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July 15 & 18, 2010: from Cape Town - New York - Kabul and San Remo, Italy

The Cape Town crimewave. How a South African beauty spot came to be plagued by a bunch of hairy, snarling crooks.  

iraqoil.jpgOilman J. Paul Getty once said, "the meek shall inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights." A new book says those rights can cause a lot of wrongs.

Landmines, crowns and castles were just some of the surprises in store for an Afghan-Canadian searching for his roots.

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

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An encore edition of Dispatches in the summer.


Burgling baboons

The scenic tranquility of Capetown, South Africa has been under siege. Residents have been plagued by a nasty rash of of vandalism and break-ins.

And the culprits are not the kind of thieves you can just throw in jail, as we hear from "Dispatches" contributor Rhoda Metcalfe at the scene of the crime.

Rhoda's documentary...

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The crude world of crude oil

If you remember those pictures of US Marines in 2003, hauling down that statue of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, you probably saw our next guest.

Peter Maass was the journalist seen jumping on to one of their military vehicles, and hollering questions at the crew.

The next day, he watched as looters sacked the National Museum while American troops looked on. They only thing they were protecting, he says, was the Ministry of Oil.

For Maass, oil is a paradox. It brings both prosperity and trouble.

And Iraq was just one stop in his effort to document it in his new book entitled Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil.

Rick's interview with Peter Maass...

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Peter Maass is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, and author of Crude World, published by Random House. He was in New York.


Halfghans meet the Afghans


Hadi and Ariel.JPG
Hadi Mojadeddi (l) and Ariel Nasr (r). (Photo/Ariel Nasr)
It is our nature to want to know where we came from.

But knowing it is one thing. Living it calls for quite a different nature, as Ariel Nasr is finding out.

Ariel is a Canadian filmmaker, born in Halifax, where his parents settled after fleeing the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as many wealthy Afghans did back then.

He's private-school educated. With a degree in classical literature. And like some of his generation, he feels the call of unanswered questions from faraway central Asia.

He's among those who've packed their western suitcases, and moved their westernised selves to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, land of the Kings and castles of family lore.

At the moment though, Ariel Nasr's just trying to keep warm in Kabul.

Ariel's dispatch...

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Ariel Nasr is a Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Kabul, born to an Afghan father and an American mother. He's currently working on The Boxing Girls of Kabul, a film about the Afghan National Women's Boxing Team.


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 "campanelismo," loyalty to your bell tower, runs deep. So this recognition is important. And as political as it is musical, as we hear from Emma Wallis in the audience.

Emma's documentary...

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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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