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December 31 & January 2: from Jakarta - Washington D.C. - Diego Garcia - London

Marjinal rock is on a roll among the poor of Indonesia. Hear how music and politics spilled into the streets of Jakarta this year.

The big lie that crushed a small people. How the British and the Americans conspired to drive a people from their island paradise.

Iraqi arts. Turns out they're alive and well -- in exile.

And, the mystery of the world's oldest computer. It pre-dates current models by, oohh, about two-thousand years. Wherever did they plug it in?

An encore edition of the best from our past year.

Listen to Part One

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Listen to Part Two
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Individual items from this week's show are not available...but you can hear them in part 1 and part 2 of the programme (above).

Punks and presidents

Indonesia experienced just its second direct presidential election this past year.

The former general who won it the first time round was re-elected handily.

SBY, as he's sometimes known by his initials, emphasizes security in a country of islands that's home to the world's largest population of Muslims.

After his first five years in power, the country's poor had little to show for it.

And that nourished a sense of alienation that started out among impoverished youth, back when the country was still a dictatorship.

It blossomed into a street culture of the marginal, propelled by the music of a wildly popular punk group of the same name, except spelled with a 'j' -- Marjinal.

Dispatches contributor Maria Bakkalapulo listened in.

Mystery machine

It's known as the Antikythera Mechanism -- "humanity's oldest-surviving machine."

It's a small decaying metal box of technology -- so far ahead of its time, some scientists are re-thinking the history of human knowledge.

But they've been baffled by the purpose of this box's many gears and wheels.

They know it can duplicate the night skies, even anticipate an eclipse.

But why? For whom? And how did mankind lose sight of a technology some say could have changed the course of history? This ancient whodunit is the subject of a recent book called Decoding The Heavens: A 2000-Year-Old Computer And The Century-Long Search To Discover Its Secrets. The author is British journalist Jo Marchant.

Decoding The Heavens is published by Da Capo Press.

Island Of Shame

A lawsuit has been filed with the European Union on behalf of a people expelled from their homes by American foreign policy.

They're former residents of Diego Garcia, part of the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

You may know it as the site of a big American military base that's played a key role in several global conflicts of recent years.

But David Vine knows a lot more. He's an anthropologist and professor at American University in Washington who's looked into how this British colony was emptied so it could become a U.S. waystation.

What he uncovered is a jaw-dropping story of lies and intrigue, and a strategy for colonizing foreign islands so the U.S. always has faraway places it can call its own.

His findings are the subject of his new book Island Of Shame: The Secret History Of The U.S. Military Base On Diego Garcia, published by Princeton University Press.

The U.S. Navy prefers its own version of the island's history.

Iraq's free expression, in London

London, England has always been a magnet for artists in exile, and in recent years it's welcomed many from Iraq.

And while they wait it out, often in reduced circumstances and anonymous suburbs, they continue to compose, practice and perform.

Their new circumstances inform their new work.  But their burning passion remains the country they left behind -- the one they're waiting to reclaim, as we heard from Dispatches contributor Hadani Ditmars with one artist at work.

Hadani has been a frequent contributor to Dispatches over the years. She's now moving to London herself, to be the editor of The New Internationalist.

This program is the work of producers Alison Masemann, Dawna Dingwall, and Steve McNally, technical producer Tim Lorimer and senior producer Alan Guettel.

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