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The Fifth Floor

Podcast The Fifth Floor
Podcast The Fifth Floor

The Fifth Floor


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  • The challenges of filming at altitude
    Many communities in India's northern Ladakh region are experiencing water shortages because of shrinking glaciers. BBC India team Aamir Peerzada and Neha Sharma went to report on how people in one village, Kumik, have ended up building a new settlement close to a river. It turned out to be an eventful trip. Bodybuilding in the Arab world Bodybuilding is a popular pastime for men throughout the Arab world, but what does it take to achieve the muscle development that bodybuilders strive for, and why do they see it as perfection? Hossam Fazulla of BBC Arabic has been investigating. Young carers in South Korea A 22-year-old Korean man has been sentenced to four years in prison for failing to care for his sick father. His story has started a big debate about what’s expected of young people in South Korea, as the BBC’s Julie Yoonnyung Lee explains. The Brazilian farmer turning desert into forest BBC Brasil's Joao Fellet loves gardening and planting trees, and one of his heroes is farmer Ernst Gotsch, who has transformed eroded and semi-arid land into new forests. So when his editor asked for positive ideas about environmental conservation, he leapt at the chance to see Ernst Gotsch’s work with his own eyes. Highway kidnappings in Nigeria The highway linking the capital Abuja to the city of Kaduna has become notorious for armed kidnappings. The latest took place last weekend. Meanwhile the railway connecting the two cities, which many passengers took as the safe option, has been attacked for the first time. BBC Africa's Chris Ewokor has been following both stories. (Photo: BBC reporters standing next to a stream in Ladakh, northern India. Credit: Aamir Peerzada and Neha Sharma)
  • Afghanistan's Ministry of Vice and Virtue
    Soon after taking power, the Taliban replaced the Department for Women's Affairs with the Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. It's a name many Afghans feared during the last Taliban era, as 'morality police' enforced their extreme interpretation of Islam. BBC Afghan's Shekiba Habib lived through that era, and reports on what we know about how the current ministry is operating. Istanbul's taxi problem If you’ve ever struggled to hail a taxi, spare a thought for people in Istanbul. Since the 1990s the city’s population has doubled, but the number of cabs has stayed the same, and solving the problem is a political headache for the city’s mayor. BBC Turkish journalist Esra Yalcinalp explains Istanbul's unique and frustrating taxi system. The daily life of Colombian coca farmers Singing local songs and celebrating harvest: some of the activities TikTok users can see from the hashtag #Catatumbo. The images show the daily lives of coca growers in one of Colombia's main coca-growing regions, and have reopened the discussion about how best to fight the drug war, as Luis Fajardo from BBC Monitoring in Miami explains. The pirs of Pakistan Pirs or spiritual guides are deeply embedded in Pakistani culture, including in politics. They offer blessings and guidance which many politicians feel are important for their success. BBC Urdu's Asif Farooqi reports on the complex and sometimes controversial relationship between politicians and their pirs. (Photo: A Department for Women's Affairs sign is replaced by the Taliban with the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Credit: Javed Tanveer/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Myanmar’s women-only army
    A group of women in central Myanmar have formed their own anti-junta militia, and are fighting alongside other armed groups. Armed resistance to the military regime has been increasing since the coup nine months ago. BBC Burmese editor Soe Win Than tells us more about the Myaung Women Warriors. My Home Town: Damascus A new episode of our series 'My Home Town', in which our language service journalists share stories about the place where they grew up. Today, Dima Babilie of BBC Arabic takes us to the vine-covered alleyways of the Syrian capital Damascus to sit in cafés, drink coffee and play cards. Why are so many Brazilians emigrating to Italy? There’s been a big increase in the number of Brazilians moving to Italy and applying for citizenship. Rafael Barifouse of BBC Brasil has been investigating the reasons and talking to some of those who’ve made the move. On Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan Known for its beautiful mountains, Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan is at the centre of a fraught political situation, with the Tajik government maintaining a hardline stance towards the Taliban regime. Olga Ivshina of BBC Russian recently went to this remote area and shares her impressions. Reporting COP26 Rubbing shoulders with world leaders, being inspired by young activists and getting to grips with haggis - just some of the experiences of our language service journalists reporting from COP26. We hear from Peter Okwoche of BBC Africa, Shakeel Anwar of BBC Bengali and Pierre-Antoine Denis of BBC Afrique. Image: Myanmar’s women-only army Credit: CJ
  • Who are the Oromo Liberation Army?
    As rebel TPLF forces advance towards the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, other armed groups say they are forming an alliance with them. These include the secretive Oromo Liberation Army, which first appeared in the 1970s. The BBC's Africa correspondent Catherine Byaruhanga was the first international journalist to meet them, at a desert training camp. The dispute over Scythian gold When Russian forces seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a unique collection of Scythian treasures from museums in Kyiv and Crimea was being exhibited in Amsterdam. Last week, a Dutch court ruled that the objects were part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage and must all return to Ukraine, not Crimea. The BBC's Daria Taradai tells us what this Scythian heritage means to Ukrainians. The banana jokes that stopped being funny A social media craze in Turkey involving Syrian refugees filming themselves with bananas quickly turned sour. What began as a joke has inflamed tensions between Syrians and Turks, and led to the arrest and threatened deportation of some of those taking part. Dima Babilie of BBC Arabic has been investigating. Pakistan's Taliban problem When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, neighbouring Pakistan experienced a rise in extremist Islamist activity in its tribal border areas. Violence and extortion have become commonplace, as BBC Urdu’s Abid Hussain discovered when he visited Orakzai and Bajaur districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Climate change and the threat to Thailand's durians With COP26 in full swing, the BBC's language services have been looking at the impact of climate change in their own regions. BBC Thai picked an item close to their hearts - the famously pungent durian fruit. Changing weather patterns are now interfering with the growing season, as Thanyaporn Buathong explains. Image: A member of the Oromo Liberation Army Credit: BBC
  • Filming Life at 50°C
    COP26 kicks off in Glasgow this Sunday, and what’s at stake is the future of the planet. We speak to BBC Arabic's Namak Khoshnaw and Hanan Razek about the Life at 50°C series, highlighting the impact of living with rising temperatures and changing weather patterns around the world. And we find out what it's like trying to film when your camera's asking to cool down. Baby elephants changing lives A community in northern Kenya has found a sustainable way to feed orphaned baby elephants - using goats' milk. It's also meant more financial independence for the Samburu women who provide it. Francis Ontomwa of BBC Nairobi saw the scheme in action. Nigeria's Jewish community A small Nigerian community claims to have Jewish ancestry dating back hundreds of years, and draws parallels between the Jewish and Igbo cultures. Nduka Orjinmo of BBC Africa Online has met one of their leaders, and also investigated the Israeli response to their desire for recognition. Modi and the vaccine certificate photo Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image is famously everywhere, from TV to billboards to petrol stations. But one man, Peter K, says putting his face on Covid-19 vaccine certificates is a step too far, and is taking the matter to court. The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi lays out the arguments. Image: BBC Arabic’s Namak Khoshnaw filming farmers in southern Iraq at 54°C Credit: BBC

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