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UK - Out of Sight - 23' min 00'' sec [14 September 2009]

Treatment of Asylum Seekers under spotlight

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As reports of rampant and outrageous maltreatment of asylum seekers come to light, we follow the struggles of three asylum seekers, who fled torture in their homeland for a ‘sanctuary’ of abuse.
"I arrived here nearly dead" Marjorie remembers, "but they didn’t give me asylum". Marjorie and fellow torture-survivor, Naomi, describe their stays in detention centres as ‘unliveable’. Now facing a ‘split family removal’ order, Naomi will be deported and her 2 year old daughter, taken into care: "the man told me he would take me back to Uganda even if he had to break my hands".

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Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Rising - 22' min 43'' sec [14 September 2009]

This weekend EU Mugabe meeting

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Six months ago, Zimbabwe’s two warring political factions came together to form an awkward unity government. Today, there are signs of a new start in this divided and troubled country.
Government agencies in Zimbabwe have been struggling to provide basic services. But now optimism is sweeping the country and Zimbabweans are starting to clean up after years of national neglect. Volunteers are out in force. ‘We’re digging this hole for all the rubbish’ explains one woman. Yet ask who is running the country at a nearby MDC rally and the answer is unamimous: ‘There is nothing Mugabe does without consulting Tsvangirai’. Yet rallies are the only way the MDC can express opinions. Mugabe still controls the security forces, the legal system and the media. People like Tsumele, who was set on fire by Zanu PF thugs, must now live among their attackers. ‘I forgive them' says Tsumele, ‘but my friends were shot dead. It’s difficult to seek forgiveness from a dead person’. Many MDC ministers see Mugabe halting their input through ‘frivolous charges’. ‘Any member of our side can be picked up and locked away at any time’, says one MDC minister. The first day of constitutional talks collapsed amid scuffles and accusations. Will Zimbabwe's current calm turn out to be nothing more than a lull between the storms?

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World - Bear Dreams - 7' min 26'' sec [14 September 2009]

Muzzled and maimed for entertainment and medicine

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Worldwide, bears are still being subjected to extreme cruelty. Harrowing images of bears performing circus acts and being attacked by wild dogs for sport begs the question: when will this cruelty end?
When Jill Robinson held the paw of a caged bear in China, she became determined to help end this sort of cruelty. ‘She really started the whole dream of the China Bear Rescue’ explains Jill tearfully, remembering her encounter. ‘She started a goal that we are never, never going to give up on until we’ve ended bear farming in China.’ Yet the shocking treatment of bears is not restricted to China. In Russia bears are woken from hibernation and killed so their cubs can be taken and sold. Whilst in India, metal rings are forced through the bears’ noses and they are prodded to ‘dance for the tourists’. A shocking and sad report.

A film by Savas Karakas
Savaş Karakaş and Sibel Mesçi

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UK - Still Life Aquatic - 3' min 47'' sec [14 September 2009]

Under water sculpture at its best!

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Deep under the waves of the Caribbean Sea lies one of the world's most unusual and stunning art galleries. Slip on your wet suit and take a look at the beauty of Jason de Caires Taylor's sculptures.
A circle of 26 children stands on the ocean floor. Slowly they're becoming part of their undersea world. "It's about how children adapt to their surroundings. They take on the characteristics and personality of where they are", explains sculptor and scuba diver Jason. Learning to combine his two passions, Jason's "underwater works are designed to become an artificial reef".

Keywords: quirky, bizarre
Zac Assemakis

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