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The Fifth Floor

Podcast The Fifth Floor
Podcast The Fifth Floor

The Fifth Floor


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  • Ukraine's foreign fighters
    Since February, thousands of international volunteers have travelled to Ukraine to help in the fight against Russia. We hear about some foreign combatants whose stories have been reported by our language services, with Sunyoung Jeong of BBC Korean, Benny Lu of BBC Chinese and Beverly Ochieng of BBC Monitoring in Nairobi. Lend me a saying Our BBC Indian language service colleagues in Delhi share their favourite sayings, with Siddhanath Ganu of BBC Marathi, Sarika Singh of BBC Hindi, Khushboo Sandhu of BBC Punjabi, Venkat Prasad G of BBC Telugu, Saranya Nagarajan of BBC Tamil and Brijal Shah of BBC Gujarati. A new king for Cameroon's Mankon people For the Mankon community of Cameroon, a king, or fon, never dies, he simply disappears. Fon Angwafor III 'went missing' in May, and the enthronement of the new king took place last month. The BBC's Randy Joe Sa'ah attended the extraordinary ceremony and shares his impressions. (Photo: Taiwanese volunteer fighter Mr Lee in Kyiv. Credit: Daniel Ceng)
  • Colombia's first leftist leader
    In more than 200 years as a republic, Colombia has never elected a left-wing leader - until now. Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 rebel group, narrowly won in a very polarised election. He said Colombia “voted for change.” BBC Mundo’s Daniel Pardo, who's from Bogota, witnessed the celebrations. North Korean trash Seoul politics professor Kang Dong-wan is fascinated by life inside North Korea, and based his latest research on the vast array of packaging washed up on South Korea’s Five West Sea Islands. BBC Korean’s Jungmin Choi tells us what he discovered there, and what it reveals about life inside the communist state. Russia's lost generals Why are so many Russian generals dying in the Ukraine conflict? At least four have been killed, possibly more, and yet it's usually rare for a general to die in battle. BBC Russian's Olga Ivshina explains what the high casualty rate tells us about the way Russian forces are fighting. The imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi The deposed former leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been moved from house arrest to solitary confinement in prison. BBC Burmese editor Soe Win Than tells us what's known about her previous living conditions, and the significance of the junta's decision to put her behind bars. Vietnamese brides China has a huge sex imbalance in its population, with 10% more men than women. This legacy of the one child policy has had a huge impact on neighbouring Vietnam; it's estimated 100,000 Vietnamese women married to Chinese men. Bui Thu from BBC Vietnamese spoke with one woman who married for love about her experiences. (Photo: Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez. Credit: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Racism for sale
    BBC reporter Runako Celina tells us about her long search for the origins of a shocking video circulating on Chinese social media in 2020. It showed a group of African children being instructed to chant racist phrases in Chinese. The answers Runako found are in her BBC Africa Eye documentary Racism for Sale. For the love of mangoes! We unleash the Fifth Floor mic in the BBC Delhi bureau where colleagues from the Indian language services share their love of mangoes, especially their local varieties. Thanks to Siddhanath Ganu of BBC Marathi, Sarika Singh of BBC Hindi, Khushboo Sandhu of BBC Punjabi, Brijal Shah of BBC Gujarati, Venkat Prasad G of BBC Telugu and Saranya Nagarajan of BBC Tamil. New words and a culture shift in Ukraine 'Putler', 'Ruscists' and 'Anglo-Saxons': what words can tell us about the cultural shift in Ukraine since the invasion, and why some are 'changing their shoes mid-air', with Vitaliy Shevchenko from BBC Monitoring. Bangladesh container depot blast The devastating explosion at the Sitakunda container depot near Chittagong killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds. BBC Bangla journalist Shahnewaj Rocky is from Chittagong and spoke with firefighters and some of those who rushed to help the victims. Ventriloquist queen American ventriloquist Angelique-Monet became a queen in Nigeria after falling in love with a Nigerian king and marrying him. She lives in Eti-Oni in southern Nigeria where she and her puppet, Milk the Cow, entertain local children with their skills. BBC Africa's Youth News reporter Damilola Oduolowu caught her show. (Photo: A Chinese greeting from African children. Credit: BBC)
  • Is China’s population falling?
    The numbers of people living in the most populated country in the world is expected to start falling this year, for the first time since the great famine more than six decades ago. There's concern about what that means for the global economy, but what do people in China think? BBC Chinese editor Howard Zhang explains why the 3-child policy hasn’t worked. Afrocentrism Njoroge Muigai of BBC Nairobi recently visited a Kenyan primary school with a difference; it takes an innovative, Afrocentric approach to learning. Fortune-telling in Thailand BBC Thai has been asking why fortune-tellers are still so widely consulted in Thailand. They interviewed popular fortune-tellers and found out from younger clients why they seek consultations. Sucheera Maguire explains. A visit to Delhi's Lodi Gardens Suhail Haleem of BBC Delhi takes us to the Lodi Gardens to look at Mughal monuments and contemplate India's relationship with its Islamic past and present. My Arab Adolescence BBC Arabic has given young people across the Arab world a platform to talk openly about the challenges they face, including taboo topics around mental health, in a podcast series for teenagers called My Adolescence. Presenter Karima Kouah shares their stories, and tells us what she hopes the series will achieve. (Photo: Chinese babies in cots. Credit: Gong Bo/VCG via Getty Images)
  • Marriage and war
    Natalya is a Russian journalist working for BBC Monitoring, and her husband and colleague, Yuriy, is Ukrainian. They have been evacuated from their home in Kyiv to Lviv. Natalya tells us about the challenges of family life during war, and how she’s given up trying to convince some friends in Russia about what’s really happening. Changing attitudes in India A recent survey of social attitudes in India showed that a large proportion of the population, both men and women, still believe that husbands have the right to beat their wives. Women's affairs editor Geeta Pandey talks us through the findings. Why Germans are migrating to Paraguay Thousands of German migrants have moved to Paraguay, some of them escaping Covid restrictions; others because they are uncomfortable with immigration itself in Germany. BBC Mundo's Mar Pichel travelled to Paraguay to explore the reasons behind this new wave. Goodbye to South Korea's Blue House The Blue House in Seoul has been the seat of power in South Korea for more than 70 years. But the new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, has moved his office to a Defence Ministry complex and opened the Blue House to the public. Julie Yoonnyung Lee of BBC Korean explains the reasons for this decision. Uganda's Batwa people Over 30 years ago, the Batwa people of Uganda were evicted from their ancestral forest home by the government. It was thought they might threaten the gorilla population, vital to Uganda's tourism industry. But the Batwa people have struggled ever since, as BBC Africa's Patience Atuhaire discovered when she went to report on their story. Presenter: David Amanor Producer: Sue Waldram (Photo: Wedding rings. Credit: BBC)

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