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#101

Everything Forbidden, Anything Possible

Monday 26 February at 8.30pm

Dancing, drugs and rebellion in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“People think that a lot of things are forbidden here, but in fact as you can see, you can find anything!” Young woman

Secret parties, sly booze and slinky cocktail dresses are a long way from the conservative images usually associated with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Prohibition is fun, doing things in secret is much more exciting.” Young man

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.

“The problem with alcohol is that other people can smell it and there are alcohol tests. So, to get high, most young people prefer to use drugs such as cannabis.” Young man

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.

“If they catch me I can go to jail.” Young woman

Filming covertly in Iran, a French film team gained access to a hidden world where “everything is forbidden (but) anything is possible.”

“Here you can find every style of dress… like this one here, a bit sexy… Or that one there, a bit more feminine.” Young woman

Young Iranians reveal how they outwit the regime to live the kind of life they want at private parties and clandestine beauty salons.

“For women, this is freedom.” Young woman

These young people like to party but they’re trying to escape their deep frustration with the governing regime.

“Iranian people don’t like the government and the rules of the government but, we can’t do anything.” Young woman

With their cost of living soaring and few jobs to apply for, the young must battle against their sense of hopelessness about the future.

“The more pressure they put on us, the more we must rebel.” Underground activist

Iran - Everything Forbidden, Anything Possible, from film maker Jacques Dubois and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 26th February at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 27th February at 1.00pm and Wednesday 28th at 11.20pm. ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#102
Weather Alert

Monday 5 March at 8.30pm

How Australia’s warming climate is changing the way we live and work.

“This is very ‘now’. This isn’t a future problem which is 10 or 20 or 30 years (away).” Climate Risk Expert

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.

“That debate can rage around us. If I say to my customers, ‘Don’t worry, in 200 years it will all be okay.’ That’s not going to cut it.” CEO

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.

“If you own a home in one of those areas and you try to sell it, you may find that the buyer is saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to be able to insure it.’… Or even, 'I can’t even get a mortgage on this house because the bank is saying, ‘Well, we don’t want the high-risk properties on our books.’” Climate Risk Expert

Four Corners has travelled from coast to coast to chart how Australians are adapting to the new weather challenges.

“The temperatures are more erratic. We seem to get frosts in the middle of summer, we’ve had frosts nearly on Christmas day. We’re getting hot, dry weather in the middle of winter.” Cattle farmer

“We were probably sceptics… but when we saw those 10 years of drought and the impact it was having on our business… our board decided that we needed to make some significant changes.” Leading wine maker

From farm kitchens to the board rooms of our major cities, people are changing the way they do business.

“It is clear that directors do have duties to take climate risk into account as a foreseeable financial risk, and a failure to do so may expose them to liability for a breach of their duty of due care and diligence.” Corporate risk adviser

Emergency services and state health departments too, have had to significantly alter the way they operate in the face of increasing “extreme” weather.

“It is a significant hazard for us as emergency management agencies. We need to plan and prepare for it because we can get a significant number of people who will end up being very unwell.” Director of Emergency Management

This is a story that leaves the politics behind and shows what the challenges are for many people across Australia in the face of this ‘new normal’.

Weather Alert, reported by Michael Brissenden and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 5th March at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 6th March at 1.00pm and Wednesday 7th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEDT, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#103

Big Australia: Are we ready?

Monday 12 March at 8.30pm

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The numbers tell the story. Australia’s population is growing fast. Across the country, we’ve added almost 400,000 people in the last year alone. The populations of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth have expanded by nearly three million extra people in the last 10 years. And we’re feeling the strain.

“You just can’t go exponentially like that and not expect there not to be some sort of consequences.” Bernard Salt, The Demographics Group

Australians living in our big cities are experiencing crippling commute times, over-crowded public transport, school shortages and an under supply of affordable housing.

“It’s not a choice, it’s forced on people. I don’t think that’s wonderful for our future.” Dick Smith, businessman

And our population is set to get even bigger. There’ll be almost 40 million of us by the middle of the century.

It’s time for the nation to have a conversation about how big Australia is going to grow.

“It might be an uncomfortable conversation but it’s necessary. In order for Australia to be the country we want it to be.” Dr Liz Allen, demographer

On Monday night Four Corners investigates what a “Big Australia” will mean and the difficult choices that will have to be made.

“Do you have fences and turnstiles? Do you start to ration access? That’s the sort of dystopia that we can see coming at us through the mist.” Bob Carr, Former Foreign Minister and Former Premier of NSW.

We look at the projected rise of Australia’s megacities - where some will double their current size - and ask who is planning for this?

“We’ve got huge changes coming… we’re looking at things like infrastructure needs, education needs, health needs. These are huge issues that Australia is facing as our population grows.” Innes Willox, Chief Exec, Australian Industry Group.

We investigate how we got to this point and interrogate why Australia has no national population policy.

“We’ve done an abysmal job. You know, there has been really no serious integrated debate around all the key factors that population growth brings to our economy and our national way of life.” Innes Willox

Some are now saying we should pull down the shutters and dramatically reduce the number of migrants arriving in Australia or risk our envied way of life.

“I see disaster for the way of life that we loved in Australia.” Dick Smith

Others point out that we’re facing a tsunami of older Australians, who will not have people to care for them.

“The oldest baby boomer is about 68, 69. We’re going to need more than 24,000 (aged care workers) every five years. We’re going to need 50,000. It’s not the sort of job that can be digitally disrupted.” Bernard Salt, The Demographics Group

Australians will need to start asking: what sort of place do we want to live in? What are we determined to hang onto and what are we prepared to give up?

The debate begins with Four Corners this Monday.

You’ll find online features and shareable videos on the Four Corners Facebook page and ABC News Online.

And Q&A will keep the conversation going in a special “Big Australia” edition following Four Corners.

Big Australia, reported by Ben Knight and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th March at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 13th March at 1.00pm and Wednesday 14th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEDT, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#104

Working with Weinstein

Monday 19 March at 8.30pm

Working with Weinstein: The women who worked for Harvey Weinstein tell their stories.

“He never stopped trying it on, never. Even having promised that he wouldn’t. It was consistent and constant.” Former production director

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 focussed on the actresses who say they were preyed upon by the movie mogul.

“He was the most powerful man in the entire industry and everybody wanted to be with him and he would hold court every night.” Former assistant

Behind the scenes, there were other women, work colleagues and employees, who allege that Harvey Weinstein used his power to abuse them.

“Harvey’s requests were always the same. He would appear in the room either totally undressed or just in his underwear.” Former assistant

They kept their experiences secret for decades, fearing legal action and reprisal. Now they are speaking out.

“I hadn’t been able to talk about this publicly, or really privately, for 20 years.” Former assistant

“It was like there was this code. We knew that this behaviour happened and yet none of us individually opened up about what our experiences were.” Former production director

Weinstein’s former staffers and colleagues talk of the measures they took to protect themselves.

“We always tried to go in twos and threes so that there would never be one person left alone there.” Former production director

Those who confronted him say they paid a heavy price.

“I was pretty broken at this point. My faith in sort of life in general was pretty shaken. And, Harvey went on and won his Oscar.” Former assistant

Harvey Weinstein has emphatically denied the allegations made against him but police investigations in America and Britain are underway and some of his accusers say they will now get their day in court.

“He may be or may have been a powerful man, but it doesn’t matter. He’s not above the law. He’s just a man.” Lawyer

Working with Weinstein, a Tigerlilly Production for Channel 4 and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 19th March at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 20th March at 1.00pm and Wednesday 21st at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEDT, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#105

Super Risk

Monday 26 March at 8.30pm

Super Risk: The millions of Australians missing out on superannuation.

“I think it’s a huge problem, and I think we’re not dealing with it now…it’s going to come back and bite us.” Workplace expert

Australia’s superannuation retirement savings pool is enormous. At two and a half 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.
“What future are many young people facing? Bleak. They are facing Game of Thrones. Winter is coming.” Investment banker

Millennials are entering a very different workforce from the one that existed 30 years ago when compulsory superannuation was adopted.

“It was pre-internet, mobile phones were the size of a brick, there wasn’t big data. So many young people are now working in the gig economy.” Financial services industry executive

The rise of the gig economy, with work fuelled by apps that summon drivers, deliveries and all kinds of freelance workers, has seen more than a million workers operate in a netherworld where they are not paid traditional entitlements like superannuation.

“I look at the next 20, 25 years when a whole generation will not have sufficient funds put aside.” Uber driver

In the broader economy, it’s estimated that between three and six billion dollars’ worth of super entitlements per year are not being paid.

In some cases workers are being blatantly ripped off by employers who have failed to pay their superannuation entitlements.

“Millions of workers are falling between the cracks of the superannuation system in this country.” Super fund trustee

Despite changes to strengthen the law, there are still sharp practices in the industry which are dudding consumers.

“How can I not feel outraged that somebody in my industry is doing something as appalling as that?” Investment banker

Now there are calls to take a fresh look at super and make some major reforms to avert financial disaster for the next generation of Australian workers.

“If the object is that workers in this country or citizens as I think it needs to become can retire with some dignity, then we have to look at the entire architecture of it.” Super fund trustee

Super Risk, reported by Stephen Long and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 26th March at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 27th March at 1.00pm and Wednesday 28th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEDT, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#106

4 Corners whistleblower raided ahead of investigation to air on Monday.

MONGREL BUNCH OF BASTARDS

Monday 9 April at 8.30pm

A whistleblower from the Australian Taxation Office who has been co-operating with reporter Adele Ferguson in a major joint Four Corners/Fairfax investigation has been raided in Adelaide this morning.

The intervention by officers from the AFP and the ATO comes as the program prepares to air “Mongrel bunch of bastards": Taking on the extraordinary powers of the Tax Office.

“MONGREL BUNCH OF BASTARDS”: FOUR CORNERS

“Mongrel bunch of bastards”: Taking on the extraordinary powers of the Tax Office

“You might say that murderers have more rights than tax payers.” Tax barrister

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.

“(It) can effectively act like a judge, jury and executioner all rolled up into one. That’s the problem.” Tax barrister

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 Tax Office is targeting people a long way from the big end of town.

“They chase low-hanging fruit, people who are being honest and upright, and they whack them with a huge bill and then chase them.” Small business lobbyist

In a major joint Four Corners/Fairfax investigation, reporter Adele Ferguson puts the actions of the Tax Office under the microscope, examining how it uses its extensive powers.

“How can you describe someone who’s trying to destroy your livelihood and destroy your way of life? I’d call that evil.” Business operator

Months in the making, this investigation shows what happens when a taxpayer finds themselves in the cross hairs of the ATO.

“There’s an agenda that’s going on in there, and the Australian public know nothing about it.” Business operator

It examines whether the ATO is playing by the rules and acting fairly and ethically.

“Dealing with the ATO, I’ve never come across such a mongrel bunch of bastards in my entire life.” Business operator

“Mongrel bunch of bastards”, reported by Adele Ferguson and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 9th April at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 10th April at 1.00pm and Wednesday 11th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#107

Here is the ABC report on the raid on the whistleblower, Richard Boyle: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-04/afp-raids-four-corners-whistleblower/9617698
It will be interesting to see if ATO will apply for a Federal Court injunction to stop both ABC and Fairfax to publish their latest investigation.


#108

Democracy, data and dirty tricks

Monday 16 April at 8.30pm

“I was instrumental. I was at the heart of it.” Chris Wylie, former Cambridge Analytica director of research

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.

“We set our emails with a self destruct timer…There’s no evidence, there’s no paper trail, there’s nothing. Don’t make a note of that!” Secret recording

Four months in the making, this ITN investigation for Channel 4 in Britain 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.

“We were able to identify that there were very large quantities of persuadable voters there that could be influenced to work for the Trump campaign.” Secret recording

Key players in the company, captured on film, repeatedly met with an undercover reporter posing as a potential client. The company promised absolute confidentiality and an assurance of success by combining the dark arts of political strategy with big data.

“We just put information into the bloodstream, to the Internet, and then watch it grow.” Secret recording

Stepping out of the shadows, in an eye-opening interview, is the former research director of the company.

“It weighs on me that I played a pivotal role in setting a company that has done a lot of harm to the democratic process in a lot of countries.” Chris Wylie, former Director of Research, Cambridge Analytica

He reveals the new battleground for hearts and minds - social media, where the weapon of choice is data and voters are the target.

“We can get better than human level accuracy at predicting your behaviour… And I can exploit that.” Chris Wylie, former Director of Research, Cambridge Analytica

His revelations of data harvesting from Facebook accounts have set in motion a series of inquiries around the world and a humbling admission of failure from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“Facebook, at least in a technical sense, facilitated the project because they had applications that had these permissions in the first place.” Chris Wylie, former Director of Research, Cambridge Analytica

This must watch investigation exposes how politics and opinion can be manipulated in the information age.

Democracy, data and dirty tricks: Cambridge Analytica uncovered, an ITN production for Channel 4 and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 16th April at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 17th April at 1.00pm and Wednesday 18th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#109

Green Rush: The race to riches for Australia’s new marijuana moguls.

Monday 23 April at 8.30pm

“The party’s only just beginning. People have got no idea how big this is going to be. This is going to be huge.” Cannabis investor

There are millions 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.

“I was heavily involved in the dot com boom. I never thought I’d see another boom like it but this green rush or gold rush or whatever you want to call it is simply remarkable.” Cannabis investor

Entrepreneurs are talking up the potential of a whole range of possible products, from insomnia cures to chronic pain treatments, and the share market is loving it.

“It’s going to be a multi-billion dollar market in total.” Cannabis company co-founder

But with patients struggling to access cannabis products, Four Corners investigates who is making money out of the marijuana boom.

“I am called The Wolf but I am in the market for all the right reasons.” Cannabis investor

Four Corners charts the rise of this industry which has grown from nowhere in just a few years.

“There’s no doubt, as with any new industry, there’s a flurry of people jumping onboard, jumping on the bandwagon, and there will be a shake down as a result of that.” Market analyst

The program gained exclusive access to the harvesting of cannabis in the first legal commercial growing facility in Australia, under heavy security, at a secret location.

“I’ve been approached by plenty who’ve said ‘I’m really good at growing this, how do I get involved in the legal side of the industry?’ Step one is don’t apply. It won’t cut it with the Office of Drug Control.” Cannabis company CEO

Some in the industry are confidently predicting that the “green rush” has a long way to go yet and are positioning themselves for any further changes to the law.

“There’s no question in my mind that medical cannabis is the Trojan horse for recreational cannabis.” Cannabis investor

Green Rush, reported by Sean Nicholls and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 23rd April at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th April at 1.00pm and Wednesday 25th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#110

I am that girl

Monday 7 May at 8.30pm

The case that put sexual consent on trial.

On Monday night, the young woman at the centre of one of Australia’s most controversial rape trials talks to Four Corners.

“The 18-year old in the story is me. Those awful things happened to me. I am that girl.”

She was a teenage virgin on her first night out in Sydney’s King Cross. He was the son of a wealthy night club owner. They met on the dance floor. Minutes later, he ushered her out into a laneway. What happened next has had devastating consequences for both of them.

“Was a sick night. Took a chick’s virginity, lol.” Text message sent by the young man

The young man had sex with the teenager, without her consent, but the court found it wasn’t rape.

“Whether or not she consented is but one matter. Whether or not the accused knew that she was not consenting is another.” Judge

The man’s acquittal, on the grounds that he didn’t know the teenager had not consented, shocked many and provoked troubling questions about how the law interprets consent in rape cases. The young woman says she’s still haunted by the ordeal.

“It got to be over for everybody else. There’s no other avenues. Everyone’s done, everyone goes home, and then it’s just me. And I’m still here…I’m still living it.”

Under the law, the young woman’s identity has been kept secret. Now she has chosen to speak to Four Corners in the hope that others will learn from her experience.

“I’ve spent far too long feeling embarrassed and ashamed.”

In a searing interview, she talks of how the incident and the years of legal action have impacted on her life.

“No-one dreams of their first time being in an alleyway with someone whose name they can’t even remember.”

This shocking account serves as a serious warning about the need to understand what consent is and the consequences of getting it wrong.

“The criminal law is a blunt and brutal method of social education…You shouldn’t have to rely on the criminal law as the key mechanism for doing that.” Barrister

One of those responsible for drafting those laws is now calling for change.

“There has to be some way to ensure that this ‘reasonable belief’ as to consent concept is a bit more foolproof.” Law professor

I am that girl, reported by Louise Milligan and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 7th May at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 8th of May at 1.00pm and Wednesday 9th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iviewand at abc.net.au/4corners.


#111

Banksters

Banksters: the scandalous conduct of a global bank.

Monday 14 May at 8.30pm

“You have to ask: if you don’t prosecute these people, who the hell are you going to prosecute?” Former US Senate investigator

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.

“Affiliates of drug cartels were literally walking into bank branches with hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of US cash…that didn’t happen once, it didn’t happen twice, it happened systematically over the course of about a decade.” Former US Deputy Federal Prosecutor

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.

“No matter where you live, no matter what kind of business you are in, if you wish to enter the offshore system, HSBC is likely to be your bank.” Investigative journalist

In this global investigation, the role of HSBC in these scandals is laid bare.

"There is simultaneously drug money, money from terrorism, money from Belgian diamond dealers, money of the French dental surgeons, money of the elite and the world of showbiz, of French and European aristocracy… it was a national sport, hiding money in Switzerland and at HSBC.” Reporter

Despite the revelations, the bank has flourished, leaving investigators frustrated.

“How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords before somebody says, ‘We’re shutting you down’?” US Senator

The film raises disturbing questions about who is in charge of regulating the banks in an increasingly globalised financial world.

“Who has jurisdiction over an institution that operates in a hundred countries? Who has the responsibility for taking on that kind of criminal undertaking?” Former US Senate investigator

Regulators stand accused of failing to adequately punish the bank and impose penalties that hold HSBC to account.

“Are we capable of regulating the banks properly? Of course we are. Do we want to, is really the probably important question.” UK MP

With the rise of China, HSBC is positioning itself as the bank of choice to drive China’s global economic ambitions, which makes investigators uneasy.

“As you have firms of the stature and the size of HSBC marrying up with rising Chinese banks that are now so huge, it’s a recipe for potential disaster.” Former undercover agent, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Banksters, by Jerome Fritel & Marc Roche for French broadcaster Arte and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 14th May at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 15th May at 1.00pm and Wednesday 16th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#112

Complicit

Monday 21 May at 8.30pm

Complicit: the workers paying the price for our mobile phone obsession.

“There were iPhone screens and Nokia screens…I held the phone screen in my left hand, and a piece of cloth in my right hand… Wiping was the only thing I did besides eating and sleeping.” Teenage worker

Mobile phones, smartphones and tablets have revolutionised the way we communicate but the technology we are addicted to has had toxic consequences.

“I knew we worked with chemicals, but I had no idea that it’s poison.” Young worker

China produces approximately 90% of the world’s consumer electronics. The factories making the components for these electronic goods are filled with young workers. Some have been exposed to poisonous chemicals, with devastating results.

“Many co-workers developed the exact same symptoms. When I walked, it looked like I had uneven legs. It would take 10 minutes to take a two-minute walk. My legs felt too heavy to move.” Worker

This investigation, filmed secretly over four years, exposed the use of harmful chemicals in the factories producing the products many of us use. Hidden cameras captured the working conditions inside the factories churning out these products.

“It was the cleaning solution he used, which contained benzene, when he was working at the electronics factory that caused his disease.” Father of sick worker

The film charts the growing realisation amongst the workers that their illnesses stem from their work and follows their fight for compensation.
“After we discovered so many workers with leukemia…more media reports followed up and showed that these workers were chemically poisoned.” Worker activist
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.

“Many of the workers that I’ve helped got occupational diseases due to exposure to toxic chemicals. Many are from the electronics industry. They made cell phones, computers, semiconductors etc.” Worker activist

Complicit, directed by Heather White & Lynn Zhang and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 21st May at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 22nd May at 1.00pm and Wednesday 23rd at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iviewand at abc.net.au/4corners.


#113

3 part special Trump Russia starts next Monday, June 4.


#114

Trump/Russia

Monday 4 June at 8pm

It’s the story of the century: The US President and his connections to Russia.

In a Four Corners special series, award winning investigative reporter Sarah Ferguson follows the spies and the money trail from Washington, to London, to Moscow.

In this three-part series, Four Corners delivers a riveting account of the allegations and evidence from the characters central to the drama that has gripped the world.

On Monday night, the story begins:

Follow the Money: Four Corners follows the money trail from New York to Moscow, tracking the ties between Trump, his business empire and Russia.

Secrets, spies and useful idiots: in part two, Four Corners speaks to key protagonists at the centre of the unfolding drama over members of the Trump team accused of being compromised by Russia.

Moscow Rules: in part three, Four Corners investigates the central allegations that members of the Trump team, including possibly the President himself, actively colluded with Russia to subvert American democracy.

Months in the making, filmed across the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia, Sarah Ferguson charts the extraordinary allegations, interrogating the evidence and interviewing central characters in this unfolding story that could be lifted from the pages of a blockbuster spy novel.

A three-part investigative special series reported and presented by Sarah Ferguson, begins Monday 4th June at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 5th June at 1.00pm and Wednesday 6th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#115

Second Chance Kids

Monday 25 June at 8.30pm.

“How much punishment is enough?” Lawyer

Being tough on crime has become a popular mantra for political parties. Law and order debates are frequently fuelled by tabloid headlines calling for a crackdown on crime. The result is often harsher sentencing. In the United States it’s led to thousands of prisoners facing mandatory life sentences for crimes they committed as teenagers.

“A super predator is a young juvenile criminal who is so impulsive, so remorseless that he can kill, rape, maim without giving it a second thought.” Forensic psychologist

Now there’s debate over whether these prisoners should be given a second chance at life.

“To say to any child of 13 that you’re only fit to die in prison is cruel.” US Lawyer

In this compelling documentary, the film makers follow the cases of two of these now adult prisoners who expected to spend their entire lives behind bars.

“I was a bad kid. I was an angry kid. But I don’t think I was so to the point where OK now you’re going to be a kid that dies in prison.” Prisoner

With exclusive access, the film closely documents their legal bid for freedom following a landmark court case.
“I’ve changed and I’m not the same individual. But I feel ashamed of what I did.” Prisoner

We witness the confrontation between the perpetrators, guilty of murder, and the families of their victims in emotionally charged parole hearings.

“He was my only son and I’ll never forgive him, ever!” Victim’s mother

As juvenile offenders across the US await their potential re-sentencing, Second Chance Kids asks tough questions about crime and punishment.

“There are some people who should never be released…there are some crimes, in my opinion, that are so deleterious to our community that individuals deserve to go to jail for life.” Prosecutor

For the two prisoners, their chance of a new life presents them with the challenge of how to live after decades behind bars.

Second Chance Kids, from PBS Frontline and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 25th June at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 26th June at 1.00pm and Wednesday 27th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#116

OUTBREAK

Monday 2 July 2018

Outbreak: The quarantine failures putting the Australian economy at risk.

On Monday night Four Corners investigates some of the worst biosecurity breaches in Australian history, uncovering sophisticated smuggling operations, inadequate enforcement and corruption.

“The department has a problem. There is a vast number of containers coming in…They’re struggling to maintain the barrier.” Investigator

Last year a devastating exotic disease wiped out much of Queensland’s prawn industry, threatening a lucrative trade based on our “clean” reputation and undermining faith in Australia’s supposedly fortress-like borders.

“It’s the canary in the coal mine… there are some problems with our border security that obviously need to be addressed to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Scientist

Official inquiries narrowed in on contaminated seafood illegally imported from Asia.

“These are low-grade prawns, you don’t want them inspected by anybody. They probably glow in the dark.” Biosecurity official

Now a Four Corners investigation will reveal how Australia’s biosecurity measures were defeated by sophisticated smugglers.

“A substantial number…were deliberately and cold-bloodedly gaming the department. The profits to be made from getting a container past the department were huge.” Investigator

The program pieces together the dramatic fight to contain the outbreak and uncover the cause.

“I’ll never forget that day because I was out in my boat in the morning just working on reefs and I got this phone call saying, ‘Can you keep a secret?’” Marine scientist

Insiders talk about the cut-throat nature of the industry and the huge profits to be made by those breaking the law.

“We had to choose whether we were going to follow their lead, or we were going to say no and act properly.” Importer

Investigators warn that Australia’s biosecurity regime can be easily exploited.

“Would you put a burglar in charge of a bank? That’s what self-regulation is about. There is no incentive for an importer to do the right thing.” Investigator

The concern goes well beyond the seafood industry, with the program set to detail another significant breach that threatened a multi-billion-dollar industry.

“It was like a rotten onion. We were peeling away a layer to find a more rotten layer underneath. So, everywhere we turned, everywhere we looked things were getting worse.” Executive

Outbreak, reported by Linton Besser and presented by Michael Brissenden, goes to air on Monday 2nd July at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 3rd July at 1.00pm and Wednesday 4th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#117

Off Track

Monday 9 July at 8.30pm.

Off Track: The Secrets and Scandals of Australian Horse Racing.

On the surface, Australia’s racing industry has never been better. With a prize pool that’s grown to more than $600 million it’s one of the biggest industries in the country, employing more than 50,000 people. But away from the glamour all is not well in the sport of kings.

“People are leaving this sport in droves.” Horse Trainer

Die-hard racing identities are worried.

"We all love our horses. But we seem to get knocked from pillar to post, one scandal after another.” Thoroughbred Owner

On Monday Four Corners examines the secrets and scandals in Australia’s horse racing industry.

“A scandal like this certainly does rank right up there. This is a big one.” Racing commentator

In 2017 an astonishingly audacious doping conspiracy was uncovered. Five trainers and three stable hands were found guilty of taking part in Victoria’s Aquanita doping scandal, but questions remain.

“How anyone could look at this situation and say, well that’s it, all done, we’ve got the guilty people, and move on, just has you shaking your head.” Racing Industry analyst

In the wake of the scandal, described as one of the darkest and longest chapters in the history of the sport, high profile racing figures are questioning how the sport is being policed.

“How did this happen for so long, what processes were in place that failed the racing industry, failed punters, failed the horses?” Racing form analyst

The damage done by the Aquanita doping conspiracy isn’t the only problem facing the industry. The loss of high profile sponsors, the difficulty in attracting racegoers and concerns about animal cruelty have the racing fraternity on edge.

“Once punters lose confidence in the sport the whole system breaks down because without punters racing doesn’t exist, without owners who put on the show racing doesn’t exist.” Racing Commentator.

Off Track, reported by Michael Brissenden, goes to air on Monday 9th July at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 10th July at 1.00pm and Wednesday 11th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


#118

Out Of The Dark:

The extraordinary rescue mission to save Thailand’s lost boys

Monday 16 July at 8.30pm

The story of a brave young soccer team gripped the world.

The extraordinary international effort to find and rescue 12 boys and their coach from a remote cave in northern Thailand was watched closely by millions.

On Monday Four Corners documents this wonderful and tragic tale from the day the boys first disappeared until the joyous moment the last person left the cave.

Reporter Mark Willacy is in northern Thailand for this special report.

Out Of The Dark, reported by Mark Willacy and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 16th July at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 17h July at 1.00pm and Wednesday 18th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.


Thai Soccer Team Cave Rescue - Media Coverage
#119

Money for Nothing

How corporate greed and deception cost AMP its trusted place in Australian life

Monday 23 July at 8.30pm

“Working Australians have been hurt by what’s happened at AMP. People need to be held to account.” Investor
AMP was once a trusted blue chip Australian company but it’s reputation is now in tatters following evidence before the Financial Services Royal Commission that it charged customers fees for no service and repeatedly lied about it to the corporate regulator.

“Taking money for no service is essentially theft. It would be regarded as theft in any other walk of life.” Corporate Governance expert

On Monday Four Corners investigates how AMP ripped off its customers and details the extraordinary measures it took to conceal its actions.

“Did they really think they could do this legally and get away with it?” Corporate Governance expert
In a revealing interview a former financial planner gives an insider’s account of the tactics used by AMP to cheat customers out of their own money.

“The AMP clients were being charged every month automatically and not receiving a red razoo.” Former AMP financial planner

The former planner also blows the whistle on the company practice of pressuring financial planners to sell in house AMP products even if it meant a client would be financially worse off.

“Every time (a recommendation) came back, regardless of what I had put as an adviser, the product at the end of the advice or the structure was an AMP product.” Former AMP financial planner

AMP began selling life insurance in 1849. Four Corners examines how an iconic company with a trusted place in Australian life could have such a spectacular fall from grace.

“I would never have thought that any of that sort of thing would have been going on in such an institution that has been around for so many years and has been trusted by the shareholders and by the public at large.” AMP Shareholder

Money for Nothing, reported by Sean Nicholls and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 23rd July at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th July 2018 at 1.00pm and Wednesday 25th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners


#120

Champagne with Dictators

Monday 30 July 2018

Champagne with Dictators: Australia accused of failing to stand up for democracy as Cambodia descends into dictatorship.

“You don’t drink champagne with the dictators.” Opposition Leader

For more than three decades Cambodia has been ruled by one man, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who came to power in the country’s first democratic elections after the horror years of the Khmer Rouge. Australia played a key role in the peace deal that ended the bloody civil war, but the once bright hopes for democracy have long since faded.

"We were tremendously successful in bringing peace to Cambodia, but we weren’t at all successful in bringing democracy and human rights.” Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans
Ahead of this weekend’s elections, the Hun Sen regime launched a ruthless crackdown on the political opposition and free press. On Monday, in her first story for Four Corners, reporter Sophie McNeill travels to Cambodia to confront the man whose political opponents have been imprisoned and assassinated in mysterious circumstances.

Sophie McNeil: The world says this is not a democracy…
Hun Sen: No, no, no. No this is not (right).

While steadily cementing their grip on power, Hun Sen and his family and cronies are accused of amassing enormous wealth through a corrupt and nepotistic system.

“There’s nothing that happens there that they don’t control, and that is corruption in its most egregious form. That’s what it’s like in Cambodia. It is a Mafia state.” Patrick Alley, Director Global Witness

Four Corners has uncovered evidence of how the regime’s wealth has been used to buy properties and businesses in Australia, where some of Hun Sen’s relatives have established a base for building support, sometimes through threats and intimidation.

“They allow this foreign government to intimidate our people, Australian citizens, and those who come here to study. This is not right.” Hong Lim, Victorian MP

Since 2014, Australia has granted the regime $40 million in additional aid, in return for taking some of Australia’s unwanted refugees, and the Turnbull government upgraded ties with Cambodia last year. While the US has begun moves to sanction the regime by freezing assets and blocking visas, international observers accuse the Australian government of cosying up to Hun Sen.

“I would like to see Australia take a strong stance, (to) come out openly and condemn the Hun Sen regime. They’re not doing that.” US Congressman

While hopes for democracy have disintegrated, China has moved to dramatically expand its presence and power in the country.

"Cambodia has the coast, Cambodia has minerals, Cambodia has forest, Cambodia has a dictator. You can buy it all.” Opposition Leader

As Hun Sen prepares to tighten his grip on power after this weekend’s elections, Cambodia’s democracy campaigners say they feel abandoned.

“Cambodia look up at the people of Australia. We envy you. You live in a world of democracy, but your government is disappointing. Very disappointing.” Opposition Leader

Champagne with Dictators, reported by Sophie McNeill and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 30th July at 8.30 pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 31st July at 1.00pm and Wednesday 2nd August at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on the ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, on ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.