Kate Adie with stories from correspondents in Washington, South Sudan, Armenia, Iceland and south west France.
The end of the world is nigh! Well, it is according to one estimate. But Chris Bockman who's in the French Pyrenees says there's a village there where you might just be safe. Much joy's being reported in South Sudan. Peter Martell's in this region which has experienced generations of civil war but is now getting ready to usher in independence. Could the mighty US be about to default on its debts? Lesley Curwen says the government in Washington's been given a deadline by which time it must pay up. But before that can be achieved, Republicans and Democrats must sort out their differences. Alex Renton's been learning that these are tough times in Armenia but still there's pride in the country's fine brandy which was, so they say, a favourite of Winston Churchill's. And Emily Lethbridge has been finding out that a good place to research the mediaeval sagas of Iceland is a petrol station, not far from the capital Reykjavik.
Could the US run out of money?
Disagreement between Democrats and Republicans is preventing a solution to the United States' financial problems, as Lesley Curwen reports.
Long struggle to independence
As South Sudan celebrates becoming a new nation, Peter Martell considers the troubles that could face the country.
Icelandic sagas road trip
Emily Lethbridge finds herself in some unusual places as she seeks out the places where Iceland's first settlers lived.
Armenian brandy's Churchill boast
Life is tough for many in Armenia but the economy is buoyed up by the country's brandy, reputed to have been a favourite of Winston Churchill's.
Cults drawn to French doomsday village
Chris Bockman visits an ancient French village thought to hold "magical" powers that can save the human race from the end of the world.
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