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Crossing Continents

BBC

Series focusing on foreign affairs issues

Series focusing on foreign affairs issues

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Series focusing on foreign affairs issues

Language:

English


Episodes

Europe’s Most Dangerous Capital

1/21/2021
Bucharest, in Romania, is arguably Europe’s most dangerous capital city. It’s not the crime that’s the problem – it’s the buildings. Many of them don’t comply with basic laws and building regulations. Permits are regularly faked. And yet Bucharest is the most earthquake prone European capital. A serious quake would cause many of the buildings to collapse, with a potential loss of life into the thousands. Some years ago a red dot was put on a number of buildings in the city which were in...

Duration:00:27:58

Shipwreck

1/14/2021
The migrant shipwreck that rose again… In April, 2015 more than a thousand refugees and migrants drowned when the old fishing boat they were travelling on sank. It was the worst shipwreck in the Mediterranean since World War Two. But the people who died are not forgotten. Not by their families and friends - and not by a professor of forensic pathology at the University of Milan. “There’s a body that needs to be identified, you identify it. This is the first commandment of forensic medicine,”...

Duration:00:28:32

Libya's Brothers from Hell

1/7/2021
Amid the anarchy of post-Revolution Libya, seven ruthless brothers from an obscure background gradually took over their home town near Tripoli. They're accused of murdering entire families to instill fear and to build power and wealth. They created their own militia which threw in its lot, at different times, with various forces in Libya's ongoing conflict. And they grew rich by levying taxes on the human and fuel traffickers crossing their territory. Now, the full horror of their reign of...

Duration:00:28:39

Searching for Wisdom in Lagos

12/31/2020
A young woman is desperately searching for her brother in Lagos. On the night of 20th October, Nigerian soldiers opened fire at a peaceful demonstration camped at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos. The government say they fired into the air, but witnesses insist that unarmed protesters came under deliberate attack. Amnesty International says that 12 people died. The incident has traumatised a highly popular political reform movement that began as a demand to close down the S.A.R.S., a notoriously...

Duration:00:30:05

The Mapuche - Fighting for their right to heal

12/24/2020
The Mapuche are Chile’s largest indigenous group – a population of more than 2 million people. And, they are fighting for their right to heal. They want Chileans to value their unique approach to healthcare and give them control of land and their own destiny. But, it’s a tough sell when there’s so much distrust and violence between the two communities. Jane Chambers travels to their homeland in the Araucania region in the south of Chile, where she’s given rare access to traditional healers...

Duration:00:29:45

Darfur: A Precarious Peace

12/17/2020
After 17 years of conflict costing 300,000 lives a peace agreement offers new hope to Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. It comes as UNAMID, the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force, prepares to finally pull out at the end of this month. But with nearly two million displaced people still living in camps and some armed groups yet to sign the agreement, who will protect civilians if the peace fails? For Crossing Continents, Mike Thomson gains rare access to Darfur to hear the...

Duration:00:29:03

Syria's Soldiers of Fortune

12/10/2020
The bitter war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasian region of Nagorno Karabakh may have come to an end, but the business of fighting may continue for at least some of its combatants. There’s growing evidence that hundreds of soldiers in this war were mercenaries recruited from mostly rebel-held regions in northern Syria - even though that's strongly denied by Azerbaijan. In this week’s Crossing Continents Ed Butler hears testimony from a number of young Syrians, who say they...

Duration:00:28:20

Belarusian Police – Behind the Balaclavas

12/3/2020
Minsk, early December. A wall of masked men in black body armour, beating their truncheons on steel shields. In front of them stand women bundled in winter coats and teenagers wrapped in red and white flags. They’re singing a protest song once heard in the revolutionary shipyards of Gdansk a generation before - an anthem for democracy and change. For more than one hundred days these versions of Belarus have advanced and retreated - and now they seem locked in impasse. Despite sanctions,...

Duration:00:29:59

Sicily's Prisoner Fishermen

11/26/2020
18 fishermen from Sicily are in jail in Benghazi, accused of fishing in Libya’s waters. And in this part of the Mediterranean rich in the highly-prized and lucrative red prawn, these kinds of arrests are frequent. Usually the Libyans release the men after negotiations. This time it’s different. Gen Khalifa Haftar – the warlord with authority over the east of Libya – is demanding a prisoner swap: the freeing of 4 Libyans in jail in Sicily convicted of human trafficking and implicated in the...

Duration:00:29:15

Martinique: The Poisoning of Paradise

11/19/2020
“First we were enslaved. Then we were poisoned.” That’s how many on Martinique see the history of their French Caribbean island that, to tourists, means sun, rum, and palm-fringed beaches. Slavery was abolished in 1848. But today the islanders are victims again – of a toxic pesticide called chlordecone that’s poisoned the soil and water and been linked by scientists to unusually high rates of prostate cancer. For more than 10 years chlordecone was authorised for use in banana plantations –...

Duration:00:29:21

Poland's Gay Pride and Prejudice

9/18/2020
A number of small towns in Poland have been campaigning against what they call 'homosexual ideology'. Local authorities in the provinces have passed resolutions against perceived threats such as sex education and gay rights. LGBT activists complain that they are stoking homophobia and effectively declaring ‘gay-free zones’. Both sides argue that they are protecting the universal values of free speech and justice. But the row has attracted international condemnation. The European Union has...

Duration:00:28:52

The Trouble with Dutch Cows

9/10/2020
The Netherlands - small and overcrowded - is facing fundamental questions about how to use its land, following a historic court judgment forcing the state to take more urgent action to limit nitrogen emissions. Dutch nitrogen emissions - damaging the climate and biodiversity - are the highest in Europe per capita. And though traffic and building are also partly to blame, farmers say the government is principally looking to agriculture to make the necessary reductions. They've staged a series...

Duration:00:28:38

South Africa Moonshine

9/3/2020
Pineapple beer is the universal homebrew in South Africa and pineapple prices trebled when the government imposed a ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco during the coronavirus pandemic. South Africa has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in Africa and the government introduced the ban to ease the pressure on hospitals. With the infection rate now falling the ban has been lifted although some restrictions remain in place. Ed Butler and Vauldi Carelse have been hearing from the...

Duration:00:27:38

Reza's Story

8/27/2020
A death-defying migrant's story... Said Reza Adib was a TV journalist in Afghanistan. In 2016, about to break a story about the sexual abuse of children by Afghan men in authority, he received a threat to his life. Reza fled across the border to Iran. But journalism was in his blood, and in Iran he began to investigate sensitive stories related to the war in Syria. When Iranian authorities confiscated his lap top, he knew his life was again in danger. That same day, with his wife and two...

Duration:00:28:50

Spain: the elephant in the palace

8/20/2020
Spain’s King Juan Carlos – a story of entitlement and dynasty… The emeritus king, Juan Carlos, has left Spain. But the man who propelled his nation from dictatorship to democracy is under intense public scrutiny. At the heart of allegations against the former king is a $100 million gift from the Saudi Royals. The Supreme Court in Madrid is investigating whether Juan Carlos can be accused of any crimes related to this cash. Spain’s often unquestioning acceptance of its monarchy began to...

Duration:00:29:01

The Missing Bodies of Guayaquil

8/13/2020
In March and April, Guayaquil in Ecuador was the epicentre of the Covid pandemic in Latin America. The city’s health services began to collapse fast, so that the bodies of the dead were not collected from homes. Being at a loss to know what to do, desperate families deposited the remains of their loved ones in the streets. Eventually they were picked up, but in the chaos, some of the remains of those who died went missing. For Crossing Continents, Mike Lanchin follows the story of Rita Baque...

Duration:00:28:51

Algeria's Plague Revisited

8/6/2020
A mysterious illness appears out of nowhere. The number of cases rises exponentially, as the authorities attempt to downplay the severity of the disease. There is a shortage of medical staff, equipment and arguments about whether people should wear masks. People are forbidden to leave their homes and many are left stranded in unfamiliar places, separated from loved ones. Albert Camus’ novel The Plague set in the Algerian city of Oran under French colonial rule was published more than 70...

Duration:00:28:22

Venezuela's 'Bay of Piglets'

7/30/2020
A failed coup in Venezuela - a story of hubris, incompetence, and treachery… At the beginning of May, the government of Nicolas Maduro announced the armed forces had repelled an attempted landing by exiled Venezuelans on the coast north of Caracas. Some were killed, others captured. This was Operation Gideon – an incursion involving a few dozen, poorly-equipped men, and two former US Special Forces soldiers. The hair brained plan to depose Nicolas Maduro, and force a transition in Caracas...

Duration:00:28:29

The Many Colours of Raqqa

7/23/2020
The untold story of Abood Hamam, perhaps the only photojournalist to have worked under every major force in Syria's war - and lived to tell the tale. At the start of the uprising he was head of photography for the state news agency, SANA, taking official shots of President Assad and his wife Asma by day - and secretly filming opposition attacks by night. Later he defected and returned to his home town, Raqqa, where various rebel groups were competing for control. Other journalists fled when...

Duration:00:29:23

Bulgaria's Children and the Norwegian Bogeyman

5/14/2020
Thousands of Bulgarian parents pulled their children out of school in a mass panic last October, fearing they would be abducted by social workers. Many more are protesting against a draft law they say puts 70 per cent of children at similar risk. Are they right to be scared? Or have rumours and fake news spread hysteria about the power of the state? Suddenly, campaigns to defend the “traditional family” are gathering strength in Bulgaria – and across eastern Europe. What’s behind them? And...

Duration:00:28:14