Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.
A series of unfortunate events
Justin Rowlatt discovers how phosphorus may have held evolution back for a billion years. How plants first colonised the land - precipitating an ice age in the process. And why volcanoes have both rescued and almost wiped out life on the planet, thanks to the carbon dioxide they emit. Anjali Goswami of the Natural History Museum takes Justin on a tour of the big five mass extinction events in the fossil record over the last half billion years.
The Story of Aids: 2. Act Up fights back
It began in March of 1987, when the playwright Larry Kramer gave a speech at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York’s West Village, telling half the room to stand up. He bluntly informed those in attendance, that many people would be dead from Aids in just a few years, if they didn’t fight back. The US government’s response to the HIV-Aids crisis had been slow, with President Reagan reticent to offend the conservative morals of the Christian Coalition who helped secure his election. In response, the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power - Act Up - took to the streets to demand politicians and public health agencies do more.
World of Wisdom: Forgiveness
Forgiving someone who has hurt us badly can seem impossible. Bearing a grudge can feel like carrying a bag or rocks. Can we learn to move on and forgive?Author of Universal Human, Gary Zukav, offers insights to Joey from Lebanon, now living in Germany, as he struggles to forgive his brother for creating problems in his marriage and seeks to heal the rift it has caused in his family.
World leaders, scientists and activists are preparing for next month’s UN climate change summit in Scotland. These talks have been taking place for decades - but you sense the world is watching like never before, as awareness increases around how the planet is changing. In 1992, a 12-year-old called Severn Cullis-Suzuki from Canada gave a rousing speech and appeal for action at the Earth Summit in Rio. Severn and her father remain long-term environmental activists and host Nuala McGovern brings them together in conversation to hear their thoughts on whether Severn’s speech would be any different today.
Ros Atkins on: China-Taiwan tensions
In recent weeks, China has sent a record number of military jets into Taiwan’s air defence zone. The Taiwanese Defence Minister, Chiu Kuo-cheng, has said that tensions between China and the self-governing island are the worst in 40 years. Ros Atkins examines what is behind China’s military pressure on Taiwan.
Russia: The limits of freedom
In August, the BBC’s Moscow correspondent, Sarah Rainsford, was expelled from Russia – a country she’s reported on from the start of Vladimir Putin’s presidency over two decades ago. Now she has been designated a ‘national security threat’ and barred indefinitely. The move against the BBC comes at a time of unprecedented pressure on critical voices in Russia – from opposition activists to independent Russian journalists, who are now blacklisted as ‘agents’ of foreign states. For Assignment, Sarah Rainsford explores what happened to her and what this says about the country she’s been forced to leave.
Producer/presenter: Sarah Rainsford
Producer: Will Vernon
(Photo: Sarah Rainsford. Credit: Jonathan Ford)
I watch the olympics exactly zero minutes. I don’t pay attention at all. Yet I’m transfixed by the ongoing series on the Paralympic cheating scandal and can’t wait for the next episode. It is a sign of excellence of the entire podcast and the bbc commitment to excellence, and also the amazing work of that particular series.
North Korean communists in Saigon? I think I missed that in history class. But seriously, I like the unique deep dives on this podcast.
Intellectually challenged in para-Olympics. Really? Why?