Assignment Asia

Emergency

Without a state-run emergency service in their country, volunteers have taken on the task of responding to accidents and other emergencies in the Thai capital, Bangkok. They patrol the streets of the bustling city every night, rushing anywhere anyone needs rescue. Reporter Martin Lowe spent one busy but ultimately tragic night with Bangkok's volunteer rescuers.

Among the casualties of war in Afghanistan is its healthcare system. But one hospital run by an Italian organization has managed to rise above the strife, providing treatment and care for victims of conflict. Reporter Natalie Carney visits the Emergency Hospital in Kabul, where lives are being saved and miracles sometimes happen.

Decades after the Vietnam War, bombs dropped into the Mekong River continue to pose dangers to the people of Cambodia. The Cambodian government, with the help of a nongovernmental organization, has formed an underwater demining team tasked with ridding the river of unexploded ordnance or UXOs. As reporter Michal Bardavid tells us from Phnom Penh, the job involves big risks.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Xinjiang: The Pains and Gains of Development

China is developing rapidly, fueled by decades of economic growth. But perhaps nowhere in the country is the process more complicated than in the far northwester region of Xinjiang, where the changes have affected people's long-held beliefs and traditions. Reporter Han Bin puts the spotlight on Xinjiang, where people are experiencing both the pains and the gains of development.

Art, Tradition, and Identity

Art serves different purposes, from expressing one's emotions and identity to portraying daily life and recording history. During the Ottoman era in Turkey, artists depicted reality and kept a record of events through a painting style with Islamic and Chinese influences. Although miniature painting has survived to this day, the art form is slowly dying and fewer people are patronizing it. In Istanbul, reporter Natalie Carney meets artists working hard to keep Ottoman miniature art alive and relevant.

Forced to Fight: Children On Myanmar's Battlefields

A conflict between government forces and various ethnic groups has raged in Myanmar since independence in 1948. The long-running civil war has not only displaced more than half a million people, but also forced the country's young into the front lines. Reporter Barnaby Lo travels to Myanmar's impoverished countryside, where young villagers tell stories of being abducted and coerced to work as soldiers either by the military or insurgents.

Protecting Endangered Wildlife

This edition of Assignment Asia takes you to the seas of the Philippines and the forests of Indonesia to highlight issues concerning the region's fragile wildlife. Whale shark tourism is a growing industry in the Philippines. It attracts thousands of visitors and generates millions of dollars in income every year. But environmentalists criticize the practice, saying excessive interaction with humans and the feeding of whale sharks are harming the endangered species.

Courage

The first episode of this series of "Assignment Asia" profiles people who if nothing else display courage in their everyday life/tells stories about courage, from the gleaming skyscrapers of Shanghai to the farmlands of the Lao countryside. First we go to the gleaming skyscrapers of Shanghai to discover a people whose lives are less than "gleaming." For Shanghai depends for its growth on the cheap labor of migrant workers. Reporter Han Bin takes high above the city to meet the workers who endure lives away from their loved ones to earn a living away from the poverty in their hometowns.