Masonry: 4 Columns

OnSpec/Pandemic • Prisons and COVID19

What if you don’t have control over your own self-isolation? More than two million people are in prisons in the US, which has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  Oscar Durand speaks with Efrén Paredes, Jr about the prison where he is incarcerated serving a life sentence for a robbery and murder committed when...

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OnSpec/Pandemic • Alone but not Lonely

Whether you live across the street, or across the Atlantic, for many of us social distancing now means you cannot meet in person. Your family, your friends, that person you wanted to date…everything is on hold.  But across the world we are finding new ways of bridging the distances.  Margaux Benn and Menel Raach bring...

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OnSpec/Pandemic • Face to Face with the Virus

What’s it like to have COVID19 in Turkey?  Hilaneh Mahmoudi, a freelance photographer in Istanbul, spent weeks trying to not catch it, but one day the tell tale symptoms began.  This is her audio diary, told to host Fariba Nawa, of what it’s like to have the virus, and the struggle to keep those living...

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OnSpec/Pandemic • Faith Interrupted

You might think you’re further away from the world, but in many ways the pandemic is bringing us together. We begin with the religious, those who turn to faith and collective prayer in times of hardship. But they are not supposed to gather anymore in mosques, churches or synagogues. The entire concept of communal support...

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OnSpec/07 – Treasure Hunters

Journalist Margaux Benn ventures to the remote province of Nimroz, Afghanistan and follows the tracks of ancient artefacts, from the desert straddling Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, to a shop in the capital Kabul. Some could be antiquities ending up on a shelf among fakes, then illegally taken to Dubai and sold at a high price.

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OnSpec/06 – Rupi’s Journey

Oscar Durand brings you the story of a Bolivian street musician in Istanbul, who like the rest of us, wonders where the years have gone and what he will do with his life.  Oscar, a Peruvian and former engineer, found a common bond with Rupi on speaking Spanish and the meaning of life.  (Rupi’s name...

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OnSpec/05 – The ISIS Conundrum

As the world grapples with how to serve justice to thousands of foreign ISIS affiliates captured in Syria and Iraq, Australian journalist Tessa Fox travels to northeast Syria to meet the Australians accused of being  affiliated with the group. 

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OnSpec/04 – The Badlands – Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

Umar Farooq reports on how Pakistan’s tribal areas, once proud of their fierce independence, are ready to join Pakistan proper, and how youth there worked to end a century-old collective punishment law.  Locals where caught between US drones, the Taliban, and the Pakistani military.  This is the untold story of the war on terror, and...

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