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Play now 28 mins


28 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 14 August 2009

Personal stories behind the news from all over the world. With Ritula Shah.

On today's programme: Betty Yettaw speaks about her husband's imprisonment in Burma; Beating the health care system in the USA; Being gay in China; German bravery medals.

Betty Yettaw
Betty is the wife of John Yettaw who swam across a lake to see the Burmese democracy campaigner Aung Sang Suu Kyi. He was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison, including four years hard labour. Aung San Suu Kyi was sentenced to 18 months house arrest. Why did John do it and what impact has it had on Betty, at home in the state of Missouri in the USA?

German medals
The Federal Republic of Germany has recently awarded its first ever medal for bravery in military service. It's controversial because until recently German troops only delivered aid and helped with reconstruction. Now, they're risking their lives in military operations.

Beating they system
The debate regarding health care reform is raging in the United States. Millions of Americans don't have health care, and at some points in her life Kairol Rosentahl from Chicago didn't either - just after she found she had cancer. But she found a way round it. According to Kairol, she became an accomplished liar.

Lesbians in China
It's not easy being gay in China. Until eight years ago, homosexuality was seen as a psychological problem which required treatment. Even today, gay people remain largely hidden because of the social stigma attached to their sexuality. Xiaopei He is doing pioneering work in China through her organisation, Pink Space. She explained the challenges she faced when she came out as a lesbian.


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