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DR Congo and Germany

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 16 May 2012

Pascale Harter introduces insight, wit and analysis from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition:

Blood and treasure in eastern Congo
In recent years consumers in the West have been educated about 'conflict diamonds' - stones from African war zones, which have been sold to pay for arms and power. But few are aware about 'conflict gold' - at least for now. And of course you don't have to be dripping in jewellery to own gold - quite a bit of it. Do you own a laptop, a mobile phone, or a digital TV? All have gold components.

Tracing materials back to source isn't easy - so how can you be sure that those components don't come from a mine like the one Humphrey Hawksley has just visited in eastern Congo?

The naked truth about German nudity
Other European nations are sometimes amused - or unnerved - by how comfortable Germans seem when taking their clothes off. The stereotype of bronzed, healthy, no-nonsense naturists does have some basis in reality. But even within Germany there are intriguing regional differences in attitudes to the body. In his continuing quest to push himself to the limits of his comfort zone as our Berlin correspondent, Stephen Evans tested some preconceptions at his local steam bath and beyond.

(Image: A man sits on a nudist beach in Ahlbeck on the Baltic Sea, northern Germany. Credit: JENS KOEHLER/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Germany united by nudity, divided by attitude

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    Citizens of the former West and East Germany share many well-established customs, including naturism. But does a relaxed attitude to naked bodies mask some division over the freedom of women?

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