director walks out, theatres, libraries and museums are closing and arts ministers are being branded ""philistine"" and ""populist"".

No, this is not Britain but Germany where a unique centuries-old tradition of lavish state support for the arts is under threat.

The German miracle is over and what's happening in the arts is a reflection of the broader economic crisis.

But in a town which already has 22 museums and high unemployment, what does it matter if one museum closes? In this programme of high drama, star protagonists and exciting musical accompaniments, Rosie Goldsmith goes east and west, to Dresden and Hamburg, two key arts capitals, to look at Germany's Kulturkrise.

203C05Lesotho Highlands Water Project2003080720030811

Dreamed up in the Apartheid era, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is the biggest of its kind in Africa.

It was supposed to bring water to South Africa and electricity to the small kingdom of Lesotho, but the ambitious multi-billion dollar project is now embroiled in an unprecedented series of trials, as impoverished Lesotho takes powerful Western companies to court for bribery and corruption.

The project also faces accusations of harming the environment, of failing to compensate people as promised and of destroying livelihoods.

Esther Armah travels to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho to see who benefits from the country's blue gold.

203C06Lula Da Silva2003081420030818

When the left wing firebrand Lula Da Silva came to power as president of Brazil, he promised to champion the Brazilian poor.

But has he delivered? Seven months into his presidency, Linda Pressly looks at three dilemmas facing Latin America's biggest nation.

In the Wild West, she meets landless squatters impatient for change.

In the state of Sao Paolo, she asks whether Brazil's revolutionary approach to AIDS is really paying off.

Finally, she travels to Brasilia to find out how inmates in some of the most squalid prisons on earth are fighting for human rights - courtesy of the British National Lottery.

203C07Bali Bombings2003082120030825

Did you know that as many as 40% of those killed and injured in last October's nightclub bombing were residents of Bali? While there was saturation press coverage of the Australian and British deaths, very little has been reported about the bomb's Balinese victims.

In this week's Crossing Continents Rosie Goldsmith travels to Bali to find out how this traumatic event has affected those who live on the island.

203C08Hong Kong And Sars2003082820030901

Hong Kong may have been declared free of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) but the deadly spectre of the disease still hangs over the city.

Julian Pettifer investigates the damage inflicted by the outbreak on the people, economy and psyche of Hong Kong.

He hears criticism of the administration's handling of the crisis, and asks whether more diseases are likely to emerge from this infection hot zone in Southern CHINA.

He talks to frontline health care professionals who feared for their own safety, and families in the Amoy Gardens towerblock who were at the heart of the outbreak.

He meets the scientists who helped to identify the killer virus, and asks what lessons have been learnt, and whether it's only a matter of time until the next health crisis in the region.

And, as Hong Kong turned into a virtual ghost-town, what was the financial impact on a region already battered by economic DEPRESSION? Part of the problem is the changing role of Hong Kong.

It's pre-eminent city status is being eclipsed by the growth and confidence of other Chinese regions.

How are Hong Kong's relations with the rest of CHINA? How well is the policy of 'One country, two systems' really working? And with discontent over SARS rising, Hong Kong has discovered people power.

Vast street protests have forced the authorities to back down over a planned anti-subversion law.

We assess to what extent Hong Kong is genuinely democratising, or whether power is shifting Northwards to Beijing.

Julian Pettifer asks if Hong Kong, once the pearl of Asia, can recover, or if it's terminally ill.


Last Autumn, France experienced its worst violence in nearly 40 years.

In three weeks of rioting, more than 10,000 vehicles were burned, hundreds of schools and public buildings attacked, and almost 5000 people arrested.

In the first of a new series of Crossing Continents, the team visit Paris three months on and talk to some of those involved in the violence.

What was behind such an explosion of anger and what's being done now to stop the same happening again?


Julian Pettifer travels to the US to tell the story of some of the unlikely new champions of environmentalism: Right-wing Christians, big business and a country music legend.

First he meets the new environmentalists among the Evangelical Right.

How did Conservative Christians become the new allies of the environmental lobby?

They first hit the headlines in 2002, when a group of green evangelicals launched a campaign called What would Jesus drive? They pointed out references in the bible to mankind's responsibility for taking care of God's Earth.

Since then, the greening of the evangelical movement has grown and the National Association of Evangelicals is about to deliver an important statement about its stance on climate change.

Some within their ranks remain sceptical about a position which smacks of regulation and traditional left-wing activism.

Nevertheless, with 30 million members and huge political clout, will they persuade the Bush administration to take action on curbing emissions of greenhouse gases?

Julian also finds out that the image of the US as a gas-guzzling, energy consuming nation doesn't always hold true.

There are a growing number of big corporations using renewable energy.

But will they continue with no incentive from the federal government?

Lastly, he travels to Texas to fill up with BioWillie, an alternative vehicle fuel that can be made from vegetable oil, seed oil or animal fat and can run diesel-powered vehicles.

Its champion is country music legend Willie Nelson, who got behind the initiative to help America's farmers and truckers and to reduce his country's dependence on foreign oil.


Ukraine now has the highest rate of HIV infection in Europe, estimated at over 15 times the UK rate.

Hélène Michaud travels to Ukraine's HIV hotspot - the city of Odessa on the Black Sea - to investigate why the country is failing to tackle the epidemic effectively.

She finds out why so many Ukrainians are becoming infected, and why their medical care is still woefully inadequate, despite recent progress.


Twenty years after Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown, the Philippines is still a desperately poor country.

Two journalists offer an unusual take on the parlous state of the economy.


'Barefoot doctors' were once the pride of the People's Republic of China.

Today, hundreds of millions of Chinese are unable to afford any medical treatment.

Louisa Lim gets inside the Chinese health system to find out how the growing crisis is affecting everyday life.


The French possessions of St Pierre and Miquelon, in the North Atlantic just off Canada, have launched a bold bid to seize control of a huge tract of undersea territory.

Their fishing industry has collapsed but the locals believe there is a future exploiting the ocean for oil and gas.

Bill Law explores the little islands spoiling for a big fight.

206A07Logging On And Losing Out2006031620060320

James Silver reveals the heavy social cost that comes with America's poker obsession on the internet.

Across the nation, the number of young people calling gambling help lines has doubled in the last two years.

Recent research has shown that adolescent gamblers are more likely to report problems with alcohol, drug use and depression than non-gamblers.

James looks at the worrying new addiction that's spreading through America's High Schools.


Kolkata is booming.

With an information technology sector growing at the rate of 70% a year, the Indian city infamously associated with the black hole is undergoing a radical transformation.

So how has Kolkata, with its proudly Communist government, become the city of choice for many multinational companies? And is this rapid growth sustainable?

Tanya Datta meets some of the city's winners and losers.


On April 9, Italy goes to the polls and abortion has become a hot political issue.

Many women feel that the right to choice is being challenged by the Church, a big change in this relatively liberal Catholic country.

Feminists are outraged at what they say is the Church's growing interference in politics and in women's lives.

Rosie Goldsmith meets those on both sides of the debate - and those caught in the crossfire.


Is the town of Pomfret, on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, paying the price for South Africa's shame? Home to the remnants of 32 battalion, Angolan soldiers who fought for the apartheid regime, Pomfret is now in the sights of the government, as it seeks to stamp out mercenary activity.

The authorities want to raze the town to the ground, arguing that there is a danger of asbestosis.

The inhabitants of Pomfret believe there is a more sinister motive and that the government is simply taking revenge for the past.


President Castro is nearing 80.

Both within and outside Cuba, forces are manoeuvering for the succession.

Inside Cuba, the official line is that Raul Castro will succeed his brother.

But some insiders believe this is doubtful.

Perhaps power will pass to another of the president's confidantes, or even to one of the new generation of radicals, nicknamed the Taliban, who made their names in university communist groups, and are determined to preserve the revolution.

What role might the nation's political dissidents play in a post-Castro era?

Cuba-watchers agree that the unknown quantity, after Fidel Castro's demise, is the Cuban people.

Some have predicted a bloodbath on the streets as neighbours take revenge on those who have spied on and thwarted them for so many decades.

Others believe Cubans are beyond such savage retribution.

Many think the future of Cuba will not be in the power of those who live on the island.

In the United States, thousands of Miami Cuban exiles believe they have a role to play in a post-Castro Cuba, and President Bush has recently appointed a transition co-ordinator to accelerate the end of the Castro administration.

Nick Caistor visits Cuba and assesses the mounting pressures on this revolutionary, Caribbean nation.


'If we can't sing in harmony, it is better we don't appear in Europe', according to the Head of Serbian TV after the contest to choose a song to represent Serbia and Montenegro at the Eurovision Song Contest ended in allegations of fixing, political interference and a near riot.

Tim Judah takes a musical tour through the Balkans - from Serbia to Montenegro, Kosovo to Bosnia - exploring the region's politics, conflicts and aspirations through the prism of the world's most famous singing competition.


Exploring some of the problems caused by the success of the Aboriginal art business in Australia.

Has producing pots and primitive paintings for tourists transformed impoverished communities, or is it leading to entrapment and sweat-shop art?


Poland joined the EU on May 1st 2004.

Thousands of skilled and unskilled workers have now travelled across the EU's borders to find work.

If nearly 400,000 Poles are in the UK painting our flats, driving our buses and designing our houses then who's doing those jobs back home?

Tim Whewell investigates the impact of this exodus on the Poland the migrants have left behind.


Forty years ago, Julian Pettifer reported on the war in Vietnam, which eventually cost over three million Vietnamese lives and 58,000 American ones.

Now, four decades later, the trauma of that war, and the humiliation of defeat for the Americans, is at last fading.

In fact, there's been a transformation in US-Vietnamese relations.

Julian returns to Vietnam to examine the nature of that change.

How genuine is the new friendship?


China has been powering ahead in the life sciences, and is now world class in fields like stem cell research and gene therapy.

The country has made science and technology a priority, with £60 billion earmarked in government investment over the next 15 years.

China expects most of its economic growth to be generated by science in the near future.

Former Beijing correspondent Carrie Gracie returns to China to meet some of the country's Western-trained scientists in their state-of-the-art laboratories and hospitals.


45,000 people disappeared in Guatemala during its 30-year civil war.

Most of the victims' relatives have no idea what happened to their loved ones.

The police have always denied that any records were kept.

But now there is new hope in the form of 75 million pages of police archives found rotting away in a series of rundown buildings in the very heart of Guatemala city.

Nick Caistor has been there to find out what secrets the archive can unlock.


In Greece, if you dig a hole, walk a street, stumble across a beach, you'll find an ancient relic - the country is littered with antiquities.

There are around 2,000 museums and open air archaeological sites, and about 20,000 known shipwrecks under the seas.

The Greeks are proud of their rich heritage but have, with a few notable exceptions, taken it for granted or not had the money or will to save it from decay or pillage.

As a result, outsiders have cashed in.

But the situation is changing and the Greeks are laying claim to their past and fighting to protect it as never before.

Rosie Goldsmith investigates.

206C06Thembi's Aids Diary2006081020060814

Thembi Ngubane lives in one of South Africa's largest townships, a sprawling sea of houses and shacks made of wood planks, tar paper and sheets of tin.

She has a boyfriend and a close relationship with her mother and father.

She is also living with Aids.

Ngubane was 19 when she first met radio producer Joe Richman in Khayelitsha, outside Cape Town.

She was among a group of South African teenagers he interviewed about Aids in 2004.

He gave her a tape recorder, and for a year, she recorded an intimate audio diary that brings listeners into her home, among her family, to witness her daily struggles and triumphs.

Throughout the diary, Ngubane expresses the desire she has to stop hiding her disease and to help others stop hiding, too.

About five million people are HIV-positive in South Africa.

About 5 million people are HIV-positive in South Africa,

Thembi's Aids Diary


Anu Anand goes to Mumbai to meet those caught up in the terrible events of July 11 when seven bombs were detonated on the city's commuter rail network, killing 200 people and injuring hundreds more.

The programme asks why India's financial capital has once again become the target for terrorist bombers.


As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq drag on, the US military is facing a recruitment crisis.

Robert Hodierne goes on the road with an army team trying to sign up new soldiers.


A bomb blast in a bookshop in Turkey is staged to look like the work of Kurdish paramilitary group, the PKK.

It goes badly wrong for the assailants who, it turns out, are linked to the Turkish military.

But who gave the orders?

Paul Henley gains exclusive access to former high ranking military officers who speak out for the first time.

Will the fall out of this bombing affect Turkey's EU membership bid?


After 14 years of war, a newly elected government is trying to get Liberia back on track.

Foreign investment is crucial, but are multi-nationals a mixed blessing? Bill Law investigates alleged mistreatment of workers on the Firestone rubber plantation and whether a new mining deal with Mittal Steel will benefit the country.


Malaysian activist and academic Farish Noor casts a critical eye over his home country and perceived religious threats to its secular constitution.


Lucy Ash investigates the justice system in Bolivia, where traditional indigenous forms of punishment are getting a new lease of life under the new President Evo Morales.

In certain areas, sanctions include whipping, but never prison.

Is this community justice a much-needed complement to the failing courts and police, or a citizens' charter for human rights violations?

Lucy finds that the shortcomings of the official law enforcement agencies are such that overcrowded prisons are run by the inmates and residents of city slums take justice into their own hands, with a lynching estimated every three days.


In the 1930s, up to two million Mexicans were forced to leave the United States and return to Mexico in an effort to preserve jobs for American citizens.

Many of those who were deported were born in the US and had never been to Mexico.

Linda Pressly travels to California to meet some of the people caught up in the repatriations and investigates claims that history could repeat itself.


The war between Israel and Hezbollah this summer destroyed much of south Lebanon.

Afterwards, the Islamist party handed out thousands of dollars in cash for people to rebuild their homes.

Four months after the ceasefire, Tim Whewell visits the region to find out how Hezbollah are winning hearts and minds again.


There are hundreds, possibly thousands of Palestinians working covertly for the Israeli intelligence services.

Without them, it's argued, Israel's occupation of the West Bank would be more far difficult to sustain.

There would also probably be many more suicide bombings in Israel every year.

The informants in the Occupied Territories provide vital sources of information for Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency.

And if they're caught, they risk being killed.

Their actions are regarded by most Palestinians as the ultimate in treachery.

So why do they do it? For the money? For the thrill? For ideological reasons? Are they, perhaps, being blackmailed?

Richard Miron is given rare access to Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, and gains a unique insight into the way it handles its collaborators.


Forty years ago, Romania's notorious dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, introduced a 'forced breeding' policy to create a new generation of true communists for his ideal socialist country.

On the eve of its membership of the EU, Rosie Goldsmith investigates the consequences of this degrading policy for modern-day Romania.

206D08Escaping Caste2006122820070101

Dan Isaacs reports from India on the movement which has led millions of Dalits, people from the lowest Hindu caste, to convert to Buddhism in an attempt to escape from their social lot in life.

Once known as Untouchables, the Dalits are at the bottom of the social heap within the Hindu caste system.

Millions of them have been gathering across India to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the conversion to Buddhism of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, the great champion of India's underclass.

A contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi and a Dalit himself, Ambedkar called on his followers to reject Hinduism entirely, along with its caste system, and adopt a new religion.

His choice was Buddhism, which he felt offered spiritual and social equality.


Marian Hens reports from Catalonia, the region of Spain most affected by a recent wave of immigration.

But is the influx a blessing or a curse?

The affluent and independent-minded Catalans are shocked and confused by the new arrivals.

Regional politicians are hailing a new generation of adopted Catalans, but there are many homeless immigrants lacking work permits who are seeking menial jobs in an economy which desperately needs them.


Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal death in Ghana.

It's estimated that two thirds of abortions are botched and large numbers of women are dying as a result.

Rosie Goldsmith hears the heartbreaking stories of women pushed to despair and illegal abortion as a result of fear, stigma and ignorance, and learns about the lucrative secret trade that supports it.


Jon Leyne investigates how Jordan is coping with the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees flooding over the border.

What impact is their presence having on Jordan, a country of only five million people? Do they represent an asset or a destabilising influence?


Richard Hollingham visits Iceland to report on a project to create a massive dam which will feed energy to a new smelter.

The country is selling itself as a new power house to the world and the government wants to profit from cheap, clean and renewable energy.

Some welcome this as a giant step in the country's development, while others claim it is an environmental disaster.

207A03France's Lost Generation2007032920070402

Lucy Ash reports on the threat to France's prosperity posed by high unemployment among the country's young.

The education system, high business taxes and exploitation by employers have all been blamed for the fact that one in four young people in France is out of work.

Without drastic measures, the country faces years of economic decline.

207A04Fighting Climate Change In Bc2007040520070409

Julian Pettifer reports from British Columbia, which has just announced the toughest measures in North America to combat global warming.

The city of Vancouver is pioneering 'eco-density', environmentally sustainable high-rise developments as an alternative to the more typical urban sprawl of large family homes.

But can the drive to cut carbon emissions be squared with existing plans for major urban motorway expansions to foster economic growth?

207A05Moldova's Abandoned Children2007041220070416

The former Soviet Republic of Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and has the highest human trafficking figures in the region.

One in six adults has left the country to work abroad, often illegally, and thousands of children are growing up with only one parent or in the care of a neighbour.

This programme tells the story of 16-year-old Anna, who was abandoned by her mother when she was smuggled out of the country six years ago.

As mother and daughter rebuild their relationship, what can be done to prevent Anna from following in her footsteps?


Pascale Harter reports from Mauritania, where being fat is regarded as a mark of wealth and distinction.

But decades of overeating have taken their toll, and the country is now suffering from many obesity-related health problems.

For the first time, a growing number of young women are rebelling against the fat look.