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Today in Focus

Today in Focus

Hosted by Anushka Asthana, Today in Focus brings you closer to Guardian journalism. Combining personal storytelling with insightful analysis, Today in Focus is The Guardian's daily podcast that takes you behind the headlines for a deeper understanding of the news, every weekday. 

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Private armies and secret deals: Russia's drive into Africa ? podcast

A cache of leaked documents appear to show how a close Putin ally is leading a push to turn Africa into a strategic hub with echoes of Soviet-era zones of influence. Luke Harding reports on the Kremlin?s drive to leave its mark on the continent. Plus comedian Jon Stewart tears into US lawmakers over the treatment of 9/11 first responders and emergency services. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-13
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Change UK: how not to set up a political party ? podcast

With six of its 11 MPs having quit, Heather Stewart, the Guardian?s political editor, charts what went wrong. Plus Damian Carrington on plant extinctions. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-12
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Cruel state: the impact of austerity on disabled people

Guardian columnist Frances Ryan, who is disabled, has written about inequality and disability rights for decades. She discusses the impact that austerity has had on those most in need. And: Helen Davidson on the Hong Kong protests. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-11
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Are peers asleep on the job? Investigating the House of Lords ? podcast

Investigative journalist David Pegg and data journalist Pamela Duncan have spent the last four months examining the House of Lords. They discuss why the upper house is under such pressure to reform. Plus: Iman Amrani on her modern masculinity series. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-10
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Farewell Maybot: John Crace on the changing of the Tory guard

The Guardian?s political sketch writer first coined the term ?the Maybot? in 2016, when she robotically repeated the same phrases in a car-crash interview. As she prepares to step down as Conservative leader, Crace discusses who might take over. Plus: Suzanne Wrack on the start of the Fifa Women?s World Cup. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-07
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China's forgotten protesters: the other Tiananmens | podcast

Hundreds of Chinese cities were involved in the student-led demos in 1989. The Guardian?s Lily Kuo discusses the uprisings outside of Beijing. Plus: Patrick Wintour on Saudi Arabia?s hand in Sudan?s military crackdown. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-06
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What is the future for Sir Philip Green? ? podcast

As Sir Philip Green?s retail empire faces the prospect of entering administration, putting 18,000 jobs at risk, the Guardian business reporter Sarah Butler discusses how we got here. Plus: Sadiq Khan responds to being called a loser by Donald Trump. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-05
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Death, carnage and chaos: a climber on his recent ascent of Everest ? podcast

On 23 May, an image taken by the climber Nirmal Pujra went viral. It showed a long queue of climbers waiting to reach the summit of Everest. Elia Saikaly, a film-maker, was on that climb. He describes the ascent, while the Guardian?s Michael Safi discusses why the number of people seeking to scale Everest has exploded. Plus: Helsinki?s radical solution to homelessness. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-04
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Inside Islamic State: meeting Umm Sayyaf, the most senior female Isis captive

Martin Chulov, the Guardian?s Middle East correspondent, tells Anushka Asthana about meeting Umm Sayyaf, who described her role in helping the CIA hunt for the Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And: Johny Pitts on how an ice bath with pop duo Jedward prompted a journey around Europe exploring Afropean identity. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-06-03
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Trump's coming to see the Queen but what actually happens on a state visit? ? podcast

Ben Rhodes was Barack Obama?s national security adviser and accompanied him on his UK state visit in 2011. He reveals what goes into planning a trip of this scale and what the UK should expect when Trump arrives next week. Plus: Paul Owen on the fallout from Mueller?s first public statement on his investigation. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-31
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Historical war crimes: an amnesty for British soldiers?

Defence secretary Penny Mordaunt has promised to introduce a ?presumption against prosecution? on historical prosecutions for military veterans. Samira Shackle looks back at the collapse of the investigation into abuse allegations in Iraq, while Conservative MP Johnny Mercer argues that soldiers have been unfairly hounded. Also today: Emma John looks ahead to the Cricket World Cup. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-30
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What happens to a place when its steel industry collapses ? podcast

The announcement that British Steel was entering insolvency came as a hammer blow to Scunthorpe, where it employs 5,000 people. It has become a familiar story in recent years, and Helen Pidd returns to Redcar, which lost the majority of its steelworks in 2015. Also today: Rory Carroll on the case of Ian Bailey, on trial in France for murder in his absence. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-29
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The Brexit divide: Britain's EU election earthquake ? podcast

A wave of support for populists and Greens has disrupted centrist parties across the EU. Daniel Boffey considers what it means for the bloc and Brexit. Plus: Julia Kollewe on the world?s first raspberry-picking robot. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-28
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Who is trying to ban abortion in the US? ? podcast

Alabama is one of 15 states to recently pass an abortion ban. Although none of the bans are currently in effect, the aim is to place pressure on Roe v Wade, the court decision that enshrined a woman?s legal right to an abortion. The Guardian?s US health reporter, Jessica Glenza, discusses her meeting with Janet Porter, the religious extremist who inspired the anti-abortion laws. And: Serena Daniari on trans women finding their voices. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-27
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The end of May: are we headed for Boris Johnson as prime minister?

Theresa May has entered the final phase of her leadership, with rivals waiting to pounce on the chance to succeed her. Patrick Wintour lays out the route ahead but can anyone stop the clear favourite? Also today: Claire Armitstead on the outpouring of love for children?s author Judith Kerr who died on Thursday at the age of 95. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-24
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Inside the neo-Nazi plot to kill a Labour MP ? podcast

A plot to kill a Labour MP and a police officer was only disrupted after an informant within the neo-Nazi group National Action blew the whistle. Robbie Mullen passed the details on to Hope Not Hate?s Matthew Collins. Here, they tell their extraordinary story. Also today: the columnist Aditya Chakrabortty on his unlikely collaboration with the techno group Underworld. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-23
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Is John Bolton trying to drive Trump to war with Iran? ? podcast

Donald Trump?s national security adviser, John Bolton, was a key architect of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now he is stoking tensions with Iran. Julian Borger describes how the standoff could get out of control. Also today: Katharine Viner on how the Guardian is updating its language when reporting on the climate crisis. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-22
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Shaken up: will Nigel Farage's Brexit party change politics? ? podcast

The Brexit party is expected to top the polls in this week?s European elections in the UK. Farage?s calls to leave the EU immediately without a deal have proved appealing to many voters who feel betrayed that Brexit is yet to be delivered. The Guardian?s Peter Walker describes a reshaping of British politics. Plus: Samuel Gibbs on Google and Huawei. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-21
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Abandoned at sea: the cargo crew adrift without wages, fuel or supplies

When companies run into trouble they can leave ships? crews drifting at sea with no visas, wages or supplies. Karen McVeigh and Andy Bowerman tell the story of one vessel adrift off the coast of UAE. Plus, Rupert Neate on the tax breaks attracting the super-rich to Italy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-20
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Mum and me: a story of immigration and integration | Podcast

Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty, the son of two Indian immigrants, explains why he felt so frustrated with a recent report from Tony Blair?s thinktank. And Katharine Murphy looks ahead to Australia?s imminent election. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-17
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Facing up to Europe's far right ? podcast

The EU elections, beginning on 23 May, are a test for Europe?s mainstream parties as populists appear to be gaining momentum with stark anti-immigration campaigns. Anushka Asthana is joined by Jennifer Rankin, Shaun Walker and Angelique Chrisafis to assess the rising tide of populism across the continent. Plus: Simon Hattenstone on what an accidental voicemail recording revealed about G4S?s private ambulance service. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-16
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India is voting: who is going to win the world's biggest election? ? podcast

Hundreds of millions of Indians are going to the polls over six weeks to vote for their next government. The Guardian?s south Asia correspondent, Michael Safi, heads out on the trail as the prime minister, Narendra Modi, makes a national security case for re-election amid criticism over his handling of the economy. Plus: John Crace on what he learnt from attending a Nigel Farage rally. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-15
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The Venezuela uprising: the story so far ? podcast

Nicolás Maduro appeared on the brink of being forced from power in an uprising plotted by the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó. But key figures stayed loyal, allowing the president to begin reprisals. Tom Phillips in Caracas has watched it play out. Plus: Owen Jones on public schools and who gets to go to Britain?s elite universities. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-14
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Smuggled over the border: the school trip, the Stasi and the East German defector ? podcast

In December 1984, a group of teenagers on a school trip from West Germany crossed the border into East Germany. When they returned, an East German defector was hiding under a seat on their bus. Sophie Hardach speaks to those involved 35 years on and revisits their incredible story. Plus: Jo Holdaway on the GM anti-virus drug that saved her daughter?s life. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-13
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Love Corbyn, hate Brexit? Labour's EU elections dilemma ? podcast

Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour?s European elections manifesto with a renewed promise to back a second Brexit referendum in certain circumstances ? but to also respect the result of the first. Yet for ardently pro-Corbyn Europhiles such as Momentum?s Laura Parker, it has been a tough balancing act to support. Also today: Jason Burke on the South African election and the ANC. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-10
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Anna Sorokin: the fake heiress who fooled everyone | podcast

For years Sorokin passed herself off as ?Anna Delvey?, a German heiress worth $60m. Today she will be sentenced in New York and faces up to 15 years in prison. Hadley Freeman discusses how Sorokin was eventually exposed and why her case has attracted so much attention. Plus: Helen Pidd on the inequality between London and the rest of England. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-09
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Fortress Europe: what happens to the refugees sent back to Libya?

The EU?s efforts to stem the flow migration from Africa across the Mediterranean has meant assisting the Libyan coastguard to intercept boats. But what happens when asylum seekers are returned to war-torn Libya? Sally Hayden has spent months investigating conditions in the detention camps. Plus: Jonathan Watts on the UN?s alarming report on the possible extinction of more than a million plant and animal species. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-08
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The new space race ? podcast

The science writer Philip Ball has always been fascinated by space. He looks at the latest missions to the moon and beyond. And: Carole Cadwalladr on why she used her TED talk to tell tech billionaires they had broken democracy. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-07
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Fired by Trump: former US attorney Preet Bharara on American justice ? podcast

The ?sheriff of Wall Street?, who took on mafia bosses and terrorists in court, looks back on his career. Plus: Tim Gordon on the silencing of the oceans. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-06
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Are non-disclosure agreements out of control? ? podcast

Zelda Perkins worked for Harvey Weinstein in her early 20s. She signed a non-disclosure agreement when she left his company, but 20 years later decided to break it when allegations about the film producer?s behaviour became public. She has subsequently questioned the widespread use of NDAs. Plus: Dan Sabbagh on Gavin Williamson?s short-lived cabinet career. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-03
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Julian Assange and the story of WikiLeaks ? podcast

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions after spending almost seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Today, he has an extradition hearing, which could conclude with him being sent to the US. Esther Addley and Julian Borger chart his rise and fall. Plus: Sean Ingle on the Caster Semenya ruling. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-02
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Accused of cheating: another immigration scandal? ? podcast

Amelia Gentleman discusses the immigration scandal in which the Home Office has accused 34,000 international students of cheating in English language tests. And: Magid Magid, the 29-year old lord mayor of Sheffield, who is stepping down to run as a Green MEP. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-05-01
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How worried should we be about Huawei? ? podcast

Theresa May has turned to her national security council to help her decide on whether to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to provide parts of Britain?s 5G network. Guardian reporters Rupert Neate, Alex Hern and Tania Branigan discuss the company at the heart of a diplomatic tussle. Plus, in opinion, David Kogan argues Labour needs clarity on Brexit to have a chance of winning power. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-30
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On the frontline in the fight for LGBT rights

Ruth Hunt joined Stonewall 14 years ago, quickly rising to become the charity?s chief executive. In that time she has seen huge strides made towards equality for LGBT people. As she prepares to step down in August, she reflects on how much further there is to go. And: the author Nicci Gerrard on her campaign for the rights of people with dementia in hospitals. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-29
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Are our blueberries radioactive? The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 30 years on

On 26 April 1986, the worst nuclear accident in human history occurred in the No 4 reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine. Kate Brown has spent years researching the cover-up that took place afterwards. Plus: Rory Carroll reflects on the legacy of the Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-26
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A week with Extinction Rebellion ? podcast

Last week, central London was brought to a standstill when thousands of protesters blocked sites including Waterloo Bridge in a ?climate rebellion? organised by Extinction Rebellion. The Guardian reporter Damien Gayle has been with the protesters from the start, while Matthew Taylor, the Guardian?s environment correspondent, assesses their demands. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-25
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Terror in Sri Lanka ? podcast

On Easter Sunday, explosions across Sri Lanka killed hundreds of people and wounded many more. As the country reels in shock, Michael Safi describes reporting in the aftermath. Plus: the Guardian?s chief political correspondent, Jessica Elgot, on what to expect from Brexit now parliament is back. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-24
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How the Green New Deal was hatched in a London bar ? podcast

In 2007, over a friendly drink, the Guardian?s economics editor, Larry Elliott, came up with a radical plan to address the effects of the financial crisis and climate change. He called it the Green New Deal. Plus: the Guardian?s education correspondent on why schools are going to test four-year-olds ? What is the Green New Deal and how would it benefit society?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-23
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Hope for those with Huntington's ? podcast

Robin McKie, the Observer?s science and environment editor, discusses an innovative drug that may soon offer ways to fight Huntington?s disease, while Mark Newnham describes being diagnosed with the inherited condition. Plus: Peter Beaumont describes his trip to the Costa Rican cloud forest, at threat from climate change. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-22
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Is Ukraine about to elect a comedian as its next president? ? podcast

Ukrainians look set to elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, as their new president on Sunday. Andrew Roth discusses the events that have taken him to the brink of power. Plus: Peter Tatchell on why the British police should not be providing leadership training to officers in Brunei. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-19
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When rape cases don't make it to trial | podcast

Recorded rapes have increased by 15%, but recent figures show only one-third of cases referred to the CPS led to charges being brought. ?Rebecca? discusses her experience, while the Guardian?s Alexandra Topping looks at why prosecution rates have dropped. Plus: Julia Finch on Mark Carney?s warning that global banks cannot afford to ignore climate change. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-18
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How protesters toppled Sudan's Omar al-Bashir ? podcast

The Guardian?s Nesrine Malik grew up in Sudan and witnessed first-hand the brutality of the country?s then president, Omar al-Bashir. Malik reflects on what his ousting, after 30 years, means for Sudan. Plus: Angelique Chrisafis on the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-17
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Is English football's racism problem being taken seriously? ? podcast

A series of recent incidents in Premier League stadiums and at non-league level has highlighted football?s enduring problem with racism. The Guardian?s Jacob Steinberg investigates whether the authorities are taking it seriously enough. Plus: we hear from protesters at the Extinction Rebellion climate change demonstration in London. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-16
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Going viral: Fox News, Davos and radical economics ? podcast

Rutger Bregman became a social media sensation after his onstage tirade at the gathered elite in Davos this year. His call for higher taxes, open borders and a shorter working week captured the imaginations of millions who viewed the speech online. But can his utopian ideas be translated into realistic policy changes? Plus: J Oliver Conroy on David Buckel, a year on from the climate protester?s death in New York. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-15
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Brexit means breakfast: behind the scenes at a Brussels all-nighter ? podcast

After a marathon debate in Brussels, Theresa May emerged with a new October Brexit deadline. Jennifer Rankin and Daniel Boffey, in Brussels, saw it through to the bitter end and explain what happens now. Plus: Richard Sprenger on funeral poverty. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-12
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The parent protests that stopped LGBT equality lessons ? podcast

A bitter row between a Birmingham primary school and its mostly Muslim parents over the teaching of LGBT equality has led to street protests and the suspension of the lessons. The Guardian?s Nazia Parveen traces the origins of the dispute and where it has led. Plus: Hannah Devlin on the first ever image of the silhouette of a black hole. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-11
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Can the Conservative party survive Brexit? ? podcast

As Theresa May heads to Brussels to plead for more time to scrape together a Brexit deal, she leaves a party fracturing and shedding members. Nick Boles dramatically resigned from the party last week and now feels emboldened to speak out. Also today: Dream McClinton on the discrimination based on skin complexion that exists within the black community. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-10
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King Bibi: can anyone beat Benjamin Netanyahu?

After a series of damaging corruption allegations against the PM, could Israelis decide it?s time for a change? Plus: Sherrie Smith on the discrimination faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-09
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Is Facebook spying on you?

It is one of the most widely held conspiracy theories in tech: could Facebook be listening to its users in order to target ads at them? It isn?t, says the Guardian?s UK tech editor, Alex Hern, but the company has plenty of other ways to monitor you. Plus: George Monbiot on ?rewilding? the planet to combat climate catastrophe. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-08
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The Tories and their Islamophobia problem ? podcast

The Conservative peer and former party chair Sayeeda Warsi discusses the Tories? Islamophobia problem, and why they need to be doing so much more to tackle it. Plus Jim Waterson on the Facebook Brexit ads that are secretly overseen by staff of a Lynton Crosby firm. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus
2019-04-05
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