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The Documentary Podcast podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

 

#300

The Fake Paralympians: 6.Fallout

After years in the wilderness, athletes with a learning disability are back at the London 2012 Paralympics - and Dan is among them. There are new tests designed to stop cheating. Do they work? And why, 21 years on from the basketball scandal, are there still fewer medals for intellectual impairment athletes than there were at Sydney 2000? Plus Dan catches up one last time with Ray, the genuinely disabled captain of the infamous Spanish basketball team. The scandal has taken a big toll on his life. ... Read more

21 Sep 2021

28 MINS

28:07

21 Sep 2021


#299

Afghanistan and me

As Afghanistan reaches a turning point with American troops leaving the country, BBC Pashto presenter Sana Safi tells the story of how her own life has been intertwined with the fate of her country. She tells the story of what it was like for a child to survive in a country caught between the crosshairs of geopolitical conflict, of surviving religious fundamentalism, of growing up in a country without music or books. She describes how violence and conflict forced her family to move from Kandahar to Helmand, only to find themselves caught in the crossfire of a gun battle. How under Taliban rule she effectively became a prisoner in her own home. How the continuing decades of conflict brought tragedy to her own family – and how she could only find security by moving to the UK, where she suffered the pain of separation from her family and homeland. ... Read more

18 Sep 2021

51 MINS

51:08

18 Sep 2021


#298

Dreams

Can sticking to our dreams end up holding us back? Diane and her husband promised they would sell their home on retirement and travel the world. Sadly, he passed away before they could do that. Diane wants to carry on with that plan but the pandemic has made her realise the richness of her community and given her a sense that as she gets older she needs to make best use of the time she has. Perhaps she is wrong to turn her back on where she lives and what she has. Sister Dang Nghiem, a Buddhist Nun, offers gentle counsel and helps Diane towards a resolution. She discusses with the BBC's Sana Safi that the long-long dreams we hold may be found to actually be a distraction from what really matters. ... Read more

18 Sep 2021

24 MINS

24:59

18 Sep 2021


#297

Coronavirus: Vaccinations and hospitals

The United States continues to record some of the highest infection and death rates in the world due to Covid-19. Host Nuala McGovern brings together two hospital nurses in Florida. They share the heartbreak and exhaustion of treating severely ill and dying patients, often young, who they say could have avoided hospital completely by getting vaccinated. Two doctors working in Delhi and Mumbai, say vaccination numbers are soaring. But they worry that festivals and other celebrations may lead to another surge of the disease. They are also concerned the real legacy of coronavirus in India may be its impact on mental health and the education of children in poorer communities. We also hear from teachers in India and the Philippines. ... Read more

18 Sep 2021

24 MINS

24:42

18 Sep 2021


#296

The ethics of Covid booster jabs

The UK joins a growing number of rich countries offering Covid booster vaccines, whilst across Africa only 3% of people have been vaccinated against the virus. Ros Atkins looks into the issue of vaccine inequity ... Read more

18 Sep 2021

10 MINS

10:41

18 Sep 2021


#295

The Rise and Fall of an International Fraudster

Assignment reveals the inside story of Ramon Abbas, one of a new breed of global cyber fraudsters. Snared by the FBI in 2020, Abbas’ is better known as Instagram influencer Hushpuppi, who flaunted a life of designer clothes, private jets and penthouse apartments to millions of followers. Little did they know that his lavish lifestyle was funded through a complex web of cyber-heists. Most cyber-criminals remain nameless, faceless, anonymous and all but untraceable. Now, Assignment unmasks Ramon Abbas, revealing a complicated, sometimes ruthless character driven by a thirst for wealth and celebrity status. ... Read more

16 Sep 2021

26 MINS

26:29

16 Sep 2021


#294

The Fake Paralympians: 5. Court

A criminal case is brought against the so-called fake Paralympians and the team’s organisers. The prosecutor gives the inside take on the legal process and an outcome that left many frustrated. And Dan hears about the man accused of being the mastermind behind the scam and his surprising back story. Will he explain himself and apologise to the victims? ... Read more

14 Sep 2021

28 MINS

28:48

14 Sep 2021


#293

World of Wisdom: Jealousy

Jealousy, rudeness, lack of respect - it can be hard not to be troubled by the way people treat us. Sometimes we may feel that people that we know are jealous and are trying to hold us back. After a personal question from Sneha in India, author of 'Universal Human' Gary Zukav joins the BBC's Sana Safi to explore how to reduce the hurt and distress caused by what others may think. ... Read more

11 Sep 2021

18 MINS

18:36

11 Sep 2021


#292

Afghanistan protests

The Taliban is stamping its authority on Afghanistan, and dealing forcefully with those demonstrating against the new regime. In recent days, the details of the new government's all-male cabinet have provoked some to take to the streets in protest. Host Karnie Sharp hears from people who have been caught up in the demonstrations. Two female medical professionals, a dentist and a doctor, describe how their working lives have changed, having been told they can no longer treat male patients - or even drive to their jobs. Another Afghan woman, a flight attendant, describes her late-night escape from the country. ... Read more

11 Sep 2021

24 MINS

24:08

11 Sep 2021


#291

9/11: The day that changed our lives forever

Twenty years on from the 9/11 terror attacks, New Yorkers and those affected by the events recall where they were and how they have managed to process the horror of what happened. Presenter and New Yorker Joan Mastropaolo, now a volunteer at the 9/11 Tribute Museum, takes us on a tour of the 9/11 memorial and explains what it means to her. Former US poet laureate Billy Collins recalls how writing and performing the official memorial poem – Names. Annie Thoms, a teacher from one of the schools close to ground zero explains how High School students, forced to evacuate amid the confusion. Wajahat Ali, a 20-year-old student at the time recalls how 9/11 changed his and the lives of fellow Muslims overnight. ... Read more

10 Sep 2021

50 MINS

50:35

10 Sep 2021


#290

The mystery of Havana syndrome

Gordon Corera investigates the mysterious illness that has struck American diplomats and spies. It began after some reported hearing strange sounds in Havana 2016, but reports have since spread around the world. Doctors, scientists, intelligence agents and government officials have all been trying to find out what exactly causes these sounds and the lingering health effects. Some call it an act of war, others wonder if it is some new and secret form of surveillance while others believe it could even be in the mind. So who or what is responsible? Producer: Emma Wells Editor: Bridget Harney (Image: Illustration of a man sitting in a chair in a laboratory, a device behind him pulsing wavy beams of microwave energy through his head. Credit: BBC/Gerry Fletcher) ... Read more

09 Sep 2021

26 MINS

26:30

09 Sep 2021


#289

The Fake Paralympians: 4. Probe

There are allegations the cheating went wider within intellectual disability sport, and that it wasn’t just the gold-winning Spanish basketball team. An investigator for the International Paralympic Committee reveals what he found, and discusses specific accusations he heard about another of the basketball teams. The probe has shocking consequences for intellectual disability sport: a total ban from the Paralympic Games. Dan has a heart-to-heart with his mum and dad about the impact on his budding swimming career. And Dan speaks to the man who was in charge of the International Paralympic Committee when it took the decision that has overshadowed Dan’s life ever since. ... Read more

07 Sep 2021

28 MINS

28:04

07 Sep 2021


#288

Mikis Theodorakis remembered

Zorba’s theme from the 1964 film is what the composer Mikis Theodorakis will always be known for outside his native Greece, but in his time he was a figure on the world stage, rubbing shoulders with poets, politicians and artists like Pablo Neruda, Olof Palme and Salvador Dali. His most powerful music evokes a spirit of heroic rebellion that resonated with liberation movements from Greece to Latin America. And, far beyond Zorba, he wrote classical symphonies, ballets, operas, and popular songs as light as a sea breeze. Maria Margaronis recalls this most prolific and energetic composer and political activist, who was arrested, exiled, imprisoned and tortured many times during the most turbulent years of Greece’s 20th Century. ... Read more

05 Sep 2021

50 MINS

50:33

05 Sep 2021


#287

World of Wisdom: Opening up again

When Covid restrictions are lifted, the effort to return to our former lives can present unexpected personal trials. Shops, restaurants and offices have re- opened in Detroit, USA but Alex is finding it very hard to go back into the outside world and start socialising again. Dr Shefali helps him find a way forward and discusses the challenges of leaving home and re-entering the public world in places that have started opening up again, with presenter Sana Safi. ... Read more

04 Sep 2021

18 MINS

18:32

04 Sep 2021


#286

Women of Afghanistan

The last US soldier has left Afghanistan, leaving the Taliban in control of the vast majority of the country. Working women have been told to stay at home for now, for their own safety. Host Nuala McGovern hears from two sisters, who say they feel trapped in their family home in Afghanistan, unable to set foot outside and terrified of the Taliban. She meets Afghan women, who are volunteering at a community centre in London, helping those who have fled their country. They share their own stories of anguish, while helping hundreds of people a day, who continue to try to get their relatives out of the country. Nuala also catches up with a young woman who managed to flee the country on one of the last planes out. She's now in the US - but is still feeling pursued by the Taliban, who are sending her threatening messages in the middle of the night. ... Read more

04 Sep 2021

24 MINS

24:01

04 Sep 2021


#285

Moria - after the fire

The fire that destroyed the sprawling Moria asylum seekers’ camp on the Greek island of Lesvos last September made headlines around the world. For the asylum seekers who lost their makeshift home and most of their possessions, it was a devastating setback. For Greece, still hosting thousands of migrants Europe won’t take in, the fire intensified a determination to move them on elsewhere. What’s happened to some of Moria’s former residents since then? Working with Athens-based journalists Katy Fallon and Stavros Malichudis, Maria Margaronis follows a few of them - all Afghans - as they negotiate the search for safety and stability some migrants call “the game.” After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, tens of thousands of Afghans are trying to leave their country. These are the stories of some who had already made the journey. Presented and produced by Maria Margaronis Special thanks to Lighthouse Reports for their support in gathering this material (Image: Refugee girl playing in the ashes of the ruined Moria camp. Credit: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images) ... Read more

02 Sep 2021

26 MINS

26:43

02 Sep 2021


#284

The Fake Paralympians: 3. Lost

The cheating is now out in the open and the players - including genuinely-disabled captain Ray - have to hand back their gold medals. But how and when did the cheating start? An ex-coach of the team, who was in charge until just two years before the scandal, says he began to suspect something was wrong way before Sydney 2000. Plus Dan tries to find an answer to one of the biggest questions of all - why did the cheats do it? ... Read more

31 Aug 2021

28 MINS

28:04

31 Aug 2021


#283

The world according to search

What can we learn about a culture from what they search online? From xenophobia in Nigeria, shut-in teenagers in Japan, India’s biometric identity card, and the creation of viral TikTok slang, we look at the search trends that have come to define us. Ben Arogundade investigates what the most popular searches reveal about our approach to death, dating, and digital identity. Tech journalist Nilesh Christopher tell us that India’s pandemic searches may be more complicated than they first appear, and Peruvian writer María José Osorio muses on a strangely nostalgic query that was among one of Peru’s most frequently probed questions online. ... Read more

28 Aug 2021

50 MINS

50:26

28 Aug 2021


#282

World of Wisdom: Peace of mind

Keeping some peace of mind when the world around you is in turmoil is a great challenge. Mohammed finds it hard to maintain concentration, he sleeps 12 hours a night but awakes exhausted. He lives in Afghanistan, which is in a state of conflict, and spends a lot of time on social media. Sister Dang Nghiem offers advice on how to make your mind a beautiful refuge from the chaos and insecurity in the outside world. She discusses the North Korean communists taking over Saigon when she was a child and the BBC’s Sana Safi compares her own experience of life in Afghanistan under the Taliban. ... Read more

28 Aug 2021

18 MINS

18:36

28 Aug 2021


#281

Chaos in Afghanistan

Despite terror warnings, Afghans continued to gather at Kabul’s airport, desperate to get onto a plane. What was feared, and what is sadly familiar in Afghanistan, happened - bomb blasts brought further devastation. Around 100,000 people have been flown out of the country though since the Taliban takeover. We hear stories from two women who have been at the airport and managed to get a flight. Also, two students in Kabul and Herat share their fears about being unable to continue their education at present. For one, an encounter with a member of the Taliban on the streets brought both physical and mental pain. Host Nuala McGovern also connects two sportswomen, who have represented their country. They share their concerns about the future of female footballers and athletes in Afghanistan. ... Read more

28 Aug 2021

24 MINS

24:05

28 Aug 2021