Sri Lankans begin to testify to the agonies they endured during their civil war.

The challenges posed by the coming of peace in northern Uganda.

The fight to save a grandmother on Death Row in Texas.

And we watch the world's most remarkable shopping trolley trundle through the suburbs of Johannesburg.

What really went on in the closing stages of Sri Lanka's civil war....? Last year the army finally cornered, and crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels. But there've been allegations that both sides committed war crimes that led to the deaths of thousands of civilians. The government has rejected calls for an international investigation. Instead it's set up its own commission of inquiry, and Charles Haviland has been allowed to hear witnesses testify to the horrors of the conflict...

For many years a group calling itself "the Lord's Resistance Army" brought devastation to northern Uganda. Under its mysterious leader, Joseph Konya....who claims to take orders from the spirit world....the LRA fought the army. At the same time, the guerrillas waged an extraordinarily brutal campaign against local civilians.... Now at last the fighting is over, and a calm has again settled on the region. But as Richard Dowden has been finding out, reviving the land and returning to the ways of peace is not so easy....

Venezuela has just passed through the frenzy of another election campaign. President Hugo Chavez's party held on to its parliamentary majority. But the opposition....which boycotted the polls last time round...managed to take more than a third of the seats. Will Grant followed every twist and turn in the run up the vote. But as he explains in this piece.....which he filed at the height of a proper Venezuelan thunderstorm......he also took the chance to slip away and spend a few days on the coast....

When it comes to the death penalty, Texas has a particularly grim reputation. It carries out far more executions than any other American state. Over the past three decades or so, it's put to death more than four-hundred-and-sixty prisoners. And among those now facing the prospect of a lethal injection in the state's execution chamber is a British grandmother. Our correspondent Peter Marshall has been listening to her story, and following the efforts to save her.

There are many obvious ways for our correspondents to build up a picture of the societies around them. The moods and rhythms of a place are there for everyone to see in the drama of its politics, or the chatter in its newspapers. But sometimes it's the more offbeat, unexpected encounters that give a little extra insight... And in Johannesburg, Andrew Harding came across a figure whose story reveals something of the nature of life on the margins of South African society....

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Thu 30 Sep 2010 11:00

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