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From Our Own Correspondent Podcast


Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines. Presented by Kate Adie and Pascale Harter.


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World News




Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines. Presented by Kate Adie and Pascale Harter.




Gun Violence in Serbia

Kate Adie presents dispatches from Serbia, Tunisia, India, France and Ukraine. There has been a wave of protests in Serbia against gun violence following two mass shootings last month that left 17 people dead. Serbia has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe, but people flocked to hand in old weapons after the government announced a gun amnesty following the attacks. Our Balkans correspondent Guy Delauney reveals how many Serbians are now questioning the culture which encourages violence. Tunisia is a hub for migrants hoping to reach Europe. Many people have died trying to make the dangerous sea crossing, but that hasn't deterred thousands more from risking their lives. Bella Saltiel has been to the Tunisian port city of Sfax to try understand what is driving them towards Europe and finds a mix of poverty and prejudice. We hear about a forgotten group of native Americans, from the Osage Nation, left destitute in France in the 19th Century, who found sanctuary in the southern French town of Montauban - forging a connection that is still celebrated today. Chris Bockman traces their story. The south Indian city of Chennai has one of the longest associations with the country's former colonial rulers, Britain, of any city in India. But, as Andrew Whitehead explains, the city is so comfortable with its past that its streets, shops and famous beer still echo the colonial era. In Ukraine, many families still don’t know what has happened to their relatives since the Russian invasion over a year ago. Many have been detained or disappeared in Russian-controlled areas. Jen Stout tells the story of one man, a popular children’s author and poet, who went missing in the early weeks of the war. Producer: Louise Hidalgo Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)


Ukraine's Counter-Offensive

Kate Adie introduces dispatches from Ukraine, Greece, Armenia, the US-Mexico border and Indonesia's Raja Ampat Islands. There have been months of speculation about when and how Ukraine might use its armed forces, and their new weaponry, in a counter-offensive to take back territory occupied by Russia. Russian attacks are still hitting Ukrainian cities almost every day. Hugo Bachega describes how two men in Kyiv - a civilian whose home was bombed, and the President, who must lead the country through this war - are keeping their nerve. Before the Greek election there was plenty of talk about the frustrated ambitions of young Greeks, and public outrage over cronyism in politics. Yet Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was re-elected, and his wasn't the only familiar face to be brought back to govern in Athens. Nick Beake covered the campaign, and gained a few insights into the enduring power of the country's political dynasties along the way. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been discussing normalising relations, and reopening transport links, in peace talks in Moscow - but there are still many potential stumbling blocks along the road to a settlement. The disputed enclave of Nagorno Karabakh is at the heart of the matter, but as Emily Craig heard while visiting southern Armenia, many people in the country still feel they're on a permanent war footing. Last week, international media readied themselves to cover an expected surge of people trying to cross the border into the United States from Mexico. It was believed that the expiry of the Title 42 regulations would trigger a new migration crisis. Yet it didn't happen - even though there are thousands of people still trying to enter the US. Bernd Debussman reports from the streets of El Paso. And in the island archipelago of Raja Ampat, in the Southwest Papua province of Indonesia, Sara Wheeler has recently seen wonders - including a rare glimpse of the purple tail of a Wilson's bird of paradise, and a walking shark in some of the world's most biodiverse waters. Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


The Families Fleeing Sudan

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' dispatches from South Sudan, from the air war over Ukraine, a troubled area of Chicago, a small island off Western Australia and Sweden's capital, Stockholm. The conflict in Sudan which began in April continues to tear its capital city, Khartoum, apart. Hundreds have been killed and more than a million people have fled their homes. Some have connections to South Sudan - which split from Sudan in 2011. Catherine Byaruhanga has been to the South Sudanese town of Renk and heard from families who've managed to return. After attending the G7 summit in Japan, Ukraine's President, Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted that peace was 'closer today'. One tangible outcome of the meeting was the promise from President Biden that the US would allow countries to supply F16 fighter jets to Ukraine - something President Zelensky has been requesting for months. But just how will these jets help? Our correspondent Abdujalil Abdurasulov talked to two Ukrainian fighter pilots. Chicago has a new mayor. At his swearing-in, Brandon Johnson - a former teacher and union organiser - spoke proudly of his humble beginnings in one of the most violent neighbourhoods in the Americas. He continues to live in Austin, Chicago and has promised to take a new approach to fighting crime. Mike Wendling has been to the mayor's neighbourhood to see how data science is being used to tackle the city's gun violence problem. Visitors to Western Australia's Rottnest Island have only recently begun to discover the island's hidden, tragic past. While many tourists come to the island to see the quokkas, cute marsupials with happy grins, more and more of them, like Emma Thomson, are learning about the historic mistreatment of its indigenous people, the Wadjemup. And in Sweden, Rob Crossan takes a walk around an area of Stockholm that has always fascinated him - and meets a homeless man who asks why anyone should be destitute in a country which is often celebrated as a showcase for the best in humanity.


El Salvador's brutal battle with gangs

Kate Adie introduces correspondents' dispatches from El Salvador, the streets of Pakistan's cities, the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, North Korea and Germany. Since the 1990s, El Salvador fell into the grip of street gangs which terrorised the country. Now its President, Nayib Bukele, is running a harsh crackdown on gang members, introducing sweeping new police powers, summary arrests, mass trials and heavy sentences for alleged offenders. Will Grant spoke to some who've suffered, and others who've gained, in this new climate. The last month has seen huge, passionate demonstrations in many of Pakistan's cities in support of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Once he was seen as an ally of the country's military and security establishment, but recently those ties have cooled and he's faced a slew of legal challenges. Caroline Davies has seen how this political drama is playing out in court and on the streets. What happened to the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims driven out of Myanmar in 2017? Rajini Vaidyanathan visits the world's largest refugee camp, in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where many Rohingya families are trying to survive in cramped, squalid conditions. She reunites with a young boy the BBC first met five years ago. Visitors to North Korea often have a hard time understanding what locals really think. But once North Koreans leave the country, they can finally speak out about feelings locked inside - or just not confronted - for a lifetime. Michael Bristow met one North Korean woman who's now making a new life in the north of England. And in Germany, Tim Mansel explores why the future of small-town family butchers' shops appear to be on the chopping block. Like many other sectors in the German economy, retail butchery is struggling to fill all the empty vacancies. Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Erdogan, the Earthquakes and the Election

This weekend's election in Turkey may be the most consequential vote President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has faced yet. Amid the ruined city of Antakya, Orla Guerin heard strong opinions from his supporters and detractors, as they contemplate their and their country's future. Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan, the space for women in any kind of public life has been steadily shrinking. Yogita Limaye has often met with their spokesmen and challenged their stance on women's education and employment. While the conversations were cordial, there were few signs of any relaxation of the rules. It's a long way from the foothills of Mount Everest to the southwestern state of Karnataka in India; but in this new landscape, some of Tibet's ancient arts and beliefs are still celebrated at a Buddhist monastery in exile. Earlier this year, Simon Broughton joined the monks of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery for the Tibetan Gutor festival, which features blaring horns, crashing cymbals, and dancers dressed as skeletal tormentors. And as Liverpool gets ready for the culmination of the Eurovision Song Contest, Daniel Rosney retraces the six months he's spent criss-crossing Europe in the run-up to the event, and reflects on the special relationship that's been formed between the United Kingdom and last year's winner, Ukraine. Producer: Polly Hope Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-Ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Thailand’s Young Reformers

Kate Adie presents stories from Thailand, Israel, Laos, Switzerland and Ireland. Thailand is standing at a crossroads, with many wondering if the country can move on to a more dynamic, democratic future in the forthcoming election on 14th May. Recent polls put progressive parties ahead, and on target to win a majority of the seats - but can they overcome the conservative status quo? Jonathan Head has been on the campaign trail with one of the young, progressive candidates hoping for change. Israel has been in the grip of nationwide protests over the right-wing coalition's plans for judicial reform, but Israeli Arabs have been conspicuous by their absence. Rhodri Davies spoke to people about why this is in an Arab city in northern Israel. Laos is the most bombed country in the world per capita and is still suffering the consequences of American air strikes 50 years ago. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent heard stories of the dangers posed by unexploded ordinance to farmers and children. In Switzerland, thousands of older Swiss women, nicknamed 'Climate Grannies' are bringing a case against their government to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming the government's lack of action on climate change is putting their health at risk. Imogen Foulkes heard about their fight. And finally, as world leaders, both past and present, have descended on Ireland recently, and after Ireland's victory over England in the Six Nations Rugby grand slam, James Helm reflects on Irish soft power around the world. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Louise Hidalgo Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


The Trial of Vladimir Kara-Murza

Kate Adie presents stories from Russia, Germany, India, Iceland and Japan Russian political activist Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Moscow court this week. Sarah Rainsford exchanged letters with him during his time in prison and reflects on his trial, and how it's being used by Vladimir Putin to send a stern warning to those who oppose him. The trial in Moscow stands in contrast to the highly visible trials watched by the world after World War Two, where high-ranking Nazis appeared before a tribunal in Nuremberg. John Kampfner visited the southern German city, and reflects on what we can still learn from the Nuremberg idea today. Rani Singh travels to Uttar Pradesh – India’s largest state, lying east of the capital Delhi - seen by many as a microcosm of the country. Traditionally, it has not been a progressive place for women. but the situation may be changing: at least in one community, she finds. Despite being a founding member of Nato, Iceland has no standing armed forces of its own. It does however provide support for the 31 member military alliance. And it’s perfectly placed to host Nato’s air surveillance missions. In recent months, the F35s of the Norwegian airforce have made use of an air base in Keflavik in the island’s south-west. David Baillie was there to watch them in action. Dairy consumption – and production - is not something that’s traditionally been associated with Japan, though it has steadily grown in popularity since the mid 20th Century. And in recent decades, a cluster of cheesemakers has sprung up – and Japan’s artisans are now causing a stir on the international stage, says Amy Guttman Series Producer: Serena Tarling Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Mexico's clergy and the cartels

Young Mexicans preparing to join the priesthood don't only have to struggle with matters of mortal sin or individual guilt. They are also often sent to serve communities where the country's drug-trafficking networks are highly active - and extremely violent. Will Grant spoke to some of the men who must run the deadly risks of ministering in 'cartel land'. The regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran has driven events across the Middle East in recent decades - with the two powers backing opposing sides in the conflicts in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Recently, Riyadh and Tehran agreed to re-establish diplomatic ties, but as Sebastian Usher explains, even as some red lines shift, the limits on public debate at home are still very much in force. The Chaco region of Paraguay was once called 'the green hell' for its spiky, almost impenetrable scrubland. It's now opening up to the outside world, thanks to a new highway called the Bi-oceanic Corridor. Some communities living in the Chaco - like the Mennonite groups whose dairy farms now dot the landscape, and the Ayoreo indigenous people of the area - welcome the new opportunities for their produce, but worry about whether newcomers will change their way of life. Jane Chambers heard their concerns. Deal or no deal? Not a game-show question, but a repetitive refrain in the long saga of diplomacy in the Balkans. The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borell recently trumpeted 'we have a deal' after a round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo. Guy De Launey found the devil lay in the detail... or, rather, the lack of it. And on the beaches of Jersey, Christine Finn recently received some lessons in frugality - including advice on the best uses for foraged seaweed, and how to benefit from a cut-price, one-clawed lobster. Presenter: Kate Adie Producer: Polly Hope Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith


Escape from North Korea

Kate Adie presents stories from North Korea, the US, France, Antigua and Ireland. Kim Jong-Un has made it harder to escape North Korea, and numbers of people who have done so successfully have dropped from a thousand each year to just 67 in 2022. 17-year-old Songmi Park was one of the last known people to escape, and Jean MacKenzie heard the story of her childhood there, and her reunion with her mother in Seoul. Last year more than a hundred thousand Americans died from a drug overdose - two-thirds of them after using synthetic opioids like Fentanyl. Tim Mansel was in San Diego where he saw first hand how the opioid crisis still has a firm grip on American communities. Paul Moss was in Paris during the street protests that have escalated across France after President Emmanuel Macron pushed through his pension reforms by decree. He ponders whether the writing is on the wall for President Macron's leadership. Around 900 Cameroonians arrived in Antigua at the end of last year, though many had expected to touch down in the US, where they hoped to build a new life. Gemma Handy investigates why they failed to reach their final destination. On the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Chris Page explores how, at critical moments during the peace process, it was the personal relationships between leaders which helped to finally get the agreement over the line. He spoke to many of the key players about their memories of that period. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Louise Hidalgo Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Israel’s Deep Divisions

Kate Adie presents stories from Israel, the US, Nigeria, Ukraine and Austria. After months of protests, Israel's Prime Minister moved to delay his controversial judicial reforms, which many have criticised for being undemocratic. But the underlying tensions over the future direction of the government have not gone away, and the protest movement is now split, says Tom Bateman. In Florida, several laws have come into force that restrict what can be taught in classrooms. Led by Governor Ron DeSantis, state Republicans say the laws are necessary to shield children from inappropriate content and liberal indoctrination around issues of race and sexual orientation. Chelsea Bailey visited one high school, where teachers say they are being scared into silence. In northwest Nigeria, gangs of bandits have been raiding villages and kidnapping men, women and children for ransom. Villagers have become reliant on local vigilantes to help protect them, but they are ill-equipped to take them on. Alex Last was in Katsina. James Landale, the BBC's Diplomatic correspondent, has spoken to a bartender in Kyiv who had to relocate from Kharkiv with his family when his apartment block was destroyed by a Russian missile. He and a group of bartenders have pooled their resources to start a new business in the capital. And finally, Bethany Bell reflects on the elevated status afforded to a regular of bars or restaurants - known as a 'Stammgast' which comes with bonus privileges. We hear how she finally acquired this honour at her local espresso bar. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Researcher: Bethan Ashmead Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Sabine Schreck


Mississippi: After the Tornado

Kate Adie presents stories from the US, Indonesia, Finland, Turkey and Australia


Ukraine’s Second Spring Of War

Kate Adie presents stories from Ukraine, Malawi, Switzerland and Germany. Bakhmut has long been a prize for Russian forces since it invaded Ukraine a year ago. Tens of thousands of troops have died in a protracted fight for the city, in what is the longest battle of the war so far. Quentin Sommerville has been travelling through the front line, and reveals the changing nature of the war. A 14-day period of national mourning is underway in Malawi, after more than 200 people died when the country was hit by Cyclone Freddy. More than 200,000 people have been displaced. Rhoda Odhiambo visited Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, which is among the worst-affected areas. South Korean pop culture has taken the world by storm in recent years, with K-Pop superstars like BTS and BlackPink scoring number one hits around the world. Korean TV dramas have also been a huge hit - and Sophie Williams says one show in particular has put a small village in Switzerland on the map. In Germany public nudity has a long tradition, but the question of whether the freedom to go naked in public was a legal right was unclear until two women challenged orders asking them to cover up in a public swimming pool. Jenny Hill reports from Berlin. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Researcher: Beth Ashmead Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith


Jeremy Bowen: Memories of Iraq

Kate Adie presents stories from Iraq, on the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion, Brazil and Colombia. The BBC's International Editor Jeremy Bowen first reported from Iraq in 1990, and went on to visit the country on many more occasions - including during the US-led invasion in 2003. Twenty years on since the start of that war, he charts how events during the decade prior shaped the country's destiny. The city of Fallujah has had to rebuild many times following the invasion by coalition forces, which was followed by the Iraqi insurgency and a takeover by Al Qaeda and Isis. Leila Molana Allen speaks to residents of the city about their memories of the last 20 years, and what life is like today. In Brazil, measures have been taken to enshrine protection for those who are overweight, including preferential seats on subways, larger desks in schools and an annual day to promote the rights of obese people. But despite these moves, it can take longer for societal attitudes to change, says Bob Howard. And we're in Colombia on a journey by ferry on the Magdalena river to the old colonial trading hub, Mompox, which later became crucial to the fight for independence. The ripple effects of this region's rich history are still felt today, says Sara Wheeler. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Bethan Ashmead Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Kidnappings in DR Congo

Kate Adie presents stories from DR Congo, Mexico, Hungary, Argentina, and South Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing multiple conflicts over territory, ethnic tensions and minerals. In the last month, fighting between the M23 rebel group and the government is believed to have displaced around 300,000 people. But the presence of other armed groups is making the situation even more perilous. One group, the Allied Democratic Forces, has reportedly killed more than 60 people in recent weeks, and kidnapped many others. Hugh Kinsella-Cunningham spoke to one woman who had recently escaped captivity in Beni territory. The Mexican port of Manzinillo has become a battleground for cartels, as it's where many of the raw materials for drugs such as Fentanyl are imported from Asia. Linda Pressly meets the town's mayor who is trying to turn the tide of crime - and hears of the personal sacrifices she has to make to keep safe. Hungary has faced criticism for its progress on women's rights, but in specific areas of women's healthcare it is leading the way. Rosie Blunt was in Hungary to access care for her endometriosis and found the support on offer was second-to-none. Off the beaten track in north-West Argentina, John Kampfner explores the high peaks and brightly-coloured lagoons that are home to vast numbers of flamingos. He also makes a curious discovery in a local museum, with deep cultural ties to the mountains. Which is the harder language to learn - Welsh, or Xhosa? BBC Wales sports reporter Gareth Rhys Owen recently took a trip to South Africa, where he met rugby legend Makaya Jack – and also met his match when it came to deciding whose mother tongue was hardest to master. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Researcher: Beth Ashmead Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith


Protests in Georgia

Kate Adie presents stories from Georgia, Egypt, The Netherlands, Iceland and Brazil.


South Africa’s Rolling Blackouts

Kate Adie presents stories from South Africa, Russia, Japan, New York, and Ukraine. Unprecedented power cuts has seen South Africa's national power company become the butt of jokes, but the continual outages are hitting the country's already struggling economy. Ed Habershon reveals how people adapt when the traffic lights stop working. Vladimir Putin’s sabre-rattling has become a permanent feature on Russian state-run media, since the invasion of Ukraine began. But a more subtle device the Russian President has employed, is to appeal to Russia’s sense of victim-hood. Francis Scarr reveals the impact this daily narrative has had on his old friends in Russia. Japan struggles with diversity and female representation in both its commercial and political spheres. Shaimaa Khalil met Tokyo’s first female district mayor, who is breaking through the barriers of tradition, to ensure women are seen and heard. Puppy ownership saw a surge during the pandemic, as people discovered the joys of a four-legged companion during lockdown. In New York, the dog of choice for many was a doodle – a poodle hybrid. But there is now a growing backlash against the now ubiquitous doodle, as Laura Trevelyan reports from the dog parks of Brooklyn. Transcarpathia, on the far western edge of Ukraine, is a mosaic of nationalities, languages and religious identities which once made up the Austro-Hungarian empire. But the strains of emigration, war, and displaced populations from elsewhere in the country, are erasing cultural differences, and creating a more uniform Ukraine, reports Nick Thorpe. Producers: Serena Tarling & Emma Close Researcher: Beth Ashmead Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith


Greek Train Crash Triggers Grief And Anger

Kate Adie presents stories from Greece, Turkey, Senegal, Guatemala and Switzerland As relatives of victims in the train crash in Greece mourn their loss, broader questions are being asked about the state management of the railways, unleashing public anger as elections loom. Nick Beake was in Larissa. Turkey has become a top destination for Russia's fleeing the invasion of Ukraine but as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes a firmer stance on migration, Russian applications for residency permits are increasingly being rejected. Emily Wither met one Russia who is helping people relocate in Antalya. The African Renaissance statue is the tallest in Africa and towers over Senegal's capital city, Senegal. Rob Crossan scaled the statue on a recent visit and heard how locals see it as more of a national embarrassment, given its exorbitant cost and domineering presence. Tikal national park in Guatemala's north is renowned both for its archaeological significance and biodiversity. The ancient Mayan city was once part of a great trading network- stretching across from Calakmul in Mexico to Copan in Honduras. Beth Timmins explore the area and spoke to locals about its World Heritage status. Xander Brett visits the alpine resort of St Moritz in Switzerland where, for over a hundred years, the 'White Turf horse race has taken place - on snow and ice. He finds that global warming and safety fears are now casting a shadow over this well-attended spectacle.


Nigeria’s Young Voters Find Their Voice

Nigeria's recent presidential election encouraged many young Nigerians to engage with the political process for the first time and cast a vote, despite a backdrop of voter intimidation and claims of election fraud. Yemisi Adegoke says this impetus is set to continue. The sinking of a migrant boat off the coast of Calabria once again highlighted the dangers of migrant crossings on the high seas. Frey Lindsay travelled on a rescue boat run by a charity from Libya to Ravenna and heard from those on board about what they left behind. The verdict in the trial of former Mexican government drug tsar, Genaro Garcia Luna, has been a spectacular fall from grace for a man Mexicans saw as corrupt but untouchable, writes Will Grant. Banana farmers in central Lebanon have been hit hard by the country's financial crisis and the effects of a changing climate. Now they are looking for a new, more reliable crop, says Hannah McCarthy. Nick Sturdee recounts the story of a 56-year-old man who decided to join the Ukrainian army in the fight against Russia after he witnessed a missile attack. On the reporting assignment, Nick was involved in a life-threatening car accident, which threw everything around him into sharp relief. Series Producer: Serena Tarling Production Coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Uzbekistan’s Winter Energy Crisis

Kate Adie presents stories from Uzbekistan, Turkey, USA, South Africa and Sweden. Uzbekistan is one of the largest gas producers in the world but is in the throes of a full-blown energy crisis. People are struggling to keep warm amid the country's harshest winter in decades. Ibrat Safo reveals how people have taken to cooking outdoors on open fires, as the poor gas supply means it can take an hour just to boil a pot of hot tea. The village of Ovakent in southeast Turkey is known locally as Little Afghanistan. After the catastrophic earthquake last month, the Afghan diaspora - who arrived in Turkey after escaping war in their homeland - are once again living with displacement and uncertainty. Mahjooba Nowrouzi has been to visit the village, which is located near the epicentre of the earthquake. In East Palestine, Ohio, the derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals has left many residents fearful of the long-term health effects. Bernd Debusmann Jr travelled to the town, where people expressed their disappointment in the response to the disaster from authorities, leaving them fearful for the future. South Africa is continuing to battle rising inflation and unemployment, with the country's worst social unrest since the end of apartheid a recent memory. But in the picturesque vineyards that surround Cape Town, it’s easy to forget the extent of South Africa’s problems, says Charlotte Ashton as she visits the 'Stellenbosch bubble'. In Sweden’s far north, near the Norwegian border, where the northern lights frequently light up the winter night sky, Matilda Welin embarked on a journey off the beaten track. She recounts an increasingly rare experience – of unlimited access to the natural world. Series producer: Serena Tarling Producer: Louise HIdalgo Production coordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross


Moldova’s Divided Loyalties.

Kate Adie presents stories from Moldova, Estonia, Cambodia, Chile and the Seychelles. Lucy Williamson visits the Moldovan enclave of Moldova Noua, which has been surrounded by pro-Russian forces since the 1990s. Villagers tell her they feel isolated by pro-Western rhetoric and are being lured closer to Moscow by the cheap energy and lower food prices available in the breakaway Russian-backed region of Transnistria In Estonia's easternmost city of Narva, on the Russian border, Nick Robinson finds there is a generational divide when it comes to views about life under former Soviet rule. Increasingly, locals have to choose which side they're on as they wrestle with the implications of the invasion of Ukraine. Celia Hatton follows the story of stolen Cambodian jewels which have finally been returned from Britain to the southeast Asian country. Under the Khmer Rouge regime, antiques were looted and sold through dealers in Asia to Europe and the US. She meets an archaeologist who is piecing together her country's lost past. Chile has seen some of its worst wildfires in years, with forests destroyed, crops ruined and homes burnt to the ground. More than 25 people have been killed. Jane Chambers drove through one of the worst affected regions. The Coco de Mer tree is a much treasured species that can only be found on two islands in the Seychelles archipelago off East Africa. Rhodri Davies discovers how the region has seen a rise in poaching of its highly prized nut, due to the economic impact of the pandemic.