Syria and China

Owen Bennett Jones introduces insight, reportage and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, Sue Lloyd Roberts reflects on the stress of living imprisoned in one's own home in the central Syrian city of Homs; Mickey Bristow delves into the world of China's neighbourhood committees, which wield power over their local areas.

Fear on the high seeas - and in Manila's suburbs

Which nationality do you suppose would be the most likely to be kidnapped by pirates? You might think it would be Somali; or perhaps a rich, Western country, targeted by Somali pirates looking for loot. But in fact it’s neither. According to the government of the Philippines, over 700 Filipinos have been kidnapped by pirates since 2006 – and that is far more than any other nationality.
The country's culture of seafaring means its sailors are scattered across the seven seas -and have often been victimised.

Kate McGeown has been to meet one seaman who was captured and eventually released. And she also heard how his ordeal affected his family in Manila, who had to keep the home fires burning as they worried about his safety.

Caged rage

There are two ways of reporting from within Syria on the anti-government protests there. You can attempt to go with a visa - if the government issues you with one. Or, if you are prepared to risk it, you can go without one. Sue Lloyd Roberts choose the latter option, and ended up in spending more time than she expected cooped up indoors, waiting for moments when male opposition activists decided it was safe enough for her to go out and witness what was happening on the streets.

There have been some women-only protests in Syria, but as she discovered, for the most part the women and children have been confined to their homes.

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10 minutes

Last on

Sat 22 Oct 2011 03:50 GMT

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