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The Documentary Podcast

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Music to land on the Moon by

On the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landings, Beatriz De La Pava researches how real life events are reflected in the lyrics of popular songs, and shows how music can paint a vivid picture of the social, political, economic, and cultural landscape. She plays the music that chronicles the history of the space race, and speaks to the people who knew it, made it and loved it.
2019-07-21
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Bitter brew

With the rise in ethical consumerism, Assignment explores the hidden suffering of tea workers in Africa. Attacked because of their tribal identity, reporter Anna Cavell hears harrowing stories of murder, rape and violence and asks whether more could, or should, have been done to protect them when trouble broke out. Producer: Nicola Dowling Reporter: Anna Cavell Editors: Gail Champion & Andrew Smith (Photo: Freshly plucked tea leaves. Credit: Getty Creative Stock)
2019-07-18
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The Superlinguists: Multilingual societies

What is it like to live in a place where you have to speak several languages to get by? Simon Calder travels to India, where a top university only teaches in English, the one language that the students from all over the country have in common. And he meets people who use four different languages with their friends and family, depending on whom they are talking to. In Luxembourg, it is not so much family, but other situations that require four languages, such as going shopping, watching TV, or school lessons.
2019-07-16
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The Dyatlov Pass mystery

In 1959, a group of nine Russian students met a mysterious death in the Ural mountains. Experienced cross-country skiers, their bodies were found scattered around a campsite, their tent cut from the inside, as they seemingly panicked to escape from someone ? or something. Sixty years on, Lucy Ash traces their footsteps to try to find out what happened.
2019-07-14
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Germany?s climate change frontline

The beautiful Hambacher Forest is disappearing. Over the past four decades, it has been slowly devoured by a voracious coalmine in the German Rhineland. The forest has become a powerful symbol of climate change resistance. Protesters have been staging a last stand to protect the trees. But they have arrived too late to prevent the demolition of two villages that also stand in the way of the mine?s relentless progress. Manheim has become a ghost village. Most of the 1600 residents have now moved out. Many of the houses have already been pulled down. But a few people still live there against a backdrop of diggers pulling their village apart. Some are sad that the kart track where local boy Michael Schumacher learned to drive is likely to fall victim to the excavators. And many felt threatened last year by the protesters, in hoodies and face masks, when they moved into to occupy empty houses. Yet the protesters seem to have the German government on their side. It recently commissioned a report, which recommended Germany stop burning coal by 2038 in order to meet emissions targets. That?s a problem for RWE, the company that owns the mine and nearby power stations. It?s going to keep digging for as long as it can. Tim Mansel joins the protesters for their monthly gathering on the forest edge; meets the villagers who simply want a quiet life, away from the front line; and asks RWE if it will ever stop mining. (Photo: Protesters defending the Hambacher Forest. Credit: Tim Mansel/BBC)
2019-07-11
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The Superlinguists: How to learn a language

Simon Calder asks how to go about acquiring a new tongue. He gets tips from those who know - innovative teachers and polyglots. The answers are surprising. At school, it is repetitive drills, shouted out loud by the whole class, that seem to lodge the grammar and pronunciation in the pupils? brains. But if you are an adult learning by yourself, then, on the contrary, don?t stress about grammar and pronunciation, there are better, and more fun things to focus on.
2019-07-09
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Denmark's Migrant Ghettos

Denmark's efforts to better integrate its migrant population are attracting controversy at home, and abroad. Twenty nine housing districts, known as 'migrant ghettos', are now subject to special measures to tackle crime and unemployment, and encourage greater mixing between migrants and wider Danish society. In the run-up to Denmark's recent landmark election, Sahar Zand travelled to Copenhagen and witnessed immigration shaping the campaign debate, and questioned the country's politicians and migrants about these controversial policies. (Image: Muslim immigrants cross the street in Copenhagen city centre. Credit: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
2019-07-04
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The Superlinguists: The polyglots

Simon Calder meets people who keep learning new languages not because they have to, but because they want to. What motivates them? Situations like this - an immigrant hotel cleaner who is moved to tears because you speak to her in her native Albanian; A Nepalese Sherpa family that rolls about laughing in disbelief at hearing their foreign guest speak Sherpa. But do polyglots have a different brain from the rest of us? Simon travels to a specialised lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and undergoes a brain-scan himself, to find out.
2019-07-02
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Interview with the Dalai Lama

In a wide ranging interview the Dalai Lama talks to the BBC?s Rajini Vaidyanathan about President Trump and his America First agenda, Brexit, the EU, and China?s relationship with the world. The interview also challenges some of the Buddhist spiritual leader?s more controversial statements and explores his views on the institution of the Dalai Lama.
2019-06-30
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Training to save the treasures of Iraq - part two

Shaimaa Khalil is reunited with eight women from Mosul after their training in London. She hears about the work the archaeologists are doing now to assess the damage to Iraq's heritage sites like the iconic Al Nuri mosque and minaret, which Islamic State militants blew up at the end of their occupation. Perhaps the greatest damage of all is to the people of Mosul and their culture. The women share stories of their city and what life was like under IS and now, and the work they hope to do to rebuild both its buildings and its community.
2019-06-30
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Marching to the coolest beat

An unlikely pageant takes place every year in the American Rust Belt town of Dayton Ohio. Three hundred teams of high school and college students have made it to the finals of a national competition known as the Colour Guard. In a giant sports arena, they throw, spin, and twirl flags, sabers and wooden rifles. It requires risk, skill, attentive teamwork, dramatic storylines and soundtracks. The subjects of performances this year ranged from the death of a pet to tornados to women in rock music history to bullying. Each group has about seven minutes to impress the judges. The competitors have practised for six months. Many travel across America in buses. Most come from small towns and the activity is not well funded by schools. Yet these young people insist that this is the high point of their lives.
2019-06-29
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Marseille: France?s Crumbling City

On the 5th November last year, two apartment buildings collapsed in Marseille?s historic centre. Eight people died in a tragedy which has sent shockwaves through France?s second city, and the country. The accident shed light on something that residents have been saying for years: Marseille?s city centre is falling apart. After decades of neglect by slum landlords, the poor, multi-ethnic area in the heart of the city is in a desperate state of disrepair. In a frantic attempt to avoid further disasters, the local government has evacuated thousands of residents from the area - and hundreds are still staying in hotels. This tragedy has morphed into a political scandal which is shaken Marseille to the core ? and anger at the local authorities is still palpable. Presenter: Lucy Ash Producer: Josephine Casserly (Image: Graffiti in the neighbourhood of Noailles, Marseille. Credit: BBC)
2019-06-27
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The magic fingers of Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan was born in Nangarhar in Eastern Afghanistan in 1998 but his early life was spent in a refugee camp in Pakistan away from the conflict that has swept across his homeland for decades. He grew up playing cricket with his ten siblings eventually returning to Afghanistan to complete his schooling. And now he is named for the second year running as the leading Twenty20 cricketer in the world. Is Khan really the finest spin bowler on the planet?
2019-06-25
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A History of Music and Technology: The Future

Pink Floyd's Nick Mason ends his series by exploring where music technology is heading and discovers how innovation is shaping the way we make, listen and interact with music. He reveals how artificial intelligence is taking human input out of musical composition and how virtual reality is reshaping the recording studios of tomorrow. But in an age where everyone can have access to music-making technology, how do you stand out? And has the internet made it too easy to copy what has come before us, rather than create something which is completely brand-new?
2019-06-24
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Training to save the treasures of Iraq

For three years Mosul was occupied by the extremist group known as the Islamic State. During the occupation which lasted until July 2017, the group destroyed many important ancient sites with hammers, bulldozers and explosives. Work is now beginning to assess the damage, but in order to undertake this vital work, Iraqi archaeologists are in need of training and equipment. Shaimaa Khalil meets the women in London as they participate in the British Museum?s ?Iraq Scheme?.
2019-06-23
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Dying from mistrust in Ukraine

Until recently, health authorities in developed countries appeared to be well on the way to wiping out measles ? a highly contagious disease that?s one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths, particularly in children. But now measles is on the rise again, and Ukraine is worst-hit. More than 100,000 people have caught the disease since 2017, and 15 have died already this year. Parents who could have protected their children often failed to do so ? mainly because of a mass mistrust of vaccine, spread partly by doctors, including leading medical specialists. Tim Whewell travels to Ukraine to meet bereaved parents and worried health chiefs - and find out why vaccination rates fell so abruptly in just a few years. It?s a story of lack of confidence in the state, inadequate medical training, government complacency and political manipulation that?s had deadly consequences. (Image: One-year-old girl being given a measles vaccine shot in Kiev health clinic, 2019. Credit: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
2019-06-20
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Vaccination: The global picture

The Wellcome Trust reveals how attitudes towards vaccinations vary around the world in its Global Monitor. The most vaccine-sceptical country is France ? because of scares around vaccines. In neighbouring Germany one state has approved plans to make vaccinations compulsory because of low rates. But in Madagascar where more than 1200 children have died since last autumn from measles, parents walk for miles to have their children inoculated. What can be done to persuade people to vaccinate?
2019-06-19
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Destination education

Despite the political uncertainty in the UK at the moment the country?s reputation for top-class education, if you can afford it, is still on the rise. Liyang Liu meets two very different school children who have travelled thousands of miles to go to private boarding school in the UK. Recorded over six months she finds out what happens when they get there.
2019-06-18
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Remembering Afghanistan's Elvis

Ahmad Zahir with his dark shock of hair, sultry voice and overwhelming stage presence more than earned the nickname "The Afghan Elvis". He remains Afghanistan?s most beloved musician even though he died at the age of 33 after a short, dazzling career. Ahmad Zahir was killed in a mysterious car crash in the terrible year of 1979. Monica Whitlock hears a new generation of musicians interpret some Ahmad Zahir classics and explores the life and lasting impact of the "Afghan Elvis".
2019-06-16
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Morocco?s hash trail to Europe

In Amsterdam?s cafes, you can buy hashish openly, over the counter. But go around back to see how the drug comes in, and you?ll get a lot of smoke blown in your face. The entire supply chain is illegal. BBC Arabic?s Emir Nader holds his breath and traces it thousands of kilometres back to the mountains of Morocco, where cannabis is grown and processed into bricks of hash. There, he finds farmers in poverty and officials claiming "there is no organised crime" in the country. In between, he joins Spanish police as they knock down doors looking for the drug and meets a former smuggler who explains how for years he eluded Europe?s authorities to bring in millions of dollars? worth of Moroccan hash. Producer: Neal Razzell (Image: Spanish police conduct a series of raids hoping to disrupt hash smuggling from Morocco. Credit: BBC)
2019-06-13
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Falling Rock

Jacob Rosales, a 20-year-old student at Yale, takes a closer look at some of the varied challenges facing Native American young people today. With alarmingly high rates of alcohol abuse, suicide and unemployment, Jacob delves behind the stats to reveal human stories of both suffering and hope.
2019-06-11
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Ticket to a new life

Ana is a winner in the annual Pacific Access Category ballot. It is a visa lottery. Each year, Tonga gets up to 250 places, Fiji the same, and there are up to 75 each for Tuvalu and Kiribati. In a separate draw, 1100 visas are available in the Samoan Quota ballot. But it is not as simple as a ticket to a new life. If you win, you have around 9 months to find a job in New Zealand. And that?s not easy. The system is open to bogus job offers and corruption. And what of those who make it? Many find it hard to make the transition. And the ballot itself: is the system fair?
2019-06-09
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Praying for petrol

In a country infamous for its drug cartels, Mexico has another booming black market - petrol. Starting out as just a few individuals tapping lines to sell to their local communities, petrol theft has now attracted the heavyweights of organised crime who see the appeal in peddling a product that is used by more of the population, and that does not even need to cross a border to be sold. Yet, as the government and gas company Pemex race to find a way to stop the fuel thieves, known throughout Mexico as huachicoleros, there is more evolving than confrontation.
2019-06-08
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Turkey?s political football

Football in Turkey's biggest city always means colour, passion and noise, but this season has an added edge. The big three Istanbul clubs, which have generally had a vice-like grip on the Super Lig crown are this year facing a new challenger, another city club, Basaksehir. This club has been assembled with international stars thanks to the money of close business associates of the President Erdogan himself. The political symbolism of the title race has not been lost on many football fans in Istanbul, especially as the city prepares for a controversial re-run of Istanbul's Mayoral election in late June. Judges have just overturned the declared victory of an opposition candidate, thanks to ill-specified irregularities. There have been public protests over that decision. But then as President Erdogan often says: "He who wins Istanbul, wins Turkey". How has the rivalry on the football field reflected the political division of the city and the country? Reporter/producer: Ed Butler (Image: Fans at a Galatasaray home match, May 2019. Credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer)
2019-06-06
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Don't hide my son

The Tanzanian mothers forced to hide their children with Down syndrome due to social stigma and their defiant determination to change this.
2019-06-04
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Sudan?s white-coated uprising

Sudan?s doctors on the frontline. When ongoing street protests finally pushed Sudan?s repressive president from power last month, it was the country?s doctors many thanked. Ever since Omar al-Bashir?s successful coup in 1989 they had defied him. Staging strikes, organising demonstrations, and campaigning for human rights, the country?s white-coated men and women opposed all he stood for. In the last few months alone scores of them were jailed, beaten, tortured and some deliberately gunned down. Through the eyes of a murdered medic?s family, Mike Thomson looks at the extraordinary role these unlikely revolutionaries have played in Sudan?s uprising. Produced by Bob Howard (Image:Sudanese doctors protesting in Khartoum. Credit: Mike Thomson/BBC)
2019-05-30
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After the boats

During the migrant crisis, thousands of Nigerian women were trafficked into Italy for sexual exploitation. In 2016 alone, 11,000 made the perilous journey through lawless Libya and then in flimsy boats across the Mediterranean. Naomi Grimley asks what became of them when they got to Europe.
2019-05-29
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Beyond Borders: Seeking safety in Sweden and Germany

For over five years, British-Lebanese journalist Zahra Mackaoui has been following the stories of a group of Syrians, who have scattered across the world in search of safety. She originally met and interviewed them in the early years of the long-running civil war in Syria. Zahra travels to rural Sweden to meet Doaa Al-Zamel, who survived the sinking of a boat in the Mediterranean by floating on an inflatable ring. Her story has now been optioned for a film by Steven Spielberg. Also in Europe, Fewaz and his family have found refuge near Bremen ? and though he is grateful for Germany?s hospitality, he is finding it difficult to integrate. She ends the series with Faysal, who escaped to Turkey before returning to his home city of Kobani in Syria. The war there has finished but danger remains ? and he himself was critically wounded. (Photo: Doaa al-Zamel. Credit: Elena Dorfman, Archive: UNHCR)
2019-05-26
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Amar: Alone in the world

He was known as ?the little boy who lost everything?. In 1991, Amar Kanim?s disfigured face was shown on newspaper front pages around the world, an innocent young victim of Saddam Hussein?s brutal regime. His entire family, it was reported, had died in a napalm attack. The British politician Emma Nicholson found him ?alone in the world? during a visit to an aid camp. She took him to the UK. He was, the world assumed, an orphan. So who was the woman claiming he is her son?
2019-05-25
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The undercover migrant

The extraordinary story of an undercover migrant and his ?secret spectacles?. When Azeteng, a young man from rural Ghana, heard stories on the radio of West African migrants dying on their way to Europe, he felt compelled to act. He took what little savings he had and bought glasses with a hidden camera ? his ?secret spectacles.? Then he put himself in the hands of people smugglers and travelled 3,000 miles on the desert migrant trail north, aiming to document the crimes of the traffickers. Along the way he saw extortion, slavery, and death in the vast stretches of the Sahara. For Assignment, reporter Joel Gunter tells the story of his journey ? a journey that thousands of young Africans like him attempt each year. Producer, Josephine Casserly (Image: Azeteng's secret spectacles. Credit: BBC, taken by Joel Gunter)
2019-05-23
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Robots on the road

The world?s biggest car makers and technology companies are investing billions of dollars in autonomous vehicles. They believe it is just a few years before computers with high-tech sensors do the driving for us, filling our roads with robot cars ferrying human passengers from A to B. But is a driverless future really just around the corner?
2019-05-21
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Bonus: 13 Minutes to the Moon

Introducing the new podcast about how humans reached the moon. Theme music by Hans Zimmer. Search for 13 Minutes to the Moon or go to www.bbcworldservice.com/13Minutes #13MinutestotheMoon
2019-05-20
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Beyond Borders: Seeking safety in Canada and Lebanon

The Syrian war has created one of the largest human displacements in history ? with millions of people on the move seeking safety. For over five years, British-Lebanese journalist Zahra Mackaoui has been following the stories of a group of Syrians, who have scattered across the world in search of safety. She hears about the challenges they have faced, the choices they have made and how they have managed to survive and on occasion, to thrive.
2019-05-19
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Me, the refugee

What is it like to be taken away from your childhood home, to be brought to a strange new country where you are locked away? That is what happened to reporter Sahar Zand when she became a refugee from her home country of Iran at the age of 12. She had to leave with her mother and sister after her father got into political trouble with the regime. Sahar explores the complex and often painful role reversals, deceptions and sacrifices that the three of them experienced during those often desperate days.
2019-05-19
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Bolivia?s Mennonites, Justice and Renewal

In 2009, Mennonite women in a far-flung Bolivian colony reported mass rape. Now leaders of this insular, Christian community with its roots in Europe are campaigning to free the convicted men. More than 100 women and children were attacked in the colony of Manitoba, and their courage in telling their stories secured penalties of 25 years for the rapists. But within Mennonite circles, doubts continue to be aired about the imprisonment of the men. They too protest their innocence, claiming their initial confessions in Manitoba were forced under threat of torture. The culture of abuse in the old colonies ? physical and sexual ? has often been commented on. And it?s partly this that gave the impetus for the foundation of one of Bolivia?s newest Mennonite communities. Hacienda Verde has been hacked out of virgin forest, and is home to 45 families. These are people who were ex-communicated in their old colony homes, often because they would not live by the harsh rules of conservative Mennonites ? rules that govern every facet of life, from the clothes and hairstyles that are allowed, to the rejection of any kind of technology. Presenter / producer: Linda Pressly (Photo: Bolivia Mennonite colony, Belice, Girl at school. Photo Credit: @jordibusque)
2019-05-16
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Slavery's untold story

In Oklahoma, Tayo Popoola discovers the story of the slaves owned by the Cherokee Indian tribe. Since the emancipation of the slaves in the 19th Century, there has been an often uneasy relationship between the so called ?Freedmen? and their former masters, both racial minorities with long histories of persecution in the US. In 2017 the Freedmen won a long battle to be admitted as full members of the Cherokee tribe.
2019-05-14
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Left behind

This is the flipside of migration. Migrants make headlines all the time, but what about those they leave behind? The so-called ?motherless villages? of Indonesia; rural Senegal where not enough men are left to work the fields and the Guatemalan parents who risk their children?s lives, sending them on the perilous journey to the US. Stories of deserted families and communities, revealing the bigger picture of the country that has been abandoned.
2019-05-12
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Guyana - bracing for the oil boom

South America?s second poorest nation is about to get very rich - but will the prosperity be shared? A series of oil discoveries in Guyanese waters has revealed almost unimaginable riches beneath the seabed; enough oil to catapult Guyana to the top of the continent?s rich list. Next year, the oil - and cash - is due to start flowing. The major new industry could help solve two of Guyana?s big problems: high youth unemployment and the emigration of most of its graduates. But as young Guyanese prepare for a future in oil and dream of lives transformed, some fear the so-called oil curse will see a corrupt elite squander and steal the country?s newfound wealth. Presenter/producer: Simon Maybin (Photo: Kiwana Baker, right, hopes that a career in oil will give her opportunities that her mother, Marslyn Pollard, left, never had. Credit: BBC)
2019-05-08
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The populist curtain: Austria and Italy

Political scientist Yascha Mounk travels through countries which were on the West of the former Iron Curtain. Graz in Austria is the birthplace of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Here, populists have been brought into the fold ? with the coalition between the centre-right Austrian People's Party and the far-right Freedom Party of Austria running the country. His journey ends in Italy where a peculiar coalition between the Five Star and Lega parties is accused of attacking minorities and immigrants.
2019-05-08
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When the things start to talk

The internet of things, devices that communicate with each other across networks are becoming increasingly part of everyday life ? controlling the heating systems in our houses, or entertainment provided by voice activated assistants. What is the potential, and what are the potential pitfalls, of living in this world of ?things? which talk to each other, as well as to us? Are we just beginning to understand the broader implications of what happens when the ?things? start to talk?
2019-05-07
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The crossing

It?s over two years since the authorities in France closed down the Jungle, the large migrant camp in Calais on the French coast. At its height more than 9,000 people from around the world lived in the camp while attempting to make it across to the UK, often hiding in the back of lorries or packed into small boats. It was hoped the camp's closure would stem the number of people risking their lives to try to get to Britain. But has it worked? In December, Britain?s Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, declared the number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel in boats a 'major incident' and since then more than 100 people have been picked up in 2019. For Assignment, Paul Kenyon investigates the British gangs making big money and risking migrants' lives smuggling them across the Channel and reports on the attempts to break up their networks. Reporter: Paul Kenyon Producer: Ben Robinson (Image: An aerial photo shows a boat carrying stranded migrants. Credit: MARCOS MORENO/AFP/Getty Images)
2019-05-02
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The populist curtain: Poland and Hungary

Political scientist Yascha Mounk travels from Szczecin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, the route of the former "Iron Curtain" and finds out what is changing under the new populist governments that been elected. He begins in the north in the Polish city of Szczecin (Stettin) ? where Solidarity was originally created. Today the PIS party governs the country, with its appeal to traditional religious values and social conservatism. Critics say it is attacking independent institutions, especially the judiciary. He then heads on to Sopron, Hungary. Here Victor Orban?s Fidesz party is accused of attacking civil society and the freedom of the press in his pursuit of an ?illiberal democracy? ? but there are forces fighting back locally.
2019-05-01
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Dark fibres and the frozen north

If data is the new oil, are data centres the new oil rigs? Far into the north of Norway are some of the biggest data centres in the world. As a more internet enabled future, with AI and the internet of things, becomes reality ? data more than ever needs a physical home. Inside a former mineral mine lies a huge data mine, next to a deep fjord, and the data is pinged back and forth across the globe. But the Sami, the traditional people of the region, have found traditional lands in some parts spoiled by huge hydroelectric dams.
2019-04-30
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Flat 113 at Grenfell Tower

On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats in West London; it caused 72 deaths and more than 70 others were injured and 223 people escaped. On the fourteenth floor of Grenfell Tower, firefighters moved eight residents into one flat ? 113. Only four would survive. Piecing together evidence from phase one of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, Katie Razzell tries to understand what went wrong that night in flat 113.
2019-04-28
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Bangladesh versus Yaba

Thousands of Bangladeshi addicts are hooked on Yaba - a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine. It's a powerful drug that gives big bangs for small bucks. The Yaba epidemic has ripped through the population of Bangladesh, urban and rural, poor, middle-class and rich. This is a drug that's manufactured in industrial quantities in the jungles of neighbouring Myanmar. As the economy of Bangladesh has boomed, drug lords have worked to create new markets for their product. And the Rohingya crisis - when nearly a million fled Myanmar for Bangladesh - has created further opportunities for the traffickers, as desperate refugees have been employed as drug mules. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, declared a 'war on drugs' last May. Thousands have been arrested. But critics see a disturbing trend - hundreds of suspected Yaba dealers have been killed by law enforcement. Presenter / producer: Linda Pressly with Morshed Ali Khan (Image: Yaba pills being held by a drug-user. Credit: Ye Aung THU / AFP)
2019-04-25
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America's friends

From a US president who is turning the world upside down ? with a relish for dismantling global agreements ? the message is clear: it?s America first. But where does that leave old European allies? Few expect the transatlantic relationship to go back to where it was before Trump. Europe, says Angela Merkel, now has to shape its own destiny. James Naughtie explores the uncertain future for America's friends.
2019-04-24
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South Africa's Born Frees at 25

There's a generation in South Africa who are known as the Born Frees. They were born in 1994, the year of the elections in which black citizens were allowed to vote for the first time. The Born Frees are 25 years old now ? graduating from universities, getting established in their careers, or still living in enduring poverty, which has reduced since 1994 but is still profound. The government estimates that 13 million South Africans still live in what they call 'extreme poverty.' This is a major disappointment to many who queued for hours to vote in the 1994 election which brought Nelson Mandela to power. Despite spending twenty-seven years in an Apartheid gaol, Mandela was dedicated to creating a 'rainbow nation', with dignity and opportunity for everyone, regardless of race. BBC correspondent Hugh Sykes has visited South Africa regularly since 1994, and in this programme he tells us about the politics of the country, education, corruption and poverty.
2019-04-23
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10, 9, 8, 7

Taking place over just eight months, four perilous and eventful space missions laid the foundations for a successful Moon landing. Each pushed the boundaries of technology and revealed new insights into our own planet. As we count down to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, astronaut Nicole Stott tells the story of the build-up to mankind?s giant leap.
2019-04-21
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Restoring Brazil's National Treasure

Brazilians wept when their 200-year-old National Museum went up in flames last September. Twenty million items, many of them irreplaceable, were thought to have been reduced to ash when it was gutted by a massive fire. Staff said the loss to science and history was incalculable - and the tragedy, possibly caused by faulty wiring in the long-underfunded institution, led to much national heart-searching about the country's commitment to its heritage. The museum, housed in Brazil's former Imperial Palace in Rio de Janeiro, held unique collections of fossils, animal specimens, indigenous artefacts, as well as Egyptian and Greek treasures - and the oldest human skull found in the Americas. Some scientists, who saw their entire life's work go up in flames, were in despair - but others vowed to work to rebuild and restock the museum. Now, months on, painstaking archaeological work in the debris has uncovered items that can be restored, while other specialists are setting out on expeditions to acquire new specimens. Tim Whewell reports from Rio on the agonies - and occasional small triumphs - of the slow, exhausting effort to bring a great national institution back to life. (Image: A Brazilian firefighter attempts to extinguish flames during a fire at the National Museum of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Sept 2018. Credit: Getty Images)
2019-04-18
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Snooker: Young, cool and Chinese

Once a game associated with the backrooms of British pubs, snooker is now a global sport, with most of its growth coming from China. Seven-time world snooker champion Stephen Hendry presents this exploration into how snooker became so popular in China, and why its future is looking young, cool and Chinese.
2019-04-16
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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