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Syria - Inside Syria's War - 21' min 27" sec [2 August 2012]

UN's Syria observer mission ends amid Eid bloodshed

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This powerful exclusive is the first film to access the Free Syrian Army's secret labyrinth of caves and also holds a rare interview with the FSA leader. A fascinating insight to how the battle for Syria is being fought.
In Syria's increasingly violent war, rebels have used local knowledge to great advantage. Their 3,000 year-old caves are now of huge strategic importance. "The army besieged us many times and we always slipped through." But local knowledge only gets them so far as they struggle against the full force of Assad's regime. As one failed test run of a home-made mortar shows, they don't have much to work with. They are disheartened by months of fighting without help. According to one rebel, "America and Europe simply hide behind the Russian veto. They lie to us." Even the head of the FSA, Colonel Riad al-Assad, cannot maintain morale. As the situation worsens and rebel groups plea for guidance, he is running out of ideas.
SBS

(Ref: 5580)



China - Asia's Arms Race - 11' min 13'' sec [11 June 2012]

Tensions escalate over South Seas as China tells US to 'shut up'

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With diplomacy failing to break the deadlock between China and other Asian nations over the disputed Spratley Islands, arms dealers have been making a killing in the race for control of the valuable South China Seas.
"The US and the Philippines have a mutual defence treaty. OK?" It is strong support like this from Lt General Duane Thiessen that has emboldened the Philippines to stand up to China over its dispute with them in the South China Sea, saying that they will "fight China with a sword". Tensions have not been helped by Malaysia being drawn into the territorial dispute and other countries like Vietnam clashing with China as the superpower throws its weight around in the region. All of these countries have reacted by investing in arms, China spending 11% more than it did last year on military investment. All of this has resulted in a real boom for arms dealers. As salesman Mati Hindrekus points out: "The Asian market is a growth market." Despite these fighting words and increased investment no one believes that these rising tensions will lead to war. But as the arms race shows no signs of slowing down and diplomacy continues to fail, it is difficult to see how the growing tensions will be resolved.

SBS

(Ref: 5536)



Iraq - Female Fighters of Kurdistan (HD) - 20' min 15" sec [6 August 2012]

115 PKK dead in bloody clashes with Turkey

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Fighting to carve a homeland in a region not known for its women's rights, the female guerrillas of the Kurdish Liberation Movement have quite a challenge ahead. Can they really equal their male comrades?
"It is not right to consider a woman fragile", argues one female fighter. For the armed women of PJAK - a rebel group fighting for Kurdish independence in the mountains of northern Iraq, Turkey and Iran - their mission is to defend women from the "persecution" of sharia law, whilst also creating a Kurdish homeland. Their male comrades support their vision of an emancipated Kurdish nation; "women are much better than men at leadership and organisation", one PKK fighter insists. It isn't an easy path: "You are not allowed to be a guerrilla and have a family. You will be distracted". Yet from their remote mountain outpost this ragtag group are determined that their sacrifices will lead to "equality and equity".
VBS.tv

(Ref: 5579)



Japan - Warning to the World - 18 min [1 August 1995]

Japan marks Hiroshima anniversary with anti-nuclear plea

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On the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing Japan is fraught with debate over nuclear power. This iconic film contains shockingly powerful archive of the horror of an attack that has plagued the nation.
"I write this as a warning to the world..", headlined London's Daily Express in 1945. What the first Western journalist into Hiroshima, Wilfred Burnett, had witnessed would haunt him for the rest of his life. Christening the sickness of the victims as "Atomic Plague", he was eventually spurned by the West as a "rebel". This compelling profile of his experience offers a stark reminder of why his warning still holds sway today.
David Bradbury

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USA - Gore Vidal - 15 min 20 sec [8 August 2006]

US reflects on Vidal's prolific critical legacy

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As the world celebrates the legacy of Gore Vidal, this incisive profile explores the American icon's lifetime critique of US politics. With the US presidential campaign raging, can his predictions teach anything?
Vidal never gave up on trying to make the "United States of Amnesia" learn lessons from the past. In an interview filmed in his 81st year, Vidal argues that the world is witnessing the gradual fall of the "American Empire". This tour through his potent views on previous US Presidencies and post 9-11 international relations offers a colourful perspective on US modern history from the last great American dissident.
ABC Australia

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