In the first of a new series, twelve of the country's brightest young minds gather to solve difficult social problems. This week - how do we improve access to affordable housing? Using policy planning techniques used by governments around the world, three teams are given free reign to think the unthinkable. They then present their ideas to two judges, who'll interrogate them and pick the best. Presented by Matthew Taylor and facilitated by Cat Drew of Uscreates Team One: Oliver Sweet - runs an ethnographic research department at Ipsos MORI. Margot Lombaert - creative director of Margot Lombaert Studio, an independent graphic design practice. Ethan Howard - RSA award winner. Jack Minchella - research and design associate at the Innovation Unit and the founder of the urban research collective In-Between Economies based in Denmark. Team Two: Solveiga Pakštaitė - industrial designer specialising in user-centred design. Gemma Hitchens - Account Director at Signal Noise, which specialises in data visualisation and analysis. Jag Singh - tech entrepreneur and former political strategist. Hashi Mohamed - barrister at No5 Chambers. Team Three: Helen Steer - educator and maker who runs Do It Kits, a start-up that helps teachers use technology. Zahra Davidson - designer with a background spanning service design, social innovation and visual communication. Piero Zagami - information designer and consultant in graphic design and data visualization. Tobias Revell - artist and lecturer in Critical and Digital Design.Producer: Wesley Stephenson.
Marshal Khalifa Haftar has big ambitions for his army and his country, but what is the military strongman's vision for Libya? Caroline Wyatt introduces correspondents' stories.Stephen Sackur has some challenging questions for The Marshal in Benghazi, but will he get to ask them?In Liberia, Olivia Acland visits the Hotel Ducor and reflects on what it reveals about the country. It once attracted world leaders with its 5-star luxury - now it lies in ruins.For an insight into President Duterte's ongoing war on drugs in the Philippines, Colin Freeman heads to a morgue in Manila and joins some crime reporters on their night shift.In Italy, Dany Mitzman samples a plate of slippery, squidgy jellyfish. The ‘eat it to beat it’ movement offers a novel, and for some unpalatable, solution to dealing with invasive species.And, what to say to a border guard? Tim Whewell tries to talk his way into Abkhazia – a largely forgotten corner of the former Soviet Union.Producer: Joe Kent
Strange and sinister things often happen before Kenyan elections, but recent events have left the country in shock. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' tales and insights:In Nairobi, Alastair Leithead analyses the fallout from the murder and torture of the Kenyan election commission’s head of technology.In Italy, Bob Walker walks the Francigena pilgrim trail amidst apocalyptic scenes caused by the wildfires that are sweeping parts of the country.In Romania, Linda Pressly enters the world of online pornography as she explores the country’s growing live webcamming industry.In Venezuela, political turmoil continues and Vladimir Hernandez wonders what's driving so many people to risk their lives in the ongoing street protests.And in Germany, Rob Crossan visits the place that Elvis Presley once called home and is now preparing to remember ‘The King‘ 40 years after his death. Bad Nauheim is the town that gave him the GI Blues.Producer: Joe Kent
Afghanistan’s new Top Guns and America’s dilemma over sending more US troops to the region.
David Anderson examines the government's controversial counter-terrorism strategy Prevent
Has the initial success of the minimum wage meant politicians have extended the policy to damaging levels? All the major political parties agree: the measure has been a success, and in the 2017 election all promised substantial rises in the rate by 2020. The Conservatives are aiming for a £9 national living wage by the end of the decade, and not to be outdone, Labour promised £10 for all but the under-18s. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, asks why left and right have both adopted this once controversial policy. And could the current bidding war of big increases undermine the positive effects it has had over its eighteen-year history?Producer: Kate Lamble.
Mishal Husain presents reports from Jersey as a childhood islander returns, from Birmingham's closing greyhound stadium, plus the reflections of an ex-children's television star.
Gaza's power struggle: the city where mains electricity is available for two hours a day. Kate Adie introduces this and other reports from Italy, Alaska, Nigeria and the Black Sea.The UN has said that conditions in Gaza are becoming increasingly "unliveable". Education and healthcare are declining, and energy is becoming increasingly scarce. Yolande Knell visits some old acquaintances to find out how Gazans are managing.Tim Whewell takes a ferry across the Black Sea joining the Ukrainians, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Kazakh and Uzbek truckers seeking routes that avoid Russia.In Sicily, Manuela Saragosa meets a wine maker trying to resist the rural mafia which wants his land.Claire Marshall gets a glimpse of the fast-disappearing Inupiat way of life in Alaska, and eats a glistening chunk of whale meat.And Alastair Leithead joins the celebrations marking 50 years since the creation of Lagos State in Nigeria.
People spotting, chance encounters, briefings in the pub - trying to decipher how Brexit negotiations are progressing. Kate Adie introduces this and other correspondents’ stories.In Brussels, Adam Fleming is following negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union, but finding out what is going on is not easy, he finds.In Uganda, Catherine Byaruhanga visits the place that has become home to more than 250,000 people who’ve fled war in South Sudan. Bidi Bidi is now one of the largest refugee settlements in the world.Jake Wallis Simons spots signs of cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and asses an unlikely Middle-Eastern alliance.Megha Mohan meets a Belarusian model hoping to make it as an online star in China.And in Spain, Andy Jones tries not to look down as he edges along Malaga’s scary Caminito Del Rey.
What happens when your teenage son is targeted by abusers?File on 4 tells one family's story of fighting the authorities to get support and justice after a 13 year old boy was aggressively groomed by scores of men, aged from their 20s to their 50s. It is a shocking story of opportunities missed, meaning the boy endured assaults by multiple men for years. We look at the impact of that sustained abuse on him and his parents, who were desperately trying to shield him from harm. He says he was dismissed, and even blamed by authorities responsible for protecting him.Why were they so let down? And have the police been slow to get to grips with cases of child sexual exploitation when they involve boys?One safeguarding expert tells the programme: "Policy is not matching practice on the ground. It was completely missed that this boy was a child. We need to lift the lid on what is going on when the victims are boys."Are boys on the radar of authorities or are they grooming's hidden victims?Reporter: Alys HarteProducer: Sally Chesworth.
An extended interview with the political theorist who argues that liberal democracy is in grave danger. Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School at Oxford, speaks to Harvard scholar Yascha Mounk. He says that across a wide sample of countries in North America and Western Europe, citizens of mature democracies have become markedly less satisfied with their form of government and surprisingly open to nondemocratic alternatives. "A serious democratic disconnect has emerged. If it widens even further, it may begin to challenge the stability of seemingly consolidated democracies."Producer: Jim Frank(Image: Yascha Mounk. Credit: Steffen Jaenicke).
Retaking Raqqa, revulsion in South Africa, and remembering an attempted coup in Turkey. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from around the world.From Syria, Gabriel Gatehouse brings a tale of two women. One is a young Kurdish fighter trying to drive out the so called Islamic State from their de facto capital Raqqa. The other is an unrepentant jihadi bride.One year on from the failed coup in Turkey, Mark Lowen finds a nation divided and defensive.In Russia, the men who killed the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov may be behind bars, but that doesn’t mean we know the whole story, says Sarah Rainsford who was in court for much of their nine-month long trial.There is no shortage of scandal in South Africa, says Andrew Harding, who has the latest on ‘state capture’ and corruption.And Carrie Gracie reveals all about her 7,500-mile journey from China to the UK, following the route of the new Silk Road. Scorching sands, smelly camels, and dodgy lodgings are just some of the challenges she and her team faced.
Myanmar’s drug vigilantes, on the front-line in Mosul, and the mystical music of Morocco. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from around the world
Volkswagen Group faced a 15 billion fine after the US environmental protection agency found it had fitted cars with software designed to cheat official pollution tests.Their engines seemed clean in laboratory tests; on the road they emitted much higher levels of nitrogen oxide gas which can damage our health.Although 8.5 million VW engines in Europe were fitted with the same so-called 'defeat devices', no EU state has yet to take any action against the manufacturer.File on 4 tells the story of how the emissions scandal has spread to manufacturers beyond Volkswagen.Europe's MEPs have voted for a new 'real driving emissions' test, but critics accuse European Council ministers of watering it down to please their domestic car industries. A proposal for an independent EU agency to oversee emissions tests and issue sanctions was blocked.And the manufacturers have been given breathing space before they must meet the legal emissions standards - the new legislation lets them emit beyond the pollution limits for years to come.Diesel cars were supposed to bring down emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2. But have those plans now gone up in smoke?The programme asks whether this is the next emissions scandal and whether Europe has the power to make cars as clean as they say they are.Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Rob Cave.
Michael Blastland asks if it's desk-bound work, rather than over-eating, which is making more and more of us obese. He hears about remarkable research which, despite received wisdom, suggests that people in the UK have reduced their calorie intake. However, they are expending far less physical energy, particularly because of new patterns of work which now require little if any bodily exertion. Michael examines projects to change individual behaviour such as corporate wellness programmes and altering office layouts - but finds it's going to be a tough sell.Interviewees:Dr Melanie Lührmann, Senior Lecturer, Royal HollowayProfessor Alexi Marmot, architect, UCLProfessor Andre Spicer, Cass Business SchoolProfessor Mike Kelly, School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge UniversityProducers: Estelle Doyle, Phoebe Keane and Smita Patel.
Nuclear fears in South Korea, a homeless tour of Athens, and a porcupine hunt in Tanzania. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.Talk of war is worrying Steve Evans in the South Korean capital Seoul - he now fears for the future of his home city. In Italy, Nick Sturdee finds plain-clothes policemen following anti-migrant campaigners, while a TV drama is being filmed about the mayor opening up his town to Syrians, Bangladeshis and others. ‘Migrants wanted’ is the message Mark Stratton finds on Pitcairn Island – the British Overseas Territory with a dwindling population in the southern Pacific Ocean. Heidi Fuller-Love takes a tour of the Athens; guided by a former homeless drug addict, she’s introduced to sights of Greece most tourists are oblivious to. And in Tanzania, Dan Saladino joins one of the last remaining groups of hunter-gathers as they search for lunch.
In 2015, reporter Adrian Goldberg investigated the state of England's mental health provision and measured the promise of equal treatment for psychiatric patients against the reality on the wards of psychiatric hospitals and in the community. The notion of "parity of esteem" has been enshrined in law in 2012, and has been promoted by successive Prime Ministers, but was found in many areas to be sadly lacking.So, two years on what progress has been made? And what more needs to be done to help patients in crisis?Adrian talks to former NHS executive Lord Crisp, nurses and the families of those who have lost their loved ones as a result of failures in the system. Are mental health patients still regarded as equal but somehow different to those with physical ailments.
Constitutions put controls on the people who run countries - but how are they created and how well do they work?In ordinary times constitutional debate often seems an abstract business without very much relevance to the way we live our lives. But political turmoil can operate like an X-ray, lighting up the bones around which the body politic is formed.Drawing on recent political events, Edward Stourton explores the effectiveness of the constitutions of the United Kingdom, the USA and France and asks are they doing what they were meant to do?CONTRIBUTORSLord Peter Hennessy, Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary University of LondonAlison Young, Professor of Public Law, University of OxfordProfessor Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law SchoolSophie Boyron, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham Law SchoolDavid S Bell, Professor of French Government and Politics, University of LeedsPresenter: Edward StourtonProducer: Richard Fenton-Smith.
A nightmare ferry journey in The Gambia, a musical metro ride under East Berlin and a Shakespearean train journey in Russia. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories.In Pakistan, Secunder Kermani explores why the university student Mashal Khan, who was accused of blasphemy, ended up beaten to death by an angry mob on campus.In The Gambia, Shaimaa Khalil makes the long and arduous commute across the River Gambia. The ferries – which are often over-crowed and much delayed - are the only way for many people to reach the capital Banjul.As Brexit negotiations continue, Kevin Connolly recalls his first trip to ‘The Continent‘ in the year that Britain joined what was to become the European Union.In Russian, Kirsty Lang finds that cultural ties to Britain remain strong, despite souring diplomatic relations.And despite attempts to keep Western music out of East Germany during the Cold War, Chris Bowlby discovers that, in strange locations and in free minds, many refused to dance to the communist tune.
Around 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis each year. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine was introduced nearly a hundred years ago, but is only partially effective against the bacterium that causes TB.With so many infected and the BCG vaccine only 60% effective, a race is on to develop a better way of preventing TB. Hundreds of millions of public and philanthropic money has been poured into this quest. For researchers, the competition for this pot of money is fierce.A new vaccine called MVA85A developed by scientists in Oxford as a booster to BCG was heralded as a possible solution. But when it was trialed on nearly 3000 infants in South Africa it didn't offer any further significant protection.File on 4 investigates the outcome of tests carried out on monkeys and asks to what extent animal trials are used to help decide whether to go on to test in humans.How do regulators and ethics committees decide to give their approval and who is looking out for the people who volunteer to take part?Reporter: Deborah CohenProducer: Paul Grant.
Narcopolitics in Paraguay, demolitions in Moscow and the incessant barking of feral dogs in Seychelles. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.In Moscow, Polina Ivanova visits one of the thousands of Soviet-era housing blocks earmarked for demolition as part one of the biggest urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. While many residents support the plans, others suspect it’s a ruse to divert money to construction companies.In Paraguay, Laurence Blair meets the journalist who relies on an around the clock police guard, as he to tries to stay safe reporting on the country’s violent drug trade.In Seychelles, Tim Ecott is met by barking dogs, loud music and some selfish-driving – some of the more unwelcome signs of growing social freedom. Dave Lee joins the queues of people willing to wait for hours to get the chance to play the latest computer games before almost anyone else - even if only for a brief moment. And Sara Wheeler takes an architectural tour of Sri Lanka discovering that modernisation on the island often means working with what you’ve got – however ancient, rather than starting again.
File on 4 investigates claims that parents whose children suffer from a crippling illness that leaves them sick and permanently exhausted have been falsely accused of child abuse.Parents of children with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) reveal how they have been investigated and referred for child protection measures on suspicion of a rare form of child abuse known as Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII).FII, also sometimes known as Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, is extremely rare and occurs when a parent or carer exaggerates or deliberately causes the symptoms of a child's illness. One charity says FII is being used inappropriately by education and health professionals. We talk to families who claim the stress caused by this accusation has made their children worse.With doctors divided over the best way to treat children, what's the impact on families?Reporter: Matthew HillProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Mishal Husain presents four dispatches, including Annalena McAfee on a Cotswold utopia, Ed Smith on leadership in cricket and John Ashton on the diabetes he, like his father, has.
Union membership is in decline whilst structural changes in the economy - including the rise of the so-called gig economy - are putting downward pressure on wages, and creating fertile conditions for exploitation by unscrupulous employers. So who is going to ensure that workers get a fair deal? Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer for the Observer, investigates.Producer: David Edmonds.
Tight-fitting briefs in Mongolia, matching Donald Trump t-shirts in Iowa, NATO camouflage and some cut-off jeans in Romania. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories.In Romania, Emily Unia watches NATO put on a show of force; 4,000 troops, drawn from nine different countries, backed by helicopters and armoured vehicles – serious stuff, or so she was expecting. In America, Rajini Vaidyanathan meets the Trump fans willing to sleep on the pavement in order to bag a prime spot at one of the President’s rallies. Jonathan Fryer finds entrepreneurial spirit, criminal enterprise, and death in Madagascar. In Indian-administered Kashmir, Melissa Van Der Klugt discovers an unlikely, but remarkable, archive of the region’s troubled history. And Rajan Datar finds himself face to face with a 15 stone Mongolian wrestler who is dressed in small, tight-fitting briefs, long leather boots and a collarless shirt that leaves his chest exposed.
A year on from the Brexit referendum, Anand Menon contrasts Wakefield, which voted leave, with Oxford which voted remain, to find out how they feel now.
A blood sausage, a clockwork orange and a glass of dirty water. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.
The toxic legacy of Britain's industrial heritage lies festering beneath our feet in 20 thousand former landfill sites. But now Government has ended the system of grants to local authorities to help pay for their clean up, and developers are moving in to build housing. How safe are these places, and should people be concerned about living on top of them? Many of these sites were commissioned long before safety and environmental regulations were introduced so nobody knows what's buried underground and what problems it might create in the future. Families whose homes were built right next door to old landfill sites tell the programme their lives have been blighted by health issues. File on 4 has seen new research commissioned by the Environment Agency which reveals how erosion is threatening hundreds of toxic dumps along our coastline that could leach chemicals and other harmful substances onto our beaches and into the sea.
During Brazil's boom years the country's rising economy created a new middle class of gigantic proportions - tens of millions escaping from poverty. Brazil felt confident and even rich enough to bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. But then the economy turned.In the last two years the country has endured its worst recession on record. Rio de Janeiro - the city that hosted the Olympics - is bankrupt. Many communities don't have functioning schools or clinics. Corruption is endemic.David Baker, a regular visitor to Brazil, travels to Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo to find out where it went all wrong for the country, what's holding it back from being a great economic power and what the wider lessons are for developing countries across the world.Producer: Alex Lewis.
Tales from Thailand, Morocco, Myanmar, Kenya and the US-Mexico border. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories.In a Chang Mai prison, Jonathan Head meets a woman facing more than a decade in jail, convicted of insulting the monarchy and sentenced under Thailand’s lèse majesté laws. Colin Freeman wonders whether change might be coming to Morocco as protests spread across the country – the largest since 2011, the era of the Arab Spring. Jonah Fisher looks back on his three and a half years in Myanmar and wonders how he went from eating cake with Aung San Suu Kyi in her home, to shouting questions at her at public rallies. Harriet Constable joins the roller-blading cool kids of Nairobi and finds a welcome distraction from warnings of violence ahead of Kenya’s upcoming general election. And on the US/Mexico border, Victoria Gill goes in search of the Sonoran Pronghorn as researchers try to assess what impact President Trump's plan for an "impassable barrier" might have on wildlife.
From the Valley of Peace in Belize to a Libyan militia base, Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.In Tripoli, Tom Stevenson is given a tour by one of the country’s many militias and gets a rare glimpse of how the armed groups operate. In North Korea, Steve Evans learns that answering back may mean you never get to go back, despite his best efforts at reconciliation through whisky. Nina Lakhani reports from the Belizean village that became home to those fleeing violence in Central America in the 1980s and is now attracting a new wave of migrants. Graeme Fife returns to the place he once called home in rural French and, to his surprise, finds new life flowing into a once-moribund village. And animatronic wise men and a robotic Adam and Eve greet Heidi Fuller-Love as she takes a tour of a religious theme park in trans-gender friendly Argentina.Producer: Joe Kent
File on 4 reveals the true scale of child sexual grooming and abuse online and asks whether social media companies are doing enough to prevent paedophiles from targeting children. The investigation follows the rape and murder of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood from Leicestershire who was groomed online before meeting her killer in person. File on 4 reveals the number of children being groomed online and who are subsequently abused is increasing. Child abuse experts say some social media platforms have ignored repeated calls for better child protection measures and Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee has accused them of putting profit before safety.
With angst over European security growing, why is Germany such a reluctant military power? Chris Bowlby discovers how German pacifism has grown since World War Two. The German army, the Bundeswehr, is meant to be a model citizen's army but is poorly funded and treated with suspicion by the population. Some now say the world of Trump, Putin and Brexit demands major change in German thinking, much more spending and Bundeswehr deployments abroad. But most Germans disagree. Could Germany in fact be trying historically something really new - becoming a major power without fighting wars?Producer: Chris BowlbyEditor: Hugh Levinson.
From the barricades of Venezuela’s street protests to the security scanners in an Egyptian airport - Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.Gideon Long joins protestors in Venezuela, finding the threat of violence is never far away. From Dublin, Vincent Woods reflects on Ireland’s response to the London Bridge terror attack and takes comfort in his memories of an English Imam singing traditional Irish songs. A pat-down by security staff in Cairo Airport leads to an unexpected lesson in women’s emancipation for Claire Read. Ed Davey goes in search of both good and bad voodoo in Benin, and in southern India, Andrew Whitehead stumbles across a tragic love story and one of the last remnants of the Jewish presence there.Producer: Joe Kent
Tea with the Taliban in Afghanistan, radioactive wild boar goulash in the Czech Republic, and past its best parsley in Denmark. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories.Auliya Atrafi gained rare access to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and found a group keen to give the impression that there is more to it than military muscle. Claire Bolderson meets the women fighting back against machismo in Peru, and James Jeffrey watches the flow of refugees that continue to cross the Eritrean border into Ethiopia. In the Czech Republic, Rob Cameron takes a trip to the national park where wild boars roam free – some of them radioactive. And in Denmark, Christine Finn finds wrinkled mushrooms and wilted parsley on sale in a shop that wants us to think differently about food that’s past its best before date.Producer: Joe Kent
Do we unconsciously harbour racist and sexist attitudes? Far fewer people are explicitly racist than a couple of decades ago. They won't express or admit to racist sentiments. But what happens beneath the conscious level? In recent years there has been an explosion in research into what's called implicit bias. David Edmonds discovers that big business is taking the idea very seriously. He asks: does it stand up to scrutiny?Producer: Ben Carter.
The sounds of protest, popping champagne corks and the piercing shrieks of megabats. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world. Aleem Maqbool watches a confederate monument fall in America’s south, and wonders what difference statues and symbols really make.In Egypt, activists tell Orla Guerin that while previous leaders may have tried to restrict the space for civil society, President Sisi wants to eliminate it. They claim their strongman leader has been emboldened by Donald Trump who has praised his work - and his shoes.In Australia, Phil Mercer finds that residents of Sydney are not too happy with their new neighbours. Megabats or flying-foxes fly in gothic squadrons, emit a piercing cacophony and leave behind a lingering stench. In the shadow of towering glass and steel skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Rob Crossan has lunch in the traditional Malay village trying to resist the tides of gentrification and modernisation. And Juliet Rix has a drink in France, as she meets the women shaking up the champagne industry.Producer: Joe Kent
A president pursued, a preacher accused and a social media star. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, and Spain.Amidst calls for the Brazilian President to resign, Katy Watson finds that political slogans have taken on a life of their own – no longer simply scrawled on placards but found in some unusual places. In Indonesia, Rebecca Henschke tries and tries to get a word with the controversial hard-line cleric accused of breaking the anti-pornography laws that he once campaigned for. In Germany, Amol Rajan meets the Syrian selfie fanatic at the heart of the battle against fake news. And in Japan, Mark Stratton finds himself lost for words as he attempts to describe the sights to the partially-sighted.
Painkillers in sport: a form of legal doping or an excessive reliance on medication that puts the long-term health of athletes in jeopardy?With evidence of widespread use of over the counter anti-inflammatories to support performance or recovery at amateur level, File on 4 looks asks if there is enough regulation of painkilling drugs in sport across the ranks.About half of players competing at the past three World Cups routinely took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, according to research carried out by FIFA's former chief medical officer, Prof Jiri Dvorak.For him, this clearly constitutes the abuse of drugs in football, one which risks player's health and could "potentially" have life-threatening implications.But is the sports community taking these warnings seriously enough? Professor Dvorak first warned about the long-term implications of players misusing painkillers in 2012 - has anything changed?Industry insiders their concerns about pain killer use in professional sport - including one former rugby international who says he developed serious long-term health problems as a result.And with evidence that even paracetamol can have a performance enhancing effect, how can sports regulators control substances that can give a competitive advantage but are widely available over the counter?With tales of athletes receiving pain relief in order to compete with broken toes or even a fractured bone in their back, we explore the lengths some may go to in order to stay in the game and ask if some sports are risking long-term harm by chasing short-term goals.Producer: Alys HarteReporter: Beth McLeod.
Why is the UK such a generous global aid donor and should it be? The coalition government legislated to ensure Britain spent 0.7% of its national income on international development and it is now one of the very few countries to meet this United Nations target for such spending. With financial pressures on public services at home remaining acute, Jo Coburn asks why most politicians still support the idea, despite public criticism and press campaigns about wasted money. In her quest, she investigates the history of the UK's support for overseas aid and examines what makes so many politicians willing to risk voters' displeasure on the issue.Producer: Simon Coates.
A trendy haircut in Maipur, baby-blue painted nails in Athens and the authentic taste of a South Pacific superfood. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories.Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has sparked repeated international criticism, but Colin Freeman finds support in surprising places: drug users, or ex-drug users, for Duterte.Secunder Kermani gets a haircut in Mirpur, and a lesson in relations between British Pakistanis and their cousins back home. While Louise Cooper gets her nails done in Athens and finds the ugly face of recession, in a Greek beauty parlour.In Moscow, Steve Rosenberg watches as thousands of Russians queue for a chance to glimpse a golden ark. Inside it are fragments of St Nicholas’ rib, on loan from Italy.And Simon Parker swims in the clean seas around French Polynesia and samples the silky, mustard-coloured gonads of a sea urchin.
White candles for a murdered Mexican journalist, purple glitter for an Iranian President and the Pope's modest blue car. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories.On his first full day in office, the recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron was in Berlin to “breathe new dynamism" into Franco-German relations. But what does Germany make of Macron? Damien McGuinness has been finding out.Purple was the signature colour of President Rouhani’s re-election campaign in Iran and, following his victory, Nanna Muus Steffensen finds it everywhere; purple glitter, headbands, t-shirts, even hair dye.In Mexico Juan Paullier is among the journalists protesting the murder of one of their own – the committed chronicler of the country’s drug wars, Javier Valdez.While the Pope wants a simpler, humbler Church, he’s also very willing to use the grandeur of the Vatican to his advantage, finds Christopher Lamb as President Trump meets Pope Francis for the first time.And in America, could a good walk help heal a divided country? Phoebe Smith goes for a hike along the Appalachian Trail.
Headlines involving abuse in care homes normally centre on allegations against staff, but is aggression among residents being overlooked?With homes increasingly taking care of those with more complex needs such as dementia and other mental health disorders, are staff able to cope with some who have challenging behaviour?File on 4 has found evidence that some residents are suffering serious assaults by others living in the same home. Some have died from their injuries. Allan Urry investigates the unsolved killing of one dementia patient.Are workers skilled enough to recognise and deal with aggression, before it becomes violent, and should the NHS and local authorities be doing more to support them?When the perpetrators themselves often have little understanding of what they have done due to the nature of their illness-are they also being let down? The programme reveals failures in the system that could have cost lives.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: Emma FordeEditor: Gail Champion.
Patriotic clubs in Uganda and gang violence in America. Kate Adie introduces correspondent’s stories from around the world.In America, Lucy Ash visits Long Island – not the opulent and extravagant mansions of The Great Gatsby but the other Long Island. The site of several murders linked to MS-13 - the street gang President Trump has vowed to crush.In Uganda, a teacher stands bolt upright, legs apart, with a rather stern expression. The words ‘Belief’ and ‘Determination’ are emblazoned on the wall. Mike Thomson attends a class in patriotism.Nicola Kelly meets the Yazidi families who fled violence in Iraq, only to find they are not always welcome among the Yazidis of Armenia.We take tea in Malawi as Nick Redmayne visits one of the country’s traditional tea estates trying to reinvent itself in response to changing tastes and falling prices.And in Goa, Paul Moss finds talk of body rebalancing, tantric imitation and a reptilian elite.
From the Hillsborough Inquest to Plebgate, from the revelations about undercover officers to the shooting of Mark Duggan, the last few years have been as controversial as any in the history of British policing. The government has introduced a range of new measures to try and make the police service more accountable. These have included the strengthening of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, measures to crack down on officers retiring when under investigation, and a new openness surrounding police disciplinary hearings. But have these new ideas really worked or is there, as some claim, real resistance to accountability?File on 4 investigates a series of cases of alleged wrongdoing brought against the police by both members of the public and by serving officers. We look at some of the tactics police forces still appear to be using to avoid scrutiny, and we ask : despite the new measures, how much has really changed?Reporter : Mark GregoryProducer :Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
A diplomatic dance, football playing politicians, mountain music and robotic sex dolls. Kate Adie introduces correspondent’s stories from around the world.In Germany - he almost became a professional footballer now he wants to be Chancellor - Jenny Hill meets a former teammate, and childhood friend, of Martin Schulz. In Sierra Leone Bob Howard meets the ‘friends of the dead’ as young entrepreneurs seek any way they can to escape the country’s staggering levels of unemployment. Micky Bristow reflects on the diplomatic games being played out between China and Taiwan. Special number plates and invitations to Swiss summits may seem insignificant to some, but not when on you’re an island that few nations recognise as an independent country. In Peru, Robin Denselow samples the sounds of mountain music at a reconciliation concert high in the Andes. And in San Marcos, California, Jane Wakefield takes a tour of a rather unusual factory offering the latest in AI equipped, robotic sex dolls.
Somalia faces famine, ethnic conflict continues in Myanmar and the ‘She-Wolf’ retires. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.On a rare trip into the remote Northern Shan State of Myanmar, Nick Sturdee meets one of the ethnic militias still at war with the military.There are harrowing sights for Mary Harper in Somalia andSomaliland, as she sees for herself the toll that severe drought and threat of famine are taking on the population, particularly the children.In contrast Will Grant finds something to celebrate for Cuba’s socialist leadership. As the annual May Day workers’ march took place, the US Congresswoman described by Fidel Castro as the ‘big bad she-wolf’ announced her retirement.Elizabeth Hotson reflects on tales of the Cold War spies and challenges to press freedom, as she joins the Ski Club of International Journalists in France.And in India, Melissa Van Der Klugt watches a tent being cleaned. Rajasthan's Royal Red Tent, which is taller than a double bus and made from exquisite silk, velvet and gold, is being given its first proper spring clean in 350 years.
The summer fighting season has begun in Afghanistan and, as Justin Rowlatt discovers, there is already a shortage of coffins following a Taliban attack. As the world worries about North Korea, Nick Danziger gets a glimpse of life in Pyongyang; designer coats, European football shirts and courting couples furiously tapping away on locally-manufactured mobile phones were not what he was expecting. In Uzbekistan, it’s the crunch of crinoline and sound of snapping cameras that surprise Caroline Eden – because now is wedding season in the former Soviet state. In the UAE, Julia Wheeler discovers a road named ‘Happiness Street’, a Minister of State for Happiness and fines for those who aren’t quite happy enough. And Mark Stratton goes to Sao Tome and Principe to see how a new approach to the cocoa trade is replacing the bitter legacy of the slave trade.
Birthday cakes, icons of cool and the candidate coining new words in the French election. Kate Adie introduces correspondents’ stories from around the world.On the campaign trail in France, Hugh Schofield finds visions of a new world and calls to ‘“get em out’ ahead of the election on Sunday. Alastair Leithead asses the political turmoil in South Africa - not by speaking with protesters, but by mingling with party-goers at a presidential birthday-bash. In Argentina, Newsnight’s Stephen Smith meets Che Guevara’s younger brother and discovers that the revolutionary's legacy is probably not what he would have hoped for. As President Donald Trump approaches his 100th day in office Shaimaa Khalil has been on a road trip across middle-America, visiting the states that helped get him elected. And in Kabul Nanna Muus Steffensen meets that young student asking herself ‘should I stay and be part of Afghanistan’s future or get out while I can?’
Controversial votes in Turkey and Kashmir, and a university challenged in Hungary. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories: Justin Rowlatt is in Kashmir on election day where he sees plenty of police and protestors, but where are the voters? In Turkey Mark Lowen finds that paranoia has reached the level of absurdity ahead of the country’s referendum.Not only are TV chefs accused of being spies, but our own correspondent comes under suspicion of being a foreign agent, though thankfully not for long. In Cuba Linda Pressly meets the scientists behind a cancer vaccine now being trialled in the US; they owe everything to Fidel Castro, they tell her. As part of the World Service Life Stories season, Sahar Zand meets the Toraja people of Eastern Indonesia for whom death doesn’t always mean goodbye. And in Hungary Nick Thorpe dips his toe into the stream of controversy that surrounds the government’s ongoing war against liberalism.
What are the unwritten rules you must learn to get a top job? Hashi Mohamed came to the UK aged nine, as an unaccompanied child refugee, with hardly any English. His academic achievements at school were far from stellar. Yet he now works as a barrister - and so is a member of one of the elite professions that have traditionally been very difficult for people from poor backgrounds to crack. So how did he do it? In a personal take on social mobility, we meet his mentors. These are the people who gave him a few lucky breaks and showed him how to fit in to a world he could barely imagine. But how many people can follow that path? And why should they have to?Producer: Rosamund Jones(Image: Hashi Mohamed. Credit: Shaista Chishty).
Pastry police, pardoned bulls and pricey pigeons. Correspondents’ stories with Kate Adie.Stephen Sackur's visit to Venezuela ends rather more abruptly than he'd intended, foreign journalists are rarely welcome he discovers. In Spain the debate about the ethics of bullfighting has started its annual dance and Antonia Quirke finds both excitement and disgust. One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, a President Lenin will soon take office in Ecuador. Joe Gerlach watches election day unfold from an airport lounge in the capital. Flora Bradley-Watson is among the pigeon fanciers of Istanbul talking politics and feathered friends. And Owen Bennett-Jones finds himself answering, rather than asking, questions as he gets to know the Somali Americans living in Minneapolis.
Robbery, extortion, kidnapping; bananas with everything; and a monkey cascade. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories: Tom Stevenson is in the Libyan capital Tripoli, where the lights are out, the militias are enriching themselves, and chaos reigns. Matthew Brunwasser tells the story of the man fighting for justice in Serbia, 17 years after his three brothers were murdered. Gemma Newby tucks into bananas for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Dominican Republic as she visits a now crumbling town built by one of the banana giants; Kieran Cooke is in the town in the West of Ireland which used to have the highest pub to people ratio in the country. That, and much else, has changed but the spirit remains undiminished. And in Ethiopia's Highlands, the writer Tim Butcher witnesses the extraordinary and heart-warming spectacle of the great African monkey cascade
Tall stories, strange names, ancient giants and linguistic confusion. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. Colin Freeman, in the Pakistani city of Quetta, wonders if it is still a Taliban stronghold. Chris Haslam, in Zambia, is shocked by some of the strange names given to children. Tim Ecott is among giants on Mexico's Baja Peninsula - both in the ocean and on land. Sodaba Haidare visits a special restaurant in the Afghan capital Kabul which is empowering women victims of domestic abuse. And Joanna Robertson reaches for the NervenTee in Italy's South Tyrol region - but which language should she use? More tea please!
There's a quiet revolution going on in our Town Halls. With funding slashed, Local Government is tasked with finding new ways to raise money and deliver services, or face failing to comply with its legal obligations. As councils in England are tasked with becoming more self sufficient, File on 4 examines the different approaches councils are taking in an effort to balance the books.As some invest in commercial property others are spinning off traditional council departments into new companies with commercial divisions. The aim is to plough profits back into services.But as the programme discovers these plans don't always work out. What happens when there is no profit? As the pressure on adult social care grows, some councils now face the twin struggles of meeting demand, with the need to turn a profit. Is this too much of a gamble in services which can mean the difference between life and death?Allan Urry investigates the scale of the challenge as local authorities grapple with rising demand, falling income, and new ways of doing business.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: Laura Harmes.
Has Front National leader Marine Le Pen really detoxified the party founded by her father 40 years ago? Is it a right-wing protest movement or a party seriously preparing for power? Anand Menon, professor of European politics at Kings College London, analyses the process the French call Dédiabolisation. Le Pen has banished the name of the party and even her own surname from election posters and leaflets. Her party is making inroads into socialist and communist fiefdoms in northern and eastern France. Combining nationalism with a message designed to reach out to the left, she speaks up loudly for the have-nots, people who live in the land she calls "the forgotten France." She targets trade unionists, teachers and gay voters. But widening the party's appeal leads to a tricky balancing act. Can Marine Le Pen manage the process of political exorcism without alienating die-hard supporters?Producer: Lucy Ash.
Rancid fried onion, a great wall of iron, chips and mayonnaise with a healthy sprinkle of identity. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories: Lucy Ash is in northern France, in Denain, scene of Emile Zola's Germinal. The poverty may be less extreme today but it's part of the "forgotten France" being targetted by the Front National. Gabriel Gatehouse grew up in Amsterdam in a time when questioning immigration would label you a racist. That's all changed as, it seems. And if the famous Dutch tolerance has gone, what's left? The vast region of Xinjiang, in western China, is home to 10 million people from the Uigher minority. The government says it's also the front line in its war on terror. It's not a place which the authorities like journalists to visit. But Carrie Gracie did get there. Lebanon has a million and a half Syrian refugees - the most per capita of any nation. Martin Bell is in the Bekaa Valley, where the refugees have become a profitable source of cheap labour. Many would like to return home but their chances of doing so are slight. And Kevin Connolly's mother is proud of the name she chose for him. But he's not so sure anymore - especially when he heard about "The Curse of Kevin" in a French magazine.
Pets and Politics; football and narcotics; and building a country with a flag. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. South Korea is in political turmoil but, as Steve Evans explains, people seem more concerned with the fate of the now ex-president's pets. The narcotic plant Qat and Premiership football provide a welcome distraction from boredom in the Horn of Africa, says James Jeffrey. And governments are quite happy with that. How do you unify a country? That was a challenge faced by Kyrgystan's flag designers, as Caroline Eden discovered. The village of Deià, on Mallorca's north shore, is where the poet and novelist Robert Graves lived and died. Graeme Fife used to be a frequent visitor. Now he wonders how much the place has changed. Belize is one of the countries that still has the death penalty on its statute books. But it hasn't executed anyone for decades. And now others, including a woman with the nickname of the anti-Christ, are having their life sentences reduced. Charlotte McDonald explains why.
Prisons are a crucible for corruption, a former governor claims. Staff are working in the toughest conditions the system has seen in decades. Thousands of experienced staff have left and some areas are struggling to replace them. Morale is falling amid record levels of violence. The use of new psychoactive substances is out of control - fuelling yet more violence. Mobile phones are flooding in, making the flow of drugs even more difficult to contain. So how does contraband make its way onto prison wings?Former prisoners tell File on 4 that the bulk of smuggled goods come in with staff. Drones and visitors bring in small amounts, but the bigger consignments can only make it through with inside help. John Podmore, who's run jails and led the service's anti-corruption unit, says staff corruption is the inconvenient truth at the heart of the prison crisis."It is uncomfortable. They are few in number but they are large in their effect. One prison officer bringing in one coffee jar full of spice or cannabis can keep that jail going for a long time and make an awful lot of money."Former prisoners tell the BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent, Danny Shaw, staff corruption is a serious problem but has become "the elephant in the room" that prison officials don't want to acknowledge. The ex-inmates say some staff are being corrupted while others turn a blind eye.The Ministry of Justice has promised renewed efforts to combat corruption and professionalise the service. Thousands of frontline staff in London and south-east England will benefit from a pay boost, thanks to a new £12m package.So will it stop the rot?Reporter: Danny ShawProducer: Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
Why is liberal, tolerant Netherlands home to one of Europe's most successful anti-immigration, anti-Islamic parties?Geert Wilders' radical right-wing Party For Freedom (PVV) - which wants to close mosques and ban the Qur'an - will be one of the biggest in the new Dutch parliament. So have its voters - whom Wilders once described as "Henk and Ingrid", Holland's Mr and Mrs Average - turned their backs on centuries-old Dutch values? Or do they just understand those values in a different way?Unlike some far-right parties elsewhere in Europe, the PVV has no neo-Nazi roots. It's loud in its support for gay and women's rights. It promotes itself as a strong defender of Holland's Jewish community. Is its ideology just an opportunistic mishmash? Or does it make some sense in a Dutch context? Searching for Henk and Ingrid, Tim Whewell sets off through Dutch "flyover country" - the totally un-photogenic satellite towns and modern villages that tourists, and Holland's own elite, rarely see.He asks if the PVV's platform is just thinly disguised racism. Or has it raised important questions about immigration and multiculturalism that other European countries, including the UK, have been scared to ask?Producer: Helen Grady.
The duffel-coated outcast; from bomb factory to museum; icy cooperation; singing for home; greening sands. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories: Hugh Schofield meets a defiant - and chipper - Jean-Marie Le Pen, the outcast founder of the France's Front National; in north-west Pakistan, close to the Afghan border, Colin Freeman is shown a bomb-making factory - just the latest evidence of the violence that has dominated the region for more than a century; in the icy seas off Finland, fears of Russian 'little green men' are put aside as a Finnish icebreaker - with Horatio Clare on board - introduces a moment of peace and cooperation. Singing for home and a lost culture - Nicola Kelly hears how Nubians in Egypt are trying to reconnect with their lost homeland. And, in Oman, it's not golden sands that Antonia Quirke sees in the desert but a carpet of green.
Voting with your husband, unsolved murders, cooking on the centre spot, shamans and mud. Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. Melissa Van Der Klugt is in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, where a giant exercise in democracy has been taking place but where illiteracy and political ignorance remains high. Peter Walker, in Malawi, comes across worrying signs that the police are ready to sweep murder under the carpet. In China, they're spending a fortune on football but will it bring world cup glory, as the President wants. Richard Dove has his doubts. In Peru, Simon Parker comes face to face with an Andean Shaman for the first time and hears concerns that too many tourists are more interested in bragging rights and profile pictures than in the sacred heritage of Machu Picchu. And in Vermont, winter is fading and they're on the cusp of spring - it's time to get dirty, says Christine Finn, because it's Mud Season.
In January a haulage boss and his mechanic were jailed for a tipper truck crash which killed four people. The brakes on six of the truck's eight wheels weren't working properly. The expert examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said Grittenham Haulage's vehicle would have been taken off the road if it had been stopped in a roadside check.But are there sufficient roadside and on-site checks to detect safety breaches?File on 4 uncovers cases where unsafe vehicles and drivers were allowed to remain on the roads, despite known concerns.So does the current system of regulation and punishment go far enough to deter rogue operators who drive some of the most dangerous vehicles on our roads?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: David Lewis.
Could a second referendum on Scottish independence yield a different result? In September 2014 when Scotland voted against becoming an independent country it seemed like the question had been settled for the foreseeable future. All that changed on June 23rd 2016 when the UK voted to leave the EU. Just a few hours later - before she'd even been to bed - Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was already talking about the prospect of another vote on independence. Ever since she has been ramping up the rhetoric. But what would the SNP's strategy be second time around?BBC Scotland Editor Sarah Smith explores whether the SNP would dare call another vote when there seems little appetite and opinion polls have failed to move as much as Nicola Sturgeon might have expected following the Brexit vote. Sarah talks to strategists and politicians for an insight into how things might be different should a second referendum take place in the near future. She asks whether an independent Scotland would be accepted into the EU and what the future might hold for the first minister should she fail to achieve what she sees as her duty - offering Scotland another chance to gain independence.Presenter: Sarah SmithProducer: Ben Carter.
Lost confidence, fake seeds, masked assignations, steaming glory and animal insights. Humphrey Hawksley is in a fishing village in the Philippines, hard hit by China's expanding maritime claims. Adam Shaw is in rural Kenya where a precarious existence for farmers is made even worse by crooks selling counterfeit seeds. In Venice, it's a time to dress up in your feathers and mantillas and, of course, masks - to look your very Carnivale best - but not if you're a local. Petroc Trelawny takes the slow train through Germany's Harz mountains, once the frontline between east and west. And Andrew Harding has travelled far and wide as a correspondent, experiencing the excitement, the tension, and the vets.
How do you keep your audience listening if the story's so hard to hear? That's what Alastair Leithead grapples with in South Sudan's civil war. Warsaw was all but destroyed in the Second World War, and the repercussions of that are still being felt today; Anna Meisel tells the story of the "property cleansers" who have pushed thousands out of their homes, and of the woman who tried to fight back. In New York's subway, John Mervin gets caught up in a rescue - and there's a message for those too attached to their phones. If Pelicans are your thing, Albania is the place to go because, as Elizabeth Gowing explains, these are philopatric birds. Tourism across North Africa has taken a hit because of terrorism; but Nick Redmayne, heads to Egypt's highest mountain, in Sinai, and hears how the old ways gave people a story to tell.
With an ageing population the need for carers to help elderly people stay healthy and safe in their own homes has never been greater.From making a meal, to help getting out of bed or having a shower, domiciliary carers provide a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people. But what happens when things go wrong and carers inflict serious abuse and neglect on the people who depend on them?Lesley Curwen speaks to the families of elderly people who have been neglected in some cases left for days without proper medication or attention to personal hygiene - with devastating results.Experts say cuts to local authority care funding, unmanageable workloads and poor training are contributing to the toll of abuse. So how can families be assured that their family member is in safe hands?And after File on 4 previously uncovered evidence of widespread sex abuse in care homes, we ask whether enough is being done to protect the most vulnerable people in society in their own homes.Reporter: Lesley CurwenProducer: Ben Robinson.
What makes us change our mind when it comes to elections? We are all swingers now. More voters than ever before are switching party from one election to the next. Tribal loyalties are weakening. The electorate is now willing to vote for the other side.Professor Rosie Campbell from Birkbeck University finds out what prompts voters to shift from one party to another. Quentin Davies had been a Tory MP for decades when he crossed the floor of the house. He believes his views stayed the same - but the world changed around him. Journalist Janet Daley was once too left wing for the Labour Party - until Margaret Thatcher came along. Meanwhile Daryll Pitcher felt as though no party wanted his vote. Today he is a UKIP campaign manager.Does age make us become more right wing? Have the main political parties alienated their core vote? And what does this mean for democracy?Producer: Hannah Sander.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. Colin Freeman sees the devastating consequences of IS mines and booby traps, left behind for civilians anxious to return to their homes. Elisabeth Kendall hears how social media have broadened the horizons of Yemeni tribesmen armed to the hilt. British citizens living and working in Germany are worried about what might happen to them once the UK leaves the EU; Damien McGuinness hears how many of them are rushing to town halls to become German. The new Gambian president has vowed to improve his poor nation's economy; Andy Jones argues that tourism - and brightly painted murals - could be part of the answer. And Margaret Bradley sees and hears the destruction trail of a red peril that's invaded Portugal.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents's stories. Vincent Woods on the whistleblowing scandal that has threatened the Taoiseach and what it says about modern Ireland. Cathy Otten is with the gravediggers of Mosul, in Iraq, as they ignore the missiles overhead and continue their work with death. Owen Bennett Jones is in Ukraine, where the memory of a meeting with a political dissident during the Cold War pushes him to search him out. Puerto Rico has a conflicted relationship with the United States. On the island of Vieques Datshiane Navanayagam hears about a love-hate tussle. And in southern Chile Rob Crossan joins the local community in a feast that has existed for thousands of years.
Over 300,000 children were excluded from school in England and Wales last year - almost 6 thousand of them permanently.Many of these children will end up in "alternative provision", sometimes known as pupil referral units (PRUs) - schools for kids that the mainstream can't handle.But five years on from the Taylor Review, a report that found 'a flawed system' that failed to provide good education and accountability for 'some of the most vulnerable children in the country' - has anything really changed?File on 4 hears allegations of a system under pressure; of illegal exclusions, 'missing kids' and how some schools are controversially manipulating league tables through 'managed moves'.We also hear from whistle-blowers from one school who claim an overburdened system and a rise of referrals of kids with extreme and complex needs have led to an increase in the use of physical restraint to manage escalating violent behaviour in classrooms."Reporter: Adrian GoldbergProducer: Alys Harte.
What does the story of the Downing Street cat reveal about the way voters decide? We are not taught how to vote. We rely on intuition, snap judgments and class prejudice. We vote for policies that clash wildly with our own views. We keep picking the same party rather than admit we were wrong in the past.Rosie Campbell, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck University, sets out to become a rational voter. Class and religion have a huge impact. But our political views have become less polarised even as the parties have moved further apart. Rosie asks whether discussions of "left" and "right" have become irrelevant. In a neuropolitics lab Rosie undergoes tests to uncover her implicit biases. She learns that hope and anger make her want to vote - but blind her to the truth.Producer: Hannah Sander.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. With President Putin enjoying sky-high approval ratings, Sarah Rainsford travels to the hear the verdict in the trial of a man hoping to replace Mr. Putin. Just how difficult is it to be in opposition in Russia? In Turkey, there have been tens of thousands of arrests, numerous terrorist attacks, and the government is planning to hold a referendum, aimed at giving the President more powers. Its a time of instability. As a result, as Louise Callaghan has found, people are flocking to the psychics. The scale of the sex trafficking trade is hard to determine, though many governments have now admitted they need to do more about the problem. Often the victims are reluctant to talk. In south east Nigeria, Colin Freeman finds that the belief in a slave goddess is now being exploited by traffickers to instill fear into trafficked women. In Indonesia, Rebecca Henschke is invited to a judge in the annual transgender beauty contest. But amid all the glamour and glitter, there is an underlying worry about growing intolerance in the country. And our man in Paris, Hugh Schofield, says sometimes the cliche that a teacher can change your life is actually true. He reminisces about a man called "Mush" who taught him French, in 1960s Dublin.
Why do populist politicians across the West want warmer relations with Russia? Are they just Kremlin agents? Or are they tapping into a growing desire to find common cause with Moscow – and end East-West tension? Tim Whewell travels from Russia to America and across Europe to unravel the many different strands of pro-Moscow thinking, and offer a provocative analysis which challenges conventional thinking about the relationship between Russia and the West.Donald Trump is just one of a new breed of Western politicians who want warmer relations with Vladimir Putin. Most Western experts say that’s dangerous: an aggressive Russia is plotting to divide and weaken the West. But Trump and others seem to have tapped into a popular desire to reduce tension and discover what Moscow and the West have in common. Could Moscow now lead a “Conservative International”, promoting traditional social values and national sovereignty around the world? On the right, some see Russia as a spiritual beacon. Others, both on the right and left, simply think the threat from the East is much exaggerated – and are warming to Russia as a protest against the Western establishment. Maybe it's time for a new way of understanding relations between the old superpowers.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. Christopher Lamb on the opposition to Pope Francis within the Vatican - visible for all to see in the streets. Humphrey Hawksley, on the Taiwanese island of Kinmen, hears how President Trump must understand the importance of face to China. Pay respect and give compliments because no-one wants it to end in blood. Diana Darke is in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, the birthplace of Queen Dido, where the different communities have grown weary of war and are now seeking to build together. Daniel Pardo marvels at the resilience he witnesses in Chile, in the face of the worst forest fires the country has faced in its recent history. And Bethany Bell, with an intoxicating sense of giddiness, on why the Blue Danube Waltz - now 150 years old - is Austria's second national anthem.
When hiring people, is the concept of talent so ill-defined as to be useless? Entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan thinks so and explores what characteristics recruiters might want to look for instead. She argues that we need something new, as good grades and top degrees have proved no guarantee of high performance in the workplace. She talks to the recent head of HR (or "people operations") at Google, the pioneer of the concept of a "growth mindset", and the academic who found people's intelligence increased over the course of the 20th century. She also hears about other measures like "grit", "cultural fit" and how to interview people to find the candidate who is best for the job and the company, rather than the one you like.Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. Today: Andrew Harding, in South Africa, says the word "sorry" hasn't had much air time in recent years, despite numerous incidents of corruption and poor governance. Nick Thorpe, with the protests in Romania, remembers earlier - and recent - revolutions in Europe. Lyse Doucet is in Saudi Arabia, where the collapse in the oil price is bringing about some changes - could that include introducing more fun? John Sweeney meets Geert Wilders, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party in the Netherlands and feels distinctly uncomfortable. And Phoebe Smith spots something in the trees in Alaska that traces its roots to more difficult times.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories. Today, Mike Thomson speaks to an extraordinary man in Idlib, north-west Syria, as he responds to demands from extremists by broadcasting animal noises on his radio station. Amid an escalation of settlement activity in Israel, Yolande Knell sees one Jewish settlement bulldozed while others are given the green light by the Israeli parliament; James Coomarasamy is reminded of characters from 19th century Russian literature as he visits rural Russia. Olivia Acland partakes in a slightly boozy breakfast in Sierra Leone where palm wine is the drink of choice; and Andy Jones is in Loveland, Colorado, with the silver-haired Valentines' elves as they stamp away to bluegrass music.
Two years ago the first independent report into the treatment of whistle-blowers in the NHS was published.The Freedom to Speak Up report was commissioned by the government amid concerns not enough progress had been made to create a more open culture within the NHS following the Mid Staffs inquiry which unearthed the poor care and high mortality rates at Stafford Hospital.The report - which considered evidence from 600 individuals and 43 organisations across the country included chilling accounts of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals whose lives and careers had been destroyed after trying to raise legitimate concerns about patient safety.Whistle-blowers said they'd been left financially ruined, blacklisted and sent to the brink of suicide after being branded snitches and trouble-makers.Revealing a continuing culture of secrecy with trusts demonising whistle-blowers instead of welcoming and investigating their concerns, it was hoped the report would herald a new era of openness and accountability.File on 4 investigates what has happened since and asks whether measures put in place to protect those speaking out about patient safety are fit for purpose.Doctors who have spoken up since say they've faced the same catalogue of bullying and abuse by their employers, and in some cases, the focus remains on protecting reputations of Trusts, rather than addressing poor care. So is the culture changing quickly enough?Reporter: Simon CoxProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Jacqui Smith, the former Labour home secretary, investigates why government policies fail, focusing on one of her party's most cherished reforms.Indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPPs) were devised by David Blunkett and the Home Office to reassure voters that those convicted of serious violent and sexual offences would stay in prison until they could show by their changed behaviour that they could safely be released.But much larger numbers of offenders received the sentences than had been expected and, as the prison population rose, jails struggled to provide the facilities IPP prisoners needed to show that they had reformed. The new sentencing structure, first passed in 2003, had to be drastically changed by Labour in 2008 and finally to be repealed by the coalition four years after that.Jacqui Smith discovers the reasons why the change in sentencing was embarked upon, why its potential flaws weren't detected before its introduction and why the policy was maintained even as problems mounted. She considers the difficult legacy of IPPs - for those still in prison and for politicians devising shiny new initiatives in other fields of government.Among those taking part: David Blunkett, Kenneth Clarke, Lord Judge, Professor Nick Hardwick.Producer: Simon Coates.
Bridget Kendall introduces correspondents' stories. Jon Sopel asks if we have got it all wrong about Donald Trump. He's not just a deal maker, he has ideologues standing right behind him. Will Grant, in Mexico City, muses on how President Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border and yet a distinctly unsavoury Mexican has been sent back across that border, to the US. North East Nigeria is still in the grip of violence as the military continues its operations against Boko Haram. But Katerina Vittozzi visits a zoo where life is more peaceful and where young lovers can meet - but don't touch. Lucy Daltroff is in Japan, where modern life and screens are getting in the way of getting together, so babies are not being born. And Huw Cordey struggles to find sleep in West Papua because of a pesky insect; and matters soon turn sinister.
Bridget Kendall introduces correspondents' stories. Today, Tim Hartley hears how politics are forgotten amid the colour and friendship of the African Cup of Nations in Gabon. Nick Sturdee has a fantastical tale of intrigue and murder in Turkey - but where does the trail lead? Hywel Griffith, in Sydney, Australia, is with the 90 year old who is keeping the developers at bay. Emma Levine hunts down Albania's elusive rail network; and phoning home may have been difficult during the Kosovo conflict but Andrew Gray remembers fondly the opportunities and advantages of not being connected.
Five people have been found guilty for their roles in bank corruption and fraud costing hundreds of millions of pounds. A sixth, it can now be revealed, had already pleaded guilty.Lynden Scourfield, a middle-ranking banker with Halifax Bank of Scotland, accepted bribes in cash, foreign holidays and sexual entertainment. In exchange he would require small business customers to hire a firm of consultants called Quayside Corporate Services.The consultants claimed to be able to turn the business customers' fortunes around - but the truth was very different. File on 4 follows the story of two small Hbos clients, former rock and rollers, who fought for a decade to expose the fraud, even as the bank sought to repossess their home.We ask how this could happen, and how to prevent the ongoing mistreatment of small business customers by the banks.Reporter: Andy VerityProducer: David LewisEditor: Gail Champion.
The journey of an American 'cold warrior' from nuclear deterrence to nuclear disarmament. Former US Secretary of Defence William J Perry has spent his entire seven-decade career on the nuclear brink. A brilliant mathematician, he became involved in the development of weapons-related technology in the aftermath of World War II. As an analyst working at the heart of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he thought each day could be "my last day on earth." He was undersecretary for defence under President Carter in the 1970s, and secretary for defence under President Clinton in the 1990s. He arranged the dismantling of thousands of nuclear weapons in former Soviet republics after the collapse of the USSR, used strategic diplomacy with nuclear nations to prevent escalation, and argued - unsuccessfully - against the NATO expansion that Russia continues to find so threatening.Now Secretary Perry is worried. Very worried. President Trump and President Putin are both ramping up their bellicose rhetoric. Mr Perry sees an increasing risk of nuclear conflagration in South Asia and the Korean peninsula, and in the face of an on-going terrorism threat, he is concerned unsecured nuclear materials could fall into the wrong hands."Today, the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger," he argues.What can be done? In a challenging interview with Edward Stourton, Secretary Perry reflects on the nuclear nightmare, and lays out his formula for nuclear security in our changing world.Producer: Linda Pressly(Image: Dr William Perry gives a lecture at Stanford University about the history of nuclear weapons. Credit: Light at 11b).
Bridget Kendall introduces correspondents' stories: Justin Rowlatt sees the high cost Afghanistan's soldiers are paying to fight off the Taleban and hears how important American troops are to the NATO mission in the country. The US Marines are training the first female recruits to be deployed to combat units; Hannah King witnesses the gruelling training and hears the ditties. Andrew Harding is in Somalia, where Al-Shabab have launched more attacks this week; he wonders if the country is turning a corner. Jenny Hill is in the Netherlands and Germany, where far right groups hope to make significant gains in elections this year. She hears how the promise of a patriotic spring is being welcomed. And Simon Busch is in Northern Cyprus, where the turtles come ashore and the coast has yet to be covered in concrete. Could that all change with reunification of the island?
Bridget Kendall introduces correspondents' stories. In The Gambia, Alastair Leithead watched the old president and dictator leaving; and as he waits for the new one to arrive, he wonders if the president will be able to tackle the country's problems. In Germany, they are worried about what impact "fake" or "alternative news" could have on their election. Damien McGuinness says there's an unusual international interest in German domestic politics - and all of it is healthy. Karen Allen remembers shivering one cold evening in Africa, during the birth pains of South Sudan. In Myanmar, Jonah Fisher reflects on how Aung San Suu Kyi's government is so quick to dismiss any stories of abuses committed against the minority Rohingya community as "fake news." And Dany Mitzman is with two of the top four-legged students of a special university in northern Italy as they sniff out some of the world's most expensive delicacy.
In the UK three people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. People from ethnic minorities face a particular shortage of donors - the NHS aims to achieve 80% consent rates by 2020, but at the moment only 34% of families from ethnic minorities consent to donate organs when asked, and rates of living donation have started to fall.File on 4 finds that a small number of patients are so desperate they will risk their health by looking for a kidney abroad. Most British patients head to Pakistan, where an equally desperate group of people are coerced into giving up their kidneys, placing their lives in the hands of organ traffickers.But now a new, sinister trade is emerging in Pakistan. In October Pakistani police raided an apartment building in Rawalpindi and behind a metal grill, found 24 terrified people locked inside. They had been lured with offers of jobs, but when they arrived were kidnapped and told a kidney would be removed.As a worldwide shortage of organs fuels an increase in transplant tourism, Allan Urry, working in conjunction with local journalist Nosheen Abbas hears from the people caught up in this illegal trade and asks whether enough is being done to prevent it.Reporters: Allan Urry with Nosheen AbbasProducer: Ruth EvansResearcher: Usman Zahid.
Is public affection for the NHS preventing it from becoming fit for the future? Polling suggests that despite many complaints about the public health service, it is regarded as a much-loved and uniquely British institution. That's why for decades, it has been an article of faith among politicians that closing down hospitals or major medical services is close to electoral suicide. Received wisdom is that members of the public are dogmatically attached to their local hospitals. But could our attachment be more than just dogma? And what happens when politicians and professionals believe they know what needs to change - but the public come to an altogether different answer? Amid a time of rising demand, rising costs, and changing priorities, Sonia Sodha of The Observer explores the subtle relationship between public opinion and healthcare management.Producer: Gemma Newby.
Bridget Kendall introduces correspondents' stories. Today, Robin Denselow is in one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet, Namibia, where they are seeking divine intervention in a time of drought. Andrew North uses his sketchbook to weave his way through Soviet memorabilia in Georgia. In Nepal, economic necessity means that families aren't able to look after their older relatives as they once did. Melissa Van der Klugt visits an alien concept in the country - the first old people's home. Rob Stepney is with Austrian archaeologists before they're thrown out, in the ancient Turkish city of Ephesus. And it's the bean-eaters they're focused on. And Tim Mansel is in Leipzig, in eastern Germany, with the football upstarts of RB. But he's careful not to spill the beans over dinner with the old stalwarts of LOK.
Emily Buchanan introduces correspondents' stories. John Beck meets the policeman who used a special disguise to escape from ISIS killers in Iraq; Rebecca Henschke is outside court to hear why some think Jakarta cannot have a non-Muslim Governor. The first president of Seychelles is given a special burial; Tim Ecott explains why it could be the start of reconciliation in the archipelago. Helier Cheung was right there, singing, when Hong Kong was handed back to China; she hasn't forgotten the sandwiches, even if the politics are now more on her menu. Simon Parker is in a Bolivian market, struggling amid the sights and smells of animal flesh, hearing how the meat trade has survived during the country's worst drought in thirty years.
Revealed: the secret UK immigration dodges on offer on the high street.Theresa May has promised to stick to a promise to bring down net migration to the tens of thousands, and post the vote for Brexit, is under pressure to be tough on immigration.But File on 4 has found a market in fake documentation is helping some migrants who aren't eligible to come here, to get the necessary visas.High street immigration advisers, and even a solicitor tell the programme's undercover researcher how to buy their way in using fake documentation.The programme asks what the authorities are doing to catch the crooks.Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Paul GrantEditor: Gail Champion.
Kate Adie introduces correspondents' stories from around the world. John Sudworth is doing his best to tape up the windows of his Beijing flat as he tries to protect his family from the city's dangerous smog. Thomas Fessy remembers his days in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, fondly. But now the dancing in this lively city is more mechanical and there's anxiety that a full-blown insurgency may be about to break out once again. Phoebe Smith is in one of the coldest inhabited places on earth, Svalbard, where the miners have been packing up their picks but new opportunities are opening up. The battle between fact, fiction and "truth" is being fought in the American media. Robert Colls says it's increasingly difficult to tell one from the other. And we have the story of a cat called Django from Will Grant in Havana, Cuba, where being a pet owner is an expensive business; but if you don't do it, who will?
File on 4 sets off on a new series to find the forgotten children of Europe's refugee crisis.As winter sets in, Phil Kemp heads to Greece in search of the teenagers who have arrived alone from Syria and Afghanistan, living by their wits on the streets of Athens.The controversial deal struck between the EU and Turkey to return migrants who don't claim asylum or who have their claims rejected - and the closing of borders with Greece - has been blamed for making the situation worse for many migrants who now find themselves in limbo in Greece. The millions pledged by the EU don't seem to be bringing relief on the ground either.The programme hears from the lucky ones who have found spaces at shelters for unaccompanied children in Greece's capital. Here they are fed, clothed and supported in their legal cases.Others, on the island of Samos, are celebrating securing asylum in Greece. But most children on the island are not celebrating. They feel stuck in a system that cannot cope and held in a country that was meant to be a transit point, not a place to stay.Increasingly the locals in Samos don't want them to say either. Tensions are flaring in the area around the vastly overcrowded camp, with Golden Dawn active nearby. Around 3,000 residents turned out to protest about their sense of abandonment by the Greek government and the EU. Local officials describe the island as 'trembling on a bridge above troubled water.'With an estimated 2300 unaccompanied migrant children in Greece, more than half of whom are on the waiting list for shelter, File on 4 asks whether the EU is doing enough to care for those most in need of protection.Reporter: Phil KempProducer: Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
How political forces in other countries will shape any future UK-EU deal.As a younger man, Anand Menon spent a care-free summer Inter-railing around Europe. Some decades later, and now a professor of European politics, he's taking to the rails again - this time with a more specific purpose. While British ministers squabble over what they want for a post-Brexit UK, less attention is paid to the other 27 countries in the negotiations. Each can veto any long-term deal between Britain and the European Union. And each, critically, has its own politics to worry about. Professor Menon visits four European countries where politicians will face their electorates next year. What forces will decide their political survival? And how will those forces shape the EU's future relationship with the UK?Producer: Simon Maybin.
With the Government claiming to lead the way in plans to crack down on global corruption, how come so little is being done in Britain to tackle the vast sums of money allegedly laundered through the UK by corrupt foreign officials and international crime gangs?Allan Urry investigates claims that not enough is being done by the UK to tackle the laundering of corrupt assets or to assist nations who ask for help in getting their money back. The programme also hears complaints that British law enforcement is refusing to investigate cases.Reporter: Allan UrryProducer: David Lewis.
On 30 June this year, a study was released in one of the world's top scientific journals. It explained how a group of scientists who had been measuring the amount of ozone in the stratosphere had made a startling observation: the hole in the ozone layer had shrunk. Here, they said, was the first clear evidence that the ozone layer had begun to heal. So how did this happen?Helena Merriman tells a story that involves dogged scientific endeavour, the burgeoning green movement of the 1980s and the signing of what has been described as the most successful treaty ever created.Producers: Lucy Proctor and Hannah Sander.
The number of people who are homeless is on the rise. In London it shot up almost 80 per cent in 4 years. Latest government figures show councils in England took on 15,000 new homeless households between April and June this year - a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.Increasingly councils are having to use temporary accommodation and even bed and breakfasts to cope with a shortage of affordable accommodation. It has become an increasingly profitable business for landlords. Research this year for London councils found that they had spent over £650 million in the capital on temporary accommodation in just one year. Charities say changes to the benefit cap which comes into effect next week will make the situation for families looking for a home, even worse.File on 4 reports from the front line of the homelessness crisis. The programme meets the families sent by councils to live in cramped, filthy conditions.We hear from the doctors who claim emergency accommodation in one city is affecting people's mental health and contributing to an increase in deaths and the local authority keeping families in B&B accommodation longer than they are legally allowed to.Reporter: Simon CoxProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Should we place more trust in prisoners to help them change their lives? "Trust is the only thing that changes people," says Professor Alison Liebling, the director of the Prisons Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. But, asks Lucy Ash, how can we encourage trust in prisons that are overcrowded, often understaffed, and blighted by rising rates of violence? Prisoners are locked up because they broke trust, and on the wings distrust, rather than trust, is an essential survival skill.And yet Professor Liebling's latest evidence surprisingly shows that ultimately it is only staff-prisoner relationships built on trust that ensure better outcomes. "Values grow virtues", she argues. Treating prisoners with the same values as other people - dignity, respect, trust - will help them turn their lives around.Producer: Arlene Gregorius(Image: A knife with a blunted point, chained to a work surface. Credit: Rene Hut, of the Dutch Ministry of Justice).
This July, days after walking into the top job at number 10, Theresa May renewed her commitment to crack down on modern day slavery, describing it as "the great human rights issue of our time".The 2015 Modern Slavery Act gave prosecutors more options to pursue offenders, it handed judges the ability to dole out life sentences and promised more protection for victims. But in the clamour to tackle modern slavery, has the plight of overseas domestic workers, who toil in the homes of wealthy overseas visitors as nannies, cooks and cleaners, been forgotten?This summer File on 4 followed migrant domestic workers as they escaped abusive employers in the dead of night. Through their stories, the programme questions whether recent measures go far enough to adequately protect an invisible workforce who've been tricked and trapped into a life of exploitation.Reporter: Phillip KempProducers: Sarah Shebbeare & Ben Robinson.
In popular imagination, being in a crowd makes people scary and irrational. But is this true? In this edition of Analysis, David Edmonds asks social psychologists - including a leading expert on groups, Steve Reicher - about the psychology of crowds. This is far more than merely a theoretical matter. It has profound implications for how we police crowds.
The world's first tidal lagoon power station in Wales, which was in the Conservative manifesto, has stalled, as the government seems to be baulking at the price. The Swansea Bay lagoon, and five more that would follow around the country, would generate as much electricity as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. But does the government's commitment to the wave of new nuclear threaten the future of renewable energy in the UK?Jane Deith hears about the options the government's considered to meet an EU target of providing 15% of energy from renewables by 2020. Does the answer lie in buying in renewable power from Norway, or 'credit transfers' from countries who've hit their targets? Or does the commitment need to renegotiated completely?With growing pressure to keep a lid on bills, will renewables come second to economic interests?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Rob Cave.
Is the island of Ireland where Brexit will matter most? Edward Stourton visits Londonderry, right on the Irish border, to explore what's at stake as the UK leaves the EU. Some locals fear the border across Ireland - as the EU's new external border - will harden, causing great practical and economic difficulty and even threatening the Northern Ireland peace process. Others say change the will matter far less, and that peace is now guaranteed. While people in Derry ask anxious questions, we'll hear too how policy makers in London and Dublin face a particular challenge in making Brexit work.Producer: Chris Bowlby.
Following the BHS scandal, Allan Urry investigates other cases in which employees claim they've lost out because companies have ditched their full pension fund commitments.It's the job of the Pensions Regulator to ensure employers follow the rules and to protect the benefits of those who've been paying in. So how good are they at keeping your pension safe?The programme untangles the complex financial engineering that goes on as some foreign investors try to wash their hands of any on-going obligations to their UK workforce.And one former director whose actions cost a pension fund millions of pounds is confronted at his home.Producer: Paul GrantReporter: Allan Urry.
Can the process of gentrification be controlled? It is often hailed as a sign of social and economic progress. Places which were originally poor and downtrodden are transformed into prosperous and vibrant neighbourhoods. The phenomenon applies to large swathes of London and other cities across the country. David Baker asks whether gentrifying urban areas can retain their diversity and vibrancy. Is there a danger that in the latter stages of gentrification these places become the preserve of the very wealthy, losing much of their original character in the process? What tools are available to urban planners, local and national politicians to avoid this happening? Are there any lessons to be learned from cities in Europe and North America? Is there a new model of urban development emerging or will the British obsession with owning bricks and mortar define the way places become gentrified?Producer: Peter Snowdon.
The split and part privatisation of the UK probation system in June 2014 saw huge changes to the service, with high risk offenders managed by the new National Probation Service and low to medium risk offenders managed by Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs).Two years on, probation officers report a system that has been 'ripped apart', with two sides often failing to communicate. There are concerns over rising caseloads, falling staffing levels and the number of murders committed by offenders released from prison on licence.File on 4 speaks to families who have lost loved ones, and hears how they have had to fight to find out the full extent of the failings of the probation system in their cases.Charities report particular concerns over vulnerable women in the probation system, with many being recalled to prison for breaching probation orders, following short sentences for minor offences.As Transforming Rehabilitation is scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation, File on 4 asks if the changes are putting the public at risk?Reporter - Melanie AbbottProducer - Ruth Evans.
Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, asks if the time has come for the government to break pledges made to pensioners. He charts how the average income of senior citizens has risen and is now higher than that of the rest of the population. "We are in a position we never intended," he says. "One generation has lucked out and generations coming after are not only doing much worse, but paying for the older generation." He asks whether the government can and should sustain the "triple lock" which makes the state pension rise much faster than other benefits. And he argues that the inequality between generations is now entrenching inequality within generations.Producer: Helen GradyInterviewees:Torsten Bell, the Resolution FoundationAngus Hanton, the Intergenerational FoundationBaroness Ros Altmann, former pensions ministerJohn Kay, economistJoanne Segars, Pensions and Lifetime Savings AssociationBaroness Onora O'Neill, philosopherFrances O'Grady, Trades Union CongressBen Page, Ipsos MORI.
Valued at £80 billion, the UK's junior stock market is hyped as the most successful growth market in the world.Government incentives - including stamp duty and inheritance tax breaks - mean that more ordinary UK investors are opting for the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).Set up in 1995 to allow smaller companies to raise funds, AIM is a less-regulated alternative to its big brother, the main London Stock Exchange.But it is no stranger to controversy.Once labelled a "casino" by a senior US regulator due to its lax regulation, the market has been hit by a series of recent high profile scandals.File on Four asks if this light-touch regulation poses a hidden risk for shareholders and if unscrupulous businesses are exploiting AIM to rip off ordinary British investors?Producer: Alys HarteReporter: Simon Cox.
British politics has been going through a period of rapid and remarkable change. That's a headache for the politicians and for the voters. But spare a thought also for politics professors like Rosie Campbell of Birkbeck, University of London. Following the results of the 2015 election and the EU referendum, she ask whether it's time for her and her colleagues to bin their old lecture notes and start afresh. How should we understand this new landscape where old assumptions about the dominance of two mainstream class-based parties and the crucial role of a few swing seats have become outdated? And what should go in the new politics textbooks?Producer: Rob Walker.
For a long time, society didn't want to believe child sex abuse was happening - but now are sex crimes against elderly victims being dismissed in the same way?File on 4 reveals new figures about the scale of alleged sex offences taking place in residential and nursing homes. Whether 5 or 85, should the victims of sexual assault be treated any differently?Claire Savage hears from the families of elderly people, some with a form of dementia, who have been sexually abused by care workers or by other residents. We also speak to care workers about the challenges they face in dealing with intimacy and sex in care settings.Experts claim elder sex crimes are being missed or going unreported because not everyone wants to admit these offences are happening. How good are those within the care industry at recognising the signs of elder sexual abuse and at coping with the moral and ethical dilemmas of establishing when a consensual relationship becomes potential abuse?We speak to those who explain the complexities of bringing about prosecutions where the victim or perpetrator lacks mental capacity and asks if such cases are in the public interest to prosecute.Reporter: Claire SavageProducer: Emma Forde.
Five years after shocking revelations about the abuse of patients at Winterbourne View, File on 4 asks what progress has been made on the promise to get people with learning disabilities and autism out of hospital units and into homes in the community with good support.Families of those still stuck in these units say patients are trapped in the system with no clear plan or apparent will to get them home. For those eventually discharged, almost as many others are admitted - parents say, because there aren't enough community support services.But if people are let out by the institutions, what's does so-called 'supported living' in the community look like? File on 4 hears concerns about the quantity and quality of this promised care. Parents describe living on the brink of a crisis that could land their children back in a cycle of being sectioned and locked up.NHS England says the plans are taking shape. But families say it's like living in The Twilight Zone, in a limbo hidden from mainstream view and unable to find a way out.So just how successful is the landmark 'Homes not Hospitals' plan, that aims to improve life for some of the most vulnerable patients in the NHS?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Sally ChesworthEditor: Gail Champion.
Earlier this year, the government introduced legislation banning the production, distribution, sale and supply of legal highs. Designed to stop what has been described as a tsunami of chemicals flooding into the UK, it has resulted in the closure of the high street shops which had been selling exotically named substances like Spice, Mamba and China White.So why are they still finding their way onto the streets? File on 4 traces the supply back to labs in China and discovers a myriad of psychoactive substances are still only a few internet clicks away. Prior to the ban, the authorities were aware of the risk that internet sales could take over from the high street and that China is fast becoming the 'chemical and pharmaceutical wholesaler to the world'.So is the new legislation really the answer, and if not, what options remain to disrupt the now illegal supply of these lethal substances?Reporter: Danny VincentProducer: Nicola Dowling.
Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times, examines how policymakers are testing the norms of economic life as they seek solutions to slow growth. The payment of interest goes back to the Babylonians. Today, the business of banking is based on paying savers and charging borrowers for money. Negative interest rates, paying banks for holding our funds, violates this established norm. Yet, five central banks, which together oversee a quarter of the world's economy, have opted to impose negative rates on the commercial banks that must use their services. The aim of this unconventional policy is to convince people to spend and invest rather save. The results so far have been mixed. So might central banks be running out of options to boost economic growth, nearly ten years after the start of the last financial crisis? Martin Wolf talks with economists and central bankers, past and present, about why ideas once thought utterly shocking, such as "helicopter money" and a the abolition of cash, are being openly considered. How might such policies affect the way people spend and save in the future? And how low can interest rates go?Producer: Sandra Kanthal.
Police are investigating allegations of abuse made by people who, as children, were sent for psychiatric treatment at Aston Hall Hospital in Derbyshire. Some patients say they were only sent there because they were difficult to manage or had behavioural problems.The Medical Superintendent is accused of 'experimenting' on his child patients, giving them an anaesthetic called sodium amytal in therapy sessions throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Phil Kemp investigates the history of this treatment, which was used on shell shocked soldiers during World War Two, employed as a 'truth serum' by police and intelligence agencies, and by the 80's had become implicated in false memory cases. The hospital closed in 2004 and the Medical Superintendent died in 1976, leaving his patients struggling to make sense of what happened to them at Aston Hall.Although treatment records reveal the sodium amytal was used on some children, former patients question what really went on while they were drugged. File on 4 opens the medical archives and hears from former staff to piece together a troubled chapter in the history of psychiatric care, and in the lives of former patients.Reporter - Phil KempProducer - Ruth Evans.
Change, change, change - conventional wisdom is that the classroom is the site of an endless set of reforms, a constant stream of White Papers and directives that promise 'revolution' and sudden changes in direction. Yet is the real story of school reform really one of continuity?Professor Alison Wolf of King's College London explores the post-war history of school reform in England. Speaking to former secretaries of state, historians, and teachers, she explores the forces and events that have shaped schools. She argues that real changes have been surprisingly few and that despite a great deal of fiery rhetoric, they have generally continued across party lines. And she asks if that means that governments have perhaps been listening to what parents genuinely want?Producer: Gemma Newby.
Is the UK putting trade above concerns about human rights in the United Arab Emirates?Britons who claim they were tortured in the Gulf state's prison cells say the UK government failed to fight for them.The foreign office has received 43 cases of alleged abuse of UK citizens in the UAE since 2010.In exclusive interviews, File on 4 hears from those who've got out of detention in Dubai who say they were arrested without charge and subjected to violent treatment and torture.The UK government says it regularly raises Britons' cases - and allegations of mistreatment - with the UAE authorities. But those who've been stuck there tell File on 4 they didn't get the support they needed and expected when they were suffering, despite the authorities here knowing the risks they faced.The government's also promoting deals with its largest trading partner in the Middle East.Jane Deith counts up the billions of UAE investment in the UK, from container ports to housing developments.And the programme hears the arguments for joint ventures with Emirati companies - for example by NHS hospitals - as a lucrative way to generate income as budgets are squeezed, ultimately providing better services for patients here.The United Arab Emirates is seen as a stable ally in an unstable Middle East, not least in the fight against Islamic State - does that make the UK less willing to raise issues like human rights abuses and judicial process?Reporter: Jane DeithProducer: Sally Chesworth.
Should the state pay everyone a Universal Basic Income? Sonia Sodha finds out why the idea is winning support from an unlikely alliance of leftists and libertarians.Producer: Helen Grady.
Successive government procurement strategies have repeatedly promised high quality public buildings made possible through Private Finance Initiatives, but is that what's been delivered? What went wrong in Edinburgh where 17 schools remained closed after the Easter break because of fears walls might collapse on children and staff? Allan Urry reveals new concerns about the extent of fire safety problems in some schools and hospitals because contractors failed to ensure they were built to specification. How safe are they, and who's footing the bill to put them right?Producer: Ian Muir CochraneReporter: Allan Urry.
Politico foreign correspondent Nahal Toosi examines the international record of President Obama's eight years in office and tries to discern the governing principles behind his foreign policy. The president sought to avoid costly overseas interventions - yet his critics allege that he has allowed rival powers like Russia and China to flex their muscles and threaten American interests. And he has been condemned for his signature foreign policy achievements, like rapprochements with Iran and Cuba. With interviews gathered in Europe, the Middle East and in Washington DC, Nahal examines the president's decisions to ask if there is such a thing as an "Obama Doctrine".Producer: Lucy Proctor.
Charity is big business. In the UK, over £9 billion is donated to charitable institutions each year. But fundraising can also be controversial as recent news stories about expensive electricity tariffs, elderly donors receiving incessant requests for donations and the tactics of some "chuggers" have confirmed.So studies in experimental psychology that reveal which approaches persuade people to be more generous are timely and could offer charities a neat way to raise more money. David Edmonds explores the results of this research - including findings published for the first time. He asks if, by adopting techniques already used by the marketing and advertising industries, charities could transform their fortunes - but at what cost?Producer Simon Coates.
Around 2.5m council tenants across the UK have bought their homes since Right to Buy started in 1980. The scheme is now being extended to more than a million housing association tenants in England with the first homes expected to be sold in pilot areas next month.The popularity of right to buy has risen sharply since greater discounts were introduced four years ago, but so too have cases of fraud as people seek to exploit discounts of up to nearly £104,000.Simon Cox goes on the trail of the fraudsters and the companies seeking to make big bucks out of right to buy. He discovers people trying to buy homes they're not entitled to and criminals attempting to launder drugs money.He investigates companies who offer tenants help to buy their home in order to get their hands on valuable properties.He also hears concerns from experts that many housing associations do not have the resources and skills to prevent fraud which could potentially result in the loss of millions of pounds worth of much needed homesReporter: Simon CoxProducer: Paul Grant.
Journalist Robin Aitken comes from a conservative political viewpoint to a man who has inspired mass movements on the left: Karl Marx. Robin who was a BBC reporter for 25 years thinks Marx was always in the background discourse of politics, an influence he partly feared and didn't fully understand. He takes a walk through central London in the footsteps of the great revolutionary. And in conversation with the likes of Paul Mason, Judith Orr, Marc Stears and Peter Hitchens he tries to find out what political and economic influence Marx retains today.Producer: Nina Robinson.
The recent deaths of children at the hands of family members have revealed some children's social work departments are still failing children some nine years after the death of Baby P. In some regions the reaction of the Government has been to take social workers out of the hands of councils and put them into independent trusts.So what's been going wrong - and will the radical solution coming out of Whitehall really work? Jenny Chryss investigates.Producer: Rob Cave.
Young people today drink and smoke much less than previous generations. The rates of teenage pregnancy and youth crime have fallen dramatically. New Statesman editor Jason Cowley talks to experts to find out what is shaping the attitudes and choices of young people today. He grew up in Harlow in Essex during a time of particular social unrest. He returns to his former sixth-form college where he meets a group of students who are markedly more conformist and disciplined than his generation, but more anxious too. So what accounts for this change in young people's behaviour? Is it economic pressures, government policy or the fear of transgressors being shamed on social media? Will we continue to see the rise of a generation of New Young Fogeys?Producer: Katie Inman.
Over the past five years thousands of patients in England have been given access to new but expensive cancer drugs through a special Cancer Drugs Fund. But critics argue that hundreds of millions have been spent on drugs that offered poor value for money with sometimes limited effects. The Fund is now being reformed but cancer charities have written to the Prime Minister to express deep concern that drugs will now struggle to gain approval. Phil Kemp investigates the record of the Cancer Drugs Fund and asks if the proposed changes will offer better value for money or access for patients.Reporter: Phil KempProducer: Anna Meisel.
David Baker explores the identity and values of Silicon Valley - and what they mean for the rest of us. He talks to entrepreneurs, investors, academics and activists about how those values are permeating the world and what to do when they clash with other priorities down on the ground.Producer: Peter Snowdon.
English football clubs enjoy a high profile around the world, leading to many companies vying to do business with them. But have some football clubs entered into financial deals with companies with questionable backgrounds?File on 4 explores whether clubs are vulnerable to companies and individuals who use the reputation of English football to lend credibility to their activities. But what due diligence do clubs undertake when securing such deals? Allan Urry looks at the relationship between soccer and sponsorship. He hears from some of the victims who've lost money, because they believed those who do business with the biggest names in football, could be trusted.Reporter - Allan UrryProducer - Emma Forde.
Edward Stourton examines America's long history of resistance to free trade, and asks why it has again become such a potent political force. Donald Trump's most consistent policy has been opposition to free trade agreements which he sees as unfair, particularly with China. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has been equally opposed, if for different reasons, while Hillary Clinton has had to tack away from her previous support for free trade pacts. Edward looks back to debates from the 19th century to the 1990s to shed new light on these forces. And he asks whether the protectionist impulse is a natural reaction to globalisation's wrenching changes.Producer: Smita Patel.
For the past 22 years Thomas Bourke has been in prison for a double murder he says he didn't commit.The killings made national headlines in 1993 when two MOT inspectors, Alan Singleton and Simon Bruno, were shot dead at a garage in Stockport, in Greater Manchester.The evidence produced in court against Bourke seemed compelling. Two mechanics at the garage said they had seen him carry out the shooting which the prosecution claimed was motivated by a dispute about his licence to carry out MOT tests.As the jury began their deliberations, a gun was found inside Strangeways prison where Bourke was on remand. Amid subsequent heightened security around the court, he was found guilty and given a minimum 25 year sentence. But protesting his innocence all these years means that he may never be eligible for parole so could remain in prison for the rest of his life.His sister Jo has been tirelessly fighting his case. A chiropodist with no connections to criminals, she began visiting notorious drug dealers and suspected killers to try to gather new evidence that would help clear his name.Through the work of Jo and other campaigners, Bourke's case is now back with the Criminal Cases Review Commission which they hope will lead to an appeal.So has Thomas Bourke been the victim of a shocking miscarriage of justice? Simon Cox investigates.Producer: Sally Chesworth.
In communities around the globe, genderqueer, gender-variant and gender-fluid people are rejecting the categories of male and female, and attempting to re-define gender identity. Linda Pressly asks if being non-binary breaks the last identity taboo, and explores the challenges it creates for the law, society and conventional concepts about the very nature of gender.Producer: Lucy Proctor(Photo: Pips Bunce, the global head of Fixed Income & Derivatives IT engineering at Credit Suisse, who identifies as gender-fluid, or gender-variant).
Police forces in England and Wales are to get an additional fifteen hundred firearms officers to help protect the public from terrorism and organised crime.Most of the new officers will be trained within the next two years after the Prime Minister, David Cameron, set aside £143m to boost the country's armed response capability.But is it enough to meet the challenges they face?The number of firearms officers fell from nearly seven thousand in 2009/10 to under six thousand in 2013/14.And, despite the extra funding, the Police Federation is concerned the new firearms teams will have to come from existing staff. They say that will deplete the number of officers available for other duties.BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw investigates - and he examines growing unease at the way in which those who discharge their weapons are dealt with.Concern has been highlighted by the suspension and arrest of the officer suspected of shooting dead Jermaine Baker in Wood Green in December.Police representatives tell the programme that while they expect their actions to be investigated, people will not come forward to train as firearms officers if they believe they will be treated like a criminal who fires an illegal weapon.The Independent Police Complaints Commission acknowledges that firearms officers work in challenging circumstances but maintains that police shootings resulting in death or serious injury should be independently investigated.So, can the system for holding them to account be improved?Reporter: Danny Shaw Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
The Serious Fraud Office has begun an investigation into allegations of corruption in the award of multi-million pound oil contracts in the Middle East. A Monaco based company, Unaoil, denies that it helped British and other companies win contracts by corrupting politicians and government officials.The investigation follows a leak of thousands of emails and other documents. Jane Deith has been given access to the leaked papers and reveals what they tell us about the business of oil.Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Paul Grant.
Timothy Garton Ash introduces the subject of freedom of speech and why it is more important than ever in today's internet-connected world. Professor Garton Ash sets out the arguments for why we need free speech, including for the sake of diversity, good governance and the search for truth. He argues that as smartphones and the web change our communications, we need a set of principles which govern free speech more than ever as this essential human right comes under attack. Drawing on research behind his book on the subject, he identifies three main threats. The first is what he calls the heckler's veto: if you shout loudly enough you can restrict free speech. The second is the offensiveness veto: if you cry 'I'm offended' you can restrict free speech. The third is the assassin's veto: if you say that, we will kill you.Produced by Nina Robinson
Timothy Garton Ash examines how free speech is being eroded in the place it should be most secure: in universities. He examines the activist practise known as 'no platforming'. It means that one group of students is being prevented from hearing someone they do want to hear, because another group of students doesn't want that voice to be heard. Feminists Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer were both 'no platformed' due to their views on transgender people. Professor Garton Ash argues that the practice goes directly against a core principle of free speech, which is that all views - even offensive ones - must be robustly challenged in well-informed debate and not censored by those who cry 'I'm offended'.Producer: Nina Robinson
Timothy Garton Ash asks if religion is a special case where freedom of speech should be curtailed. He asks how we can reconcile belief in an absolute revealed truth with the post-Enlightenment freedom to question everything, including religious faith. He proposes that the principle we should adopt is to "respect the believer but not necessarily the content of the belief". Will this be enough to bridge the gap?Producer: Nina Robinson
Timothy Garton Ash asks whether we have the media we need to really exercise our right to freedom of expression?He examines the diversity of voices acrossthe media landscape and wonders whether the ownership structure of Britain's media industry is conducive to free speech.Are we able to understand what is happening in our government so we can exercise clear judgment on public policy?Are we being told the Truth with a capital T?With the advent of the internet, there is a plethora of ways in which we are now communicating, especially using social media networks like Facebook.But is the algorithm used for news feeds showing us only what we want to see, rather than what we need to see?Producer: Nina Robinson
It is often said that our right to free speech is balanced by our right to privacy. Timothy Garton Ash asks how we should strike the right balance between the two. In a world where we are sharing more of our lives online than ever before, should we accept that our privacy rights are no longer as important?Producer: Nina Robinson
In part two of The Deobandis, the BBC's former Pakistan correspondent Owen Bennett Jones reveals a secret history of Jihadist propagation in Britain.This follows the BBC's discovery of an archive of Pakistani Jihadist publications, which report in detail the links some British Deobandi scholars have with militant organisations in Pakistan. Among the revelations are details of a lecture tour of Britain by Masood Azhar - a prominent Pakistani militant operating in Kashmir. He toured the UK in the early 1990s, spreading the word of Jihad to recruit fighters, raise funds and build links which would aid young Britons going abroad to fight Jihad decades later.The programme also explores intra-Muslim sectarianism in Britain, and discovers how some senior Deobandi leaders have links to the proscribed organisation Sipah-e-Sahaba, a militant anti-Shia political party formed in Pakistan in the 1980s.But how widespread and representative is this sympathy with militancy?The programme explores the current battle for control in some British mosques, speaking to British Deobandi Muslims pushing back against the infiltration of Pakistani religious politics in British life.As one campaigner says, this is 'the battle for the soul of Islam' and the 'silent majority' must speak out - but can moderate Muslims build the institutional power they need to really enforce change?CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE:Aimen Dean - former member of Al Qaeda and former MI5 operativeRafaello Pantucci - Director in International Security Studies, RUSIMufti Mohammed Amin PandorToaha Qureshi MBE - Trustee of Aalimi Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat (Stockwell, London)Aamer Anwar - human rights lawyerProducers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid IqbalResearcher: Holly Topham
The Deobandis are virtually unknown to most British people, yet their influence is huge. As the largest Islamic group in the UK, they control over 40% of mosques and have a near monopoly on Islamic seminaries, which propagate a back-to-basics, orthodox interpretation of Islam.Founded in a town called Deoband in 19th Century India, it's a relatively new tradition within the Islamic faith, but has spread throughout the world, with the UK being a key centre. Migrants from India and Pakistan brought Deobandi Islam to the UK during the 1960s and 1970s, setting up mosques and madrassas in the mill towns of Bury and Dewsbury, from which a national network grew.The Deobandi movement is large and diverse: from the quietest and strictly non-violent missionary group the Tablighi Jamaat to the armed sectarian and jihadist groups of Pakistan.The BBC's former Pakistan correspondent Owen Bennett Jones investigates which strands of Deobandi opinion have influence in the UK, speaking to people from within the British Deobandi community, from scholars to missionaries to madrassa students.In the first of two programmes he explores claims that Deobandi Islam is intentionally isolationist and that its strict beliefs put it at odds with mainstream British culture, leaving the community segregated from wider British society. Though if true, is that really the fault of Deobandi Muslims?Producers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid IqbalResearcher: Holly Topham
This week's massive leak of confidential documents from the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, has given unprecedented access to the way the rich and powerful have used tax havens to hide their wealth. But within the eleven and a half million documents, there is also evidence of how some of the shell companies set up by the firm, or the individuals that owned them, have been the subject of international sanctions and have been used by rogue states and oppressive regimes including North Korea and Syria.Simon Cox reveals details from the leaked papers and travels to the British Virgin Islands where a small office run by Mossack Fonseca was used to create more than 100,000 companies. One of them was a front for a North Korean Bank that was later sanctioned by the United States for supporting the regime's illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programme. According to the US, the BVI based front company managed millions of dollars in transactions in support of North Korea.Other companies set up by on the island were used by a billionaire businessman who is a cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and who was sanctioned by the US for using "intimidation and his close ties to the Assad regime at the expense of ordinary Syrians."Mossack Fonseca has said it never knowingly allowed the use of its companies by individuals with any relationship with North Korea or Syria and says it has operated beyond reproach for 40 years and has never been charged with criminal wrong-doing.Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: James Melley
How did notorious traitor Kim Philby manage to infiltrate MI6 and send its most sensitive secrets to the Soviets? Now, for the first time, we can hear his account in a once secret tape the BBC has unearthed. It is a story of documents smuggled, Cold War operations betrayed, and Philby’s ability to evade detection by simply denying everything. BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the full story.
Phil Tinline finds out what happens when institutions lose their memory and how they can best capture and share the lessons of the past.
Two months ago a File on 4 investigation into match-fixing in tennis made headlines around the world.The programme revealed how tennis authorities had received repeated alerts in the past decade about 16 players, all of whom have been in the top 50.It also questioned the effectiveness of the sport's watchdog, the Tennis Integrity Unit.Now, in a follow up programme, Simon Cox reveals new allegations of corruption and further evidence of the involvement of gambling syndicates in trying to influence the outcome of matches.Officials from the governing bodies of tennis have already been interviewed by MPs about the findings of the original programme. They have also appointed a prominent London barrister to head an independent review into anti-corruption policies and practices.Reporter: Simon Cox Producer: Paul Grant.
As more and more migrants seek asylum in the UK, is the system for processing their applications reaching breaking point? Allan Urry investigates the impact of a drastic reduction in the numbers of courts hearing cases. At the same time, appeals are going up and key rulings against Home Office decisions to return people to other countries are also piling on the pressure.With Europe now bracing itself for a fresh wave of refugees fleeing conflict, why is it taking so long and costing so much to decide who should be granted asylum here?Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: David Lewis.
Special guardianship orders are a way of giving legal status to those - usually grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters - who come forward to care for children when their parents can't. SGOs were designed to let children grow up with family, instead of in care - once a relative is granted special guardianship, the council steps backs and the guardian can raise the child without social services interfering.The use of special guardianship orders has been rising-last year more than 3,000 of them were made.But special guardianship breaks down more often - and more quickly - than adoption.And in some cases children have been neglected, abused, or murdered.The family court service Cafcass and the Association of Directors of Children's Services have warned that weak assessments of the risks of family placements are a 'real risk' for children.The government has re-written the law on how special guardians are assessed. But with court deadlines and growing pressure on social workers and budgets, will it make children safer? Jane Deith investigates.Producer: Emma Forde.
It's estimated there are around 620,000 people in England with dementia. Prime minister David Cameron says fighting the disease is a personal priority and doctors in England have been encouraged to proactively identify people with early stage dementia.The PM says that an early diagnosis allows families to prepare for the care of a relative, but others argue there's no treatment for such a diagnosis and no robust evidence to justify a process that might lead to harm. Deborah Cohen hears from doctors who are concerned the drive to raise diagnosis rates is leading to people being misdiagnosed.The Government has also pledged millions of pounds to help make England "the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neuro-degenerative diseases". Scientists leading the research say they are making progress to find tests which could identify people at risk from the disease and develop a cure. But other researchers say money is being wasted because current directions in drug development are following the same path as those of the past which have ended in failure.Producer: Paul Grant.
Are international conflicts creating tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the UK?Shabnam Mahmood reports from both Sunni and Shia communities and reveals how divisive messages from the Middle East are fuelling intolerance here.Organisations which monitor hate crimes say sectarian violence, while low level, is increasing.One Shia man tells the programme: "It is now becoming quite dangerous. It is an attack on me as a Shia that really scares me."Mahmood reports from one of an increasing number of unity events being staged across the country to foster good relations. A Sunni imam tells her: "These are dangerous times and the religious leadership need to be seen to be doing things to bring communities together."So can such work prevent tensions escalating in the face of the sectarian propaganda that's increasingly available online and on satellite television channels?Producer: Sally Chesworth.
The Dutch city of Nijmegen has much in common with the English city of York. Similar in size, both are much visited by tourists because of their histories and architecture. But both also have rivers running through them and are susceptible to flooding. So how do their defences compare? And, as York and other communities continue to mop up the damage caused by the latest catastrophic flooding, did basic mistakes and a failure of planning make a bad situation very much worse?Reporter: Allan Urry Producer: Rob Cave.
Vaccination has long been one of the greatest weapons in the battle against a range of potentially fatal diseases. Millions of lives have been saved worldwide, and Britain has played a major role in helping to combat new pandemics. But, rarely, things do go wrong and people develop serious side-effects. In the UK, the Government's Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme is supposed to help those left severely disabled as a result. Among those currently arguing their case are the families of children who developed an incurable and devastating sleep disorder after being immunised against swine flu. But, to date, most have received nothing and Ministers have now gone to the Court of Appeal to try and establish a less generous interpretation of the pay-out rules. Lawyers for the families say the whole scheme is outdated and unfit for purpose. Are they right? Jenny Chryss investigates.Reporter: Jenny Chryss Producer: Ruth Evans.
File on 4 uncovers the story behind the collapse of one of the biggest health contracts ever put out to tender. Last April an NHS consortium of Cambridge University Hospitals and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust successfully bid to run older peoples' health services. But in December the £800m, five year contract ended without warning, with local commissioners saying only that it was "no longer financially sustainable." Jane Deith asks what the failure of the Cambridgeshire contract means for the broader policy of trying to improve NHS services by opening massive contracts to competition between Trusts and the private sector.Reporter: Jane Deith Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
File on 4 reveals secret evidence of match fixing in tennis and investigates claims that sport's governing bodies have failed to act on repeated warnings about suspect players. The programme has seen confidential documents which reveal how some were linked to gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy which won hundreds of thousands of pounds betting on matches they played in. A number of those who have been repeatedly flagged on fixing lists passed to the game's Tennis Integrity Unit have continued to attract highly suspicious gambling activity. Reporter Simon Cox also has an exclusive interview with one of the most high profile players to be banned for match fixing who says the problem is widespread in the sport.Reporter Simon Cox Producer Paul Grant.