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On this week's show: An unlikely champion of women's rights runs for parliament in Pakistan and a Russian office worker fights for her son's future. Also, Asian bloggers, the Native American occupation of Alcatraz, Italian-born immigrants facing deportation, shiftwork on steroids in Australia and a church for atheists.

Produced by Nancy Isenson, Neil King and Thomas Schmidt

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Female firsts

For the first time in the history of Bajaur, a tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, a woman is running for office. Badam Zari is a 40-year-old housewife and an unlikely champion of women's rights.

Report: Malik Ayub Sumbal

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Opposition in Putin's Russia

Maria Baronova has put her freedom on the line as a protest leader in Russia. But she won't give up her quest to make her country a better place for her six-year-old son - even as she faces two years in prison.

Report: Mareike Aden

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Making a difference

Bengali photojournalist Shahidul Alam has been a driving force behind many firsts for his country: first picture agency, first photography school, first online portal, first e-mail network. Most recently he was a juror at The Bobs awards for online activism, put on by Deutsche Welle.

Interview: Nancy Isenson

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Back to Alacatraz

Alcatraz Island, where the eponymous prison was located, was occupied by Native Americans in a 19-month standoff with the US Coast Guard from 1969-71. Now the site has become home to a permanent exhibit about the event that gave birth to a political movement that continues today.

Report: Jan Sluizer

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Native sons

Florentine filmmaker Haider Rashid was appalled when he learned that children born to immigrant parents in Italy are not considered Italian citizens. His new film tells the story of an Algerian family's battle to stay in their home of 30 years, the birthplace of their sons.

Report: Dany Mitzman

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Shiftwork on steroids

The mines behind Australia's booming resources sector are located deep in the sparsely-populated outback. Laborers are paid generously to fly in for stints of a few weeks at a time. It's hard on them - and on the societies they return to.

Report: Maeve Frances

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Religiosity for non-believers

At a time when commitment to religion seems to be falling in Britain, an "atheist church" in London is proving to be a big hit.

Report: Ashley Byrne

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