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BBC focusses on US mid terms elections with 'USA Direct'

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MUMBAI: Next month in the lead-up to the mid-term elections in the US on 7 November, the BBC will have a USA Direct season.

This will feature news coverage, interviews and documentaries looking at American society, culture, economics, and politics. In addition some of BBC World’s regular programmes such as flagship interview programme HARDtalk, technology weekly Click and the interactive multimedia discussion programme Have Your Say, will offer an assessment of 'the state of the nation', asking has the US reached its peak as the world’s only superpower?

World Business Report will be reporting on the topical issue of immigration and the role of immigrants in the work force. A special It’s My Country Too airs on 21 October at 7:40 pm. It’s five years since 9/11, and the US is a changed country, especially for Muslims. Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the US, yet one in four Americans regard Muslims living among them with suspicion. As part of the USA Direct season, It’s My Country Too follows Salman Ahmed, the founding member of successful rock band Junoon, as he explores what it means to be an American Muslim. Salman talks to taxi drivers, students and law reform campaigners, including a mother whose desperate search for her Muslim son after 9/11 turned her into a political activist.

The World Debate Advancing Sands: Deserts and Migration airs on 14 October at 5:40 pm. A dust bowl the size of the US threatens our world. The UN says that desertification is forcing 100 million people to leave their homes. Marking the UN Year Of Deserts and Desertification, The World Debate comes from the headquarters of the World Conservation Union in Switzerland. Six experts will take questions from viewers on the Internet on why so little has been done to halt the degradation of fertile lands and what can now be done to ensure that tens of millions more are not forced to leave their villages.

Is A Free Media Essential For Development? airs on 28 October at 5:40 pm. 'Communications for Development' is a new and expanding field, which places the media at the heart of international development efforts. At its basic level it’s about using the media, for instance, to encourage people to wash their hands before eating or to use condoms - simple, non-controversial campaigns that can potentially save millions of lives. However increasingly the media’s role in promoting good governance is being recognised by donor countries, and not always welcomed by the governments of some developing countries. Many place restrictions on their domestic media, with actual or self-censorship rife.

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