Kate Adie introduces BBC foreign correspondents with the stories behind the headlines.

It's the Mexican choice: Plata o plomo - silver or lead: you work for the drug cartels or they kill you. Katya Adler's been in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez meeting the young police recruits preparing to confront the country's murderous drug gangs.

There's tension on the streets of Ukraine ahead of Sunday's presidential election. Both sides accuse the other of planning to rig the poll. There's speculation about a return of the street protests reminiscent of the Orange Revolution in 2004. James Coomarasamy meets a man who could be called the Ukrainian Frank Sinatra. He, like many, has become disillusioned with Ukrainian politics.

In China, the gender imbalance is a serious issue. Chris Hogg in Shanghai says it means more and more Chinese men will find it harder to find a bride in the years ahead. And getting your children married so you can become a grandparent is a vitally important ambition for many Chinese parents - it's still the best way to ensure you will be cared for in old age.

Twenty years ago much of the world got its first proper look at Nelson Mandela. After 27 years behind bars in South Africa he was released and cameras from around the world rolled as he walked to freedom. Today Mr Mandela is in retirement and has cut back his public appearances. Among his closest friends is the man who represented him in his many court battles against the apartheid regime, George Bizos. Andrew Harding has been to meet him and learned that the old lawyer is still fighting for a better South Africa.

Emma Jane Kirby in Paris has a series of confrontations with taxi drivers as she muses on what the revolution of 1792 has done for the service industry in France.

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30 minutes

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Sat 6 Feb 2010 11:30

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FOOC at 60: Memorable Reports

FOOC at 60: Memorable Reports

Archive despatches from places including Libya, Hong Kong, Liberia, Paris, Russia.