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Grassroots Idealism

Press reviews of last week's episode of FRONTLINE/World, featuring our stories about Lebanon and Liberia, picked up on a theme. "Both reports are refreshingly hopeful," noted TV critic Roger Catlin of Connecticut's Hartford Courant.

"Trouble Spots Where Hope May Have A Foothold," was the headline of a long and favorable review in The New York Times by Ned Martel. You'll get the idea from these opening paragraphs:

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Iran: Going Nuclear

paul kenyon

In this week's broadcast, the last of the current season, FRONTLINE/World and BBC reporter Paul Kenyon travels to Iran with U.N. inspectors to uncover the secrets of Iran's nuclear program. To give you an idea of the obstacles Kenyon and the inspectors faced, we've posted excerpts from an interview with Kenyon here. You can read a full account of his investigation and other features on Iran's nuclear ambitions on the Web site when the show airs, Tuesday, May 24.

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Druids and Sex

celebrations in beirut

Unless you live in the Middle East, you're an international news junkie, or you're French, Lebanon is probably a bit of a blur. Sure you know Beirut, the capital, as a synonym for urban violence in the 1970s and 1980s, or in its earlier incarnation as the Paris of the Middle East. But after that, be honest, it all gets a little vague. Something about Phoenicians, Roman ruins, terrorists. And it's not just Americans who are confused. When our Lebanese cameraman Vatche Bhoulgourjian lectured about his homeland in England, describing the different Muslim and Christian sects, including the Druze minority, a questioner asked him, "Why do you keep mentioning Druids and sex?"

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The "Two Tall Women" Episode

This has been an intense period for FRONTLINE/World. We have just completed two stories for our May 17 broadcast about Lebanon and Liberia. On Sesame Street they would call this our "Letter L" show. I call it the "two tall women" episode since Middle East reporter Kate Seelye is willowy enough to have played center on her college basketball team at Amherst, and Africa correspondent Jessie Deeter could easily have played forward, though she prefers competitive show jumping when she's not interviewing rebel fighters in the bush.

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