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August 19 & 22 : from Kingston, Jamaica - North Korea - Philadelphia - Amazon Rainforest

 

Arhuaco village, Colombia
Women standing in line for food at the Public Food Distribution Centre in Chongjin, North Korea. (World Food Program)

"Are we supposed to kill him or just burn down the house?" A story of the lawless advance of development in the Amazon rain forest.

Mohamed's Ghosts; a new book that says Muslims and their mosques are fading from the American landscape.

Inside North Korea: why the South supports defectors in telling their  stories of hunger and horror.

And, summoning the dead to protect the living of Jamaica. It's a tradition that disturbs some in the Christian community. So why is the country promoting it?

 

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Mohamed's Ghosts

On a spring day six years ago, Mohamed Ghorab was the Islamic leader of a small mosque, in a hardscrabble neighbourhood of Philadelphia.

Next thing he knew, he was deported.  His congregants were arrested without charge. 

His mosque collapsed.

Turns out there are thousands like him across the United States, who's biggest mistake seems to be that they're Muslim.

In covering that story, it seemed to Stephan Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer that ever since September 11, 2001 the American justice and immigration system has been perverted. 

And he's written a book about it, called Mohamed's Ghosts: an American Story of Love and Fear in the Homeland.

Rick's interview with Stefan...

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Mohamed's Ghosts  is published by Nation Books.

 

The perils of progress

Thugs in the rainforest: "Are we supposed to kill him or just burn the house down?" That's when he ran. And this is what's left of the house. (Connie Watson/CBC)


Like you, Dispatches has heard the about the global benefits of the Amazon rainforest. 

How it creates much of the world's oxygen. 

Houses a vast array of rare wildlife.

Supports vegetation full of medical secrets we've yet to unlock.

We've also heard about ongoing threats to its survival; the slash-and-burn development, and how it contributes to global warming.

But we wanted to see for ourselves.

CBC Correspondent Connie Watson began her inquiry with a leisurely steam on the Amazon River, a kind of living slide show revealing the perils of progress.

Connie's documentary...

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Incidentally, Brazil is trying to crack down on animal poaching. 

Police recently arrested a British pet shop owner flying home with a thousand tarantulas in his luggage. But a single egg from a blue macaw still fetches over four-thousand dollars on Europe's black market.

 

Ordinary North Koreans, extraordinary stories

Arhuaco village, Colombia
North Korean orphan. (World Food Program)

 

There have been times when dogs ate better than doctors in North Korea.

American journalist Barbara Demick knows that, because she met a pediatrician who found out the hard way.

Demick is a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times who spent seven years documenting the dangers North Korea has unleashed upon the world.

The nuclear threat.  The famine. The prison camps. 

But thanks to her interviews with defectors, we have a better sense of what it's been like to live under the mercurial regimes of Kim Il-sung and now his son, Kim Jong-il.

It's in her latest book entitled; Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.

Rick interviews Barbara...

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Nothing To Envy is published by Random House.

Since 2001, it's estimated that more than 100,000 North Koreans have defected. Next June will be the 60th anniversary of the Korean War -- which technically isn't over. The two sides signed a truce, but not a peace treaty.

 Photo Gallery: North Korea - a gallery of 12 images related to the interview with Barbara Demick

 

The drumming and the dead

In the hills of Jamaica you hear it. The sound of drumming. The worshippers of the dead, dancing and talking to the spirits, in scenes as old as Africa.
 
It's a concept that alarms some in the country's Christian community.  But the state is all for it.

All for keeping the concept of Kumina alive, as we hear from British journalist Nick Davis among the drummers.

Nick's documentary... 

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No strings attached: Africa in China

Next week on the program, a rare glimpse of how China is behaving in Africa. 

The People's Republic is a super-heated economy with an insatiable appetite for raw materials, and Zambia's "Copper Belt" is one of the largest in the world.

The CBC's China Correspondent, Anthony Germain, went there to hear how China's influence is affecting Zambia.  And in this excerpt, you can hear it too.

An excerpt from No Strings Attached...
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This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Tim Lorimer and Victor Johnston, Senior producer Alan Guettel and Rick MacInnes-Rae.

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