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Stories that matter from around the world.




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

India's Silent Terror

Protecting cows has now become the focus of armed Hindu vigilante groups intent on asserting Hindu radicalism under India's Hindu nationalist government.

Duration: 00:28:12

Cricket, Colour and Quotas in South Africa

Black sporting talent is still struggling to break through into South Africa's top teams.

Duration: 00:28:23

Albania's Cannabis Boom

Linda Pressly and Albana Kasapi investigate the 'Green Gold' rush in this Balkan nation

Duration: 00:28:37

Checkmate for the King of Chess?

The bizarre and extraordinary story of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the eccentric Russian tycoon and president of FIDE, the international chess governing body. His twenty years in office have been dogged by allegations of corruption and vote-rigging and he’s recently been banned from entering the United States by the US Treasury for his alleged involvement in assisting the Assad regime in Syria. It’s prevented him from presiding over this month’s World Chess Championships in New York. For...

Duration: 00:28:24

Cleansing Turkey

Public employee one day, enemy of the state the next. The post coup reality in Turkey for thousands of state employees accused of being associated with the Gulen movement.

Duration: 00:28:45

Fixing India's Car Crash Capital

India has some of the world's most dangerous roads. The government says almost 150,000 people died on them last year. Nowhere saw more crashes than the booming city of Mumbai. The carnage is relentless, affecting people at every level of society. Neal Razzell meets the Mumbaikers who are saying, enough: a vegetable seller who fills potholes in his spare time after his son died in one; a neurosurgeon whose experience treating victims has led him to try to build trauma centres along one of the...

Duration: 00:28:09

Torah and Tech in Israel

Can you learn to code if you've spent your life studying religious texts? Can you be part of the fast-paced, secular world of technology and startups if you're from a conservative religious community? Israel has been called the "Startup Nation", with a flourishing technology sector playing a big role in the country's economy. But one group who haven't traditionally been involved are ultra-Orthodox Jews, known as Haredim. They often live apart from mainstream Israeli society and adhere to...

Duration: 00:28:02

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