Windows On The World

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21 - 24 April 2014

Monday 21 April 2014: Musician and Former Child Solider - Emmanuel Jal

In a special edition of HARDtalk from the BBC World Service – part of the BBC’s Freedom Season, Zeinab Badawi speaks to the acclaimed South Sudanese singer and political activist, Emmanuel Jal. He was captured and forced to fight as a child soldier during the Sudanese civil war. His country South Sudan – the world's newest nation – may now be independent but it has descended into vicious ethnic fighting. What lies behind this new wave of conflict and how can it be stopped?

Tuesday 22 April 2014: Peter Higgs: Higgs Boson

Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs explains how he failed to realise the full significance of his discovery of the Higgs boson for years. In 1964, Higgs predicted the possible existence of a new kind of boson but it wasn’t until 1967 that the Higgs mechanism was shown to be central to the new Standard Model of Physics, which brings together three of the four fundamental forces of nature and has dominated physics ever since. During this time Higgs met one of the key architects of the Standard Model several times, but they failed to realise they were working on the same thing. It took another four decades and several billion pounds for scientists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to confirm that the Higgs boson had indeed been found, and Peter Higgs shot to fame.

Wednesday 23 April 2014: Preparing for Disaster

Lu Olkowski reports from New York about the growing 'prepper' movement in the city. Preppers are people who are fearful of the future and who are preparing for the next disaster. The city has already experienced natural calamities such as Hurricane Sandy and has suffered devastating terrorist attacks. She talks with a number of New York preppers and listens to their concerns and plans for the future. She finds out what they are particularly worried about – everything from a nuclear explosion to economic collapse and another major storm. She questions if these people are simply paranoid and easily influenced by the wild imaginings of Hollywood disaster films, or do they have genuine concerns that all of us who live in cities should take heed of?

Thursday 24 April 2014: Faith in Oman #2 of 2

Ask members of any faith in Oman what it’s like to live there, and almost everyone will extol the virtues of the country’s absolute monarch, Sultan Qaboos. Oman’s short-lived version of the Arab uprisings appears to bear this out: protests over unemployment quickly subsided after the Sultan promised jobs and benefits. In the second part of her series, Mounira Chaieb examines what Sultan Qaboos’ “benevolent dictatorship” has done for the country’s climate of exceptional religious tolerance.