Belarus. Sandwiched between the Baltics and Russia, Belarus gained its independence from the former Soviet empire ten years ago. But democratic freedom was short-lived - since 1994 the country has been run by President Alexander Lukashenko , a Soviet-style leaderwho rules by decree, and who has filled the parliament with his supporters. Tim Whewell investigates what has happened to Lukashenko's political opponents, particularly those who have simply disappeared. Producer Philippa Goodrich. Editor Maria Balinska Repeated Monday 8.30pm
A look back to the front line of the music revolution when composers' rule books were torn up. John Cage 's infamous 4 '33", in which a pianist sits on stage forthattime in total silence, led the wayto a brief, mad, ground-breaking period when staid classical music was the most radical of all the arts. It spearheaded the way forthe revolutionary rock, art and theatre movements of the sixties. Presented by Alyn Shipton. Producer Paul Evans
Svetlana Alexievich 's book, based on the true account of the wife of a former fireman in Pripyat, Belarus, is adapted by Lucy Baldwyn. On the 15th anniversary of the 1986 reactor disasterthe drama tells of a powerful love story, interwoven with contemporary interviews from Ukrainian witnesses. Newly married Ludmilla recounts the events of the night of 26 April 1986, when her husband Vasily was sent to fight the fires which spread from the damaged nuclear reactor. Vasily, along with other injured firefighters, was taken in secret to Moscow and placed in an isolation unit.
Producer Kate Rowland. Associate producer Lucy Baldwyn
Anne Fine speaks on behalf of a charity which provides education, treatment and care for more than 200 young people with complex epilepsy.
DONATIONS: St Piers, [address removed] CREDIT CARDS: Freephone [number removed] Repeated from Sunday 7.55am
4: Pretty Maids All in a Rowby Marina Warner, read by Carolyn Backhouse. When Mary arrives at school from her home far away, the seeds the nuns give herto plant are as much a mystery to her as are the strange habits of her schoolmates. For details see Monday
Dr Melvyn Davies and Dr Stephan Rosswog from
Leicester University explain how heavy metals such as gold, platinum and uranium came to be present on earth. With the help of a supercomputer, they have calculated that gold is formed when neutron stars collide. But the calculations are enormously complex. How sure are the physicists that they have got it right? Quentin Cooper investigates.
Producer John Watkins. E-MAIL: email@example.com Doctor Digital: page 22
J Four new programmes revealing why some of the most controversial policies, fashions and fads became the orthodoxies of theirtime.
Scrapping the Trams. This week Chris Bowlby looks at why we turned our backs on the "modern" answer to transport congestion. ProducerSmita Patel
Of Mice and Men. The March Budget was supposed to pave the way for a predictable general election campaign, but the foot-and-mouth crisis has deepened and the economy is threatened by events in Japan and the USA. John Kampfner asks whether, if the best-laid plans of political mice and men can go astray, politicians have as much power as they would like us to believe.
Producer Ingrid Hassler. Repeated Sunday9.30pm
Exploring issues which affect all our lives.
Patentingthe Planet. Indians in the Chiapas region of southern Mexico claim their way of life is threatened by people who have come to steal their plants and knowledge. They say pharmaceuticals will be produced but they will never be able to afford them or receive any benefit. Alex Kirby investigates both sides of the argument and explores the fine line between bio-prospecting and bio-piracy. Producer Brian King
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