Episodes
Vietnamese migration to the UK is the second highest after Albania and each year the numbers are rising. Not even the tragedy of the Essex lorry disaster in 2019 has been enough to put people off. Then 39 Vietnamese migrants suffocated in a container lorry as they came over the English channel. BBC journalist Nga Pham talks to people in Vietnam about their desperation to leave their country. Coming from some of the most economically deprived provinces, families pay between $30-45,000 to...
Published 09/23/21
After years in the wilderness, athletes with a learning disability are back at the London 2012 Paralympics - and Dan is among them. There are new tests designed to stop cheating. Do they work? And why, 21 years on from the basketball scandal, are there still fewer medals for intellectual impairment athletes than there were at Sydney 2000? Plus Dan catches up one last time with Ray, the genuinely disabled captain of the infamous Spanish basketball team. The scandal has taken a big toll on his...
Published 09/21/21
As Afghanistan reaches a turning point with American troops leaving the country, BBC Pashto presenter Sana Safi tells the story of how her own life has been intertwined with the fate of her country. She tells the story of what it was like for a child to survive in a country caught between the crosshairs of geopolitical conflict, of surviving religious fundamentalism, of growing up in a country without music or books. She describes how violence and conflict forced her family to move from...
Published 09/18/21
Can sticking to our dreams end up holding us back? Diane and her husband promised they would sell their home on retirement and travel the world. Sadly, he passed away before they could do that. Diane wants to carry on with that plan but the pandemic has made her realise the richness of her community and given her a sense that as she gets older she needs to make best use of the time she has. Perhaps she is wrong to turn her back on where she lives and what she has. Sister Dang Nghiem, a...
Published 09/18/21
The United States continues to record some of the highest infection and death rates in the world due to Covid-19. Host Nuala McGovern brings together two hospital nurses in Florida. They share the heartbreak and exhaustion of treating severely ill and dying patients, often young, who they say could have avoided hospital completely by getting vaccinated. Two doctors working in Delhi and Mumbai, say vaccination numbers are soaring. But they worry that festivals and other celebrations may lead...
Published 09/18/21
The UK joins a growing number of rich countries offering Covid booster vaccines, whilst across Africa only 3% of people have been vaccinated against the virus. Ros Atkins looks into the issue of vaccine inequity
Published 09/18/21
Assignment reveals the inside story of Ramon Abbas, one of a new breed of global cyber fraudsters. Snared by the FBI in 2020, Abbas’ is better known as Instagram influencer Hushpuppi, who flaunted a life of designer clothes, private jets and penthouse apartments to millions of followers. Little did they know that his lavish lifestyle was funded through a complex web of cyber-heists. Most cyber-criminals remain nameless, faceless, anonymous and all but untraceable. Now, Assignment unmasks...
Published 09/16/21
A criminal case is brought against the so-called fake Paralympians and the team’s organisers. The prosecutor gives the inside take on the legal process and an outcome that left many frustrated. And Dan hears about the man accused of being the mastermind behind the scam and his surprising back story. Will he explain himself and apologise to the victims?
Published 09/14/21
Jealousy, rudeness, lack of respect - it can be hard not to be troubled by the way people treat us. Sometimes we may feel that people that we know are jealous and are trying to hold us back. After a personal question from Sneha in India, author of 'Universal Human' Gary Zukav joins the BBC's Sana Safi to explore how to reduce the hurt and distress caused by what others may think.
Published 09/11/21
The Taliban is stamping its authority on Afghanistan, and dealing forcefully with those demonstrating against the new regime. In recent days, the details of the new government's all-male cabinet have provoked some to take to the streets in protest. Host Karnie Sharp hears from people who have been caught up in the demonstrations. Two female medical professionals, a dentist and a doctor, describe how their working lives have changed, having been told they can no longer treat male patients - or...
Published 09/11/21
Twenty years on from the 9/11 terror attacks, New Yorkers and those affected by the events recall where they were and how they have managed to process the horror of what happened. Presenter and New Yorker Joan Mastropaolo, now a volunteer at the 9/11 Tribute Museum, takes us on a tour of the 9/11 memorial and explains what it means to her. Former US poet laureate Billy Collins recalls how writing and performing the official memorial poem – Names. Annie Thoms, a teacher from one of the...
Published 09/10/21
Gordon Corera investigates the mysterious illness that has struck American diplomats and spies. It began after some reported hearing strange sounds in Havana 2016, but reports have since spread around the world. Doctors, scientists, intelligence agents and government officials have all been trying to find out what exactly causes these sounds and the lingering health effects. Some call it an act of war, others wonder if it is some new and secret form of surveillance while others believe it...
Published 09/09/21
There are allegations the cheating went wider within intellectual disability sport, and that it wasn’t just the gold-winning Spanish basketball team. An investigator for the International Paralympic Committee reveals what he found, and discusses specific accusations he heard about another of the basketball teams. The probe has shocking consequences for intellectual disability sport: a total ban from the Paralympic Games. Dan has a heart-to-heart with his mum and dad about the impact on his...
Published 09/07/21
Zorba’s theme from the 1964 film is what the composer Mikis Theodorakis will always be known for outside his native Greece, but in his time he was a figure on the world stage, rubbing shoulders with poets, politicians and artists like Pablo Neruda, Olof Palme and Salvador Dali. His most powerful music evokes a spirit of heroic rebellion that resonated with liberation movements from Greece to Latin America. And, far beyond Zorba, he wrote classical symphonies, ballets, operas, and popular...
Published 09/05/21
When Covid restrictions are lifted, the effort to return to our former lives can present unexpected personal trials. Shops, restaurants and offices have re- opened in Detroit, USA but Alex is finding it very hard to go back into the outside world and start socialising again. Dr Shefali helps him find a way forward and discusses the challenges of leaving home and re-entering the public world in places that have started opening up again, with presenter Sana Safi.
Published 09/04/21
The last US soldier has left Afghanistan, leaving the Taliban in control of the vast majority of the country. Working women have been told to stay at home for now, for their own safety. Host Nuala McGovern hears from two sisters, who say they feel trapped in their family home in Afghanistan, unable to set foot outside and terrified of the Taliban. She meets Afghan women, who are volunteering at a community centre in London, helping those who have fled their country. They share their own...
Published 09/04/21
The fire that destroyed the sprawling Moria asylum seekers’ camp on the Greek island of Lesvos last September made headlines around the world. For the asylum seekers who lost their makeshift home and most of their possessions, it was a devastating setback. For Greece, still hosting thousands of migrants Europe won’t take in, the fire intensified a determination to move them on elsewhere. What’s happened to some of Moria’s former residents since then? Working with Athens-based journalists Katy...
Published 09/02/21
The cheating is now out in the open and the players - including genuinely-disabled captain Ray - have to hand back their gold medals. But how and when did the cheating start? An ex-coach of the team, who was in charge until just two years before the scandal, says he began to suspect something was wrong way before Sydney 2000. Plus Dan tries to find an answer to one of the biggest questions of all - why did the cheats do it?
Published 08/31/21
What can we learn about a culture from what they search online? From xenophobia in Nigeria, shut-in teenagers in Japan, India’s biometric identity card, and the creation of viral TikTok slang, we look at the search trends that have come to define us. Ben Arogundade investigates what the most popular searches reveal about our approach to death, dating, and digital identity. Tech journalist Nilesh Christopher tell us that India’s pandemic searches may be more complicated than they first appear,...
Published 08/28/21
Keeping some peace of mind when the world around you is in turmoil is a great challenge. Mohammed finds it hard to maintain concentration, he sleeps 12 hours a night but awakes exhausted. He lives in Afghanistan, which is in a state of conflict, and spends a lot of time on social media. Sister Dang Nghiem offers advice on how to make your mind a beautiful refuge from the chaos and insecurity in the outside world. She discusses the North Korean communists taking over Saigon when she was a...
Published 08/28/21
Despite terror warnings, Afghans continued to gather at Kabul’s airport, desperate to get onto a plane. What was feared, and what is sadly familiar in Afghanistan, happened - bomb blasts brought further devastation. Around 100,000 people have been flown out of the country though since the Taliban takeover. We hear stories from two women who have been at the airport and managed to get a flight. Also, two students in Kabul and Herat share their fears about being unable to continue their...
Published 08/28/21
How Catalonia’s housing crisis spawns opportunities for organised crime… Spain has a history of squatting. After the property crash of 2008 many families were forced to occupy homes that did not belong to them because they could not pay their mortgages. Now a darker side to ‘okupacion’ has emerged. Organised crime has seen an opportunity. Some flats in Barcelona have become ‘narcopisos’ - properties used to process or sell drugs. Other empty properties have been ‘sub-let’ by gangs to...
Published 08/26/21
"We are our history," said James Baldwin. But how history is remembered depends on what materials survive, and who deems those materials worthy of preserving. Maya Millett - a writer, editor and founder of Race Women, an archive project dedicated to honouring early Black American feminists - speaks to the archivists who are working to ensure the voices and stories of African-Americans are not forgotten. As racism and violence against African-Americans continues, collecting, cataloguing, and...
Published 08/25/21
A basketball journalist in Spain recognises three of the players in the gold-medal-winning intellectual disability basketball team - and they are not disabled. He has even played on the same team as one of them. But when he publishes his story in a national basketball magazine, the team’s organisers show certificates supposedly proving the players’ disability status. The denials continue until another of the players - who turns out to have been a journalist - publishes his own article...
Published 08/24/21
Twenty years ago, the brash Texan energy company Enron collapsed after its massive fraud was finally exposed. Investors and pension funds worldwide lost billions of dollars. The case was meant to signal a sea-change in the way businesses were policed. How difficult would it be to weave a similar web of financial deceit today? Lesley Curwen travels to the dark side of business to find out whether it is still just as easy to fleece investors – which in the end means us – out of our money.
Published 08/21/21