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Preview: Background Briefing

Background Briefing - ABC RN



Background Briefing is daring narrative journalism: Australian investigations with impact. Our award-winning reporters forensically uncover the hidden stories at the heart of the country’s biggest issues.



Copyright: Copyright 2018, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
 



Is that a steroid in my supplement? (Part 2)

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 08:05:00 +1000

More Australians use sports supplements than almost any other country – but do we know what’s in them? triple j reporter James Purtill and Alex Mann investigate the killer contaminants fuelling Australia’s body beautiful obsession. The team talks to supplement importers who are selling banned ‘synthetic steroids,' off the shelf.Supplement companies target muscle man events to sell their products


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Is that a steroid in my supplement? (Part 1)

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 08:05:00 +1000

Organised criminals and heavy steroid users are importing raw powders to manufacture the drugs in their own backyard. Our two part program shows that while police trumpet their successes through rising arrest figures, users and dealers say it’s never been easier to get steroids in Australia. Reporter Alex Mann and triple j's James Purtill investigate this murky world of steroid supply and find a fascinating web of fake identities, encrypted messaging apps and dodgy backyard chemistry.Steroid use is prevalent in the bodybuilding scene


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Churches for sale

Sun, 01 Apr 2018 08:05:00 +1000

Background Briefing investigates the stretched finances of the Anglican Church. The Newcastle Diocese is struggling to find the money to pay victims of child sexual abuse so it is using money raised from selling churches to foot the bill. Reporter David Lewis travels to a small coastal community where residents are fighting to protect their place of worship.Locals in Bungwahl are angry over the sale of the Anglican church (ABC News: David Lewis)


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Esteemed Australian scientist at the centre of a sexual harassment investigation

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 08:05:00 +1100

Sexual harassment allegations against one of Australia’s most esteemed statisticians are forcing the country's science organisations to confront the issue, head on.Sexual harassment allegations have left Australia's top science institutions scrambling (Unsplash: Mihai Surdu)


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The death of Jeremy Hu

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 08:05:00 +1100

An alleyway brawl that left a Melbourne schoolboy dead, has raised questions about who’s responsible for keeping international students safe in Australia.Jeremy Hu with his parents on his 18th birthday (Supplied)


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The anatomy of a scam

Sun, 11 Mar 2018 08:05:00 +1100

Binary option scams are one of the biggest financial scams in the world right now and Australians are targets. Scammers use flashy websites to trick victims into thinking they're trading on financial markets. But it's all a charade aimed at encouraging people to hand over their money. Reporter Mario Chistodoulou speaks to a former scammer and Australian victims who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.Victims are led to believe they're trading on the financial markets (Brendan McDermid,file photo: Reuters)


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Introducing ... The Signal

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:05:00 +1100

ABC has a new daily podcast. It’s called The Signal, and it's here to sort the news from the noise. To get a new episode of The Signal every morning, search for it where ever you get your podcasts, and hit subscribe.


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Could Tara Costigan's murder have been prevented?

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 08:05:00 +1100

Three years ago Marcus Rappel murdered 28-year-old Tara Costigan with an axe. The murder continues to confront our definition of domestic violence because despite a pattern of verbal aggressions, Rappel had never previously physically abused Costigan, the mother of his child. Canberra journalists Elizabeth Byrne and Susan McDonald investigate how health professionals, and law enforcement could have prevented the death, were they equipped with the right information at the right time. Family members of both Tara Costigan and Marcus Rappel speak out for the first time since the death.Tara Costigan holding her and Marcus Rappel's baby daughter. Days later Rappel killed Ms Costigan as she cradled their week-old baby. (Supplied)


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International crime figures look to Australia to launder money

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 08:05:00 +1100

International experts are warning that Australia is one of the most attractive destinations to launder money through real estate. Criminals from all over the world are looking at mansions in the suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney to park their cash. Reporter Connie Agius investigates the gaps in our money laundering laws and why they haven't been closed.Australia's laxed laws make it attractive for criminals to launder their money in real estate (Supplied: District Court of WA)


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Sexual harassment in the police force

Sun, 11 Feb 2018 08:05:00 +1100

Each year, NSW Police officers lodge around 200 harassment complaints against their own colleagues. About a quarter of those are for sex-based harassment. But for many victims, speaking out can be just as bad as the abuse itself. Alex Mann investigates the efforts by NSW Police to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace and the experience of officers who try to report it to their superiors.A stock image of New South Wales Police badges in Sydney, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. (AAP:)


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The forgotten cancers

Sun, 04 Feb 2018 08:05:00 +1100

They're responsible for half of all cancer-related deaths in Australia, but receive only a small amount of research funding. As a result, rare and less common cancers have incredibly low survival rates. Reporter David Lewis follows one woman's desperate search for a treatment that could extend her life.Andreea Stoenescu suffers from a rare type of lung cancer. (ABC News: supplied)


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Introducing Ear Hustle

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 08:05:00 +1100

How do you make a podcast inside prison? Ear Hustle's Nigel Poor talks risky stories, Australian listeners and toilet humour.(Ear Hustle: Antwan Williams)


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How did Westpac's e-waste end up on the worst dump in the world?

Sun, 24 Dec 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Summer series: A computer monitor from St George Bank, destined for recycling in Australia, is found on a toxic e-waste dump in west Africa, being pulled apart by children as young as five.Young men burning e-waste to extract metals at the Agbobbloshi dump in the Ghanaian capital Accra.  (ABC RN: Mike Anane)


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The Base: Pine Gap's role in US Warfighting

Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Summer series: Top-secret documents exclusively obtained by Background Briefing reveal the extent to which Australia is assisting the United States military in conflicts worldwide. Peter Cronau reports.A rare photograph of Pine Gap. (Supplied: Kristian Laemmle-Ruff @kristianlaemmleruff)


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No place for paedophiles

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Summer series: Prisons and aged care providers are sounding the alarm over the growing number of elderly convicted sex offenders and other serious criminals, and the lack of appropriate aged care facilities to take care of them their twilight years. Alex Mann reports.Prison populations are getting older (Science Photo Library)


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Fire ant threat: Mismanagement of Australia’s eradication effort

Sun, 03 Dec 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Whistleblowers accuse the agency in charge of the largest pest eradication effort in Australia’s history of mismanagement.Fire ants range vary in size but are distinct in their coppery-brown colour. (Supplied: Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries)


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Prescription killer: Australia's imminent fentanyl epidemic

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 08:05:00 +1100

New exclusive figures show alarming numbers of Australians are dying from fentanyl overdoses at increasing rate.Fentanyl misuse is on the rise and addicts are cooking it into solutions that can be deadly. (Lucy Barbour)


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Burning obsession

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Why do bushfire arsonists commit their crimes? Alex Mann investigates.(Getty Images: chrispecoraro)


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Katherine Hospital

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Repeat: How Katherine Hospital turned its fortunes around and the lessons to be learned.Gaye was diagnosed with tongue cancer and sent to Darwin Hospital for chemotherapy, when she returned to Katherine Hospital medical staff there realised she was deaf. Now she has a hearing aid and can communicate with the doctors and nurses. She couldn't do this at Darwin hospital. (Dr Simon Quilty)


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The toughest schools: Walgett's education experiment

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Can a failing school be turned around with money and community engagement? Brendan King investigates.Walgett school student Isaac plays basketball before school. (ABC RN: Brendan King)


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Betting on bitcoin: The risky world of cryptocurrency

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +1100

The technology behind cryptocurrency could revolutionise our financial system—but is this unregulated innovation worth the risk?(Getty Images: Siegfried Layda)


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Fiji silenced part 2: Controlling the message

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +1100

First-hand accounts and leaked documents reveal the extent of the Fijian government’s control over the media and public service, and why freedom of the press is at an all-time low. Hagar Cohen reports.A press pack in Fiji cover a visit to the United Nations headquarters by the Attorney General. (ABC RN: Hagar Cohen)


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Fiji silenced part 1: China's secret mission exposed

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Why did Chinese police enter Fiji and deport 77 of their own citizens? Hagar Cohen investigates.A house in Nadi, Fiji, where dozens of Chinese people were rounded up by both Chinese and Fijian police and deported. (ABC RN: Hagar Cohen)


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Mafia on the move: How the 'ndrangheta came to Australia

Sun, 01 Oct 2017 08:05:00 +1100

A mafia member who turned informant warns that the ‘ndrangheta, or Calabrian mafia, have an organised presence in Australia. Connie Agius reports.The Italian magistrate Bruno Caccia was killed in 1983 by the 'ndrangheta. Whistleblower Domenico Agresta testified at the trial for his murder. (Getty Images/Pacific Press/LightRocket: Elena Aquila)


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Drug justice: The Duterte solution

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has seen hundreds of thousands imprisoned and many killed. Ginny Stein reports.Prisoners lean against a metal door, their faces and hands poking through barred windows at Quezon City Jail. (ABC RN/Lateline: Ginny Stein)


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No place for paedophiles

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Prisons and aged care providers are sounding the alarm over the growing number of elderly convicted sex offenders and other serious criminals, and the lack of appropriate aged care facilities to take care of them their twilight years. Alex Mann reports.Prison populations are getting older (Science Photo Library)


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A whisky business

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 08:05:00 +1000

It was a whisky investment scheme marketed by a famous cricketer and a fast yacht, but it turned into an almighty hangover, with hundreds left wondering where their barrels went. David Lewis investigates.Hundreds of investors found out that the barrels of whisky they invested in were never filled (Felicity Ogilvie / ABC)


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South Sudan: a failure to act

Sun, 03 Sep 2017 08:05:00 +1000

When local and international aid workers came under attack in South Sudan's capital, why did UN peacekeepers just over a kilometre away fail to respond?A police officer examines remains of a logistic base of the UN World Food Program, Jebel District, Juba (Albert Gonzalez/AFP/Getty Images)


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Critical failure: the preventable deaths that keep happening in hospitals

Sun, 27 Aug 2017 08:05:00 +1000

How a series of blunders and the death of an 18-year-old girl have fed a wave of anger over the treatment of suicidal patients in hospitals. Tim Roxburgh investigates.Ahlia Raftery's parents, Kirstie and Mike. (ABC Newcastle: Robert Virtue)


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The Base: Pine Gap's role in US Warfighting

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Top-secret documents exclusively obtained by Background Briefing reveal the extent to which Australia is assisting the United States military in conflicts worldwide. Peter Cronau reports.A rare photograph of Pine Gap. (Supplied: Kristian Laemmle-Ruff @kristianlaemmleruff)


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Shot to pieces: How the Adler fight threatens our national gun laws

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Could the political fight over the Adler unravel Australia’s national gun laws? Paddy Manning reports.Queensland MP Robbie Katter tries an Adler shotgun near Cloncurry. (ABC RN: Paddy Manning)


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Rape shaming: Why some women are naming their alleged attackers online

Sun, 06 Aug 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Women who say the police have failed to properly investigate their rape cases are taking matters into their own hands, and they have police worried. Hagar Cohen reports.Lauren Ingram outside of Kings Cross police station. (ABC RN: Tiger Webb)


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Nowhere to go

Sun, 30 Jul 2017 08:05:00 +1000

A radical move to privatise government group homes for people with disability is underway in NSW ahead of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. David Lewis investigates.Harry Guinan has Down Syndrome, and lives in a government-run group home. Here he is at art class. (ABC RN: David Lewis)


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Europe's drug wars

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Twenty years after the assassination of Irish crime reporter Veronica Guerin, gangland killings continue in Dublin. The gangs have links across Europe, where authorities are struggling to keep up with an ever-changing drug trade.Law enforcement agencies are struggling to keep up with an ever-changing trade in drugs (BBC)


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Drill and fill: dentists up in arms over the risks of corporate dentistry

Sun, 02 Jul 2017 08:05:00 +1000

As health insurance companies and corporate chains buy up surgeries, some dentists say benchmarks and bonuses are influencing the type of treatment you get when you’re in the chair. Paddy Manning reports.Bonuses for the amount of work done may be encouraging unnecessary treatments (Getty Images)


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Shadows of the Sheikh: how an Adelaide Imam with a mysterious past became a media star

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 08:05:00 +1000

He warns we're facing an infestation of radical clerics, and he's called for Islamic schools to be shut down. But Mohammed Tawhidi has a mysterious history that sits awkwardly alongside his new image as reformer-in-chief of Islam in Australia.Imam Tawhidi's media appearances have caused controversy among Australian muslims (Islamic Association of SA)


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Under the radar: how the global gambling industry is encroaching on amateur sport

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 08:05:00 +1000

The global gambling industry is moving in on Australian amateur sport, offering live odds and exotic bets for offshore gamblers on small-time matches that barely draw a crowd.Small matches like this one in Hobart's Southern Basketball League have been offered up for live online betting (Carol Rääbus / ABC)


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Cyber insecurity: the skills shortage exposing Australia to attack

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Australian governments and businesses have finally woken up to the scale of the cyber threats we face. But in the race to snap up computer security experts, we may have started too late.The WannaCry virus affected hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe including at hospitals, banks and universities (ABC)


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On deadline: countdown to crunchtime for newspapers

Sun, 04 Jun 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Newspapers are slashing jobs, and the Senate has launched an inquiry into the future of journalism. But amidst the gloom, some ex-Fairfax journalists are putting everything on the line to launch new media outlets.Established newspapers are slashing staff, while Crinkling News is just getting started. (Tiger Webb / ABC)


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The cost of a kidney

Sun, 28 May 2017 08:05:00 +1000

It's a long wait to receive a kidney transplant if you're part of an ethnic minority in the UK. Some patients are so desperate, they're travelling to countries like Pakistan for risky operations, and there's evidence that Australians may be doing the same thing.Getty / Owen Franken


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A failure to care: the Oakden nursing home

Sun, 21 May 2017 08:05:00 +1000

How did Oakden, a state and commonwealth funded home for the elderly, fail its vulnerable patients and their families? Christine El-Khoury investigates.The Oakden Older Persons Mental Health facility is being closed after allegations of abuse. (ABC News: Matt Coleman)


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WestConnex: good debt or bad debt?

Sun, 14 May 2017 08:05:00 +1000

As the government talks up its commitment to infrastructure, some experts are querying whether the nation’s biggest transport project will solve the problem it was designed to fix. Paddy Manning investigates.(Hugh Peterswald/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)


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Machetes, migrants, and misinformation: why Africans are copping the blame for Melbourne crime wave

Sun, 07 May 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Should young migrants be deported if they commit a criminal offence? A new federal inquiry is considering just this, and in the frame are Sudanese youth accused of home invasions and car jackings in Melbourne. David Lewis investigates .Melbourne's Sudanese youth have been blamed for a variety of crimes, but are they really to blame? (David Lewis/ABC)


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The RSL at War

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 08:05:00 +1000

On the eve of Anzac day the RSL is facing its biggest test yet, as diggers question whether their leaders have their true interests at heart.Australia's oldest veterans organisation is dogged by scandal. (ABC News: Michael Vincent)


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Doctors and suicide: Why does it keep happening?

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 08:05:00 +1000

In the last few months there has been another cluster of young doctors taking their own lives. Critics say the culture of medicine and doctors' own fear of being vulnerable is stopping them asking for help. This story was originally broadcast on Feb 15, 2015A doctor takes a break in a hospital. (Chris Whitehead/Getty images)


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Nightmare build

Sun, 02 Apr 2017 08:05:00 +1000

Buying a new apartment? Defects are driving many owners to court to get their leaks and defects fixed after they discover changes to insurance law means they are no longer covered. It's you versus the builder, so bring your lawyer. Tim Roxburgh investigates.


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Katherine Hospital: Back from the brink

Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Just five years ago this Northern Territory hospital was facing closure. Its doctors were out of their depth and indigenous patients were leaving the wards in droves. This is the remarkable story of how Katherine Hospital turned its fortunes around and the lessons to be learned.Gaye was diagnosed with tongue cancer and sent to Darwin Hospital for chemotherapy, when she returned to Katherine Hospital medical staff there realised she was deaf. Now she has a hearing aid and can communicate with the doctors and nurses. She couldn't do this at Darwin hospital. (Dr Simon Quilty)


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The schools squeeze: how the apartment boom is overcrowding classrooms

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 08:05:00 +1100

Too many students and not enough classrooms. How did government's get it so wrong? David Lewis investigates.Students sit in a classroom, generic (ABC TV)


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How did Westpac's e-waste end up on the worst dump in the world?

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 08:05:00 +1100

There's a roaring international racket in hazardous e-waste. This is the story of how one of our biggest banks discovered its e-waste dumped on West Africa's notorious Agbogbloshie dump in Ghana. Rebecca Le Tourneau investigates.Young men burning e-waste to extract metals at the Agbobbloshi dump in the Ghanaian capital Accra. (ABC RN: Mike Anane)


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How Centrelink's 'robodebt' ran off the rails

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 08:05:00 +1100

The government's troubled debt recovery system has caused an uproar. Thousands of welfare recipients have been hit with debts which they have no idea how they were calculated. Colin Cosier investigates.Australia's Human Services Minister Alan Tudge speaks during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. (AAP: Lukas Coch)


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