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March 4 & 7: from Las Cruces, New Mexico - San Remo, Italy - Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia - Seoul - Falkland Islands

Criminalizing immigrants. Some Americans call it "crimmigration." And if that didn't kill Jesus Galindo, what did?

In Italy, old regional dialects are getting new respect, especially if you sing them.

The Brits and Argentina are at it again. And Falkland Islanders are in no mood. We take the temperature of the South Atlantic.

In Cambodia, they went looking for tigers. They found human bones. Whose remains are in the lost jars of the jungle? 

A tale of two Koreas. Defectors struggle to get out of the North, only to struggle to fit into the South.

And, you sensitive Canadians! Your letters about those bully Brits who bashed our Olympics.

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Borderline justice, American style

Jesus Galindo was set up to die, according to a neurologist who did his autopsy. The Mexican was in solitary in a Texas jail where nobody could monitor his epileptic seizures
His death was its ninth in the past four years, and triggered prison riots causing $20 million in damage

Galindo had been serving time for illegally entering the U.S. Instead of being deported, he was jailed, by a legal process some are calling "crimmigration." Immigrants who break the law are considered "criminal aliens," often incarcerated in special prisons run by private companies in out-of-the-way places.

It's a toxic mix, according to Tom Barry.

He's senior analyst at the Centre For International Policy, in Washington, DC., founded in the Vietnam era by diplomats and peace activists. He writes extensively on immigration issues. He's in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Tom's account...

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Tom's Article A Death In Texas, in Boston Review

Ringing with regionalismo

In Italy, old dialects are getting new respect.

Now, for the very first time, they're being invited out of the home and onto the stage of one of the country's most enduring music festivals, held each year on the Italian Riviera. And it's a pretty big deal.

Italy prefers to be viewed as a unified single-language state, rather than a collection of regional tongues and interests.

But it's a country where Campanilismo loyalty to your bell tower -- runs deep. So this recognition is important. It's as political as it is musical, as we hear from Emma Wallis in the audience.

Emma's dispatch...

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 Jars in the jungle

In 2003, wildlife rangers in Cambodia went looking for tigers. Instead, they found jars and coffins, centuries old, filled with human remains. Thirteen in all. Which made no sense.

Cambodia's practised cremation for hundreds of years. So who were these people? How'd they get there?

It remained a mystery. Until now.

Dispatches contributor Brian Calvert met up with an American scientist braving elephants and moths to learn the secret of the jars in the jungle.

Brian's documentary...

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By the way, Beavan's wrist? Broken. Needs orthopedic surgery. But she'll be back in Cambodia in July, to return the ring and some beads and pottery fragments to villagers near the site. After all, there are two more finds to study.

Flagging the Falklands

For Falkland Islanders, it's déjà vu all over again.

Britain and Argentina have resumed their squabble over who owns those tiny dots in the south Atlantic.

With the first British oil rig now drilling just a100 km offshore, Argentina's navy has blockaded the islands. Argentina claims sovereignty over them, despite losing a small war on the point in 1982.

Journalist Juanita Brock lives in the island capital of Stanley, and says fed-up Falklanders are used to their rancour, mostly because it's never really stopped.

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Juanita Brock is a journalist in the Falkland Islands News Network and the South Atlantic Remote Territories Media Association SARTMA.

Korea's southern hospitality

As a little girl, Hyun-Mi Choi was told she could never be a professional boxer. She was already in the fight of her life, just surviving in North Korea's police state. So defecting to democratic South Korea made a big difference for her, as it has for thousands of others so far.

Now, many South Koreans are wary of the newcomers. Their government believes some are spies. But it's trying to help the rest make the difficult cultural adjustment, if only to avoid social unrest.

Dispatches contributor David Savoie caught up with some of the northerners struggling to have their voice heard in South Korea's capital.

David's documentary...

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Your letters

Wellsir, the world knows who we are now.

After Canada's Olympic gold harvest and the star-studded closing ceremonies, a headline on Britain's Daily Mail said it all:

"Who knew so many celebrities were Canadian? (Bet you thought most of these were American.)"  Then asked:  "How many of us assumed actor Michael J Fox, and singers Avril Lavigne, Neil Young and Michael Buble were American?"

Early on though, the Vancouver Games were slagged in the UK media. Dispatches contributor Laura Lynch went on British TV to debate it, and told us how overlooked Canadians are there. 


That started you emailing your stories.

Mike Arpin of Keene, Ontario writes:

It took me back to a cool May afternoon in 1968 in Berlin, East Germany.

On a bus tour...the very officious tour guide pointed out an arena, and directed a comment to us. "This is where your (figure skater) Peggy Fleming won a gold medal."

To which we proudly replied, "She's not our Peggy Fleming.  We're Canadian."

Her reply? "Oh, you're all the same.  There's no difference!!!"

(ed note: Fleming of course, didn't win her gold in Berlin. It was Grenoble. But Mike Arpin goes on... )

I thought it better to keep my mouth shut! Getting into East Berlin was quite an experience. I wanted to make sure I got back to the West.

 Then we heard from Axel Stammler who IS a Berliner:

To some small degree I do believe your invisibility is self-inflicted, and I'll tell you why. When I was about eight, I didn't know enough English, so I listened to the BBC's German Service --- and to RCI -- Radio Canada International's 30-minute German programme -- every day.

Now the socialist countries have collapsed, we were deemed unworthy of your attention, so RCI's German Service was closed.  And until RCI started its European satellite channels, I had no access to Canada on the airwaves at all anymore, feeling somehow cut off.

But what about 30-minutes of a German-language alternative to German media, in which most references to English-speaking countries are to the U.K. and to the U.S?

There's an echo of that in this email from Brendan Boyle of Simcoe, Ontario, who proposes another way to define Canada overseas:

I'm from Northern Ireland, and visit friends and relatives there every year in Ireland, Wales and England. There is not one liquor, wine -- and very few beers -- of Canadian origin on the shelves there. There are products from every corner of the world including countries they went to war with.  About the only Canadian products I've seen were McCains.

A listener named Paul describes himself as an Englishman with Canadian citizenship who's lived in Calgary for six years:

Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the taxi driver and the woman at the party Laura spoke of. If they were ignorant to think you were American, that's one thing.

To be arrogant about it is another. The attitude of the woman at the party is the kind of person who prompted me to leave England in the first place. Having said that, I've had Canadians mistake me for being Australian more than once!

Carolyn White of Halifax also heard Laura's essay and writes:

I liked everything she said, except her answer to the boorish hosts at the end.  She responded "Yes" to the question of whether it is important to Canadians how we are perceived by the British.  I propose that all Canadians adopt a new position.  The answer, frankly, should be a resounding NO.

After all, given that most of them appear to be woefully ignorant (witness the "baroness" asking her whether she likes her new president!), I think we should stop worrying about currying favour with the unintelligent and uninformed.  And when asked, tell them exactly that!

Now, Mark Jones of Kingston, who describes himself as a transplanted Englishman writes:

I'm happy someone in Europe is interested in Canada -- for good or bad -- and that they might see a definition of the true North America! I think The Olympics is a great calling card to the world that Canada is not just another suburb of the USA.  Watch out world.  We are growing up, and we're here.

Your letters. Our thanks.

Coming up

A quick word about a piece we're working on, the story of the Halfghans.

These are the privileged children of an old elite which fled Afghanistan during the war years, beginning in the '80s. Now many Halfghans are returning from the West. Some as journalists. Others in business, or development work.

Hadi Mojaddedi grew up in Denmark, though his family was so powerful, the Afghan King once gave it a castle with a private prison.

In this excerpt, Hadi talks about learning that his family name still carries weight -- and responsibility.

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The Return Of The Halfghans. On an upcoming edition.

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Mark Thibedeau and Tim Lorimer, senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae.

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