Crossing Continents [world Service]

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
2009111920091211

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2009111920091211

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2009112620091218
20091224
20100107
20100422
20100422

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

20100429

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

20100506
20100506

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

On the ground reporting from around the world

20100513
20100513

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

On the ground reporting from around the world

2010072920100730
2010072920100730

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2010080520100806
2010081220100813
20100819
2010082620100827
20100902
20100902

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

2010112520101126
2010112520101126

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2010120920101210
2010120920101210

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2010122320101224
2010122320101224

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2011010620110107
2011010620110107

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

2011011320110114
2011011320110114

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

02/09/201020100903
02/09/201020100903

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

05/08/201020100806
06/01/2011
06/01/201120110107

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

07/01/201020100108
07/01/201020100108

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

09/12/2010
09/12/201020101210

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

12/08/201020100813
13/01/2011
13/01/201120110114

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

13/05/201020100514
13/05/201020100514

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

On the ground reporting from around the world

19/08/201020100820
19/11/200920091120
19/11/200920091210
19/11/200920091211
22/04/201020100423
23/12/2010
23/12/201020101224

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

24/12/200920091225
25/11/2010
25/11/201020101126

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

26/08/201020100827
26/11/200920091127
26/11/200920091217
26/11/200920091218
29/04/201020100430
29/07/201020100730
Cambodia: Country for Sale20110113

Cambodia is selling vast swathes of its land to global investors - but at what price?

On the ground reporting from around the world

The paddy fields of impoverished Cambodia have suddenly become a prime slice of global real estate. But will the rural poor pay the price?

This tiny Asian nation has just begun to recover after dictator Pol Pot's reign of terror, in which around two million Cambodians died, and the brutal civil war that followed.

But now a very different story is unfolding in the agricultural heartland which once became notorious as the "killing fields."

In a world plagued by food shortages, Cambodia is suddenly awash with global investors keen to snap up its cheap fertile land.

The global financial elite see it as a recession-proof investment, and the government is desperate to invite in money and development.

But it's driving a surreal land boom in the poorest villages: an estimated 15% of the country is now leased to private developers and stories are filtering in from the country's most impoverished farmers who tell of fear, violence and intimidation as private companies team up with armed police to force them from their land.

In this week's Crossing Continents, Mukul Devichand samples the heady atmosphere of Cambodia's business elite, uncovers a lawless reality and investigates the claims of corruption and violence visited on the poor.

He tells the stories of three very different men, Cambodian and foreign, who have very different plans for Cambodia's land: and asks what's really happening as one of rising Asia's poorest nations struggles to catch up.

Cambodia: Country for Sale20110114

Cambodia is selling vast swathes of its land to global investors - but at what price?

On the ground reporting from around the world

The paddy fields of impoverished Cambodia have suddenly become a prime slice of global real estate. But will the rural poor pay the price?

This tiny Asian nation has just begun to recover after dictator Pol Pot's reign of terror, in which around two million Cambodians died, and the brutal civil war that followed.

But now a very different story is unfolding in the agricultural heartland which once became notorious as the "killing fields."

In a world plagued by food shortages, Cambodia is suddenly awash with global investors keen to snap up its cheap fertile land.

The global financial elite see it as a recession-proof investment, and the government is desperate to invite in money and development.

But it's driving a surreal land boom in the poorest villages: an estimated 15% of the country is now leased to private developers and stories are filtering in from the country's most impoverished farmers who tell of fear, violence and intimidation as private companies team up with armed police to force them from their land.

In this week's Crossing Continents, Mukul Devichand samples the heady atmosphere of Cambodia's business elite, uncovers a lawless reality and investigates the claims of corruption and violence visited on the poor.

He tells the stories of three very different men, Cambodian and foreign, who have very different plans for Cambodia's land: and asks what's really happening as one of rising Asia's poorest nations struggles to catch up.

Cambodia: Country For Sale20110114

Cambodia is selling vast swathes of its land to global investors - but at what price?

The paddy fields of impoverished Cambodia have suddenly become a prime slice of global real estate.

But will the rural poor pay the price?

This tiny Asian nation has just begun to recover after dictator Pol Pot's reign of terror, in which around two million Cambodians died, and the brutal civil war that followed.

But now a very different story is unfolding in the agricultural heartland which once became notorious as the "killing fields."

In a world plagued by food shortages, Cambodia is suddenly awash with global investors keen to snap up its cheap fertile land.

The global financial elite see it as a recession-proof investment, and the government is desperate to invite in money and development.

But it's driving a surreal land boom in the poorest villages: an estimated 15% of the country is now leased to private developers and stories are filtering in from the country's most impoverished farmers who tell of fear, violence and intimidation as private companies team up with armed police to force them from their land.

In this week's Crossing Continents, Mukul Devichand samples the heady atmosphere of Cambodia's business elite, uncovers a lawless reality and investigates the claims of corruption and violence visited on the poor.

He tells the stories of three very different men, Cambodian and foreign, who have very different plans for Cambodia's land: and asks what's really happening as one of rising Asia's poorest nations struggles to catch up.

Conversion Wars20100812

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Conversion Wars20100813

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Crossing Continents (bst) 120100401
Crossing Continents (bst) 120100402
Crossing Continents (final One-off) 120110324

Crossing Continents (Final One-Off) 120110324

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Crossing Continents (final One-off) 12011032420110325

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

Crossing Continents (final One-off) 120110325
Crossing Continents (Final One-Off) 120110325

A series focussing on foreign affairs issues.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Georgian Fir Cones20101202

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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 40 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 is the 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 £3 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 80% 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.

Georgian Fir Cones2010120220101203

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

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.

More than 40 million are sold in Europe every year.

Most of those who remain have to live on less than £3 a day.

Its economy is still only 60% of what it was in Soviet times, and it now imports 80% of its food.

Georgian Fir Cones2010120220101203

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

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.

More than 40 million are sold in Europe every year.

Most of those who remain have to live on less than £3 a day.

Its economy is still only 60% of what it was in Soviet times, and it now imports 80% of its food.

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

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.

Georgian Fir Cones20101203

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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 40 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 is the 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 £3 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 80% 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.

Georgian Fir Cones20101203

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

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 40 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 £3 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 80% 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.

Greece & Ireland20100422

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

Greece and Ireland 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 to the European powerhouses to ask for a bailout.

In Ireland the road that was taken to economic ruin was a different one but the result was 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. With tough new austerity measures, massive cuts in public spending and services, cuts in their own salaries, job losses and 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.

Greece & Ireland20100423

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

Greece and Ireland 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 to the European powerhouses to ask for a bailout.

In Ireland the road that was taken to economic ruin was a different one but the result was 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. With tough new austerity measures, massive cuts in public spending and services, cuts in their own salaries, job losses and 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.

Madagascar20100805

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

Madagascar 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.

Madagascar20100806

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

Madagascar 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.

Medjugorje20100826

A religious phenomenon that has become a political controversy in Bosnia.

On the ground reporting from around the world

The Bosnian town of Medugorje is one of the most important shrines for Roman Catholics in the world.

Thousands of apparitions of the Virgin Mary have been reported in recent years and the town has grown rich as a result of visits by pilgrims from all corners of the globe.

But now the Vatican is investigating the truth of these visitations in a move that threatens to undermine the significance of the town.

This has created a political as well as a religious controversy. Medjugorje was the scene of fighting between Croatian and Bosnian forces during the war. Memories of Croat war crimes are still fresh in the minds of Bosnian Muslims who resent the presence of this Catholic shrine.

Allan Little investigates a religious phenomenon that has become a political controversy.

Medjugorje20100827

A religious phenomenon that has become a political controversy in Bosnia.

On the ground reporting from around the world

The Bosnian town of Medugorje is one of the most important shrines for Roman Catholics in the world.

Thousands of apparitions of the Virgin Mary have been reported in recent years and the town has grown rich as a result of visits by pilgrims from all corners of the globe.

But now the Vatican is investigating the truth of these visitations in a move that threatens to undermine the significance of the town.

This has created a political as well as a religious controversy. Medjugorje was the scene of fighting between Croatian and Bosnian forces during the war. Memories of Croat war crimes are still fresh in the minds of Bosnian Muslims who resent the presence of this Catholic shrine.

Allan Little investigates a religious phenomenon that has become a political controversy.

Mississippi Smouldering20091210

An African-American man is facing his sixth trial for the same crime.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Fourteen years ago, four people were murdered in Winona, Mississippi.

The African-American man charged with their murders is facing his sixth trial.

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

Tom Mangold has been to the deep South to investigate and to speak to those most closely involved.

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

Mississippi Smouldering20091211
Mongolia's Deep Freeze20100408

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Mongolia's Deep Freeze2010040820100409

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

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."

Mongolia's Deep Freeze2010040820100409

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

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."

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

Mongolia's Deep Freeze20100409

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Mongolia's Deep Freeze20100409

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

Nichi Vendola20101209

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

Nichi Vendola20101210

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

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

Nichi Vendola20101210

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

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

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.

Nichi Vendola20101210

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

Operation Virgin2010123020101231

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

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 discovered 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 BBC Arabic 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?

Operation Virgin2010123020101231

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

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 discovered 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 BBC Arabic 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?

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.

Lebanese journalist Najlaa Abou Merhi from BBC Arabic 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.

Operation Virgin20101231

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

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 discovered 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 BBC Arabic 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?

Operation Virgin20110106

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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 discovered 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 BBC Arabic 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?

Operation Virgin20110107
Operation Virgin20110107

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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 discovered 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 BBC Arabic 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?

Pakistan: Rehab Madrassa20091217

Former heroin addict Urfan Azad, retraces his steps of rehabilitation back to Pakistan.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Urfan Azad used to be a heroin addict and dealer.

Julia Rooke accompanies him 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.

Pakistan: Rehab Madrassa20091218

Former heroin addict Urfan Azad, retraces his steps of rehabilitation back to Pakistan.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Urfan Azad used to be a heroin addict and dealer.

Julia Rooke accompanies him 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.

Pentecostalists In Central America20100415

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

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.

Pentecostalists In Central America20100415

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

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.

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

Pentecostalists in Central America20100415

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Pentecostalists In Central America20100416

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

Pentecostalists in Central America20100416

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

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Puerto Rico20100729

Will the economic crisis change Puerto Rico's uneasy relationship with the US?

On the ground reporting from around the world

Puerto Rico 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.

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 Hinojosa, 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 and 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.

Puerto Rico20100730

Will the economic crisis change Puerto Rico's uneasy relationship with the US?

On the ground reporting from around the world

Puerto Rico 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.

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 Hinojosa, 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 and 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.

Rio law20091224

Lucy Ash asks if the authorities can end the rule of gangs and guns in Rio de Janeiro.

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Rio law20091225

Lucy Ash asks if the authorities can end the rule of gangs and guns in Rio de Janeiro.

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Romania20100819

How is Romania coping with a healthcare system on the point of collapse?

On the ground reporting from around the world

Romania’s 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 equipment and operations are postponed indefinitely. Patients are forced to pay for their own bandages and hospital infections are spreading at alarming rates. Over the last year 4,700 doctors 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 spread beyond Romania's shores.

Inside the country 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 faces collapse, BBC European Affairs Correspondent Oana Lungescu returns to her homeland to see how ordinary citizens are coping.

Romania20100820

How is Romania coping with a healthcare system on the point of collapse?

On the ground reporting from around the world

Romania’s 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 equipment and operations are postponed indefinitely. Patients are forced to pay for their own bandages and hospital infections are spreading at alarming rates. Over the last year 4,700 doctors 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 spread beyond Romania's shores.

Inside the country 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 faces collapse, BBC European Affairs Correspondent Oana Lungescu returns to her homeland to see how ordinary citizens are coping.

Senegal20101223

David Goldblatt examines Senegalese wrestling - Africa's sporting spectacular.

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Senegal20101224

David Goldblatt examines Senegalese wrestling - Africa's sporting spectacular.

It is called "Laamb" or "La Lutte Sngalaise".

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.

Senegal20101224

David Goldblatt examines Senegalese wrestling - Africa's sporting spectacular.

It is called "Laamb" or "La Lutte Sngalaise".

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.

It is called "Laamb" or "La Lutte Sngalaise". 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.

Senegal20101224

David Goldblatt examines Senegalese wrestling - Africa's sporting spectacular.

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

Sri Lanka's Fragile Peace2010010720100108 (WS)

Charles Haviland asks: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

In this week's Crossing Continents, BBC Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels around Sri Lanka - the island nation which saw an epic battle to defeat the feared Tamil Tiger militants seven months ago.

The conflict may be over, but many say Sri Lanka remains on a war footing - an island full of restricted areas, where refugees are on the move and newspaper editors still face death threats.

Crossing Continents this week tells the untold story of a fragile society as people from the Sinhalese majority, and the Tamil minority, return to bombed out villages and towns.

The BBC's Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels to Kaviliyamadu, a small village in Sri Lanka's east that was once on the front lines of the civil war.

He finds that ethnic Sinhalese and Tamils are both flooding back to the fertile lands of a former war zone, where brand new roads now criss-cross the landscape and offer the prospect of new prosperity. But there are controversial claims that triumphant Sinhalese are "colonising" prime land after the military victory.

Charles investigates these claims to uncover the complex reality of political and ethnic relations over land.

He speaks to ordinary Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese and asks who are the winners and losers in "colonisation" of new areas?

It is a climate of fear in which some warn the situation in places like Kaviliyamadu could lead to more conflict.

His journey ends in Sri Lanka's prosperous south - heartland of the Sinhalese majority - where he meets the Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero, one of a movement of Buddhist monks whose theology was credited with spurring on the military offensive.

The army's conduct brought widespread international censure. But as Sri Lanka turns away from its former Western allies, who criticised its conduct of the war, the new regional superpower China is helping to built a vast new port facility at Hambantota - the President's home town.

Charles gains exclusive access to the port and explores rumours that it may one day have a military purpose.

He travels around the island nation to ask: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

Sri Lanka's fragile peace20100107

Charles Haviland asks: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

On the ground reporting from around the world

In this week's Crossing Continents, BBC Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels around Sri Lanka - the island nation which saw an epic battle to defeat the feared Tamil Tiger militants seven months ago.

The conflict may be over, but many say Sri Lanka remains on a war footing - an island full of restricted areas, where refugees are on the move and newspaper editors still face death threats.

Crossing Continents this week tells the untold story of a fragile society as people from the Sinhalese majority, and the Tamil minority, return to bombed out villages and towns.

The BBC's Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels to Kaviliyamadu, a small village in Sri Lanka's east that was once on the front lines of the civil war.
He finds that ethnic Sinhalese and Tamils are both flooding back to the fertile lands of a former war zone, where brand new roads now criss-cross the landscape and offer the prospect of new prosperity. But there are controversial claims that triumphant Sinhalese are "colonising" prime land after the military victory.

Charles investigates these claims to uncover the complex reality of political and ethnic relations over land.

He speaks to ordinary Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese and asks who are the winners and losers in "colonisation" of new areas?

It is a climate of fear in which some warn the situation in places like Kaviliyamadu could lead to more conflict.

His journey ends in Sri Lanka's prosperous south - heartland of the Sinhalese majority - where he meets the Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero, one of a movement of Buddhist monks whose theology was credited with spurring on the military offensive.

The army's conduct brought widespread international censure. But as Sri Lanka turns away from its former Western allies, who criticised its conduct of the war, the new regional superpower China is helping to built a vast new port facility at Hambantota - the President's home town.

Charles gains exclusive access to the port and explores rumours that it may one day have a military purpose.

He travels around the island nation to ask: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

Sri Lanka's Fragile Peace2010010720100108 (WS)

In this week's Crossing Continents, BBC Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels around Sri Lanka - the island nation which saw an epic battle to defeat the feared Tamil Tiger militants seven months ago.

The conflict may be over, but many say Sri Lanka remains on a war footing - an island full of restricted areas, where refugees are on the move and newspaper editors still face death threats.

Crossing Continents this week tells the untold story of a fragile society as people from the Sinhalese majority, and the Tamil minority, return to bombed out villages and towns.

The BBC's Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels to Kaviliyamadu, a small village in Sri Lanka's east that was once on the front lines of the civil war.

He finds that ethnic Sinhalese and Tamils are both flooding back to the fertile lands of a former war zone, where brand new roads now criss-cross the landscape and offer the prospect of new prosperity. But there are controversial claims that triumphant Sinhalese are "colonising" prime land after the military victory.

Charles investigates these claims to uncover the complex reality of political and ethnic relations over land.

He speaks to ordinary Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese and asks who are the winners and losers in "colonisation" of new areas?

It is a climate of fear in which some warn the situation in places like Kaviliyamadu could lead to more conflict.

His journey ends in Sri Lanka's prosperous south - heartland of the Sinhalese majority - where he meets the Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero, one of a movement of Buddhist monks whose theology was credited with spurring on the military offensive.

The army's conduct brought widespread international censure. But as Sri Lanka turns away from its former Western allies, who criticised its conduct of the war, the new regional superpower China is helping to built a vast new port facility at Hambantota - the President's home town.

Charles gains exclusive access to the port and explores rumours that it may one day have a military purpose.

He travels around the island nation to ask: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

Charles Haviland asks: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

Sri Lanka's fragile peace20100108

Charles Haviland asks: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

On the ground reporting from around the world

In this week's Crossing Continents, BBC Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels around Sri Lanka - the island nation which saw an epic battle to defeat the feared Tamil Tiger militants seven months ago.

The conflict may be over, but many say Sri Lanka remains on a war footing - an island full of restricted areas, where refugees are on the move and newspaper editors still face death threats.

Crossing Continents this week tells the untold story of a fragile society as people from the Sinhalese majority, and the Tamil minority, return to bombed out villages and towns.

The BBC's Colombo correspondent Charles Haviland travels to Kaviliyamadu, a small village in Sri Lanka's east that was once on the front lines of the civil war.
He finds that ethnic Sinhalese and Tamils are both flooding back to the fertile lands of a former war zone, where brand new roads now criss-cross the landscape and offer the prospect of new prosperity. But there are controversial claims that triumphant Sinhalese are "colonising" prime land after the military victory.

Charles investigates these claims to uncover the complex reality of political and ethnic relations over land.

He speaks to ordinary Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese and asks who are the winners and losers in "colonisation" of new areas?

It is a climate of fear in which some warn the situation in places like Kaviliyamadu could lead to more conflict.

His journey ends in Sri Lanka's prosperous south - heartland of the Sinhalese majority - where he meets the Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero, one of a movement of Buddhist monks whose theology was credited with spurring on the military offensive.

The army's conduct brought widespread international censure. But as Sri Lanka turns away from its former Western allies, who criticised its conduct of the war, the new regional superpower China is helping to built a vast new port facility at Hambantota - the President's home town.

Charles gains exclusive access to the port and explores rumours that it may one day have a military purpose.

He travels around the island nation to ask: can the government and army that won the war, now win the peace?

Sweden2009123120100101 (WS)

Few people know Sweden better than the writer Andrew Brown, who lived there for many years.

This summer, for Crossing Continents he travelled the length of the country, searching for its essential rural heartland.

He discovered a country full of rebels and iconoclasts, resisting the lure of European integration and instead enjoying their own rituals of hunting, fishing and joyfully chucking eggs at each other.

There were a surprising number of immigrants, who are rapidly transforming the country's blonde, blue-eyed image. And he found that wolves are returning, moving south towards the cities. Will Swedes be able to resist the urge to shoot them?

Sweden20091231

Andrew Brown sees if the rural essential heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

Few people know Sweden better than the writer Andrew Brown, who lived there for many years.

This summer, for Crossing Continents he travelled the length of the country, searching for its essential rural heartland.

He discovered a country full of rebels and iconoclasts, resisting the lure of European integration and instead enjoying their own rituals of hunting, fishing and joyfully chucking eggs at each other.

There were a surprising number of immigrants, who are rapidly transforming the country's blonde, blue-eyed image.

And he found that wolves are returning, moving south towards the cities.

Will Swedes be able to resist the urge to shoot them?

Sweden20091231

Andrew Brown sees if the rural essential heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Few people know Sweden better than the writer Andrew Brown, who lived there for many years.

This summer, for Crossing Continents he travelled the length of the country, searching for its essential rural heartland.

He discovered a country full of rebels and iconoclasts, resisting the lure of European integration and instead enjoying their own rituals of hunting, fishing and joyfully chucking eggs at each other.

There were a surprising number of immigrants, who are rapidly transforming the country's blonde, blue-eyed image. And he found that wolves are returning, moving south towards the cities. Will Swedes be able to resist the urge to shoot them?

Sweden2009123120100101 (WS)

Few people know Sweden better than the writer Andrew Brown, who lived there for many years.

This summer, for Crossing Continents he travelled the length of the country, searching for its essential rural heartland.

He discovered a country full of rebels and iconoclasts, resisting the lure of European integration and instead enjoying their own rituals of hunting, fishing and joyfully chucking eggs at each other.

There were a surprising number of immigrants, who are rapidly transforming the country's blonde, blue-eyed image. And he found that wolves are returning, moving south towards the cities. Will Swedes be able to resist the urge to shoot them?

Andrew Brown sees if the rural essential heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

Few people know Sweden better than the writer Andrew Brown, who lived there for many years.

This summer, for Crossing Continents he travelled the length of the country, searching for its essential rural heartland.

He discovered a country full of rebels and iconoclasts, resisting the lure of European integration and instead enjoying their own rituals of hunting, fishing and joyfully chucking eggs at each other.

There were a surprising number of immigrants, who are rapidly transforming the country's blonde, blue-eyed image.

And he found that wolves are returning, moving south towards the cities.

Will Swedes be able to resist the urge to shoot them?

Andrew Brown sees if the rural essential heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

Sweden20100101

Andrew Brown sees if the rural essential heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

Sweden20100101

Andrew Brown sees if the rural essential heart of Sweden lives on in the modern age.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Few people know Sweden better than the writer Andrew Brown, who lived there for many years.

This summer, for Crossing Continents he travelled the length of the country, searching for its essential rural heartland.

He discovered a country full of rebels and iconoclasts, resisting the lure of European integration and instead enjoying their own rituals of hunting, fishing and joyfully chucking eggs at each other.

There were a surprising number of immigrants, who are rapidly transforming the country's blonde, blue-eyed image. And he found that wolves are returning, moving south towards the cities. Will Swedes be able to resist the urge to shoot them?

Syrian Corruption2010042920100430 (WS)

Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in Syria.

Corruption 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.

Syrian corruption20100429

Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in Syria.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Corruption 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.

Syrian corruption20100430

Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in Syria.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Corruption 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.

Syrian corruption20101230

Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in Syria.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Corruption 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.

Syrian corruption20101231

Lina Sinjab investigates the impact of corruption and bribery in Syria.

On the ground reporting from around the world

Corruption 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.

The Children of Dushanbe20100401

Angus Crawford reports on the efforts to help vulnerable girls in Tajikistan.

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

The Children of Dushanbe20100402

Angus Crawford reports on the efforts to help vulnerable girls in Tajikistan.

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

The Primorsky Partisans20101125

Lucy Ash asks why six young men in Russia's Far East waged a guerrilla war on the police

On the ground reporting from around the world

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% 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.

The Primorsky Partisans20101126

Lucy Ash asks why six young men in Russia's Far East waged a guerrilla war on the police

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% 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.

The Primorsky Partisans20101126

Lucy Ash asks why six young men in Russia's Far East waged a guerrilla war on the police

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% 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.

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% 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.

Lucy Ash asks why six young men in Russia's Far East waged a guerrilla war on the police

The Primorsky Partisans20101126

Lucy Ash asks why six young men in Russia's Far East waged a guerrilla war on the police

On the ground reporting from around the world

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% 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.

The Two Faces of Bahrain20101216

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

The BBC's 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

The Two Faces Of Bahrain2010121620101217

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture.

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

The BBC's 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

The Two Faces Of Bahrain2010121620101217

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture.

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

The BBC's 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

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture.

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

The Two Faces Of Bahrain20101217

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture.

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.

The BBC's 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

The Two Faces of Bahrain20101217

Bahrain says it's modern and progressive - but political opponents face jail and torture

On the ground reporting from around the world

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.

The BBC's 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

Uganda: Battling the Witch-Doctors20100114

Tim Whewell investigates the causes of a horrific spate of child sacrifices in Uganda.

On the ground reporting from around the world

People in Uganda have been horrified by an apparent increase in cases of human sacrifice in the country - not a throw-back to the past, but rather a result, many believe, of rising levels of development and prosperity.

Tim Whewell has been to Uganda for Crossing Continents to investigate why there are now more reports of ritual killings.

He hears some astonishingly frank confessions from those directly involved in murdering children, supposedly to satisfy evil spirits.

Uganda: Battling The Witch-doctors2010011420100115
20100115 (WS)

Tim Whewell investigates the causes of a horrific spate of child sacrifices in Uganda.

People in Uganda have been horrified by an apparent increase in cases of human sacrifice in the country - not a throw-back to the past, but rather a result, many believe, of rising levels of development and prosperity.

Tim Whewell has been to Uganda for Crossing Continents to investigate why there are now more reports of ritual killings.

He hears some astonishingly frank confessions from those directly involved in murdering children, supposedly to satisfy evil spirits.

Uganda: Battling The Witch-doctors2010011420100115
20100115 (WS)

Tim Whewell investigates the causes of a horrific spate of child sacrifices in Uganda.

People in Uganda have been horrified by an apparent increase in cases of human sacrifice in the country - not a throw-back to the past, but rather a result, many believe, of rising levels of development and prosperity.

Tim Whewell has been to Uganda for Crossing Continents to investigate why there are now more reports of ritual killings.

He hears some astonishingly frank confessions from those directly involved in murdering children, supposedly to satisfy evil spirits.

Tim Whewell investigates the causes of a horrific spate of child sacrifices in Uganda.

People in Uganda have been horrified by an apparent increase in cases of human sacrifice in the country - not a throw-back to the past, but rather a result, many believe, of rising levels of development and prosperity.

Tim Whewell has been to Uganda for Crossing Continents to investigate why there are now more reports of ritual killings.

He hears some astonishingly frank confessions from those directly involved in murdering children, supposedly to satisfy evil spirits.

Uganda: Battling The Witch-doctors20100115

Tim Whewell investigates the causes of a horrific spate of child sacrifices in Uganda.

Uganda: Battling the Witch-Doctors20100115

Tim Whewell investigates the causes of a horrific spate of child sacrifices in Uganda.

On the ground reporting from around the world

People in Uganda have been horrified by an apparent increase in cases of human sacrifice in the country - not a throw-back to the past, but rather a result, many believe, of rising levels of development and prosperity.

Tim Whewell has been to Uganda for Crossing Continents to investigate why there are now more reports of ritual killings.

He hears some astonishingly frank confessions from those directly involved in murdering children, supposedly to satisfy evil spirits.