Subscribe to this channel

You can subscribe to new audio episodes published on this channel. You can follow updates using the channel's RSS feed, or via other audio platforms you may already be using.

RSS Feed

You can use any RSS feed reader to follow updates, even your browser. We recommend using an application dedicated to listening podcasts for the best experience. iOS users can look at Overcast or Castro. Pocket Casts is also very popular and has both iOS and Android versions. Add the above link to the application to follow this podcast channel.

Signup to iono.fm

Sign up for a free iono.fm user account to start building your playlist of podcast channels. You'll be able to build a personalised RSS feed you can follow or listen with our web player.
08
APR
2021

Denmark: goodbye to mink

Can Denmark's mink industry rise again? Denmark was the world's top producer of mink for the luxury market. Last year a coronavirus variant was found in the animals, and transmitted to people. There was a fear the variant - Cluster 5 - might interfere with the efficacy of any vaccine developed for humans. So in November, the Danish government ordered a cull of all 17 million farmed mink. But questions have continued to be asked about the decision to effectively end production. Was it driven by an anti-fur, political agenda? Was the science reliable? For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly and Danish journalist, Rikke Bolander, meet some of those with skin in the game. What are the chances of a revival of Denmark's mink business?

Producers / presenters: Linda Pressly and Rikke Bolander
Editor, Bridget Harney
01
APR
2021

Namibia: the Price of Genocide

More than a century after its brutal colonisation of Namibia, including what it now accepts was the genocide of the Herero and Nama peoples, Germany is negotiating with the country’s government to heal the wounds of the past. The eventual deal may set a precedent for what other nations expect from former colonisers. But how do you make up for the destruction of entire societies? Germany has agreed to apologise - but Namibia also wants some form of material compensation. What should that be, and who should benefit? Namibians are now divided about how the talks are being conducted - and some in the country’s German-speaking minority, descendants of the original colonists, question the very idea of compensation. Tim Whewell travels to Namibia to ask how far full reconciliation - with Germany, and within the country - is possible.

Produced and presented by Tim Whewell
Editor, Bridget Harney
21
JAN
2021

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 one communal shower and three Turkish style toilets per 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 Crossing Continents she returns to the ‘camine de nefamilisti’ and finds little has changed since her childhood. The overcrowded blocks with poor sanitary conditions make tackling Covid difficult and the stability of the buildings remains a source of grave concern.
Reporter and producer: Simona Rata. Editor, Bridget Harney
14
JAN
2021

Shipwreck

The migrant shipwreck that rose again… In April, 2015 more than a thousand refugees and migrants drowned when the old fishing boat they were travelling on sank. It was the worst shipwreck in the Mediterranean since World War Two.

But the people who died are not forgotten. Not by their families and friends - and not by a professor of forensic pathology at the University of Milan.

“There’s a body that needs to be identified, you identify it. This is the first commandment of forensic medicine,” says Dr Cristina Cattaneo.

Crossing Continents tells the story of the raising of the fishing boat from the Mediterranean's seabed, and Dr Cattaneo's efforts to begin to identify the people who lost their lives on that moonless night on the edge of Europe.

Producer and presenter: Linda Pressly
Editor: Bridget Harney
07
JAN
2021

Libya's Brothers from Hell

Amid the anarchy of post-Revolution Libya, seven ruthless brothers from an obscure background gradually took over their home town near Tripoli. They're accused of murdering entire families to instill fear and to build power and wealth. They created their own militia which threw in its lot, at different times, with various forces in Libya's ongoing conflict. And they grew rich by levying taxes on the human and fuel traffickers crossing their territory. Now, the full horror of their reign of terror is being exposed: since they were driven out in June, more and more mass graves are being discovered. The Libyan authorities - and the International Criminal Court - are investigating what happened. But the four surviving Kani brothers have fled. Will they ever face justice? And what does their story tell us about why the 2011 overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi brought not democracy, but chaos, to Libya? Tim Whewell reports.
Editor: Bridget Harney
31
DEC
2020

Searching for Wisdom in Lagos

A young woman is desperately searching for her brother in Lagos. On the night of 20th October, Nigerian soldiers opened fire at a peaceful demonstration camped at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos. The government say they fired into the air, but witnesses insist that unarmed protesters came under deliberate attack. Amnesty International says that 12 people died.

The incident has traumatised a highly popular political reform movement that began as a demand to close down the S.A.R.S., a notoriously corrupt and brutal police squad. In the aftermath, many of the movement’s young supporters are keeping a low profile. Some have had their bank accounts frozen and passports seized. Others have even fled overseas, in fear of their lives.

The BBC’s Nigeria correspondent Mayeni Jones has been talking to some of them, including a witness to the Lekki shooting, and Peace, who is tirelessly searching for her brother, Wisdom, who is still missing after attending the demonstration. Mayeni finds a country whose traditionally deferential society and elderly leadership seem suddenly vulnerable; shaken by a perfect storm of youthful idealism, social media activism, and the crippling economic fallout of the Covid pandemic.

Producers: Naomi Scherbel-Ball & Michael Gallagher
With additional research by Jonelle Awomoyi
Editor: Bridget Harney
24
DEC
2020

The Mapuche - Fighting for their right to heal

The Mapuche are Chile’s largest indigenous group – a population of more than 2 million people. And, they are fighting for their right to heal. They want Chileans to value their unique approach to healthcare and give them control of land and their own destiny. But, it’s a tough sell when there’s so much distrust and violence between the two communities. Jane Chambers travels to their homeland in the Araucania region in the south of Chile, where she’s given rare access to traditional healers and political leaders.

Presenter / producer: Jane Chambers
Producer in London: Linda Pressly
Editor: Bridget Harney

(Image: Machi Juana at her home by her sacred altar. Credit: Jane Chambers/BBC)
17
DEC
2020

Darfur: A Precarious Peace

After 17 years of conflict costing 300,000 lives a peace agreement offers new hope to Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. It comes as UNAMID, the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force, prepares to finally pull out at the end of this month. But with nearly two million displaced people still living in camps and some armed groups yet to sign the agreement, who will protect civilians if the peace fails? For Crossing Continents, Mike Thomson gains rare access to Darfur to hear the stories of those still living with deep uncertainty.

Producer, Bob Howard.
Editor, Bridget Harney
10
DEC
2020

Syria's Soldiers of Fortune

The bitter war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Caucasian region of Nagorno Karabakh may have come to an end, but the business of fighting may continue for at least some of its combatants. There’s growing evidence that hundreds of soldiers in this war were mercenaries recruited from mostly rebel-held regions in northern Syria - even though that's strongly denied by Azerbaijan. In this week’s Crossing Continents Ed Butler hears testimony from a number of young Syrians, who say they fought in a war which in most cases they didn't realise they were signing up for. Some speak of shame at having to work this way – a symptom of the increasing economic desperation that's affecting the embattled regions of northern Syria where they live.

Produced and presented by Ed Butler
Editor, Bridget Harney
03
DEC
2020

Belarusian Police – Behind the Balaclavas

Minsk, early December. A wall of masked men in black body armour, beating their truncheons on steel shields. In front of them stand women bundled in winter coats and teenagers wrapped in red and white flags. They’re singing a protest song once heard in the revolutionary shipyards of Gdansk a generation before - an anthem for democracy and change. For more than one hundred days these versions of Belarus have advanced and retreated - and now they seem locked in impasse. Despite sanctions, despite disapproval so loud that even foreign diplomats are demonstrating - the government of Alexander Lukashenko stands firm. For Crossing Continents Lucy Ash explores the world of the security forces that keep Lukashenko in power, peeling back the ubiquitous balaclavas to find the men and women beneath.

Producer, Monica Whitlock
Editor, Bridget Harney
26
NOV
2020

Sicily's Prisoner Fishermen

18 fishermen from Sicily are in jail in Benghazi, accused of fishing in Libya’s waters. And in this part of the Mediterranean rich in the highly-prized and lucrative red prawn, these kinds of arrests are frequent. Usually the Libyans release the men after negotiations. This time it’s different. Gen Khalifa Haftar – the warlord with authority over the east of Libya – is demanding a prisoner swap: the freeing of 4 Libyans in jail in Sicily convicted of human trafficking and implicated in the deaths of 49 migrants, in return for the fishermen. For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly explores a little-known conflict in the Mediterranean - the so-called War of the Red Prawn, and its fall-out.
19
NOV
2020

Martinique: The Poisoning of Paradise

“First we were enslaved. Then we were poisoned.” That’s how many on Martinique see the history of their French Caribbean island that, to tourists, means sun, rum, and palm-fringed beaches. Slavery was abolished in 1848. But today the islanders are victims again – of a toxic pesticide called chlordecone that’s poisoned the soil and water and been linked by scientists to unusually high rates of prostate cancer. For more than 10 years chlordecone was authorised for use in banana plantations – though its harmful effects were already known. Now, more than 90% of Martinicans have traces of it in their blood. The pollution means many can't grow vegetables in their gardens - and fish caught close to the shore are too dangerous to eat. French President Emmanuel Macron has called it an ‘environmental scandal’ and said the state ‘must take responsibility’. But some activists on the island want to raise wider questions about why the pesticide was used for so long – and on an island divided between a black majority and a small white minority, it’s lost on no-one that the banana farmers who used the toxic chemical and still enjoy considerable economic power are, in many cases, descendants of the slave owners who once ran Martinique. Reporting from the island for Crossing Continents, Tim Whewell asks how much has changed there. Is Martinique really an equal part of France? And is there equality between descendants of slaves and the descendants of their masters, even now?

Produced and presented by Tim Whewell
Editor, Bridget Harney

65 episodes

« Back 25—36 More »