The View from Here: February 2011 Archives

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Dublin...the government suffers a humiliating defeat here

Outgoing Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was soundly defeated in Ireland's recent election.(Photo/Reuters)

The Fianna Fail government in Ireland appears to be well and truly dead.

Over the weekend the Irish voted in a general election, and the winners, the Fine Gael party, are calling it a "democratic revolution at the ballot box." Fine Gael is expected to create a coalition with the Labour Party -- and form the country's record largest majority.

And when there's a big winner....there's bound to be a big loser too. Fianna Fail, which has been in power in Ireland for 90 per cent of the last quarter century, came in a humiliating third place, reduced to 17 seats.

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Kabul's curbside cops

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


Reporter Ariel Nasr visits the Kabul traffic circle that's infamous for the "help" disabled war vets give motorists trying to navigate traffic jams.  Some call what they charge a pension supplement.  Others call it extortion.

click here for Ariel's VFH

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Whoonga -- what's in the killer street drug of Durban?

Powdered whoonga is sprinkled on tobacco or marijuana providing an addictive and toxic high.(Photo/Anders Kelto)

There's a new street drug in South Africa that really is poison. 

Junkies get sick if they take it, and sicker if they don't.

Journalist Anders Kelto traced it from the streets of Kwa Dabekaa township near Durban right into the laboratory, to discover what's hooking people on whoonga.

  Listen to Anders' View From Here

 His full documentary is on the February 24/27 edition of Dispatches

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Urumqi, China..underground music here

Musicians among China's Uyghur Muslims have their backs to China and their ears to the west: the Islamic nations of Central Asia and beyond. Sameer Farooq met performers who agree they have to sound independent -- but differ on whether pop or traditional music does that best. He went underground in Urumqi to meet a rap collective called 6 City.

Sameer's full documentary, in the Feb 17 Dispatches program  

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Kingi, Congo...feared former rebels in the army here

 CBC's Stephen Puddicombe climbs a mountain to a village beset by former rebel soldiers, now in the national army. The DRC recruits former rebels, in an attempt to pacify them.  That's been mostly successful. In many cases though, Stephen reported on the Dispatches Feb 17 program, it is not.     Stephen's full documentary

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Lampedusa Island...Tunisian refugees land here

The uprising in Tunisia is spilling refugees onto the shores around it.

Megan Williams meets some, on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a hundred kilometres east of Tunisia -- from the Feb 17 Dispatches radio program.

Hear Megan Williams' View From Here