The Fifth Floor - 15/09/2012
In Somalia, the journalist who would be President; the secret lives of Pakistan's ISI Wives, a satire; Sri Lanka's new hangmen; and in China, a leader vanishes
A fresh look at the week's global news from the World Service's 27 language sections, with David Amanor.
THE JOURNALIST WHO WOULD BE PRESIDENT The head of the Somali Service resigned suddenly last month. Ten days later he announced he was running for President of Somalia. Now people here leave the business and do all kinds of interesting things but that's the first time any of us can remember such a dramatic shift. Yusuf Garaad Omar's bid to lead the new government of Somalia failed, but the implications of his departure continue to ring around the Fifth Floor. A few days after he arrived in Mogadishu a death threat was issued against him. And soon after the new President was announced, the hotel in which he and Yusuf was staying was attacked by suicide bombers. From Mogadishu, Yusuf tells us about his journey from journalist to Presidential candidate.
Plus, Liliane Landor - the Controller for Languages at the World Service (this means she's Fifth Floor VIP, so watch it) - talks about the self-analysis the BBC goes through when journalists cross the floor.
ONLINE GREATEST HITS Thomas Pappon brings you the highlights from the World Service language websites this week - including special tips for cooking mice in Malawi, and men with monkeys in their underpants.
SRI LANKA'S NEW HANGMEN The Sri Lankan prison department revealed this week that they have employed two new hangmen. The positions became vacant when one of the hangmen was promoted and the other retired. In all there were 176 applicants for the job. It's not entirely clear how the two new men of the gallows will spend their days as the death penalty has not been used in Sri Lanka since 1976. Priyath Liyanage, head of the Sinhala Service explains.
THE ISI WIVES: PART ONE This week the passions between America and Pakistan were raised once again with an intriguing story about a Pakistani doctor who allegedly went on an undercover mission for the CIA. He was supposedly helping them to track down Osama bin Laden. Some of it reads like a good thriller, and although truth may be stranger than fiction, the Fifth Floor's treatment of this story is definitely fiction. This three-part satire by Urdu Section Head, Aamer Ahmed Khan introduces us to two imaginary women married to Pakistani intelligence officers. In episode one, the two wives vie for power and influence but what will be the consequences? Starring Sheena Bhattessa, Shobu Kapoor, and Aamer Ahmed Khan.
A LEADER VANISHES BBC Chinese editor Raymond Li has been on the hunt for Xi Jinping, the man tipped to become China's next leader. However, this terribly important politicians has been absent from public view since the beginning of September. So, where is he and how to track him down?
(Image: A woman applying lipstick. Credit: Getty)