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South Africa and the USA

10 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 21 September 2012

Insight, wit and analysis from journalists, travellers and writers from around the world. Introduced by Pascale Harter. In this edition:

Seismic symptoms

In South Africa, a pay deal appears to have ended a strike at the Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg. But the country remains shaken by the violent rhetoric and the police response to the illegal strike - in which 34 miners were shot dead. It was the most brutal police action since the end of apartheid. And many of the miners have expressed the view they've been abandoned both by their government and by some official unions too.

Andrew Harding wonders if the Marikana strike and massacre has exposed deep, and dangerous, fault lines running under modern South Africa.

Stand up for democracy - all day long...

Now to the US – where the presidential election is just two months away. What's it like to play a vital, if often unsung, part in the American democratic process when you're from elsewhere? Judith Kampfner was brought up in Britain, but was recently naturalised as an American citizen. After signing up to volunteer as a poll worker, she found the voters have high expectations ... as did her new bosses, and not least, her fellow volunteers.

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