Watching the World Cup in the Woods

A golden statue of Chairman Mao, thirty swanky apartments and forty-six mistresses - just a few examples of the excess displayed recently by corrupt Chinese officials.

That said, it seems barely a day goes by without news coming out of China of yet another high profile sacking - in fact, since coming to power President Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption his top priority. But he has a big battle on his hands, says BBC Beijing reporter Martin Patience, with corruption being so deeply embedded in Chinese culture.

Also: In the east of Mexico is the state of Veracruz - an area which has traditionally proved popular with tourists. Today, however, the region is at the centre of a territorial dispute between criminal cartels - although people don't like to talk about it. BBC Mexico correspondent Will Grant discovers a culture of silence when it comes to the violence in the region, with journalists self-censoring and locals wary of speaking out of turn.

The Italians, it seems, love a man in uniform and this weekend they will be showing a lot of love for the oldest of the country's multiple police forces - the Carabinieri - which celebrates its 200th anniversary. Dany Mitzman charts their curious place in Italian popular culture.

Here in the UK, the ability to speak plain-English is often seen as an asset - especially if you're a politician, or a journalist. In France, however they aspire to something more sophisticated. As BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield has discovered, a flair for Latin is preferred over more simple layman's terms.

Germany's football team are now favourites to lift the World Cup, with the team being championed for its sterling team work rather than depending on the efforts of a single solo star, which has characterised so many other teams. Germany is also in with a chance of winning the tournament's fair-play award, in recognition of good sportsmanship. But as BBC Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans reveals, that side of the game is perhaps not such a long-standing German footballing tradition, especially in the days when Berlin was a divided city.

Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith.

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30 minutes

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Sat 12 Jul 2014 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.