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The Compass

Updated about 14 hours ago

News
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The Compass - exploring our world.

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The Compass - exploring our world.

iTunes Ratings

59 Ratings
Average Ratings
46
8
1
0
4

Editing fails

By Jim Sack - Oct 07 2018
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Excellent program! Pathetic editing between programming and inserted commercials/promos. Sheesh.

Great series!

By SinzaS - Dec 02 2017
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Very insightful and informative.

iTunes Ratings

59 Ratings
Average Ratings
46
8
1
0
4

Editing fails

By Jim Sack - Oct 07 2018
Read more
Excellent program! Pathetic editing between programming and inserted commercials/promos. Sheesh.

Great series!

By SinzaS - Dec 02 2017
Read more
Very insightful and informative.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Compass

The Compass

Updated about 14 hours ago

Read more

The Compass - exploring our world.

Rank #1: Finance

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Trillions of dollars flow through the global economic system every day and intermediaries in the finance sector take a cut on every dollar, euro and yen. But financial technology – “fintech” – is fast-changing how the system works. Philip Coggan of The Economist explores how the coming technical revolution in finance will create new winners and losers – and perhaps a rebalancing of global financial power.
Producer: Ben Carter
(Photo: Tech Globe on hand. Credit: Shutterstock)

Mar 23 2017

26mins

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Rank #2: Depression in Japan

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Up until the late 1990s, depression was all but unknown in Japanese society and pharmaceutical companies had given up on trying to sell anti-depressants there. Fast forward to today and court cases alleging overwork depression and overwork suicide, reassuring commercial branding of depression as a "cold of the soul" and increased media attention have turned Japan into a highly medicated society. In the first episode of a five-part series about mental health and culture, Christopher Harding explores how in just a few years, psychiatrists, lawyers and the pharmaceutical companies helped introduce 'depression' to Japan.
Producer: Keith Moore
(Photo by Tori Sugari)

Aug 11 2016

26mins

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Rank #3: On the Black Sea: The Voyage Begins

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A voyage across a mysterious sea where empires have clashed for centuries and tensions are rising again. By ferry, rowing-boat, horse-drawn wagon, the BBC World Service travels over, around, and under the Black Sea, to discover its ancient and modern secrets. As Russia and Nato build up their naval power in the region, presenter Tim Whewell meets the Istanbul ship-spotter who helped alert the world to the scale of the Kremlin’s military involvement in Syria. Tim embarks on his journey over the sea to Odessa in Ukraine. It is a city in love with the sea. But its character is beginning to change.
Producer: Monica Whitlock
(Photo: Istanbul panorama Credit: Tony Jolliffe/BBC

Jul 19 2017

27mins

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Rank #4: The Cold War Legacy: Czechoslovakia

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Thirty years ago, communism suddenly collapsed across central and eastern Europe. Soviet rule, that had seemed ruthless and permanent, was ended by people power. And nowhere did change seem more miraculous than in Czechoslovakia. A ‘velvet revolution’ replaced a stony faced politbureau with a beaming playwright, President Vaclav Havel. There was much talk of democracy, prosperity, and a full embrace of Western values.

Three decades on, Chris Bowlby, who knew Czechoslovakia before and after its revolution and split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, returns to see how that change looks now. How far have the hopes of the 1989 revolutionaries been fulfilled? What role has nationalism – which split Czechoslovakia in two – come to play? What do new generations of Czechs, now on the streets fighting their own political battles, feel about the future as well as the communist past? And as Russian and Chinese influence grows – while the West’s commitment seems more uncertain – how do places like this now fit into a world few could have imagined as the Cold War ended?

(Photo: Members of Diky, ze muzem (Thanks That We Can), celebrating 30 years since the fall of communism in Narodni Street, Prague, scene of pro-democracy protests in 1989. Credit: Lukáš Bíba /Reportér magazín)

Oct 23 2019

27mins

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Rank #5: Dams

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Half of the world’s river systems host hydro-electric dams. They offer reliable electricity but their construction forces people from their homes and disrupts the natural life of the river.
Scores of dams already span the Mekong River, the great waterway linking China to Vietnam. They’ve brought power and jobs to some of the most undeveloped parts of South-East Asia and the building boom shows no sign of ending. But the impact of the massive building programme on those living in the Mekong Delta and along the river is immense: silt deposits are disrupted and fish populations are displaced, as are many of the millions of people that depend on them.
Reporter Peter Hadfield sails up the Mekong to meet those communities living with the dams on their doorstep and discover how their lives are impacted.
Meanwhile, presenter Didi Akinyelure is in western Europe to find out why the countries that pioneered hydro-power are now turning their backs on it. In Switzerland they are releasing floodwater from their dams to bring life back to a tamed mountain wilderness. In France dams are actually being dismantled to revive fish life on Normandy’s rivers.
So how should we feel about dams? Do developing countries need the reliable low-carbon electricity they provide? Can they be built in less damaging ways or should we call a halt to the age of the mega-dam?
(Photo: Ota Khami, 55, stands where his home use to be before it was bulldozed to make way for the Sesan 2 dam in Stung Treng, Cambodia. Credit: Getty Images)

Apr 25 2018

27mins

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Rank #6: Technology

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The future of employment is certain to change – and change fast – as robotics and artificial intelligence replace human workers. For many, it’s a future to be feared. But the global economy has continually been revolutionised by technological innovation; innovation which has led to disruption but also further economic progress. In this edition of Economic Tectonics, Andrew McAfee from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – and a tech optimist – explores how he thinks technology could change our economic futures for the better.
Producer: Sandra Kanthal
(Image: Child fixing robot, Credit: Shutterstock)

Apr 06 2017

26mins

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Rank #7: The Cold War Legacy: India

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Divya Arya looks at what happened in India at the height of the Cold War, and afterwards as the Berlin Wall came down, 30 years ago. She explores the rich politics of a country which chose not to pick a side during the Cold War. Where realpolitik and clever diplomacy have been key components for Indian leaders on the world stage from Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1940s to Narendra Modi today.

As two superpowers fought for power and influence during the Cold War, India played a game of diplomacy, moving between the USA and Soviet Union, whilst trying to prioritise its’ own interests. The Non Aligned Movement was founded in a newly independent India, by the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. It is the position that India took when it formed a coalition of countries which refused to pick a side, instead remaining friendly with both. Nehru believed that in an atomic age, peace was the only guarantee of survival. This stance was tested during the 1950s and 1960s; India signed a quasi-military agreement with the Soviet Union but trade liberalisation has brought India closer to the USA more recently. How is India navigating international relations today? Does it bend to the will of the USA or can it continue to choose its own path as it did during the Cold War?

Presenter: Divya Arya
Producer: Nina Robinson

(Photo: Maharaja Krishna Rasgotra (M K Rasgotra) is an Indian diplomat and former Indian Foreign Secretary under Indira Gandhi)
Credit: Nina Robinson, BBC

Nov 13 2019

27mins

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Rank #8: The Cold War Legacy: Brazil

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Brazil’s controversial new President, Jair Bolsonaro, has praised the country’s military dictatorship, which took power in 1964 and ruled for 21 years. In an echo of the language used by the generals back then, President Bolsonaro claims he is saving his country from Communism and he has vowed to wipe the reds off the map. His critics say he is a threat to democracy.

In this sharply divided country, some say Brazil is reliving the Cold War. Through history, culture and the classroom, the BBC’s South America correspondent Katy Watson explores Brazil’s Cold War legacy.

Presenter: Katy Watson
Producer: John Murphy

(Photo: Brazilian army tanks arrive at Guanabara Palace, on 01 April 1964 in Rio de Janeiro during the military putsch. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Oct 30 2019

27mins

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Rank #9: The Battle of Ideas in the Middle East - Part One

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Kevin Connolly travels through the Middle East to look at different ways in which the Arab states in the region are confronting the ideas of the so-called Islamic State and how well-equipped they are to fight them.
Through social media sites, a network of sympathetic preachers is promulgating a jihadist vision of Islam and recruiting fighters from across the Middle East. Tunisia and Libya are among the key recruiting grounds and the largest providers of ‘foreign fighters’ in Syria and Iraq.
From the markets of Morocco to the boulevards of Beirut, Kevin Connolly talks to those who are engaged in the frontline of this battle of ideas. He asks if educational systems are helping to promote positive narratives of Islam to combat the underground appeal of IS. He visits a university in Jordan where a touring theatre company is staging a comedy show to fight back against extremism.
In Jordan he meets the imams who have been arguing directly over the internet with representatives of the so-called Islamic state. He also meets the parliamentary speaker left broken hearted when his son was recruited to become an IS suicide bomber. And, after years in which western analysts have talked about the slickness of IS online propaganda, we ask young people in the Arab World what they think of the videos that glorify violence.

Mar 17 2016

27mins

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Rank #10: Europe’s Challenges: The Road to Rome

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The European Union emerged in the 1950s from a vision of a bright future for a war-ravaged continent – free from conflict, with nations living in harmony, their citizens free to trade and travel without restriction. In the first programme of a three-part series, former BBC Europe correspondent Allan Little hears first-hand from the negotiators who drew up the project’s founding document, the Treaty of Rome, with its key goal of an “ever-closer union”.
The interviews for this series were recorded ten years ago and many of the interviewees have since died.
(Photo: Foreign Ministers of France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany and Italy signing two treaties establishing the European Common Market and the atomic energy community at Campidoglio, Rome, 25 March1957. Credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

May 19 2016

27mins

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Rank #11: On the Black Sea: Truckers

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Black Sea truckers are a tough bunch. Driving thousands of miles through Europe, the Caucasus and eastwards to China, they transport everything from biscuits to fridges to pigs. Tim Whewell joins them on board the huge Black Sea ferry that connects these places, sailing from Odessa to Batumi in Georgia.
The truckers are mainly from the former Soviet Union, many have known each other for years, and once all belonged to one country. The truckers are endlessly inventive as they navigate the fraught geopolitics that shape their lives. The war in Syria, the annexation of Crimea, European visa rules, are just some of the obstacles they overcome. As the they relax for the thousand-kilometre crossing, they make merry, and tell stories of the road.
Producer: Monica Whitlock
Truckers set off by ferry from Istanbul to Odessa. Credit: Monica Whitlock

Aug 02 2017

27mins

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Rank #12: UK: From Syria To Yorkshire

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As part of the World Service ‘Destination Europe’ series, the BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones is finding out how Syrian refugees are settling in the northern English city of Bradford in Yorkshire. They were flown directly to Britain as part of a scheme to help the vulnerable living in the Syrian border region. The former British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to help 20,000 of these people over a five year period, rather than taking those who had made the perilous journey to Europe through smuggler’s routes. So in Bradford, Owen meets people like Nadia, flown to the UK from Iraq – a single mother to a teenager who dreams of her former life in Damascus where she owned a shopping mall and was rich, but who now lives in a damp flat and whose possessions are sparse. Then there is Ayham and his family who became eligible to settle in Britain from Cairo after his younger brother was diagnosed with cancer. Their remarkable stories paint a vivid picture of war-torn Syria and the tragedies they have faced but also of their bravery and hope for a new beginning as they embark on finding their way in Britain.
(Photo: Owen in front of the Bradford factory)

Jul 21 2016

26mins

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Rank #13: My Perfect Country: Estonia's Digital Society

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Fi Glover and digital guru Martha Lane Fox look at the digital revolution pioneered by the government in Estonia – where people vote, get their medical prescriptions even pay for their parking, online. With the help of Professor Henrietta Moore from the Institute for Global Prosperity and Taavet Hinrikus from Transferwise they ask - could it work where you are?

Estonia’s digital services have revolutionised the country since its independence from the Soviet Union with 600 services now being available online. E-Estonia has the fastest broadband speeds in the world, was the first to allow online voting in a general election, all classrooms are online, all medical records online, and it has more start ups per person than Silicon Valley in California. But does the networked society come at a price?

(Photo: People gathered on 20 August 2010 in Toila, Estonia for the world's first ever digital song festival. Credit: Raigo Paulla /AFP/Getty Images)

Feb 04 2016

27mins

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Rank #14: Ocean Stories: The Indian Ocean

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2/4 Only now is deep sea exploration beginning in remote parts of the Indian Ocean to reveal what lies on the ocean floor, what treasures can be found that could be used for scientific and technological development. Underwater mining for minerals is being carried out by several nations and there’s a huge rush around the ocean rim to promote what’s called the Blue Economy, profiting from the ocean and its riches.
We travel around the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Mauritius and North West Australia via the Indonesian island on the edge of the Indian and Pacific oceans to meet people who are developing enterprising ways of profiting from the ocean, whilst being careful not to further damage the fragile Eco systems that have been depleted over decades through over-fishing and climate change.
A fascinating underwater commentary is provided by oceanographer, Jon Copley from Southampton University, explaining the geology and currents that link the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Photo: Coral reef in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Kenya Credit: Tony Karumba//AFP/Getty Images

Nov 29 2017

26mins

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Rank #15: Turkey:The Lost Generation

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There as many as half a million Syrian refugee children who are not attending school, leaving them open to exploitation in sweatshops and other forms of abuse. Aid workers call them the "lost generation" and warn that unless they return to the classroom, Syria will lack educated people to help rebuild the country when the war eventually ends.
Tim Whewell meets children as young as nine employed up to 14 hours a day in textile sweatshops - and also a Syrian teacher who has helped rescue some of them from sweatshops by opening a special school for refugee children in Istanbul. Increasing educational opportunities for Syrians in Turkey may persuade some of them to give up their ambition of migrating to Europe but huge investment will be needed.
(Photo: Shaza Barakat and pupils)

Jun 30 2016

26mins

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Rank #16: Islam, People and Power: The Sunni Traditionalists

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The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that revolution, and even simple protest, was forbidden in Islam. Others decided to back armed groups in Syria, though not the global jihadists of al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Presenter Safa Al Ahmad travels to Egypt to meet Dr Abbas Shouman, one of the most senior scholars at Islam’s most famous seat of learning, Al Azhar University. She also tells the story of Sheikh Ramadan al-Bouti, a famous Syrian Islamic scholar whose stance on the uprisings cost him his life.
(Photo: Anti-Government protesters in Cairo. Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Nov 17 2016

26mins

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Rank #17: The Cold War Legacy: Indonesia

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In 1965, in a little known chapter of the Cold War, at least half a million people died in organised military-led killings of suspected communist sympathisers in Indonesia, with the blessing of the United States. For almost 50 years speaking about that time has been taboo, and school history books gloss over the killings. Attempts by the current government to start a process of truth-telling and reconciliation are reopening old wounds and have met fierce resistance from the military and old guard. Communism remains banned in Indonesia and students have been detained for reading Marxist books. But the silence is being broken.

Rebecca Henschke travels across Java to meet some of the killers, those still seeking justice and brave members of the young generation who are seeking out the truth and trying to come to terms with what happened in one of the darkest periods of Indonesia’s history.

(Photo: Pipet’s daughter holding a photo of Pipet’s mum Ani, with others at the detention camp where they were held in the 1960s and 70s) Photo credit: Anindita Pradana – BBC Indonesia

Nov 06 2019

27mins

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Rank #18: America, Laboratory of Democracy: Drowning Government in a Bathtub

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1/4 America has the world’s oldest continuously operating democracy. Its political institutions have long been a model for democrats everywhere. Yet, American democracy is also troubled. In this four-part series, American historian Gary Gerstle takes a penetrating look at his nation’s democracy and the reasons behind the crisis that besets it today.
In this episode, he goes back to the framing of the US Constitution. This gave only limited powers to the federal government, but by the mid-19th Century, Americans wanted it to do more. Because the Constitution was virtually impossible to change, those who wanted to enlarge the government had to use “secret weapons.” One of these was the Post Office, which as well as delivering mail, was called on to do things like enforce a ban on porn. Another was a Constitutional clause that allowed the government to regulate inter-state commerce.
An Ohio farmer, Roscoe Filburn, challenged this in a key 1942 Supreme Court case, and lost. Since then, the government has relied on the Commerce clause to vastly increase its control over many new areas, such as civil rights.
The subsequent huge expansion of the government has so enraged conservatives that they talk about drowning it in a bathtub. Liberals insist that the use of “secret weapons” offer America its only hope of effective governance. Both sides have powerful arguments. Will they ever be able to compromise, and allow the government to function properly in the interests of all?
(Photo: The farmhouse of Roscoe Filburn, the Ohio farmer at the centre of a 1942 Supreme Court case)

Oct 25 2017

26mins

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Rank #19: Europe’s Challenges: The Union in Crisis

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The European Union is at a critical moment in its history, with Britain preparing to vote on whether to leave. In the third of a three-part series, the BBC’s Europe correspondent Chris Morris examines the multiple crises facing the EU. The economic crisis in the Eurozone is still not solved and an influx of refugees and migrants is threatening the future of Europe’s open internal borders. On top of this now comes the possibility of ‘Brexit’. Chris speaks to politicians and people across Europe and asks whether the EU will survive.
(Photo: Families gather at the barbed wire fence at the Greek-Macedonia border 2016. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Jun 03 2016

26mins

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Rank #20: The History of Wastefulness: The Tipping Point

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After exploring our wasteful past and the reality of today’s trash challenge, Australian journalist Alexandra Spring asks if we are on the tipping point of a rubbish free future.

Alexandra joins blogger Kathryn Kellogg to find out more about San Francisco’s growing zero waste ambitions. Encased in one single mason jar, Kathryn describes the tiny amount of waste she created over two years and how living without a trace has changed her life.

Then, Alexandra meets the inventor Veena Sahajwalla, who shares her belief that we should consider our rubbish to be a resource for the future. As Alex discovers, this attitude and Veena’s engineering skills have stopped millions of tyres from ending up in rubbish dumps, and could lead to cities around the world being built from recycled materials.

Producer: Chelsea Dickenson and Ben Cartwright.

(Photo: A jar full of all the garbage blogger Kathryn Kellogg threw away in two years. Credit: Audio Always)

Jan 23 2019

26mins

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