BBC  |  Podcast , ±31 min episodes every 2 days
An indepth look at stories and issues from around the world. This podcast offers you the chance to access landmark series from our archive.

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Inside the brain of Jeff Bezos

David Baker reveals the thinking and the values that made Jeff Bezos the richest man on the planet, and Amazon the most wildly successful company, even in a year when the global economy faces catastrophe. Speaking to senior colleagues within his businesses, longstanding business partners and analysts, David Baker learns the secrets to Amazon's success. As the billionaire creates a huge philanthropic foundation, the programme examines the impact of Jeff Bezos' ideas on the fight against global climate change and the exploration of the solar system, as well as his impact on the media.

World Wide Waves: The sounds of community radio

We may think we live in a digital age, but only half the world is currently online. Across the globe, small radio stations bind remote communities, play a dazzling array of music, educate, entertain and empower people to make change. Cameroon’s Radio Taboo, Radio Civic Sfantu Gheorghe in the Danube Delta, Tamil Nadu’s Kadal Osai (“the sound of the ocean”), Radio Pio Doce in Bolivia and KTNN, the Voice of the Navajo Nation continue to lift their listeners' spirits up.

The slow search for the origin of Covid-19

As scientists from the World Health Organisation release the findings of their latest visit to Wuhan, Ros Atkins looks at the reasons why so much remains unknown about the start of the pandemic, and the central role China is playing in shaping the investigations.

Coronavirus: The vaccinated

Around the world, millions of people are receiving their first dose of vaccines against Covid-19. Healthcare workers are often prioritised and today we introduce two hospital workers; a porter here in the UK and a cleaner in the US. They share their feelings about what it’s like doing a job that comes with a high risk of catching Covid-19. We also hear from two young adults in the UK. They have just received their first vaccine because they are clinically vulnerable. Meanwhile, Israel extended its vaccinations to 16-18-year-olds to enable them to return to school. We hear from two teenagers about the growing prospect of going back to some form of normality.

Unmasked: Stories from the PPE frontline

Personal protective equipment like masks and gloves are the last line of defence for healthcare workers on the frontline, preventing them from getting infected by the Covid patients they care for. But how protected are the factory workers who make these products? Phil Kemp investigates claims that exhausted migrant workers in Malaysia have worked up to 12 hours a day, 29 days a month to produce the gloves so desperately needed in hospitals around the world, with some exposed to outbreaks themselves at work.

Reporter: Phil Kemp
Producer: Anna Meisel

(Image: A worker inspects newly-made gloves. Credit: Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

Coronavirus Front Line: The search for a vaccine - part two

The medical teams at Bradford investigate the hesitancy over the Covid-19 vaccine. A team of young ambassadors is recruited to help build trust locally and medical teams follow up with those who appear reluctant for a variety of reasons. Abdul Majeed is one of those doubters, even though his uncle, Nawab Ali, has died from Covid and his father, Abdul Saboor, had been gravely ill in intensive care with Covid-19 for two months.

Coronavirus: Guilty mums

Many parents are finding it hard to be a teacher and a parent at the same time during this pandemic. Two mums - Priya in India and Mpulte in South Africa - share their experiences. Host Nuala McGovern also hears the urgent appeal being sent to medics to help in Portugal’s intensive care units, as the country undergoes a worrying spike in cases. “We need you,” is the message sent to one nurse, who is being drafted into ICU for the first time. Plus, three women in Germany, Australia and the United States come together to explain why the pandemic has led them to sell naked images and videos of themselves online.

Trump impeachment: The Republicans' dilemma

As Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial approaches, Ros Atkins looks at the decisions that Republicans face over the former US president’s role in the storming of the Capitol and in the future of their party.

Europe’s Most Dangerous Capital

Bucharest, in Romania, is arguably Europe’s most dangerous capital city. It’s not the crime that’s the problem – it’s the buildings. Many of them don’t comply with basic laws and building regulations. Permits are regularly faked. And yet Bucharest is the most earthquake prone European capital. A serious quake would cause many of the buildings to collapse, with a potential loss of life into the thousands. Some years ago a red dot was put on a number of buildings in the city which were in danger of collapse. Nothing else has happened since. A microcosm of the problem is a type of building called ‘camine de nefamilisti’ or, ‘homes for those without families’. These were built during the Ceaucescu era to temporarily house workers brought in from the countryside and people who were still single after university. The single room flats, the size of a prison cell, with a communal shower and toilet on each floor were never meant for families. But after the fall of Communism many of these ‘matchboxes’ ended up in private hands and conditions deteriorated with whole families moved into spaces designed for a single person. Simona Rata grew up in one of these buildings. For Assignment, she returns to the ‘camine de nefamilisti’ and finds little has changed since her childhood.

Reporter, Simona Rata.
Producer, John Murphy.
Editor, Bridget Harney
(Image: Abandoned building on Calea Mosilor, a busy street in the centre of Bucharest. Credit: Simona Rata/BBC)

Coronavirus Front Line: The search for a vaccine

Over the last few months the race has been on to create and test a vaccine for Covid -19. Over 200 are in development and some are now licensed and given to protect some of the most vulnerable in society and those caring for them. Winifred Robinson has been alongside medical teams at a UK hospital recording as events unfold. She tracks vaccine development through the trial stages and examines what happens when it comes to eventual distribution.

Compassion fatigue

Compassion fatigue has long been an issue for people in the medical and humanitarian professions. People often enter those worlds because of a desire to care, and to be compassionate towards others, but often compassion is tested to the limits. What does compassion fatigue mean for both those suffering from emotional burnout, and those on the receiving end? We hear from doctors, humanitarians, and experts who explain why compassion is a finite resource.

Coronavirus: Vaccine hesitancy among ethnic minorities

Millions of people across the world are currently being vaccinated against Covid-19. Black, Asian and Latino groups have been the hardest hit by the first wave of the pandemic and yet people within these groups are more reluctant to take up the offer of the coronavirus vaccine. Two doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom counteract the misinformation and share their experiences of patients’ vaccine mistrust with host Nuala McGovern.

326 episodes

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