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BBC World Service - Fifth Floor


bbcff_2017zoomOriginal insights, playful perspectives and surprising stories from the World Service's 27 language sections. Every week with David Amanor. - Ein wöchentlicher Blick hinter die Kulissen der 27 Sprachdienste des Weltdienstes der BBC, moderiert von David Amanor.

Archivnummern: AP/m_mm1/bbcff_2017_(Sendedatum)
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Datei Datum Inhalt Dauer
0106 06.01 1) Tracking Turkey's Mysterious Murders Murad Shishani of BBC Arabic has been unravelling an intriguing series of unresolved killings in Turkey in which the victims were all dissidents - mainly from Chechnya. The story led him from Istanbul to Moscow with the kind of elements that make up a best-selling crime thriller. 2) Afghan eyebrows Historically Afghan women weren't allowed to shape their eyebrows until they were engaged, but now younger women are keen to take control of their own eyebrows, following fashions from Iran and overseas films and soaps. Meena Baktash, Editor BBC Afghan, and Alia Rajaei of BBC Afghan in Kabul compare notes. 3) Walls and barriers With talk of a US-Mexico wall, and work underway to construct a barrier along the Kenya-Somalia border, what impact do militarised borders have on the people who live alongside them? Akbar Hossain of BBC Bangla, Abdessamad Benjouda of BBC Arabic and Rustam Qobil of BBC Uzbek share their experiences. 4) Egyptian handball Handball is the second most popular sport in the Arab world with both Egypt and Tunisia's national teams making it to the final four in the last World Championships. Firas El Echi from BBC Arabic is Tunisian, and a huge handball fan, and the lucky reporter who's been sent to cover the World Men's Handball Championships in Paris. 5) India's House of Cards A family feud between a leading political father and son in Uttar Pradesh, India, has divided a family, a party, and a state in a House of Cards style drama. Vikas Pandey of BBC Online in Dehli has been following the story. 6) And Fifi Haroon casts her eye over this week's more fabulous online stories. 40:34
0113 13.01 1) Farewell to Rafsanjani This week's funeral of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani drew an estimated 2.5 million mourners. Rana Rahimpour of BBC Persian shares her memories of Rafsanjani, and explains why one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Revolution was mourned by so many reformists. 2) Where are Gambia's judges? Gambian President Yahya Jammeh claims he won't leave office until the Gambian Supreme Court rules on his request to re-run the election. Quite when this will be is uncertain, as the Supreme Court doesn't have enough judges to operate. Hassan Arouni of BBC Africa explains this mysterious shortage. 3) Tamil Nadu's Jallikattu ban Jallikattu, or bull taming, was an integral part of Tamil Nadu's harvest festival until banned in 2014 on account of animal welfare and human safety. Youths used to chase the bulls and try to snatch money hung from their horns; though not Swaminathan Natarajan, who grew up in the state, and has been following the story. 4) Menstruation huts: my experience The death in December of a Nepalese girl banished to a "menstruation hut" during her period shocked the international media. Krishnamaya Upadhyaya is a journalist in the western district of Jumla and shared her own experiences as a young woman growing up in a remote village in Jumla, and today. 5) Kenya's Uhuru challenge Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is facing ridicule on social media over his apparent love of grand opening ceremonies for modest projects. Why open a footbridge, when you can launch a "non-motorised motor project" instead? Abdinoor Aden in Nairobi shares Kenyans' online wit now called "The Uhuru Challenge". 6) And Fifi Haroon celebrates the wilder corners of the world wide web. 40:10
0120 20.01 1) Hanging On To The Keys As the Obamas leave the White House to make way for the Trumps, we hear about some less smooth handovers of official residences. Venezuelan Patricia Sulbaran of BBC Mundo, Sammy Darko in Ghana and BBC Hindi's Shivaani Kohok share tales of presidents, officials and family members who have become rather too attached to their state-owned homes. 2) You've been scammed... Police in central China have raided a tourist attraction they say was tricking people into visiting a fake Terracotta Army. Tourists have always been prey to scams and con-artists, including our Fifth Floor language service colleagues, who share tales of tricksters from around the world. 3) Soviet jazz Alexander Kan of BBC Russian grew up as a citizen of the USSR. He felt few regrets with the recent 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but he admits a nostalgia for Soviet jazz. He shares some of his favourite pieces from a rich tradition little known beyond the Iron Curtain. 4) 'Sitting the Month' New mothers in China traditionally spent 30 days in near isolation from the outside world, and recently luxury hotels have been springing up to cater for women who want to sit their month in style. Laureen Leung from BBC Chinese in London and Daisy Li from the BBC Beijing bureau share insights and experiences. 5) Miami lunchboxes It's a busy week for BBC Miami with the inauguration of President Trump, but not so busy that there's no time for lunch. Emilio San Pedro recently visited and shared a culinary tour of South America with Uruguayan Ana Pais of BBC Mundo, and BBC Monitoring colleagues Rafael Abuchaibe and Claudia Plazas, both from Colombia. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 39:38
0127 27.01 1) How to survive Chinese New Year It's Chinese New Year, with millions on the move to be with their families. But some young Chinese say they're fed up with what awaits them when they finally get home - a grilling about their personal lives. Yashan Zhao from BBC Hong Kong explains why Chinese New Year can be such a mixed experience. 2) The secret of a long life? Devote yourself to art. Everyone wants to know the secret of a happy and healthy old age. It seems that in Nepal, it helps to be an artist. The BBC's Sewa Bhattarai has interviewed several artists in their 90s, still active and creative - like Nepal's 98-year-old national poet Madhav Prasad Ghimire. 3) The unexpected president The latest hit tv comedy series in Ukraine is about an ordinary guy who against all expectations suddenly finds himself president of his country, elected on a brief to clean out political elites. Servant of the People has got everybody talking, as we hear from Anastasiya Gribanova of BBC Ukraine. 4) Sahrawi refugees BBC Arabic reporter Sally Nabil has had rare access to the 'forgotten refugees' from the disputed territory of Western Sahara who have lived in Algerian refugee camps for 40 years. She spent a week in a camp and heard from inhabitants about the harshness of their lives and their lack of hope about a resolution. 5) Driving Tests Three men were recently jailed in England for taking money from learner drivers to impersonate them and pass their tests on their behalf. That led us to seek driving test stories from other countries. Which tests are fiendishly difficult, and which are worryingly easy? 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 39:58
0203 03.02 1) Translating President Trump The new president of the United States has set a challenge to interpreters and translators. His off the cuff, informal style sometimes makes it hard to convey his exact meaning in other languages - even in English it can be unclear. We explore the intricacies of translating Trump into Farsi and French with BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan and BBC Afrique's Olivier Weber. 2) Colombia's other war Much has been made of the peace deal between the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group to end five decades of conflict. But less is heard about the war with another rebel group, the ELN, or National Liberation Army. But now peace talks are set to begin. Natalio Cosoy of BBC Mundo recently visited the town of Saravena close to the Venezuelan border, an area where the ELN is active. 3) Yours respectfully - deference around the world Cameroonian Sports Minister Pierre Ismaël Bidoung Kpwatt was recently pictured bowing down dramatically low to shake the hand of President Paul Biya. This display of extreme deference kicked off a social media trend, with people competing to adopt the lowest, most theatrical bows and handshakes. So how is deference expressed in different countries, and can it be taken too far? 4) Somalia election coverage After months of delays, Somalia has finally nailed a date for its presidential election and BBC Somali are getting ready to cover it. Easier said than done in a country emerging from decades of war, where the electoral process is potentially tortuous and journalists face constant security risks. Mohammud Ali of BBC Somali in Nairobi is organising the team as they prepare for this historic election. 5) "Broken neck girl" Every week, Marwa Mamoon of BBC Arabic ransacks history books and other archives for her weekly radio programme Story Shop. She recently found a story embedded in an everyday phrase used by Egyptian mothers to scold naughty daughters. It translates literally as "broken neck girl" and goes back to the sad fate of a Cairo aristocrat after the French invasion. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:29
0210 10.02 1) Iran's Kurdish Smugglers Jiyar Gol recently met the Iranian Kurdish strongmen who haul dozens of tyres on their backs over the border from Iraqi Kurdistan. It's a story that went out on BBC Persian, and had a big impact in Iran, as it coincided with the death this week of three smugglers in an avalanche. Jiyar tells us more about the people he met and the dangerous border crossing. 2) The many accents of Colombia Cachaco, pastuso, caleño - not new Latin dance fads, but just three of the dozens of dialects spoken in Colombia. For BBC Mundo, Beatriz de la Pava enlisted people from across her country to share words and accents with the rest of Latin America. She speculates about why there's such diversity in Colombia - and analyses her own accent. 3) A brief history of Russian poisoning The Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza was this week reported to be in a coma in hospital. His wife claims that he had been poisoned, and for the second time. He's not the first troublesome Russian to be the victim of suspected poisoning: from Rasputin to Litvinenko, traces of poison run through Russia's political history. Over to BBC Russian news editor Famil Ismailov. 4) Indian snake-catchers in Florida The Irula tribesmen from southern India are serious snake-catchers, hunting snakes and milking them for their venom. Their fame has spread to the Florida Everglades, where two Irula snake-catchers have been called in to help catch Burmese pythons which have been eating their way through the local wildlife. Soutik Biswas in Delhi has been following their progress and investigating their lucrative snake venom trade. 5) Protesting Romanian-style Recent demonstrations in the Romanian capital Bucharest have caught the world's attention. The catalyst was a government move to soften anti-corruption legislation, and last Sunday an estimated half a million people took to the streets. Ioana Dumitrescu of BBC Monitoring is our guide to the language and style of Romanian protests. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:23
0217 17.02 1) Reading The Sky: 21st Century Astrology A Sri Lankan astrologer was recently arrested for wrongly predicting the death of his president during January. In many cultures, the advice of an astrologer is a crucial part of everyday life, and often influences business and political decisions. Why are astrologers still so popular in this technological age? A question for Carol Yarwood of BBC Chinese, Nopporn Wong-Anan of BBC Thai, and Sangeetha Rajan of BBC Tamil. 2) Dead presidents Rumours about Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari's death have been rife this week. He is apparently alive and in London, and has found time to speak on the telephone to Donald Trump. But it's not unusual for presidents to be killed off long before they actually die, as we find out from Bara'atu Ibrahim of BBC Hausa, Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian and Rafael Chacon of BBC Mundo. 3) Romance without Valentine's Day This week's court ban on celebrating Valentine's Day in the Pakistani capital Islamabad put a spotlight on the challenges of enjoying romance in a conservative society. Ghazanfar Hyder of BBC Urdu tells us what it's like to be young and romantic in Pakistan today. 4) Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: the thaw After a freeze of 25 years, relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have started to thaw with the re-opening of a direct air link. The BBC's Khayrulla Fayz - an ethnic Uzbek from Tajikistan - remembers when you could cross from one country to the other without realising. He explains what went wrong in the relationship, and what the current thaw means to people in both countries. 5) India in space India's space agency launched a flock of 104 satellites into space over the course of 18 minutes on Wednesday, nearly tripling the previous record for single-day satellite launches and establishing India as a key player in a growing market. Although there is no direct space rivalry between China and India, some analysts have made comparisons with the US-Soviet space race. We hear from Suniti Singh of BBC Monitoring. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:43
0224 24.02 1) Egypt’s Silent Stadiums Five years ago this month, football riots in Port Said in Egypt left 74 dead. Since then a crowd ban has been enforced and almost all games are played to empty stadiums. Mohamed Qoutb, a sports journalist with BBC Arabic in Cairo, has witnessed the effect the ban has had on the game. 2) I'll have mine raw... For social gatherings and family get-togethers in Ethiopia, one ingredient popular with all generations is raw meat. BBC Africa's Emmanuel Igunza, who's from Kenya, has been trying raw delicacies for himself in his adopted hometown Addis Ababa. 3) Making carnival 'PC' With Brazil's carnival season approaching, it's time for partygoers to cut loose, have a dance and perhaps get involved in a bit of transgression. But this year there have been calls for more political correctness, especially when it comes to marchinhas, the songs sung during the famous street parades. Neli Pereira from BBC Brasil explains. 4) Mother Tongue International Mother Tongue day gave BBC Urdu's Zafar Syed the opportunity to visit a remote mountain village in northern Pakistan with its own language. Only 400 people currently speak it, and despite being a keen linguist, and coming from the same region, even Zafar couldn't get his tongue around it. 5) Somali nicknames Somali MPs elected a new president earlier this month - Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo or 'Mr Cheese'. Nicknames are very common among Somalis - so what's the meaning? An insult, a compliment, or perhaps something even simpler? We spoke to BBC Swahili's Abdinoor Aden in Nairobi to find out. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:55
0303 03.03 1) A Battle of Resources Between the Poorest of the Poor South Africa has recently seen immigrant communities targeted in a spate of attacks, with Nigerians, Somalis and Zimbabweans among those whose homes and businesses have been looted. Mpho Lakaje who reports for the BBC Africa from Johannesburg compares this current wave of violence with previous xenophobic attacks. 2) Congolese Libanga With the collapse of CD sales and little to share out from concerts, Congolese musicians have found a new way to make money. It's called Libanga, with the rich and aspiring paying to get their names dropped into the music. It's keeping musicians paid but is it ruining the music? We asked Mila Kimbuini, a Congolese journalist with BBC Afrique. 3) Poets, carpets and reformed assassins I Stared at the Night of the City by Bakhtiyar Ali is thought to be the first Kurdish language novel to be translated into English. There's poetry, magic, murder and corruption, so what can this novel tell us about life in the autonomous Kurdish region? Over to translator Kareem Abdulrahman and fellow Iraqi Kurd Roj Ranjbar of BBC Monitoring. 4) Taliban Trees This week the head of the Taliban in Afghanistan urged Afghans to plant more trees. So does this mark a change of direction? BBC Afghan's Ismael Saadat explores the country's problems with trees. 5) Coptic Christians in North Sinai The recent flight of Coptic Christians from North Sinai has drawn attention to Egypt's long-running struggle against an IS-affiliated group in the province,which is now targeting Christians. Mariam Rizk of BBC Monitoring in Cairo explains why it's so hard to discover what's really happening in North Sinai. 6) Plus Fifi Haroon rounds up the week's wackier online stories. 40:42
0310 10.03 1) My Delhi, My India How do journalists from BBC Hindi, BBC Urdu and BBC Tamil cover a huge and complex country like India. And in the week that the BBC highlights pollution and how it's being tackled, we hear about the challenges of living in one of the world's worst-affected cities. 2) The Great Smog of Delhi Delhiites have lived with unhealthy pollution levels for many years, but for a week last November, the city experienced its worst smog and visibility for nearly two decades - the Great Smog of Delhi. In some areas, the level of air pollution was 10 times more than the recommended safe limit. Reporter Vikas Pandey and David Amanor take the air in the Old City, where narrow streets are clogged with cars, scooters and tuk-tuks. - Back in the studio, David and Vikas are joined by BBC Delhi's Divya Arya and Zubair Ahmed to discuss: 3) India's passion for politics The headline news this week is key elections in India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh - it has been said that the party that wins the state rules the country. BBC reporters have fanned out across Uttar Pradesh to get stories and canvas opinion. And in Delhi itself, from pavement teashops to city bars, the elections are the talk of the city. Why are Indians so passionate about politics, and what does the UP vote say about India today? 4) Challenges of reporting India BBC Delhi journalists say they are experiencing a new level of intolerance. Social media users sometimes accept rumours and allegations as news, and journalists who challenge the truth of such stories lay themselves open to abuse and even threats. We hear about the professional and personal challenges that result. 5) Delhi's disappearing spaces Another pressure on Delhi's air quality is the rapidly increasingly population, bringing with it more traffic, more factories and more construction. A city famous for its trees and green spaces is gradually losing them under tarmac and concrete, and many Delhiites are retreating into gated communities. Reporter Nitin Srivastava takes us to his favourite park and laments what is being lost. 6) Being Indian In a vast country with a huge diversity of ethnicities, beliefs and cultures, how do Indians identify themselves? BBC Tamil's Thangavel Appachi takes us to the market area of Karol Bagh to share memories of the culture shock he felt when he arrived in Delhi from Tamil Nadu. In the studio, David Amanor is joined by Shakeel Akhtar of BBC Urdu, BBC Hindi's Vaibhav Dewan and Arti Shukla of BBC Monitoring to discuss a time of transition in India, with challenges to centuries-old barriers of gender, caste and geography. 7) Being Delhiite David goes out with Delhiites Sumiran Preet Kaur and Indu Pandey to see how young people in the capital chill after work. 40:03
0317 17.03 1) Astana, City of the Steppes Kazakhstan's purpose-built capital Astana is currently hosting Syria's peace talks, 6 years after that conflict began. The ultra-modern city rises out of the semi-arid flat landscape known as the Steppes, lightening bright but with a gloomy past. BBC journalist Abdujalil Abdurasulov is based in Kazakhstan, and has visited the city many times. 2) Brazilian ghosts Brazil's acting president Michel Temer seems ill at ease with the official residence he moved into last year following the impeachment of his former boss Dilma Rousseff. He told a Brazilian magazine that he was moving out because it was spooky. He wasn't being entirely serious, but according to Neli Pereira of BBC Brasil, superstition is alive and well in Brazil. 3) Zimbabwe Potholes This year's rains have wreaked havoc on roads of the capital Harare. Potholes proliferate, and the government has declared the roads to be in a state of disaster. So pity the poor drivers, weaving around the potholes, and dealing with constant punctures, including Shingai Nyoka who's been reporting on the story for BBC Africa. 4) Belarus protests How did a demonstration over plans to build a shopping mall on the site of a Stalin era mass grave trigger protests and calls for the country's leader to step down? It all centres on a place called Kurapaty in the former Soviet republic of Belarus. Gennodiy Kot is with BBC Monitoring and grew up in the country, and has been watching developments. 5) Jumping fire Next week is Nowruz, the Persian New Year, the biggest festival of the year for millions of people across Asia and around the world. On Wednesday Iranians took the important first step, or first jump - the ancient tradition of leaping bonfires. Feranak Amidi of BBC Persian remembers the fun fire-leaping of her childhood and explains how it has become much more hazardous. 6) Somali Pirates The hijacking of a merchant ship in Somali waters made headlines this week, almost five years since the last major incident. This act of piracy seems to have been resolved peacefully and allegedly without any money changing hands, a far cry from the past. Then was a phenomenon new to Somalia and our Somali journalists back in 2008. Mohammud Ali of BBC Somali explains. 7) And Fifi Haroon rounds up strange stories from the web. 40:11
0324 24.03 1) First Daughters Club? Ivanka Trump has been given her own office in the White House. Her exact role isn't yet clear, but she's not alone in the First Daughters' club, as Valeria Perasso and Umber Khairi of BBC Urdu explain. 2) Thai Street Food Street food is part of the fabric of Bangkok life, but now under threat from an official cleanup. BBC Thai's Sucheera Maguire tells us what will be lost. 3) Phone Romeos India's lively mobile phone market has led to more men dialling random numbers until they find a girl. Harassment, or a Bollywood inspired attempt to find romance? Haritha Kandpal and Sumiran Preet Kaur from BBC Hindi consider the issue. 4) Escape from Raqqa Indonesian domestic worker, Sri Rahayu, found herself trapped in Raqqa when the so called Islamic State took control. It was a shocking experience, and told her story to BBC Indonesia's Sri Lestari. 5) The pursuit of happiness in the CAR A United Nations agency report this week into happiness put the Central African Republic at the bottom. But is it really so bad to live there? We asked BBC Afrique's Mamadou Moussa Ba. 6) Plus Fifi Haroon and her pick of the world wide web. 40:33
0331 31.03 1) My Yemen Yemen is a country at war. Thousands have been killed, many more injured, and millions displaced and in need of food, but it's not a story often covered in the news. BBC journalist Mai Noman was born in Yemen, and has just returned from a reporting trip. Her hometown of Taiz is now on the frontline. 2) Memories of Brazilian children's literature Pablo Uchoa of BBC Brasil grew up loving a song about a band of cats who abandon their homes for a life of freedom on the road. It was written during Brazil's military dictatorship, and now a father himself Pablo finds new meaning in his childhood favourites. 3) Russians abroad Russian journalist Tatyana Movshevich explores what an online guide from the Russian Foreign Ministry on how to behave abroad reveals about Russians. 4) India's attacks There has been violence this week against Nigerian students living in India. So what's driving it, and is it new? We speak to the BBC's Kunal Sehgal and Vikas Pandey in Delhi about these attacks, and the history of African communities in India. 5) Thai Sex Trade Clean-up A campaign has been launched to make the area of Pattaya, well known for its sex-trade, more family friendly. BBC Thai Editor Nopporn Wong-Anan talks us through the history of the area, and this current cleanup attempt. 40:34
0407 07.04 1) Where Ex-President Jammeh Went Next Since leaving Gambia, former President Yahya Jammeh has been living in Equatorial Guinea. Home to Africa's longest serving leader, it's rich in resources, but tends to be in the news for all the wrong reasons. BBC Africa's Umaru Fofana has been following ex-President Jammeh's progress. He gives us a short guide to his new home. 2) The famous guavas of Kohat Kohat in northern Pakistan is famous for its fabulous guavas. BBC Urdu's Rifatullah Orakzai shares memories of family picnics in the guava orchards and laments their decline. 3) A guide to Afghan warlords Why are Afghanistan's warlords still so important? First they fought the Soviets, then each other, and now they seem to be permanently woven into society and politics. Insights from BBC Afghan's Dawood Azami. 4) Capoeira in Brazil and Africa As the Brazilian martial art capoeira continues to gain new fans around the world, BBC Brasil's resident capoeirista Rafael Barifouse explains its magic and mystery. 5) Why bets are on in Vietnam For decades, the Vietnamese passion for gambling has largely been indulged illegally due to strict restrictions. So how significant is the government decision to allow bets on selected sporting events? Over to Nga Pham of BBC Vietnamese. 6) And Fifi Haroon's stories from the world wide web. 40:28
0414 14.04 1) The Mystery of Tanzania's Kidnapped Rappers Tanzanians have been mystified by the recent kidnapping and reappearance of two rappers. Who was behind the abductions? Why are musicians being singled out? Sammy Awami has been following the story for BBC Swahili. 2) Kathmandu bans horn-honking Horn-honking reaches deafening proportions on Nepali New Year, 14th April. So will a new honking ban for drivers in Kathmandu return the city to a quieter, more bucolic soundscape? BBC Nepali's Surendra Phuyal considers the question. 3) Turkish online surveillance Social media is being used by Turkish citizens to spy on and denounce people suspected of anti-government sentiments. Tweets and Facebook posts are enough to lose someone their job or land them in court. Pinar Sevinclidr of BBC Monitoring talks us through some recent cases. 4) Indonesia's 'motherless' generation BBC Indonesian's Rohmatin Bonasir has been finding out what happens to children left behind by migrant worker mothers. Millions of Indonesian women work abroad, and mothers and children pay a high price. 5) Senegalese seductresses BBC Afrique's Leone Ouedraogo, who's from Burkino Faso, is spending time in Dakar in Senegal. Which seemed an excellent opportunity to find out if Senegalese women really are the best wives and expert seductresses everyone at home had always told her they were. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 39:47
0421 21.04 1) Who is Yogi Adityanath? If India's Uttar Pradesh were a country it would be the fifth largest in the world. The state's new chief minister is Yogi Adityanath of the BJP party, which won a sweeping victory in last month's elections. The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi has been analysing his popularity and following the controversies that surround him. 2) Goodbye Krushchyovkas... Around 1.5 million people in Moscow are waiting anxiously to hear more about plans to tear down the outdated Soviet blocks they live in. Hundreds of so-called Krushchyovkas have already been demolished, and 8,000 more are about to be flattened. BBC Russian's Oleg Boldyrev shares memories of growing up in one. 3) Ending the hunt for Kony Ugandan troops have called off the search for Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord's Resistance Army known for the destruction of rural communities in northern Uganda. The violence, enslavement and abduction of children also affected South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. We get the response of BBC Africa's Paul Bakibinga. 4) We don't have that word! Fifth Floor journalists are constantly translating complex news stories from English, a task which can be fiendishly difficult as often their languages lack the word or entire concepts. There are some surprising omissions. 5) Making a hit out of corruption China has been gripped by a new tv drama about corruption investigators. 'In The Name of the People' goes behind the scenes in Chinese politics to reveal greed, immorality and violence. Yashan Zhao of BBC Chinese tells us why she's a fan. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:51
0428 28.04 1) Militias, Magic and Wooden Guns The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a long history of instability and conflict. Trouble recently flared up in the central Kasai region, and the BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga got rare access to the area, meeting the rebel militias fighting in this little-known uprising. 2) Keep Your Distance! When it comes to personal space how close is too close? We get up close and personal with our Fifth Floor colleagues to find out why there's so much variation worldwide. 3) Brazilian borders This week's audacious bank robbery in Paraguay was made possible by the relatively porous borders between Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. BBC Brasil's Fernanda Odilla has visited the area, popular with tourists visiting the Iguazu Falls, as well as with criminals keen to shift loot. 4) The Mother of all Bombsites News that America had dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), also known as "the mother of all bombs", on caves used by Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan made headlines worldwide. Auliya Atrafi of BBC Afghan was surprised by what he found at the site. 5) All aboard Lenin's train It's 100 years since Vladimir Lenin set off from exile in Switzerland to join the revolution in Russia. BBC Russian has followed his train journey from Zurich looking for answers to questions which are rarely asked in Russia itself. Answers from Anastasia Uspenskaya. 6) And Fifi Haroon shares the odder moments from the web this week. 40:14
0505 05.05 1) Who are India's Naxalites? Last month 25 soldiers were killed in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh by Maoist or Naxalite rebels. It's the latest episode in a 50 year conflict which has left thousands dead and tens of thousands homeless. So who are the Naxalites? BBC Hindi's Salman Ravi explains the movement and its origins. 2) Guyanese rodeo Grab your Stetson and pull on those cowboy boots: it's rodeo time in Guyana. This unexpected slice of the wild, wild west takes part in the small ranching town of Lethem and Carinya Sharples went along to join the fun. 3) The gangs of Japan - and Brazil A big business group in Japan had a recent internal disagreement, leading to a splinter group forming. Interviews were given and statements made. What's unusual about the story is that it's about a yakuza or crime syndicate. Ewerthon Tobace reports for BBC Brasil from Tokyo. 4) Umaru and the diamonds Next week a 709 carat rough diamond from Sierra Leone will go under the hammer. It was found in the Kono region, where BBC Africa's Umaru Fofana grew up, and it turns out he's no stranger to diamond mining. 5) China's TV dating show A new TV show called Chinese Dating has captured the hearts of viewers across China. What makes it unusual is that here it's the contestants' parents who make the choices. Suping from BBC Chinese has been viewing. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web 39:58
0512 12.05 1) War and Manhood: Breaking the Silence Natalia Guerrero of BBC Mundo has tackled a taboo issue in her home country, Colombia. Thousands of soldiers have lost limbs due to land mines during the country's 50 year conflict with rebels, but what's seldom talked about are the numbers who've experienced genital injury, or the 'silent wound'. Natalia talks to soldiers and doctors keen to break that silence. 2) Driving in Kabul BBC Afghan's Waheed Massoud describes the risks and hazards of everyday driving in Kabul, from military convoys to overzealous traffic police. 3) Don't call me a Zucchini!Why is the Arabic word for the humble courgette or zucchini so insulting in Egypt? BBC Arabic's Marwa Mamoon takes us back a thousand years to explain all. 4) Trouble in India's courts There's been an extraordinary story brewing at the top of India's legal system. The man at the centre is Justice Chinnaswamy Swaminathan Karnan, and it's a tale involving allegations of corruption, discrimination, even insanity. Following the saga closely in BBC Delhi is Geeta Panday. 5) Mombasa to Nairobi Railway For over a century the Mombasa to Nairobi line has been carrying passengers from coast to capital on a gruelling 14 hour overnight trip. Now it's being modernised, and the journey time cut. BBC Swahili's Alex Mureithi grew up next to the tracks and looks back on some of those epic trips. 6) And Fifi Haroon takes a fabulous food tour of the world wide web. 11:15
0519 19.05 1) Uzbeks in Sweden: After the Atrocity In April a lorry was driven into a crowd of shoppers in Stockholm. Five people died, and the main suspect is 39 year old Rakhmat Akilov, an Uzbek national. Sweden was left in shock, and the country's Uzbek community too. BBC Uzbek's Ibrat Safo travelled to Sweden in search of answers. 2) Silk Road stories It's full steam ahead for China's One Belt One Road transport route, a 21st century version of the ancient Silk Road. We travel back in time along those famous caravan routes. 3) A tale of two flags National flags are usually symbols of national unity, but not in Venezuela. Protesters on the streets both for and against the government are all waving flags, but not the same one. BBC Mundo's Patricia Sulbaran explains. 4) Gem TV assassination The killing in Istanbul of Saeed Karimian, founder of a satellite broadcasting empire Gem TV, was big news for BBC Persian. His channels beamed popular programmes into Iran, which made him unpopular in Tehran. His murder has sparked many rumours, but few answers. Jiyar Gol of BBC Persian was the man on the story in Istanbul when it broke. 5) Housebound in Ivory Coast A military mutiny by around 8,000 soldiers in Ivory Coast over a pay dispute has shut down entire neighbourhoods. It's not the first time and people are losing patience with the disruption. Valerie Bony of BBC Afrique lives in an area affected by the renegade soldiers. 07:57
0526 26.05 1) Our Big Brother: Turkey in Somalia Somalia's instability hasn't stopped international players vying for influence in Mogadishu. Turkey has been the dominant presence in recent years, and the origins of the relationship go back a long way - as we hear from Irem Koker of BBC Turkish and BBC Somali's Mohammud Ali. 2) Shaken not stirred: memories of Bond One of the best loved actors behind the James Bond movies, Sir Roger Moore, died this week. His passing stirred memories of the unshakeable British spy across the language services, from Bangladesh to Nigeria, Russia to Brazil, where Sir Roger starred in United Pictures' Moonraker. 3) Nepal's new national sport The government in Kathmandu announced that volleyball will be the national sport, and not the popular cricket, football or even kabaddi. So what do Nepalis make of this choice? Over to BBC Nepali sports fans Surendra Phuyal, Niranjan Rajbanshi and Pratichhya Dulal. 4) Being Tatar The Tatars of Russia have an exciting history going back to the Golden Horde which ruled vast areas of the country seven hundred years ago. Today's Tatars live mostly in the Volga and Ural regions, and the BBC's Daniya Khamidullina is one of them. She tells us what it means to be Tatar. 5) Kung Fu charlatans? In China, masters of disciplines like Kung Fu and Tai Chi are portrayed as pretty much invincible. So how would these traditional masters fare against unconventional modern fighters? One MMA fighter decided to find out, and the resultant thrashing has caused a lot of upset. Jiangchuan Wu from BBC Chinese has been following the media brawl. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 09:05
0602 02.06 1) Hunger in Venezuela Vladimir Hernandez recently returned to his home country, Venezuela, to report on the ongoing crisis in which nearly 60 people have died since April. His report revealed the shocking impact on the country's children. 2) On tour with BBC Russian As journalists from the language services report on the UK election ahead of polling day next Thursday, BBC Russian's Yana Litvinova shares impressions of a journey that started in South Wales and ended on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. 3) Classroom revolutions Violence against teachers is a growing problem in Argentina, and BBC Mundo's Veronica Smink tells us about a recent shocking case. We also hear about the status of teachers in Iran, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and India, courtesy of Mehrdad Farahmand, Nga Pham, Rustam Qobil and Sangeetha Rajan. 4) Egypt's Naksa Day Next Monday is the 50th anniversary of Naksa day, or Day of the Setback. The "setback" for Egypt was their crushing defeat by Israel in the Six Day War. BBC Arabic reporter in Cairo, Sally Nabil, tells us how the day is viewed there now. 5) Manipur Ponies The horseback sport polo has an elitist image, but in the Indian state of Manipur it's a sport for almost everyone. Manipuri polo ponies are highly prized but now their numbers are dwindling. The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan shares memories of taking a ride on one himself. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:12
0609 09.06 1) Pyramid Challenge: Sudan Versus Egypt Rumours of a film project about Sudanese ancient history have been raising hackles in neighbouring Egypt. The dispute is over which country had the most significant ancient civilisation on the Nile. BBC Africa's Mohanad Hashim, who's from Khartoum, puts the case for Sudan. 2) Old alleys of Beijing The traditional hutongs or alleyways of Beijing were once the centre of community life for city-dwellers. Now only a few survive as tourist attractions. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese grew up in a hutong, and his knowledge of the labyrinthine alleyways kept him out of trouble in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. 3) India's male bellydancer The bellydance is an ancient form of entertainment with Arab roots, and has beguiled India for centuries. It's always been the preserve of female dancers, but now some male performers are bucking the trend. Sumiran Preet Kaur has met one for BBC Hindi. 4) Uzbek murder The killing of a teenager in Tashkent, allegedly by fellow medical students, has sparked a wave of protests in Uzbekistan and dominated the news agenda for BBC Uzbek for many days. Rustam Qobil explains how one murder has surprisingly changed the country's political landscape. 5) Counting Indonesia's islands BBC Indonesian reported this week about the latest attempt by the government to count its islands. It might take a lot of fingers: the last estimates put the number at over 17,000, with a geographical spread from Aceh in the west to Papua in the east. BBC Indonesian's Liston Siregar has visited some - but not all! 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:54
0616 16.06 1) Life Under The Afghan Taliban BBC Afghan's Auliya Atrafi is just back from his home province, Helmand, where for the first time he had access to areas under Taliban control. He visited the de facto Taliban capital of Musa, and found much to surprise him. 2) Snack food row in India Momos are a much loved snack across the Himalayan region and beyond. But a senior Indian politician and apparently wants them banned. Nitin Srivastava from the BBC in Delhi is a bit of a fan, and explains this apparent war on dumplings. 3) The original Banana Republic It's a term used to describe any unstable and corrupt country controlled by outside interests, but where did it start? BBC Mundo's Arturo Wallace has been delving into the history of the term. 4) Ramadan Lanterns in Egypt Ramadan Lanterns are an Egyptian tradition dating back over a thousand years, and remain a popular part of family celebrations. Nada Rashwan of BBC Monitoring in Cairo tell us more. 5) Fugitives Last week, a long time Japanese fugitive was finally captured after spending 45 years on the run. We've been around the Fifth Floor to hear about other high profile fugitives. 6) Wall of Death The highlight for many Indonesian fun fairs is the wall of death: gravity defying motorbike riders zooming around the inside of a huge barrel. Haryo Wirawan from BBC Indonesia filmed some, just inches from the action. 7) And Fifi Haroon rounds up the week's strange stories from the web. 09:36
0623 23.06 1) Goodbye Aleppo Six years into the Syrian civil war pictures from the northern city of Aleppo tell their own story. Much of it lies in ruins. Eastern Aleppo was besieged for many months and came under a barrage of attacks from Syrian government forces and their Russian allies in December 2016. It's the subject of a documentary film Goodbye Aleppo by BBC Arabic and what makes this so unique and powerful is that it's filmed on smart phones and cameras by four citizen journalists living in East Aleppo. The producers are Christine Garabedian and Mahmoud Ali Hamad. 2) Argentina's Nazi artefact find Earlier this week, Argentinian authorities found a huge stash of Nazi artefacts hidden in a Buenos Aires house. It's the biggest discovery of its kind in Argentina, and is rumoured to have belonged to a senior Nazi figure. Myths abound about the presence of Nazi war criminals in South America after World War II, so what does this new haul reveal? Argentinian Valeria Perasso has been following the story. 3) And so to bed... Long summer nights in the northern hemisphere tempt everyone to stay up late and enjoy the cool of the evening. How much do sleep patterns vary around the world? Bedtime stories from Somali Osman Hassan, Russian Alexander Kan, Carol Yarwood of BBC Chinese, Bhagirath Yogi of BBC Nepali, Mundo's Stefania Gozzer and Ghazanfar Hyder of BBC Urdu. 4) Kashmir: Letters across the Divide BBC Hindi recently brought together two schoolgirls, one from Delhi and one from Indian-administered Kashmir, to became penfriends. What they have in common is music and youth, but they're divided by regional loyalties and religion in the long-running dispute over Kashmir. So the question is can the two teenagers find common ground? The reporter behind the project is Divya Arya. 5) Pushkin and the Uzbeks An off-the-cuff remark by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has ruffled feathers in Uzbekistan. He quipped that Uzbeks don't know Pushkin. But it turns out that the one thing you never ever do is question an Uzbek's knowledge of poetry. Over to Rustam Qobil of BBC Uzbek. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:39
0630 30.06 1) South Africa and the Land Question Audrey Brown's documentary Give Back the Land tells the story of a white Western Cape vineyard owner attempting to make reparations for the land his family "stole" 6 generations ago. Land rights and reparations remain contentious in South Africa 23 years after the end of apartheid, and are close to the heart of Audrey, whose family come from this area. 2) Nepal's rice festival This week Nepalis have been celebrating Ropain, the rice planting festival. Rice is a huge part of Nepal's economy and a mainstay of family life, even for young professionals. People like BBC Nepali's Matina Twanabasu, who's been juggling journalism with hard labour - and fun - in the family's paddy fields. 3) Tarlabasi gentrification The poor Tarlabasi neighbourhood in the Turkish city of Istanbul is known for its eclectic mix of residents: Roma, refugee, LGBT and religious conservatives all co-exist. But now it's being gentrified, so will something unique be lost? We asked Oyku Altuntas from BBC Turkish. 4) Kyrgyzstan's breastfeeding controversy A young Kyrgyz woman has caused a stir by posting pictures of herself breastfeeding in her underwear. But she's not just any young woman: Aliya Shagieva is President Almazbek Atambaeyev's daughter, and rarely gives interviews. Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Kyrgyz jumped at the chance to quiz her. 5) Remembering Buenos Aires zoo Last year Buenos Aires zoo was closed to the public following years of protest and accusations of animal cruelty. But a year on, not a single animal owned by the city has been moved. Macarena Gagliardi reports from Argentina for BBC Mundo and knows the zoo well. 6) Plus Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 11:25
0707 07.07 1) Biafra War 50 Years On This week marked the 50th anniversary of the Biafra war. Millions died, mostly from famine, as Nigerian government forces defeated attempts by the Igbo people in the south east to claim an independent Biafran state. You might think an event of such magnitude would be burned into the nation's memory, but it's not a part of history that many young Nigerians know much about. BBC Africa's Tomi Oladipo has been filling in some of those gaps. 2) Palestinian youth Nida Ibrahim, who reports for BBC Arabic from Ramallah, has been talking to young Palestinians for a documentary series about the lives of young people around the world. The Palestinian Territories has the youngest population in the Middle East, but politics and administration are dominated by older generations. Nida says young people are finding different ways of expressing themselves. 3) Bringing salsa home After a long day in the office it's nice to unwind, and BBC Swahili's Judith Wambare in Nairobi likes nothing more than to pop on her dancing shoes and salsa the night away. She's made a video about it, and she's not alone - salsa has taken off in Kenya. And according to Judith, it's a homecoming of sorts for the dance most think of as Cuban. 4) Turkey's long march Thousands of demonstrators are walking from Ankara to Istanbul to protest against what they see as increased authoritarianism in Turkish politics. Selin Girit from BBC Turkish has visited the protesters as they walk in the blazing heat. 5) We were first! Azerbaijan and the oil well dispute History books say that the first oil well was dug in Pennsylvania in 1859. Not so, say the Azeris, who sent a team into the archives to back up their claim that Baku got there first. BBC Azeri's Tural Ahmedzade has been investigating. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:51
0714 14.07 1) Taking Journalism to New Heights BBC Urdu's Aliya Nazki and Suhail Haleem talk us through their reporting trip up a mountain in Indian-administered Kashmir - to visit the remarkable Haji Public School. The only way up was on foot or on horseback. So they saddled up, and tried not to look down... 2) Coffin apartments in Hong Kong How much living space do you really need? Somewhere to cook, space to lounge - even room to stand? In Hong Kong, rental prices are forcing people into the tiniest of apartments, known as "coffin" homes. The BBC's Juliana Liu has visited some. 3) Youth Culture: Gqom Durban House As part of a new series on youth culture, we're off to a unique South African house music scene. Out of the Durban townships, a new form of dance music called gqom has emerged. Vumani Mkhize of BBC Africa is from Durban and knows the scene. 4) Nigerian Mafia Italian police are facing a growing criminal threat in Sicily. Not the Mafia, but Nigerian gangs, who are muscling in on Mafia territory. Many of the gangs have their origins in 'campus cults' in Nigeria - secret university societies. BBC Africa's Chris Ewokor explains. 5) Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 6) Life after the flood The Mexican village of San Marcos was abandoned in 2009 after the construction of a nearby dam left parts of it underwater. But some houses survived, and three families chose to stay on among the ruins. Juan Paullier of BBC Mundo has been to meet them. 10:20
0721 21.07 1) Inside Myanmar's Rakhine State This week a Thai court convicted 60 people for human trafficking, with victims including Rohingya people. Rohingya are a muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, but the Burmese government doesn't recognise them as citizens, and five years ago large numbers began to flee their homes after becoming victims of widespread violence and abuse. Rohmatin Bonasir of BBC Indonesian recently went to Rakhine State, where many of the Rohingya live, to visit an Indonesian funded school there, as well as a refugee camp in Bangladesh. 2) Boat ride down the Congo BBC Africa journalists frequently go to great lengths for a story, like Catherine Byaruhanga who undertook a gruelling journey up the river Congo in a motorised dugout canoe. 3) After the final whistle Many dream of making it as professional footballers and it's easy to see why: luxury travel, huge paycheques, the adulations of fans. But what happens when it all finishes? Stanley Kwenda from BBC Africa has been finding out. 4) Musical differences A R Rahman is a hugely popular singer and composer at home in India, and this week filled Wembley Arena with music lovers. So why did so many fans start leaving? Turns out it comes down to language - Hindi versus Tamil. Rahul Joglekar is a Hindi speaker with BBC news, and Sangeetha Rajan of BBC Tamil are both fans and shed light on the story. 5) My country's 'golden age' For many Iranians Cyrus the Great, who ruled ancient Persia 2,500 years ago, symbolises their country's golden age. Including BBC Persian's Feranak Amidi. 6) And Fifi Haroon casts a humorous eye over the week's stranger stories. 10:12
0728 28.07 1) The Hidden Story of the Siege of Mecca In 1979 a group of armed religious zealots stormed the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Hundreds died before it was retaken, and the siege changed Saudi Arabian society for ever. It was very little reported at the time, but Eli Melki of BBC Arabic has spent 5 years looking into the story behind the siege for his documentary, Death in Mecca: 15 days that shook Islam. 2) Reinventing Pablo Escobar The infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar has been popping up in popular culture all over the place, from TV series to baseball caps to Kuwaiti ice cream bars. Which got BBC Monitoring journalist, and Colombian, Rafael Abuchaibe a bit hot under the collar. 3) Yoruba demons The phrase "Yoruba Demon" is a common one on Nigerian social media. It describes a certain kind of young Yoruba man; handsome, fragrant and above all unfaithful. BBC Africa's Tomi Oladipo is Yoruba himself - so what's behind this stereotype? 4) Brazilian slavery Cais do Valongo in Rio de Janeiro was recently listed as a World Heritage site. The wharf was the disembarkation point for more than a million slaves from African countries in the 19th century, and its rediscovery has raised difficult questions about race and discrimination in modern Brazil. Fernando Duarte of BBC Brasil explains. 5) The durian experience It's the smelliest fruit in south east Asia, so why is Durian in such high demand? BBC Thai's Sucheera Maguire isn't a fan. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:30
0804 04.08 1) The Front Line Of The Migrant Crisis Rami Ruhayem of BBC Arabic recently left terra firma to tell the story of the migrant crisis at sea. He joined a ship run by the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, as they rescued migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa. He describes witnessing this mission first-hand. 2) Delhi's Havelis Old Delhi is home to many havelis, impressive courtyard houses built by merchants and traders, particularly in the nineteenth century. But many are now neglected or have even been demolished. Vikas Pandey from BBC Delhi tells us why he loves these special buildings. 3) Indonesian meatballs Bakso are big in Indonesia, and getting bigger. This snack of meatballs, stock and noodles is consumed by all classes, all day, everywhere. Innovation is key and the latest fad is a supersized, giant bakso. BBC Indonesia's Christine Franciska has sampled one. 4) The Welshman who founded Donetsk Irena Taranyuk has been to Merthyr Tydfil in Wales to investigate a very Ukrainian story. It goes back to the nineteenth century, when a local ironmaster went to imperial Russia to set up a metalworks. The site he chose was in modern-day Ukraine, and it became the city of Donetsk. Irena takes up the story. 5) Argentina and Che The Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara is an iconic figure whose face adorns countless t-shirts and posters. But his countrymen have mixed feelings about him, and there's even a campaign to pull down his statue in his birthplace, Rosario. BBC Mundo's Macarena Gagliardi explores Argentina's complex relationship with its famous son. 6) What's in a name? Anthony Scaramucci lasted just ten days as White House communications director . His Italian surname translates as 'brief skirmish', which some say aptly describes his tenure. What does your name mean? Answers from BBC Persian's Feranak Amidi, Prudent Nsengiyumva of BBC Great Lakes and BBC Africa's Hewete Haileselassie. 7) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. Guest presenter: Sangeetha Rajan. 07:50
0811 11.08 1) China's African Blockbuster A new Chinese action film called Wolf Warrior 2 smashed the country's box office records this week. It's set in an unnamed African country and tells the story of a Chinese ex-special forces hero fighting African rebels and western mercenaries. What does the film tell us about how China views Africa, and how are African audiences likely to react? Over to Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese and BBC Africa's Mohanad Hashim. 2) Mothers-in-law An Indian mother-in-law was in the headlines this week - because she supported her former daughter-in-law in a court claim for alimony. Is that so extraordinary? Are jokes and horror stories about mothers-in-law unfair and inaccurate? We took the question to the Fifth Floor. 3) The border wall dividing Peru and Ecuador A political storm is brewing over the construction of a border wall - not President Trump's planned barrier between the US and Mexico, but a wall on the border between Peru and Ecuador. It's only about a kilometre long, but it has upset a lot of people in both countries - as Martin Riepl of BBC Mundo has been finding out. 4) Partition letters In 2007, BBC Urdu's Arif Shamim made a documentary based on letters he discovered after the death of his great-uncle in Lahore. They were from the original owner of his uncle's house, who fled to India after Partition. Arif told the story of the letters, but was unable to trace the writer. Fast forward to 2017. The story has moved on in a surprising and moving way, as Arif explains. 5) Colombian teeth Colombians are famous for being well-groomed. Appearance matters, and that includes teeth - which is why you see a lot of 'metal smiles' in Colombia. BBC Mundo's Beatriz de la Pava tells us about her country's love affair with braces. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. Guest presenter: Faranak Amidi. 08:46
0818 18.08 1) On the World's Highest Battlefield The Siachen Glacier is the world's highest battlefield, straddling the disputed border between India and Pakistan in northern Kashmir. Thousands of soldiers have died there - mostly, since the 2003 ceasefire, from the harsh conditions. BBC Urdu's Abid Hussain paid a rare visit. 2) World youth cultures: Iranian heavy metal BBC Persian's Behzad Bolour introduces us to the Iranian heavy metal scene and the persecuted musicians who built it. With roots in Western rock from the 70s, Iranian metal has now taken on a partly Persian sound. 3) Sudanese fat pills In Sudan, the fuller figure considered desirable by many women, and some go to dangerous lengths to achieve it. Sudanese journalist Yousra Elbagir has written for BBC Africa about a new craze for weight gain pills. 4) Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia: nomad meets nomad Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Kyrgyz has been reporting from Mongolia for the annual Nomad Games. Kyrgyz and Mongolians share many traditions - so was it like a home-coming for Gulnara? 5) Guns and Toilets A local authority in India has changed the rules for people trying to get a gun licence: no indoor toilet, no licence. Guns and toilets? Over to BBC Urdu's Suhail Haleem in Delhi. 6) And Fifi Haroon casts an eye over the week's stranger stories from the web. 09:03
0825 25.08 1) Damascus Nightlife It's Saturday night, bars and pubs are busy, and loud music pumps out of nightclubs. BBC Arabic's Omar Abdel-Razek discovered a surprising side to life in the Syrian capital Damascus, where six years into the civil war a new nightlife has emerged. 2) Fake Russian news BBC Russian had a big hit this week with a real story about fake news. Errors in syntax, spelling and the use of the indefinite article revealed the fake - all standard slip-ups among Russians trying to master English. Not mistakes our esteemed colleague Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian would ever fall into. Eh Famil? 3) Welcome to BBC Pidgin This week, the BBC launched its new Pidgin service. Derived from English and local languages, it's a simple and ever-changing language of very ordinary people. So what will this street language bring to the news? Over to Helen Oyibo and Daniel Semeniworima from the new Pidgin team. 4) Balochistan portraits In August last year, a bomb ripped through a hospital in Quetta, provincial capital of Balochistan, Pakistan, killing 70 people. BBC Urdu's Sharjil Baloch is from Quetta, and for him the attack wasn't just a news story, it was personal; several of his close friends were among the dead. So he decided to remember them all - not in print, but in paint. 5) Somalia's musical golden age Disco, funk and racing dance tunes: a haul of cassettes hidden during the war between Somalia and Somaliland have been reissued on an album called Sweet as Broken Dates. Yasmin Ahmed from BBC Somali has been getting stuck into these vintage tunes from Somalia's musical golden era. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:56
0901 01.09 1) Zimbabwe's Controversial First Lady Zimbabwe's First Lady has been in the headlines since her alleged assault of a South African model. Grace Mugabe arouses strong emotions - her fans applaud her style and forthright nature, while her detractors nicknamed her "Gucci Grace" because of her reported appetite for extravagant shopping. BBC Africa's Shingai Nyoka in Harare says she's a controversial figure at home. 2) What's in a name? Geeta Pandey recently reported on a rare move by women in an Indian village to challenge the practice of wives never saying their husbands' names; a tradition her own parents observed. In Afghanistan a social media campaign #Whereismyname asserted the right for women to be known by their own names and not just by their relationship to a male relative. Shekiba Habib of BBC Afghan and Geeta Pandey in Delhi tell us what happens when traditions are challenged. 3) A tale of two Montevideos In Chippewa County, Minnesota, there's a small town called Montevideo. Once a year it throws a celebration in honour of Uruguay and its sister city, the other Montevideo. Most Uruguayans don't know about the pairing, but BBC Mundo's Ana Pais always did: in 1989 her parents flew to Minnesota as honoured guests of that year's fiesta. More than 30 years later, Ana travels in their footsteps. 4) Seeking Yingluck BBC Thai have had a momentous few days, starting with the disappearance of a former prime minister. Yingluck Shinawatra was due at the Supreme Court in Bangkok last Friday, but she failed to turn up. She's believed to have fled to Dubai to join her brother Thaksin, also a former prime minister. Is this the end of the Shinawatra political dynasty? Over to Issariya Praithongyaem of BBC Thai. 5) China's Golden Age When was your country's golden era? For Su Ping of BBC Chinese there's no contest - the Tang Dynasty. 6) Sheep in Dakar Today it's Eid el Kebir, celebrated across the Muslim world with a sacrifice of meat. And in Senegal that means sheep - and lots of them. BBC Afrique's Arwa Barkallah is based in the capital Dakar and watched the city transform itself into a giant sheep market. 7) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web 10:36
0908 08.09 1) Behind the Rohingya Crisis It's a story that's been dominating news bulletins. The Muslim Rohingya people forced to flee from their homes in Myanmar's Rakhine state over the border into Bangladesh. They are denied citizenship by Myanmar's government, who label them Bengali migrants and terrorists. But the Rohingya themselves say their ancestors have lived in the country for generations. Here to shed light on the story are BBC Burmese Editor Tin Htar Swe and Masud Khan of BBC Bangla. 2) Ukrainian snails It's not often that export figures inspire our colleagues with poetic thoughts and misty memories. But that's what happened to Anastasiya Gribanova of BBC Ukrainian when she noticed that exports of that beloved national foodstuff, pork lard, had been overtaken - by snails. 3) African Comedy Awards This weekend Johannesburg celebrates African comedy in its annual awards. And this year there's a new category - "pan African comic of the year". Which raises an impossible question - whose comedy is the funniest? Let's take it to the fifth floor, and ask some supposedly very serious journalists what makes them laugh. 4) Afghanistan's volatile north In Northern Afghanistan, a ferocious and complicated fight has been raging for years with little attention from the outside world. In the remote Darzab distict in Jowzan province the Taliban, so called Islamic State, government forces and local warlords fight for control. It's a very difficult place to access as a journalist, but BBC Uzbek's Firuz Rahimi grew up in the area, and recently returned. 5) Travelling home for Eid Eid al Ahda is an important family occasion across the Muslim world. But in Dhaka Bangladesh, getting home isn't always that simple. Akbhar Hussain of BBC Bengali has endured the journey on a few occasions himself. 6) And Fifi Haroon brings us her unique take on the week's news. 09:14
0915 15.09 1) The Uphill Battle For Hearts And Minds Winning hearts and minds has always been a high priority for the US-led coalition which invaded Afghanistan nearly sixteen years ago. But the campaign hasn't always gone to plan, as with a recent airdrop of leaflets that caused so much offence that people rioted in the streets. Moheb Mudessir from BBC Afghan explains. 2) Thailand's course on marrying foreigners BBC Thai recently reported on a new course for local women about marrying foreigners. It's less "how to" and more "is this a good idea?". Nanchanok Wongsamuth of BBC Thai went to the village in north-eastern Thailand where the first workshop was held. 3) Françafrique An activist in Senegal was recently arrested after setting fire to 5,000 West African Francs. He was protesting about the link between the local currency - also known as the CFA - and France, as well as the power many believe France still exerts over its former colonies. Lamine Konkobo from BBC Afrique explains. 4) Russia's Matilda row A new Russian film, Matilda, about the affair between Tsar Nicholas II and a ballerina has brought protests, even threats against those involved. Opponents say Nicholas is a saint and any negative portrayal is blasphemy. Olga Robinson of BBC Monitoring in Moscow explains why, to some Russians, the last tsar is beyond criticism. 5) How Mexican mariachi became Balkan ballads In the 1960s, the most popular music in former Yugoslavia was Yu-Mex - Mexican-style ballads with lyrics in Serbo-Croat, sung by Yugoslavs in sombreros. For BBC Mundo, Pablo Esparza went to the Serbian capital Belgrade to discover the origins of this craze. 6) And Fifi Haroon's selection of stories from the world wide web. 07:36
0922 22.09 1) Yes or No? Iraqi Kurdistan Referendum Iraqi Kurdistan plans an independence referendum next week. Independence is a long-held ambition for many Kurds, but with opposition from most of the world community, is the time right? Roj Ranjbar is an Iraqi Kurd at BBC Monitoring and has been following the story. 2) A blessing for BBC Afaan Oromo The new BBC Afaan Oromo service for Ethiopia was launched this week with a traditional blessing from a village elder. Editor Beletu Bulbula explains the importance of blessings in Oromo culture. 3) Macau impressions Martin Yip of BBC Chinese recently made the short journey from Hong Kong to Macau to cover local elections there. He describes the relationship between Hong Kong and Macau, and how it has changed in recent years. 4) New comic heroines Two new super-heroines, Pakistan Girl, and in Nigeria Marvel's Ngozi, both making their world better places. Here to tell us more are our own superwomen, BBC Urdu's Henna Saeed and Halima Umar Sale of BBC Hausa. 5) Burkinabé musician challenging tradition BBC Afrique's Laeïla Adjovi meets the remarkable songwriter, balafon player and multi-instrumentalist Salimata Diabatet. She comes from a family of musicians in Burkino Faso, and defied a male-dominated tradition to learn. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 08:47
0929 29.09 1) Reporting From The Eye of The Storm Lioman Lima of BBC Mundo is used to hurricanes, having grown up in Cuba. But he was still shocked and terrified when he experienced Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He shares his impressions of the devastation of an island he knows well. 2) Youth cultures - Moscow's gopniki In the late 80s, Moscow subcultures flourished and Western influences were everywhere. But one subculture, the gopniki, didn't like the new imports and were willing to fight anyone who adopted them. Pavel Aksenov of BBC Russian remembers those times well. 3) Rwandan BBC journeys Prudent Nsengiyumva and Didier Bikorimana are colleagues at BBC Great Lakes. Didier first heard the BBC listening to the Great Lakes Lifeline programme as a refugee after the 1994 genocide; Prudent from a young age was determined to be a presenter. They describe their journeys to the BBC. 4) Inside Libya - from outside How do you make a discussion programme for Libyans with Libyan panellists and a Libyan audience, when you can't go to Libya? Aya Amead works for BBC Media Action in Tunisia with a team of fellow Libyans on a TV debate show called Hiwar Mushtarak, Joint Conversation. 5) Cairo's pigeon fanciers In some neighbourhoods of Cairo, you see wooden lofts or towers on the flat roofs of apartment blocks. They're for pigeons, which people keep for racing. Nada Rashwan of BBC Monitoring explains this local passion. Correction: In this story the interview as broadcast states that keeping a dog is against Islamic tradition because they are considered to be unclean. However Nada Rashwan would like us to point out that in the unedited version she qualified this statement to add that this is only in some interpretations of Islam. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 09:16
1006 06.10 1) Cameroon's Ghost Town Protests Ghost town is the name Cameroonians have given to a civil disobedience action where daily life is brought to a standstill. It began last year as an expression of dissent in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon, but tensions between them and the Francophone dominated government go back to the 1960s. Last week a number of protestors demanding independence were shot dead by gendarmes. BBC Africa's Randy Jo Sa'ah was in Bamenda following the story. 2) Egypt's legendary singer Umm Kulthum This week Saudi Arabian state TV broadcast a music concert for the first time in decades. They chose one by the late Egyptian singer, Umm Kulthum. BBC Arabic presenter Rasha Qandeel is a fan. 3) Hong Kong Rubbish This week Juliana Liu in Hong Kong did a story about scrap paper. The city used to send a lot to mainland China for recycling, but recently authorities in Beijing have said this may stop. Hong Kong is already feeling the impact. 4) Mystery Uzbek Writer BBC Uzbek have been among those gripped by articles written by a mystery writer with seemingly unique access to the corridors of power. Who is this person, or people, and how have they got away with it for so long? But now the suspected writer has been revealed, and is in deep water. Ibrat Safo explains. 5) Mali Northern Mali is a dangerous place to visit. It experienced a Tuareg nationalist uprising in 2012, followed by a mutiny in the national army, and an insurgency by militant Islamists. But still it's a place that BBC Africa's Tomi Oladipo has always wanted to visit, and recently he got the chance as part of a UN convoy. 09:15
1013 13.10 1) Kenya's Election Drama The Kenyan presidential election took another surprising turn this week. The crisis has seen protests, a shock intervention from the judiciary, and now the surprise withdrawal of the main opposition candidate. Kenyans Esther Kahumbi and Dickens Olewe from BBC Africa share their stand-out moments. 2) Chinese student boot camps As first year students around the world settle into university life, freshers in China face a challenging fortnight at compulsory military boot camp. Vincent Ni of BBC Chinese remembers his own time at boot camp. 3) Delhi Diwali without fireworks Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, has traditionally been marked with fireworks in Delhi, but not this year. A ban on their sale has been introduced to prevent pollution, as the BBC's Nitin Srivastava reports. 4) Village of widows A suicide bomb attack in 2010 in a remote village in north west Pakistan left more than 100 dead, and many women widowed. BBC Urdu's Azizullah Khan has returned to find out how they are faring. 5) Foot Iron Marwa Nasser of BBC Arabic has been to meet the mistress of a dying art in Alexandria. Ebtessam Mohamed presses clothes with a huge iron which she moves with her foot. She started when she was ten, too small to lift the iron by herself. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 10:39
1020 20.10 1) Somali Protests: From Fear to Anger The unprecedented bomb attack in Mogadishu last weekend killed nearly 300 people and injured hundreds more. BBC Somali's Farhan Jimale lost friends in the attack. He explains what's remarkable about this attack in a country so used to violence. 2) Don't brand me Tattoos have become fashionable for affluent, city dwelling young Indians. But Geeta Pandey, BBC online's Women and Social Affairs Editor in India, grew up in a traditional village, and for her tattoos are strictly taboo. She tells us why. 3) Chinese Communist Party's greatest hits The 19th Chinese Party Congress is underway this week, and several songs have been released to celebrate President Xi Jinping's time in office. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese conjures up a musical mix tape telling a brief history of communist China. 4) Sankara today It's 30 years since the assassination of Thomas Sankara, the leftist leader of Burkina Faso. He's sometimes known as Africa's Che Guevara, and is still a famous figure across the continent. Lamine Konkobo of BBC Afrique discusses his enduring legacy in revolutionary African politics. 5) All aboard the Deccan Queen! The Deccan Queen train links Pune in the hills with Mumbai down on the coast, and is older than the state of India itself. It's also India's only train to have a dining car. BBC Marathi's Mayuresh Konnur is from Pune and knows it well. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 06:00
1027 27.10 1) Apples, Dams and the Taliban It's a short but risky journey from Kabul to the centre of neighbouring Wardak province - much of which is under Taliban control. BBC Afghan's Auliya Atrafi looked beyond conflict on his recent reporting trip - to the university local people built for themselves, and new power from an old hydro station. 2) Youth series: Zamrock In the mid 70s, newly independent Zambia was alive with youthful energy and political upheaval. The result? Zamrock, a new sound that emerged from the country's mining heartland, and made a big impression on the BBC's Kennedy Gondwe. 3) Farinata: a word in the news Why is the Portuguese word farinata provoking all kinds of controversy in São Paulo? BBC Brasil's Paula Idoeta sheds light on why a scheme to provide cheap meals for schoolchildren seems to have backfired. 4) Madagascan bull wrestling BBC Afrique's Raissa Ioussef, based in Dakar, recently made a beautiful film about bull wrestling in Madagascar, where young men show off their strength and courage as a way of impressing the girls. She tells us it was also a homecoming of sorts as her parents come from Madagascar. 5) Turkey's Ottoman revival When modern Turkey was created nearly a century ago, founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk turned his back on the trappings of the Ottoman Empire. Old fashions and customs disappeared overnight. But Irem Koker of BBC Turkish says there's now a rise in what's called Neo-Ottomanism. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web 09:20
1103 03.11 1) Russia's Global Revolution Marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, our language service colleagues share stories of its influence. With Diloram Ibrahimova from Uzbekistan, Nga Pham from Vietnam, Manoshi Barua from India and Shakeel Anwar from Bangladesh. 2) I Went to Report, I Came Back a Chief The BBC's Peter Macjob got more than he bargained for when he reported on a traditional festival in Nigeria's Ogun State. Suffice to say he came back crowned. 3) The Half-Widows of Diu Every year hundreds of fishermen from India and Pakistan stray into each other's maritime territory and end up in jail. BBC Gujarati reporter Roxy Gagdekar met some of the wives left to cope alone for years at a time, the "half-widows". 4) Somalia's Gabooye Qalib Barud of BBC Somali recently reported on discrimination in Somali society against a group of clans commonly referred to as the Gabooye. 5) Egypt's Golden Age Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring in Cairo nominates the time of the Pharaohs as Egypt's golden age. 6) My Tale of Two Cities Ha Mi of BBC Vietnamese grew up in the capital Hanoi believing that the southern capital Saigon - now Ho Chi Minh City - was a hostile place. She explains how her feelings for Vietnam's second city changed. 07:47
1110 10.11 1) Reporting Mosul: A Journalist's Story Three years ago, a lightning advance by about 800 jihadist fighters in northern Iraq morphed into a global threat. Nafiseh Kohnavard of BBC Persian has followed the fight against so-called Islamic State, and she witnessed the toughest battle for Iraqi forces, to retake Mosul. 2) Russian Tattoos In Russia there's a rich history of gulag and prison tattoos, etched into skin in black and white with rudimentary tools. Today's tattoos may be more hygienic and sophisticated, but some youngsters are harking back to the old designs, as Elizaveta Vereykina of BBC Russian explains. 3) George Orwell This week a statue of the British writer George Orwell was installed outside New Broadcasting House. His dystopian novel 1984 continues to have relevance today, with concerns about surveillance and the notion of truth. We tease out its enduring appeal with editors Mohamed Yehia and Olexiy Solohubenkho 4) Gangs of Punjab The north Indian state of Punjab is notorious for its gangs and their crimes are on the increase. Arvind Chhabra of BBC Punjabi explains that the gangs use social media to flaunt their activities, and have a strong following among young people. 5) All aboard the Ostrich The BBC's Nitin Srivastava takes us for a historic trip on the P.S. Ostrich, a wooden paddle steamer which plies the rivers of Bangladesh from the capital Dhaka. 6) The Abayudaya of Uganda The Abayudaya are Ugandan Jews, but like most Ugandans, the BBC's Patience Atuhaire grew up knowing nothing about this community. It's now growing after suffering persecution under Idi Amin in the 70s. Patience broke bread with them at one of their festivals to find out more. 10:41
1117 17.11 Thailand in Transition The Fifth Floor is in Bangkok this week, meeting journalists from BBC Thai and BBC Vietnamese. 1) City of Angels Bangkok - or Krung Thep, City of Angels to Thais - has been at the centre of Thailand's recent history, with coups and uprisings, and now the transition from the late King to his successor. BBC Thai editor Busaba Sivasomboon takes David to a Buddhist temple close to the bureau, and explains why this island of peace among the skyscrapers tells us so much about what's happening in Thailand today. 2) Just call me by my nickname... Why are Thais more likely to be known by their nicknames than their official first names? Answers from Honey, Deer, Arm, Kay and Sweet Water - aka Busaba Sivasomboon, Jiraporn Kuhakand, Thitipol Panyalompanun, Watchiranot Thongtep and Nanchanok Wongsamuth. 3) The return of BBC Thai London editor Nopporn Wong-Anan gives us a brief history of BBC Thai from its first broadcast in 1941 to the launch of a year ago. 4) Thailand in transition The death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been a huge story for BBC Thai from the moment the news of his death broke to the funeral ceremony which ended a year of mourning. The team discuss what's next for the country, with the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn expected next month, and elections next year. 5) Running Bangkok The BBC's Thanyarat Doksone combines journalism with a strict training regime as a triathlete and 'Strongwoman'. She runs us through Bangkok's Lumphini Park for a high speed tour of some of her favourite places. 6) Being Thai David discusses geographical and cultural differences between Thais with a group of colleagues from different parts of the country - Jiraporn Kuhakan, Watchiranont Thongtep, Thitipol Panyalompanun and Thanyarat Doksone. Accents, food and style may differ, but is there still such a thing as 'Thainess'? 7) A Vietnamese in Bangkok The Bangkok bureau is also home to a team from BBC Vietnamese, including Linh Nguyen. She tells David how her perspective on her own country changed when she left to study and work abroad. And she takes him to Pho Van, a cafe where she can find the taste of home. 11:08
1124 24.11 1) Commuting in the Skies of Medellin Medellin in Colombia was one of the first cities in South America to integrate cable cars into its metro transit system. The Metrocable links the affluent valley with poor neighbourhoods in the hills. Arturo Wallace of BBC Mundo explains how it's also affected social attitudes. 2) Shanghai's Matchmaking Corner An ad hoc marriage agency is set up every Saturday in the People's Park in Shanghai. Parents go there with umbrellas, on which they attach notes listing vital information about their sons and daughters. Yang Zhuo at the BBC Shanghai office tells us more. 3) Jane Austen in Pakistan Jane Austen died two hundred years ago, but her books are still popular around the world. For members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan, the similarities between 18th century England and 21st century Pakistan give the stories an extra fascination. The BBC's Haniya Ali explains. 4) BBC Marathi 1942 The BBC recently launched a Marathi service, but it's not the first time the BBC has broadcast in Marathi. It happened before, very briefly, during the Second World War. Janhavee Moole tells the story of the original Marathi service and the inspirational journalist who became its voice. 5) BBC African Footballer of the Year Voting for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2017 is now open! But who inspired the previous generation of African football fans? David Amanor kicks the question about on the Fifth Floor with Victoria Uwonkunda, Robert Misigaro, Mohamed Qoutb and Aliyu Tanko. 6) H is for Headache The H in Spanish is mute, which leads to all sorts of challenges with spelling and understanding. What's the point of a letter that you never hear? Over the centuries, various linguists have tried to kill it off, without success. Spanish journalist Irene Hernandez Velasco has been sharing her thoughts on the 'useless' letter H with BBC Mundo. 06:43
1201 01.12 1) Living with Mugabe After 37 years of the Mugabe regime, Zimbabweans are adjusting to life without him. Most of the population have only known his rule, and he had become part of the fabric of the country. Two BBC Africa Zimbabweans - Kim Chakanetsa and Stanley Kwenda - share memories of the Mugabe era and the moment when it ended. 2) Mauritania: ringing the changes This week the Mauritanian president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz opened a new chapter for the country when he unveiled a new flag and a new national anthem. Both were approved in a referendum which also abolished the parliamentary upper house, the Senate. But the opposition isn't singing along. Amira Fathalla of BBC Monitoring has been following the story. 3) A Letter to the President This film by Afghan Roya Sadat caused a stir when it premiered in Kabul a few months ago. The story centres around a police chief Soraya, a woman at the height of her career who gets into a dispute with her in-laws and ends up facing the death sentence. BBC Afghan's Karim Haidari takes up the story. 4) The Condor Trilogy These books by Hong Kong author Jin Yong have sold over 100 million copies, and feature epic fights, evil villains and young love. The Condor Trilogy is set to be translated into English, so how well will the stories travel? Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese is a fan. 5) Saying Sorry Iranians were surprised this week by an apology: Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said sorry for going into the tent of an earthquake victim without removing his shoes. Ehsan Amertousi of BBC Persian TV has been asking his audience why Iranians find it so hard to say sorry. And is it any easier in Uzbek, Swahili, Spanish or Thai? Answers from Diloram Ibrahimova, Peter Musembi, Alejandra Martins and Sucheera Maguire. 6) Scholar or bellydancer? If you speak Egyptian Arabic you'll know there's a strange linguistic link between scholars and bellydancers. The male and female versions of the same word have rather different meanings, as Marwa Mamoon in Cairo explains. 11:20
1208 08.12 1) Taiwan's Enduring Rainbow This week scientists in Taiwan recorded what they hope is a world record-breaking rainbow, lasting almost 9 hours. Cindy Sui in Taiwan has been following the story, and explains why rainbows mean so much to her. 2) India's "criminal" tribe Roxy Gagdekar of BBC Gujarati has a great name. His surname derives from one of India's former nomadic tribes, the Gaagad, branded by British colonialists as "born criminals". But the new generation is reclaiming their history, using art to challenge old stereotypes. 3) Ghana's Sakawa boys As part of our series on youth cultures, we're looking at Ghana's Sakawa boys, the internet fraudsters with their own distinctive music, fashion and nocturnal party lifestyles. Sammy Darko from BBC Africa has met them. 4) Iraqi Kurdistan The Iraqi government reclaimed the disputed city of Kirkuk from Iraqi Kurds by force a few months ago, marking another chapter of violence between the two sides. BBC Monitoring journalist Roj Ranjbar grew up in Iraqi Kurdistan, and watching events in Kirkuk has brought back memories of his own family's displacement in the 1990s. 5) BBC African Hub Choir Next week, the Africa Hub Choir, made up of language service journalists, will be performing at the BBC Carol Service to celebrate the festive season. Ahead of their big performance, we spoke to Felin Gakwaya from BBC Great Lakes. 6) Iranian wrestling The ancient art of wrestling is a national sport and taken very seriously in Iran. Which may be why fans were not happy when wrestler Alireza Karimi allegedly lost a match on purpose in Poland last month. BBC Persian's Ali Akhoondan has been following the story. 11:12
1215 15.12 1) Mozambique's 'Ghost' Airport Empty carousels, blank flight boards, echoing halls - Nacala International Airport in Mozambique cost millions and was meant to help the economies of both Mozambique and Brazil. Instead, it has proved an expensive white elephant. Amanda Rossi of BBC Brasil went to Nacala to find out more. 2) Snow Cricket BBC Afghan journalist Merwais Miakhail is a big cricket fan. So he was very excited on a recent trip to Finland to be invited to take part in a match - in the snow.. It was so enjoyable that he wonders if 'snow cricket' deserves a future as a winter sport! 3) Morocco's Rif protests Silya is a well-known singer in Morocco and a key activist from the Rif region. Her latest song is dedicated to the many people who've been detained since protests began just over a year ago, following the death of a fish vendor. BBC Monitoring's Amira Fathalla tells us more. 4) Bag it! Rwanda banned plastic bags nine years ago. There have been reports of bag smuggling, and apparently, a mayor was sacked when the President saw a bag blowing down a street in his town. Prudent Nsengiyumva of BBC Great Lakes has just returned from Rwanda, so how clean are the streets? 5) Raving in Tehran As part of our youth culture series, BBC Persian's Feranak Amidi remembers her party days in the late 90s, when Tehran discovered rave music. 6) Russians in Chechnya Twenty years ago a quarter of the population of Chechnya were Russians. Now they comprise less than two percent. BBC Russian's Nina Nazarova travelled to Chechnya to find out what two Chechen wars have done to the republic, and particularly its Russian population. 08:53
1222 22.12 1) Witch-hunting in Rajasthan The north Indian state of Rajasthan has registered 50 cases of witch-hunting since 2015 even though it has banned the practice. BBC Hindi's Sumiran Preet Kaur has been to one district and met women whose lives have been changed forever. 2) La Perla, birthplace of reggaeton The smash hit 'Despacito' by Luis Fonsi, popularised by Justin Bieber, brought attention to the La Perla neighbourhood of the Puerto Rican capital San Juan, where the music video was filmed. BBC Mundo's Lioman Lima has visited several times, and shares the story of the town from reggaeton to Hurricane Maria. 3) Iran's 'Sacrificing Farmer' Earlier this month an 86-year-old Iranian farmer died in hospital. He'd lived a simple life in the north west of the country, but his death was a huge story. He was known nationwide as the "sacrificing farmer", and generations of children knew about his heroic deeds. Majid Afshar of BBC Persian was one of them. 4) Portuguese classes in Macau Why are parents from mainland China keen on sending their children to school in Macau, a former Portuguese colony? Tzu-Wei Liu of BBC Chinese says it's about language, and the expansion of Chinese influence around the world. 5) Celebrating the longest night In Iran and Afghanistan, the Yaldā festival on 21 December celebrates the longest night of the year. Friends and family get together to eat special delicacies and read poetry. Rana Rahimpour and Pooneh Ghoddoosi of BBC Persian share some Yaldā delights. 6) The bird language of Turkey In the Black Sea region of Turkey there's a unique language - and it's whistled. Bird language, a 500 year old dialect, is still used by 10,000 people - most of them live in the village of Kuskoy, or 'bird village'. But the language is dying out - Oyku Altuntas from BBC Turkish gives us the inside story. 09:17
1229 29.12 1) Naming Names on the Fifth Floor Naming names on the Fifth Floor. David Amanor celebrates the power - and fun - of names, with Sucheera Maguire of BBC Thai, Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian, Janay Boulos of BBC Arabic, Cagil Kasapoglu of BBC Turkish, Roberto Belo Rovella of BBC Mundo, Shoaib Sharifi of BBC Afghan, Mohanad Hashim of BBC Africa, and Najiba Kasraee of the BBC Academy. 2) Nicknames Somalis love nicknames, as the world discovered last February with the election of 'President Cheese' - Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Mohamed. David is given a Somali-style nickname, and hears from Sucheera Maguire about the Thai tradition of nicknames. 3) The name in my news Which name has dominated the news in your region? For BBC Russian's Famil Ismailov, it has to be President Vladimir Putin. Janay Boulos of BBC Arabic nominates President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. And Cagil Kasapoglu of BBC Turkish chooses two - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his sworn enemy, the exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. 4) My name, my identity In some cultures, names can reveal whole stories about family, ethnicity or religion. Janay Boulos and Famil Ismailov explain what their names say about them, and Cagil Kasapoglu remembers her surprise at the sensitivity of asking someone their name in Lebanon. 5) The politics of naming BBC Korean was launched this year, but choosing its name proved tricky. Najiba Kasraee of the BBC Academy explains why. Plus Roberto Belo Rovella sheds light on why Uruguayans call themselves 'oriental'. 6) Choosing names Astrologers and warlords - the finer points of choosing a child's name in Thailand and Afghanistan, with Sucheera Maguire and Shoaib Sharifi. 7) The nameless Long-established taboos in some cultures mean that husbands and wives never address each other by their first names. Shoaib Sharifi describes the tradition in Afghanistan, and a recent campaign to change it. 09:55

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