The daily drama of money and work from the BBC.
Managing our National Parks
Approximately 6% of the Earth’s land surface is covered in National Parks – but what does it take to look after these rare and special landscapes?
We go beyond the tourist trails to hear about the challenges and opportunities facing the people managing the parks.
Presenter Laura Heighton-Ginns meets the president of Gorongosa in Mozambique, a park that’s powering the local economy. Gorongosa has become the region’s largest employer and operates a number of side businesses to help with its funding.
Laura also visits Dartmoor in the South West of England, which has seen government financial support cut by nearly half over the last 10 years.
And she finds out about the oldest protected area in the world – and why its future is uncertain.
Presenter/producer Laura Heighton-Ginns.
Image: Gorongosa National Park. Credit: Gabriela Curtiz / Gorongosa National Park
War in Ukraine: Venezuela's oil opportunity?
Russian aggression in Ukraine and the world's quest to end the dependence on Russian oil and gas has created an opportunity for Venezuela to negotiate an easing of the US-imposed oil sanctions. But, as Ivana Davidovic discovers, there are also many pitfalls on that journey.
Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but years of underinvestment have severely impacted output, as professor Terry Karl explains.
Former chairwoman of the refiner Citgo, Luisa Palacios, outlines where Venezuela still manages to sell its oil and the role played by Iran in that trade. She also thinks that a sanctions deal could be made if the Maduro administration is willing to relinquish some control over production.
But Venezuela expert David Smilde is worried that political, rather than practical, considerations - in the US and Venezuela - might muddy the waters.
Caracas-based journalist Francis Pena goes on a lengthy journey to buy petrol in her home city, illustrating how economic mismanagement and sanctions are affecting day-to-day lives.
Presenter/producer: Ivana Davidovic
Image: A motorcycle passes in front of an oil-themed mural in Caracas, Venezuela. Credit: Javier Campos/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
The power of fungi
Tim Hayward takes a journey into the world of fungi. There’s a global wave of interest in the potential uses of fungi right now - and businesses are catching on and playing their part.
Tim starts at the Fungarium in Kew Gardens, the world’s biggest collection of dried fungal specimens, guided by collections curator Lee Davies. He then heads to a forest in Finland, where chief executive Eric Puro and lab manager Joette Crosier walk him through the setup at Kääpä Biotech - one of a new breed of fungally-focussed companies with big ambitions rooted in a passion for mushrooms and mycelium. Then he talks with Albert Garcia-Romeu, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Albert is part of a research team looking at the fungally-derived compound psilocybin - about which there’s a huge amount of interest relating to its therapeutic potential.
Presenter: Tim Hayward
Producer : Richard Ward.
Image: Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms being cultivated at Kääpä Mushrooms, Karjalohja, Finland. Used with permission.
Tim’s three-part series about fungi, ‘Fungi: The New Frontier’, is available now on BBC Sounds.
China's economic challenge
China, the so-called engine of global growth, seems to be stalling badly right now. The country is facing rising unemployment, falling factory output and a collapsing property market. Plus, a growing number of regular Chinese citizens are complaining that the country's tough anti-Covid strategy isn't working.
China has faced choppy economic waters before. But with record high-levels of domestic debt, does it now have the resources to shore up the holes when firms, banks and even local governments start to run out of money? And what are the implications for the rest of us?
Presenter/producer: Ed Butler
Image: Children play basketball in front of a housing complex built by debt-laden Chinese property developer Evergrande in Beijing. Credit: Noel Celis/Getty Images.
Women, sport and business: Betting
Gambling has a long and complex relationship with sport. But betting is no longer a man's game. As women's sport grows, many companies are putting big money on its success.
In the last edition of our series looking at women, sport and business, we find out how one football side came back from the brink via a deal with Sweden's main gambling operator, Svenska Spel. We hear how England's victory in the Women's Euros could be a big win for the British betting sector.
But as other sports eye up sponsorship deals, some are calling for tighter controls on how - and to whom - bookmakers can advertise.
Presenter/Producer: Alex Bell
(Image: Kristianstads DFF face their rivals Djurgardens IF DFF in Stockholm, Sweden. Credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images.)
The Hongkongers leaving for the UK
In 2020, after months of civil unrest, China introduced a new security law in Hong Kong. The UK authorities said it 'violated' the one country, two systems principle established after the former colony was handed back to China in 1997. In response the UK has expanded the British National Overseas visa scheme which now offers the right to live and work in the UK for five years, as well as a path to citizenship. In the first 15 months about 125,000 people applied. We catch up with those starting new lives in the UK and find out how they're establishing careers.
We hear from a journalist who's now working as a traffic warden, and a politician who has found a new role working for a High Street bank. Others explain how they organise regular litter picks to show their gratitude to the UK. Former Chinese diplomat Victor Gao gives the view from Beijing.
Producer/presenter: James Graham
Additional production: Danny Vincent
Image: A woman in Hong Kong at night. Credit: Getty Images