Episodes

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20181221

What’s happening to the Taj Mahal, India’s most famous building? The beautiful white marble is becoming darker, cracks are appearing, and the foundations are weakening. Salman Ravi of BBC Hindi has been investigating the causes of its decline.

Talking turkey
Christmas is the traditional time to eat turkey. But why is this bird from North and Central America called a turkey in the first place? And what do Turks call it? It's a question that took us on a full circuit of the Fifth Floor.

Thailand’s child boxers
Kickboxing, or Muay Thai, is the traditional sport of Thailand. But following the death of a 13-year-old kickboxer there have been calls to ban children from taking part. Nanchanok Wongsamuth of BBC Thai visited some child boxing gyms to find out more.

Why the fuss over Miss Vietnam?
Miss Vietnam 2017, H’Hen Nie, made international headlines when she was mocked by a rival for her poor English during the Miss Universe competition. BBC Vietnam’s Thu Phan explains that it’s not the first time H’Hen Nie has provoked controversy.

Peruvian Ekeko
Many Peruvians keep a small figurine of a moustached man in their homes. This is Ekeko, who's believed to bring good or bad luck, according to how he's treated. BBC Mundo’s Pierina Pighi Bel is from Lima, and her Ekeko recently smashed. So did he dish out any punishment?

My Home Town: Mahalla
Maha El-Gaml of BBC Arabic takes us to Mahalla, in the Nile delta of Egypt.

Image: Taj Mahal in Agra
Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC

David Amanor showcases global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 27 Language Services.

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

2018122120181222 (WS)

What’s happening to the Taj Mahal, India’s most famous building? The beautiful white marble is becoming darker, cracks are appearing, and the foundations are weakening. Salman Ravi of BBC Hindi has been investigating the causes of its decline.

Talking turkey
Christmas is the traditional time to eat turkey. But why is this bird from North and Central America called a turkey in the first place? And what do Turks call it? It's a question that took us on a full circuit of the Fifth Floor.

Thailand’s child boxers
Kickboxing, or Muay Thai, is the traditional sport of Thailand. But following the death of a 13-year-old kickboxer there have been calls to ban children from taking part. Nanchanok Wongsamuth of BBC Thai visited some child boxing gyms to find out more.

Why the fuss over Miss Vietnam?
Miss Vietnam 2017, H’Hen Nie, made international headlines when she was mocked by a rival for her poor English during the Miss Universe competition. BBC Vietnam’s Thu Phan explains that it’s not the first time H’Hen Nie has provoked controversy.

Peruvian Ekeko
Many Peruvians keep a small figurine of a moustached man in their homes. This is Ekeko, who's believed to bring good or bad luck, according to how he's treated. BBC Mundo’s Pierina Pighi Bel is from Lima, and her Ekeko recently smashed. So did he dish out any punishment?

My Home Town: Mahalla
Maha El-Gaml of BBC Arabic takes us to Mahalla, in the Nile delta of Egypt.

Image: Taj Mahal in Agra
Credit: Jeff Overs/BBC

David Amanor showcases global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 27 Language Services.

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

20190104

There are only around 4000 snow leopards left in the mountains of Central and South Asia. Yulia James of BBC Russian has been to the Altai region of Siberia in search of these elusive animals.

Reporting from the Himalayas
Sujata Tamang reports for BBC Nepali from the Himalayan region. She tells us about life in the lap of the mountains, and the early magical encounters with radio which inspired her to become a journalist.

A surprise hit and the Punjabi eggsellers who inspired it
Eggsellers are a familiar sight on the streets of Pakistan, and their sales patter has inspired a surprise hit for a group of schoolboys in Punjab. Tahir Imran of BBC Urdu tells the story of the eggseller song.

Afro-Argentines: strangers in their own country
Two centuries ago, Afro-Argentines made up a third of the population of Buenos Aires, but today the figure stands at less than 1%. Celestina Olulode of BBC Africa has been finding out why black Argentinians feel written out of the history of their own country.

Ancient petroglyphs in India
Giant rock carvings were recently found on the hills of Maharashtra, suggesting a previously unknown ancient civilisation. Mayuresh Konnur of BBC Marathi has been to film the petroglyphs and told us what he saw.

Image: Snow Leopard
Credit: Antagain/Getty Images

David Amanor showcases global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 27 Language Services.

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

20190125

David Amanor showcases global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 27 Language Services.

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

2019012520190126 (WS)

David Amanor showcases global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 27 Language Services.

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

20190201

David Amanor showcases global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 27 Language Services.

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

A tale of two Somalias20190322

BBC Somali journalist Qalib Barud reports on Somalia for a living. His family left in the early 1990s when civil war erupted, and he'd never visited Mogadishu, so when the opportunity came to spend three months reporting in the capital, he jumped at the chance.

Thai tattoos
One of Thailand’s great tattoo masters was remembered last weekend by 20,000 people at a Buddhist temple celebration. And with the spirit of the great master upon them strange transformations took place, recorded by BBC Thai’s Tossapol Chaisamritpol.

Wedding traditions from the Caucasus
Weddings are usually joyous times, but for brides in the Caucasus there are some traditions many would happily ditch, as BBC Russian's Magerram Zeynalov reports.

Spring has sprung!
This week is the spring equinox, so how’s the season celebrated around the world? Over to our Fifth Floor colleagues - Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Kyrgyz, BBC Persian's Mina Joshaghani, Giang Nguyen of BBC Vietnamese, Elisa Kriezis of BBC Brasil, and Kinjal Pandya from BBC Delhi.

Farewell Nazarbayev
The people of Kazakhstan in Central Asia have a new president for the first time in three decades. As Nursultan Nazarbayev hands over the presidency, if not all the power, the BBC’s Rose Kudabaeva assesses the reactions, and jokes.

My Hometown: Belgrade
BBC Serbian's Slobodan Maricic takes us through the streets of his hometown, the capital Belgrade.

Somali children play football on the beach in Mogadishu
MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images

Bomb craters and beaches: BBC Somali's Qalib Barud in Mogadishu

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

A tale of two Somalias2019032220190323 (WS)

BBC Somali journalist Qalib Barud reports on Somalia for a living. His family left in the early 1990s when civil war erupted, and he'd never visited Mogadishu, so when the opportunity came to spend three months reporting in the capital, he jumped at the chance.

Thai tattoos
One of Thailand’s great tattoo masters was remembered last weekend by 20,000 people at a Buddhist temple celebration. And with the spirit of the great master upon them strange transformations took place, recorded by BBC Thai’s Tossapol Chaisamritpol.

Wedding traditions from the Caucasus
Weddings are usually joyous times, but for brides in the Caucasus there are some traditions many would happily ditch, as BBC Russian's Magerram Zeynalov reports.

Spring has sprung!
This week is the spring equinox, so how’s the season celebrated around the world? Over to our Fifth Floor colleagues - Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Kyrgyz, BBC Persian's Mina Joshaghani, Giang Nguyen of BBC Vietnamese, Elisa Kriezis of BBC Brasil, and Kinjal Pandya from BBC Delhi.

Farewell Nazarbayev
The people of Kazakhstan in Central Asia have a new president for the first time in three decades. As Nursultan Nazarbayev hands over the presidency, if not all the power, the BBC’s Rose Kudabaeva assesses the reactions, and jokes.

My Hometown: Belgrade
BBC Serbian's Slobodan Maricic takes us through the streets of his hometown, the capital Belgrade.

Somali children play football on the beach in Mogadishu
MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images

Bomb craters and beaches: BBC Somali's Qalib Barud in Mogadishu

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

A View From The Migrant Caravan20181130

In mid-October the first migrant caravan set off from Honduras bound for the US. Ana Gabriela Rojas of BBC Mundo has spent the past month with the caravan, and met Neptalí and his family as they crossed Mexico.

Smong and Golden Cucumbers
Indonesian board game producers have launched some new games. Endang Nurdin from BBC Indonesian told us about Smong, the tsunami survival game, and Golden Cucumber, based on a Javan folk tale.

Black cats and green hats: superstitions around the world
In Vietnam, a black cat is unlucky, other countries see them as auspicious. We asked Khue Luu of BBC Vietnamese, Vandana Dhand in Delhi, BBC Russian's Famil Ismailov, BBC Chinese's Howard Zhang, Beryl Munoko from BBC Swahili and BBC Uzbek's Ibrat Safo about superstitions in their countries.

Mumbai attacks: 10 years on
On 26th November 2008 Mumbai was hit by a series of terror attacks which left more than 170 people dead. BBC Hindi’s Zubair Ahmed was one of the first reporters on the scene, with help from his colleague Kinjal Pandya behind the scenes. They share their memories.

Rude!
The people of Pune in India have a reputation for displaying rude signboards outside their homes, like this; ‘In case anyone parks here, the vehicle's tyre will be punctured.’ Mayuresh Konnur of BBC Marathi, who's from Pune, explains these signs with attitude.

Kyrgyz space school
A team of young women space engineers have joined forces in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek to build the country's first satellite. Nargiza Ryskulova of BBC Kyrgyz met leading member Alina Anisimova, whose story she's told for the BBC's 100 women project.

Image: Neptalí and family on the migrant caravan to the USA
Credit: BBC

The story of a Honduran family travelling through Mexico in the migrant \u201ccaravan\u201d

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

A View From The Migrant Caravan2018113020181201 (WS)

In mid-October the first migrant caravan set off from Honduras bound for the US. Ana Gabriela Rojas of BBC Mundo has spent the past month with the caravan, and met Neptalí and his family as they crossed Mexico.

Smong and Golden Cucumbers
Indonesian board game producers have launched some new games. Endang Nurdin from BBC Indonesian told us about Smong, the tsunami survival game, and Golden Cucumber, based on a Javan folk tale.

Black cats and green hats: superstitions around the world
In Vietnam, a black cat is unlucky, other countries see them as auspicious. We asked Khue Luu of BBC Vietnamese, Vandana Dhand in Delhi, BBC Russian's Famil Ismailov, BBC Chinese's Howard Zhang, Beryl Munoko from BBC Swahili and BBC Uzbek's Ibrat Safo about superstitions in their countries.

Mumbai attacks: 10 years on
On 26th November 2008 Mumbai was hit by a series of terror attacks which left more than 170 people dead. BBC Hindi’s Zubair Ahmed was one of the first reporters on the scene, with help from his colleague Kinjal Pandya behind the scenes. They share their memories.

Rude!
The people of Pune in India have a reputation for displaying rude signboards outside their homes, like this; ‘In case anyone parks here, the vehicle's tyre will be punctured.’ Mayuresh Konnur of BBC Marathi, who's from Pune, explains these signs with attitude.

Kyrgyz space school
A team of young women space engineers have joined forces in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek to build the country's first satellite. Nargiza Ryskulova of BBC Kyrgyz met leading member Alina Anisimova, whose story she's told for the BBC's 100 women project.

Image: Neptalí and family on the migrant caravan to the USA
Credit: BBC

The story of a Honduran family travelling through Mexico in the migrant \u201ccaravan\u201d

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Embedded with US Troops in Iraq20190118

The Americans plan to pull out of Syria but are continuing the fight against so-called Islamic State from a newly-built base just inside the Iraqi border. Nafiseh Kohnavard of BBC Persian gained rare access and tells us about her experiences living alongside the troops.

What is Latinx?
American Latinos, or people of Latin American origin, have created a new way of describing themselves avoiding the gender-specific terms Latino or Latina: Latinx. Patricia Sulbaran of BBC Mundo in Los Angeles explores the idea behind the word.

China's young Marxists
China has a new generation of young Marxists. Although Marxism was the foundation for the People’s Republic of China these activists have been getting into trouble for protesting in favour of workers’ rights. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese tells the story of a high profile protester who hasn’t been seen in public since August.

Afghanistan's rocket village
When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1979 they stored large quantities of BM21 missiles near a village close to the border. Many were left there when the troops withdrew ten years later. BBC Pashto’s Shoaib Sharifi discovered the alarming uses enterprising villagers put them to.

My Home Town: Jos, Nigeria
A journey through the clouds to breathe the fresh air of Jos in central Nigeria, the home town of BBC Africa's Peter Okwoche.

Egypt's new capital
Work continues on Egypt's new administrative capital east of Cairo, where President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi recently inaugurated a mosque and a cathedral. But many Egyptians are not happy with this expense at a time of economic hardship, as Joana Saba of BBC Monitoring in Cairo explains.

Image: Nafiseh Kohnavard reporting from Iraq
Credit: BBC

Combat showers, army rations, and lessons in Iranian culture: BBC Persian in Iraq

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Embedded with US Troops in Iraq2019011820190119 (WS)

The Americans plan to pull out of Syria but are continuing the fight against so-called Islamic State from a newly-built base just inside the Iraqi border. Nafiseh Kohnavard of BBC Persian gained rare access and tells us about her experiences living alongside the troops.

What is Latinx?
American Latinos, or people of Latin American origin, have created a new way of describing themselves avoiding the gender-specific terms Latino or Latina: Latinx. Patricia Sulbaran of BBC Mundo in Los Angeles explores the idea behind the word.

China's young Marxists
China has a new generation of young Marxists. Although Marxism was the foundation for the People’s Republic of China these activists have been getting into trouble for protesting in favour of workers’ rights. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese tells the story of a high profile protester who hasn’t been seen in public since August.

Afghanistan's rocket village
When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan in 1979 they stored large quantities of BM21 missiles near a village close to the border. Many were left there when the troops withdrew ten years later. BBC Pashto’s Shoaib Sharifi discovered the alarming uses enterprising villagers put them to.

My Home Town: Jos, Nigeria
A journey through the clouds to breathe the fresh air of Jos in central Nigeria, the home town of BBC Africa's Peter Okwoche.

Egypt's new capital
Work continues on Egypt's new administrative capital east of Cairo, where President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi recently inaugurated a mosque and a cathedral. But many Egyptians are not happy with this expense at a time of economic hardship, as Joana Saba of BBC Monitoring in Cairo explains.

Image: Nafiseh Kohnavard reporting from Iraq
Credit: BBC

Combat showers, army rations, and lessons in Iranian culture: BBC Persian in Iraq

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Helmand to Hull: An Afghan journey20190329

Auliya Atrafi arrived in the UK from Afghanistan in 2000 and was settled in the northern city of Hull, eventually moving into journalism and then joining BBC Afghan. He recently returned to Hull to assess the impact of the Brexit vote on the city.

Palm Wine Music Revival
Ghana's indigenous palm wine music is making a surprising comeback. BBC Africa’s Sulley Lansah has met the band Kwan Pa who are breathing life back into this old style of music.

Meeting Indonesia's Dayak Meratus People
With elections in Indonesia a few weeks away, some groups are unable to vote because they are illiterate. Abraham Utama of BBC Indonesian travelled to South Kalimantan to find out more from a remote community of Dayak Meratus people.

The K-Pop Scandal and Beyond
South Korea is in the grip of a national scandal, as allegations about stars of the K-Pop industry spiral into revelations about deep-rooted corruption. Julie Yoonnyung Lee is covering the story for BBC Korean.

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived
Naima Mohamud of BBC Africa has been investigating the life and legacy of Mansa Musa, the 14th century ruler of the Mali empire, whose wealth far outstripped that of today's billionaires.

Georgia's Rival Royals
Two Georgian families are currently arguing in court over claims to the Georgian throne, which has not existed since the early 19th Century. Nina Akhmeteli of BBC Russian has been following the case.

(Photo: Auliya Atrafi looks out over the River Humber)

Auliya Atrafi of BBC Afghan goes back to the city that took him in as an asylum seeker

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Helmand to Hull: An Afghan journey2019032920190330 (WS)

Auliya Atrafi arrived in the UK from Afghanistan in 2000 and was settled in the northern city of Hull, eventually moving into journalism and then joining BBC Afghan. He recently returned to Hull to assess the impact of the Brexit vote on the city.

Palm Wine Music Revival
Ghana's indigenous palm wine music is making a surprising comeback. BBC Africa’s Sulley Lansah has met the band Kwan Pa who are breathing life back into this old style of music.

Meeting Indonesia's Dayak Meratus People
With elections in Indonesia a few weeks away, some groups are unable to vote because they are illiterate. Abraham Utama of BBC Indonesian travelled to South Kalimantan to find out more from a remote community of Dayak Meratus people.

The K-Pop Scandal and Beyond
South Korea is in the grip of a national scandal, as allegations about stars of the K-Pop industry spiral into revelations about deep-rooted corruption. Julie Yoonnyung Lee is covering the story for BBC Korean.

The Richest Man Who Ever Lived
Naima Mohamud of BBC Africa has been investigating the life and legacy of Mansa Musa, the 14th century ruler of the Mali empire, whose wealth far outstripped that of today's billionaires.

Georgia's Rival Royals
Two Georgian families are currently arguing in court over claims to the Georgian throne, which has not existed since the early 19th Century. Nina Akhmeteli of BBC Russian has been following the case.

(Photo: Auliya Atrafi looks out over the River Humber)

Auliya Atrafi of BBC Afghan goes back to the city that took him in as an asylum seeker

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Iranian Tourists Seeking Traffickers20190111

A visa-free travel agreement between Iran and Serbia meant to boost tourism has been used by thousands of Iranians trying to enter the European Union. BBC Persian's Rana Rahimpour teamed up with BBC Serbian’s Stefan Veselinovic to hear the stories of Iranians in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

Pakistan's Disappearing Bees
Where have all the bees gone? In Pakistan’s tribal areas it seems that the bees have been driven out by military actions over past decades. BBC Urdu’s Azizullah Khan finds out what’s going on.

What Makes Putin Mad?
2018 seems to have been a very irritating year for Russian president Vladimir Putin. BBC Russian’s Elizaveta Fokht has a round-up of things which annoyed him, from incompetent officials to his own handwriting.

India's science divide
At the recent Indian Science Conference, reputable scientists shocked colleagues by suggesting that many recognised scientific theories should be accredited to Hinduism. Soutik Biswas of BBC Delhi discusses the clash between India's strong religious and scientific cultures.

Georgian Women: A Family Perspective
Georgia's new president Salome Zurabishvili has lived most of her life in France, missing out on challenges faced by generations of women in Georgia. The BBC's Nina Akhmeteli tells the story of her own family to explain what they’ve been through.

My Home Town: Managua
In the latest in our home town series, Arturo Wallace of BBC Mundo tells us about hitchhiking around Nicaragua's capital, where the streets have no name.

(Photo: Iranian migrant walking down Belgrade street, Serbia. Credit: Oliver Bunic/AFP/Getty Images)

How Serbia became the gateway for Iranian migrants trying to enter the European Union

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Iranian Tourists Seeking Traffickers2019011120190112 (WS)

A visa-free travel agreement between Iran and Serbia meant to boost tourism has been used by thousands of Iranians trying to enter the European Union. BBC Persian's Rana Rahimpour teamed up with BBC Serbian’s Stefan Veselinovic to hear the stories of Iranians in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

Pakistan's Disappearing Bees
Where have all the bees gone? In Pakistan’s tribal areas it seems that the bees have been driven out by military actions over past decades. BBC Urdu’s Azizullah Khan finds out what’s going on.

What Makes Putin Mad?
2018 seems to have been a very irritating year for Russian president Vladimir Putin. BBC Russian’s Elizaveta Fokht has a round-up of things which annoyed him, from incompetent officials to his own handwriting.

India's science divide
At the recent Indian Science Conference, reputable scientists shocked colleagues by suggesting that many recognised scientific theories should be accredited to Hinduism. Soutik Biswas of BBC Delhi discusses the clash between India's strong religious and scientific cultures.

Georgian Women: A Family Perspective
Georgia's new president Salome Zurabishvili has lived most of her life in France, missing out on challenges faced by generations of women in Georgia. The BBC's Nina Akhmeteli tells the story of her own family to explain what they’ve been through.

My Home Town: Managua
In the latest in our home town series, Arturo Wallace of BBC Mundo tells us about hitchhiking around Nicaragua's capital, where the streets have no name.

(Photo: Iranian migrant walking down Belgrade street, Serbia. Credit: Oliver Bunic/AFP/Getty Images)

How Serbia became the gateway for Iranian migrants trying to enter the European Union

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Killed for seeking justice20190315

BBC Urdu’s Humaira Kanwal has reported on the Kohistan video case for many years, and was helped by the man pursing justice, Afzal Kohistani. In 2012 a video emerged showing five young women from Kohistan singing and clapping with two young men, behaviour forbidden in this region. The men were Afzal's brothers and although they escaped, three other brothers were killed in the name of honour. Afzal believed the women were also killed, and took the case to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. And now Afzal himself has been killed. Humaira remembers him.

Estonia’s ice roads
In winter the Baltic Sea off the Estonian coast freezes, and if the ice is thick enough, the locals take to ice roads. Ivan Chesnokov and Yury Baranyuk of BBC Russian couldn’t resist trying an ice road for themselves.

Celebrating 10,000 days in South Korea
A young woman in South Korea has chosen a novel way to highlight the many pressures facing her generation. She held a big party to celebrate her 10,000th day alive. Woongbee Lee of BBC Korean explains why surviving your twenties deserves a celebration.

Life as a paramedic in the Kabul ambulance service
The Afghan capital Kabul has a fleet of just 22 ambulances to serve a population of 7 million. The paramedics have to deal with frequent terror attacks as well as everyday health crises. The BBC’s Kawoon Khamoosh joined the team to see them in action.

My Home Town: Brasilia
BBC Brasil's Nathalia Passerinho takes us to her hometown where a perfect weekend is spent with friends at a barbecue and walking amongst Brasilia's lush green spaces.

China’s 'Little Red App’
The app ‘learning power’ is reportedly the most popular app in China. The government app is all about President Xi Jinping, and its similarity to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book has earned it the nickname Little Red App. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese explains its aims and popularity.

Image: Afzal Kohistani, who fought for justice for the Kohistan video girls
Credit: Pam Constable/The Washington Post via Getty Images

BBC Urdu's Humaira Kanwal remembers Afzal Kohistani, and the Kohistan video case

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Killed for seeking justice2019031520190316 (WS)

BBC Urdu’s Humaira Kanwal has reported on the Kohistan video case for many years, and was helped by the man pursing justice, Afzal Kohistani. In 2012 a video emerged showing five young women from Kohistan singing and clapping with two young men, behaviour forbidden in this region. The men were Afzal's brothers and although they escaped, three other brothers were killed in the name of honour. Afzal believed the women were also killed, and took the case to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. And now Afzal himself has been killed. Humaira remembers him.

Estonia’s ice roads
In winter the Baltic Sea off the Estonian coast freezes, and if the ice is thick enough, the locals take to ice roads. Ivan Chesnokov and Yury Baranyuk of BBC Russian couldn’t resist trying an ice road for themselves.

Celebrating 10,000 days in South Korea
A young woman in South Korea has chosen a novel way to highlight the many pressures facing her generation. She held a big party to celebrate her 10,000th day alive. Woongbee Lee of BBC Korean explains why surviving your twenties deserves a celebration.

Life as a paramedic in the Kabul ambulance service
The Afghan capital Kabul has a fleet of just 22 ambulances to serve a population of 7 million. The paramedics have to deal with frequent terror attacks as well as everyday health crises. The BBC’s Kawoon Khamoosh joined the team to see them in action.

My Home Town: Brasilia
BBC Brasil's Nathalia Passerinho takes us to her hometown where a perfect weekend is spent with friends at a barbecue and walking amongst Brasilia's lush green spaces.

China’s 'Little Red App’
The app ‘learning power’ is reportedly the most popular app in China. The government app is all about President Xi Jinping, and its similarity to Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book has earned it the nickname Little Red App. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese explains its aims and popularity.

Image: Afzal Kohistani, who fought for justice for the Kohistan video girls
Credit: Pam Constable/The Washington Post via Getty Images

BBC Urdu's Humaira Kanwal remembers Afzal Kohistani, and the Kohistan video case

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

My Country in the News: 201820181228

Skripal, Khashoggi, and North Korea talks: Olga Ivshina of BBC Russian, Öykü Altuntaş of BBC Turkish and Hwang Su Min, editor of BBC Korean, share their experiences of covering big news stories, as well as the smaller ones that simply raised a smile.

Social media and the news
Social media plays an ever greater role in journalism, so how do you manage it? Hanan Razek of BBC Arabic, Bidhaan Dahir of BBC Somali, and Nathalia Passarinho of BBC Brasil share stories of inspiration and insight, as well as threats and confusion.

Image: presenter David Amanor
Credit: BBC

Journalists digest the year's serious and funny stories, with a nod to social media

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

My Country in the News: 20182018122820181229 (WS)

Skripal, Khashoggi, and North Korea talks: Olga Ivshina of BBC Russian, Öykü Altuntaş of BBC Turkish and Hwang Su Min, editor of BBC Korean, share their experiences of covering big news stories, as well as the smaller ones that simply raised a smile.

Social media and the news
Social media plays an ever greater role in journalism, so how do you manage it? Hanan Razek of BBC Arabic, Bidhaan Dahir of BBC Somali, and Nathalia Passarinho of BBC Brasil share stories of inspiration and insight, as well as threats and confusion.

Image: presenter David Amanor
Credit: BBC

Journalists digest the year's serious and funny stories, with a nod to social media

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

Staying Alive in Bamenda, Cameroon2018121420181215 (WS)

There have been protests in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions, where people say they are marginalised by the French-speaking majority. There have been violent clashes between rebels and government forces, with civilians caught between. BBC Africa's Peter Tah is based in Bamenda, and has found the story on his doorstep.

India's nightie ban
Tempers have been fraying in a small Indian village over the humble nightie. Village elders have banned them between the hours of 7am and 7pm, so what’s wrong with nighties? Geeta Pandey in Delhi explains.

Fried grasshoppers in Uganda
In Uganda, fried grasshopper is considered a perfect seasonal snack, but how do you catch them? BBC Africa's Patience Atuhaire joined harvesters near Kampala to find out.

El Chapo on trial
Joachim “el Chapo” Guzmán is billed as “the most notorious criminal in the world”. He’s on trial in New York, charged as leader of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel with bringing 150 tons of cocaine into the United States, using violence. From New York, BBC Mundo’s Gerardo Lissardy has been following the drama.

Somaliland rock paintings
In a cave formation in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, you can find rock paintings going back more than 5,000 years. The area has family connections for Bidhaan Dahir of BBC Somali, who's made a documentary called Stories on the Rocks about the paintings with local archaeologist Dr Sada Mire.

Image: a soldier from the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) in Cameroon
Credit: AFP/Getty Images

How your hair, your clothes, even your physique can get you killed

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

There have been protests in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions, where people say they are marginalised by the French-speaking majority. There have been violent clashes between rebels and government forces, with civilians caught between. BBC Africa's Peter Tah is based in Bamenda, and has found the story on his doorstep.

India's nightie ban
Tempers have been fraying in a small Indian village over the humble nightie. Village elders have banned them between the hours of 7am and 7pm, so what’s wrong with nighties? Geeta Pandey in Delhi explains.

Fried grasshoppers in Uganda
In Uganda, fried grasshopper is considered a perfect seasonal snack, but how do you catch them? BBC Africa's Patience Atuhaire joined harvesters near Kampala to find out.

El Chapo on trial
Joachim “el Chapo” Guzmán is billed as “the most notorious criminal in the world”. He’s on trial in New York, charged as leader of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel with bringing 150 tons of cocaine into the United States, using violence. From New York, BBC Mundo’s Gerardo Lissardy has been following the drama.

Somaliland rock paintings
In a cave formation in the self-declared republic of Somaliland, you can find rock paintings going back more than 5,000 years. The area has family connections for Bidhaan Dahir of BBC Somali, who's made a documentary called Stories on the Rocks about the paintings with local archaeologist Dr Sada Mire.

Image: a soldier from the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) in Cameroon
Credit: AFP/Getty Images

How your hair, your clothes, even your physique can get you killed

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

The Story of Mosul's Secret Tunnels20181207

In 2014 the so-called Islamic State blew up the Nabi Yunus mosque in Mosul, and tunneled under the remains of an ancient Assyrian palace for valuable artefacts. When IS was expelled the tunnels were sealed off, but BBC Arabic cameraman Namak Khoshnaw, and journalist and former archaeologist Eli Melki, got permission to film inside them earlier this year. What they found was amazing, although not everything went to plan.

Picturing Africa's forgotten history
BBC Afrique's Genevieve Sagno recently made a film about Omar Victor Diop, a well known Senegalese photographer. He restages historical paintings of lesser known but notable African subjects to highlight Africa's contributions to world history, with himself as the model.

My home town: Shovot
Candyfloss, dancing in the park, and a secret library: Ibrat Safo of BBC Uzbek takes us to his hometown in north-west Uzbekistan.

From bicycles to sports cars
In December 1978, China opened up its economy to the world. BBC Chinese journalist Suping charts the dramatic changes that followed by comparing wedding present lists over four decades.

BBC She in Pakistan
Shumaila Jaffery of BBC Islamabad spoke to female university students from some of the most conservative places in Pakistan as part of the BBC She project to hear what women want the media to report.

Image: Assyrian carving of three women
Credit: BBC

Hidden treasures and old exam papers in the tunnels under Mosul

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services

The Story of Mosul's Secret Tunnels2018120720181208 (WS)

In 2014 the so-called Islamic State blew up the Nabi Yunus mosque in Mosul, and tunneled under the remains of an ancient Assyrian palace for valuable artefacts. When IS was expelled the tunnels were sealed off, but BBC Arabic cameraman Namak Khoshnaw, and journalist and former archaeologist Eli Melki, got permission to film inside them earlier this year. What they found was amazing, although not everything went to plan.

Picturing Africa's forgotten history
BBC Afrique's Genevieve Sagno recently made a film about Omar Victor Diop, a well known Senegalese photographer. He restages historical paintings of lesser known but notable African subjects to highlight Africa's contributions to world history, with himself as the model.

My home town: Shovot
Candyfloss, dancing in the park, and a secret library: Ibrat Safo of BBC Uzbek takes us to his hometown in north-west Uzbekistan.

From bicycles to sports cars
In December 1978, China opened up its economy to the world. BBC Chinese journalist Suping charts the dramatic changes that followed by comparing wedding present lists over four decades.

BBC She in Pakistan
Shumaila Jaffery of BBC Islamabad spoke to female university students from some of the most conservative places in Pakistan as part of the BBC She project to hear what women want the media to report.

Image: Assyrian carving of three women
Credit: BBC

Hidden treasures and old exam papers in the tunnels under Mosul

Global stories from the Fifth Floor - home to the BBC's 41 language services