From Our Own Correspondent - 17/04/2010

There's a guided tour and lunch as the new black owner shows us round the farm in Zimbabwe. We learn you may have to move fast to enjoy the sight of Ecuador's towering glaciers. There's a moment of embarrassment for a president in a polling booth in southern Sudan. And we discover you can't go far in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh without seeing the lady with the trademark square handbag. Flag-draped coffins.The tolling of church bells.. and flowers strewn on hearses as they slid slowly through the streets of Warsaw. The world has watched Poland mourn with dignity the catastrophic loss of its President, and many other members of its political elite.They all died when their plane ploughed into a Russian forest in thick fog. Our correspondent, Oana Lungescu has been watching Poles gradually come to terms with this latest traumatic episode in their national story.. A senior official in Robert Mugabe's government this week made it clear the Zimbabwean authorities would continue with their plans to transfer the country's foreign-owned businesses to local black control. Opposition lawmakers had argued that the plans were discouraging foreign investment at a time when the authorities were trying to attract funds to revive an economy which has suffered a decade of decline. It's been 10 years now since Zimbabwe first launched a policy of land reform, the transfer of farmland from white to black ownership. In that time, more than four thousand white farmers have been forcibly evicted, and the farms allocated to new owners. We have often heard the stories of those white farmers, how they fled their farms in fear of their lives, and how the collapse in agricultural production has devastated the country's economy. But rarely do we hear the voices of Zimbabwe's new farmers, the black Zimbabweans who took over the land. So Dan Isaacs went to one farm to meet them. Ever since the German ecologist Alexander Von Humboldt visited Ecuador in 1802 foreign visitors have been drawn to its majestic volcanoes and the glaciers which crown them. But the scientists studying them are reluctant to predict how much longer visitors have left to see them. These tropical glaciers, many more than five thousand metres high, are shrinking. Their gradual disappearance is causing concern in a number of Andean cities thought to be dependent on the glaciers for part of their water supply. James Painter travelled with a leading glaciologists to one of Ecuador's highest glaciers on the dormant volcano of Antizana, a couple of hours' drive from the capital Quito: Mayawati is one of the most controversial politicians in India. She's the chief minister of the country's largest state Uttar Pradesh, and the first women from the very bottom of India's caste system to make it to the very top in politics. She also has an obsession - building statues and monuments aross the state. And now, amid mounting criticism, she's even forming a special police force to protect her unique legacy, as Chris Morris has been finding out in the city of Lucknow: They are still counting the votes in Sudan after the first multi-party elections in twenty-four years. The polling was marked by numerous boycotts and claims of widespread rigging. When the results are announced early next week it's expected that Omar El Bashir will be declared winner of the presidential poll -- despite the fact that an international arrest warrant is out for his arrest over alleged crimes against humanity. Will Ross has been monitoring developments in the south of the country where many saw the election as a stepping stone towards independence:.


  • 2010-04-17 11:30:00 - 2010-04-17 12:00:00 on Radio 4 FM, Radio 4 LW,