The completer dossier of Humphrey Hawksley’s dispatches from the famous BBC program From Our Own Correspondent.
SCARBOROUGH SHOAL – March 2017
The Philippines, has found itself in the eye of the storm after China took over traditional Philippine fishing grounds about a hundred miles off its west coast. In 2014, Chinese Coast Guard crews pounded them with water cannon and ordered them to leave. China has since occupied the area known as Scarborough Shoal, despite the Philippines having a defence treaty with the United States, should it come under attack. Humphrey Hawksley has been to the fishing village most affected and discovered that beyond the high-level diplomacy things were not exactly as they seemed. […]
KINMEN, TAIWAN – February 2017
It was not only Beijing, but also Taipei that was relieved by the U.S. president’s decision to continue to policy of one China, respecting Beijing’s insistence that any country that recognises China cannot recognise Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. After years of being an unresolved by settled situation, Donald Trump indicated that the U.S. might want closer ties with Taiwan and the island suddenly because a flashpoint again that could redefine America’s relationship with Beijing. At present, Taiwan has a close relationship with China and after a short ferry ride from the Chinese mainland to a Taiwanese island, Humphrey Hawksley sees why. […]
Frosty relations between Russia and West and the rise of China in Asia have brought to some worries about a global or regional war with academics and specialists convening around the world to discuss how it might be prevented. One recent conference with experts from Europe and the Unites States was held in the South […]
NYAMURHALE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, May 2012
Demand for gold has been booming, but at present, the gold industry is concerned that too much of its origins cannot be traced. New international efforts are now underway to clean up the industry and make the supply chain more transparent. At present the black market for gold is flourishing. It is easy to smuggle and melt down. A new American law is focusing on one specific area – the Democratic Republic of Congo which produces what are known as ‘conflict minerals.’ The law requires any American company that believes it might be using minerals from there to register with the government. Many of the metals are used in our every-day gadgets such as phones and computers. Humphrey Hawksley has been to the Congo to look at the bottom end of the supply chain. […]
GUJARAT, INDIA, January 2012
Hundreds of thousands children in India are involved in picking and processing cotton. Many are kept out school, work in dangerous conditions and some are not even paid. Campaigners say the big UK clothing stores should do much more to stop child labour being used in their supply chains. One of the main cotton producing areas is Gujarat in Western India. From there Humphrey Hawksley sent this report. […]
KARAMOJA, UGANDA, January 2011
Thousands of people in north east Uganda are facing starvation after a severe crop failure and drought. The Karamoja region is one of the poorest parts of Africa. But aid agencies say food handouts alone are not the answer. They are trying out a new approach where only the most vulnerable get help. It’s a policy that has considerable risks. Our World Affairs Correspondent, Humphrey Hawksley reports. […]
MORINA, MONTENEGRO, July 2010
One of the most divisive issues between Russia and the United States in recent years has been the expansion of NATO – a Western military alliance seen largely by Moscow as a mechanism to keep Russian power in check. Many of the governments from the former Cold War Eastern Bloc have or are planning to join. One is the tiny country of Montenegro, wedged between Croatia and Albanie, where the prospect of NATO membership fills many of its citizens with horror, as Humphrey Hawksley reports. […]
UST KAMENOGORSK, KAZAKSTAN, January 2010
Some sixty countries from the developing world are planning to use nuclear power in the near future. Many believe that their fuel supplies could be blocked by Western sanctions totally unrelated to their nuclear ambitions, creating the nightmare scenario that they will begin enriching their own uranium. One solution is to create stockpiles of uranium, controlled by the United Nations, that these governments could draw upon. They would be known as international nuclear fuel banks. Two have already been earmarked – one in Russia and one in Kazakhstan – from where Humphrey Hawksley reports. […]
DOURHO VALLEY, PORTUGAL, December 2009
One of the traditions of the Christmas festival is the bottle of port, that fortified wine used to wash down mince pies and Stilton cheese. But is it still like that? And given all the traditions surrounding port, from the Royal Family to crusty clubs – who exactly drinks port nowadays – particularly given the recession. Port comes from one of the oldest demarcated wine growing areas in the world in northern Portugal where Humphrey Hawksley went to see how the port trade was faring. […]
ZOGORWEE, LIBERIA, June 2009
In 1935, the writer Graham Greene set off on a journey through Sierra Leone and Liberia. In his book Journey without Maps, Greene asked what were the Europeans doing there? What did the slogans about civilising the natives actually mean? Humphrey Hawksley has been there to retrace Graham Greene’s journey. […]
BAGHDAD, IRAQ, March 2009
One of the most controversial aspects of the Iraq war has been the use of private contractors, who provided everything from bodyguards to catering. President Obama’s has ordered a review of the practice saying that the American people’s money must not be spent lining the pockets of contractors and that a fundamental public trust must be upheld. One of the darkest incidences of Iraq was the Abu Ghraib prison scandal where – although working under US military command many of the interrogators and translators had actually been supplied by private companies. The companies deny doing anything wrong, but Washington officials say clearer regulations must be drawn up.
HH reports. […]
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, March 2009
The American state of Utah is home to the Mormon church that more than hundred years ago banned the practice of Polygamy – where a man can take more than one wife. But a group of fundamentalist Mormons broke away and now some 40,000 in Utah live in polygamous families that under American law is a felony crime.Now, however, these families have begun a campaign to lobby for a change of law which they see as discriminatory and unfair. Humphrey Hawksley joined them in one of the first days of campaigning. […]
BUCHAREST, October 2008
While much of the world is facing recession and jobs are being lost, one European country is in desperate need of hundreds of thousands of workers. Since Romania joined the European Union in 2007 more than two million people have left to earn higher wages in wealthier European countries. One of the hardest hit industries is construction which has lost about half a million skilled workers.[…]
NARVA, ESTONIA, September 2008
The recent fighting in Georgia has raised concerns over Russia’s long term policy towards other former Soviet territories. Baltic states like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are watching developments closely. They are now members of the European Union and NATO but have significant Russian populations. Moscow has already been accused of meddling, and Humphrey Hawksley reports from Estonia as to whether Russia may be able to use its expatriate populations to cause trouble for the West. […]
MOSCOW, August 2008
As Russia and the West warn of a new Cold War after the Georgian conflict, the BBC’s Humphrey Hawksley in Moscow tries to imagine what it would look like.
Evgenia Evlenteva strode past a row of old radiation suits hanging on pegs like raincoats.
With a bounce in her step and a torch stuck into her jeans back pocket, she asked: “Right, it’s more than 60 metres (200ft) deep so do you want to take the stairs or the lift? […]
VANCOUVER, CANADA, June 2008
The international cannabis trade has become a major industry in Canada ranking alongside tourism and forestry, with billions of dollars of marijuana being smuggled across into America every year. But much to the anger of the Americans, far from cracking down on it, Canada boasts its own Marijuana Party, allows pot to be smoked in public and barely punishes people who are caught growing it – although technically it’s all illegal. […]
SREBRENICA, BOSNIA, June 2008
Thirteen years after the end of its civil war, Bosnia Hercegovena is taking its first step (June 16th 2008) towards joining the European Union – by signing what is known as a stability and association agreement. It may well be another decade before Bosnia actually joins the EU – which sets up stringent economic and democratic benchmarks that countries have to meet before joining. As Humphrey Hawksley reports, though, the work to turn Bosnia from a land of genocidal conflict to a modern European nation is dogged, detailed and takes years – and it could be a blue-print for other failed states. […]
KINMEN, TAIWAN, March 2008
As we saw images of China’s crackdown in Tibet this week, another rebellions Chinese province – Taiwan – risked the wrath of Beijing by asking voters to choose in a referendum whether it should apply to join the United Nations. China sees it as a hostile attempt at declaring independence and has – unusually – won the support of America in demanding that Taiwan backs off. […]
BAGHDAD, IRAQ, January 2008
House prices on the up and increased banking business are not readily associated with Iraq. Yet as Humphrey Hawksley reports, there are entrepreneurs who see good times in the horizon.
“This is the entrance hall,” said Naimah Abdul Jabbah, throwing open a huge pair of wooden double doors.
“How much?”, I asked.
“$1m. Maybe some negotiation. But $1m, I reckon.” […]
SKENDERAJ, KOSOVO, November 2007
The Serbian province of Kosovo is holding elections next week (November 16th) where full sovereign independence is an issue that none of the main parties disagree on. In 1999, NATO ended Serbian control of Kosovo after fears that the province of two million could spiral into ethnic cleansing. Since then Kosovo has been administered by the UN which remains supported by 16,000 NATO troops. Kosovo’s leaders say they plan to make a unilateral declaration of independence if a final round of negotiations with Serbia break down in December. Serbia says it won’t accept and now has the powerful backing of Russia, while the Kosovars believe they are supported by the United States. […]