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July 7 & 10: from Cape Town, South Africa - Kabul, Afghanistan - Democratic Republic of Congo - Mogadishu, Somalia - Germany

Rape victims Elizabeth and Imelda outside a Goma court in the DRC. (Photo/Stephen Puddicombe)

The Redemption of Larry Joe, a South African convict trying to make a good finish from a bad start.  

Then, justice delayed for the wartime victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Afghanistan's wounded set up a roadside pension plan, though some  might call it extortion. 

And, a free-fire zone, unruly troops, and the streetlights don't work. Welcome to the world of Mogadishu's Mayor.  

Listen to individual items from the program

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Larry leaves the Douglas Prison last December, a free man with a musical mission. 

 The Redemption of Larry Joe

Larry Joe, a troubled convict hoping for a music career, meets a restless music producer unsatisfied with his own.

That producer happened to be a one of the founders of the highly-popular group Freshly Ground.
The CBC's Corinne Smith picks up our story outside a penitentiary in the town of Douglas in South Africa's northern cap -- where Larry was released at the time his record was. 

Listen to Corinne's documentary

Larry Joe has been a free man now for more than six months. In that time, he's been touring, and holding workshops around South Africa.

Read and hear more about Larry Joe and his CD.

Read letters from listeners about Larry Joe 


Disabled men act as unofficial traffic cops at one of Kabul's main traffic circles. Photo/Ariel Nasr

 The View From Here:

 Kabul's curbside cops, or crooks?

Car, taxi and bus drivers trying to get through the main traffic circle heading north out of Kabul get help.  Disabled war veterans guide them with pointy sticks - but not for free.

 Listen to Ariel Nasr's View From Here




 Ominous words about our oceans

Photo: AP

The city of Brantford, Ontario made marine history recently when it became the first municipality in North America to ban the sale of shark fin soup. This at a time when overfishing and underregulation are ravaging global fish stocks.

In just the past twelve months, global warming is blamed for one of the worst die-offs ever seen on the world's coral reefs, a resource that  supports fisheries that feed millions.

These stories surface now and again, but for those in the field, it's a daily frustration. 

And a panel of experts in London, England recently put it about as bluntly as it gets; if the fish die, we die.

Here's a sampling of comments, starting with Oxford zoology professor Alex Rogers, followed by Professor Charles Sheppard, international consultant on marine affairs. And Richard Page of Greenpeace, campaigning for protected marine reserves. They spoke at The Frontline Club in London, England.

Listen to their remarks now


Rape victims Elizabeth and Imelda stand next to their attackers in a Goma court in the DRC. Photo/Stephen Puddicombe

Congo Justice: a court that nobody trusts.

Life expectancy in the Democratic Republic of Congo is 47 years, one of the lowest in the world.

But the chances of getting raped there are among the highest in the world.

The country's long civil war targets civilians in the Kivu provinces of northern Congo, and women are chief among the casualties.

It's home to the largest U.N. peace-keeping mission in the world, but the force of 27,000 is powerless to police a country a quarter the size of the U.S.

The DRC's shambolic legal system offers little justice and even less of a deterrent as the CBC's Stephen Puddicombe discovered in the rape capital of the world.

  Hear Stephen's dispatch now

And that case, unlike many, ended with convictions. The judge sentenced those men to twelve years in prison. 

CBC correspondent Neil Macdonald

This is not America

Earlier this year, we aired a special Sountrack edition of Dispatches that featured music we've played on the show as well as stories and music chosen by CBC correspondents.  One of those stories came from Rick's old friend, Neil Macdonald. who's is familiar to many of you for his reports on the CBC airwaves from around the world. 

Rick and Neil started with old times, but eventually got around to David Bowie.

Listen to Rick and Neil's conversation now

Mohamed Noor left his life in London to become the new mayor of Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, five months ago.  He told his family not to be surprised if he's killed on the job.  Photo/AP 

Wanted: mayor. Must be willing to risk life.

Mohamed Ahmed Noor is the Mayor of a city he describes as being "in a coma," and accepts he could get killed on the job.

That's one of the milder things said about the Somali capitol of Mogadishu these days, where government troops are fighting the rebels group known as al-Shabab. 

The Mayor grew up in the Somali capital, but lived in England for many years. Ran an internet cafe. 

Leaving the bright lights of London for no lights in Mogadishu has some saying he's an inspiration, though others might think him flat-out crazy. 

And Mohamed Ahmed Noor joined Rick from a stopover in Nairobi, Kenya.  

Since that story aired in February, Noor took a trip back to London to ask Somalis expats to invest in Mogadishu. 

The BBC reports that as part of his pitch, he showed potential investors a video of a brass band marching through the streets of Mogadishu. It was part of a music festival he organized, and a symbol of progress. 

That afternoon, the BBC reports, Al-Shabab rode into town and fired on the crowd, killing four people. Among them, the leader of the brass band. 
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