Colombia and Israel

Owen Bennett Jones introduces personal stories, analysis and wit from BBC correspondents abroad. In this edition:

Coca and coffee, war and peace

The announcement that representatives of the Colombian government, and the rebel forces called the FARC who've been fighting each other for nearly 50 years, would meet for talks in Oslo this week might seem like the beginning of the end of their conflict. Certainly FARC's grip on many of its former strongholds has weakened, under sustained and high-tech aerial attacks from the state's armed forces.

FARC is now weak enough that outsiders such as Arturo Wallace can now visit places once off-limits - like the mountainous territory where its leader was killed last year. But as he found, rural, remote regions of Colombia like this still offer their inhabitants very few chances to make legal money - or break free of the coca trade.

Jerusalem's other territory dispute

A few months ago Kevin Connolly wrote a memorable contribution to From Our Own Correspondent describing the ethical dilemmas posed his by his lemon tree. That piece involved the view from his study to the spot the lemon tree had been installed –his Jerusalem balcony.

He’s now made it out as far as the shed where his rubbish is kept, and had some alarming encounters ... with some of Israel's gangs of feral cats. There are believed to be more than 2 million of them - and they're tough.

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10 minutes

Last on

Fri 19 Oct 2012 03:50 GMT

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