Two years on from the Four Corners investigation into water theft in the Murray-Darling Basin that sparked a royal commission, the program returns to the river system to investigate new concerns about how the plan to rescue it is being carried out. On Monday, Four Corners investigates whether the contentious plan has become a colossal waste of taxpayers' money. The river system is the lifeblood of Australian agriculture but right now it's in crisis. It's experiencing one of the worst droughts on record, and with mass fish deaths capturing the headlines and farmers struggling to survive, many are saying the scheme is failing to deliver. Billions of taxpayers' dollars are being poured into grants handed to irrigators in an attempt to save more water. But how is the money being spent? Some irrigators say this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform their businesses, while others are questioning who is actually gaining the most from the generous scheme. Meanwhile, some are questioning whether the scheme is actually encouraging the planting of crops even thirstier than cotton, setting the timer on a potential ticking time bomb.
In increasingly alarming scenes, the US and Iran are facing off in the Middle East. Tensions have been escalating steadily for the last two months, driven by concerns over the Islamic Republic's nuclear capabilities. In the past two weeks, these tensions have ratcheted up even further with unprovoked attacks on oil tankers and the shooting down of a US military drone and imposition of US sanctions. There are concerns that the two nations are headed towards military conflict. The key figure in Iran's strategic manoeuvring, and one of the most powerful military figures in the Middle East, is a shadowy figure in Iran's feared Revolutionary Guard, Qassem Suleimani. Featuring interviews with key American and British defence and intelligence figures who have gone toe to toe with Iran for decades, the program outlines how Major General Suleimani's Iranian forces have repeatedly intervened in key conflicts like the Iraq war. As fears grow of an armed confrontation, veteran Iran watchers urge caution.
Australia boasts a stunning array of unique wildlife. They feature on our coat of arms and they're placed front and centre in our tourism campaigns. But the reality is, many of our native animals are in danger. Australia has one of the worst extinction rates on the planet and the problem is growing. There are currently more than 500 animal species under threat. Four Corners investigates how Australia has found itself in the midst of an extinction crisis.
US President Donald Trump has ignited a massive trade war with China, slapping billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese goods. In doing so, he says he's delivering on his promise to Make America Great Again. Despite the rhetoric, questions are being asked about who has the most to lose from the conflict. Featuring key players who have served in the Trump administration, the program analyses the forces at work with the US government and what they believe is at stake.
James Gargasoulas was a 26-year-old heavy drug user with an extensive criminal record when he drove a car at high speed through central Melbourne killing six people, including a baby boy and a 10-year-old girl. He was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year for the January 2017 Bourke Street attack. Despite a guilty verdict there are still outstanding questions about why James Gargasoulas was able to carry out such a crime. In his first media interview, Gargasoulas' brother Angelo recounts his brother's extreme violence over many years, beginning with their deeply troubled childhood in outback Coober Pedy. Angelo was both a witness and a victim of his brother's brutality even in the days and hours before the Bourke Street attack.
Thirty years ago, in the centre of China's communist capital, Tiananmen Square, millions of students and citizens staged weeks of protests calling for democracy. The students and their fellow protestors stared down their government in the full gaze of the world's media, demanding an end to totalitarian rule. Then, the People's Liberation Army turned its guns, and its tanks, on its own people. Three decades on, Four Corners vividly brings the story of these momentous times to life, drawing upon a trove of vision and audio captured by ABC reporters and crews in that astonishing spring of 1989. This incredible archive stored away by the ABC for 30 years has now been carefully pieced together to show how the shocking events unfolded.
On April 15 the world watched on in horror as one of France's most famous landmarks, Notre-Dame Cathedral, caught alight. The cathedral had stood for more than 800 years, through revolutions and world wars, but as the flames took hold, the architectural icon was in peril. What took place over the next nine hours was an epic battle by some 400 firefighters to save the building.
On Saturday May 18, 2019, former prime minister Tony Abbott lost the fight of his political life. His 25-year career as the member for Warringah was ended by the independent candidate Zali Steggall. Four Corners brings you the inside story of how the battle for Warringah was lost and won. In interviews with key players, the program reveals the strategy behind the Steggall campaign, the roots of the insurgency within the seat of Warringah and the roles played by the key activist groups, GetUp and Advance Australia.
It's almost three years since Four Corners exposed shocking revelations of mistreatment in the Northern Territory's Don Dale youth detention centre in Australia's Shame, sparking a royal commission. Now the program reveals a new child detention crisis in another part of Australia, Queensland, where children as young as 10 have been held alongside adult criminals in maximum security facilities. With exclusive access, Four Corners goes behind the locked cell doors to reveal how young people, most of whom have not yet been convicted of a crime, are being held, sometimes for weeks at a time.
Across Australia the university business is booming. Higher education institutions that only a few years ago were cash strapped are now flush with billions of dollars brought in from fee paying international students. But there are growing concerns about the consequences of the overseas student boom. Four Corners investigates how Australia's higher education system is being undermined by a growing reliance on foreign fee-paying students.
The controversial police technique putting innocent people behind bars. The idea that anyone would willingly confess to a crime they didn't commit sounds unbelievable, particularly when the punishment may be life in prison or even the death penalty. But a series of high-profile cases across America has revealed a slew of wrongful convictions based on false confessions and placed the spotlight on a widely used police interrogation technique designed to make people confess. The technique sees police officers wage psychological war on suspects through a nine step interrogation process. Wrongful conviction investigators say the process is a travesty of justice, with lawyers warning wrongful convictions will continue to occur without changes to the justice system.
The story of the Sharrouf children and their grandmother's epic fight to find them and bring them home to Australia. If there was one family that represented the alarming tide of Australians flocking to the black flag of Islamic State, it was the Sharroufs. The children of the notorious jihadist Khaled Sharrouf were taken to the self-declared caliphate in 2014. The world learned of them after their father published pictures of his eldest son holding the severed head of an IS prisoner, sending shockwaves around the world. For five years their grandmother, Karen Nettleton, has been trying to reach the children and bring them home. She has mounted several rescue missions, with each one ending in failure. Now, in Syria, she's making a last-ditch effort to save them from a squalid refugee camp. Reporter Dylan Welch and producer Suzanne Dredge have documented the family's experience for four years, travelling with the children's grandmother as she tries to convince the authorities in Syria and Australia to release the family into her care and allow them to return home.
A joint investigation by Four Corners, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald reveals fresh and compelling evidence of covert Beijing-backed political activity taking place in Australia. The investigation has uncovered secret information gathering operations targeting sensitive Australian intelligence analysis. It also reveals how Chinese authorities are stifling dissenting voices by targeting members of the Chinese-Australian community who fail to toe the party line.
Climate change policy has been one of the most divisive issues in modern Australian political history. It has brought down governments and toppled political leaders. At times the debate has become so polarised that the average Australian could be forgiven for tuning out. With a Federal election looming, Four Corners brings the debate back to what is actually happening in the nation right now.
The terror attack in the New Zealand city of Christchurch appalled the world. The indiscriminate shooting of 50 Muslim worshippers during Friday prayers was calculated to spread fear and a message of right-wing terror. Four Corners investigates how the Australian born accused killer was able to operate under the radar. The plot was intricately planned, harnessing the tools and the power of the internet, to amplify the terror to a global audience. The attack brought to light the violent and disturbing right-wing extremist movement that is flourishing on the internet and finding a home in both New Zealand and Australia. The program investigates whether authorities have been so focused on Islamic extremism that they've failed to grasp another deadly threat, the rise of far-right white supremacists.
How the ruthless ride share giant outwitted regulators and crushed competitors. Uber is one of the most recognisable brands in the world. It's embedded itself in our language and revolutionised the way we think about transport. Since emerging nine years ago on the streets of San Francisco, the edgy digital disruptor has upended an entire industry business model and made ride sharing cool. And Australians love it. But Uber's ride to success has been far from smooth. Behind the slick marketing an aggressive corporate culture has been at work. Using sophisticated cyber weaponry, the company has deployed an astonishing array of tools enabling it to dominate the ride-sharing game. Despite its undisputed popularity, Uber has yet to make a profit, and questions are being asked about the financial health of the company. A series of corporate scandals and bruising court battles has put the company under further pressure. Uber is banking on selling a vision, way beyond ride sharing, to secure its future. Four Corners has been given access to the company's global tech hub where engineers are working on everything from electric scooters to flying taxis, with several Australian cities on the shortlist for Uber Air. While Uber is looking to the future, others are still counting the cost of its arrival.
What has happened to Dubai's Princess Latifa? Most Australians had probably never heard of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum till his horse Cross Counter won the Melbourne Cup last year after a two-decade campaign. Now he's in the headlines again, for a very different reason. Last year, his daughter, the Princess Latifa, then aged 32, ran away to escape a life of regal confinement in the hyper wealthy financial hub and tourist destination of Dubai. She took the precaution of recording a video, with instructions to release it if anything happened to her. After fleeing first by car and then jetski, Latifa was dramatically re-captured on a boat in international waters by armed men. In heart stopping interviews, those on-board recount how the events unfolded. Far from silencing her, Latifa's capture and forced return to Dubai has focused world attention on the dark side of the gleaming desert metropolis. This gripping film from the BBC also investigates the story of Latifa's sister Shamsa. She too was recaptured after going on the run in Britain. The program examines how Dubai's ruler has been able to bring pressure to bear based on his country's financial and defence ties.
Four Corners reveals how Australia's highest ranking Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, was brought to justice. With the suppression order lifted on his conviction for sexually abusing two boys, the full story can now be told.
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