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January 13 & 16: from Cuba - Haiti - Ulvohamm, Sweden - India - Ethiopia - Tunisia

Fidel Castro and wanted plane bomber Luis Posada Carriles, now on trial in Texas. Photo/Jose Goitia - AP

Touchy terror trial: How did the U.S. war on terror miss the man who tried to kill Castro. Just clumsy? Or just convenient?

Anguish in the time of cholera: A medical student's powerful memoir of the cholera wards of Haiti.

Ehtiopian seeds of change: farmers return to old ways and old seeds, because the new ones are failing.

Tales of torture and rendition. But this time, it's India.

Hold your nose!  What stinky fish says about the Swedish national identity. And why it faces a ban.

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Luis Posada Carriles worked for the CIA against Castro. He also killed a dozens of civilians. Will the U.S. treat him like a terrorist? Photo/Reuters

U.S. terror suspects: some less terrible than others?

For insights into the tortured state of Cuban-American relations, consider the case of Luis Possado Carriles.

He's accused of some very bad things.

Like blowing up a passenger jet, and trying to kill Castro. But when some Cubans ratted him to the FBI as a terrorist, it was they who wound up in jail.

Did we mention he was once a CIA informant?

Some say this was one terrorist the U.S. war on terror never got to grips with. Until now.

Posada's now on trial in El Paso, Texas, not for terrorism but some fairly routine charges of immigration fraud.

But the case may prove embarassing for the American government.

Stephen Kimber is at the trial and researching a book about this story. He's a journalism professor at the University of King's College in Halifax.

Listen Stephen's interview now...

 His piece on cbc.ca

Soundtrax from a cholera ward in Haiti

This week on our Soundtrax feature, Eric Clapton's Change the World, sent to us by  listener Amy Osborne, who's trying to do just that.

She spent time caring for people in a cholera ward in Haiti.

Listen to her account of it now...


It may have a smell that can clear a room, quick. But surströmming is much-loved by Swedes. Photo/Zachary Finkelstein

Wider horizons, by way of rotten herring

Here on Dispatches, we strive to bring you stories that soar to near-spiritual planes.

This next one is about a food so foul, it's banned from commercial planes.

It's called surströmming. Which means, rotten herring - with a scent somewhere between rotten eggs and a pig farm.

But it's dear to the Swedish national identity. All the more so, now that this traditional dish might be banned! And that would be a shame.

Kalli Anderson has the story from Sweden.

Get a taste of Kalli's dispatch now...


Mr.President, your people are dying

Call it the soundtrack of dissent in Tunisia.  An angry chorus called "President, your people are dying," sung by rapper Hamada Ben-Amorthat, echoed a week of bloodshed in a country unused to such things. 

The singer got one thing right.  Scores of people were killed when police opened fire on anti-corruption demonstrators in the Muslim nation of ten-million.

Despite the crackdown violence spiralled, and the country's longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced from office Friday.   

Listen to the song and hear more on the violence in Tunisia now


Ethiopia's seeds of a solution

 In Ethiopia, water is a problem. It's battling through a fifth year of drought.

And the change in climate is spreading a fungus that kills off imported strains of wheat. So flying in the face of conventional agricultural wisdom, Ethiopians are turning back to native seed, creating banks of hardy local strains that can survive tough times like these.

We in the West used to laugh at that sort of thing. Now it's the Ethiopians turn to giggle, as we hear from Dispatches contributor David Kattenburg.

Listen to David's documentary now


Rendition, Indian-style

Parvez Radoo was picked up at Delhi Airport in India, 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 one of the many stories alleging state torture and murder, illegal detention and CIA-style rendition emerging from India and dating back nine years.

Journalist Syed Nazakat broke some of those stories in the Indian news magazine The Week.  And last April he joined Rick by Skype from his home in Delhi.

Listen to Rick's interview with Syed now

Since that interview first aired last spring, Syed has won India's national award for social justice reporting, and broken new stories of state authorities jailing and torturing innocent people.


Ingenuity, Indian-style

Next week on Dispatches, an interview with Indian director Anandana Kapur. Her new documentary, looks at "jugaad", the fiery, feet-first spirit of innovation that's part of everything from cars to corruption and makes India such a can-do country.

Listen to an excerpt from The Great Indian Jugaad now


This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally with technical producers Tim Lorimer and Victor Johnston, and senior producer Alan Guettel.
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