The tunnel business
The latest episode of the brilliant radio program This American Life ventures outside America to look at stories that happen around bridges and other passage-ways around the world. The second segment is about the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. I'm not sure how up-to-date the interview with the forthright and loquacious owner of a Gaza tunnel is (there is no mention of the undgerground barrier) but it has lots of great details, including how much Hamas requires tunnel operators to pay the families of workers who are killed by collapses (or by gas pumped in by the Egyptians); the fact that profits from tunnels decreased (from $10,000 to $1,500 a month) as more and more people got into the business; and the smuggler's claim that most weapon smuggling takes place from Gaza to Egypt.
The first story in the show--about a man in China who patrols a bridge where suicides are common--is also great.