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Digging up beer in Mali; and staging Shakespeare in Hungary

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 09 February 2013

In Mali, French-led forces pushed back Islamist militants in the north. The militants capitalised on a Touareg rebellion and took control of several major towns before outside troops moved in. Tim Whewell has been in Mali, and he wonders if there are ugly scenes to come, if some Malians follow through on threats to settle old scores.

What does it take to renounce a lifetime of violence? For one man whose life has been spent slugging it out with rival gangs in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, a change of heart was prompted by a little girl – his only daughter. He told his story to BBC Arabic reporter Darius Bazagan.

Orla Guerin meets a provincial governor in Afghanistan who has survived several assassination attempts but still wants to continue in his job. There is lots to do and he will not be put off by the Taliban.

Also in the programme, the theatrical world in Hungary is a stage – it seems - where the nation's political power games are played out. And Nick Thorpe says these days there are casualties, including Julius Caesar.

A hotel owner in northern Mali is thrilled when journalists turn up to stay, bringing much needed cash into the local economy in Timbuktu. Thomas Fessy is equally pleased to find beer which was buried out of sight of the Islamist militants.

Presenter: Pascale Harter


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