Complicit: the workers paying the price for our mobile phone obsession. Mobile phones, smartphones and tablets have revolutionised the way we communicate but the technology we are addicted to has had toxic consequences. China produces approximately 90% of the world's consumer electronics. The factories making the components for these electronic goods are filled with young workers who are being exposed to poisonous chemicals, with devastating results. This investigation, filmed secretly over four years, exposes the use of harmful chemicals and capturing the working conditions inside the factories churning out these products we all use. The film charts the growing realisation among the workers that their illnesses stem from their work and follows their fight for compensation. The landmark investigation led Apple to ban the use of benzene, a known carcinogen, and n-hexane, a chemical that damages the nervous system.But the ban does not apply to subcontractors who make up two-thirds of Apple's supply chain. And around 500 other chemicals are still used to produce electronics, mostly in the developing world, where there are few or no regulations to protect the workers who make them.
HSBC is one of the world's largest and most powerful financial institutions with offices on five continents, including in Australia. It likes to spruik its financial might and global reach. Behind the corporate gloss, it has a far less attractive reputation. The bank has been at the centre of several of the biggest financial scandals uncovered this century. HSBC, or the Hong Kong & Shanghai banking Corporation has been implicated in a raft of illegal activities, from money laundering for the mafia, to enabling tax evasion and currency manipulation. In this global investigation, the role of HSBC in these scandals is laid bare.
The events of that night in Kings Cross would change Saxon Mullins life forever.The young man she accused of raping her, on her hands and knees in the gravel in a laneway, pleaded not guilty, insisting their sexual encounter had been consensual.The incident led to a gruelling legal battle that went for almost five years, including two trials and two appeals. Eventually the accused man, Luke Lazarus, the son of a nightclub owner, walked free, acquitted of rape. The case has had devastating consequences for all involved, and some of the details of the story are hard to hear. But it's inspired a deep questioning of what exactly is consent to sex, how does a woman indicate it, and how does a man ensure that he has it? And is the law adequate to address these questions? Saxon Mullins' identity has been protected until now. But she's given up her anonymity to tell her story to Four Corners in the hope it will lead to change. The reporter is Louise Milligan.
Today, 60 percent of Australian adults are classified as overweight or obese. By 2025 that figure is expected to rise to 80 percent. Many point the finger at sugar - which we're consuming in enormous amounts - and the food and drink industry that makes and sells the products fuelled by it. Despite doctors' calls for urgent action, there's been fierce resistance by the industry to measures aimed at changing what we eat and drink, like the proposed introduction of a sugar tax.
There are millions of dollars being made in the Australian marijuana business but these entrepreneurs and investors aren't risking jail to make their fortunes. They're betting big on the home grown medicinal marijuana industry and riding the "pot stock" boom.
On Monday night Four Corners brings you the undercover investigation that has left social media giant Facebook reeling through the unmasking of the secretive political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and the dirty tricks they deployed. Four months in the making, this ITN investigation for Channel 4 in the UK used hidden cameras to reveal the tactics used by the UK firm Cambridge Anayltica to influence elections and undermine the democratic process in several countries. And the company's former director of research, Chris Wylie, explains how they did it.
The Australia Taxation Office is a formidable enforcer with extraordinary powers. It can raid your home or business without a warrant, it can compel you to answer questions and treat you as guilty until proven innocent. While there's strong public support for a crackdown on major multinational corporations to force them to pay their fair share, there is growing concern that the ATO is targeting people a long way from the big end of town. In a major joint Four Corners-Fairfax investigation, reporter Adele Ferguson puts the actions of the ATO under the microscope, examining how it uses its extensive powers.
Australia's superannuation retirement savings pool is enormous. At $2.5 trillion dollars, it's one of the largest in the world. But there are fears that even that huge sum of money won't be enough. Millennials are entering a very different workforce from the one that existed 30 years ago when compulsory superannuation was adopted. In the broader economy, it's estimated that between $3 and $6 billion dollars' worth of super entitlements per year are not being paid. Now there are calls to take a fresh look at super and make some major reforms.
The sex scandal that has engulfed American film producer Harvey Weinstein triggered headlines around the world and prompted a searing discussion about the treatment of women. Much of the attention has focused on the actresses who say they were preyed upon by the movie mogul. Behind the scenes, there were other women, work colleagues and employees, who allege that Harvey Weinstein used his power to abuse them. They kept their experiences secret for decades, fearing legal action and reprisal. Now they are speaking out.
The numbers tell the story. Australia's population is growing fast. Across the country, we've added almost 400,000 people in the past year alone. The populations of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth have expanded by nearly 3 million extra people in the last 10 years. And we're feeling the strain. It's time for the nation to have a conversation about how big Australia is going to grow.
Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They're acting now. Mounting evidence suggests our changing climate is having an impact on everything - from what we grow, eat and drink, to house prices and the cost of insurance. Four Corners has travelled from coast to coast to chart how Australians are adapting to the new weather challenges.
Secret parties, sly booze and slinky cocktail dresses are a long way from the conservative images usually associated with the Islamic Republic of Iran. For decades the republic's morals police have enforced strict rules that seem to cover just about everything, from dog ownership, which is banned, to clothing. Drinking alcohol is punishable with 40 lashes. Repeat offenders can face the death penalty. Despite the rules, many young people in Iran are rebelling. They're taking their lives in their hands and defying the regime to party in secret.
For four long years Islamic State ruled its "caliphate" from its capital, the city of Raqqa. IS propaganda painted it as a pure paradise and extremists travelled from around the globe to join the terror group. Now the city is giving up its secrets. On Four Corners Middle East correspondent Matt Brown goes on an intense journey into the city freed from the Islamic State dictatorship.
They are the hidden workforce kept behind closed doors. Domestic workers, in Australia, living in slave like conditions and made to work around the clock. This powerful Four Corners reveals disturbing cases of extreme overwork and underpayment and explains why those responsible are getting away with it.
He's the financial mastermind who laundered money for the world's most dangerous terrorists and criminals. His operations stretched across the globe, helping everyone from Mexican drug cartels to bikie gangs hide their criminal profits. He also operated right here in Australia. He evaded capture for decades until an unprecedented international police operation, initiated by Australia, set out to take him down. With exclusive access, Four Corners takes you inside this extraordinary undercover investigation into money launderer Altaf Khanani.
Justice Lionel Murphy was one of the most senior political and legal figures in Australia. He was also at the centre of one of the most extraordinary scandals in our nation's history. Now this sensational chapter in Australia's history has been reopened with the release of documents kept secret for 30 years. Four Corners takes you into the heart of this story with powerful first hand accounts from many of the key players in this astonishing saga. Some are speaking publicly for the first time in 30 years.
In the week the same-sex marriage survey results will be announced, Four Corners takes you into the battle for control raging inside the Liberal Party. As reporter Michael Brissenden shows, whatever the results of the postal survey, the politicking will be far from over. When Malcom Turnbull took the leadership of the Liberal Party he promised to do things differently, end the slogans and act decisively. But for the past two years he's been unable to stamp his authority on his government.
Four Corners will take you inside the secretive world of tax havens where corporations and the wealthy operate far from public view. In an investigation that spans the globe, Four Corners will reveal the lengths some of the world's most powerful business figures and global corporations are going to, to avoid paying tax.
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