Crossing Continents-logo

Crossing Continents


Stories that matter from around the world.

Stories that matter from around the world.
More Information


London, United Kingdom




Stories that matter from around the world.




Generation Identity

Simon Cox is in Austria where the authorities have launched an unprecedented operation against a new far right youth organisation, Generation Identity. They prosecuted members of the group including its leader, Martin Sellner, for being an alleged criminal organisation. They are currently appealing the judge's not guilty verdict. The Austrian group is at the heart of a new pan European movement that is vehemently opposed to Muslims and immigration. GI says it is not racist or violent. In...


Chile - Sexual Abuse, Secrets and Lies

The dark secrets of Chile's Catholic Church. El Bosque is the wealthy Santiago parish where Fernando Karadima, a charismatic priest, attracted hundreds of young men to the priesthood. In 2010, he was exposed as a paedophile after survivors revealed he had sexually abused them. The Vatican sentenced Karadima to a life of penance and prayer. But this was no one-off, rogue priest. This year the scale of Chile's abuse scandal has been revealed - multiple allegations of sexual exploitation and...


Nevada's Brothels Face the Axe

In parts of Nevada, prostitution is legal - the only such state in the US. The 'live and let live mentality' is a hangover from the gold rush days and in certain counties, brothels have been officially licensed since 1971. Today no fewer than seven of them are owned by one man, Dennis Hof, a gun-toting restaurateur, entrepreneur and reality TV star. He calls himself the "Trump from Pahrump," - after a town where he recently won the Republican primaries for the Nevada State Legislature. Now...


Uganda's Prison Farms

'He was using prisoners like oxen for ploughing for his own gain'. An ex-convict recalls the prison officer in charge of the prison farm he worked on in Uganda. The country has one of the most overcrowded prison systems in Africa. It also has one of the continent's most developed systems of prison labour. For Crossing Continents, Ed Butler reports from Uganda where most of the country's 54,000 inmates are now serving an economic purpose, working for the benefit of an elite collection of...


'Gone to Foreign' from Jamaica

When someone in Jamaica emigrates to the UK, it is said they have 'gone to foreign'. Over the past 70 years several hundred thousand Jamaicans have done this, following in the footsteps of the so-called 'Windrush generation' who first arrived in Britain in the late 1940s. But the spirit of adventure and optimism those early pioneers bought with them has changed over the years and a recent political scandal now finds some of them unwanted and rejected by Britain. Following changes to...


Seaweed, Sex and Liberation in Zanzibar

Seaweed is liberating women in a conservative corner of east Africa. Thousands of women have gained more control over their lives thanks to Zanzibar's seaweed farms. In a traditional island village there is a surprisingly high divorce rate and women have safeguarded their interests with earnings from this salty crop which has given them a much needed income and new independence. At first the husbands were outraged - they complained that seaweed farming made women too tired for their...


Euthanasia - Aurelia's Story

In January, Aurelia Brouwers - a 29 year old Dutch woman, with a history of severe mental illness - lay down on her bed to die. She had been declared eligible for euthanasia a month earlier - Dutch law permits the ending of a life where there is, 'unbearable suffering' without hope of relief. Aurelia's death provoked an outpouring on social media, and widespread discussion within the Netherlands... What if a death wish is part of someone's illness? And does someone with serious mental health...


Norway's Silent Scandal

The conviction of a prominent expert in Norway's troubled child protection system - for downloading images of child sex abuse - has put the organisation under scrutiny once again. In April this year a child psychiatrist was convicted of downloading thousands of the images on his computer. Up until his arrest he played a key role in decisions about whether children should be separated from their parents for their own good. But there has been no public discussion in Norway about the...


Not Making Babies in South Korea

Why does South Korea have the lowest fertility rate in the world? The average South Korean woman is expected to have 1.05 children in her life - exactly half the rate needed to maintain a population. That means a shrinking workforce paying less taxes and more elderly people who will need expensive care. South Korea's government has pumped tens of billions of pounds into dealing with the problem over the past decade, but the fertility rate is still going down. In this whodunnit, Simon Maybin...


Shades of Jewish in Israel

Israel gives all Jews the right to citizenship - but has it become less welcoming to African Jews? Since its founding in 1948, after the horrors of the Holocaust, Israel has seen itself as a safe haven for Jews from anywhere in the world to come to escape persecution. But now that policy is under threat. As Jewish communities in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya are finding, a debate has arisen about who is "Jewish enough" to qualify. David Baker investigates claims that decisions are being made...


China's World Cup Dreams

China's football-loving President Xi Jinping says he wants his country to qualify for, to host and to win the football World Cup by 2050. The men's national team has recently been defeated 6-0 by Wales, so there's some way to go yet. But they're spending billions trying to boost football in the country. Chinese entrepreneurs have also spent vast sums investing in local and foreign clubs, partly to help create a passion for playing football in the Chinese and to bring the latest training...


The Belarus Tractor Factory

One in ten tractors in the world is made in Belarus. You can find them ploughing furrows and shifting snow in the US, Canada, Pakistan, Thailand...and on the farms of Somerset...At the heart of this big wheeled empire is the Minsk Tractor Works. Impossible to visit until recently, the MTW is opening its doors as part of a new country wide charm offensive. Belarus, long famous for secretiveness and isolation, has relaxed its visa regime since January 2018, and is rebranding itself as a...


Corruption Incorporated: The Odebrecht Story

Corruption Incorporated - the Odebrecht Story Odebrecht was one of Brazil's premier companies - the largest construction firm in Latin America. But some of its success in securing multi-million dollar contracts across the region was built on a policy of colossal bribery. This edifice of graft began to crumble when the Brazilian authorities started to investigate the state-owned oil company, Petrobras. As a result, CEO Marcelo Odebrecht was convicted of paying millions of dollars in bribes to...


The Mystery of Russia's Lost Jihadi Brides

Thousands of young Russian Muslim men were lured to join so-called Islamic State - taking their wives and children with them. But since the "caliphate" fell last year, those families have vanished - and grandmothers back in Russia are desperate for news. The Kremlin wants to bring the children home. It says they've committed no crimes. But finding them and their mothers is hugely difficult. Iraqi authorities say they're holding many IS families - but they won't name them. Gradually though,...


The Child Saver of Mosul

A one-woman whirlwind of passion and energy, Sukayna Muhammad Younes is a unique phenomenon in Iraq. A council official in the half-destroyed city of Mosul, former stronghold of so-called Islamic State, she's on a mission to find and identify the thousands of children who went missing during the conflict - and reunite them with their families. It's a massive task - and deeply controversial because Sukayna makes no distinction between children who are victims of IS - and those who belonged to...


Greece's Haven Hotel

In a rundown neighbourhood in Athens there is a hotel with 4,000 people on its waiting list for rooms. But the roof leaks and the lifts are permanently out of action. None of the guests pay a penny, but everyone's supposed to help with the cooking and cleaning. City Plaza is a seven-storey super squat housing 400 refugees from 16 different countries and the volunteers who support them. The hotel went bankrupt during the financial crisis. It remained locked and empty until 2015, when Europe...


Digging Up the Past in Catalonia

Why is troubled Catalonia now opening up civil war mass graves? Spain has the second largest amount of mass graves in the world after Cambodia. Over 100,000 people disappeared during the 1930s civil war and the ensuing Franco dictatorship. Decades later, the vast majority are still unaccounted for. Forgetting Spain's painful past and the disappeared is what allowed democracy and peace to flourish, the argument has long gone. But many have not forgotten - including in the region of Catalonia,...


Sweden's Child Migrant Mystery

For nearly two decades, Swedish health professionals have been treating asylum-seeking children who fall into a deeply listless state. They withdraw from the world, refuse to speak, walk and eat - most end up being tube-fed. They are known as, "the apathetic children" in Sweden. More recently this illness has been termed Resignation Syndrome. Experts agree it is children who have experienced deep trauma who are vulnerable. Doctors link the condition to an uncertain migration status. But why,...


Ukraine's Frontline Bakery

Lucy Ash meets the staff and customers of a bakery which is the one bright spot in war-torn east Ukraine. The war there between Russian-backed rebels and the Ukrainian army has dropped out of the headlines and there seems to be little political will to make peace. More than 10,000 people have been killed and as it enters its fourth year, this has become one of the longest conflicts in modern European history. But in the frontline town of Marinka there's one bright spot amidst the gloom - the...


Black and Proud in Brazil

For decades, Brazil has presented itself as a colour-blind nation in which most citizens are, at least to some extent, racially mixed. But a controversial education law is encouraging black Brazilians to assert their own distinct identity. Federal public universities now have to comply with government quotas for black students, as well as others deemed to be at risk of discrimination. Yet, since the rules allow applicants to self-define their colour, there have been numerous alleged frauds,...