Egypt and China

Alan Johnston introduces the stories behind the headlines, from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, Tim Whewell explores why the Sinai's Bedouin scorn national borders and Martin Patience goes underground to visit China's "mouse tribe".

Guns and smugglers in the sands of the Sinai

Since ancient times the vast majority of Egyptians have lived on the banks of the river Nile. Its waters gave rise to a settled culture - a world of farmers, merchants and officials. But out to the east, in the desert of the Sinai Peninsula, things have always been quite different. Life there moves more to the rhythms of Bedouin culture.

Sinai is a less controlled, less ordered sort of place. And Tim Whewhell says that right now it has a rather lawless feel...

The "mouse tribe": driven underground by China's housing costs

All around the world, cities have a similar power to attract. They offer jobs and wealth; bright lights and fun. In China they've drawn in many millions of young people from the countryside: Beijing alone has gained six million new residents in the last decade.

But the cities have struggled to absorb all those migrants. There just isn't enough good housing, so some of the incomers find themselves living in the dingiest surroundings - as Martin Patience found out, far below street level.

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10 minutes

Last on

Thu 9 Jun 2011 03:50 GMT

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