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Iraq - A Nation On Edge - 7' min 50'' sec [5 March 2012]

Death toll rising as Iraq rocked by bomb attacks

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Since the US pulled out of Iraq, the country has been chaotic. Contrary to what the US are saying, mass poverty, clashes between Sunnis and Shiites and political corruption are tearing the nation apart.
Despite Iraq's oil wealth, one fifth of the population live in poverty, unemployment is high, and almost 2 million are reported to be malnourished. The situation is compounded by growing violence across the country. As Majid Tofan, editor of alMehda newspaper, explains, "Corruption is a huge problem in Iraq and many terror operations are financed by corruption." In light of these considerations, many Iraqis hold a widespread "distrust of politicians" and the motives behind their actions. Yet as one female student says, "we do hope that a new political leader will emerge, capable of creating full security for everyone."
AXIOM, Lennart Berggren

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Japan - After the Tsunami - 28' min 45'' sec [5 March 2012]

Radioactivity concerns hang over tsunami anniversary

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On the 11th of March last year Japan's worst ever natural disaster killed almost 20,000 people. This report reveals the controversy surrounding it and the pain of rebuilding under the fear of radioactivity.
Around the world the Japanese were praised for dealing with the March 11 earthquake with stoicism and patience. But one year on and there is still an arduous struggle for reconstruction that prevents people from returning their lives to normality. While the government promises that the country's situation is under control, the poor handling of the crisis and widespread misinformation has lead to a lack of trust and fears about radioactive contamination. "Contaminated food is entering the markets throughout Japan. For me this is quite frankly, very worrying", says a Japanese radiation expert. An increasing number of people don't trust official data and in cities like Tokyo there is a palpable, but often unspoken sense of fear. "The scientists say there is no reason for concern. I would like to believe this but I still worry that the situation could become even worse." As a proud nation, Japan watched several cherished myths crumble on that fateful day in March, not least the safely of its nuclear power plants. Japan now faces a crucial choice: suppress the events of 2011 or learn from them.

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World - Lost At Sea - 15' min 27'' sec [5 March 2012]

The cruise industry's forgotten criminal record

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With the Costa Concordia disaster dominating the news another problem facing the cruise industry is being forgotten: the disappearance of nearly 200 people from international liners in the last ten years.
"The place to get away with a crime is on a cruise ship", says maritime lawyer Jim Walker. "Out in international waters, you can't summon a policeman". There have been hundreds of recorded incidents on cruise ships in the last decade, but their cases fall overboard into a legal black hole. Ships only have to answer to the authorities in the country where they're registered. Rebecca disappeared on a liner off the coast of Mexico, but when the boat docked in the USA, the investigation fell to a single officer from The Bahamas. "You had a crime scene. Then a few hours later, the ship heads back out to sea with another few thousand family members." With the cruise industry doing little to control such cases, who is responsible for these crimes at sea?

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Maldives - Mutiny in the Maldives - 19' min 58'' sec [5 March 2012]

Maldives president blocked from opening parliament

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Military coups and violent protests are not what you'd associate with the Maldives. However, on this island paradise a lethal cocktail of wealthy businessmen, Islamic hardliners and corruption lie behind the coup.

The country's first democratically elected President, Mohamed Nasheed, says he was forced to resign at gunpoint in a coup backed by Islamic hardliners. They were backed up by brutal former president Gayoom. Unfortunately for Nasheed, as he tries to call for a return to democracy, his opponents have wealth behind them. "Four resort owners funded the coup." International concern is growing over the future security and democracy of the islands, so what does it all mean for the Maldives?


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