There’s no more precious resource in Australia than our children. Equipping them with the reading and writing skills to face the future is vital, not only for their own success but for the nation's prosperity. Alarmingly, a number of test results and international benchmarks indicate some of our children are slipping behind in the key area of literacy. Four Corners examines the way reading and writing is being taught in our schools to find out what is going wrong.
The man wrongly accused in the William Tyrrell child abduction investigation, Bill Spedding, speaks publicly for the first time. How did a single-minded approach by police lead to mistakes and missed opportunities?
The promises are big, bold and enticing: massive salaries, cars, holidays and life as an ‘influencer’. Job advertisements inviting young women to join online selling schemes are sweeping through social media feeds and attracting millions to sign up. It's sold as a dream job where you can work flexible hours from home and earn a commission on what you sell. What’s not clear from the advertisements is the true business model, based on network or multilevel marketing.
The scandalous case of Lawyer X and the underbelly murder investigations. Prominent figures reveal the story of cops, criminals, murder and betrayal, and how the actions of Victoria Police have undermined the justice system.
Australia's universities are embroiled in a growing geopolitical storm amid rising concerns over expanding Chinese power abroad. Is Australian technology and know-how being used to help strengthen China's repressive regime?
Sir Trevor McDonald investigates the extraordinary case of one of Britain's worst serial killers: Beverly Allitt, a young female nurse who murdered and attacked children in her care.
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Dying is an expensive business with the billion-dollar funeral industry virtually unregulated. We reveal the dubious tactics of some in the industry, from price gouging, unethical conduct and questionable treatment of bodies.
Social media has transformed the way we communicate and how we express our thoughts and emotions. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any number of digital platforms, there are more ways than ever for people to make their views known. Now the concern is that social media sites have morphed into the perfect platform for orchestrated disinformation campaigns which could shape identities and attitudes. As governments around the world grapple with calls to regulate what is published on social media, and with tech companies fiercely resisting attempts to curtail their business model, this timely program explores these key issues.
How your postcode can determine the quality of the care you get. Hospitals are supposed to be a place of care where patients are treated by highly trained staff well versed in dealing with emergencies and a vast range of illnesses. But not every hospital is delivering first class care. Four Corners reveals concerning evidence about the standard of hospital care many Australians are receiving.
After nearly three months of taking to the streets, we follow Hong Kong's protesters as they fight for freedom.
In a Canberra court room one of the most controversial trials ever to be held in Australia will soon get under way. The case is highly sensitive, with key evidence central to the allegations unlikely to ever be heard by the public. A former spy and his lawyer have been charged with conspiring to reveal secret information relating to an Australian intelligence operation aimed at a friendly foreign government. The two men involved are a former intelligence operative known only as Witness K and his lawyer, the former ACT attorney-general Bernard Collaery. Witness K and Collaery are accused of disclosing an Australian bugging operation carried out in the government offices of Timor Leste in 2004. Four Corners investigates the extraordinary steps the Australian government has taken to prosecute these men and to keep them silent.
For 20 years the nation's city skylines have been changing with the building of more than 650,000 apartments across the country. Glossy advertising has wooed buyers away from the traditional Aussie dream of a house with promises of sophisticated apartment living and high-end finishes. But the shine has well and truly come off the apartment property boom. Four Corners investigates Australia's apartment building crisis, from shoddy workmanship to lax laws, leaving owners out of pocket and in some cases out of a home altogether.
Can Boris Johnson deliver Brexit and keep the kingdom together? Phil Williams explores his career from journalist to politician, through epic gaffes, scandals and a colourful turn of phrase to become Britain's 77th PM.
Three years ago, Britain had a new prime minister and a promise to take the UK out of the European Union by delivering on the people's vote for "Brexit". What had been presented as a simple proposition - for the UK to leave - has turned into a political nightmare, dividing former allies, British political parties and the people of an increasingly dis-United Kingdom. Theresa May failed to deliver, and it cost her the top job. Now Britain's new PM, Boris Johnson, is making bold promises to "leave". In this revealing account, key negotiators and politicians on both sides of the Channel tell the inside story of the Brexit debacle. Originally broadcast by the BBC’s Panorama program, this episode of Four Corners serves as a precursor to the following week’s episode, which sees ABC chief correspondent Phil Williams report on what happens now that populist Prime Minister Boris Johnson is the man in charge of both the United Kingdom and the chief Brexit negotiator.
In the 2016 race to the White House, presidential candidate Donald Trump took a shine to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, led by its Australian founder Julian Assange. Trump revelled in the damage inflicted upon his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by a series of sensational leaks published by the site. Now, as president, Trump has performed a spectacular flip, presiding over an administration determined to imprison the publisher of the leaks. Julian Assange is now in a British jail cell, fighting attempts to extradite him to the US, where he is facing 17 espionage charges. Despite emphatic denials from supporters of his whistleblowing, the relentless attacks on Hillary Clinton during the US election campaign and his ties to Russia have fuelled suspicion that there was more to WikiLeaks' activities than a commitment to extreme disclosure. The decision by the Trump administration to charge Assange with espionage has provoked even some of his most ardent critics to speak out against a broader campaign to silence whistleblowers and shut down scrutiny of governments.
Julian Assange is one of the most influential figures to emerge this century. The Australian born founder of WikiLeaks has harnessed the technology of the digital age to unleash an information war against governments and corporations. WikiLeaks has collaborated with anonymous sources to release highly classified and often deeply embarrassing information to the world. The organisation exploded onto the world stage in 2010 when it began publishing a series of spectacular leaks laying bare the conduct of the United States. At the centre of it all was Julian Assange. The leaks sparked ferocious debate over the right to know and the right to keep secrets. Now Julian Assange is in the fight of his life. In April this year he was dragged, protesting, from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, nearly seven years after seeking diplomatic protection. He is facing extradition to the United States on espionage charges stemming from the spectacular 2010 leaks by Private Chelsea Manning. With the legal fight in full swing, Assange's supporters, even some of his critics, warn that his prosecution marks a very dangerous new chapter for freedom of speech and the public's right to know.
It's a remote corner of the world, but what is taking place there is nothing short of breathtaking. Xinjiang province is a vast area of deserts and mountains where the ancient Silk Road once ran. Today its Uyghur population is being systematically rounded up with estimates of as many as a million citizens being held in detention. But even those still left in their homes are being monitored using cutting edge technology, mass surveillance tools and artificial intelligence systems - with concerning evidence about Australia's links to China's dystopian surveillance state and the tools being used to racially profile its own citizens. The events unfolding in China are creating heartbreak for Uyghurs in Australia. They have stayed quiet for fear of provoking the authorities into punishing their relatives. Now, in desperation they are breaking their silence to tell the world what is going on.
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