Sveriges 100 mest populära podcasts

The Real Story

The Real Story

Global experts and decision makers discuss, debate and analyse a key news story.


iTunes / Overcast / RSS



Bola Tinubu: Can Nigeria?s new president unite his country?

The winner of Nigeria?s presidential election, Bola Tinubu is due to be inaugurated on 29 May but the opposition are challenging the results. Only 27 percent of voters participated in the election, the lowest turnout in the country?s history. And a recent BBC investigation has found evidence suggesting some results from the February election may have been manipulated. As well as the contested election results, the incoming president faces huge challenges governing Nigeria: the country is struggling with high inflation and an array of security threats ? jihadist insurgencies in the north east, kidnapping and banditry especially in the north west, herder-farmer violence, and separatist violence in the south-west. It has huge oil wealth, but its oil industry has a documented history of corruption. President-elect Tinubu says he'll hit the ground running by cracking down on those trying to split the country. But can this veteran politician who proclaimed "it's my turn" unite it? Shaun Ley in conversation with: Nnamdi Obasi - senior Nigeria adviser with the International Crisis Group. Fidelis Mbah - a freelance journalist based in Abuja Idayat Hassan - director of the Center for Democracy and Development, a Nigerian think tank. also featuring: Katch Ononuju - special adviser to the Nigerian Labour party 's Peter Obi. Rinsola Abiola - an activist in the ruling All Progressives Congress Party, APC, and a supporter of Mr Tinubu. Produced by Alba Morgade and Ellen Otzen (Photo: Nigeria's President-elect Bola Tinubu sits at the International Centre waiting to receive his certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja on March 1, 2023. Credit: Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Länk till avsnitt

Why can?t America contain the fentanyl crisis?

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin, is now the main driver of drug overdose deaths in America. The US Drug Enforcement Administration says 67% of the 107,375 US deaths from drug overdoses or poisonings in 2021 were linked to fentanyl or similar opioids. US authorities blame Mexican drug gangs for supplying fentanyl to users across the US. Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says his country has proof that illegal shipments of the powerful opioid drug fentanyl are arriving from China; while China's foreign ministry has denied that there is illegal trafficking of fentanyl between China and Mexico. The US government is deploying law enforcement to crack down on fentanyl dealers and also taking steps to prevent and treat substance use and the harms it produces. But why is it still struggling to contain the fentanyl epidemic? Would stronger US cooperation with Chinese and Mexican authorities make a difference? What should President Joe Biden's administration do going forward to tackle the fentanyl crisis? Shaun Ley is joined by: Regina LaBelle, who served as acting director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in the White House when Joe Biden became president in 2021. She now directs the Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O'Neill Institute at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Director of the Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington. Uttam Dhillon served during Donald Trump?s presidency as acting head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA, from 2018 to 2020. He now works for law firm Michael Best and Friedrich and its consultancy, which provides advice on drug policy to clients including healthcare companies. Uttam is on the board or advises several companies involved in tackling the opioid crisis. Also featuring: Dr Rahul Gupta, President Joe Biden's 'Drug Czar' as Director for the US Office of National Drug Control Policy Gustavo Mohar, head of Mexico´s national security intelligence agency from 2007 to 2011 Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne FILE PHOTO: Plastic bags of Fentanyl are displayed on a table at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection area at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Lott/File Photo Produced by Ellen Otzen and Imogen Wallace
Länk till avsnitt

What's gone wrong in Haiti?

In recent weeks, vigilante groups in Haiti?s capital Port-au-Prince have beaten and burned to death gang members. The country has been plunged into increasing lawlessness following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. Haiti has been led by Prime Minister Ariel Henry for almost two years, but he has failed to rein in the gang violence. One former US envoy to Haiti says the Biden administration has ?betrayed? Haitians by turning its back on the country and not pushing for democratic elections. Other have called for an intervention by foreign forces to tackle the gang violence. But is deploying international forces the answer? Should there be a Haitian-led solution? What needs to happen to prevent Haiti from complete collapse? Shaun Ley is joined by: Jacqueline Charles, Caribbean Correspondent for the Miami Herald Robert Fatton, Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia Pamela White, former US Ambassador to Haiti under President Obama Also featuring: Dave Fils-Aimé, Founder & Executive Director of the nonprofit organisation Baskètbòl pou Ankadre Lajenès in Port-au-Prince Daniel Foote, former US special envoy for Haiti from July 2021 - September 2021 Image: Police patrol the streets after gang members tried to attack a police station in Port-au-Prince on April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol Produced by Imogen Wallace and Ellen Otzen
Länk till avsnitt

The rehabilitation of Syria?s President Assad

This week a meeting of Arab foreign ministers - including Syria's - took place in Jordan's capital, Amman. Officials have been discussing Syria's potential return to the Arab League, after 12 years of civil war. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are dead, millions are refugees abroad, and a political settlement to the conflict remains elusive. But some of Syria?s neighbours are now keen to build closer relations with the Syrian regime. A tentative normalisation of relations with President Assad has been years in the making. So what is driving it? What might a change in international relations mean for ordinary Syrians? And what does this diplomacy reveal about politics and power in the region? Shaun Ley is joined by a panel of expert guests: Rime Allaf - a Syrian-born writer and a former fellow at the Chatham House international affairs think tank in London. She is also a Board Member of the Syrian civil society organization The Day After Steven Simon - served on the US National Security Council in the Obama administration as senior director for Middle Eastern Affairs from 2011 to 2012. He's now a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of ?Grand Delusion: The Rise and Fall of American Ambition in the Middle East? Ismaeel Naar - Arab Affairs Editor for The National, a newspaper owned by the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates who is also a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi. Also featuring: Jawad Anani, an economist and Jordan's former foreign minister and deputy prime minister Joel Rayburn, President Trump's special Envoy for Syria from 2018 to 2021 Photo: Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia meets Bashar al-Assad on April 18, 2023 in Damascus, Syria. (Credit: Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Länk till avsnitt

Tunisia?s democracy on the brink

Tunisia in North Africa was the birthplace of the Arab Spring, a wave of popular uprisings that shook or toppled authoritarian regimes in the region. But, after a decade of fragile democracy, in 2019 a new strongman, President Kais Saied, swept to power. He directed his campaign at young Tunisians, promising an end to corruption. There was optimism but the Covid pandemic had battered the economy and exposed - as it did in many other countries - the weaknesses of the health system. Mr Saied insisted Tunisia's democratic system was not working so he used emergency powers to sack the prime minister, close the National Assembly and suspend the constitution - essentially paving the way to rule by decree. Last week one of Tunisia?s most prominent opposition leaders, Rached Ghannouchi, who is also the leader of Tunisia?s largest political party, was imprisoned. He's the latest in a long line of critics jailed by the president. So, is this the final nail in the coffin for Tunisia?s fledgling democracy? What is President?s Saied?s vision? And what, if anything, can the world do to prevent the Arab Spring's one success story joining its long list of failures? Shaun Ley is joined by: Nadia Marzouki, a political scientist and tenured researcher at Sciences Po in Paris Ghazi Ben Ahmed, a Tunisian economist and the founder of the Brussels-based think-tank Mediterranean Development Initiative Monica Marks, assistant professor of Middle East politics at New York University in Abu Dhabi Also featuring: Yusra Ghannouchi, the daughter of Rached Ghannouchi Nabil Ammar, the Tunisian Foreign Minister Elizia Volkmann, journalist in Tunis Photo: The 67th anniversary of Tunisia's Independence, Tunis - 20 Mar 2023 Credit: MOHAMED MESSARA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock Produced by Pandita Lorenz and Rumella Dasgupta
Länk till avsnitt

A bloody crisis in Sudan

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in fierce fighting between army troops and paramilitary forces in Sudan this week. The fighting that has erupted in the capital Khartoum and elsewhere in the country is a direct result of a vicious power struggle within the country's military leadership. Aid agencies say it's nearly impossible to provide humanitarian assistance to people and the health system is close to collapse. So what's led to this crisis? Who controls the country at the moment? And who are the key international players who can exert influence? Shaun Ley is joined by : Dame Rosalind Marsden, associate fellow at the Chatham House International Affairs think tank in London, a former EU Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan and also Britain's former Ambassador to Sudan. Murithi Mutiga, project director, Horn of Africa at the International Crisis Group. Mohanad Hashim, BBC journalist and expert on Sudan Also featuring : Cameron Hudson, director of the US State Department's Africa Bureau in George W. Bush's administration. He also served as chief of staff to successive presidential envoys during the Darfur insurgency and the secession of what become South Sudan in 2011. Tagreed Abdin, an architect who lives with her family in Khartoum. James Copnall, BBC's correspondent in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum from 2009-2012. Producers : Rumella Dasgupta and Ellen Otzen
Länk till avsnitt

What is hostage diplomacy and why is it on the rise?

Russia's arrest of the American journalist Evan Gershkovich for spying has shone a spotlight on what the US calls 'hostage diplomacy', a practice which involves imprisoning a foreign national, usually on spurious or exaggerated charges in order to extract concessions from that person?s government. The increase of hostage diplomacy?by China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea?recently prompted President Biden to declare it a national emergency. This week the US announced that Mr Gershkovich is being held in Russia as ?wrongfully detained?, a finding that means the American government sees him as a political hostage. As the number of detentions has increased, the US has become more willing to strike deals with foreign governments to free US nationals. Last year?s high-profile prisoner swap of US basketball star Brittney Griner and Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout was hailed by some as a diplomatic success story. But critics say it sets a dangerous precedent, arguing that prisoner exchanges simply encourage hostile powers to arbitrarily arrest more foreign nationals. Meanwhile, another US citizen accused of spying remains in a Russian prison. Former US marine Paul Whelan was given a 16-year jail sentence in 2020 after being arrested in Moscow in 2018. So what determines who is selected for prisoner swaps? Are prisoner swaps a good solution to a painful dilemma, or do they mean that authoritarian states simply will detain more foreigners seeking a trade-off from western countries? Photo:Evan Gershkovich, US reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Credit: Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP Shaun Ley is joined by: Dr Danielle Gilbert, fellow in US foreign policy and International security at Dartmouth college in New Hampshire Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert was detained on a visit to Iran where she was held for two years. She's now a visiting fellow in security studies at Sydney University, Australia. Professor Colleen Graffy was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy travelling around 40 countries in Europe and Eurasia, making America's case on behalf of George W.Bush's Administration. She is a law professor at Pepperdine Caruso Law School. also featuring: US diplomat Bill Richardson, director the Richardson Center which helps negotiate the release of US political prisoners and hostages held overseas. He's a former governor of the US state of New Mexico. Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Labour Party politician, barrister, and human rights activist in the UK. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta.
Länk till avsnitt

Can we control Artificial Intelligence?

Last month a company in San Francisco called OpenAi released an artificial intelligence system called GPT-4 - a successor to its hugely popular AI chatbot ChatGPT. The latest version can respond to images, write captions and descriptions - processing up to 25,000 words at a time. Researchers claim GPT-4 shows ?sparks of artificial general intelligence? - in other words it can match or exceed human capabilities in tasks a person can do. But there are concerns this latest technology could be used to spread disinformation alongside worries over privacy, jobs and even society itself if more rules aren?t quickly introduced. Key figures in the tech industry - including Tesla?s CEO, Elon Musk, and Apple?s co-founder Steve Wozniak - have signed an open letter asking for a pause on ?giant AI experiments? so that policymakers can catch up. There are potentially wide-ranging benefits to these advances. In recently published guidance on the responsible use of AI, the UK government described it as one of the "technologies of tomorrow? contributing £3.7bn ($5.6bn) to the UK economy last year alone. So what might the social impact of these increasingly powerful AI systems be? If greater regulation is needed, who is responsible? And, if we don?t control it, is there a chance that one day these machines will outsmart and replace us? Celia Hatton is joined by: Prof Yoshua Bengio - professor at the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research at the Université de Montréal Boaz Barak - the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard University Lindsay Gorman - a former advisor to the Biden administration on tech strategy. She's currently a Senior Fellow for Emerging Technologies at the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy in Washington DC Also featuring: Greg Clark ? a Conservative MP and chair of the UK government?s science and technology committee Stuart Russell - Professor of Computer Science at the University of California Photo: Ai-Da Robot poses for pictures with a self portrait in the Houses of Parliament in London before making history as the first robot to speak at the House of Lords / Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Produced by Pandita Lorenz and Ellen Otzen
Länk till avsnitt

Who will run the world in 20 years?

At the end of a friendly meeting in Moscow, President Xi of China told President Putin of Russia that they are driving changes in the world the likes of which have not been seen for a century. Meanwhile this week President Biden kicked off a Summit for Democracy with $690m funding pledge to democracies all over the world and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, called on Europe to reassess its diplomatic and economic relations with China before a visit to Beijing next week. So what changes are President Xi talking about? Who will be running the world in 20 years time? Is conflict between rival powers inevitable? And is the model of western liberal democracy in decline? Owen Bennett-Jones is joined by: Evelyn Farkas - an American national security advisor, author, and foreign policy analyst. She is the current Executive Director of the McCain Institute, a nonprofit organisation focused on democracy, human rights, and leadership. Evelyn served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia under President Obama Martin Wolf - chief economics commentator at the Financial Times and author of The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism Professor Steve Tsang - political scientist and historian and Director of the China Institute at the SOAS University of London Also featuring: Henry Wang - founder and director of the Centre for China and Globalisation, a think tank with links to the Chinese Communist Party Nathalie Tocci - director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and an honorary professor at the University of Tübingen Photo: Russia's Putin holds talks with China's Xi in the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21, 2023 / Credit: Reuters Produced by Rumella Dasgupta and Pandita Lorenz
Länk till avsnitt

Imran Khan and Pakistan's political turmoil

Clashes this week between police and supporters of former cricketer-turned-Prime Minister, Imran Khan, show once again the deep divisions within Pakistani politics. Mr Khan was ousted as prime minister last April in a no-confidence vote but has kept up pressure on his successor, Mr Sharif, with demonstrations calling for early elections and blaming him for an assassination attempt - an accusation the government denies. Mr Khan faces multiple court cases, including terrorism charges, but has cited a variety of reasons for not showing up to hearings. Meanwhile Pakistan is in the middle of one of the worst economic crises ever seen. The country is awaiting a much-needed bailout package of $1.1 billion from the International Monetary Fund - a loan that has been delayed over issues related to fiscal policy. The security situation is also deteriorating with a spate of deadly attacks on police, linked to the Pakistan Taliban. So what, if anything, might resolve the political stand-off? What impact does ongoing instability have on Pakistan?s economic situation and could this all play into the hands of Pakistan?s Taliban? How much support does Imran Khan really have from the military - or could the army?s longstanding hold on Pakistan finally be challenged? Owen Bennett-Jones is joined by: General Muhammad Haroon Aslam, a retired army general. He was a Corps Commander in the Pakistani army and served in the military for 40 years Hammad Azhar, a former finance minister for Imran Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Atika Rehman, London correspondent for Dawn newspaper Also featuring: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, senator for the The Pakistan Muslim League, part of the ruling coalition, and a former prime minister Shuja Nawaz, Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington Khurram Husain, business and economy journalist based in Karachi Ahmed Rashid, journalist and author of Descent into Chaos and Pakistan on the Brink (Photo: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks with Reuters during an interview in Lahore, Pakistan 17 March, 2023. Credit: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)
Länk till avsnitt

Is the asylum system broken?

Millions of people around the world are on the move today in search of a safe and better life. It?s estimated over 100 million people were displaced last year. Over 30 million are refugees and 5 million are asylum seekers. The UN body for refugees says 72% of the refugees originate from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, Afghanistan and South Sudan. These refugees are often fleeing persecution, conflict, violence, natural disasters and human rights violations. They make the dangerous journey across land and sea to seek asylum in other countries. Over the years, thousands have died or gone missing in the the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe. While, with help from the UNHCR and host countries, many get legal status and are settled, thousands are held in processing centres and camps, often for years. We discuss problems with the current international asylum system and ask what would a fair global asylum system could look like? Owen Bennett Jones is joined by: Gerald Knaus - the founding chairman of German think tank The European Stability Initiative. Jeff Crisp - former head of policy development and evaluation at the UNHCR. Dr Ashwini Vasanthakumar - author of The Ethics of Exile: A Political Theory of Diaspora. She writes on the ethics and politics of migration. Also featuring: Ahmed - a migrant, an asylum seeker and a refugee, who fled Syria in 2015 and is now settled in the UK> Alexander Downer - Australia's former foreign minister. Ylenja Lucaselli - A member of the Italian Parliament for Fratelli d'Italia. (Photo: The number of people crossing the English Channel has risen in recent years. Credit: PA) Producer: Rozita Riazati and Rumella Dasgupta.
Länk till avsnitt

Will the Windsor Framework finally get Brexit done?

A new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland has been announced. The Windsor Framework replaces the Northern Ireland Protocol - that was deemed unworkable, but does this new deal solve Northern Ireland's trading arrangements? In his speech in Windsor, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said his new framework agreement had "removed any sense of a border in the Irish Sea". It is true that Northern Ireland consumers should certainly have no sense of a border when it comes to buying food, plants and medicines or taking their dog on the ferry to Scotland. But it will still be a trade border of sorts. Moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland remains conditional: it will require signing up to trusted trader schemes, providing information on what goods are moving and having the correct labelling. But given the constraints the UK set itself back in 2017 - a hard Brexit with no land border on the island of Ireland - that may be as good as it gets. Rishi Sunak and EU chief, Ursula von der Leyen, seemed comfortable together in Windsor but it?s still unclear whether the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland will back the agreement and bring back the power-sharing government. So, is the Windsor Framework a feasible solution? How did Mr Sunak make such progress where his predecessors failed to? If the DUP do reject it, does this mean Brexit can never truly be ?done?? And what would be the implications for Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the EU if the wrangling over the border continues indefinitely? Chris Morris is joined by: Raoul Ruparel, special advisor on Europe to former UK Prime Minister Theresa May from 2018-19. Tony Connolly, Europe Editor for Ireland's national broadcaster RTE. He is the author of Brexit & Ireland: The Dangers, the Opportunities, and the Inside Story of the Irish Response. Professor Danuta Hübner, a Polish MEP and a member of the European Parliament?s UK Contact Group . Also featuring: Sammy Wilson, Democratic Unionist Party MP for East Antrim and DUP chief whip Image: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during a press conference at the Guildhall in Windsor, Berkshire, following the announcement that they have struck a deal over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Credit: PA Producers: Imogen Wallace and Pandita Lorenz
Länk till avsnitt

What will China?s declining population mean for the world?

Last year China's population fell for the first time in 60 years with the national birth rate hitting a record low. China's birth rate has in fact been declining for years but an older population will pose a real challenge for China economically, politically and strategically. So, what will the consequences be for China and the rest of the world if this vast economy - the second largest in the world ? of a waning workforce and an ageing population? The ruling Communist Party is introducing a range of policies to try to encourage couples to have more babies. But it was only seven years ago that the Chinese government scrapped the controversial one-child policy, replacing it with the two-child policy in 2016 and the three-child policy in 2021. The government is also offering tax breaks and better maternal healthcare, among other incentives, in an effort to reverse, or at least slow, the falling birth rate. Nothing so far has worked. So how concerning is population decline for China and the rest of the world? How much of an issue is gender inequality and the cost of raising a child? What will an older, frailer population do to the Chinese economy? And, as climate change intensifies, is population decline really a problem? Chris Morris is joined by: Yun Zhou - a social demographer, family sociologist and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. Isabel Hilton ? a journalist and founder of the bilingual website China Dialogue - an organisation dedicated to promoting a common understanding of China?s environmental challenges. Yasheng Huang - professor of global economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the forthcoming book on China, The Rise and the Fall of the EAST. Also featuring: Victor Gao - Vice President of the Beijing-based Centre for China and Globalisation, a think tank with links to the Chinese Communist Party. Producer: Pandita Lorenz and Ellen Otzen (Photo: China's Sichuan province shifts birth control policies, Shanghai, 31 Jan 2023. Credit: Alex Plavevski/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock)
Länk till avsnitt

What does the future hold for President Erdo?an?

The earthquakes that struck south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria on 6 February were deadly and devastating. Tens of thousands have died - many more are unaccounted for. It's not the first time that Turkey has been blindsided by a major earthquake. In 1999 the Turkish government was caught off-guard by an earthquake that killed more than 17,000 people. It sparked major public outcry that helped bring Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and his conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) into power for the first time in 2003. Back then Erdo?an blamed poor governance and corruption for the huge number of casualties. But now he is the one in power - and this earthquake is even deadlier still. There has been criticism of the speed and effectiveness of the Turkish government's response to the earthquake and anger at periodic building amnesties that legalised poorly built homes - despite Turkey?s history of earthquakes. So could Turkey?s response to the earthquake have been better and what were the limiting factors? With elections on the horizon and an economy in trouble, will the shock of this earthquake loosen President Erdo?an's grip on power? President Erdo?an has cast himself as a key player on the international stage so what might all of this mean for the wider region? Ritula Shah is joined by: Sinan Ülgen, a former Turkish diplomat and director of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, an independent think tank based in Istanbul. Tar?k O?uzlu, a Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul Aydin University. Ayla Jean Yackley, a freelance journalist who has been covering the earthquake for the Financial Times. Also featuring: Ilnur Cevik, special advisor to President Erdo?an Ilan Kelman, Professor of Disasters and Health and University College London Photo: Turkish President Erdogan visits Hatay province in the aftermath of a deadly earthquake / Credit: Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS Producers: Imogen Wallace and Pandita Lorenz
Länk till avsnitt

Can Lula fix the Amazon?

Brazil?s newly-elected president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has pledged to protect the Amazon and to reach zero deforestation by 2030. During a recent meeting with US President Biden, Lula said the rainforest had been "invaded" under the previous administration. His predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, relaxed environmental protections, encouraging mining and logging in the Amazon that he said would help economic development. Voters will now be waiting to see if they can trust Lula to follow through on the promises he has made so far for the Amazon. But Lula faces huge challenges: The Brazilian Congress elected in the October polls is still largely dominated by conservatives, with Bolsonaro?s PL the largest party in the lower house. Lula?s government will also have to contend with widespread violent crime and illegal mining and logging taking place across the region, even in the protected territories of indigenous communities. The Amazon has been under increasing pressure recently with Brazil setting a new deforestation record last year for the amount of trees cut down in the rainforest in one month. So what needs to happen to save the Amazon? Can preservation and economic development go hand in hand? How important is the conservation of the rainforest for the rest of the world? And will Lula live up to his promise to end deforestation by the end of the decade? Chris Morris is joined by: Carlos Nobre is a climatologist who is chair of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change. He's also a senior researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Federal University of São Paulo Christian Lohbauer is a political scientist and founder of the political party - Partido Novo (NOVO) Richard Lapper is the former Latin America editor for the Financial Times and the author of Beef, Bible and Bullets: Brazil in the Age of Bolsonaro published in 2021 Also featuring: Ricardo Salles, Minister of the Environment from 2019 to 2021, under Jair Bolsonaro Photo: A member of the Xikrin indigenous group fighting deforestation in the Amazon, Para, 20 September 2019. Credit: European Photopress Agency
Länk till avsnitt

How do you stop police brutality?

Five ex-police officers have been charged with second-degree murder after beating Tyre Nichols, 29, who was black, during a traffic stop in Memphis, Tennessee. He died three days later. Nichols? death has sparked protests and fresh calls for reform of the police in Memphis and nationwide. Over the past years, the US has been in the spotlight for police brutality. Public outcry against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks - to name a few - at the hands of the police led to Black Lives Matter protests across the globe. It's not just the US grappling with the problem of police brutality. We take a global look at the problem. Which countries are getting it right? Can policing ever be effective without violence? And is reform or a more radical rethink needed? Ritula Shah is joined by: Dr DeLacy Davis is the founder of Black Cops Against Police Brutality and the author of Black Cops Against Police Brutality: A Crisis Action Plan. He is a retired New Jersey police sergeant who served for 20 years in the East Orange police department and commanded the Community Services Unit. Alex Vitale is a Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College - part of the City University of New York. He is also the coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and the author of a number of books including The End of Policing Zoha Waseem is Assistant Professor in Criminology at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick and author of Insecure Guardians: Enforcement, Encounters and Everyday Policing in Postcolonial Karachi Also featuring: Rune Glomseth, Associate Professor at Norway?s Police University College in Oslo
Länk till avsnitt

Why is violence escalating between Israelis and Palestinians?

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, visited Israel this week after days of increasing violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Last week, 10 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank city of Jenin, when Israeli forces mounted a raid against a cell which Israel said was planning to carry out an attack. The next day, six Israelis and a Ukrainian were killed when a Palestinian opened fire near a synagogue in East Jerusalem. The deaths triggered rocket fire into Israel from Gaza and air strikes from Israel. Secretary Blinken says the immediate priority is to restore calm, but how realistic is this, and why has the situation become so violent and volatile again? Tensions have been bubbling beneath the surface for years but, after the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel now has the most radically nationalist governing coalition in its history. Meanwhile, Palestinians are dealing with the near collapse in control by the Palestinian Authority in parts of the occupied West Bank, with an ageing leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who has been in power for 18 years with no successor on the horizon. So how much is this a factor in the escalating violence? What possible solutions might any party bring to the table? And, as the situation gets bloodier, is there any chance of a peaceful compromise? Ritula Shah is joined by: Martin Indyk has held a number of key diplomatic posts, including as President Barack Obama's special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from July 2013 to June 2014. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Israel from 1995 to 1997, and again from 2000 to 2001. Nour Odeh is a Palestinian political analyst and former journalist, based in Ramallah. Prof Efraim Inbar is the president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, a think tank with a conservative outlook. Also featuring: Boaz Bismuth, member of Knesset for the Likud party Hosam Zomlot, head of the Palestinian mission to the UK (Photo: Israeli settlers (back) carry an Israeli flag as Palestinian and Israeli activists (front) march during a protest against the eviction of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, Jerusalem. Credit: Atef Safadi/EPA-EFE/Rex/Shutterstock) Producers: Pandita Lorenz and Ellen Otzen
Länk till avsnitt

Is it getting any easier for women in politics?

Jacinda Ardern?s resignation as New Zealand?s PM this month came as a surprise to millions around the world. When she came to office in 2017, she stuck out as a contrast to populist leaders that dominated the global scene at the time. To some, she was a progressive female icon. She had to contend with intense public scrutiny throughout her journey, from announcing her pregnancy just months after taking office to her decision to take six weeks of maternity leave, which sparked debate on whether it was too short. Former prime minister Helen Clark, New Zealand?s first female elected leader, said Ardern faced ?unprecedented? attacks during her tenure. Only 26% of the world?s politicians are women. The three most commonly held portfolios by women ministers are still: Family, children and youth. So what are the challenges of being a woman at the top of politics? Are female political leaders under more scrutiny than men? And what can be done to encourage more women into top roles in government? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of experts: Rosie Campbell, professor of politics and Director of the Global Institute for Women?s Leadership at Kings College, London. Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia and winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Also featuring Ruth Davidson, former leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. Photo: New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, July 7, 2022. Dean Lewins/Pool via REUTERS Producers: Pandita Lorenz and Ellen Otzen
Länk till avsnitt

Has Germany been holding back the war effort in Ukraine?

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to one of the biggest shifts ever seen in Germany's post-war foreign policy. Vladimir Putin managed to achieve what NATO allies spent years trying to: a massive increase in Germany's military spending and a commitment to NATO's spending target of 2% of GDP. As the conflict escalated, Germany's longstanding relations with Russia cooled, there was an end to Russian energy imports and Germany began sending some weapons direct to Ukraine. But back home Germans remain deeply divided about investing in their military given the long and painful shadow cast by the World Wars. A strand of pacifism has become deeply woven into German society and there are strong threads running through many of the political parties in power, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz's party, the Social Democratic Party. This week defence ministers meet at the military base in Ramstein in Germany to discuss what they will do next in Ukraine. Chancellor Scholz is under increasing international pressure to give the go-ahead for German-made battle tanks to be sent to Ukraine. So will the German Chancellor do what many of his Western allies want or will he continue to favour diplomacy in an effort to avoid provoking Vladimir Putin further? And, if Europe cannot agree, what does this mean for the future of European security and the EU project as a whole? Photo: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz looks at weapons during a visit to a military base of the German army Bundeswehr in Bergen, Germany, in October 2022. Credit: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer Producers: Ellen Otzen and Pandita Lorenz
Länk till avsnitt

Prince Harry: Dealing with grief in the public eye

Prince Harry's bombshell memoir, Spare, leaves few royal stones unturned. From a physical confrontation with his brother Prince William to his own drug taking, one of the threads that runs through all of these startling revelations is the long shadow that the sudden death of his mother, Princess Diana, cast when he was only 12. Prince Harry claims he never properly dealt with - or was helped to deal with - his profound grief. In his memoir he claims he only cried once after his mother?s death and was never hugged by his father on the day he found out. The Royals have, so far, not commented on any of the book?s revelations but how hard is it to deal with bereavement and grief in the public eye? What do Prince Harry?s recollections tell us about his experience of dealing with grief in this unique family or the modern world more generally? Does privilege help or hinder the process? What role has the media played? And, ultimately, is there ever a right way to deal with grief? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts: Catherine Mayer is a writer, activist and the co-founder of the Women's Equality Party. She is also the author of Good Grief: Embracing life at a time of death published in 2020 and Charles: The Heart of a King published in 2015 but both with newly update material. Dr Elaine Kasket is a psychologist, an expert on death, and author of All the Ghosts in the Machine: The Digital Afterlife of your Personal Data published in 2019 Angela Levin is a journalist, royal commentator and biographer. Her books including Harry: Conversations with the Prince published in 2018 and Camilla: From Outcast to Queen Consort released last year. Credits: Spare by Prince Harry / Audible Bryony Gordon?s Mad World, a podcast by Telegraph Media Group Limited 2021 Photo: Britain's Prince Harry follows the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her funeral procession in 2022. Credit: Stephane de Sakutin/Pool via REUTERS Producers: Alba Morgade and Pandita Lorenz
Länk till avsnitt

Andrew Tate: Why is misogyny so popular online?

The arrest of controversial British-American influencer Andrew Tate in Romania as a part of a human trafficking and rape investigation has pulled his brand of online misogyny back into the headlines. Tate, who denies the allegations against him, is a former kickboxer who rose to fame in 2016 when he was removed from TV show Big Brother over a video which appeared to depict him attacking a woman. He claimed at the time that the video had been edited and was ?a total lie?. He is among a group of influencers who have gained popularity - or notoriety - by advocating a lifestyle in which women are reduced to being subservient to men. The language can be harsh and explicit -- but the ideas appear to be gaining traction with a generation of teenagers and young men. Does the appeal of a more aggressive stance against women and equality suggest there is a crisis of masculinity? Has feminism made its claims at the expense of men? Or is this simply the effect of social media amplifying attitudes that have always existed? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts: Richard Reeves - Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Author of the book Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters and What to Do About It (2022) Natasha Walter - Feminist writer and activist, author of several books, among them Living Dolls - The return of sexism Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Kent Also featuring Sophia Smith Galer - Senior news reporter at Vice World News and author of the book 'Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century' (2022) Producers: Paul Schuster, Pandita Lorenz and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

A tough winter for Ukraine as Russia exploits the cold

As the war continues and winter sets in, Russia is targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure with waves of missile and drone strikes, at times cutting off electricity for millions of civilians. How are the Ukrainian people coping? Does Ukraine?s military have enough weaponry and manpower to defeat the Russians? Or could the war become a more drawn-out conflict, with neither side capable of making a decisive breakthrough? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts: Natalie Jaresko - Ukraine's minister for finance from 2014 ? 2016. Currently chair of the Aspen Institute, Kyiv Kataryna Wolczuk - Associate fellow of Chatham House think tank?s Russia and Eurasia programme and professor of East European Politics at University of Birmingham Retired Major General Gordon ?Skip? Davis - NATO?s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Division from 2018-2021. Also featuring : Alexei Sandakov, a resident of Kherson & Andrei Soldatov, a Russian investigative journalist and security expert Producers: Rumella Dasgupta and Ellen Otzen (Photo: A Ukrainian armored vehicle is seen on the streets in Bakhmut; Credit : Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Länk till avsnitt

Are protests changing Iran?

The anti-government protests sweeping Iran are now in their third month, with no sign of ending, despite a bloody crackdown. Women have been at the forefront of the unrest that began in mid-September following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab, or headscarf, "improperly". The protests have spread to more than 150 cities and 140 universities in all 31 of the country's provinces and are seen as one of the most serious challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution. What are the protesters calling for? What is Iran?s leadership planning to do to end the unrest - and what does this mean for Iran?s relationship with its neighbours and with the West? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts: Azadeh Moaveni - Iran expert, writer and associate professor of journalism at New York University. Esfandyar Batmanghelidj - founder and CEO of the Bourse & Bazaar economic thinktank specialising in the Middle East and Iran. Sanam Vakil - deputy director of Chatham House?s Middle East North Africa programme in London. Also featuring : Sadegh Zibakalam - writer and Professor of political science at the University of Tehran Producer: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta (Photo: A woman in a street in Tehran, Iran. Credit: Majid Asgaripour/WANA/Reuters)
Länk till avsnitt

Qatar?s World Cup gamble

The Gulf state of Qatar is currently hosting the most expensive Fifa World Cup ever having spent an estimated $220 billion on the event. Seven of the eight stadiums have been built from scratch with new railways, motorways and dozens of new hotels also adding to the cost. It?s the first time the tournament has been hosted in the Middle East, a source of pride to many. But human rights groups say thousands of migrant workers have died during construction of venues and associated infrastructure - a claim the Qataris reject. Campaigners say not enough is being done to support gay people in a country where homosexuality remains illegal. But many across the Middle East believe the criticisms are unfair and that rich, Western nations are insulting a history-making event. So once the football is done, what will be the legacy of Qatar 2022 for the country, the region, its Western allies and the world? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. James Lynch - A former diplomat based in Qatar and a founding director of FairSquare Research and Projects, which works to prevent human rights abuses. Alistair Burt ? UK Minister of State for the Middle East 2017-2019. Also featuring ? Dr Nayef bin Nahar - Director of the Ibn Khaldon Center for Humanities and Social Sciences at Qatar University, based in Doha. Dr Nasser Mohamed - A gay Qatari, now living in the United States. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

Is India ready to become the world's most populous country?

This month the world population reached 8 billion people - and India is leading the charge. It's set to overtake China as most populous country in the world next year. India is currently home to more than 1.39 billion people. By April, the UN says it will hit 1.42 billion. What?s caused this rapid population growth, what does it mean for India, its economy and its neighbours? The growth has already put an enormous amount of pressure on India?s resources and economic stability. The country is on the frontline of climate change and is struggling with extreme weather events 80% of the year. Should the Indian government be doing more to slow population growth or is in fact an opportunity for economic development? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts. Poonam Muttreja - executive director of Population Foundation of India (PFI). Colette Rose - sociologist and researcher at the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. Dr Shatakshee Dongde - associate professor at the School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology. Also featuring : Shaina NC (Shaina Nana Chudasama) - Indian BJP government spokesperson. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta (Photo :People walk through a congested road of a wholesale market in the old quarters of Delhi, India; Credit: EPA/RAJAT GUPTA)
Länk till avsnitt

War and starvation - Ethiopia?s Tigray conflict

After two years of civil war, Ethiopia and Tigray have agreed to terms for a peace deal which stipulates that both parties will begin to lay down their arms The plan is to create a humanitarian corridor to Tigray which will offer food relief to more than 6million civilians in Tigray who have been under blockade by government forces for most of the conflict. The war in Africa's second-most populous country has seen abuses documented on both sides, with millions of people displaced and many near famine. Several sticking points remain. Will the Eritrean forces - who have fought alongside Ethiopian troops and have their own territorial claims - also lay down their arms? Without sustained attention from US, African and other donor nations, could the cease-fire quickly fall apart again? Can famine in Tigray be avoided? Chris Morris is joined by a panel of expert guests. Alex Rondos - Former European Union?s Special Representative to the Horn of Africa. Tsedale Lemma - Ethiopian journalist and founder of the Addis Standard publications. Alex De Waal - Author and Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation. Also featuring: Getachew Reda - Spokesperson for the Tigray People's Liberation Front Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta (Photo: Internally displaced women and children in Ethiopia; Credit: Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Länk till avsnitt

Russia, France and the battle for influence in West Africa

President Macron this week announced that France's anti-jihadist military mission in the Sahel region of Africa has ended. The departure of troops from the former colonial power and the end of Operation Barkhane comes at a challenging time for the region which is in the grips of a security crisis fuelled by Islamist extremists. Both Mali and Burkina Faso face jihadist insurgencies and the countries have seen a combined four coups d?état since 2020. Mali's ruling junta, which has been in power since 2020, has brought in Russian operatives it says are military trainers, but western nations describe as mercenaries from the pro-Kremlin Wagner Group. Could Russia become the new big player in West Africa? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests. Jean-Hervé Jezequel - Project Director for the Sahel at the International Crisis Group. Niagalé Bagayoko - Chair of the African Security Sector Network, a think tank based in Ghana. Paul Melly - Journalist and Consulting Fellow in the Africa Programme at the Chatham House think tank. Also featuring: Yéah Samaké - A Malian politician and the country?s former ambassador to India. Sergei Markov - A former member of the Russian parliament for Vladimir Putin's United Russia party and former adviser to the Kremlin. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

Daunting challenges for UN climate conference

Delegates are gathering in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the COP27 UN climate change conference beginning on Sunday 6 November. But a lot has changed in the 12 months since attendees of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow promised bold action to tackle global warming. Russia invaded Ukraine sparking global inflation and rising energy prices. Relations between the United States and China have continued to sour. And extreme weather events have caused thousands of deaths across the planet. Last week a UN report concluded there?s no longer any "credible pathway" to keeping the rise in global temperatures below the key threshold of 1.5C and that the world will warm by around 2.8C this century if current policies remain in place. So, what?s on the agenda at COP27? Can the conference come up with solutions to the growing number of challenges posed by climate change? And how can we judge whether the meeting will be a success or a failure? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Mohamed Nasheed - Former President of the Maldives, now an ambassador for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). Dr Jessica Omukuti - Research Fellow on net zero emissions, climate finance and climate justice at the University of Oxford. Nick Robins - Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE). Also featuring ... Dr Michael E. Mann - Professor of Earth & Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of 'The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet'. Dr Michal Meidan - Director of the Gas Research Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies think tank. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

Why the US midterm elections matter

The United States will hold midterm elections on 8 November, votes that could have a major impact on the remaining two years of the Biden presidency. Join The Real Story and our US Public Radio partners in Michigan, Arizona and California as we delve into some of the key issues driving this year's race - the cost of living, abortion rights and perceived threats to democracy. Ritula Shah is joined by Rick Pluta, Senior Capitol Correspondent at Michigan Public Radio Network MPRN, Ben Giles, Senior Editor KJZZ Phoenix 91.5FM and Marisa Lagos, Political Correspondent for KQED in California. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster
Länk till avsnitt

What caused the turmoil in British politics?

After the resignation of Liz Truss the UK will soon have its third prime minister this year. Britain has long been considered a politically stable nation. So has something changed? The governing Conservative Party is divided on many issues, including the country?s future direction post-Brexit. The opposition Labour Party has also struggled to accommodate different views on economic and social policy. Meanwhile the two-party system is being challenged by shifting demographics, a rural-urban divide and strengthening support for Scottish nationalists. So what lies at the heart of the turmoil in the British political system and where does it go from here? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Professor Tim Bale - Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London and author of the upcoming book The Conservative Party After Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation. Polly Toynbee - Guardian columnist and co-author of The Lost Decade: 2010?2020, and What Lies Ahead for Britain. Sir John Curtice - Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and a leading expert on public opinion. Also featuring: David Blunkett (Lord Blunkett) - Former UK Home Secretary in Tony Blair's Labour government. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

What is economic growth and why does it matter?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has this week downgraded its forecast for global growth warning ?the worst is yet to come and, for many people 2023 will feel like a recession?. The fallout from Russia?s invasion of Ukraine has increased inflation, forced central banks to raise interest rates and exacerbated the cost of living crisis. Britain?s new Prime Minister Liz Truss says her economic priority is ?growth, growth and growth?. But the IMF says that while the tax cuts her government has announced may boost growth in the short term they?ll likely "complicate the fight" against soaring prices. So, what is the best way of boosting economic growth? Can it be done without increasing inequality and harming the planet? And is growth always good for you and your quality of life, whether you live in a rich country or a poor one? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Vicky Pryce - Economist and former director general for economics at the UK government?s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Desmond Lachman - South African born economist, former deputy director in the International Monetary Fund?s (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). David Pilling - Africa editor for the FT and author of The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

Xi Jinping?s plan for China

This month China?s President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a further five years as the country?s leader after the Communist Party abolished two-term limits. It opens the door to Xi continuing to rule for the rest of his life. His time in power has seen the country take a more confrontational approach to many of its neighbours as well as to the West. China?s GDP continues to grow and living standards for most citizens have risen, but some fear the ?economic miracle? of recent decades may be coming to an end and that rising tensions over Taiwan and Hong Kong could lead to conflict. So, who is Xi Jinping? What makes him tick? And what are his plans for the future of China? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Daniel R. Russel - Former US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2013 - 2017), currently Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), New York Lucy Hornby - visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, formerly of Reuters and the FT Steve Tsang - Director of the China Institute at SOAS, The University of London Also featuring: Victor Gao - Vice President of the Center for China and Globalization, a think tank based in Beijing Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen
Länk till avsnitt

What should we make of Russia?s nuclear threats?

The US has warned Russia of ?catastrophic consequences? if it uses nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine. The statement comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted he?d use ?all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people?, adding this is ?not a bluff?. The threat of escalation feels more acute after Moscow reported four self-styled referendums held in Russian-held regions of Ukraine showed near universal public support for joining Russia. So, if Ukraine continues to try to wrest back full control of the regions, is it possible the Kremlin could respond with the use of small ?tactical? nuclear weapons? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

What next for the Commonwealth?

The Queen was seen as a unifying force in the Commonwealth. With her death, will the organisation re-invent itself for the next generation, or fade away? Questions are being asked about whether the Commonwealth is a neo-colonial project and what it can actually do for its members. Others argue that while the Commonwealth has its roots in empire, it is a crucial forum for smaller countries to amplify their voice and work with more powerful allies. We'll look at what the Commonwealth is for and what challenges lie ahead for King Charles III as he takes the helm. What would change if the organisation ceased to exist and what does it mean for Britain's place in the world? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Zak Brophy
Länk till avsnitt

Boris Johnson is out, Liz Truss is in

Liz Truss has taken over as leader of Britain?s Conservative Party and has therefore also become Prime Minister. She won the internal party race to succeed Boris Johnson by promising that she?ll cut taxes and deliver economic growth. But the country is facing strong economic headwinds with soaring energy prices, relatively low productivity and the highest inflation rate of any G7 nation. Post-Brexit trade frictions between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK remain a sore point among Tory MPs, a result of the deal struck with the European Union aimed at avoiding a hard border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Does Liz Truss have the political skills and policies needed to reverse a sharp decline in support for the Conservative Party? And what will facing a new PM mean for the country?s opposition Labour Party? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

Are sanctions on Russia working?

It?s been six months since the West imposed an array of sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Around half of Russia?s $640 billion worth of foreign exchange and gold reserves have been frozen, major Russian banks have been barred from the international financial messaging system Swift, the selling of key technology to the country has been prohibited, and the assets of some wealthy individuals have been seized. But Europe is still buying large amounts of Russian gas, a commodity it depends on to keep its citizens warm and its industries running. So, what are the main aims of the sanctions regime? Are the measures working or is Russia finding new ways around restrictions? And what does the future hold for an economy that?s increasingly cut off from major world markets? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Rozita Riazati and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

Nasa's plan to go back to the Moon

Nasa's first step in their plan to send humans back to the surface of the Moon is fast approaching. The programme, called Artemis, is costing tens of billions of dollars and will begin with Artemis I, scheduled to launch on 29 August. The uncrewed mission will send the Orion spacecraft to orbit the Moon. Subsequent missions in the coming years aim to return humans to the Moon?s surface for the first time in over 50 years and will include a woman and a person of colour. Nasa sees a return to the Moon as a way to prepare for a mission to Mars. But what exactly are they hoping to learn and what difference will any of it make to all of us back here on Earth? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

Salman Rushdie and the fatwa

The Indian-born British writer Salman Rushdie was recently stabbed on stage at an event in New York state more than three decades after Iran issued a fatwa calling for his assassination. He is currently recovering in hospital. The novelist spent years in hiding after his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, prompted accusations of blasphemy. So why did a novel provoke such an strong reaction? Ritula Shah looks back at the story of the author, the book and the fatwa.
Länk till avsnitt

Is the US getting serious about climate change?

This week the US Senate passed the biggest package of climate change measures in American history. The Inflation Reduction Act, which is expected to be passed by the House and signed into law by President Biden, includes $369bn in funding for climate and clean energy policies. Its backers hope it will reduce the country?s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. But the bill had no Republican support in the Senate, raising doubts about just how long-lasting its impacts might be. So, is the US getting serious about climate change? And why do the political divisions about what to do about it run so deep? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

Italy?s right-wing nationalists on the rise

Italians go to the polls on 25 September after the collapse of the country?s 69th government in just 77 years. Polls suggest a conservative coalition - likely led by the right wing nationalist Brothers of Italy party - may form the next government. Critics accuse Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d?Italia) of having fascist roots, a claim it rejects. The beating to death of Ogorchukwu Alika, a Nigerian street trader in Italy last week, has shone a spotlight on growing anti-migrant rhetoric from a number of the country?s right-wing parties. So, is Italy about to elect a hard-right government? If Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni does become the country?s next Prime Minister what kind of leader will she be? And how could a more nationalist government impact Italy?s relationships with the EU, Nato and the US? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

Bolsonaro v Lula: The race to lead Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro this week officially launched his campaign for a second term in office. The election in October will likely come down to a race between the right-wing populist leader and his main left-wing rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula has been president before but was barred from running in 2018 due to corruption convictions that have since been overturned by the courts. The incumbent is behind in the polls as the country is buffeted by global economic headwinds exacerbated by the Covid pandemic, which saw Brazil experience one of the highest rates of deaths in the world. So, which issues will decide the election and what impact will the result have on Brazil and the world? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster
Länk till avsnitt

Can our cities survive climate change?

Europe was this week hit by an extreme heatwave exacerbating drought conditions and sparking wildfires in France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal. The UK also broke its record temperature exceeding 40C. All this just weeks after flooding caused widespread disruption in Sydney, Australia. Scientists agree that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is key to limiting the severity of climate change. But the planet has already warmed by 1.1C above pre-industrial levels and temperatures are expected to continue rising. More than half of the world?s population live in cities and that figure is expected to rise to 68% by 2050. Extreme heat, droughts, wildfires, storm surges and flooding - both inland and along coastlines - will increasingly cause damage and deaths. So, how can we make cities more resilient to the inevitable impacts of a warming planet? What obstacles are preventing greater action? And will the rich world protect itself while poorer communities are left to fend for themselves? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Zak Brophy.
Länk till avsnitt

A new phase in the Covid pandemic

After two-and-a-half years of Covid rampaging across the planet, causing millions of deaths and transforming billions of lives, everyone is keen to move on. But this week the head of the World Health Organization warned the public that the pandemic is ?nowhere near over? and that with cases rising 30% over the past fortnight we must collectively ?push back?. This assessment comes after many governments have pulled back on testing and removed restrictions such as the requirement to wear masks in certain public spaces. England?s former Deputy Chief Medical Officer says the lethality of Covid-19 is now getting closer to that of the seasonal flu, so how should we adapt to the next phase of the pandemic? Vaccines have prevented many people from getting seriously ill and dying, but only in countries with ready access to jabs and high vaccination rates. The UN estimates roughly 72% of people in high income countries have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, but the figure for low-incomes nations is roughly 18%. How much progress has been made in the fight against Covid-19 and what will the next phase of the pandemic look like? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

How the Supreme Court is reshaping the US

Abortion, environmental protections and gun ownership rights are among the controversial topics the US Supreme Court has ruled on over recent weeks. The highest court in the land has the final say on interpreting laws and deciding what?s constitutional and what isn?t. Now - with a clear conservative majority at the helm - the court?s move to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling guaranteeing abortion rights across the country (Roe v. Wade) signals it?s willing to re-visit previous judgments many had considered ?settled law?. Campaigners fear past decisions on other subjects, such as gay marriage, the right to contraception and even the way elections are run, may now also be overturned. So, what is the role of the Supreme Court within the United States? system of government and is it changing? How will its rulings impact politics federally and in individual states? And is the system set up by America?s founding fathers working as designed, or is political polarisation undermining the very principles it was built around? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Zak Brophy.
Länk till avsnitt

Afghanistan's challenges after US withdrawal

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake last week in Afghanistan destroyed hundreds of homes and left around 1,000 people dead - including at least 155 children. The country, now ruled by the Taliban, was already struggling to feed and provide health services to its people just 10 months after the United States and its allies completed their hasty withdrawal. The UN says millions are going hungry and the hospital system is on the brink of collapse. Meanwhile the Taliban are subject to global sanctions and Afghan central bank reserves remain frozen after the fall of the Western-backed government. The Taliban?s decision in March to bar teenage girls from schools has divided opinion in the group and created headaches for organisations keen to work more closely with the Afghan government in order to improve the lives of citizens. So, is it possible to help the people of Afghanistan without helping the Taliban? Or is that approach wrong and should donors and governments just work alongside them? Owen Bennett-Jones is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

From rebel to president: Colombia?s new leftist leader

Colombia this week elected a former rebel as its first left-wing president. Gustavo Petro?s win on Sunday represents a rejection of the establishment in a country facing strong economic headwinds, high levels of inequality, and continuing gang violence fuelled by the cocaine trade. Mr Petro and his running mate Francia Márquez - who will become the country?s first black vice-president - plan to reform taxes, phase out new oil exploration projects, and rethink the war on drugs. Colombia has long been a close partner to the United States in the region, recently designated by Washington as ?a major non-NATO ally?. The new leadership team in Bogotá want to take a fresh look at trade relations with both the US and Venezuela. So, who is Gustavo Petro and what does he stand for? What will his historic win mean for Colombia?s place in the region and the world? And can the new president deliver on his promise of sweeping change without control of the country?s congress? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Ritula Shah with a panel of guests. Producers: Rozita Riazati and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt

The repatriation of precious artefacts

The King of Belgium this month handed back a Congolese mask, one of about 84,000 artefacts taken during the colonial-era which the country has agreed to return. In 2018 a report commissioned by the French government recommended the return of thousands of African artworks taken from the continent during colonial rule. This week the director of the V&A museum in London, Tristram Hunt, told The Real Story that he?d like to see a review of decades-old UK laws which prohibit historical pieces being returned to their countries of origin. The clamour for the return of objects which may have been taken, stolen or bought during the colonial era is growing louder. The people and communities who want them back say it's about preserving their cultural identities. So, is it time for some of the planet?s biggest and most visited museums to repatriate many more of the items they?ve acquired from around the world? And how can the educational value of so-called ?encyclopaedic museums? continue to educate millions if the number of artefacts they have on display is diminished? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

The rocky road ahead for Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week narrowly survived a confidence vote within his own party, but more than 40% of Conservative Members of Parliament thought he should go. His premiership has come under pressure after investigations into parties in Downing Street during pandemic lockdowns concluded he broke the rules he introduced. His government was elected in December 2019 with a large mandate to ?get Brexit done? and his supporters insist that only he can hold the party together and deliver victory in the next election. But given the large number of Tory MPs who now think he?s an electoral liability rather than an asset, will Mr Johnson be able to survive and govern? And what will Boris Johnson staying on in Number 10 mean for the UK and its place in the world? Presenter: Ritula Shah Producer: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster
Länk till avsnitt

China v the West in the Pacific

China?s foreign minister Wang Yi this week held a meeting with 10 Pacific nations aiming to reach agreement on a region-wide trade and security pact. Consensus wasn?t reached but bilateral deals ? like the one China?s already signed with Solomon Islands ? are under discussion. The United States and regional allies, led by Australia, see the idea of greater security cooperation between China and Pacific island countries as a threat to Western security. Beijing says it?s offering help in the areas of policing, infrastructure, trade and resilience from disaster. Fiji?s Prime Minister, who's one of those who hosted Mr Wang this week, called on China to increase its efforts to tackle climate change, an existential threat to many of the nations meeting this week. So, what do Pacific states want from their partnerships with China and the West? And could the Pacific quickly become a new front line in growing tensions between East and West? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
Länk till avsnitt

How do we stop high inflation?

Business leaders meeting this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, have warned that high levels of inflation are likely to cause a global recession, or worse. Financier George Soros told the annual gathering that ongoing coronavirus lockdowns in China mean ?global inflation is liable to turn into global depression?. Meanwhile the head of the World Bank, David Malpass, told a business event in the US that given the rising cost of energy, food and fertiliser prompted by Russia?s invasion of Ukraine, it?s now difficult to ?see how we avoid a recession?. Government and central bank spending aimed at cushioning the economic shock of the pandemic is also being blamed for the rising cost of goods and services. So, why have authorities so far failed to get rising inflation under control? If increased spending is contributing to prices going up, what can officials do to cushion the economic impact on the poorest without making things worse? And is another recession likely and perhaps even necessary? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
Länk till avsnitt
Hur lyssnar man på podcast?

En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
Uppdateras med hjälp från iTunes.