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June 30 & July 3: from Israel - Colombia - Berlin - Democratic Republic of Congo - Agra, India

U.S. President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (with Henry Kissinger) agreed in 1969 that Israel would adopt a policy of "ambiguity" about whether it had nukes. (Photo/Nixon Library) 

Israel has nukes, but says little about them, says a controversial Israeli author, here to reveal what his government won't.  

The story of Kidnap Radio in Colombia, where so many people are held hostage, there's a program just for their families, and our correspondent's father was one of them. 

A cultural quandry in Germany, where life threatens to limitate art in an East Berlin landmark.   

Then, the best-laid plans can't prevent our our correspondent getting his seat pinched on an Indian passenger train. 

And, the message in the music of the Congo's Clever Boys.

Israel's nukes: Don't ask, don't tell

You could forgive Israel its nuclear nervousness. A couple of well-placed bombs over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv could end the country.   Survival was the reason it began building its own back in the 60's, though it's never publicly admitted to having any.    

Consequently, Israel is a precedent in international affairs.  The world's only unacknowledged nuclear power. It's got nukes, and other states pretend not to know. But that policy of "don't ask don't tell" is no longer appropriate, says Avner Cohen, who first revealed Israel's nuclear history in a 1998 book. He's a respected academic, currently Senior Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies. 

And he has more to say in his most recent book, The Worst Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain With The Bomb. It reveals Israel's atomic weapons are not accountable to any legal process.

And for Cohen, it's a betrayal of the democratic values Israel purports to uphold.  
Avner Cohen joined Rick in studio earlier this year.

The bombed-out Tacheles art house is one of Berlin's most visited sites. Photo/Kunsthaus Tacheles

Artsy grunge vs. das Kapital

In east Berlin, a shrine of the sub-culture is up for auction, and not everyone's happy about it. It's called Tacheles.

You'll even find it in the guidebooks. An art collective that sprang from the repression of life in the former communist regime.

But what was once just a bohemian squat in a bombed-out building, is now prime real estate.

And the artists could be evicted at any time as we hear from Dispatches contributor Alexa Dvorson, in upper east side Berlin.

Hear Alexa's dispatch

Congo's Clever Boys

Over the past season, in our Soundtrax segments, our listeners and correspondents have been telling us stories about the role that music's played in their travels. 

We'll revisit some of them through the summer.  And this week its the turn of the CBC's Stephen Puddicombe, recorded while he was on assignment in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

Stephen and Rick talk about The Clever Boys

CBC Correspondent Anthony Germain

Throw Anthony from the train

Here's a story in which our correspondent suffers a little aggro getting to Agra.

 Listen to Anthony Germain's View from Here now

Reporter Annie Correal..

Colombia's captive audience

At its peak in Colombia, more than 3,000 people were kidnapped each year, most famously, presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, held for six years.

The practice is declining.  But many hostages are still held by paramilitary or Marxist rebel groups like the one known as FARC, trying to ransom or exchange them for imprisoned colleagues.  

In some cases, the families haven't heard from their captive relatives for years. Yet they have a way of staying in touch.

This is the remarkable story of Kidnap Radio, one that reporter Annie Correal experienced first-hand...

Click here for Annie's dispatch

Annie Correal is a reporter based in New York City with the Spanish-language newspaper El Diario La Prensa.

She produced that documentary with Jay Allison for the public radio website called Transom.org, part of the Open Studio Project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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