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Freeing Sex Slaves- - Italy
Angela Slabachuk's story is tragically not unique. Lured from her home and family in Moldova by the promise of babysitting and waitressing work in the West, she found herself a sex slave, smuggled across Europe to Italy where she was repeatedly raped and forced to work as a prostitute. Every night, a hundred illegal immigrants are caught by the border patrol in the Southern tip of Italy. Many are sex slaves like Angela. Angela is one of the lucky ones. Rescued by the authorities, she has found a safe haven at Regina Pacis, a special hostel run by Father Cesare, a Catholic Priest. She has a job, and a home. We profile Angela as she rebuilds her life, and examine Europe's growing problem of sex slavery.
The Mystery of the Crows and why they Invade Towns- Canada
"It's like watching Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"" say worried householders in Woodstock, Ontario, home to a new North American phenomenon - giant crow roosts. For about a month, the small town was besieged by 35,000 crows, outnumbering residents by four thousand, and bringing noise, mess and the fear of disease to a bewildered population. Ornithologists are hard put to explain the crow behaviour, but link it to a changing climate and a loss of the crows' wild habitat, forcing them to seek shelter and food in towns.
Animal Rights Militants- UK Sometimes the passion to safeguard animals from harm can go a little too far. In Britain a group known as the Animal Liberation Front is resorting to terrorist tactics in their fight against companies, which conduct experiments on animals. They claim that any testing, including all scientific testing, on animals must be stopped at all costs and by any means. We profile this group and its efforts to protect animal rights.
Exercise -Walk, Don’t Run and Lose Weight- Netherland
Going to the gym is more popular than ever. Sweat! Get that heart beat up! Burn Calories! This has become a mantra for our times - junk food and gym fever. But a new scientific study says tough workouts may not be doing us any good at all. Professor Klaas Westerterp at Holland's University of Maastricht puts people under laboratory observation in special air chambers, to measure exactly how the human body uses energy, and how best to exercise. His results are astonishing, and his key advice - good old-fashioned walking is more beneficial than a high-impact burn-out at your health club.
The Historical Mysteries of Cleopatra’s Sexiness – USA UK Egypt
Was she the most beautiful woman in the world? A seducer and destroyer of great men? One of the shrewdest political minds of her day? The answers to these questions are matters for debate. But one conclusion is undeniable: More than 2,000 years after her death, Cleopatra stands among the most famous women—and men—who ever lived. Sculpture, coins, metalwork, jewelry, ancient frescoes, mosaics – these priceless archeological finds and masterpieces of ancient art are vital clues to the real Cleopatra. We explore the many faces of this multi-faceted woman, her life in Egypt, and her liaisons with the two great Roman leaders of the day, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Italy Infertility Controversy- Italy
IVF treatment is big business in Italy. Social pressures are so strong, and regulations in Italy so lax, that doctors are known to implant five to eight fertilised eggs into a patient in a bid to achieve a successful pregnancy. This is a dangerous and unethical trend, say European medical authorities - a trend that could endanger the mother and the infants in multiple births where the babies are too small to survive. The Vatican opposes the freezing of fertilized embryos as well as abortions. That religious pressure encourages women to use several fertilised eggs in an In Vitro procedure rather than freeze some for later use. We profile the Rossi family, happy parents of triplets, after Carla Rossi agreed to have five embryos implanted. We also hear from experts who want to bring Italy into line with the rest of Europe.
The New Yugoslavia trying to put it Together - Serbia
We examine how the country has adapted to democracy since the downfall of President Milosevic. Life remains very hard for Serbia's population. Unemployment is high, old-style manufacturing industries have been wiped out. Experts say it will take a long time before Serb banks are running effectively, and economic activity can resume in Serbia. In the meantime, a generation of young adults is facing life with little hope of an economic future. Young Serbs find a respite from the gloom in celebrating their internationally successful basketball team. In the world of sport, if in nothing else, Serbia is still a success
. Baptist Women Priests - USA
Julie Pennington-Russell is a dynamic community leader - a pastor whose drive and enthusiasm have won her the hearts of her congregation. But she's also a rebel. America's largest Christian sect, the Southern Baptist Convention, has ruled that women should no longer be allowed to be pastors of a congregation. They believe the Bible expressly forbids women from taking a leading role over men - in church and within the family. Deep divisions are growing between the Southern Baptists, and passions run high on both sides.
Old Jewish Sounds Catch on in Berlin - the Revival of Klezmer Music - Germany
Klezmer has always been the voice-piece of Jewish expression in Eastern Europe. Its happy/sad tones echoed Jewish optimism and pain throughout centuries of persecution in Poland, Russia and Germany. Now Klezmer has taken on a new twist. Just 60 years after the Nazis murdered six million Jews, new generations of Germans have embraced Klezmer. It is becoming a hit in Berlin's nightclubs. We portray this new obsession and love with Klezmer in the new Germany.
Pedophile Victims come to terms with their Catholic Priest Assailants- US.
Thousands of men and women gathered together in protest in Boston. All were once innocent children. All were the victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. They are forcing the world to recognise what they kept a shameful secret for so many years: the Catholic church routinely helped and supported members of the clergy that the Church knew to be committing crimes of paedophilia. Victims like Phil Saviano - now an activist for catholic reform. Phil was abused from age eleven - now he tells his story. Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian is suing the Catholic Church on behalf of scores of victims. Svea Fraser and her group Voice of the Faithful, are devout Catholics trying to urge radical reform on the Church from within, to break down what they say is a culture of secrecy that has grown up inside the church heirarchy.
The Impact of Music on Athletic Performance - UK
Many top athletes listen to music before a big event. Many of us listen to music while jogging or at the gym. Now scientists are understanding why. We profile the charismatic rock musician and scientist Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in the UK whose research team has discovered that athletes can improve their performance by 18% by listening to the right kind of music. We investigate how music can impact the way we exercise, plus profile an Olympic athlete and upcoming tennis stars who are using this research to maximize their chances for success.
Palestinian Theatre, Much More than Entertainment – West Bank.
Like many small independent theaters the world over, the El Hakawati playhouse suffers budgetary constraints. But this is no ordinary independent theater, rather cutting edge drama in every sense. Some nights, the audience and the leading actors are arrested on their way to the theater. We profile the unique Palestinian Theater "El Hakawati", based in Jerusalem, its inspired directors and actors, and their mission to bring the language of drama to the lives of Palestinians. Theater is not traditionally part of Palestinian culture. Palestinians' lives are too fraught with the struggle of daily living to give much value to entertainment. Muslim religious law frowns on female actors taking part in stage productions. Yet despite all these challenges, the theater has established itself as a vital forum for discussion among Palestinian society. Actors, writers and directors are using the medium of theater not just for entertainment but to discuss the fundamental questions affecting Palestinians today.
Poles Open Old Painful Wounds Concerning Holocaust- Poland
In July 1941 the Jews of the Polish town of Radzislow were gathered together in the town square. They were beaten, stabbed and taunted. Then they were herded into a barn where they were burned alive. The atrocity was carried out by the Polish inhabitants of Radzislow. But this fact has only now come to light, with the publication of a book "Neighbours" by American academic Jan Gross. The book has caused uproar in Poland, and has formed the catalyst for widespread soul-searching among a nation that always considered itself to be the victims of the Nazi horror, not the perpetrators. The church is divided, torn between a wish to make amends for the past, and vigorously denying accusations that Poles and the church were involved in carrying out ethnic cleansing against Jews. We investigate Poland’s efforts to uncover the painful facts of its past.
Genetically Modified Wine - Sour Grapes? - USA
Wine is the most traditionally-minded of industries, whose processes date back to prehistory. Now winemakers are being forced to confront one of its most modern technologies: genetic modification. Academics in Florida have found a way to combat Pierce's disease, the virus that is the scourge of California's vast wine industry. They have patented a gene derived from the silkworm which when implanted into the grape vines, makes them resistent to the disease. But many winemakers are aghast, fearing that while the technology might save their grapes, it might wipe out the allure and mystique - and the sales - of their product.
Ancient Hominids, Earliest Evidence of Man in the Middle East – Jordan / Israel
Early pre-humans were here, according to a team of researchers from the Geophysical Institute of Israel and Oregon University. Using special magnetic techniques, scientists have found that a rock formation in Israel called Erk-el-Ahmar is between 1.7 million and 2.0 million years old, making the hominid tools and artifacts discovered there perhaps the oldest in the world outside of Africa.
We uncover some of the ancient mysteries of the area around the Sea of Galilee. New geological findings using the magnetic techniques offer crucial evidence about the timing and migration path of hominids out of Africa - today's hot topic in anthropology world.
Slow Cities Cling To the Past, Fighting Modernisation - Italy Lorenzo Falorni sees himself not as a mere butcher, but as guardian of Tuscany's historic culinary delicacies. This is Greve, a "slow" city. Fast food, neon, advertising billboards - all have been banned here. The "slow" movement is taking hold throughout Italy and across Europe. Small towns are deciding to preserve their unique heritage and character, and not give way to brash commercialism that is making towns, in all corners of the globe, look and feel identical. Rustic charm, traditional vineyards and chatty neighbours abound here - the slow city formula is proving a boon for small businesses and encouraging tourism.
Marriage Classes - Essential for Wedded Bliss? - USA
In Florida you can get a discount on the marriage license fee so long as you take a pre-marital class. Other states are set to follow Florida's example. The aim, "marriage renaissance" as America counts the cost of funding its 50% divorce rate.
In Maryland, we profile couples participating in "PAIRS" pre-marriage training seminars, including group role-play and movement exercises. We meet couples undergoing counseling through their church, and hear from advocates of marriage education. In the courthouse, a young couple getting married have taken no classes, passed no tests. Do they have what it takes for a happy marriage?
Revolutionary Robotic Surgery Techniques - France
Hands-free surgery is the way of the future. Operations that are now carried out by the nimble hands of an experienced master surgeon will soon be placed into the care of infinitely more precise robots. In France, one surgeon is pioneering the treatment of prostate cancer using robotic methods. He has patients flocking to him from around the world, and legions of surgeons queuing to learn from him.
At Prof Vallancien's special research lab, new models of voice-activated robots are developed and tested, including tests on laboratory pigs. We profile the techniques that are set to revolutionize surgery.
Gene therapy, a Glimmer of Hope for Genetic Diseases - USA
Lindsay Karlin suffers from Canavan's disease - a rare genetic brain disorder. It is fatal in 100 percent of cases. Her only hope is a new and highly controversial gene therapy treatment, which her doctors believe can slow the progress of the disease. But her doctors are fighting for funding. Without the approval of the US medical authorities their research program will be forced to shut down. We profile the scientists working to unlock the mysteries of our genetic code, and the parents fighting for their children's lives.
Plight of Iraqi refugees in Jordan - Jordan
We profile the huge community of refugees who fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq to make their home in Jordan. But the dream of a new life often becomes a harsh reality - unemployment and extreme poverty in the capital Amman. Because they are living illegally in Jordan, they are unable to receive any benefits as citizens: their children cannot enter school, as they do not officially exist. Their hardship finds its voice in the songs and rhythms they brought with them, which can be heard as young people gather to play and sing, and remember the life they shared and lost.
Fighting Commercialisation of Anne Frank's Legacy - The Netherlands
Anne Frank has come to symbolize the Nazi extermination of 6 million Jews in a way that has astonished even those in charge of her legacy. In 1999, Anne Frank was nominated one of the top 100 important figures of the 20th century. Her diary is more popular than ever, more visitors than ever are flocking to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, which has become almost a place of pilgrimage especially for young people.
We examine the legacy of Anne Frank and ask why public interest in her story has grown massively over time and is continuing to grow. Many Dutch Holocaust survivors feel ambivalent about Anne Frank's continued fame and this use of her "message", and are angry that their own stories have been "lost". Are we in danger of ignoring the greater picture of what happened to the victims of the holocaust in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, by making Anne herself a symbol for the broad themes of racism and discrimination?
Austria’s aversion to Immigrants -Austria
"Over-foreignisation" is how Austrian right-wing parties are describing the current debate on immigration in their country. In some Vienna schools, over eighty percent of the pupils do not speak German as their native language. There is significant support for limiting the number of foreigners allowed to live in Austria, as Austrians say their own culture is being swallowed up by a rapidly expanding Islamic population. While Austria has a particularly high number of Turkish and Serbian immigrants, the country can be seen as a microcosm of the rest of Europe in a few years' time. Are separate Islamic and "native-born" school systems the answer? Should quotas be set on immigrants? We follow Austria's struggle to define itself and its future.
West Nile Virus - Scientists try to Stop This New Plague – Mid East / USA
It is one of the deadliest new viruses to have emerged on the planet. Unknown in 1999 it now terrorizes a growing list of victim nations. The bird-borne disease - which can trigger fatal inflammations of the brain, or encephalitis - caused panic when it broke out in America, killing seven New Yorkers. It was the first outbreak in the Western hemisphere. We profile the entomologists whose job it is to track down the deadly mosquitoes in New York. In Israel we examine how migrating birds are involved in transporting the virus. In a global society, we ask whether there is any possibility to contain or check the spread of West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases.
Falling Bridges Split Rich and Poor - Portugal
A half-destroyed bridge perched precariously on the Douro River has become a symbol for the "haves" and the "have-nots" of Portugal. On the Northern bank, the prosperous city of Opporto, European City of Culture for 2001. On the southern bank, rural communities struggle to make a living, their farms on the brink of bankruptcy. One of these poverty-stricken villages is Castelo de Paiva. In March 2001, the bridge collapsed and a bus taking villagers on a day trip was plunged into the river. 69 people died. The tragedy has highlighted the chaotic state of Portugal's roads and bridges and the deep social and economic divide between the main cities and the rural communities. We profile the "haves" and the "have-nots" in Northern Portugal.
Children Serving Adult Sentences in Florida jails - USA
Brian Woods does not have the daily routine of an average American fifteen year old. He is not allowed to go out, see his friends, play football, use the telephone. For two years, Brian has been incarcerated in one of Florida's county jails, since he was arrested for breaking and entering a house, and attempted murder of the house owner. Under Florida's laws, for such a serious offence, Brian was to be "transferred" from the juvenile justice system to the adult court. He faced a life sentence in an adult prison if convicted. Every year there are over 2,000 cases in Florida alone where the prosecuting judge sends a child to the adult court jurisdiction. Florida transfers and imprisons more children than any other state.
Albanian and Macedonians Try to Find Novel Ways to Co-Exist- Macedonia
In Skopje, we meet a musician whose songs call for peace between Macedonian slavs and the Albanian community. We profile a family who were forced to flee their home, as ethnic violence erupted in their city. This piece examines the two cultures existing side by side, Slavic and Albanian - two languages, two histories, two religions - and asks if there is any possibility for peaceful coexistence, or if Macedonia is a pressure cooker soon to explode in the next round of violence that characterizes the Balkans today.
After 40 years of Totalitarian Rule, Czech Communists claim Democracy Abuses their Rights - Czech Republic
The banner reads "prosperity - housing - welfare". This is the newly revamped Czech communist party, which is growing in size and support in a country that so firmly rejected Communism and all it stood for, just a few years ago. We meet young people, unemployed and dissatisfied with what their country has to offer them, who have turned to the Communist party for a new set of ideals. At the new Communist museum, ironically the creation of a US businessman, visitors are treated to the pomp and glory of Communist days, as well as shocking images of the Soviet invasion which crushed the Prague Spring uprising in 1968. In chic, bustling Prague, where designer fashions and mobile phones are definitely "in" we profile the growing grassroots support for a return to Communist values.
The Plight of Mexican Children, Illegal Immigrants to the US - Mexico
Florence Arizona houses one of America's biggest penitentiaries. The huge hulking structure dwarfs this otherwise ordinary small town. But it is home not only to dangerous criminals. 20,000 illegal immigrants a year spend time in this prison, while the Immigration Service, the INS, decides whether to deport them. "Illegal aliens" - asylum seekers and economic migrants - who make their way over America's Mexican border, have no legal status once they reach the US. Many illegal immigrants are children, who are housed in large institutions.
We profile the Florence Project, which fights for the rights of children who arrive alone in the United States. Under the current laws, the US does not appoint a "guardian ad lidem" to safeguard these children's best interests. The Florence Project struggles to fight the system from within, as the INS cracks under the strain of ever-increasing immigration.
Mysterious Sinkholes Gobbling up the Desert - Israel
At the lowest spot on earth, in the arid baking heat of the Dead Sea shore, mysterious geological forces are literally gobbling up palm trees, leaving strange craters in the earth. Scientists are struggling to understand the phenomenon. Farmers and residents are very worried. 25 sink holes opened up in the past year alone, with no warning at all. They have gobbled up four farmers - all were rescued - and narrowly missed a tractor and a bus. Geologists calculate the problem stems from the sinking level of the Dead Sea, as valuable minerals are extracted from the famous mud in what has become a huge industry. While the Dead Sea dries out, residents of the nearby Ein Gedi kibbutz are alarmed that the gobblers may eat away at their community's future.
Russia's Cultural Renaissance – Russia
Andre Voznisenski’s latest artwork shows a condom encasing a model of a cathedral. Elsewhere, a Moscow theatre shows a modern reworking of a Czechov class that depicts an old warhorse being beaten and humiliated by his younger rivals. Both are examples of a new artistic renaissance, which is sweeping modern Russia, in the current climate of political and economic turmoil. Traditionally, the arts have always flourished in Russia at times of crisis. Now Russia’s writers and artists are receiving not just local but international acclaim. And the feeling of artistic regeneration is being compared to the heydays of 1920s Russia. We profile the avant-garde artists flourishing in the heat of social and political change, whose work reflects and criticizes today’s Russian society.
Robot Makers Vancouver Canada
Picture the world's biggest rescue operation: New York's Twin Towers disaster. When the extreme heat, dust and falling rubble made access impossible for human rescue workers, tiny remote-controlled robots led the way. Designers in Vancouver, Canada, are creating special search-and-rescue robots that are specially equipped for finding and rescuing victims in a major disaster. These robots can detect and defuse a hidden bomb, or travel down water pipes on surveillance missions. This is a unique insight into the fascinating world of robotics and how these mechanical wonders are shaping our world.
E-commerce, ‘Death of the Salesmen’? - USA
From double glazing to booking a holiday, buying a TV or doing the week’s grocery shopping, the world of sales is on the brink of a revolution. In the US, the Internet Shopping boom, long-predicted, is finally starting to become a reality. With more and more of the population getting online, shopping via the web is no longer the province of geeks and gadget lovers. Vast improvements in Internet security means more people than ever are ready to give their credit card details through the Internet. But the technological revolution is not just a radical change for shoppers. It could mean massive unemployment for conventional sales people. In a world that shops online, who needs to visit a high street travel agent, a car dealership, even a supermarket? We examine a world without sales people, and profile what could be the last remaining members of their profession.
Stem Cell Research, Legal but very Controversial - UK
Stem Cells derived from human embryos may be used to grow and harvest kidneys and livers, repair the brain or heart. This is the prediction of several prominent scientists actively researching the potential of stem cells. Pro Life groups say this research is sanctioned murder because it means destroying human embryos.
In the United States pro-lifers have succeeded in limiting stem cell research. We profile American scientists who have emigrated to the UK to overcome that limitation to develop the healing potential of stem cells
New York Reconstruction -19th Century Architecture
comes back to life -USA
Since the tragedy of the Twin Towers terror attack on September 11th, 2001, New York City is pouring millions of dollars into reconstruction. We profile some of the people behind that reconstruction, and some of the other projects that are underway to restore the city to its past glory - a past that reaches back into the 19th century. City structural engineer Tim Lynch takes us on a tour of New York's architectural gems, including Grand Central Station, the theatre where the Lion King is playing, and a historic armory building. We examine the future for buildings old and new in the city of New York.
Dreams of New Lives in a New Cyprus- Cyprus
Cyprus has been divided for nearly thirty years. Divided between Turkish Cypriots in the North and Greek Cypriots in the South. Divided between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot armies. Division means that almost one in four Cypriots is a refugee. Phoutoula Leonitou considers herself to be a second generation refugee. Her family fled their home in Famagusta in the summer of 1974 when the Turkish army invaded Northern Cyprus following a coup on the island backed by the then military government in Athens. Now a new spirit of rapprochement is taking shape in Cyprus. Leaders from both sides are meeting for talks. Cyprus is keen to be accepted for EU membership, and that means that a peace deal will have to be worked out. Only if this happens will Phoutoula be able to go back to the place she still calls home, on the other side of her divided island.
How Bugs Solve Violent Crimes-Canada
Mass graves. Mysterious homicides. In complicated murder cases, detectives are often unable to pin down the most crucial piece of evidence: when the victim, or victims, died. Gail Anderson has developed a system for tracking down the crucial evidence. Her witnesses - flies and beetles. Dr. Anderson is a forensic entomologist, who uses the study of insects to help crack cases of homicide. Based at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, she has developed a unique laboratory for rearing and testing insects that are gathered from the scene of a crime. Her evidence has been used to catch killers, and to exonerate the innocent. We profile Anderson's work and find out how these techniques can be used around the world to bring criminals to justice.
Biosphere at the Eden Centre, the World's Biggest Artificial Environment - UK
It is the most extensive and largest artificial environment project in the world. Based in cold windy Cornwall England, scientists have created the largest Bio-Sphere in the globe. It contains a complete jungle environment. Another Bio-Sphere harbours a Mediterranean climate. The message of Eden is environmental awareness, that without these climates life cannot survive on the globe. The message is being taken in, tens of thousands of visitors flock to the Eden project every week, far surpassing the expected numbers.
Revolutionary fight against Desertification-trees that can withstand brakish water. Israel
Desertification of planet earth means that in the next fifty years scientists predict that up to half of the earth's surface will be dry and saline. Scientists at Hebrew University Institute of Plant Sciences have isolated proteins in the poplar tree to enable it to grow in desert and saline conditions. We profile Professor Arie Altman, plant geneticist, whose poplar trees may hold the answer to an increasingly arid planet, by giving a clue to how scientists can engineer crops to withstand drought.
Commercial Art Popularity: Is it a Dumb Fad or the New Mega Million Dollar Art Wave- USA
Thomas Kinkade is the world's most successful artist. His fans can't get enough of him. His softly-coloured, sentimental pictures of American life are instantly recognisable and preach a message of peace and tradition to his adoring public. But are his mass-produced prints really art, or is it overpriced kitsch? We meet the "painter of light" who is a business phenomenon, a cultural icon adored by middle America and hated by the "serious" art world.
USA/Mid East - Can airlines really protect passengers from the threat of terrorism
Italy - Freeing Sex Slaves and rehabilitation
UK - Animal Rights Militants
Egypt - Western Society clashes with Islamic values
USA - Children serving adult sentences in Florida jails
Czech Republic - After 40 years of totalitarian rule, Czech Communists claim Democracy is abusing their rights
Serbia - The New Yugoslavia trying to put it together
USA - Baptist Women Priests
Germany - Old sounds for a new audience - the revival of klezmer music
USA - Training American Police and Firefighters how to deal with mass terror in the Nevada desert
UK - The impact of Music on Athletic Performance
Palestine - Palestinian Theatre, much more than entertainment
Germany - Muslim citizens feel unjustly branded as terrorists
UK- Biosphere at the Eden Centre, the world's biggest artificial environment
Egypt - Egypt's mania for soccer
Israel/Palestine - The Temple Mount - ground zero for conflict
USA - Classes - essential for wedded bliss?
France - Revolutionary robotic surgery techniques
Austria - Austria's aversion to Moslem immigrants and effect on education
Mid East / USA - West Nile Virus - scientists try to stay on top of this new plague
Portugal - Falling Bridges split rich and poor
USA - Gene therapy, a glimmer of hope for genetic diseases
Jordan - Plight of Iraqi refugees in Jordan
The Netherlands - Anne Frank's legacy lives on, and on
West Bank and Israel - Victims profile of Mid East violence
Italy - Infertility controversy
USA UK Egypt - The historical mysteries of Cleopatra's sexiness
Turkey - Kurdish communities living in fear
USA - E-commerce, death of the salesmen?
UK - Stem Cell Research, legal but very controversial
USA - New York Reconstruction -19th Century Architecture comes back to life
Cyprus - Dreams of new lives in a new Cyprus
Canada - How bugs solve violent crimes
Germany - The war of the Green Party
USA - Genetically modified wine - sour grapes?
Jordan Valley Israel - Ancient Hominids, earliest evidence of man in the middle east
Mexico - The plight of Mexican children, illegal immigrants to the US
Israel - Mysterious sinkholes gobbling up the desert
Russia - Russia's Cultural Renaissance
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