In the aftermath of the disastrous war in Iraq, the lesson seemed clear: the West should never intervene in foreign conflicts. But then came the Syrian civil war, and the invasion of Ukraine, and the withdrawal from Afghanistan. So 20 years on, Caroline Wyatt – who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan and Russia – takes us back to the choice of horrors the West faced in 2003, and examines how the legacy of that fateful decision shapes foreign policy today, for good or ill.
Everything Everywhere All at Once ensured it was a historic night at the Oscars. And in doing so it put a spotlight on Asian Americans. The film, which centres around a fictional family of Asian Americans, received seven awards with Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh becoming the first Asian woman to win the best actress Oscar. Catherine Byaruhanga hears stories from Asian-Americans, including three actors who discuss attitudes and prejudice towards them in the film industry.
Killer drug – the Mexico connection
Fentanyl is deadly. Thousands of Americans die every year from a drug overdose – the majority of them after using a synthetic opioid like fentanyl.
Fentanyl was developed as a legal, and effective, pain killer. Now, fuelled by insatiable US demand, it’s illicitly produced in makeshift laboratories in Mexico by organised crime groups.
In the first of a two-part series, Assignment travels to the Mexican Pacific port of Manzanillo. This is one of the main entry points for the chemical ingredients required to make fentanyl. It’s a town where Mexico’s powerful cartels have fought for control, and where the mayor lives under armed guard after a failed assassination attempt.
Although the primary destination of Mexican-made fentanyl is the US, Mexico too has a rising number of addicts – especially in Tijuana on the Mexico / US border.
Presenter / producer: Linda Pressly
Producer: Tim Mansel
Producer in Mexico: Ulises Escamilla
[Photo: The Navy is in charge of security at Mexico’s seaports in a bid to stop the chemicals used to make fentanyl coming in from Asia. Credit: Tim Mansel]
The boat smugglers
The recent rise in migrant boat crossings between France and the UK is being fuelled, in part, by more sophisticated methods gangs are using to source the boats. The criminal gangs now control the production of inflatables, making it possible to significantly increase profits. Sue Mitchell teams up with former British soldier and aid worker, Rob Lawrie, to investigate how boats used in migrant Chanel crossings are sourced and the huge profits being made.
Somebody is watching me
Since 2020, when the so-called Nth Room scandal revealed how women and children were lured and blackmailed to make explicit videos for distribution through chatrooms, the lucrative online sexual exploitation of women and children has intensified. Sojeong Lee investigates why women in South Korea are so especially vulnerable to online abuse and exploitation and why so little has been achieved by government and police. How have the country’s economic and social characteristics led to this hotbed of digital sex crime?