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Welcome to Reporters, I'm Philippa Thomas.
From here in the world's newsroom we send out correspondemts to bring
you the best stories from across the globe.
In this week's programme...
The Philippines' deadly war on drugs.
Jonathan Head joins a police prison raid and finds drug addicts
and dealers filling the cells to escape the death squads.
The focus at the moment, as with so much of this campaign,
is people at the very bottom of the trade,
not the people running it.
On the front line in Libya's war against the so-called Islamic State.
Feras Kilani joins pro-government forces besieging the strategic city
of Sirte, seized by IS a year ago.
The anti-government forces have mobilised all their ability, really.
To retake the last two districts still under Isis control.
Closer to extinction.
And the secret life of birds.
Victoria Gill gets exclusive access to the scientists shedding new light
on the mysteries of flight.
There has been an unprecedented rise in the murder rate in
the Philippines after the country's new president won power promising
tough action in the war on drugs.
But Rodrigo Duterte's critics say his hard-line tactics
include turning a blind eye to extrajudicial killings.
One campaign promise included a pledge to kill 100,000 criminals
in his first six months in office, while nearly 2000 people have
died in the seven weeks since the crackdown began.
Police say hundreds of thousands of dealers and drug users have
turned themselves in.
The war on drugs is reaching all corners of the Philippines.
Even here, in the jails.
Many of these men are already serving long sentences for drug use
in cells so packed with bodies it is hard to breathe.
It says something about the extent of the drug problem here
in the Philippines that the police have had to come here and raid one
of the biggest prisons around Manila.
There are clearly concerns about real drug problems
here but the focus at the moment, as with so much of this campaign,
is people at the very bottom of the trade,
not the people running it.
At least here they can stay alive.
But not here.
The bodies of dealers and addicts are discovered every night
in the slums of Manila, killed either by the police
or by shadowy hit squads.
It started when this man, Rodrigo Duterte, an outspoken
crime-fighting Mayor, was elected president in May.
When he said he would kill drug dealers, he meant it.
Does the lives of ten criminals really matter to me?
If I am the one facing the grief, would 100 lives mean anything to me?
The president is still wildly popular for this kind of talk.
Drug addiction has blighted neighbourhoods already
burdened by poverty.
But his campaign has forced Roger - not his real name - into hiding.
He has been a minor drug dealer for years.
Now he is on the run.
TRANSLATION: I have done some awful things, I know.
I have wronged a lot of people because they have
become addicted to drugs.
Because I am one of the many who sells the drugs.
Not everyone who uses drugs commits crimes.
I am an addict but I don't kill.
This chilling security camera video shows why those targeted
by the anti-drug campaign have so much to fear.
A motorbike slows down for a moment.
The passenger firing at point-blank range.
It might easily have been Maria, a young mother and a hired assassin.
She says she has killed five people since President Duterte
won the election.
Like Roger, she says it was poverty that drove her into the job.
TRANSLATION: I tell my husband that we cannot keep
doing this forever.
We have children.
We don't want our children to know what we do.
I do not want them to come back at us and say that they got to live
because we killed for money.
Nearly 700,000 terrified drug addicts have already surrendered
to the Philippines police to save their lives.
They must somehow now be accommodated in these
teeming, overcrowded cells.
It is a strategic Libyan city on the Mediterranean coast.
Seen as a gateway from North Africa to Europe.
Sirte was seized by so-called Islamic State forces last year
and there were fears that IS would use the port as a base
to attack European targets.
But this week, pro-government forces said they had retaken most
of the city and were flushing out the last of the fighters.
Militia groups aligned to the so-called Libyan Government
of National Accord have been supported by US air strikes.
Feras Kilani and cameraman Jamie Bowles are among the few
international teams to have reached the front line and they
sent us this report.
The tanks begin to advance.
The militants of so-called Islamic State are cornered.
Forces loyal to the unity government are now pounding their positions.
And close to regaining control of Sirte.
The anti-government forces have mobilised all of their ability
to retake the last two districts still under Isis control.
Islamic State hoped their headquarters in Sirte would provide
a base to launch attacks into Europe.
But now the extremists are about to be pushed out.
The commander here tells me that IS no longer have the manpower
to hold the city.
TRANSLATION: All the area in front of us is under IS control.
You can see them from here.
It is districts number one and three.
Within a few days we will take over all this area, by the help of God.
But the fight isn't over yet.
IS militants quickly reply with sniper fire and suicide bombs.
Stopping the advance.
The military spokesman told us that they had
expected these attacks.
But the gains here have come at a price.
On the day we visited this hospital, over 30 fighters were killed.
And we watch as medical staff battle to treat almost 200 men.
Even if IS are forced out of Sirte, their threat continues.
There is a strong feeling that IS will regroup and return,
causing more devastation in a struggling country with two
governments and hundreds of militias competing for power.
Have you ever wondered how even the tiniest birds manage to fly
in strong, gusty winds?
Well, scientists at Stanford University in California have now
designed a bird wind tunnel to try to find out.
Victoria Gill has had exclusive access to the flight lab
revealing new details about the secret life of birds.
The wonder of flight.
Only in very slow motion can we see the minuscule adjustments this
lovebird constantly makes to its flapping wings.
Its tiny body has evolved perfectly to fly.
Human engineers haven't come close to recreating that.
Here it is.
It is pretty big.
That is something that researchers in this lab hope to change.
They have dedicated an entire room at Stanford University in California
to building this wind tunnel.
The only one of its kind in the world.
OK, so this is where you fly the birds?
Basically, you can go in here...
It is starting to help them discover some of the birds' crucial secrets.
Wind tunnels have been used for a long time to study bird flight
but the new thing about this one is that with this device they can
manipulate the airflow to recreate any environment on Earth,
from a gusty city to the top of a mountain.
When you see a bird fly by in a city you see all of these
small motions in the wing and that is all that it is doing
to adjust to the turbulence.
And so it is really these tiny motions where they adapt quickly
that make the difference.
And we have no idea how they make these in response to
which wind flow patterns.
In the moving air the bird remains in one place so exactly how it
shifts as the airflow changes can be seen in unprecedented detail.
But the team, with their specially clicker-trained birds,
have also measured invisible characteristics of short hopping
flights like this one.
This setup is unique because it allows us to capture all the forces
that a bird generates from the moment it takes off
to when it lands during one of these fights.
So what can be done with all of this flight insight?
The next generation of small-scale flying robots, or drones,
will need to cope in unstable environments if they are to be
useful in military or search and rescue applications.
Currently they simply cannot manage as smoothly as birds.
So these scientists will aim to create robotic copies
of what nature has perfected over millions of years.
And that's all from Reporters for this week.
From me, Philippa Thomas, goodbye for now.
A weekly programme of stories filed by BBC reporters from all over the world, ranging from analyses of major global issues to personal reflections and anecdotes.