Jacques Cousteau called Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, ‘the aquarium of the world’. It is home to one of the most critically endangered species on earth. The vaquita is a small porpoise facing total extinction, whose numbers have dwindled to less than a dozen. In particular, the vaquita get caught in the nets used to catch totoaba. Casting nets for this large marine fish is illegal. But the totoaba’s swim bladder is believed to have potent medicinal properties in China, and sells for thousands of dollars in a trade controlled by Mexican organised crime. So efforts to save the vaquita have brought conflict to poor fishing communities in northern Baja California – people who often rely on an illicit income from totoaba. On New Year’s Eve, 2020 one fisherman was killed and another seriously injured in an altercation between local boats and an NGO ship patrolling to stop the sinking of illegal nets that kill the vaquita. Linda Pressly reports from the coast of Baja California on a dangerous clash of interests. Can the vaquita be saved? Producer: Michael Gallagher Producer in Mexico: Ulises Escamilla Haro Editor, Bridget Harney (Image: Illustration of a vaquita in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. Credit: Greenpeace/Marcelo Otero)
Mais episódios de "Crossing Continents"
Sleepless in Seoul
28:28Korea is one of the most stressed and tired nations on earth, a place where people work and study longer hours than anywhere else. And statistics show they are finding it increasingly difficult to switch off and relax; they sleep fewer hours and have higher rates of depression and suicide than almost anywhere else. And as a result sleeplessness and stress has become big business in Korea; from sleep clinics where doctors assess people overnight, to ‘sleep cafes’ offering naps in the middle of the working day, to relaxation drinks. Even Buddhism is moving in on the action with temple retreats and monk-led apps to help stressed out Koreans to relax. There is a lot of money to be made but some Koreans have become worried that in trying to sell religion to the next generation, some faith leaders might be losing touch with Buddhist principles themselves. For Crossing Continents Se-Woong Koo reports from Seoul on a nation that’s wired on staying awake. Producer, Chloe Hadjimatheou.
Rotterdam and the cocaine connection
28:20In the Port of Rotterdam they are preparing for a ‘White Xmas’ - but no one is talking about snow. Europe’s North Sea coast has overtaken the Iberian peninsula as the primary point of entry for cocaine reaching the continent. Industrial-sized labs have been busted in the Netherlands, and mafia-style executions have occurred on the streets. Most recently the crime journalist, Peter R de Vries was shot and mortally wounded in busy Amsterdam. For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly asks how the Netherlands has become one of the largest illicit drug economies of the world. Reporter, Linda Pressly Producer, Michael Gallagher Editor, Bridget Harney (Image: CCTV footage from the port of Rotterdam showing cocaine ‘collectors’ – young men charged with retrieving smuggled narcotics from shipping containers. Credit: Kramer Group)
28:10A bitter fight over fish is playing out in the American West. Sockeye salmon make one of the great migrations in the world, swimming 900 miles from the Pacific Ocean to 6,500 feet up in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, where they spawn and die - but that journey may not happen much longer. In addition to the gauntlet of predators the fish face, from orcas on the west coast to eagles in the mountains, they are running into a man-made obstacle: dams. Most scientists agree the dams need to go for the fish to live, but the dams provide clean energy and an inexpensive way for farmers to get their crops to international markets. Heath Druzin investigates how a bitter fight is underway in the American West pitting Native American tribes, fisherman and conservationists against grain growers and power producers. Meanwhile, time is running out for the iconic species. Presented by Heath Druzin Produced by Richard Fenton-Smith Editor, Bridget Harney
Libya's Unfinished Revolution
28:53It’s ten years since Libya’s dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. But the country’s still not a a democracy – or even a unified functioning state. The militias that brought down the dictatorship in 2011 never disbanded. They turned the country into a battleground, abducting and murdering countless citizens. Since last year, there’s been a ceasefire in the long civil war. Elections are planned. But how powerful are the militias – even now? And how hopeful are Libyans about their future? Reporter Tim Whewell, who covered the uprising in 2011, returns to find out what happened to Libya’s revolution. At spectacular horse-races in the city of Misrata, he meets Libyans who say they have more opportunities now than under Gaddafi. But many writers and activists have fled the country or gone silent, fearing they might disappear if they say anything that displeases armed groups. Some militias have officially been turned into security arms of the state. But that’s given them access to valuable state resources - and militia commanders are accused of becoming mafia bosses. Tim meets possible future leader Fathi Bashagha, who vows to tame the armed groups. But would he prosecute their commanders for past crimes? And can the eastern and western sides of Libya, effectively still under separate authorities despite a unity government, be brought together? Many think war may break out again, and some young Libyans, despairing for their country’s future, are even risking the dangerous passage across the Mediterranean, to emigrate. Producer: Bob Howard
The Mystery of Havana Syndrome
28:00Gordon Corera investigates the mysterious illness that has struck American diplomats and spies. It began after some reported hearing strange sounds in Havana 2016, but reports have since spread around the world. Doctors, scientists, intelligence agents and government officials have all been trying to find out what exactly causes these sounds and the lingering health effects. Some call it an act of war, others wonder if it is some new and secret form of surveillance while others believe it could even be in the mind. So who or what is responsible? Producer, Emma Wells. Editor, Bridget Harney.
Moria - After the Fire
28:13The fire that destroyed the sprawling Moria asylum seekers’ camp on the Greek island of Lesvos last September made headlines around the world. For the asylum seekers who lost their makeshift home and most of their possessions, it was a devastating setback. For Greece, still hosting thousands of migrants Europe won’t take in, the fire intensified a determination to move them on elsewhere What’s happened to some of Moria’s former residents since then? Working with Athens-based journalists Katy Fallon and Stavros Malichudis,, Maria Margaronis follows a few of them—all Afghans--as they negotiate the search for safety and stability some migrants call “the game.” After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, tens of thousands of Afghans are trying to leave their country. These are the stories of some who had already made the journey. Presented and produced by Maria Margaronis. Special thanks to Lighthouse Reports for their support in gathering this material.
Catalonia: Squatters, Eviction and Extortion
28:48Spain has a history of squatting. After the property crash of 2008 many families were forced to occupy homes that did not belong to them because they could not pay their mortgages. Now a darker side to ‘okupacion’ has emerged. Organised crime has seen an opportunity. Some flats in Barcelona have become ‘narcopisos’ - properties used to process or sell drugs. Other empty properties have been ‘sub-let’ by gangs to families who cannot afford a commercial rent. And the pandemic has spawned a new commercial model – extortion. These are cases where squatters occupy a property and demand a ‘ransom’ from the owner of several thousand Euros before they will leave. Enter the controversial ‘desokupa’ companies – firms run by boxers and bouncers who will evict unwanted 'tenants'. Producer / Presenter: Linda Pressly Producer / Presenter in Spain: Esperanza Escribano Editor: Bridget Harney (Image: Jorge Fe, director of FueraOkupas – a company dedicated to evicting squatters and unwanted tenants. Credit: BBC/Esperanza Escribano)
India’s Living Dead
28:23What would it be like if everyone believed you were dead? Lal Bihari knows exactly what that feels like. When he was 22-years-old, the Indian farmer was told by his local government office that he was dead and no protestations that he was standing before them would persuade the bureaucrats otherwise – after all, his death certificate was there as proof. Whether the victim of a scam or a clerical error, the end result for Bihari was to lose his business and all the land he was hoping to inherit. It took him more than two decades to reinstate himself among the living during which time he tried everything from going on hunger strike to kidnapping someone in the hopes that the police would be forced to concede that a dead man could not be arrested. Today, more than a quarter of a century later, Bihari runs the Association for the Living Dead of India through which he says he has helped thousands of people who have fallen victim to the same thing. He tells his extraordinary story to Chloe Hadjimatheou for Crossing Continents. Production Team in India: Ajit Sarathi; Kinjal Pandya; Piyush Nagpal and Praveen Mudholkar Editor: Bridget Harney
What’s Killing Israel’s Arabs?
28:00Israel’s Arab population is in the grip of a violent and deadly crime wave. Since the start of the year, scores of Arab citizens have lost their lives and increasingly, even women and children are victims of drive-by killings, point-blank shootings and escalating gang warfare. Arabs account for only around one in five of all Israelis, yet they are now the vast majority of the country’s murder victims. The BBC’s Yolande Knell meets victims’ families and those in authority to find out what is going on, and asks what hope there is for an end to the carnage. Reporter: Yolande Knell Producer in London: Michael Gallagher Editor: Bridget Harney
Nigeria's Kidnapped Children
28:18Since December, armed gangs have seized more than a thousand students and staff from schools across northern Nigeria. Parents face extortionate demands in exchange for the freedom of their sons and daughters and many families in Africa’s most populous nation are now too afraid to send their children to class. The wave of abductions has devastating consequences for the country, which already has the highest number of children out of education anywhere in the world. For Crossing Continents, the BBC’s Mayeni Jones travels to the region and meets those affected in order to understand what’s fueling Nigeria’s kidnap crisis. Producers: Naomi Scherbel-Ball in Lagos and Michael Gallagher in London Editor: Bridget Harney