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April 22 & 25: from Lusaka - Rhotak - Ni'lin - Delhi

No Strings Attached: a feature documentary on China's very different approach to exploiting the resources of Africa.

Then, a story of spies, scams and riflescopes reveals Iran sidestepping the international arms embargo.

How our reporter finds himself Guest of Honour at a banquet to which he wasn't even invited.

Another tale of torture and rendition. And it's not a western spy agency in the dock this time. It's India.

And, the Palestinians' latest weapon against the Israelis. They're shooting...pictures.

Tiptoeing around an embargo

    On offer first: a recipe for spicy international arms scandal.

Take two German sniper scopes, allegedly seized from the Taliban. Serial numbers suggest they were routed through Iran, by phony front companies in Italy and elsewhere.

Now arrest six people, stir, and stand back.

Italian authorities believe Iran is stalking the arms bazaars of Europe, probing for weakness in the international embargo, meant to prevent it acquiring military hardware.

That's the picture emerging from wiretaps in Italian court documents. Journalist Sebastian Rotella has seen the transcripts. He's written about them for ProPublica, an American journalism foundation in Washington.

Listen to Rick's conversation with Sebastian...

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Sebastian Rotella is a journalist with ProPublica, a non-profit investigative journalism foundation.

China from to Zambia

    China has huge ambitions in the natural resources of Africa.

And unlike Western countries, its investments come with "No Strings Attached."

A Chinese company is building Zambia's largest soccer stadium near Ndola in the Copperbelt region. (Anthony Germain/CBC)
That's the title of a series airing all this week on CBC Radio News by our China correspondent, Anthony Germain.

To see how China works it, he's been to Zambia, which has one of the most enduring relationships with Beijing of any country in Africa.

China's been a presence there since the '60s, and has a big interest in the rich copper deposits.

The Chinese make no secret of the fact they're only in it for trade and natural resources. But that's stirring up resentment among the human ones -- as Anthony finds out, at the mine site.

Listen to Anthony's documentary..

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The surprise guest of honour

    Rick's been intrigued by this idea ever since he first heard it from his colleague, the former CBC correspondent Frank Koller.

When you think about it, he says, there really are just two kinds of stories.

A man goes on a long voyage. Or, a stranger comes to town.

Well, freelance journalist Will Everett has a story from India, that manages to be both.

Listen to Will's essay....

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Will Everett is a freelance reporter and producer based in Texas. 

Accidental filmmakers

    Some Palestinians are seizing on video technology, hoping to make it their new weapon in the struggle with Israel.

It started a few years ago, with the handout of over a hundred cameras. They began filming their clashes with the Israelis.

Today they're still provoking and recording the daily theatre of confrontation, and making anti-Israel videos.

And it's given rise to a fledgling industry that may be growing some serious filmmakers, as we hear from Irish journalist Don Duncan in the Palestinian village of Ni'lin.

Listen to Don's dispatch....

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Secret prisons, Indian-style

    Parvez Radoo was picked up at Delhi Airport in India four years ago, but that's not what the police report says.

It claims he was arrested at the city fruit market, and makes no mention of the electrodes Radoo says they clipped to his genitals.

It's just one of the stories of alleged state torture, murder, illegal detention and CIA-style rendition now emerging from India, and dating back at least eight years.

Journalist Syed Nazakat has broken some of those stories in the Indian news magazine, The Week. He spoke to Rick from his home in Delhi.

Listen to Rick's interview with Syed...

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This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producer Victor Johnston, Senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae.

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