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Crossing Continents


Stories that matter from around the world.

Stories that matter from around the world.
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London, United Kingdom




Stories that matter from around the world.




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,...

Duration: 00:29:01

Taming the Pilcomayo

A journey up the 'suicidal' Pilcomayo river that separates Paraguay from Argentina... The Pilcomayo is the life-force of one of Latin America's most arid regions. But it is also one of the most heavily silted rivers of the world. As it courses down from the Bolivian Highlands in the months of December and January, half is water, half sand. This means it often causes flooding. Or, it changes course, failing to deliver water to those who depend on it. So in order to benefit communities, this...

Duration: 00:28:57

33 Ways to Dispel a Chinese Mistress

There are 33 ways to dispel a mistress according to one of China's top love detectives. An unusual new industry has taken hold in some of the country's top cities. It's called "mistress-dispelling", and it involves hired operatives doing what it takes to separate cheating husbands from their mistresses. With the surge in super-affluent families in China, there has also been an apparent upsurge in the number of men choosing to keep a concubine. And for wives who see divorce as a humiliating...

Duration: 00:28:25

Daphne and the Two Maltas

The brutal, unsolved murder of Malta's most outspoken blogger has blackened the image of the Mediterranean holiday island. Since Daphne Caruana Galizia was blown up by a car bomb in October, her son has denounced his country as a mafia state. European leaders say they're deeply concerned about the rule of law there. But on Malta, Daphne was a divisive figure - admired by some as a fearless investigative journalist, detested by others as a snobbish "queen of bile." She herself said there...

Duration: 00:27:37

The Lost Children of Isis

As they retreat from Northern Iraq so-called Islamic State has left thousands of women and children behind. Some are the abandoned families of IS fighters, others are being held as prisoners or slaves. There are also boys who were forced to fight for IS. A desperate effort is now underway to reunite these women and children with the families they have been separated from - and to rehabilitate those whose minds have been stolen by the group. Tim Whewell reports from Iraq on the children...

Duration: 00:29:11

Pride, Passion and Palestinian Horses

In the West Bank hundreds of families share a passion for breeding horses. Amid the narrow streets and cramped apartment buildings small stables can be found with owners grooming beautiful Arabian colts and fillies. These new breeders are now making their mark at Israeli horse shows where competition to produce the best in breed is intense. As Palestinian and Israeli owners mingle on the show ground, political differences are put to one side as they share a passion for the Arabian horse....

Duration: 00:28:17

The Tula Toli Massacre

The chilling story of a massacre of Rohingya muslims in a small village in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. On 30 August government soldiers swept through the village setting fire to homes, raping and killing dozens, possibly hundreds of its muslim inhabitants. An ongoing military crackdown in the state has seen more than 500,000 Rohingya muslims flee to neighbouring Bangladesh since late August. The government of Aung San Suu Kyi has faced international condemnation over the crisis. She...

Duration: 00:29:06

Panama's Vanishing Islands

Panama's idyllic islands are threatened by a rising sea, but one community has a plan... The Guna Yala archipelago is made up of dozens of tiny, tropical, low-lying islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. They are populated by the Guna people - Latin America's most fiercely independent, and many would say, most savvy, indigenous group. But the Guna are in trouble. Rising sea levels as a result of climate change, together with a growing population, threaten island life. The Guna aren't...

Duration: 00:28:54

Starting from Scratch in Uganda

Uganda has now taken in more than a million refugees who have fled civil war in neighbouring South Sudan. And more are coming every day. It's said that Uganda has the most generous refugee policy in the world, with new arrivals given land and allowed to work. But the majority of South Sudanese refugees are women and children who have lost almost everything and, as Ruth Alexander discovers, the reality of starting a new life from scratch is far from straightforward. Produced by John Murphy.

Duration: 00:28:17

Bulgaria on a Cliff Edge

What's it like to live in the country with the fastest-shrinking population in the world? In the mountain village of Kalotinsi in western Bulgaria, there is no shop, no school, no bus service. Until a few decades ago, 600 people lived here but now most of the houses stand empty. Thirteen residents remain, struggling to make a life in a place most people have given up on. There are many other near-deserted villages like this in Bulgaria. With women having few children, and many choosing to...

Duration: 00:28:41

Abdi in America

A young Somali refugee struggles to live the American dream in the USA's whitest state, during the rise of Donald Trump. Is the dream still possible? In December 2014, in 'Abdi and the Golden Ticket,' the BBC's Leo Hornak followed Somali refugee Abdi Nor Iftin as he battled to make it to America through the US green card lottery. Since then, Abdi been trying to make a new life for himself in the US state of Maine, striving to become a 'real American'. He hopes to get educated and start a...

Duration: 00:28:34

The Sailors of Sevastopol

Tim Whewell meets the sailors of Sevastopol. The Crimean coast of the Black Sea has such an allure that Russia risked the world's censure by seizing it from Ukraine in 2014. Home of the Black Sea fleet; seaway to the Middle East and spiritual heart of Russian orthodox Christianity, Crimea and it's naval port, Sevastopol, is a defining part of Russian identity. The Russian navy is now modernising and expanding its historic fleet so as to strengthen Moscow's campaign in Syria in support of...

Duration: 00:28:32

Abkhazia - a Land Forgotten

It's a state that most of the world says doesn't exist. But remote Abkhazia, on the far north-east shore of the Black Sea, has had the trappings of independence for a generation, since it broke away from Georgia in a short but brutal war. Foreign reporters rarely visit Abkhazia - but Tim Whewell gets there by horse-drawn wagon, as it's hard to cross the frontier by car. He finds a stunningly beautiful country still recovering physically and psychologically from the war, that's determined...

Duration: 00:28:08

Romania's Webcam Boom

Inside Romania's live, web-camming world - the engine of the online sex industry... Crossing Continents explores the fastest growing sector of so-called, 'adult' entertainment. Locally, it's known as 'video-chat'. And in Romania there are thousands of women logging on, and in 'private' one-to-one sessions undressing (and more) for the international clients who pay to watch them. It is not sex work in the traditional sense - the relationships are virtual, there is no meeting or touching....

Duration: 00:29:22

Last Call from Aleppo

On December the 14th last year the BBC's Mike Thomson awoke to a desperate voicemail message. It came from a frightened mother of three in besieged East Aleppo. Head teacher, Om Modar, who had been in regular contact with Mike, was pleading for help. Syrian government forces were closing in on the rebel-held area and bombs were falling around the shelter she shared with dozens of petrified children. Her voice, crackling with fear, said: "Please, please help us get out of Aleppo by safe...

Duration: 00:27:35

Inside Transgender Pakistan

Pakistan is at a crossroads when it comes to gender identity. Kami calls herself Pakistan's first transgender supermodel. She's championing a new transgender identity in a country where there's a strict cultural code for people like her. It's the long established culture of the 'the third gender', also known as Khwaja Sira or Hijra. The community are celebrated as 'Gods chosen people' by many Pakistanis. But the reality is that many Hijras experience discrimination in daily life and...

Duration: 00:28:49

Siege at the Holey Artisan Bakery

On the night of the 1st July 2016, five young Bangladeshi Islamist militants stormed a Dhaka restaurant popular with foreign residents and visitors. The siege at the Holey Artisan Bakery was an unprecedented attack in Bangladesh. 29 people lost their lives that night - the majority of them non-Bangladeshis, shot or butchered with machetes. But not everyone was killed. For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly together with local journalist, Morshed Ali Khan, tell the story of what happened...

Duration: 00:28:50

Poland: Behind the Black Protests

Thousands of women - and men - took to the streets in Poland recently in protest against attempts to ban all abortions-and the issue seems to have crystallised a growing unease with the country's move to the right and the power of the Catholic Church. 'We are not putting our umbrellas away' went one of the slogans as women stood in the pouring rain to voice their concerns. The size of the protest surprised even the participants; organised by the feminist movement, it attracted women and...

Duration: 00:28:19

Mexico - The Town That Said, 'No!'

The Mexican state of Michoacan was the birth place of the Mexican drug war. The town of Cheran is much like other mainly indigenous communities, but it is unique - Cheran has no mayor, no police, and political parties are banned. There are no elections here. Cheran governs itself, after it fought and won a legal battle for political autonomy. The people of Cheran used to suffer as much as their neighbours - extortion, kidnap and murder. But by 2011 they'd had enough. That's when the...

Duration: 00:28:09

Punk Art and Protest in Malaysia

Malaysia's government is mired in scandal. Billions of dollars have been looted from a state investment fund. The Prime Minister is accused of receiving $681 million into his personal bank account, although he has denied any wrongdoing. Earlier this year, punk-inspired artist Fahmi Reza captured public dissatisfaction with an artwork caricaturing the PM as a clown. The image went viral, earning Reza comparisons to street-art provocateur Banksy. It also got him arrested and charged, one of...

Duration: 00:28:46

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