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The Fifth Floor

Podcast The Fifth Floor
Podcast The Fifth Floor

The Fifth Floor


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  • China protests
    A fire in a residential block fire in Urumqi, which killed 10 people, sparked protests among citizens tired of living under China’s strict zero-Covid policy. As well as brave and vocal protests, many have adopted more creative ways to get their voices heard, as BBC Chinese Editor Howard Zhang reports. India street girl update BBC Marathi's Dipali Jagtap won India’s Laadli Award for her report into a footpath-dweller in Mumbai, Asma Shaikha, who struggled to continue her education during the 2021 Covid lockdown. We hear what happened after the report went out. Afrikaans The Hollywood star Charlize Theron recently joked that speaking her mother tongue Afrikaans was ‘not very useful’. Her comments unleashed an online backlash; Afrikaans has long been a contentious subject in the country. Audrey Brown is from BBC Africa and speaks Afrikaans and explains the history and context of the language. The Thai monks suspended for taking methamphetamine A small Buddhist temple in Thailand has been left without any monks after they all failed drugs tests. The BBC's Sucheera Maguire tells us more about this story, and how local villagers are now worried that without the monks, they will not be able to fulfil their usual Buddhist practices. Holiday swindlers and the rise of digital travel scams Social media is tempting people to sample the luxury holiday lifestyle, but what happens when it all goes wrong? Rafael Barifouse of BBC Brasil tells us about his investigation into one Brazilian travel agent, who has left a trail of unhappy clients around the world. (Photo: Two protesters hold up blank pieces of paper during a demonstration in Hong Kong. Credit: Ben Marans/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Unmasking a Russian police torturer
    On March 6th, huge anti-war demonstrations across Russia led to the arrest of more than 5,000 protesters. Among them were at least 11 women who were taken to Moscow's Brateyevo Police Station, where they were questioned and subjected to verbal and physical abuse, which in some cases amounted to torture. The man overseeing this was an unnamed police officer they nicknamed 'the man in black'. Using a leaked database from a Russian food delivery company, archived social media accounts and old dating profiles, BBC Eye Investigations journalist Vickey Arakelyan tells the story of how they exposed the identity of their torturer. 2022 FIFA World Cup: the view from Qatar The World Cup is underway with plenty of drama on pitch, as well as controversies off. While the developed world has focussed on alleged human rights abuses - as well as the lack of beer – many other nations say this focus is rooted in prejudice, stereotyping and western hypocrisy. But the tournament is also a time of great excitement as the Arab world hosts the World Cup for the first time. BBC Arabic’s Murad Shishani visited the small Gulf nation to capture the view from Qatar. Saving Uganda's symbolic crane The crested or grey-crowned crane is a national symbol of Uganda. But numbers are falling, with only around 20,000 left in the world. The BBC's Patience Atuhaire met communities in the south west of the country who are working to save the birds. (Photo: Screen grab of chat group showing photo of Ivan Ryabov and saying 'found!' Credit: BBC)
  • Kherson: a presidential visit
    President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit this week to Kherson, soon after the Russian withdrawal, prompted lively commentary on Ukrainian social media, and some comparisons with the Russian president. BBC Monitoring's Margaryta Maliukova tells us more. Hell on earth: the Korean Japanese people persuaded to move to North Korea In 1960, Eika Kawasaki left her family in Japan and moved to North Korea. She was one of 90,000 plus Korean Japanese who went to North Korea on a project called ‘paradise on earth’. What they found was the opposite, but they were trapped. Eiko escaped after 4 decades, and BBC Korean’s Jungmin Choi met her on a visit to South Korea to meet other survivors. World Cup 2022: first female referees For the first time ever three female referees will officiate matches at the World Cup. One of them is Rwanda's Salima Mukansanga, as BBC Kinyarwanda's Prudent Nsengiyumva explains. Somaliland oil discovery A group of villagers in the self-declared republic of Somaliland were recently drilling a borehole to improve their water supplies – when they struck oil. Bidhaan Dahir of BBC Somali tells us there's been a lot of excitement about the discovery. The Ukrainians who can’t get their children home from Russia A group of Ukrainian children are stuck in Russia after parents living under Russian occupation accepted an offer to send them to a summer camp on the Black Sea. Before the end of their holiday, their home towns were retaken by Ukrainian forces. BBC Russian’s Nina Nazarova tells us how some parents are still unable to get their children home. (Photo: Ukrainian President Zelensky visits Kherson. Credit: Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency Getty Images)
  • Reporting COP27
    BBC Arabic's Sally Nabil is one of the team in Sharm el-Sheikh reporting on the COP27 climate summit. She tells us how the conference centre and beach resort exist side by side, and why this choice of venue offers so many advantages to the host country, Egypt. COP27: three stories from the language services BBC Swahili's Anne Ngugi visited Kenya's Amboseli national park, where the worst drought in 40 years has left a landscape littered with animal carcases. BBC Bengali's Shahnewaj Rocky met Mahfuz Russell who has restored 23 acres of clear-cut forest in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Six years later, it's lush and green and home to slow loris, civets and birds galore. BBC Arabic's Carine Torbey visited Beirut's first green innovation exhibition, and met two women trying to make a business from turning food waste, which currently ends up in landfill, into biogas for cooking. Hushpuppi: The rise and fall This week the notorious Nigerian online fraudster was jailed in the US for 11 years. He rose to fame flaunting his wealthy lifestyle to his 2.8 million social media followers. BBC Africa’s Princess Abumere explains his rise and fall. Hijab discrimination in Egypt A BBC Arabic undercover reporter “Rana” shares the findings of their investigation into discrimination against some women who choose to wear the hijab, despite laws preventing discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race or class. (Photo: Visitors photograph one another in front of a COP27 sign in Sharm el-Sheikh. Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
  • Ethiopia: an end to the fighting
    The BBC’s Addis Ababa correspondent Kalkidan Yibeltal tells us about the agreement just reached between the Ethiopian government and officials from the Tigray region, to stop fighting and to allow unhindered humanitarian access. He also reflects on the challenges of reporting the civil war over the last two years. The centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb It's 100 years since the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, almost intact and full of treasures, nearly 3-and-a-half thousand years after his death. Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring in Cairo tells us how the centenary is being marked in Egypt, and what ordinary Egyptians think of their most famous pharaoh. Vietnam's forgotten veterans Thousands of disabled Vietnamese veterans who fought for the South in the war are living in poor conditions without government support. A Catholic priest who is part of a programme which assists them was recently prevented from leaving the country. MyHang Tran of BBC Vietnamese reports on his problems with the authorities, and the plight of the veterans. The impact of the Iran protests on regional neighbours Since the start of protests in Iran, ethnic tensions have been exacerbated both inside the country and with its neighbours. Kurdish and Azerbaijani populations inside Iran are affected, as are relations with Iraqi Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. BBC Azerbaijani editor Könül Khalilova and Jiyar Gol from BBC Persian discuss recent developments. The aftermath of the Indian bridge collapse Roxy Gagdekar of BBC Gujarati has been reporting from Morbi, where the recent collapse of a pedestrian bridge left at least 135 dead. He shares impressions from two of his reports - one from the site of the bridge collapse, the other from a hospital which was visited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Photo: Redwan Hussein (L), Representative of the Ethiopian government, and Getachew Reda (R), Representative of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), shake hands on a peace agreement between the two parties in Pretoria on November 2, 2022. Credit: Phill Magakoe /AFP/Getty Images)

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