The Fifth Floor - 31/03/2012
India reporter takes a remarkable journey to secure the release of a hostage; reporting a famine in the Sahel; are politicians taking nicknames too personally?; and flexible birth dates.
A fresh look at the week's global news from across the World Service's 27 language sections, with David Amanor.
RELEASING A HOSTAGE An extraordinary 16-hour trek through the remote hills and forests of India's Orissa State, interviewing a Maoist rebel commander and witnessing the release of an Italian hostage - all in a day's work for Sandeep Sahu from the BBC's Hindi Service. And all with a bad back too!
PAPPON'S PICKS Our new internet guru Thomas Pappon gives a rundown on the big-hitting stories across the World Service language sites this week - including a medal ceremony gone horribly wrong, Russians missing Whitney Houston, Indonesians scanning the skies for rockets, and the naked golfer.
REPORTING A FAMINE A thick cloud of dust, desertification, and children struggling to smile through a food crisis in the Sahel, some images from the audio diary of BBC Africa's Venuste Nshimiyimana. His team has been in Niger, one of the sub-Saharan countries worst hit by famine.
WHAT'S IN A NICKNAME Remember these: Dear Leader, the Laughing Cow, Comrade Bob, Mr Boom, Slick Willie, Commander In Briefs. While some leaders accept ridicule as an occupational hazard, others take serious offence. Nga Pham from our Vietnamese Service and Josephine Hazeley of BBC Africa ponder over the nicknames politicians attract.
USES AND ABUSES OF A BIRTHDATE For many people in South Asia, a birth date is nothing more than a scribble on a piece of paper. Suhail Haleem of our Urdu Service explores the uses and abuses of a flexible birth date. And as he points out, your mother surely has the best memory of approximately when you were born.
(Image: A graffiti caricature of former Libyan leader Gaddafi. Credit: Getty)