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Welcome to Reporters.
In this special edition of the programme, we're looking back
at some of the best reports from this year from our network
of correspondents around the world.
Coming up: I'm a heroin addict.
I've overdosed four times.
We report on the epidemic of heroin and pain killers creating
a generation of users and killing tens of thousands of people.
they call the devil has hit hardest in small town America,
already ravaged by years of economic decline.
We're hearing outgoing fire.
The troops are trying to gauge how much resistance
is in these villages.
We join the Kurdish forces on the frontline, as Mosul awaits
from deliverance from so-called Islamic State.
Also before and after - the pioneering surgery
I'm in Antarctica.
And a year in the life of the penguin caught on camera.
Victoria Gill joins scientists as they track how the birds
are adapting to climate change.
America is in the grip of a heroin and prescription
pain killer epidemic.
More Americans, as many as 50,000 a year, are dying from drug
overdoses than from car crashes or being shot.
Increasingly, the victims are young, white and middle-class people.
They've become hooked on the deadly drugs.
Over the past year, Ian Pannell and his cameraman have
followed a number of addicts as they try to kick the habit.
You may find some of the scenes in their report difficult to watch.
A darkness has descended across America.
40-ish-year-old female possibly not breathing OD.
A plague of drug addiction and death greater than there's ever been.
Opioid pain killers and heroin are killing more
Americans than ever before.
Oh, my God.
What's wrong with her?
Get out of the way.
We were just here for a female in her 40s who wasn't breathing.
It was apparent drug overdose.
How common is this?
Sometimes more than once a day.
We have a dry spell where we'll go a day or two, but mostly every day.
Started when I was 17 years old.
I was at a party, high school.
I started doing the pills.
When I was 13 I started using pain pills.
Five, six people I known died last year.
All my values and morals, they went out the window.
It will take everything you have, all the money you have,
everything you've worked for, everyone you love.
There was nothing, almost nothing that I wouldn't do for it.
I'm a heroin addict.
My brother is also an addict.
I know I will die if I go back home.
I've overdosed four times.
My own sister had to save me.
I know that a lot of words are overused in our lexicon,
historic and unprecedented and unique.
We fall back on those words all the time in.
In this case, this is an epidemic.
That's precisely the right word.
This crisis has spread across America, created
by massive overprescription of morphine-like pain killers.
It gave birth to a nation of addicts.
A heroin epidemic is sweeping across America.
It respects no man or woman whatever their creed, colour or class.
Friends, families, whole communities have been left
to bury the dead and deal with the devastation
But the drug they call the devil has hit hardest in small town America.
Taking hold in areas like this, that have already been
ravaged by years
of economic decline.
For so many people, the future looks bleak.
Increasingly addicts are young, white kids
from the suburbs and rural areas.
They've moved from pills to heroin, because it's
cheaper and easier to get.
But it's far more deadly and it's no exaggeration to say this
generation's under threat.
# I hurt myself today
# To see if I still feel #
Dr Huckerbee is the medical director here.
He's an expert on pain medication and what it does.
He's also a recovering addict, who became hooked after getting pain
pills for a broken foot.
# The needle tears a hole
# The old familiar sting #
I was given the oxycodone.
It was like pulling the trigger.
I could not turn it loose.
It tickled my brain in such profound ways that it totally blind sided me
to the point that I eventually was injecting myself in
the operating room and was fortunate to have partners intervened.
You were injecting yourself?
Powerless over it.
I promised myself all the time, "We're not going to do this again."
"We're not going to do this again today."
And by the end of the day, you know, just couldn't control it.
It's a real hopeless feeling.
I remember feeling it one time that, you know, this is my fate in life.
I'm just going to die from this.
I'm addicted to heroin.
I've about died six times.
All I can think about is when am I going to get some more.
To feel better, but I'm never feeling better.
I'm tired of this.
I remember the first time I OD'ed.
My boyfriend was filming me.
He brought me back.
Right after that he went and did a shot.
It was kind of like, wow, I just almost died.
It is absolutely everywhere, in every town around here at least.
There's somebody that sells drugs.
It's predominantly heroin, because that's the big
thing around here.
In the streets and strip malls of western Pennsylvania
heroin's taken root.
The journey through addiction is a long, dark one for so many.
Steve has been trying to get clean for years.
But shaking it without serious, long-term help is rare.
I can get it, but it's right in the middle of the hood.
I don't like going over there period, let alone at midnight.
Steve's trapped in an endless hunt for a high that
will never be enough.
For something his body craves, that he knows he shouldn't do.
Because there's no way to know what's in each packet
and whether or not it will kill you.
This stuff's gotten hold of me.
I'm obsessed with it.
It runs my life.
Heroin's addictive like no other drug.
For many there are only two ways out.
Rehab or death.
Today the victim is just as likely to be your friend,
your neighbour or even your child.
Miss you so much.
I miss you so much.
I held him first on February 11th, 1994.
Then I held him last on August 22, 2015.
I never want a parent to ever have to do that.
It's the hard est thing that you'll ever do.
There's nothing else you can do that will hurt like this.
Oh, that should never be.
This epidemic is only getting worse.
There'll be more families devastated and more lives lost.
One country which really got tough on drugs this year
was the Philippines.
Its hard line new president campaigned for his election
by promising to kill 100,000 drug dealers and criminals in his first
six months in office.
His controversial, tough tactics, which critics say turning a blind
eye to extra judicial killings, led to an unprecedented
rise in the murder rate.
Around 2,000 people were killed in just the first two
months of the crackdown.
Jonathan Head reports on the Philippines'
deadly war on drugs.
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's 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.
The focus, as with so much of this campaign, are the 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, an outspoken crime fighting mayor
was elected president in May.
When he said he would kill drug dealers, he meant it.
That's the lives of ten criminals really matter to me?
If I am the one facing the grief, would 100 lives of this idiot
would 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's been a minor drug dealer for years.
Now he's on the run.
TRANSLATION: I've done some awful things I know.
I've wronged a lot of people because they've become addicted
to drugs because I'm one of the many who sells them drugs.
Not everyone who uses drugs commits crimes.
Me, I'm an addict.
But I don't kill.
This chilling security camera video shows why those targeted
by the antidrug 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's killed five people since the president
won the election.
Like Roger, she says it was poverty that drove her into the job.
TRANSLATION: I tell my husband that we can't
keep doing this forever.
We have children.
I would not 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.
The Iraqi city of Mosul waited for deliverance as Iraqi and Kurdish
forces battled for two months to liberate the last
strong hold of so-called Islamic State in the country.
As the troops continued their drive towards the city, the militants
fought back using suicide bombers.
At the start of the siege, Orla Guerin and her cameraman
were among the first journalists to get into the village
on the outskirts of Mosul as it was being liberated from IS.
A harbinger of terror.
We entered hostile territory, taking the battle to IS,
with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.
This was their second attempt to free this village.
Last week they faced heavy resistance.
Along the way, tension building, as we start to come under
fire and to respond.
We're moving forward now very slowly and carefully.
We're hearing quite a bit of outgoing fire.
The troops are trying to gauge how much resistance
is in these villages.
This was the answer.
A massive roadside bomb just ahead.
It was one of four on our route.
Then the Peshmerga moved to confront a suspected suicide bomber.
They have to check him for explosives with their bare hands.
This time they were lucky, just a civilian.
We arrive in what looks like a deserted village.
Locals start to emerge, tentatively to offer
thanks, but soon, this...
Warning shots from weary troops.
At last, freedom and relief.
There's nothing to worry about, he says.
It's all over.
But there's a legacy of torment.
"They destroyed us," says Mohammed.
"They completely destroyed us."
There was a sense of a community coming back to life,
of old friends reuniting, freed from the tyranny of IS.
A moment of victory for the Peshmerga.
And for some here, of rebirth.
"I can't find words to express how happy I am," He said.
"It feels like I have been born again."
Nearby locals attacked an IS sign that had loomed over them,
instructing women to cover themselves from head to toe.
Amar was happy to be wearing her best and not wearing a hijab.
As this woman thanks the Peshmerga, IS make their presence
felt, not far away.
GUNFIRE Helping to secure the village, a volunteer
sniper from Scotland.
He's fought with the Peshmerga since 2014 and has been
part of the recent push against IS or Daesh.
It's kind of funny because places that are weak, places
they'll stand and fight.
They're very up and down.
You're talking a lot of these people cheering now would probably Daesh.
They've just gone back into their community.
So they haven't gone away.
Even as they celebrate, the troops know their enemy
could soon re-emerge.
The Peshmerga are moving through the village.
They're securing the area street by street and more and more
civilians are appearing.
They can speak freely for the first time in over two years, but there
is still some tension here.
The fighters are concerned that among those coming
out onto the streets there could be suicide bombers.
But there were no threats concealed among the villagers.
They were savouring the chance to reclaim old pleasures,
banned by the jihadis.
The black flag of IS has been pulled down from the mosque.
The Peshmerga vowing never again will it be allowed to fly here.
Here's a thought, imagine surgery but without knives
or scalpels, just sound waves.
That's what doctors at a hospital in London have used to operate deep
inside the human brain.
The pioneering treatment was performed on a patient
who suffered from uncontrollable trembling in his right hand.
It could also be used to control the tremors caused by conditions
such as Parkinson's disease.
Over the past something years it's got worse and worse.
Selwyn is a painter and decorator.
His job is made increasingly difficult by this, an uncontrollable
tremor in his right hand.
The shaking is caused by a mistiming of the electrical signals,
the commands sent from the brain to the muscles in the hand.
One million people in the UK suffer from tremors.
The last 15 years it's gradually got worse to the extent I can't use it.
I've got to use my left hand.
Early morning at St Mary's Hospital in London.
And Selwyn is being prepared for deep brain surgery.
But this razor is the only blade that will be used today.
This frame will ensure his head is kept completely
still during surgery.
Once it is placed inside this machine, the first of its kind
in the UK, which operates using sound waves.
It works like this: The device has more
than a thousand ultrasound beams.
When focussed on a single point, they generate enough
heat to destroy tissue.
The target is a tiny point at the base of the brain,
which is causing the faulty signals, which trigger the tremors.
697 watt, 13 seconds.
This is precision medicine.
The team constantly monitor MRI scans and gradually increase
the energy of the sound beams.
Selwyn's wife is there to re-assure him.
I've witnessed quite a lot of brain surgery and it is brutal and bloody,
drilling through the skull and cutting through tissue.
The contrast here is astonishing.
There are no scalpels, it's all done with sound waves
and the patient is awake throughout.
And the result - remarkable.
The tremors have gone.
His right hand is steady and this is a permanent fix.
Doctors believe ultrasound surgery could treat other conditions.
It could help involuntary movements in Parkinson's and help tremor
in multiple sclerosis as well as other neurological
conditions emanating from the brain.
It has a big future?
An enormous future.
This was Selwyn before treatment.
It avoids the risks associated with conventional brain surgery.
And recovery is immediate.
You've got a big smile on your face.
It's nice isn't it.
Brilliant to pick something up with that hand and know it's not
going to spill everywhere.
Selwyn's treatment is part of an international trial.
Once that's completed next year, there's likely to be huge demand
for this pioneering surgery.
A really fascinating insight into the life of the penguin now.
Scientists in Antarctica have been working on a ground breaking project
to capture the activity of a colony of penguins on camera.
They spent much of the year watching them using remote cameras to see how
they're adapting to climate change and of course the threats
they now face.
Victoria Gill was given exclusive access to their research.
Her report contains flashing images.
I'm in Antarctica following a team of scientists setting up remote
cameras in penguin colonies here.
I'm Tom, a scientist at Oxford University.
We've probably got 40 and they are spread out the length
and breadth of the peninsula.
The bottom one, that takes photos all year round, every hour.
The whole reason we're here is to monitor penguins on a vast level.
If we have a constant presence in all these colonies, we can look
at how many chicks survive.
It's like CCTV.
Seeing was going on in winter is something
you would never get to see.
The partnership with tourism, this access is really
important, isn't it?
We would never have the access without them.
Partly we're doing this because there's a potential threat
and we want to measure it.
Where we've looked, there seems to be very little impact of tourism.
We have quite a close partnership and they drop us off
where we want to go.
In return, we educate their tourists about conservation and hopefully
inspire them to conserve penguins.
This is the gangway.
Before we go ashore, we have to wash our boots.
It's a pristine place.
We don't want to take anything onto the Antarctic mainland
which shouldn't be there.
This is The Zodiac, it's a rubber boat.
We use this to get around.
They're fantastic boats, very fast, very stable.
They bounce when you hit them up against a rock.
They're wonderful for down here.
I work as expedition leader.
It's incredible to see how ubiquitously everyone
is affected by Antarctica.
One of the things that we love about working with the production
of scientific knowledge is that we give people
the kind of emotional attachment to the place.
They provide ground work and relevance for people to put
that energy, you know.
Then of course, it also brings home a lot of bigger picture questions
about human beings' presence on the planet.
So this is the last camera of this expedition now?
That's it for this year, for this camera any way.
Now it's just turn it on and fingers crossed.
Back next year.
And that's it from this special edition of Reporters looking back
at some of the very best reports from this year.
From me, bye for now.
This is BBC News.
I'm Martine Croxall.
Viewers on BBC One will join us shortly for a full
round up of the day's news.
First, a look at the weather for the week ahead
with Sarah Keith-Lucas.
2016's ended on a fairly mild and cloudy sort of note.
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.