A Gambian spymaster, a Czechoslovak secret agent and a South African ghost called Sam. Correspondents share wit, analysis, and tales of strange encounters. Introduced by Kate Adie.Gambia’s intelligence agency has a new name and its boss is busy rebranding it – but beyond repainting the torture chamber, what does that mean, wonders Colin Freeman. Rob Cameron scours the archives of the StB – Czechoslovakia’s communist-era secret police– on the trail of ‘agent COB’. He meets the man who says he tried to recruit Jeremy Corbyn as an asset. Helen Nianais has coffee with a former jihadi who faces three years in jail after spending nine days in Syria. Now he’s trying to counter extremist propaganda online and help others reintegrate back into normal life in Kosovo.Shabnam Mahmood returns to Pakistan and finds that Uber and other cab-hailing apps are driving rickshaw drivers out of business, but there are still some parts of Lahore where older methods of transport dominate. And Harriet Constable visits Kaapsehoop – a village whose fortunes may have faded since South Africa's 19th century gold rush, but which remains rich in history, folklore, and ghosts.
Many Haitians see Oxfam’s actions as the latest part of a much bigger problem. Kate Adie introduces stories, wit and analysis from correspondents around the world.“Being poor, we’re a market for the NGOs” one Port-au-Prince resident tells Will Grant, “but it’s time to admit that we cannot develop our country with international aid.”Ahead of elections in Italy, Dany Mitzman watches fascists and anti-fascists face off in Bologna - a city famed for its left-wing politics.In Mozambique they’re trying to persuade parents not to give up on disabled children – Tom Shakespeare examine the latest development in inclusive education there.In Uzbekistan, Caroline Eden visits the capital Tashkent - famed for its chewy, golden bread and its kindness.And Alastair Leithead takes a trip along the Blue Nile with Marvin – a ball on a stick that sees virtually everything.
Can the NHS afford to run and replace its ageing hospitals?Many hospitals are crumbling and have huge backlogs of required maintenance work. It affects patients - sometimes life-saving operations are being cancelled due to lack of capacity - or practical problems such as leaks or faulty air conditioning.Money from capital budgets has been used to plug gaps in day to day spending - meaning an ever growing black hole of building work is backing up. So where to get the money?The Government is adopting plans which would encourage NHS trusts to sell off spare land and try to get money for new buildings from the commercial sector.But private finance initiatives are no longer an option. Trust deficits make borrowing difficult and hospital leaders say its difficult to get access to the money they need - like wading through treacle, one says - because of perverse rules and regulations.So how should we pay for much needed life support for our hospitals?Reporter: Lesley CurwenProducer: Rob CaveEditor: Gail Champion.
Electricity is crucial to modern life - and in the digital or electric vehicle age, that dependence is going to grow even more. But will we all get the power we need? Chris Bowlby discovers what life is like when power suddenly fails, and how a revolution in the way we generate electricity is posing huge political questions. This could give everyone secure, cheap power - or leave society divided between those with a bright future, and those left increasingly in the dark.Producer: Chris BowlbyEditor: Hugh Levinson.
BBC correspondents take a closer look at the stories behind the headlines.
Kate Adie presents a programme reflecting on two men's political careers which effectively ended this week. Andrew Harding in Johannesburg reflects on the demise of Jacob Zuma who finally bowed to months of pressure and quit as president of South Africa; while Jenny Hill, reporting from Cologne, considers what the resignation of Martin Schulz, as leader of the Social Democrats (SPD), says about the current state of German politics. The death of a Cold War-era contact prompts Nick Thorpe in Budapest to consider how attitudes to the media more than thirty years ago seem eerily to be returning. Meanwhile Katty Kay has to persuade a nervous Moscow-born taxi driver that it really is safe to drive her to Compton, the city once synonymous with gang violence and murder and made famous - or notorious - by NWA's album, "Straight Outta Compton". Finally, Justin Rowlatt intrepidly ventures into India's icy Ladakh region to accompany a team bringing electricity to remote rural villages - and gets his feet frozen to the ice for his trouble.
The homeless being denied end of life care.File on 4 hears the stories of the terminally ill left to die in hostels and on the street.An estimated 4751 people will sleep rough tonight in England. Many are seriously, even terminally ill.If you're living on the streets, who will care for you when the end comes?File on 4 hears from homeless people living with life threatening illness, who can't find a regular bed for the night, let alone a place where their medical needs can be met.A bed in a nursing home or hospice is usually not available to them. Hostels are left to do their best for the dying. But they say they aren't trained or equipped to give people a dignified death.We speak to those battling to get homeless people basic medical care. And hear how when services fail, people are left to die on the street.Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Emma FordeEditor: Gail Champion.
The latest round in the fight over the future of the UK armed forces is raging in the corridors of Whitehall. As politicians and military top brass argue about money, wider questions about what we want the Army, Navy and RAF to do once again top the defence agenda.Caroline Wyatt spent many years covering defence for the BBC and has heard warnings from retired generals about chronic under-funding many times. But with army numbers already down to a level not seen since before the Napoleonic Wars, big projects like the F-35 fighter jets in trouble, and a £2bn a year black hole in the defence budget, further salami slicing seems untenable. How then to prioritise which capabilities the UK must maintain and improve?The UK faces an intensified threat from Russia, 'hybrid' warfare where cyber attacks and political destabilisation are used alongside military force, and advances in missile technology. Post Brexit, the UK's strategic position both globally and within the European defence space is unclear. How we want to deploy our armed forces - where, with whom, and at what cost - is once again up for debate.Producer: Lucy Proctor.
Ending corruption in Ukraine and the woman enslaved by ISIS now trying to tell her story. Kate Adie introduces insight and analysis from correspondents around the world:Viktor Yanukovych and his associates are accused of stealing billions during his time as president, but are they still be benefiting from corruption? Simon Maybin surveys the scene from a snowy rooftop in Kiev.Stacey Dooley joins a 23-year-old Yazidi woman as she returns to find the house where she was held captive by ISIS in Mosul. She wants to tell her story but finds herself unexpectedly silenced.An assault on freedom of speech or an attempt to protect a nation’s dignity? Adam Easton explores the controversy around a new law in Poland which proposes prison sentences for anyone blaming the country for Nazi crimes against Jews.Simon Broughton meets a Mozambican artist turning bullets, guns and old mobiles phones into works of art.And Megha Mohan confronts a taboo in India: why menstruating women are often denied access to temples. Left out of her own grandmother's last rites, she's left wondering why.
Inside Afghanistan’s only secure psychiatric unit - the trauma of war laid bare. Caroline Wyatt introduces correspondents' stories from around the world:Sarah Zand examines how nearly four decades of war have taken its toll on Afghanistan and its people. Elinor Goodman meets a man hoping a herd of goats and some lessons in animal husbandry might dissuade young boys from joining the violent gangs responsible for a state of emergency being declared in part of Jamaica. Tim Ecott explores ethnic identities and regional power plays in Seychelles. James Jeffrey is in Ethiopia where staid state TV has a new rival. And Simon Parker braves the wind and waves off the coast of Norway in search of king crab.
UK companies are being used to launder dirty money as new transparency rules are flouted. One, registered in a Hertfordshire commuter town, helped the circle of Ukraine's disgraced ex-president profit from last year's Eurovision Song Contest, a File on 4 investigation has found.Billions of pounds of dirty money is alleged to have passed through opaque UK companies in recent years, over 100 of them registered at the same Potters Bar address. Tim Whewell follows the trail of one company linked to the regime of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country for Russia four years ago after anti-corruption protests in Kiev's Maidan square.Can new transparency requirements for British firms help find the people really behind the company?Presenter: Tim WhewellProducer: Simon MaybinEditor: Gail Champion.
Poland and Hungary appear to be on paths to what the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called "illiberal democracy". What does this mean for the European Union? Naomi Grimley hears how in Hungary a respected newspaper was shut down overnight after criticising government officials. A liberal university is fighting for its survival. In Poland, a popular singer was disinvited from a festival after speaking out against the proposed outlawing of abortion. Laws have been passed which give politicians more control over the appointment of judges. Both countries are in trouble with the European Commission. And yet, the view from Warsaw and Budapest is that their governments were democratically elected, and that they are enacting the will of their peoples - a will that may not be the same as that of Brussels, but has a popular mandate. In Hungary, Naomi is told that the country simply wants to keep its Christian identity. In Poland, the argument is that the changes of the court systems are simply an overdue updating of the judiciary after the Communist era, and that Poland is entitled to develop as its voters see fit. Could their new paths divide East and West and eventually threaten the EU itself?Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
The changing sights and sounds of Iraq's second city. Kate Adie introduces stories, wit, and analysis from correspondents around the world:Shaimaa Khalil meets a musician finally able to play his violin again and students returning to their studies in post-ISIS Mosul. John Sudworth finds that reporting from China’s Xinxjang province is difficult, risky and expensive – just the way the authorities there seem to want it to be. In Brazil, Katy Watson joins the queue for a Yellow Fever vaccine amid the panic caused by the latest outbreak.John Watkins delves into Albania’s national archive, where thousands of decaying film reels reveal much about its communist past. And Mike Wendling meets Swedish politician Hanif Bali who wants to close the country’s borders and keep migrants out. As well as being a social media star, the MP is also a migrant himself having left Iran as a child.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga declares himself the ‘People’s President’ in Kenya. Kate Adie introduces stories wit and analysis from correspondents around the world.Expecting trouble, Alastair Leithead attends a controversial swearing-in ceremony in Nairobi but the government’s show of force didn’t come from the security forces sent to police the event. The water crisis engulfing Cape Town is making headlines around the world, but Pumza Fihlani says a lack of running water has long been a way of life for millions of others in South Africa. Laurence Blair examines how immigration is becoming a political issue in Chile and how the recent arrivals and their hosts are having to adapt. In Switzerland, Katherine Forster revisits the site of a fancy dress party that changed her life and finds a country that, at first glance, appears the same. And Emma Levine plays chess in Armenia against an eleven yearold who is hoping to become one of the world’s youngest ever grandmasters.
There were a record 3,744 drug related deaths in England and Wales last year. While many were linked to street drugs such as heroin, a growing number also involve prescription medicines such as benzodiazepines and Fentanyl.Fentanyl addiction has swept across North America where the drug and other synthetic opioids have been blamed for thousands of deaths. It hit the headlines here when it was linked to a spike in fatalities in certain parts of the UK after being mixed with heroin.Allan Urry travels to Stockton on Tees where ten deaths have been linked to Fentanyl and its derivatives. He meets users and their families and the medical professionals and police dealing with the problem.But while Fentanyl is currently in the spotlight, it is tranquilisers and other sedatives often used by heroin users to dull withdrawal symptoms which are contributing to many more deaths. Nowhere is the problem more acute than in Scotland where benzodiazepines contributed to nearly half of all drug deaths.Many of the pills known as "street valium" or "blues" are made in back street laboratories run by organised crime gangs. Users gamble with their lives as the ingredients and strength of the tablets are often unknown.But File on 4 has discovered that organised crime gangs have also become involved in diverting significant numbers of highly addictive medicines from the legitimate supply chain onto the black market.Regulators say there is an extensive network of criminality involving businesses such as wholesale dealers and registered pharmacies. Some in the pharmaceutical industry such as drug manufacturers are repeating calls for supply chain regulation to be reviewed to ensure medicines reach their intended target.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: Paul GrantEditor: Gail Champion.
Women are sexist too. Even avowed feminists are found to be unconsciously biased against women when they take 'implicit association' tests. Mary Ann Sieghart asks where these discriminatory attitudes come from and what we can do about them. Evidence for women's own sexist biases abounds. In one example, female science professors rated the application materials of ostensibly male applicants for a lab position considerably higher than the identical documentation of ostensibly female candidates, in an experiment with fictitious applicants where only the names were changed. The reasons for the pervasive bias seem to lie in the unconscious, and in how concepts, memories and associations are formed and reinforced from early childhood. We learn from our environment.. The more we are exposed to sexist attitudes, the more we become hardwired to be sexist - without realising it. So what to do? Does unconscious bias training help? Or could it make our implicit biases worse? A good start might be to tell little girls not that they look so pretty in that dress, but to ask them what games they like to play, or what they are reading. And so teach them they are valued not for how they look, but for what they do.Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
Mishal Husain presents dispatches from journalists and writers around the United Kingdom that reflect the range of contemporary life in the country. In the latest programme, we hear from Chris Warburton on how Bolton in Greater Manchester is responding to the dramatically changing retail scene on its streets. The BBC's Religion Editor, Martin Bashir, draws on his own family's experience to consider the significance of the Church of England's intervention in the debate about pre-natal screening for Down's syndrome. Elizabeth Gowing reveals what one ex-offender has derived from his work with yoga and meditation - disciplines she has been struggling with - both out of gaol and while behind bars, and Martin Vennard explores a fifty year-old housing development with a new resident and the building's architect to see what ideas it may offer for tackling today's housing crisis. Finally, Felipe Fernández-Armesto - a globe-trotting historian with Spanish ancestry and impeccable British credentials - ponders the unravelling of the once tightly-furled British umbrella and the mores it represented.
Mark Lowen reports from both sides of the border as Turkey launches an offensive against Kurdish militia in Syria. In the Colombian jungle, Mathew Charles meets the surprisingly well-groomed members of the ELN guerrilla group. Are Louis and Louise beautiful or handsome? Joanna Robertson offers a lesson in the sexual politics of French grammar. Hero or villain? Peter Hadfield reports on how Taiwan views its former leader Chiang Kai Shek. And Melissa Van Der Klugt discovers why pollution in Delhi is giving some of its residents green fingers . . . and a new found interest in growing their own veg.
Waiting for elections and trying to answer awkward questions about sex in the DRC. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from around the world:William Edmundson is in the Democratic Republic of Congo wondering just how democratic it really is. Katty Kay looks at how the mood in the #metoo movement has gone from hope to concern in the US. Will Grant boards a rather empty flight from Miami to Havana and assesses US –Cuba relations under President Trump - there may be turbulence ahead. Natalia Golysheva travels to the Russian Far East to meet some of the Old Believer sect, who’ve recently returned home. And Chris Bockman reports on the French island of Faisans that is soon to be Spain.
There are more than half a million people living in sheltered housing, accommodation that offers additional support to the elderly, disabled or vulnerable.But currently, in England, these schemes aren't overseen by the independent regulator of health and social care the Care Quality Commission and councils aren't required to record cases of abuse and neglect in sheltered housing.It is leading to growing concerns that many vulnerable residents are hidden away and left to suffer without the authorities ever knowing there is a problem.With a move to care being provided via direct payments, its likely the demand for sheltered accommodation will grow. But there's concern that new developments are being shelved due to ongoing uncertainty over funding.File on 4 speaks to people who have been taken advantage of while living in sheltered accommodation, who feel they were sitting ducks for people looking to prey on the vulnerable.And when things do go wrong, with an absence of regulation are there sufficient mechanisms to prevent the same things from happening again?Reporter: Brigitte SchefferProducer: Ben RobinsonEditor: Gail Champion.
The Salvadoran woman who claims she faces 30 years in prison for having a miscarriage Kate Adie introduces correspondent's stories from around the world.Benjamin Zand is in El Salvador investigating the country's abortion laws - some of the harshest and most stringently enforced in the world. Colin Freeman meets the survivors of the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh's HIV treatment programme. His 'miracle cure' turned out to be deadly for many. Lyse Doucet hears tales of Aleppo’s ancient souk from the traders who are starting to return. Rani Singh is on the roof of the world exploring relations between India and China, and hanging with a cool ex-monk. And Kevin Connolly returns to Bulgaria and remembers its communist past.
File on 4 exposes a multi-million pound global trade in fake diplomas.A complex network of online universities sells degrees, doctorates and professional qualifications - for a price. Some of the buyers have gone on to trade on these credentials, including them on their CVs and gaining jobs in public life.Others, after making an initial purchase, were blackmailed by the sellers, who threatened to expose them unless they paid out huge additional sums of money.Despite criminal investigations in numerous countries, why is there still a thriving trade in dubious qualifications and are institutions and companies taking the issue seriously enough?Reporter: Simon CoxProducers: Matthew Chapman and Helen CliftonEditor: Gail Champion.
Why it's far too early to write Silvio Berlusconi's political obituary. Kate Adie introduces stories from correspondents around the world.With a general election in March, James Reynolds finds some familiar faces on the campaign trail in Italy but will the grey men triumph? In Tanzania, it's idle machines and empty buildings that greet Helen Grady as 'mitumba' or cheap, imported, second-hand clothes are destroying the local textile industry. Auliya Atrafi is in northeastern Afghanistan in a village where few working-age men remain - many are now in prison in Iran sentenced to death for smuggling drugs. Jannat Jalil ponders presidential gifts, Franco-Chinese relations, and horse-diplomacy. And Lindsay Johns returns to Martinique to mark the death of a woman he once called mom.
Lucy Ash finds that morale is low amongst Ukrainian troops in the east of the country as they endure another winter at war and the frozen conflict rumbles on.John Sudworth assesses rural poverty in China from the dizzying heights of a village accessible only by climbing half a mile of ladders.Recent protests prompt Rana Rahimpour to reflect on previous rounds of unrest in Iran, and how parents are once again worrying if their children will return home.Sara Wheeler soaks up the scenery in the north of Vietnam and marvels at the foot rowers of Tam Coc.And Jeremy Grange finds that memories of the slave trade are still very much alive in Tanzania.
The migrants clinging to hope, NATO military manoeuvres and a jungle prince. Kate Adie introduces some memorable moments correspondents have shared on the programme in 2017. Benjamin Zand encounters 'lies, lies and yet more lies" as he follows the treacherous migrant route that hundreds of thousands of people have followed in the hope of reaching Europe from Africa. Shaimaa Khalil recalls growing up in Egypt and her first experience of sexual harassment aged 11 #metoo. Emily Unia watches a NATO display of military might in Romania, but can't escape noticing that some members of the press pack don't seem to be taking it seriously. Tim Whewell tries to talk his way into Abkhazia - a country which most of the world refuses to recognise. And Justin Rowlatt has the tale of the lonely death of an Indian prince reduced to living in abject poverty in a hunting lodge in a forest in Delhi. Producer: Joe Kent.
In a festive edition for Christmas Eve, Mishal Husain presents pieces by: Ian McMillan on the special pleasures of Christmas Eve; Sarah Oliver on advice for those daunted by the seasonal food extravaganza; Padraig O Tuama on what happened when Bethlehem came to Belfast; Datshiane Navanayagam on the make-or-break power of customer service departments at this time of year; and Jonnie Bayfield on how he fared in devising out-of-the-ordinary gift options.
Killing time on election day in Catalonia and the bitter experience of applying for a visa. Correspondents share their stories, insights, and complaints. Introduced by Kate Adie.Reporting restrictions on polling day prompt Kevin Connolly to explore Barcelona and take a bit of a gamble. Yolande Knell tries to ignore the tempting local delicacies in Jerusalem and sample public opinion instead. Linda Pressly meets the people hoping the river the Pilcomayo will once again flow through the Chaco – one of the most arid and unforgiving regions of South America situated along the border between Paraguay and Argentina. Chris Bowlby remembers New Year’s Eve 1992 and the moment when Czechoslovakia became the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. And of the many challenges that foreign reporting presents, the one Colin Freeman dreads most is applying for a visa.
What next for the ANC as its chuckling, charismatic and divisive leader Jacob Zuma departs? Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories and insights from around the world.In South Africa, Andrew Harding looks back on President Zuma's time at the top of his party and his country.Joanna Robertson soaks up the seasonal spirit in Rome amid complaints about corruption, mafia collusion, a mangy municipal Christmas tree and a Christmas market with no stalls.Tim Hartley reports from Hong Kong as Beijing tries to blow the final whistle on protesting football fans who dare to disrespect the national anthem.Alexa Dvorson explores why all is not well in Bhutan, land of Gross National Happiness.And at an art gallery in Budapest, Nick Thorpe is reminded of both the censorship imposed by Hungary's former Communist rulers and the paradoxical freedoms granted to its people.
Hindu nationalism in India, making money in war-torn Yemen and family drama in Uzbekistan. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world. It’s 25 years since Hindu mobs destroyed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya; Mark Tully was there and asks whether it really did mark the end of secularism in India, as was claimed at the time.Bethan McKernan finds that business is booming in Yemen for the tribal leaders, arms traders and khat dealers who know where to look.Peter Robertson dissects the rise and fall of Gulnara Karimova who was once seen as her father's favoured successor as president of Uzbekistan.Katy Watson explores the complex history and geography of the word ‘America’ – should it be used to refer to a country, a continent, two continents?And Hannah King joins the British soldiers training the Somali National Army.
Stoicism, good humour and palpable tension as Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar to Bangladesh. Kate Adie introduces stories from correspondents around the world.Justin Rowlatt finds mixed emotions among Bangladeshis about the refugees arriving from across the border.Tim Whewell reports on the women and children left behind as the so called Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate crumbles.Sally Hayden explores how an outbreak of fake news and misinformation is making it harder to stop the spread of the plague in Madagascar.Jonah Fisher tours the tented camp that has reappeared in the centre of Kiev – last seen before the revolution in 2014.And Bill Law tries his best not to talk politics as Canadians gather for the annual Grey Cup football match or Canada’s Grand National Drunk as it’s often known.
Donald Trump's surprise elevation to the office of president last November stunned the world and electrified the financial markets. Promises to cut red tape, bring huge infrastructure projects to life, and sort out the byzantine American tax system propelled Wall Street to record highs. It's called the Trump Bump. Yet Trump's protectionist rhetoric simultaneously created fears of a global trade war.Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times, reflects on what Trump has accomplished in economic terms in the year since the election heard round the world. Financial systems are recovering from the calamities of the last decade, but that improvement was well under way before Trump took the helm of the world's largest economy. New proposals from the administration are stalled for lack of clarity, infirmity of purpose and political disarray. This doesn't mean that President Trump's decisions on everything from trade tariffs to the Federal Reserve will not send ripples around the globe in the years ahead. He's vowed to deliver tax reform, build a wall, bring jobs home and tear up trade treaties. Will these promises still be delivered? If they are, what might follow?Producer: Sandra Kanthal.
In 2017 it's easier than ever to express offence. The angry face icon on Facebook, a sarcasm-loaded tweet or a (comparatively) old-fashioned blog post allow us to highlight the insensitivities of others and how they make us feel - in a matter of moments. Increasingly, offence has consequences: people are told what they can and cannot wear, comedy characters are put to bed. Earlier this year, a white artist was condemned for her depiction of the body of a murdered black teenager. Those who were offended demanded that the painting be destroyed because 'white creative freedoms have been founded on the constraint of others'. It's easy to scoff. Detractors refer to those asking for a new level of cultural sensitivity as "snowflakes" and insist the offence they feel is self-indulgent. But history teaches that fringe discussions often graduate to mainstream norms. So are these new idealists setting a fresh standard for cultural sensitivity? A standard that society will eventually come to observe? Mobeen Azhar puts aside familiar critiques about the threat to free speech. Instead, he tries to understand the challenging arguments put forward by those who are pushing for new norms, and who believe that being offended will create a more culturally aware, progressive society.Featuring contributions from X-Factor star Honey G, black lesbian punk rockers Big Joanie and RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Charlie HidesProducer: Tim Mansel.
Mishal Husain presents pieces on a Devon pub admired by Prince Harry, why the future for local papers matters, executive pay and a moment of truth for a woman with breast cancer.
Is this the end of the Mugabe era? Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from around the world.“Which version of reality would you like to read today?” Andrew Harding is asked as he’s offered a selection of newspapers in Zimbabwe.Gabriel Gatehouse has been reporting on conflict for more than a decade but the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar has affected him like no other.Caroline Bayley finds a surprising splash of red in a grey Moscow suburb – a strawberry firm turning a profit, not from harvesting fruit but producing houses.Bethany Bell hears memories of the largest forced migration in European history – of the ethnic Germans made to leave their homes following the Second World War. Their stories have often received little international attention - overshadowed by the crimes of the Nazis.And Clive Myrie has fulfilled a childhood dream – that of visiting Yemen. But the architectural wonders he longed to see have been disfigured by bullets and bombs.
Kenyan widows fighting sexual cleansing and talking to war criminals in the Balkans. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from around the world.For some among the Luo tribe in Western Kenya, tradition dictates that widows must have repeated, unprotected sex with a stranger to rid themselves of evil spirits. Theopi Skarlatos meets the women fighting back.Mark Urban talks to convicted war criminals from the former Yugoslavia – some accept their sentences and have moved on, others claim they are the victims.Mark Stratton visits the Buddhist temple that has been at the heart of a long-running (and sometimes bloody) battle between Thailand and Cambodia.Sophie Ribstein embarks on a journey of musical discovery that provides an unexpected insight into the complex rhythms of Apartheid South Africa.And Lucy Williamson flies from Paris to the Gulf to spend seven minutes with the supposedly charming Emanuel Macron. He is a President that likes to talk, but what is he like to talk to?
The head of counter terrorism Assistant Commander Mark Rowley has warned the extreme right wing pose a growing threat in the UK. He told the Home Affairs select committee last month that right wing issues had increased in the last two years which was a real concern, although Islamic extremism remained the main threat.Last month, two men alleged to be members of National Action - a banned extreme far right group - were charged in connection with an alleged plot to kill an MP.Adrian Goldberg investigates the current face of the far right in the UK today and hears from their victims.He meets the former soldier who intervened after a far right extremist tried to behead a Sikh man and challenges the Austrian leader of a group called Generation Identity which launched in the UK only last month.They are part of a Europe wide group of so called 'Identitarians' who say their aim is to protect cultural identity. But their target is clear. Members unfurled a banner over Westminster bridge in London which declared "Defend London, Stop Islamisation."Experts say there is now growing cross border co-operation between far right groups in Europe, the UK and America.Jewish communities are also worried about the rise in the far right and growing anti-Semitic attacks. A student who highlighted far right posters being put up at her university was forced to move after a hate campaign which included her face being superimposed on pictures of holocaust victims. Businesses have been firebombed and some members of the Jewish community say they are so concerned they are considering leaving the country.The programme reveals new research on the scale of far right extremism on-line. Thousands of people in the UK have been identified as having violent extremist thoughts. Former extremists have been brought in to try to persuade people to change their views. But are they listening?Presenter: Adrian GoldbergProducer: Paul GrantEditor: Gail Champion.
These days when we talk about politicians we are more likely to discuss whether they are authentic than whether they are great orators or statesmen or women. Few of us take the time to listen to a speech or read a manifesto and when we judge politicians we more often focus on whether they seem sincere, warm or passionately committed to a cause rather than weighing up their policy programmes . We're turned off by spin and cynical about many politicians' motivations and we seek reassurance that they can really be trusted.Professor Rosie Campbell asks how we can make judgements about a politician's authenticity. Are politicians more trustworthy if they stick to their principles without compromise? Or is authenticity about revealing our true character, warts and all? And what is better for democracy? Authentic leaders who are straight talking and stick rigidly to their ideals or leaders who are willing to negotiate behind the scenes?Producer: Ben Carter.
The Prince’s purge: Mohammed Bin Salman’s moves to reform Saudi Arabia. Kate Adie introduces stories, wit, and analysis from correspondents around the world.Frank Gardner chronicles the meteoric rise of the Crown Prince reshaping Saudi Arabia.Kate Lamble meets the campaigners struggling to convince Muscovites that Alexei Navalny should be the next Russian President. They complain of political apathy and hostile media.Xavier Zapata mingles with the young Catalonians newly energised and politically engaged by the independence debate but struggling to get their voices heard.Andrew Hosken is in Albania where new attempts are underway to investigate the crimes of Enver Hoxha’s brutal dictatorship. Thousands of people were ‘disappeared’ - many ended up in mass graves. And Juliet Rix reports from the Inuit region of Nunavut – the newest, northernmost and largest territory in Canada.
Life in cash-strapped Venezuela and a return to war-ravaged Damascus. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories and insights from around the world.Katy Watson examines the staying power of Venezuela's ruling party. Despite ongoing shortages of food, medicine, and cash, Nicola Maduro's government has tightened its grip on the country.Simon Parker hears renewed talk of independence on the Faroe Islands, an autonomous region of Denmark, but struggles to decipher what independence would actually mean.Angellica Bell assesses the damage wrought by Hurricane Maria on the land of her grandfather – Dominica.And the travel writer Colin Thubron returns to Damascus fifty years after the publication of his homage to the city. He is surprised to find old friends still there, to stumble through an Old City largely intact, and to be taken in for questioning by the intelligence service. “We can’t see an end to it,” people tell him of the civil war.
What does the leak of files from offshore law firm Appleby reveal about how money is transferred out of the developing world and into the pockets of the rich?Using leaked documents obtained by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and working with the Consortium of Investigative Journalists, File on 4 delves into the records to find out how the rich use secretive tax regimes and corporate structures to divert money via the offshore jurisdiction of Mauritius.Producer: Anna MeiselReporter: David GrossmanEditor: Gail Champion.
Professor James Tilley finds out what we can learn about politics from the power struggles within chimpanzee groups and how our evolutionary past may affect the political decisions that we make today. Interviewing primatologists, evolutionary psychologists and political scientists, he explores the parallels between our political world and that of other primates. These include the way politicians form coalitions, how people choose leaders, loyalties to parties and even how, and when, we go to war. These similarities to other primates reflect our evolutionary heritage and the way in which stone-age human groups settled disputes internally and externally.Producer: Bob Howard.
A president in exile? The Brussels' press pack is in pursuit of Carles Puigdemont. Kate Adie introduces stories, wit, and analysis from correspondents around the world.It’s been a busy week for Adam Fleming in Belgium, as he tried to track down the sacked Catalan leader and figure out what is really going on.Colin Freeman reported from Liberia at the height of the Ebola crisis and has been back to see what has changed. Shaking hands is once again permitted, he finds, and the nation’s health service has been transformed. Justin Rowlatt has a tale of prince and poverty from the ridge forest in Delhi, India. And Amy Guttman is in Okinawa, Japan, home to thousands of American soldiers.And Stephen Smith has the story behind Dr Zhivago - one of the best-known love stories of the 20th century.
The Nigerian militants who rely on drugs to fight their fears and the displaced people taking them to forget the violence. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories.Sally Hayden reports from Madhugiri where the battle against Boko Haram is creating a growing problem with drug abuse.Tom Stevenson is in Diyarbakir, the Turkish city which has for decades, been at the heart of the conflict between Kurdish rebels and the state.Caroline Eden explores the Brodsky synagogue in Odessa and sifts through its archive which tells of controversies old and new.Rahul Tandon finds out that what you wear, what you drive and how you speak can affect which shops and restaurants are willing to take your money in India. It is, he says, one of the most class-conscious societies in the world.And David Chazan once owned a work of art worth tens of thousands of pounds – not that he knew it – opting instead to replace it with a coat of blanc cassé on the walls of his Paris flat.
When does flirting go too far? In a changing world, can we agree on what is acceptable behaviour? Sexual harassment is much in the news, new laws and codes are in place. Legal definitions are one thing, but real life situations can be a lot messier and more uncertain. Mixing expert analysis of the issues with discussion of everyday scenarios, Jo Fidgen asks: what are the new rules of relationships?Producer: Chris Bowlby.
There a risk we won't get new nuclear hooked up to the grid in time to back up renewable energy like wind power.There's an aim to generate 16GWe of new nuclear power by 2030.But experts doubt that's a realistic prospect, with Hinkley Point C years late, and questions over whether investors will risk capital on a proposed plant in Cumbria. And as plans for the future of nuclear power evolve, the legacy of the past also needs to be dealt with.The government's served notice on a £6billion contract to make safe a dozen of the UK's first nuclear sites, dating back to the 1950s.It was the most valuable piece of work ever put out to tender by the government.But the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority gave the job to the wrong consortium. The high court ordered a payout to the rightful winners of £97.3 million in damages.The National Audit Office says the total cost to the taxpayer is upwards of £122 million.The government also has to find someone else to clean up the old Magnox power stations and nuclear research sites. The current contractor, Cavendish Fluor Partnership and the NDA agree the job is far bigger than was made clear, and CFP will down tools nine years early.File on 4 looks at the delays and spiralling costs in decommissioning old power station sites.So just how well is our nuclear industry being managed?Producer: Rob CaveReporter: Jane DeithEditor: Gail Champion.
Edward Stourton asks how the European Union might change after Britain leaves. "The wind is back in Europe's sails", according to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In September, in his annual address to the European Parliament, he set out a bold dream for the future. Soon afterwards it was echoed by another, this time from French President Emmanuel Macron who declared that "the only path that assures our future is the rebuilding of a Europe that is sovereign, united and democratic". Amongst the proposals that the two leaders put forward were a European budget run by a European finance minister, an enlargement of the Schengen passport-free travel zone, and much closer collaboration on tax, defence, and a host of other issues.But at present, the European project faces huge challenges. Britain is about to leave the EU, whilst Catalonia's bid for independence is causing turmoil in Spain. In the face of such developments, how realistic are the grand visions that Europe's leaders have for the future of the continent?Producer: Neil Koenig.
With a political crisis, a push for freedom and talk of vegetables, Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from across the world.Guy Hedgecoe is with the unionist Catalans, opposed to independence from Spain of their region.In Saudi Arabia, the Crown Prince has called for a return to moderate Islam in the Kingdom. Kirsty Lang sees some noticeable changes for women in the country.In the mountains of Nicaragua, Margaret Ward goes off grid but also sees the progress has made in using renewable energy.500 years ago Europe was torn apart by the Reformation. One of the leading actors in it was Martin Luther, and he used a new technology, the printing press to get his message out. Jenny Hill follows in his footsteps.The we talk vegetables - tubers, to be precise - with Christine Finn, who reveals which one the people of Vermont voted for.
Why women must walk fast and certainly not answer back in Egypt. Shaimaa Khalil remembers a childhood episode which impacts her even now when she visits her home city. James Coomarasamy is in the Russian countryside, where having links to President Putin can stave off the poverty affecting many other areas. Canada's healthcare system is often touted as one of the best, but Sian Griffiths finds that even here they're struggling to cope with an opioid crisis. Cricket isn't usually associated with Francophone countries. Yet in Rwanda, it's giving the country something else to be remembered for, as Jake Warren hears. And Jack Garland visits the Florida high school with a special connection to American football, to see if they're taking a knee during the national anthem.
Drug dealers from big cities are exploiting thousands of teenagers to traffic Class A drugs to smaller rural towns in what's known as County Lines.Children - some as young as 9 -are being used as runners to move drugs and cash from cities like London and Manchester hundreds of miles away to other areas of the UK.It's a massive problem which until recently was being ignored.File on 4 hears from some of the exploited young people who spent their teens travelling around the UK for months at a time living in drugs dens selling heroin andcrack cocaine.They do this by taking over the homes of vulnerable people - drug users or the elderly - to sell drugs from and then refuse to leave -a practice called 'cuckooing' which can have tragic consequences.These trafficked children often find themselves trapped by the gangs unable to escape because of the threat of violence or in order to pay back debts.Are the authorities are doing enough to protect children from being exploited in this way? Or are they being let down by being viewed as criminals themselves ratherthan the victims of organised crime?Reporter: Simon CoxProducer: Emma FordeEditor: Gail Champion.
What does the dangerous state of the Houses of Parliament tell us about our politics? There are increasing fears of a catastrophic fire, asbestos leak or major systems failure in the famed buildings. But after years of warnings, MPs and Lords are still struggling to decide what to do. Some say Parliament must remain active in the buildings while urgent work is done. Others say they must be vacated for renovation - and that this is an opportunity for a complete rethink of how our parliamentary democracy functions.Chris Bowlby visits the buildings' secret and hazardous corners and talks to key figures in the debate, discovering a story of costly but revealing political paralysisProducer: Chris BowlbyEditor: Hugh Levinson.
Mishal Husain presents more reflections on life in Britain today, including diesel car dilemmas, a mother remembers her army son and picking up the pieces after devastating floods
Twisted metal, smashed concrete and anger on the streets of Mogadishu. Bridget Kendall introduces stories, analysis, and insight from correspondents around the world.After decades of war and years of terror attacks Somalia has seen a lot of violence, but this time it’s different says Alistair Leithead following the truck bomb which killed hundreds of people in the capital.As the Chinese Communist Party meets for its five-yearly congress, Carrie Gracie goes underground on the Beijing subway to gauge the mood in the city.John Sweeney is in Malta where the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, has raised questions about corruption and organised crime.Linda Pressly reports from Sweden where hundreds of migrant children appear to have switched off from the world around them – refusing to talk, eat or get out of bed. How can 'Resignation Syndrome' be cured?And on the Faroe Islands, Tim Ecott joins the annual gannet hunt – the young birds are a prized local delicacy.
Continued confusion has taken its toll on Catalonia since the disputed referendum. Bridget Kendall introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.On the streets and at the school gates the question of independence is dividing the people of Barcelona. It is also disrupting their lives finds Pascale Harter.Owen Bennett-Jones hears tales of abandoned babies in Pakistan; unwanted infants hurled into ice-cold rivers and others saved from disaster by caring strangers.Mike Wendling meets masked Antifa activists in America. Who are these left-wing activists? And what do they really want?Lucy Ash explores an often forgotten chapter in the history of WW1 – the invasion of Russia by Britain, Canada and the US.And Leon McCarron has a shave in a barbers on the West Bank and gets a lesson in the history of the Samaritans.
Fifteen years ago, promising young footballer Kevin Nunes was shot dead on a country lane in Staffordshire. Five men were convicted of his killing, and jailed for life. But just four years later, their convictions were quashed, following concerns about the way police handled a key prosecution witness.The Court of Appeal Judge said it appeared to be "a serious perversion of the course of justice," and an investigation was launched into misconduct claims against four of the UK's most senior officers.Now, as the report into the police investigation is finally released, File on 4 speaks to those at the centre of the saga. Will the family of Kevin Nunes will ever get the justice they seek, and what does the case tell us about police transparency and accountability?Reporter: Phil MackieProducer: Laura Harmes.
From driverless cars to "carebots", machines are entering the realm of right and wrong. Should an autonomous vehicle prioritise the lives of its passengers over pedestrians? Should a robot caring for an elderly woman respect her right to life ahead of her right to make her own decisions? And who gets to decide? The challenges facing artificial intelligence are not just technical, but moral - and raise hard questions about what it means to be human.Presenter: David EdmondsProducer: Simon Maybin.
Election day was peaceful in Liberia, but are sinister forces at play? Kate Adie introduces analysis, wit, and story-telling from correspondents around the world.
The spiritualists selling costly ‘cures’ and offering exorcisms for mental health problems. Kate Adie introduces stories, wit, and analysis from correspondents around the world.Nicola Kelly is in Zanzibar where spiritual healers are getting rich as the country struggles to deal with rising demand for mental health services.Mark Lowen ponders what the future may hold for Iraqi Kurdistan.Zeinab Badawi explores Charleston in America’s Deep South. The carefully maintained Georgina houses are impressive, but look closely and the marks of the child slaves’ hands that built them are still visible.Phoebe Smith visits a restaurant for vultures in Nepal.And Hugh Schofield has become a dad again. He’s discovering that a lot has changed in France since his last child was born 18 years ago.
How well do NHS hospitals look after their elderly patients? Allan Urry investigates concerns about a lack of basic care. Is it proving fatal for some? Why are bedsores, repeated falls, malnutrition and dehydration still featuring among the complaints of families who've lost loved ones? The programme also assesses how well the NHS responds when mistakes are made.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: Nicola Dowling.
What could spark a major conflict on the world's most sensitive front line, and just how devastating would it be? Alarm about North Korea has spiked. It claims to have successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit Alaska. Some experts estimate that North Korea is now 18 to 36 months away from launching a missile able to reach Los Angeles. President Trump has threatened to "totally destroy" the country, in an exchange of increasingly belligerent messages from both sides. Neal Razzell takes a look at the two sides' war plans and asks: what would war with North Korea look like?Producer: Sarah Shebbeare.
Hurricane Maria has exposed the complex relationship between Puerto Rico and the mainland USA. Kate Adie introduces insight, wit, and analysis from correspondents around the world.Puerto Ricans are getting used to a new way of life on their storm-ravaged island but not, they tell Aleem Maqbool, getting the help they need from the rest of the United States.In France, Stephen Sackur assesses President Macron’s chances of rebooting the nation’s economy and asks whether history is repeating itself.John Sweeney is in Mesquite, once the hometown of Stephen Paddock, as he searches for clues as to what may have motivated the deadliest mass murder in modern America.In Somalia, Yasmin Ahmed hears young men's dreams of footballing glory and life in Europe – at whatever cost.And Justin Rowlatt has a confession to make.
Manveen Rana uncovers hate speech, sectarianism and even support for Jihad in some of Britain's Urdu language newspapers, radio stations and TV channels.While we are often told the internet and social media have accelerated the fermentation of extremist ideas, File on 4 reveals how widely-available 'old media' is also disseminating sectarian and anti-Semitic messages, as well as support for Pakistani militant groups, through newspapers and TV channels accessible in Muslim communities across the UK.A common theme is content about the Ahmadiyyah community, who are considered by some Muslims to be heretics. A persecuted community in Pakistan, such violence came to the UK in 2016 when shop keeper Asad Shah was fatally stabbed by a man accusing him of blasphemy. Despite this shocking sectarian murder, British Urdu media continues to publish insulting material targeting the Ahmadiyyah community - included campaigns calling on readers to boycott Ahmadi-made goods.But at what point do these media outlets cross the line from bad taste to criminal behaviour? And are media regulators doing enough to prevent and punish the offenders?Producers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid IqbalEditor: Gail ChampionSound Engineer: Neil Churchill.
Will technology radically reshape the highly profitable world of finance? Technology can revolutionise industries, making goods and services cheaper and more accessible. Television is going the same way with online services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime providing thousands of movies and boxsets. From the point of view of the consumer the picture is the same - we tend to have more choice and pay less money. Profits get squeezed. Yet there's one service we buy that seems to be a glaring exception - finance. Philip Coggan of The Economist asks whether the rapidly growing financial technology sector is about to change all that, creating a future that's much less comfortable for City fat cats, but better for everyone else.Producer: Ben Carter(Photo: Tech Globe on hand. Credit: Shutterstock).
Mishal Husain presents dispatches on one family's fraught experience with sepsis, the night Jimi Hendrix played Ilkley and the prospects for coracle fishing in West Wales.
It's as if doomsday had arrived early in Raqqa as bats swoop over the remains of the city. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories and analysis from around the world.In Syria, Quentin Sommerville finds a city which had been occupied and terrorised by the so-called Islamic State and is now being destroyed by a thousand blows from coalition airstrikes.In Colombia, Katy Watson reports from the border bridge which 25,000 Venezuelans cross each day. Most do so in search of food and medicine, but more and more are deciding to stay.In South Africa, Milton Nkosi worries that history is repeating itself with the recent spate of political killings in KwaZulu Natal.In America’s Deep South, Fleur Macdonald joins fellow MacDonalds, Alexanders, Johnsons, MacSweeneys and MacWhannells as they celebrate their Scottish heritage and their allegiance to Clan Donald.And in Spain, Chris Bockman visits what was Europe's second-biggest train station, but was left to rot and rust. Today the terminal in Canfranc attracts more curious visitors than it ever did passengers.Producer: Joe Kent
Adoption can transform lives. Today, most children available for adoption have had a difficult start. Removed from birth parents and taken into care, many have experienced abuse and neglect which can leave them with complex mental health and/or developmental needs. Adoption can provide them with stable and loving homes.But what happens when the challenges the adoptive family faces become overwhelming? And is there enough support available to the families who give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in society?File on 4 hears from adoptive parents struggling to cope with their children's complex problems - and battling with the authorities to get the help they desperately need.The charity Adoption UK thinks as many as a quarter of all adoptive families are in crisis and in need of professional help to keep their family together. But are adoptive parents given enough information about the challenges they are likely to face and when they do encounter problems, is there enough help available?Two years ago, the government set up a special fund designed to help adoptive families in England access a range of post-adoption therapeutic services. To date, more than £52 million has been spent via the Adoption Support Fund. But where is the money going and are the treatments on offer proven to be effective?The truth is that no one really knows how many adoptions are 'disrupted' or end up in full break down when the child is permanently returned to care. But when they do, it is devastating for everyone involved. We speak to families fighting to get the help they need to stay together.Reporter: Alys HarteProducer: Jane Drinkwater.
The rescue workers sifting through the rubble in Mexico and the African migrants that refuse to give up on their European dreams.Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories.In Mexico City, Rajini Vaidyanathan joins the search for survivors following the earthquake earlier this week. Benjamin Zand follows the deadly migrant route through Niger, Nigeria, and Libya which thousands of people pass along in the hope of reaching Europe. Steve Rosenberg takes a Magical Mystery Tour with the Russian military in Syria. Rosamund Jones visits the Icelandic isle of Grimsey – population 80 people and hundreds of thousands of birds. And Neil Trevithick visits the forests of Myanmar, where people have suffered but wildlife has been left to flourish.
The ethos of the paralympic movement is fair and equal competition. At its heart is the classification system designed to ensure people of equal impairment compete against each other.The International Paralympic Committee has warned that some athletes are exaggerating their disability - known as intentional misrepresentation - in order to get into a more favourable class. It said this was in "grave danger of undermining the credibility of the sport."File on 4 has spoken to athletes, parents and coaches who say they too are concerned the system is being abused. They claim less disabled athletes are being brought into sports in the quest for medals. Some athletes have decided to quit competing altogether as they no longer believe there is a level playing field. They claim more disabled athletes are being squeezed out of para competition.The first ever athletes forum for the paralympic movement was held this summer. It too says there is a lack of trust about classification among competitors and called for greater transparency saying athletes should have the ability to raise concerns about fellow competitors.Is doubt about the current system threatening trust in the paralympic movement?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Paul Grant.
A tour of Angela Merkel’s childhood, swapping books with Kurdish fighters and reading the landscape of Gabon. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories.Jenny Hill visits the town where Angela Merkel grew up as she tries to learn more about the notoriously private politician.Richard Hall’s repeated trips to the Qandil mountains of Iraq allow him to assess the evolution of the PKK. But is a copy of Hemingway’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ an appropriate gift for a battle-hardened Kurdish commander fighting IS?Nick Thorpe meets the migrants trying to cross the Hungary-Serbia border and Robin Banerji visits the Indian city where biryani was invented, or so some locals claim.And Andy Jones learns how the Baka hunter-gatherers of Gabon are turning their mastery of the country's tropical forests against the poachers who prowl the region.
Over many generations the Catholic church provided shelter and care for vulnerable children whose families had been broken by death or poverty. But many of those who grew up in these orphanages claim the care they offered amounted to years of serious beatings and emotional abuse which scarred them for life.File on 4 investigates one such former institution, Smyllum Park in Lanark, uncovering new evidence of alleged abuse and raising serious questions about child deaths at the orphanage, before it was closed in 1981.In Scotland, the ongoing child abuse inquiry has vowed to get to the bottom of what happened at Smyllum Park and other children's homes but it has been beset with delays, resignations and claims of political interference.File on 4 asks whether the inquiry is digging deep enough to uncover the truth about what happened at Smyllum Park and why it has taken more than 50 years for the truth to come out.Producer: Ben RobinsonReporter: Michael Buchanan.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories and analysis from around the world - including from the Bangladeshi border, where we meet the Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar. Sanjoy Majumder is on the banks of the Naf River as families arrive by the boatload trying to escape Rakhine state.In Uganda, Ruth Alexander finds out what it’s like to try and build a home and a new life in the country often applauded for its generous policy towards refugees.In Germany, Damien McGuiness meets the “elite hipsters” of Berlin living in a parallel, English-speaking society.In Russia, Martin Vennard joins the back to school celebrations on the Day of Knowledge.And in Colombia, Mark Rickards witnesses an extraordinary race around the country and explores how cycling is helping to bring together a once divided nation.
Kate Adie introduces dispatches by: Yolande Knell in Qaraqosh, who observes Iraq's trials of people accused of fighting for so-called Islamic State; Martin Patience, who takes his leave of Nigeria with mixed emotions after a two-year stay; Matthew Hill in Sri Lanka, who finds that the strains and tensions between those who govern and many of those whom they govern are intensifying; Harriet Constable, who reports from Kenya on the increasingly violent and costly incidence of sand harvesting; and Hywel Griffith visits one of Australia's many micro-nations to meet the white-bearded Prince Paul of Wy to discover why he has set up his own realm.
'The Fix' brings together twelve of the country's bright young minds and gives them just one day to solve an intractable problem. This week we have asked our teams to come up with ways to stop criminals re-offending when they leave prison. The day is introduced by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA and the teams will be led through the day by Cat Drew, Director at design consultancy Uscreates. Can the teams do enough to impress our judges, Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund and David Willetts, former minister and Executive Chairman of the Resolution Foundation, or will they fall short?
Catalonia's uncertain future, Sierra Leone after the mudslide, Ethiopia embraces industrialisation, Uzbekistan's Soviet era bus shelters and reflections from a Macedonian nail bar
Despite the threat from North Korea to fire missiles towards Guam, we find a surprising calm on the island. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.From Guam, Rupert Wingfield Hayes has the latest developments in the war of words between the US and North Korea.Secunder Kermani hears tales of the horrific violence that followed the Partition of India 70 years ago but finds little remorse amongst some of its perpetrators.Hannah Armstrong visits Cape Verde where European migrants are starting new lives in Africa.In Cuba, Will Grant finds that the 'battle against bureaucracy', launched by the late Fidel Castro in 1965, is far from over. Simple tasks like paying your rent can still take hours.And in Swedish Lapland, Elizabeth Hotson goes down to the woods in search of a big surprise, and a bear.
The teams have just one day to find solutions to the problem of childhood obesity
Mishal Husain presents stories on modern pilgrimage, British Asians' Partition experiences, reviving an ancient festival in Cornwall, a special stonemason and a cow man's reprieve
In the first of a new series, twelve of the country's brightest young minds gather to solve difficult social problems. This week - how do we improve access to affordable housing? Using policy planning techniques used by governments around the world, three teams are given free reign to think the unthinkable. They then present their ideas to two judges, who'll interrogate them and pick the best. Presented by Matthew Taylor and facilitated by Cat Drew of Uscreates Team One: Oliver Sweet - runs an ethnographic research department at Ipsos MORI. Margot Lombaert - creative director of Margot Lombaert Studio, an independent graphic design practice. Ethan Howard - RSA award winner. Jack Minchella - research and design associate at the Innovation Unit and the founder of the urban research collective In-Between Economies based in Denmark. Team Two: Solveiga Pakštaitė - industrial designer specialising in user-centred design. Gemma Hitchens - Account Director at Signal Noise, which specialises in data visualisation and analysis. Jag Singh - tech entrepreneur and former political strategist. Hashi Mohamed - barrister at No5 Chambers. Team Three: Helen Steer - educator and maker who runs Do It Kits, a start-up that helps teachers use technology. Zahra Davidson - designer with a background spanning service design, social innovation and visual communication. Piero Zagami - information designer and consultant in graphic design and data visualization. Tobias Revell - artist and lecturer in Critical and Digital Design.Producer: Wesley Stephenson.
Marshal Khalifa Haftar has big ambitions for his army and his country, but what is the military strongman's vision for Libya? Caroline Wyatt introduces correspondents' stories.Stephen Sackur has some challenging questions for The Marshal in Benghazi, but will he get to ask them?In Liberia, Olivia Acland visits the Hotel Ducor and reflects on what it reveals about the country. It once attracted world leaders with its 5-star luxury - now it lies in ruins.For an insight into President Duterte's ongoing war on drugs in the Philippines, Colin Freeman heads to a morgue in Manila and joins some crime reporters on their night shift.In Italy, Dany Mitzman samples a plate of slippery, squidgy jellyfish. The ‘eat it to beat it’ movement offers a novel, and for some unpalatable, solution to dealing with invasive species.And, what to say to a border guard? Tim Whewell tries to talk his way into Abkhazia – a largely forgotten corner of the former Soviet Union.Producer: Joe Kent
Strange and sinister things often happen before Kenyan elections, but recent events have left the country in shock. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' tales and insights:In Nairobi, Alastair Leithead analyses the fallout from the murder and torture of the Kenyan election commission’s head of technology.In Italy, Bob Walker walks the Francigena pilgrim trail amidst apocalyptic scenes caused by the wildfires that are sweeping parts of the country.In Romania, Linda Pressly enters the world of online pornography as she explores the country’s growing live webcamming industry.In Venezuela, political turmoil continues and Vladimir Hernandez wonders what's driving so many people to risk their lives in the ongoing street protests.And in Germany, Rob Crossan visits the place that Elvis Presley once called home and is now preparing to remember ‘The King‘ 40 years after his death. Bad Nauheim is the town that gave him the GI Blues.Producer: Joe Kent
Afghanistan’s new Top Guns and America’s dilemma over sending more US troops to the region.
David Anderson examines the government's controversial counter-terrorism strategy Prevent
Has the initial success of the minimum wage meant politicians have extended the policy to damaging levels? All the major political parties agree: the measure has been a success, and in the 2017 election all promised substantial rises in the rate by 2020. The Conservatives are aiming for a £9 national living wage by the end of the decade, and not to be outdone, Labour promised £10 for all but the under-18s. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, asks why left and right have both adopted this once controversial policy. And could the current bidding war of big increases undermine the positive effects it has had over its eighteen-year history?Producer: Kate Lamble.
Mishal Husain presents reports from Jersey as a childhood islander returns, from Birmingham's closing greyhound stadium, plus the reflections of an ex-children's television star.
Gaza's power struggle: the city where mains electricity is available for two hours a day. Kate Adie introduces this and other reports from Italy, Alaska, Nigeria and the Black Sea.The UN has said that conditions in Gaza are becoming increasingly "unliveable". Education and healthcare are declining, and energy is becoming increasingly scarce. Yolande Knell visits some old acquaintances to find out how Gazans are managing.Tim Whewell takes a ferry across the Black Sea joining the Ukrainians, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Kazakh and Uzbek truckers seeking routes that avoid Russia.In Sicily, Manuela Saragosa meets a wine maker trying to resist the rural mafia which wants his land.Claire Marshall gets a glimpse of the fast-disappearing Inupiat way of life in Alaska, and eats a glistening chunk of whale meat.And Alastair Leithead joins the celebrations marking 50 years since the creation of Lagos State in Nigeria.
People spotting, chance encounters, briefings in the pub - trying to decipher how Brexit negotiations are progressing. Kate Adie introduces this and other correspondents’ stories.In Brussels, Adam Fleming is following negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, but finding out what is going on is not easy, he finds.In Uganda, Catherine Byaruhanga visits the place that has become home to more than 250,000 people who’ve fled war in South Sudan. Bidi Bidi is now one of the largest refugee settlements in the world.Jake Wallis Simons spots signs of cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and asses an unlikely Middle-Eastern alliance.Megha Mohan meets a Belarusian model hoping to make it as an online star in China.And in Spain, Andy Jones tries not to look down as he edges along Malaga’s scary Caminito Del Rey.
What happens when your teenage son is targeted by abusers?File on 4 tells one family's story of fighting the authorities to get support and justice after a 13 year old boy was aggressively groomed by scores of men, aged from their 20s to their 50s. It is a shocking story of opportunities missed, meaning the boy endured assaults by multiple men for years. We look at the impact of that sustained abuse on him and his parents, who were desperately trying to shield him from harm. He says he was dismissed, and even blamed by authorities responsible for protecting him.Why were they so let down? And have the police been slow to get to grips with cases of child sexual exploitation when they involve boys?One safeguarding expert tells the programme: "Policy is not matching practice on the ground. It was completely missed that this boy was a child. We need to lift the lid on what is going on when the victims are boys."Are boys on the radar of authorities or are they grooming's hidden victims?Reporter: Alys HarteProducer: Sally Chesworth.
An extended interview with the political theorist who argues that liberal democracy is in grave danger. Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School at Oxford, speaks to Harvard scholar Yascha Mounk. He says that across a wide sample of countries in North America and Western Europe, citizens of mature democracies have become markedly less satisfied with their form of government and surprisingly open to nondemocratic alternatives. "A serious democratic disconnect has emerged. If it widens even further, it may begin to challenge the stability of seemingly consolidated democracies."Producer: Jim Frank(Image: Yascha Mounk. Credit: Steffen Jaenicke).
Volkswagen Group faced a 15 billion fine after the US environmental protection agency found it had fitted cars with software designed to cheat official pollution tests.Their engines seemed clean in laboratory tests; on the road they emitted much higher levels of nitrogen oxide gas which can damage our health.Although 8.5 million VW engines in Europe were fitted with the same so-called 'defeat devices', no EU state has yet to take any action against the manufacturer.File on 4 tells the story of how the emissions scandal has spread to manufacturers beyond Volkswagen.Europe's MEPs have voted for a new 'real driving emissions' test, but critics accuse European Council ministers of watering it down to please their domestic car industries. A proposal for an independent EU agency to oversee emissions tests and issue sanctions was blocked.And the manufacturers have been given breathing space before they must meet the legal emissions standards - the new legislation lets them emit beyond the pollution limits for years to come.Diesel cars were supposed to bring down emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. But have those plans now gone up in smoke?The programme asks whether this is the next emissions scandal and whether Europe has the power to make cars as clean as they say they are.Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Rob Cave.
Michael Blastland asks if it's desk-bound work, rather than over-eating, which is making more and more of us obese. He hears about remarkable research which, despite received wisdom, suggests that people in the UK have reduced their calorie intake. However, they are expending far less physical energy, particularly because of new patterns of work which now require little if any bodily exertion. Michael examines projects to change individual behaviour such as corporate wellness programmes and altering office layouts - but finds it's going to be a tough sell.Interviewees:Dr Melanie Lührmann, Senior Lecturer, Royal HollowayProfessor Alexi Marmot, architect, UCLProfessor Andre Spicer, Cass Business SchoolProfessor Mike Kelly, School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge UniversityProducers: Estelle Doyle, Phoebe Keane and Smita Patel.
In 2015, reporter Adrian Goldberg investigated the state of England's mental health provision and measured the promise of equal treatment for psychiatric patients against the reality on the wards of psychiatric hospitals and in the community. The notion of "parity of esteem" has been enshrined in law in 2012, and has been promoted by successive Prime Ministers, but was found in many areas to be sadly lacking.So, two years on what progress has been made? And what more needs to be done to help patients in crisis?Adrian talks to former NHS executive Lord Crisp, nurses and the families of those who have lost their loved ones as a result of failures in the system. Are mental health patients still regarded as equal but somehow different to those with physical ailments.
Constitutions put controls on the people who run countries - but how are they created and how well do they work?In ordinary times constitutional debate often seems an abstract business without very much relevance to the way we live our lives. But political turmoil can operate like an X-ray, lighting up the bones around which the body politic is formed.Drawing on recent political events, Edward Stourton explores the effectiveness of the constitutions of the United Kingdom, the USA and France and asks are they doing what they were meant to do?CONTRIBUTORSLord Peter Hennessy, Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary University of LondonAlison Young, Professor of Public Law, University of OxfordProfessor Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law SchoolSophie Boyron, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham Law SchoolDavid S Bell, Professor of French Government and Politics, University of LeedsPresenter: Edward StourtonProducer: Richard Fenton-Smith.
Around 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis each year. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was introduced nearly a hundred years ago, but is only partially effective against the bacterium that causes TB.With so many infected and the BCG vaccine only 60% effective, a race is on to develop a better way of preventing TB. Hundreds of millions of public and philanthropic money has been poured into this quest. For researchers, the competition for this pot of money is fierce.A new vaccine called MVA85A developed by scientists in Oxford as a booster to BCG was heralded as a possible solution. But when it was trialed on nearly 3000 infants in South Africa it didn't offer any further significant protection.File on 4 investigates the outcome of tests carried out on monkeys and asks to what extent animal trials are used to help decide whether to go on to test in humans.How do regulators and ethics committees decide to give their approval and who is looking out for the people who volunteer to take part?Reporter: Deborah CohenProducer: Paul Grant.
File on 4 investigates claims that parents whose children suffer from a crippling illness that leaves them sick and permanently exhausted have been falsely accused of child abuse.Parents of children with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) reveal how they have been investigated and referred for child protection measures on suspicion of a rare form of child abuse known as Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII).FII, also sometimes known as Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, is extremely rare and occurs when a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes the symptoms of a child's illness. One charity says FII is being used inappropriately by education and health professionals. We talk to families who claim the stress caused by this accusation has made their children worse.With doctors divided over the best way to treat children, what's the impact on families?Reporter: Matthew HillProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Union membership is in decline whilst structural changes in the economy - including the rise of the so-called gig economy - are putting downward pressure on wages, and creating fertile conditions for exploitation by unscrupulous employers. So who is going to ensure that workers get a fair deal? Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer for the Observer, investigates.Producer: David Edmonds.
A year on from the Brexit referendum, Anand Menon contrasts Wakefield, which voted leave, with Oxford which voted remain, to find out how they feel now.
The toxic legacy of Britain's industrial heritage lies festering beneath our feet in 20 thousand former landfill sites. But now Government has ended the system of grants to local authorities to help pay for their clean up, and developers are moving in to build housing. How safe are these places, and should people be concerned about living on top of them? Many of these sites were commissioned long before safety and environmental regulations were introduced so nobody knows what's buried underground and what problems it might create in the future. Families whose homes were built right next door to old landfill sites tell the programme their lives have been blighted by health issues. File on 4 has seen new research commissioned by the Environment Agency which reveals how erosion is threatening hundreds of toxic dumps along our coastline that could leach chemicals and other harmful substances onto our beaches and into the sea.
During Brazil's boom years the country's rising economy created a new middle class of gigantic proportions - tens of millions escaping from poverty. Brazil felt confident and even rich enough to bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. But then the economy turned.In the last two years the country has endured its worst recession on record. Rio de Janeiro - the city that hosted the Olympics - is bankrupt. Many communities don't have functioning schools or clinics. Corruption is endemic.David Baker, a regular visitor to Brazil, travels to Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo to find out where it went all wrong for the country, what's holding it back from being a great economic power and what the wider lessons are for developing countries across the world.Producer: Alex Lewis.
File on 4 reveals the true scale of child sexual grooming and abuse online and asks whether social media companies are doing enough to prevent paedophiles from targeting children. The investigation follows the rape and murder of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood from Leicestershire who was groomed online before meeting her killer in person. File on 4 reveals the number of children being groomed online and who are subsequently abused is increasing. Child abuse experts say some social media platforms have ignored repeated calls for better child protection measures and Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee has accused them of putting profit before safety.
With angst over European security growing, why is Germany such a reluctant military power? Chris Bowlby discovers how German pacifism has grown since World War Two. The German army, the Bundeswehr, is meant to be a model citizen's army but is poorly funded and treated with suspicion by the population. Some now say the world of Trump, Putin and Brexit demands major change in German thinking, much more spending and Bundeswehr deployments abroad. But most Germans disagree. Could Germany in fact be trying historically something really new - becoming a major power without fighting wars?Producer: Chris BowlbyEditor: Hugh Levinson.
Do we unconsciously harbour racist and sexist attitudes? Far fewer people are explicitly racist than a couple of decades ago. They won't express or admit to racist sentiments. But what happens beneath the conscious level? In recent years there has been an explosion in research into what's called implicit bias. David Edmonds discovers that big business is taking the idea very seriously. He asks: does it stand up to scrutiny?Producer: Ben Carter.
Painkillers in sport: a form of legal doping or an excessive reliance on medication that puts the long-term health of athletes in jeopardy?With evidence of widespread use of over the counter anti-inflammatories to support performance or recovery at amateur level, File on 4 looks asks if there is enough regulation of painkilling drugs in sport across the ranks.About half of players competing at the past three World Cups routinely took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, according to research carried out by FIFA's former chief medical officer, Prof Jiri Dvorak.For him, this clearly constitutes the abuse of drugs in football, one which risks player's health and could "potentially" have life-threatening implications.But is the sports community taking these warnings seriously enough? Professor Dvorak first warned about the long-term implications of players misusing painkillers in 2012 - has anything changed?Industry insiders their concerns about pain killer use in professional sport - including one former rugby international who says he developed serious long-term health problems as a result.And with evidence that even paracetamol can have a performance enhancing effect, how can sports regulators control substances that can give a competitive advantage but are widely available over the counter?With tales of athletes receiving pain relief in order to compete with broken toes or even a fractured bone in their back, we explore the lengths some may go to in order to stay in the game and ask if some sports are risking long-term harm by chasing short-term goals.Producer: Alys HarteReporter: Beth McLeod.
Why is the UK such a generous global aid donor and should it be? The coalition government legislated to ensure Britain spent 0.7% of its national income on international development and it is now one of the very few countries to meet this United Nations target for such spending. With financial pressures on public services at home remaining acute, Jo Coburn asks why most politicians still support the idea, despite public criticism and press campaigns about wasted money. In her quest, she investigates the history of the UK's support for overseas aid and examines what makes so many politicians willing to risk voters' displeasure on the issue.Producer: Simon Coates.
Headlines involving abuse in care homes normally centre on allegations against staff, but is aggression among residents being overlooked?With homes increasingly taking care of those with more complex needs such as dementia and other mental health disorders, are staff able to cope with some who have challenging behaviour?File on 4 has found evidence that some residents are suffering serious assaults by others living in the same home. Some have died from their injuries. Allan Urry investigates the unsolved killing of one dementia patient.Are workers skilled enough to recognise and deal with aggression, before it becomes violent, and should the NHS and local authorities be doing more to support them?When the perpetrators themselves often have little understanding of what they have done due to the nature of their illness-are they also being let down? The programme reveals failures in the system that could have cost lives.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: Emma FordeEditor: Gail Champion.
From the Hillsborough Inquest to Plebgate, from the revelations about undercover officers to the shooting of Mark Duggan, the last few years have been as controversial as any in the history of British policing. The government has introduced a range of new measures to try and make the police service more accountable. These have included the strengthening of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, measures to crack down on officers retiring when under investigation, and a new openness surrounding police disciplinary hearings. But have these new ideas really worked or is there, as some claim, real resistance to accountability?File on 4 investigates a series of cases of alleged wrongdoing brought against the police by both members of the public and by serving officers. We look at some of the tactics police forces still appear to be using to avoid scrutiny, and we ask : despite the new measures, how much has really changed?Reporter : Mark GregoryProducer :Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
What are the unwritten rules you must learn to get a top job? Hashi Mohamed came to the UK aged nine, as an unaccompanied child refugee, with hardly any English. His academic achievements at school were far from stellar. Yet he now works as a barrister - and so is a member of one of the elite professions that have traditionally been very difficult for people from poor backgrounds to crack. So how did he do it? In a personal take on social mobility, we meet his mentors. These are the people who gave him a few lucky breaks and showed him how to fit in to a world he could barely imagine. But how many people can follow that path? And why should they have to?Producer: Rosamund Jones(Image: Hashi Mohamed. Credit: Shaista Chishty).
There's a quiet revolution going on in our Town Halls. With funding slashed, Local Government is tasked with finding new ways to raise money and deliver services, or face failing to comply with its legal obligations. As councils in England are tasked with becoming more self sufficient, File on 4 examines the different approaches councils are taking in an effort to balance the books.As some invest in commercial property others are spinning off traditional council departments into new companies with commercial divisions. The aim is to plough profits back into services.But as the programme discovers these plans don't always work out. What happens when there is no profit? As the pressure on adult social care grows, some councils now face the twin struggles of meeting demand, with the need to turn a profit. Is this too much of a gamble in services which can mean the difference between life and death?Allan Urry investigates the scale of the challenge as local authorities grapple with rising demand, falling income, and new ways of doing business.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: Laura Harmes.
Has Front National leader Marine Le Pen really detoxified the party founded by her father 40 years ago? Is it a right-wing protest movement or a party seriously preparing for power? Anand Menon, professor of European politics at Kings College London, analyses the process the French call Dédiabolisation. Le Pen has banished the name of the party and even her own surname from election posters and leaflets. Her party is making inroads into socialist and communist fiefdoms in northern and eastern France. Combining nationalism with a message designed to reach out to the left, she speaks up loudly for the have-nots, people who live in the land she calls "the forgotten France." She targets trade unionists, teachers and gay voters. But widening the party's appeal leads to a tricky balancing act. Can Marine Le Pen manage the process of political exorcism without alienating die-hard supporters?Producer: Lucy Ash.
Prisons are a crucible for corruption, a former governor claims. Staff are working in the toughest conditions the system has seen in decades. Thousands of experienced staff have left and some areas are struggling to replace them. Morale is falling amid record levels of violence. The use of new psychoactive substances is out of control - fuelling yet more violence. Mobile phones are flooding in, making the flow of drugs even more difficult to contain. So how does contraband make its way onto prison wings?Former prisoners tell File on 4 that the bulk of smuggled goods come in with staff. Drones and visitors bring in small amounts, but the bigger consignments can only make it through with inside help. John Podmore, who's run jails and led the service's anti-corruption unit, says staff corruption is the inconvenient truth at the heart of the prison crisis."It is uncomfortable. They are few in number but they are large in their effect. One prison officer bringing in one coffee jar full of spice or cannabis can keep that jail going for a long time and make an awful lot of money."Former prisoners tell the BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent, Danny Shaw, staff corruption is a serious problem but has become "the elephant in the room" that prison officials don't want to acknowledge. The ex-inmates say some staff are being corrupted while others turn a blind eye.The Ministry of Justice has promised renewed efforts to combat corruption and professionalise the service. Thousands of frontline staff in London and south-east England will benefit from a pay boost, thanks to a new £12m package.So will it stop the rot?Reporter: Danny ShawProducer: Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
Why is liberal, tolerant Netherlands home to one of Europe's most successful anti-immigration, anti-Islamic parties?Geert Wilders' radical right-wing Party For Freedom (PVV) - which wants to close mosques and ban the Qur'an - will be one of the biggest in the new Dutch parliament. So have its voters - whom Wilders once described as "Henk and Ingrid", Holland's Mr and Mrs Average - turned their backs on centuries-old Dutch values? Or do they just understand those values in a different way?Unlike some far-right parties elsewhere in Europe, the PVV has no neo-Nazi roots. It's loud in its support for gay and women's rights. It promotes itself as a strong defender of Holland's Jewish community. Is its ideology just an opportunistic mishmash? Or does it make some sense in a Dutch context? Searching for Henk and Ingrid, Tim Whewell sets off through Dutch "flyover country" - the totally un-photogenic satellite towns and modern villages that tourists, and Holland's own elite, rarely see.He asks if the PVV's platform is just thinly disguised racism. Or has it raised important questions about immigration and multiculturalism that other European countries, including the UK, have been scared to ask?Producer: Helen Grady.
In January a haulage boss and his mechanic were jailed for a tipper truck crash which killed four people. The brakes on six of the truck's eight wheels weren't working properly. The expert examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said Grittenham Haulage's vehicle would have been taken off the road if it had been stopped in a roadside check.But are there sufficient roadside and on-site checks to detect safety breaches?File on 4 uncovers cases where unsafe vehicles and drivers were allowed to remain on the roads, despite known concerns.So does the current system of regulation and punishment go far enough to deter rogue operators who drive some of the most dangerous vehicles on our roads?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: David Lewis.
Could a second referendum on Scottish independence yield a different result? In September 2014 when Scotland voted against becoming an independent country it seemed like the question had been settled for the foreseeable future. All that changed on June 23rd 2016 when the UK voted to leave the EU. Just a few hours later - before she'd even been to bed - Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was already talking about the prospect of another vote on independence. Ever since she has been ramping up the rhetoric. But what would the SNP's strategy be second time around?BBC Scotland Editor Sarah Smith explores whether the SNP would dare call another vote when there seems little appetite and opinion polls have failed to move as much as Nicola Sturgeon might have expected following the Brexit vote. Sarah talks to strategists and politicians for an insight into how things might be different should a second referendum take place in the near future. She asks whether an independent Scotland would be accepted into the EU and what the future might hold for the first minister should she fail to achieve what she sees as her duty - offering Scotland another chance to gain independence.Presenter: Sarah SmithProducer: Ben Carter.
With an ageing population the need for carers to help elderly people stay healthy and safe in their own homes has never been greater.From making a meal, to help getting out of bed or having a shower, domiciliary carers provide a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people. But what happens when things go wrong and carers inflict serious abuse and neglect on the people who depend on them?Lesley Curwen speaks to the families of elderly people who have been neglected in some cases left for days without proper medication or attention to personal hygiene - with devastating results.Experts say cuts to local authority care funding, unmanageable workloads and poor training are contributing to the toll of abuse. So how can families be assured that their family member is in safe hands?And after File on 4 previously uncovered evidence of widespread sex abuse in care homes, we ask whether enough is being done to protect the most vulnerable people in society in their own homes.Reporter: Lesley CurwenProducer: Ben Robinson.
What makes us change our mind when it comes to elections? We are all swingers now. More voters than ever before are switching party from one election to the next. Tribal loyalties are weakening. The electorate is now willing to vote for the other side.Professor Rosie Campbell from Birkbeck University finds out what prompts voters to shift from one party to another. Quentin Davies had been a Tory MP for decades when he crossed the floor of the house. He believes his views stayed the same - but the world changed around him. Journalist Janet Daley was once too left wing for the Labour Party - until Margaret Thatcher came along. Meanwhile Daryll Pitcher felt as though no party wanted his vote. Today he is a UKIP campaign manager.Does age make us become more right wing? Have the main political parties alienated their core vote? And what does this mean for democracy?Producer: Hannah Sander.
Over 300,000 children were excluded from school in England and Wales last year - almost 6 thousand of them permanently.Many of these children will end up in "alternative provision", sometimes known as pupil referral units (PRUs) - schools for kids that the mainstream can't handle.But five years on from the Taylor Review, a report that found 'a flawed system' that failed to provide good education and accountability for 'some of the most vulnerable children in the country' - has anything really changed?File on 4 hears allegations of a system under pressure; of illegal exclusions, 'missing kids' and how some schools are controversially manipulating league tables through 'managed moves'.We also hear from whistle-blowers from one school who claim an overburdened system and a rise of referrals of kids with extreme and complex needs have led to an increase in the use of physical restraint to manage escalating violent behaviour in classrooms."Reporter: Adrian GoldbergProducer: Alys Harte.
What does the story of the Downing Street cat reveal about the way voters decide? We are not taught how to vote. We rely on intuition, snap judgments and class prejudice. We vote for policies that clash wildly with our own views. We keep picking the same party rather than admit we were wrong in the past.Rosie Campbell, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck University, sets out to become a rational voter. Class and religion have a huge impact. But our political views have become less polarised even as the parties have moved further apart. Rosie asks whether discussions of "left" and "right" have become irrelevant. In a neuropolitics lab Rosie undergoes tests to uncover her implicit biases. She learns that hope and anger make her want to vote - but blind her to the truth.Producer: Hannah Sander.
Why do populist politicians across the West want warmer relations with Russia? Are they just Kremlin agents? Or are they tapping into a growing desire to find common cause with Moscow – and end East-West tension? Tim Whewell travels from Russia to America and across Europe to unravel the many different strands of pro-Moscow thinking, and offer a provocative analysis which challenges conventional thinking about the relationship between Russia and the West.Donald Trump is just one of a new breed of Western politicians who want warmer relations with Vladimir Putin. Most Western experts say that’s dangerous: an aggressive Russia is plotting to divide and weaken the West. But Trump and others seem to have tapped into a popular desire to reduce tension and discover what Moscow and the West have in common. Could Moscow now lead a “Conservative International”, promoting traditional social values and national sovereignty around the world? On the right, some see Russia as a spiritual beacon. Others, both on the right and left, simply think the threat from the East is much exaggerated – and are warming to Russia as a protest against the Western establishment. Maybe it's time for a new way of understanding relations between the old superpowers.
When hiring people, is the concept of talent so ill-defined as to be useless? Entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan thinks so and explores what characteristics recruiters might want to look for instead. She argues that we need something new, as good grades and top degrees have proved no guarantee of high performance in the workplace. She talks to the recent head of HR (or "people operations") at Google, the pioneer of the concept of a "growth mindset", and the academic who found people's intelligence increased over the course of the 20th century. She also hears about other measures like "grit", "cultural fit" and how to interview people to find the candidate who is best for the job and the company, rather than the one you like.Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
Two years ago the first independent report into the treatment of whistle-blowers in the NHS was published.The Freedom to Speak Up report was commissioned by the government amid concerns not enough progress had been made to create a more open culture within the NHS following the Mid Staffs inquiry which unearthed the poor care and high mortality rates at Stafford Hospital.The report - which considered evidence from 600 individuals and 43 organisations across the country included chilling accounts of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals whose lives and careers had been destroyed after trying to raise legitimate concerns about patient safety.Whistle-blowers said they'd been left financially ruined, blacklisted and sent to the brink of suicide after being branded snitches and trouble-makers.Revealing a continuing culture of secrecy with trusts demonising whistle-blowers instead of welcoming and investigating their concerns, it was hoped the report would herald a new era of openness and accountability.File on 4 investigates what has happened since and asks whether measures put in place to protect those speaking out about patient safety are fit for purpose.Doctors who have spoken up since say they've faced the same catalogue of bullying and abuse by their employers, and in some cases, the focus remains on protecting reputations of Trusts, rather than addressing poor care. So is the culture changing quickly enough?Reporter: Simon CoxProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Jacqui Smith, the former Labour home secretary, investigates why government policies fail, focusing on one of her party's most cherished reforms.Indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPPs) were devised by David Blunkett and the Home Office to reassure voters that those convicted of serious violent and sexual offences would stay in prison until they could show by their changed behaviour that they could safely be released.But much larger numbers of offenders received the sentences than had been expected and, as the prison population rose, jails struggled to provide the facilities IPP prisoners needed to show that they had reformed. The new sentencing structure, first passed in 2003, had to be drastically changed by Labour in 2008 and finally to be repealed by the coalition four years after that.Jacqui Smith discovers the reasons why the change in sentencing was embarked upon, why its potential flaws weren't detected before its introduction and why the policy was maintained even as problems mounted. She considers the difficult legacy of IPPs - for those still in prison and for politicians devising shiny new initiatives in other fields of government.Among those taking part: David Blunkett, Kenneth Clarke, Lord Judge, Professor Nick Hardwick.Producer: Simon Coates.
Five people have been found guilty for their roles in bank corruption and fraud costing hundreds of millions of pounds. A sixth, it can now be revealed, had already pleaded guilty.Lynden Scourfield, a middle-ranking banker with Halifax Bank of Scotland, accepted bribes in cash, foreign holidays and sexual entertainment. In exchange he would require small business customers to hire a firm of consultants called Quayside Corporate Services.The consultants claimed to be able to turn the business customers' fortunes around - but the truth was very different. File on 4 follows the story of two small Hbos clients, former rock and rollers, who fought for a decade to expose the fraud, even as the bank sought to repossess their home.We ask how this could happen, and how to prevent the ongoing mistreatment of small business customers by the banks.Reporter: Andy VerityProducer: David LewisEditor: Gail Champion.
The journey of an American 'cold warrior' from nuclear deterrence to nuclear disarmament. Former US Secretary of Defence William J Perry has spent his entire seven-decade career on the nuclear brink. A brilliant mathematician, he became involved in the development of weapons-related technology in the aftermath of World War II. As an analyst working at the heart of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he thought each day could be "my last day on earth." He was undersecretary for defence under President Carter in the 1970s, and secretary for defence under President Clinton in the 1990s. He arranged the dismantling of thousands of nuclear weapons in former Soviet republics after the collapse of the USSR, used strategic diplomacy with nuclear nations to prevent escalation, and argued - unsuccessfully - against the NATO expansion that Russia continues to find so threatening.Now Secretary Perry is worried. Very worried. President Trump and President Putin are both ramping up their bellicose rhetoric. Mr Perry sees an increasing risk of nuclear conflagration in South Asia and the Korean peninsula, and in the face of an on-going terrorism threat, he is concerned unsecured nuclear materials could fall into the wrong hands."Today, the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger," he argues.What can be done? In a challenging interview with Edward Stourton, Secretary Perry reflects on the nuclear nightmare, and lays out his formula for nuclear security in our changing world.Producer: Linda Pressly(Image: Dr William Perry gives a lecture at Stanford University about the history of nuclear weapons. Credit: Light at 11b).
In the UK three people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. People from ethnic minorities face a particular shortage of donors - the NHS aims to achieve 80% consent rates by 2020, but at the moment only 34% of families from ethnic minorities consent to donate organs when asked, and rates of living donation have started to fall.File on 4 finds that a small number of patients are so desperate they will risk their health by looking for a kidney abroad. Most British patients head to Pakistan, where an equally desperate group of people are coerced into giving up their kidneys, placing their lives in the hands of organ traffickers.But now a new, sinister trade is emerging in Pakistan. In October Pakistani police raided an apartment building in Rawalpindi and behind a metal grill, found 24 terrified people locked inside. They had been lured with offers of jobs, but when they arrived were kidnapped and told a kidney would be removed.As a worldwide shortage of organs fuels an increase in transplant tourism, Allan Urry, working in conjunction with local journalist Nosheen Abbas hears from the people caught up in this illegal trade and asks whether enough is being done to prevent it.Reporters: Allan Urry with Nosheen AbbasProducer: Ruth EvansResearcher: Usman Zahid.
Is public affection for the NHS preventing it from becoming fit for the future? Polling suggests that despite many complaints about the public health service, it is regarded as a much-loved and uniquely British institution. That's why for decades, it has been an article of faith among politicians that closing down hospitals or major medical services is close to electoral suicide. Received wisdom is that members of the public are dogmatically attached to their local hospitals. But could our attachment be more than just dogma? And what happens when politicians and professionals believe they know what needs to change - but the public come to an altogether different answer? Amid a time of rising demand, rising costs, and changing priorities, Sonia Sodha of The Observer explores the subtle relationship between public opinion and healthcare management.Producer: Gemma Newby.
Revealed: the secret UK immigration dodges on offer on the high street.Theresa May has promised to stick to a promise to bring down net migration to the tens of thousands, and post the vote for Brexit, is under pressure to be tough on immigration.But File on 4 has found a market in fake documentation is helping some migrants who aren't eligible to come here, to get the necessary visas.High street immigration advisers, and even a solicitor tell the programme's undercover researcher how to buy their way in using fake documentation.The programme asks what the authorities are doing to catch the crooks.Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Paul GrantEditor: Gail Champion.
File on 4 sets off on a new series to find the forgotten children of Europe's refugee crisis.As winter sets in, Phil Kemp heads to Greece in search of the teenagers who have arrived alone from Syria and Afghanistan, living by their wits on the streets of Athens.The controversial deal struck between the EU and Turkey to return migrants who don't claim asylum or who have their claims rejected - and the closing of borders with Greece - has been blamed for making the situation worse for many migrants who now find themselves in limbo in Greece. The millions pledged by the EU don't seem to be bringing relief on the ground either.The programme hears from the lucky ones who have found spaces at shelters for unaccompanied children in Greece's capital. Here they are fed, clothed and supported in their legal cases.Others, on the island of Samos, are celebrating securing asylum in Greece. But most children on the island are not celebrating. They feel stuck in a system that cannot cope and held in a country that was meant to be a transit point, not a place to stay.Increasingly the locals in Samos don't want them to say either. Tensions are flaring in the area around the vastly overcrowded camp, with Golden Dawn active nearby. Around 3,000 residents turned out to protest about their sense of abandonment by the Greek government and the EU. Local officials describe the island as 'trembling on a bridge above troubled water.'With an estimated 2300 unaccompanied migrant children in Greece, more than half of whom are on the waiting list for shelter, File on 4 asks whether the EU is doing enough to care for those most in need of protection.Reporter: Phil KempProducer: Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
How political forces in other countries will shape any future UK-EU deal.As a younger man, Anand Menon spent a care-free summer Inter-railing around Europe. Some decades later, and now a professor of European politics, he's taking to the rails again - this time with a more specific purpose. While British ministers squabble over what they want for a post-Brexit UK, less attention is paid to the other 27 countries in the negotiations. Each can veto any long-term deal between Britain and the European Union. And each, critically, has its own politics to worry about. Professor Menon visits four European countries where politicians will face their electorates next year. What forces will decide their political survival? And how will those forces shape the EU's future relationship with the UK?Producer: Simon Maybin.
With the Government claiming to lead the way in plans to crack down on global corruption, how come so little is being done in Britain to tackle the vast sums of money allegedly laundered through the UK by corrupt foreign officials and international crime gangs?Allan Urry investigates claims that not enough is being done by the UK to tackle the laundering of corrupt assets or to assist nations who ask for help in getting their money back. The programme also hears complaints that British law enforcement is refusing to investigate cases.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: David Lewis.
On 30 June this year, a study was released in one of the world's top scientific journals. It explained how a group of scientists who had been measuring the amount of ozone in the stratosphere had made a startling observation: the hole in the ozone layer had shrunk. Here, they said, was the first clear evidence that the ozone layer had begun to heal. So how did this happen?Helena Merriman tells a story that involves dogged scientific endeavour, the burgeoning green movement of the 1980s and the signing of what has been described as the most successful treaty ever created.Producers: Lucy Proctor and Hannah Sander.
The number of people who are homeless is on the rise. In London it shot up almost 80 per cent in 4 years. Latest government figures show councils in England took on 15,000 new homeless households between April and June this year - a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.Increasingly councils are having to use temporary accommodation and even bed and breakfasts to cope with a shortage of affordable accommodation. It has become an increasingly profitable business for landlords. Research this year for London councils found that they had spent over £650 million in the capital on temporary accommodation in just one year. Charities say changes to the benefit cap which comes into effect next week will make the situation for families looking for a home, even worse.File on 4 reports from the front line of the homelessness crisis. The programme meets the families sent by councils to live in cramped, filthy conditions.We hear from the doctors who claim emergency accommodation in one city is affecting people's mental health and contributing to an increase in deaths and the local authority keeping families in B&B accommodation longer than they are legally allowed to.Reporter: Simon CoxProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Should we place more trust in prisoners to help them change their lives? "Trust is the only thing that changes people," says Professor Alison Liebling, the director of the Prisons Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. But, asks Lucy Ash, how can we encourage trust in prisons that are overcrowded, often understaffed, and blighted by rising rates of violence? Prisoners are locked up because they broke trust, and on the wings distrust, rather than trust, is an essential survival skill.And yet Professor Liebling's latest evidence surprisingly shows that ultimately it is only staff-prisoner relationships built on trust that ensure better outcomes. "Values grow virtues", she argues. Treating prisoners with the same values as other people - dignity, respect, trust - will help them turn their lives around.Producer: Arlene Gregorius(Image: A knife with a blunted point, chained to a work surface. Credit: Rene Hut, of the Dutch Ministry of Justice).
This July, days after walking into the top job at number 10, Theresa May renewed her commitment to crack down on modern day slavery, describing it as "the great human rights issue of our time".The 2015 Modern Slavery Act gave prosecutors more options to pursue offenders, it handed judges the ability to dole out life sentences and promised more protection for victims. But in the clamour to tackle modern slavery, has the plight of overseas domestic workers, who toil in the homes of wealthy overseas visitors as nannies, cooks and cleaners, been forgotten?This summer File on 4 followed migrant domestic workers as they escaped abusive employers in the dead of night. Through their stories, the programme questions whether recent measures go far enough to adequately protect an invisible workforce who've been tricked and trapped into a life of exploitation.Reporter: Phillip KempProducers: Sarah Shebbeare & Ben Robinson.
In popular imagination, being in a crowd makes people scary and irrational. But is this true? In this edition of Analysis, David Edmonds asks social psychologists - including a leading expert on groups, Steve Reicher - about the psychology of crowds. This is far more than merely a theoretical matter. It has profound implications for how we police crowds.
The world's first tidal lagoon power station in Wales, which was in the Conservative manifesto, has stalled, as the government seems to be baulking at the price. The Swansea Bay lagoon, and five more that would follow around the country, would generate as much electricity as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. But does the government's commitment to the wave of new nuclear threaten the future of renewable energy in the UK?Jane Deith hears about the options the government's considered to meet an EU target of providing 15% of energy from renewables by 2020. Does the answer lie in buying in renewable power from Norway, or 'credit transfers' from countries who've hit their targets? Or does the commitment need to renegotiated completely?With growing pressure to keep a lid on bills, will renewables come second to economic interests?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Rob Cave.
Is the island of Ireland where Brexit will matter most? Edward Stourton visits Londonderry, right on the Irish border, to explore what's at stake as the UK leaves the EU. Some locals fear the border across Ireland - as the EU's new external border - will harden, causing great practical and economic difficulty and even threatening the Northern Ireland peace process. Others say change the will matter far less, and that peace is now guaranteed. While people in Derry ask anxious questions, we'll hear too how policy makers in London and Dublin face a particular challenge in making Brexit work.Producer: Chris Bowlby.
Following the BHS scandal, Allan Urry investigates other cases in which employees claim they've lost out because companies have ditched their full pension fund commitments.It's the job of the Pensions Regulator to ensure employers follow the rules and to protect the benefits of those who've been paying in. So how good are they at keeping your pension safe?The programme untangles the complex financial engineering that goes on as some foreign investors try to wash their hands of any on-going obligations to their UK workforce.And one former director whose actions cost a pension fund millions of pounds is confronted at his home.Producer: Paul GrantReporter: Allan Urry.
Can the process of gentrification be controlled? It is often hailed as a sign of social and economic progress. Places which were originally poor and downtrodden are transformed into prosperous and vibrant neighbourhoods. The phenomenon applies to large swathes of London and other cities across the country. David Baker asks whether gentrifying urban areas can retain their diversity and vibrancy. Is there a danger that in the latter stages of gentrification these places become the preserve of the very wealthy, losing much of their original character in the process? What tools are available to urban planners, local and national politicians to avoid this happening? Are there any lessons to be learned from cities in Europe and North America? Is there a new model of urban development emerging or will the British obsession with owning bricks and mortar define the way places become gentrified?Producer: Peter Snowdon.
The split and part privatisation of the UK probation system in June 2014 saw huge changes to the service, with high risk offenders managed by the new National Probation Service and low to medium risk offenders managed by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs).Two years on, probation officers report a system that has been 'ripped apart', with two sides often failing to communicate. There are concerns over rising caseloads, falling staffing levels and the number of murders committed by offenders released from prison on licence.File on 4 speaks to families who have lost loved ones, and hears how they have had to fight to find out the full extent of the failings of the probation system in their cases.Charities report particular concerns over vulnerable women in the probation system, with many being recalled to prison for breaching probation orders, following short sentences for minor offences.As Transforming Rehabilitation is scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation, File on 4 asks if the changes are putting the public at risk?Reporter - Melanie AbbottProducer - Ruth Evans.
Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, asks if the time has come for the government to break pledges made to pensioners. He charts how the average income of senior citizens has risen and is now higher than that of the rest of the population. "We are in a position we never intended," he says. "One generation has lucked out and generations coming after are not only doing much worse, but paying for the older generation." He asks whether the government can and should sustain the "triple lock" which makes the state pension rise much faster than other benefits. And he argues that the inequality between generations is now entrenching inequality within generations.Producer: Helen GradyInterviewees:Torsten Bell, the Resolution FoundationAngus Hanton, the Intergenerational FoundationBaroness Ros Altmann, former pensions ministerJohn Kay, economistJoanne Segars, Pensions and Lifetime Savings AssociationBaroness Onora O'Neill, philosopherFrances O'Grady, Trades Union CongressBen Page, Ipsos MORI.
Valued at £80 billion, the UK's junior stock market is hyped as the most successful growth market in the world.Government incentives - including stamp duty and inheritance tax breaks - mean that more ordinary UK investors are opting for the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).Set up in 1995 to allow smaller companies to raise funds, AIM is a less-regulated alternative to its big brother, the main London Stock Exchange.But it is no stranger to controversy.Once labelled a "casino" by a senior US regulator due to its lax regulation, the market has been hit by a series of recent high profile scandals.File on Four asks if this light-touch regulation poses a hidden risk for shareholders and if unscrupulous businesses are exploiting AIM to rip off ordinary British investors?Producer: Alys HarteReporter: Simon Cox.
British politics has been going through a period of rapid and remarkable change. That's a headache for the politicians and for the voters. But spare a thought also for politics professors like Rosie Campbell of Birkbeck, University of London. Following the results of the 2015 election and the EU referendum, she ask whether it's time for her and her colleagues to bin their old lecture notes and start afresh. How should we understand this new landscape where old assumptions about the dominance of two mainstream class-based parties and the crucial role of a few swing seats have become outdated? And what should go in the new politics textbooks?Producer: Rob Walker.
For a long time, society didn't want to believe child sex abuse was happening - but now are sex crimes against elderly victims being dismissed in the same way?File on 4 reveals new figures about the scale of alleged sex offences taking place in residential and nursing homes. Whether 5 or 85, should the victims of sexual assault be treated any differently?Claire Savage hears from the families of elderly people, some with a form of dementia, who have been sexually abused by care workers or by other residents. We also speak to care workers about the challenges they face in dealing with intimacy and sex in care settings.Experts claim elder sex crimes are being missed or going unreported because not everyone wants to admit these offences are happening. How good are those within the care industry at recognising the signs of elder sexual abuse and at coping with the moral and ethical dilemmas of establishing when a consensual relationship becomes potential abuse?We speak to those who explain the complexities of bringing about prosecutions where the victim or perpetrator lacks mental capacity and asks if such cases are in the public interest to prosecute.Reporter: Claire SavageProducer: Emma Forde.
Five years after shocking revelations about the abuse of patients at Winterbourne View, File on 4 asks what progress has been made on the promise to get people with learning disabilities and autism out of hospital units and into homes in the community with good support.Families of those still stuck in these units say patients are trapped in the system with no clear plan or apparent will to get them home. For those eventually discharged, almost as many others are admitted - parents say, because there aren't enough community support services.But if people are let out by the institutions, what's does so-called 'supported living' in the community look like? File on 4 hears concerns about the quantity and quality of this promised care. Parents describe living on the brink of a crisis that could land their children back in a cycle of being sectioned and locked up.NHS England says the plans are taking shape. But families say it's like living in The Twilight Zone, in a limbo hidden from mainstream view and unable to find a way out.So just how successful is the landmark 'Homes not Hospitals' plan, that aims to improve life for some of the most vulnerable patients in the NHS?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
Earlier this year, the government introduced legislation banning the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal highs. Designed to stop what has been described as a tsunami of chemicals flooding into the UK, it has resulted in the closure of the high street shops which had been selling exotically named substances like Spice, Mamba and China White.So why are they still finding their way onto the streets? File on 4 traces the supply back to labs in China and discovers a myriad of psychoactive substances are still only a few internet clicks away. Prior to the ban, the authorities were aware of the risk that internet sales could take over from the high street and that China is fast becoming the 'chemical and pharmaceutical wholesaler to the world'.So is the new legislation really the answer, and if not, what options remain to disrupt the now illegal supply of these lethal substances?Reporter: Danny VincentProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times, examines how policymakers are testing the norms of economic life as they seek solutions to slow growth. The payment of interest goes back to the Babylonians. Today, the business of banking is based on paying savers and charging borrowers for money. Negative interest rates, paying banks for holding our funds, violates this established norm. Yet, five central banks, which together oversee a quarter of the world's economy, have opted to impose negative rates on the commercial banks that must use their services. The aim of this unconventional policy is to convince people to spend and invest rather save. The results so far have been mixed. So might central banks be running out of options to boost economic growth, nearly ten years after the start of the last financial crisis? Martin Wolf talks with economists and central bankers, past and present, about why ideas once thought utterly shocking, such as "helicopter money" and a the abolition of cash, are being openly considered. How might such policies affect the way people spend and save in the future? And how low can interest rates go?Producer: Sandra Kanthal.
Police are investigating allegations of abuse made by people who, as children, were sent for psychiatric treatment at Aston Hall Hospital in Derbyshire. Some patients say they were only sent there because they were difficult to manage or had behavioural problems.The Medical Superintendent is accused of 'experimenting' on his child patients, giving them an anaesthetic called sodium amytal in therapy sessions throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Phil Kemp investigates the history of this treatment, which was used on shell shocked soldiers during World War Two, employed as a 'truth serum' by police and intelligence agencies, and by the 80's had become implicated in false memory cases. The hospital closed in 2004 and the Medical Superintendent died in 1976, leaving his patients struggling to make sense of what happened to them at Aston Hall.Although treatment records reveal the sodium amytal was used on some children, former patients question what really went on while they were drugged. File on 4 opens the medical archives and hears from former staff to piece together a troubled chapter in the history of psychiatric care, and in the lives of former patients.Reporter - Phil KempProducer - Ruth Evans.
Change, change, change - conventional wisdom is that the classroom is the site of an endless set of reforms, a constant stream of White Papers and directives that promise 'revolution' and sudden changes in direction. Yet is the real story of school reform really one of continuity?Professor Alison Wolf of King's College London explores the post-war history of school reform in England. Speaking to former secretaries of state, historians, and teachers, she explores the forces and events that have shaped schools. She argues that real changes have been surprisingly few and that despite a great deal of fiery rhetoric, they have generally continued across party lines. And she asks if that means that governments have perhaps been listening to what parents genuinely want?Producer: Gemma Newby.
Is the UK putting trade above concerns about human rights in the United Arab Emirates?Britons who claim they were tortured in the Gulf state's prison cells say the UK government failed to fight for them.The foreign office has received 43 cases of alleged abuse of UK citizens in the UAE since 2010.In exclusive interviews, File on 4 hears from those who've got out of detention in Dubai who say they were arrested without charge and subjected to violent treatment and torture.The UK government says it regularly raises Britons' cases - and allegations of mistreatment - with the UAE authorities. But those who've been stuck there tell File on 4 they didn't get the support they needed and expected when they were suffering, despite the authorities here knowing the risks they faced.The government's also promoting deals with its largest trading partner in the Middle East.Jane Deith counts up the billions of UAE investment in the UK, from container ports to housing developments.And the programme hears the arguments for joint ventures with Emirati companies - for example by NHS hospitals - as a lucrative way to generate income as budgets are squeezed, ultimately providing better services for patients here.The United Arab Emirates is seen as a stable ally in an unstable Middle East, not least in the fight against Islamic State - does that make the UK less willing to raise issues like human rights abuses and judicial process?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Sally Chesworth.
Should the state pay everyone a Universal Basic Income? Sonia Sodha finds out why the idea is winning support from an unlikely alliance of leftists and libertarians.Producer: Helen Grady.
Successive government procurement strategies have repeatedly promised high quality public buildings made possible through Private Finance Initiatives, but is that what's been delivered? What went wrong in Edinburgh where 17 schools remained closed after the Easter break because of fears walls might collapse on children and staff? Allan Urry reveals new concerns about the extent of fire safety problems in some schools and hospitals because contractors failed to ensure they were built to specification. How safe are they, and who's footing the bill to put them right?Producer: Ian Muir CochraneReporter: Allan Urry.
Around 2.5m council tenants across the UK have bought their homes since Right to Buy started in 1980. The scheme is now being extended to more than a million housing association tenants in England with the first homes expected to be sold in pilot areas next month.The popularity of right to buy has risen sharply since greater discounts were introduced four years ago, but so too have cases of fraud as people seek to exploit discounts of up to nearly £104,000.Simon Cox goes on the trail of the fraudsters and the companies seeking to make big bucks out of right to buy. He discovers people trying to buy homes they're not entitled to and criminals attempting to launder drugs money.He investigates companies who offer tenants help to buy their home in order to get their hands on valuable properties.He also hears concerns from experts that many housing associations do not have the resources and skills to prevent fraud which could potentially result in the loss of millions of pounds worth of much needed homesReporter: Simon CoxProducer: Paul Grant.