LGBT servicemen and women in the US armed forces had to keep their sexuality secret until the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy was repealed in 2011. Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack served under the policy for most of her military career. She has been speaking to Rachael Gillman about her experiences.
Photo: Lieutenant Colonel Heather Mack (l) with her wife Ashley (r) and their two children. Courtesy of Heather Mack
An Ethiopian war hero
In the early 1950s the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, sent thousands of Ethiopian troops to fight in the Korean war. They were called the Kagnew Battalions and they formed part of the American-led UN force supporting South Korea against communist North Korea and their Chinese allies.
Alex Last spoke to Captain Mamo Habtewold who won his country's highest honour.
This programme is a rebroadcast.
Photo: The Captain as a young man. Courtesy of Mamo Habtewold.
Magellan and the first voyage around the world
In September 1519, a fleet led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan set off on what would be the first circumnavigation of the world. Magellan was the first navigator to find a route round South America, but he had to quell several attempted mutinies and he was eventually killed by tribesmen in what is now the Philippines. His circumnavigation was completed in 1522 by one of his subordinates, Juan Sebastian Elcano. Simon Watts tells Magellan’s story through the book published by his on-board chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta.
PHOTO: Magellan's fleet (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Conflict timber in Liberia's civil war
How the timber industry fuelled a brutal civil war in West Africa. In the late 1990s, timber companies worked closely with Liberia's warlord-turned-president, Charles Taylor. In return for money and support for his militias, the regime allocated huge swathes of the country's valuable rainforest to timber companies for logging. A group of young Liberians started to document what was happening. Alex Last has been speaking to the award winning activist, Silas Siakor, whose work led to a UN ban on Liberian timber exports.
(Photo: Timber near Buchanan in LIberia in 2010. Credit: Getty Images)
India's affirmative action controversy
In 1990 the Indian government introduced an affirmative action plan that had been lying unimplemented for a decade. The Mandal Commission recommended guaranteeing a percentage of government jobs to lower caste Hindus. It's implementation was an attempt by the government to quell the rise of Hindu nationalism. But the move proved controversial from the outset and led to weeks of student protests across India. Farhana Haider has been speaking to a retired superintendent of police, Dilip Trivedi who remembers the implementation of the report and its aftermath.
Photo Students protesting Mandal Commission proposal for quotas on govt. jobs for so called backward castes 1990. Credit Getty Images.