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January 6 & 9: from Juba, Sudan - Brunei - Diego Garcia - Serra da Guia, Brazil - Rohtak, India

Brazilian traditional healer Dona Jesefa.

The View from Southern Sudan heading into a referendum that's expected to create a new country.

Modern medicine is discovering there's much to learn from traditional healers in Brazil.

New information about the Anglo-American campaign to expel residents from their island home in the Indian Ocean.

And to Brunei, where a strange snack is making a comeback. It's a gummy paste with a yummy taste, if you can get past the look of it.

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The View from Juba

The President of Sudan made a rare appearance in the south of his country this week, possibly his last.

Analysts say a referendum this weekend will see the south vote to secede from Sudan, and become a new country.

The south has oil, but President Omar al-Bashir has the pipelines leading north.

Which explains why the old wanted war criminal is suddenly making nice with a region he was at war with until the peace deal that created this referendum.

For the south it's cause for celebration. Refugees are returning home as we hear in this week's View From Here.

Listen to Kaj Hasselriis' View from Juba now

Meanwhile, outside of Sudan, Sudanese exiles all over the world are campaigning for their country's independence, in the upcoming referendum. Several activists sat down with Toronto journalist Kennedy Jawoko and outlined their thoughts on the hard work they face, to build a new country that won't become just another of the region's failed states.

In this excerpt, Gordon Ajak, a lawyer and South Sudanese political activist, explains why he believes independence is necessary:

Listen to Gordon Ajak now

South Sudanese lawyer Gordon Ajak, in Toronto. You can hear that discussion in full on The View From Here blog.


Wikileaks and the right of return

It's one of the lesser leaks to emerge from Wikileaks, but critics see it as a smoking gun.

A diplomatic cable that appears to confirm a forty-year campaign by Britain and the US that ran residents off their islands in the Indian Ocean and continues to this day.

A recent book revealed how both nations conspired to expel people from the islands of the Chagos Archipelago, because the Americans wanted a put a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest one in the British colony.

Over time the displaced residents have won legal right to return to every island except Diego Garcia. A British court says it's more important to western security than they are.

David Vine is an anthropologist and author who first appeared on this program after the release of his book exposing the Chagossian's grim history.

And in light of the new leaks, he rejoined Rick from Washington, D.C.

Listen to Rick's conversation with David Vine now

David Vine is assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. He's author of Island of Shame: the Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia.


A new look at the old ways

The next time you've got a sore throat, try a pomegranate.

That's what the folk healers prescribe in Brazil, as the medical establishment is starting to discover.

And it's beginning to blur the lines between traditional and modern medicine, though at the end of the day of course, only the real doctors get paid, as we hear from Gabi Veras at the door of one rural healer.

Listen to Gabi's dispatch now


Ooey goeey good?

A bowl of sticky ambuyat, the delicacy of Brunei (photo/Nancy Greenleese)

A dish made out of desperation is having a comeback in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Oil-rich Brunei is so rich, it's citizens live a tax-free life of free schooling and medical care.

But a gooey tree paste known as ambuyat is finding its way back into foodie fashion, and last fall, Nancy Greenleese was there for a bite of history.

Listen to Nancy's dispatch now



'Til death do us part. Or maybe 'til next week.

Hezbollah is a banned terrorist organisation in Canada. But in Lebanon, it's a paramilitary and political force providing followers with health care, education, and now; sex.

Hezbollah seems to be reviving the Shiites old practice known as "mutaa."

For a price, called a dowry, they can get married -- with benefits -- for as little as an hour.

Journalist Hanin Ghaddar was once approached for one of these temporary marriages. Which she declined.

But she says the practice is growing among the country's million-strong Shia community.

She wrote about it last year in Foreign Affairs magazine, noting that for Hezbollah, it's also a means of control and recruitment.

Hanin Ghaddar joined Rick last January from Beirut.

Listen to Rick's conversation with Hanin now

Hanin Ghaddar is a journalist with the online publication Now Lebanon.


Will Everet's surprise

It's been said there are really just two kinds of stories.

Man goes on a long voyage.

And, a stranger comes to town.

Last April, we aired a story from freelance journalist Will Everet in India that managed to be both.

Listen to Will's essay now


Stephen Puddicombe's Congo soundtrack

Over the holidays our Dispatches Soundtracks edition ran on most CBC stations in Canada. We featured some of the great music we hear on Dispatches.

And we asked our CBC correspondents to tell us stories about music they've encountered on their assigments. For this one, Rick reached Stephen Puddicombe, in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

Listen to Stephen's soundtrack now

Rumours and responses, by the Congo's The Clever Boys. Stephen will be filing to Dispatches from the DRC later this month.

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