A Dirty Business
Meeting the boss of a kidnap gang in Venezuela; a changing way of life for Tibet's yak-herding nomads; making millions from waste in Egypt; and the rigours of French mathematics
Owen Bennett Jones introduces tales of effort and energy from around the world.
In the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, Jake Wallis Simons gets kidnapped by arrangement - to meet the boss of a criminal gang whose ransom demands are terrorising the city. Mary Ann Ochota is on Tibet's high plateau, to get to grips with milking a yak and see how the life of nomadic herdsmen here is changing. Caroline Davies finds there's brass in Cairo's muck as she learns how some members of the Coptic Christian community have made fortunes from waste management. And our man in Paris Hugh Schofield finds that mathematics is not, in fact, such a 'universal language' after all: he finds that French and English approaches to the subject can be mutually unintelligible.
Photo: A worker checks the armored windows of a car shot with bullets in a Caracas garage. As crime besets Venezuela the wealthy are spending more on protective measures. (FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)