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April 7 & 10: from Cairo - Dakar, Senegal - Libya - Liberia - Tijuana, Mexico

Libyan amateur soldiers risk their lives to fight the Gadhafi army.  Then, some, go home at night.  Photo/Margaret Evans.

Egyptian protesters break into state spy headquarters and find personal files, matching bathrobes -- and new suspicions.

The Redemption Of General Butt Naked, one of Liberia's most feared warlords.

Tales from the desert road. Our correspondent travels with Libya's rookie rebels. 

We'll hear Mexican opera singers out to improve Tijuana's image, one aria at a time.

Some presidents build countries.  How will Haiti's new president re-build his? 

And how to make a million in Senegal. You'll need a loincloth. And lots and lots of sand. 

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Egypt's new old-style State Security 

Egyptians search an office in the state security agency building in Cairo. Photo/Reuters-Mohamed Abd El-Ghany .


In the throes of the recent revolution, some Egyptians found a way into the secret vaults of State Security, and even managed to read their own files.

But instead of a rush of relief at the fall of the Mubarak regime, Dispatches contributor Irris Makler learned that it's fostering growing suspicion about the new one.

 

Listen to Irris from Cairo


Road warriors from Benghazi

Libya's rebels, lightly armed when they're armed at all, celebrate a victory over Gadhafi forces at the town of Ajdabiyah. Photo/Reuters.

Libya's insurgents continue their rag-tag rebellion, aided, and sometimes injured, by NATO airstrikes, targetting Colonel Gadhafi's superior firepower.

The uprising's a pretty ad hoc affair in some places, hampered by inexperience and a shortage of gasoline.

CBC correspondent Margaret Evans has been travelling with the rebels on their daily commute to and from the war.

 Margaret's essay


General Butt Naked

Joshua Blahyi, the former General Butt Naked, now a preacher in Monrovia. Photo/Ryan Lobo.

 A mass murderer speaks

The voice of a self-confessed mass murderer Joshua Blahyi.

During the Liberian civil war of the '90s, Blahyi's ruthless band of child soldiers was among the most feared militias in the country.

Back then he called himself General Butt Naked, which would be funny if he hadn't been such a butcher.

He admits responsibility for thousands of civilian casualties, yet Liberia won't prosecute him.

These days he's an evangelical preacher in the capitol city of Monrovia, where he goes around apologizing to his victims and asking forgiveness.

Truly contrite? Or a terrible con?

It's one of the questions raised by an award-winning new documentary entitled The Redemption Of General Butt Naked, which debuted at the recent Sundance Film Festival.

Daniele Anastasion is the film's co-director and producer, along with Eric Strauss.

 Daniele's conversation with Rick, from Washington

 Why Joshua Blahyi fights naked, from the movie.


The film will be featured at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto later this month, with the first showing on April 30th.

One-time bad boy pop star Michel Martelly will soon take the stage as Haiti's new president. Photo/AP.


Haiti's new president 

Haiti's emerged from recent elections relatively unbloodied. But the new president's country remains an open wound.

Rebuilding after last year's earthquake is a test for the most venerable and experienced politician, and Michel Martelly is neither of those things.

CBC Correspondent Connie Watson reports from Port-Au-Prince
on the challenges ahead.

 Connie's talk with Rick

The operatic redemption of Tijuana

Soprano Zully Martinez sings at the Mexico-U.S. border crossing in Tijuana. Photo/Marcelina Guadiana Cerda .

Like Haiti, Mexico has something of an image problem. Except there, drugs, guns and gang warfare are the constant refrain.

In the border city of Tijuana, Swedish journalist Claes Andreasson reports that some artists and music lovers are trying to do something about it.

 

 Claes's operatic dispatch

 

The agony of defeat in the Dakar ring.  Photo/Sean Liliani

Sandbox millionaires

More popular than soccer in many parts of Africa, taditional wrestling has grown into a major sport. 

Every year, wrestlers hoping to achieve fame and fortune converge on Dakar for an annual tournament.

The once-traditional form of local competition is now seen by many as the route from rags to riches.  

Sean Liliani is ring-side in Dakar, Senegal with this week's View From Here.

 Listen to Sean's VFH now


For more photos click here for Sean's photo gallery.

 

 Coming up next week...

We'll have an interview with journalist and author Peter Godwin who discusses the underreported decay in his homeland of Zimbabwe.

 Hear a bit of Peter's interview


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

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