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July 29 & August 1: from Buenos Aires - Havana - Qihang Salvation Training Camp, China - Jos, Nigeria - Rome

The stuff of Italian TV. Getty

Italy's fascination with prime-time porn.  Why televison there treats women like sex toys.

A suitcase full of cash.  A suspect singing like a canary. Did a foreign government try to buy Argentina's election?

In China, Deng Senshan spent all his time on the internet. So his parents sent him to boot camp, where the cure proved fatal.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, very few are allowed to go on it. We'll hear from some enterprising webheads dodging state control.

And, kill or die.  The violence between Christians and Muslims in a Nigerian village.

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An encore edition of Dispatches in the summer.

Bimba Italiana

Picture this.  Long day at work. You go home, flick on the TV.  And there's a woman hanging from a hook, her backside posed to look like one of the hams on other hooks around her.

In Italy that's entertainment, apparently.

Italians won't put up with nudity and degradation of women in public, but for some reason it's okay on television.

Whatever happened to the country's feminist movement?

Maybe a little decorum is too much to expect from in a country led by a prime minister with a famously roving eye -- who also controls the TV networks.

We asked our Rome contributor, Megan Williams, to consider why women are seen naked, but rarely heard, on Italian televison.

Megan's dispatch...

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The Case Of The Stuffed Suitcase

Alejandro Antonini helped a fellow passenger carry a heavy suitcase through airport customs in Argentina. 

Inside were nearly $800,000 in U.S. greenbacks. 

Maybe he knew. Maybe he didn't.

But when authorities pressured Antonini,  he high-tailed it out of there, spilling a tale of secret flights, cash drops and worse. 

In his book, The Secrets Of The Suitcase, journalist Hugo Alconada alleges the money was an effort by the a foreign country to influence the election of Argentine president Cristina Kirchner. 

She succeeded her husband as president in 2007.

And the source of the cash?  The secret of the suitcase?  Alconada says the evidence points to Kirchner's neighbour: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Rick's interview with Hugo Alconada, from Buenos Aires...

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Hugo Alconada is with La Nacion in Argentina


The Queen Of Fandango

Latin America lost a treasure this year.  Colombian Folksinger Etelvina Maldonado died in January, at 75.

She wasn't well known abroad, or at home for that matter. But her passing made front-page news on the government website.

She sang more at house parties than recording studios. She liked boleros. And rancheros.  And tangos. 

But she excelled at the music of Colombia's Caribbean coast known as bullerengue

And when Etelvina Maldonado sang it, she owned it.

From the Grand National Concert of 2008...

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Kill or be killed

A text message appeared on the cellphones of many Nigerians last January.

"Kill before they kill you," it said.

"Slaughter before they slaughter you."

When the rioting finally ended, more than 300 Christians and Muslims lay dead in another ferocious outbreak of religious violence.

Far away, in Washington D.C., Sunday Dare monitored the violence back in his village of Jos, with fear and alarm.

He's editor of the online news website Newsbreaksnow.com -- and he wrote this Dispatches guest essay.

Sunday's letter...

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China's internet gulag

Fifteen-year-old Deng Senshan spent an awful lot of time on the internet, and his parents were getting worried.

After all, the Chinese government had been telling them it can be dangerous and addictive.

So they sent their son away for a new kind of therapy. A boot camp for internet addicts.

Therapy turned out to mean physical abuse. Getting hit with a chair probably hastened his death.

The question is: are thousands of Chinese kids in these camps because of a genuine addiction -- or is it just a fabrication created by a state uncomfortable with technology that competes for authority.
Christopher Stewart wrote about it for Wired magazine. 

He spoke to Rick from New York...

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Cuba's netless  surfers

In Cuba, there's nothing worldwide about the web.

Castro's internet rules are among the most restrictive in the world. 

It's a country of eleven-million, but connections are only available to a couple of hundred-thousand people -- with, well, connections. 

For the average Cuban, getting the internet is like trying to buy black-market plutonium.

But there's a lively underground movement busily inventing ways to go online, as we hear from Canadian journalist Sheena Rossiter in the Cuban capital.

Sheena's documentay...

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Visit the blogs mentioned in Sheena's story: Yoani Sanchez and Yasmin Portales


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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