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The Fifth Floor


David Amanor presents The Fifth Floor, a brand new weekly programme that revels in the variety and range of stories produced by the BBC World Service's 27 language sections.

David Amanor presents The Fifth Floor, a brand new weekly programme that revels in the variety and range of stories produced by the BBC World Service's 27 language sections.
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David Amanor presents The Fifth Floor, a brand new weekly programme that revels in the variety and range of stories produced by the BBC World Service's 27 language sections.




Thai cave rescue: behind the scenes

Overnight laundry, halal meals, and the reading habits of the rescue chief: insights from BBC Thai's Watchiranont Thongep into some of the volunteers helping behind the scenes with the rescue of the Boo Pa football team from the Tham Luang caves. Image: cooking food for the Thai cave rescuers Credit: BBC


Nigeria: herders and farmers in crisis

Many parts of Nigeria have seen increasingly violent clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen. Who are the Fulani, and what really lies behind the violence? Questions for Halima Umar from BBC Hausa and BBC Yoruba's Ahmed Ambali. Photo: Nigerian Herdsman. Credit: Emmanuel Arewa / AFP /Getty Images)


Ethiopia & Eritrea: Peace?

This week an Eritrean government delegation arrived in Ethiopia, an event unimaginable even a month ago. The two countries clashed in a border war in 1998, and despite a ceasefire the standoff has continued over the border town of Badme. But with a new Prime Minister in Ethiopia it seems peace may finally be possible. BBC Tigrinya journalists Tesfalem Araia from Eritrea, and Berihu Lilay from the Tigray region of Ethiopia, discuss developments. Image: Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed...


Afghanistan: A Moment of Peace

Afghans had a rare taste of peace during the Eid ceasefire between the government and the Taliban. At the same time, a peace march from Helmand reached Kabul. The BBC's Malaika Ahmadzai interviewed a member of the Taliban, and Karim Haidari met the marchers as they approached the capital. Image: Taliban greet people on Eid al-Fitr amid ceasefire in Herat, 17 June 2018 Credit: Jalil Rezayee/European Photopress


Sticks of Power

BBC Afaan Oromo is sticking up for an ancient tradition in rural communities which is enjoying a revival among young urban Ethiopians. The "siinque" is a stick that offers protection to Oromo women. Yadeta Berhanu and Firaafoli Dhugasa tell us more. Image: Oromo women holding their siinques Credit: BBC


Angry and Divided: Nicaragua in Crisis

In Nicaragua, mass protests sparked by pension cuts have escalated into unprecedented social unrest. More than 130 people have been killed, and protesters are calling for President Daniel Ortega to stand down. The conflict has divided the country and set friends and families against each other. Arturo Wallace is from Nicaragua and has been covering the story for BBC Mundo. Image: An anti-government demonstrator fires a home-made mortar in Masaya, Nicaragua. Credit: Inti OCONINTI...


Throwing Off The Veil in Iran

When Iranian activist Masih Alinejad posted a picture of herself driving without a hijab, she had no idea what she was starting. Five years later, thousands of women have joined her movement against the mandatory hijab, and they have become a force for the Iranian government to reckon with. The BBC's Nassim Hatam has been following the story. Image: Iranian woman with wind in hair, veil held aloft Credit: mystealthyfreedom


A Tale of Two Flowers in Afghanistan

It's a bumper year for two lucrative flower crops in Afghanistan. Rose-growers are harvesting flowers for rose oil whilst at the same time, illicit opium production has reached a record high. BBC Afghan's Auliya Atrafi tells the stories behind the flowers. Image: (L) Damask Rose in Syria (R) and Poppies in Afghanistan Credit: (L) LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images Credit: (R) JAVED TANVEER/AFP/Getty Images


Shot At and Besieged: Quetta's Targeted Community

For the past 20 years, the Hazara ethnic group in Pakistan - who follow Shia Islam - have been targeted and attacked by militants. BBC Urdu's Musa Yawari, a Hazara himself, recently reported from his hometown Quetta on the lives of Hazara taxi drivers who make dangerous journeys ferrying passengers from one Hazara district to another, but he remembers happier times as well. Image: Hazara graveyard Credit: BBC


Indonesia's Child Soldiers

In 1999 Christians and Muslims in the Indonesian island of Ambon turned on each other. Thousands were killed, but one aspect of the conflict never reported before is the involvement of child soldiers. As part of the Crossing Divides season BBC Indonesia's Endang Nurdin went to the island to meet Ronald and Iskander, former child combatants from opposing sides, now working together for peace. Image: (L) Ronald Regang and (R) Iskandar Slameth Credit: BBC


Being a Naija

Lagos is Africa's most populous city stretching from the Atlantic seaboard and lagoons from where the city gets its name to the Nigerian mainland. Over 20 million people live there - around 100 working as journalists at the BBC Lagos bureau. It's through their lives that we're getting to know another side of Nigeria today. Image: BBC Lagos staff Credit: BBC


Afghanistan's Saur Revolution: 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago the Afghan Communist party overthrew President Mohammad Daoud. Abdullah Shadan from BBC Afghan Service was a journalist at the state broadcaster at the time, and watched events unfold. Image: Afghan communist supporters in Kabul 1979 Photo credit: S Sobolev/AFP/Getty Images


Goodbye Castro!

After six decades Cuba is no longer ruled by a Castro. Fidel Castro, succeeded by his brother Raul, influenced some of the world's most powerful nations. We hear from Jinxi Cao of BBC Chinese, Audrey Brown of BBC Africa and Irena Taranyuk of BBC Ukrainian. Image: Irena Taranyuk, Jinxi Cao, Audrey Brown and David Amanor in The Fifth Floor studio Credit: BBC


Unravelling My Father's Mystery Life

40 years ago Manoshi Barua inherited a notebook with an old newspaper clipping inside. It was in Chinese, and showed a photo of her father as a young Indian doctor working in China. So what did it say? When chance brought Manoshi together on the fifth floor with BBC China's Yuwen Wu she finally had the opportunity to crack the mystery. Image: Manoshi Barua holding a newspaper cutting Credit: BBC


Inside the Lula Story

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who's facing a lengthy prison term for corruption, stirs high passions both in those who support him and those who don't. The BBC's Fernando Duarte gives us insights into a charismatic leader he reported on for many years. Image: Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Credit: Igo Estrela/Getty Images


Handball and Politics on BBC Serbian

BBC Serbian went live this week with a big challenge: reporting Serbian stories and issues without always getting drawn back into the 1990s Balkans conflict. Then there's the unresolved issue of Kosovo, which declared itself independent of Serbia ten years ago, a move Serbia rejects. So maybe a story about a women's handball competition in Belgrade would be a safe one to launch with. BBC Serbian editor Alexandra Niksic hoped so. Image: Serbian women's handball player Kristina Liscevic...


Road Rage, Rumour and Riots: Sri Lanka

This month violence erupted in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy. It started when a group of Muslim youths beat a Sinhala man following a minor traffic incident, but his death sparked days of rioting, the destruction of hundreds of Muslim properties, and at least two deaths. Azzam Ameen of BBC Sinhala sheds light on the role of social media, rumours and fake stories in raising inter-community tension. Image: After the riots in Kandy Credit: BBC


A Rohingya Love Story

Since last August, around 700,000 Rohingyas have fled their homes and sought refuge in Bangladesh. Many now live in the huge Kutupalong camp, where Rocky Shahnewaj, a photojournalist with BBC Bangla, was surprised to come across a love story. Image credit: Rohingya couple reunited in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Credit: BBC


Poison and Spies in Sleepy Salisbury

BBC Russian has been at the heart of this week's reporting on the mysterious poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury. Olga Ivshina tells us that a complex investigation in a quiet English city is just as difficult in its own way as frontline reporting from eastern Ukraine. Image: Salisbury Cathedral in the mist Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images


Defiant Voices From Eastern Ghouta

Eastern Ghouta has suffered intense bombardment as Syrian government forces attempt to oust rebel groups. But behind the name is a place with its own history and aspirations, and home to a defiant group of women blogging even as the shelling intensified. Lina Shaikhouni has been following their posts for BBC Monitoring. Image: Syria's Eastern Ghouta under attack Credit: Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP/Getty Images