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July 21 & 24: from Yunnan province, China - Haiti - South Africa - Uljanovsk, Russia - Palermo, Italy

Spring City Golf & Lake Resort on the island of Hainan: China is becoming a golf mecca for Asia. Photo/Anthony Germain

China's growing affluence is spoiling a lot of good walks, as golf finds new fans among the nouveau riche.

The new documentary fllm that profiles a stubborn Russian journalist who refuses to be a bootlicker for the state that wants him gone. 

A medical student's powerful musical memoir of the cholera wards of Haiti.

From South Africa, the director of a new film about moral choices and mob violence against foreigners

And, anti-Mafia tourism comes to the Corleone countryside of Sicily. 

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Chinese women are being lured to the links from their villages. Caddying can earn them a year's salary in just one month. Photo/Anthony Germain

Fore! China comes out swinging

In China, the game of golf is slowly staking a place alongside designer culture as the latest sign of status in a country teeming with new millionaires seeking places to play.

And when it comes to cost and course maintenance, there's no such thing as over-the-top, thanks to cheap Chinese labour.

But manicured turf and emerald greens aren't just re-shaping the Chinese countryside. They're transforming the lives of thousands of peasants who've left the farm for the fairways.

CBC Radio's China Correspondent, Anthony Germain, finds it's all so new China.

Listen to Anthony's dispatch now

There are downsides to the golf boom...

Hear Anthony on that now

If you want to SEE the kind of Chinese golf luxury Anthony's talking about, check out his narrated slideshow here.

Two women in the Russian town of Uljanovsk, Russia read Andrei's "Our Newspaper" in the film of the same name.  Photo/Courtesy of Hot Docs Film Festival

The rigors of Russian journalism

Andrei Schkolni is a Russian reporter who says he wants "to do real journalism and not just bootlicking."

So he quit the government newspaper and started up his own, only to find his stories about state shortcomings can lead to anonymous threats.

He's the subject of a new film documentary called Our Newspaper, which aired at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto.

The director Eline Flipse talked to Rick in studio.

 Listen to their chat now

Our Newspaper won for Best Mid-Length Documentary at the Hot Docs festival. 

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's a medical student who spent time caring for patients in a cholera ward in Haiti.

Listen to her account of it now


Yamkela, one of the young people featured in Where do I Stand?, does homework with her mother. Photo: Where Do I Stand/Molly Blank

South Africa: Why hate thy neighbour?

During apartheid, it was a struggle to be black in South Africa.

All the more remarkable then, when in 2008, the oppressed became the oppressor.

Fear of foreigners prompted black-on-black violence targetting exiles from countries like Rwanda, Somalia, Zimbabwe and the Congo.

Black South Africans, burned them out.

When it was over, 62 lay dead in the ashes of xenophobia. More than 100,000 had to flee their homes.

American filmmaker Molly Blank wondered how that felt. And why some had joined the two-month rampage while others hadn't. And how they made that choice.

So she turned her camera on seven impressionable teens caught in the middle of it, and asked them to tell their stories.

Here's an excerpt

Voices from the new documentary, Where Do I Stand, about the black-on-black violence against immigrants in South Africa two years ago.

Listen to Rick's interview with director Molly Blank

Blank, by the way, was a teacher before getting into journalism. And she makes her film and a resource kit available to teachers who might want to use it in a school civics class.

A Sicilian shop sign says "Oppose mafia extortion, change your spending habits!" Photo/Nancy Greenleese.
Turning tables on the Mafia

In Sicily, tourists can now sip where Mafia Dons used to sup, knowing their money's not lining the mob's pockets this time 'round.

It's happening because the government and a daring group of artisans want to break the grip of organized crime on the island. So they're encouraging visitors to patronize only businesses that declare themselves part of the anti-mafia movement.

First though, they have to convince more businesses. It's a risky part of a wider effort to change Sicily's culture at home and image abroad, as we hear from Nancy Greenleese in the land of the Corleones.

Listen to Nancy's dispatch


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

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