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HARDtalk

HARDtalk

In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.

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Philippe Sands: Is international justice working?

When the first Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals came to an end, the ground-breaking international tribunal handed down 12 death sentences. Seventy-five years on, is the world any better at delivering justice for the worst of crimes? In the years that followed, there were hopes that an evolving mechanism of international justice would deter and punish further heinous acts of mass murder and genocide. Does it remain an impossible ideal? Stephen Sackur speaks to international lawyer and author Philippe Sands. (Photo: Philippe Sands in the Hardtalk studio)
2021-10-18
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Adela Raz, Afghanistan's Ambassador to the US

Stephen Sackur speaks to Adela Raz, still officially Afghanistan?s Ambassador to the United States, though the Taliban disowns her and the Americans ignore her. In the face of a looming humanitarian catastrophe is it time for the outside world to come to terms with Afghanistan?s new rulers? (Photo: Adela Raz appears via videolink on Hardtalk)
2021-10-15
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Sergei Ryabkov: Russia and energy security

Stephen Sackur speaks to Russia?s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Moscow is set to be a major beneficiary of the extraordinary spike in fossil fuel energy prices - does that mean Moscow will flex its muscle more aggressively on the world stage?
2021-10-13
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Richard Deverell: The battle to save the planet

Do we understand the urgency of the global biodiversity and climate change crisis? Stephen Sackur speaks to the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richard Deverell. Kew Gardens in London is a UNESCO world heritage site and home to one of the largest collections of living plants in the world and an unrivalled repository of preserved specimen plants collected by scientific pioneers such as Charles Darwin. Richard Deverell has big ambitions to put Kew at the centre of the fight to avert environmental catastrophe by helping the public to grasp the scale of the challenges caused by biodiversity loss and a warming planet.
2021-10-11
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Richard Thaler: Is a nudge enough to change our behaviour?

From Covid to climate change, governments around the world face challenges which demand modifications of human behaviour. When it comes to getting people to do things differently, what works best: the carrot of persuasion, or the stick of coercion? Stephen Sackur speaks to Richard Thaler, the world renowned economist and behavioural scientist who believes a nudge often works better than a shove when change is needed. Does that hold good when the problems we face become urgent and existential?
2021-10-08
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Ben Ferencz, prosecutor at the Nuremberg Nazi Trials

Seventy-five years after the Nuremberg Military Tribunals convicted some of the most senior Nazis of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the last surviving prosecutor from the trials, Ben Ferencz talks to Zeinab Badawi. Does he believe the Nuremberg trials have made genocide and crimes against humanity less likely to be committed in the world today? This programme was first broadcast in 2017. (Photo: Ben Ferencz Hardtalk interview in 2017))
2021-10-06
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Michel Barnier on Brexit fallout

The crisis over a lack of supplies in the UK triggered by a shortage of truck drivers has reignited the debate about the consequences of Brexit. This comes on top of concerns about the impact on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and what it means for the historic peace agreement there. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Michel Barnier, who was the EU?s chief Brexit negotiator and has declared himself a centre-right candidate for the presidential elections in France next year. How does he see the fallout from Brexit and why does he think he?s fit to be the next president of France? (Photo: Michel Barnier in the Hardtalk studio)
2021-10-01
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Rafael Grossi - Nuclear fallout

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, amid concern about renewed tensions over Iran?s nuclear programme. Tehran insists that it is only developing nuclear power for civilian purposes but now Israel has warned that it crosses all ?red lines? and that it won?t allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. This follows warnings by Washington and the EU that Iran must allow international weapons inspectors full access to its workshops. Has the IAEA?s inspection programme failed and dashed all hopes of a diplomatic solution to this crisis? (Photo: Rafael Grossi appears via video link on Hardtalk)
2021-09-29
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Nitin Sawhney, Musician and Composer

Stephen Sackur speaks to renowned British Indian musician and composer Nitin Sawhney. From a childhood disfigured by racism to the embrace of the UK?s cultural elite, what are the common threads in his remarkable career?
2021-09-27
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Roger Deakins: How is technology changing cinema?

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the world's most celebrated cinematographers, Roger Deakins. He has won Oscars for his work on 1917 and Blade Runner 2049, and also shaped the look of modern classics such as O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Skyfall, The Big Lebowski and The Shawshank Redemption. But is technology, from CGI to the ubiquitous camera phone, changing everything we thought we knew about making films?
2021-09-24
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Bryan Hughes: Abortion in Texas

Republicans in Texas have managed to ban abortion in almost all cases in their state. Anyone performing, aiding or abetting the termination of a pregnancy after roughly six weeks can be sued in court. The implications are enormous, not just in Texas but across the US. And it points to a wider phenomenon. Ideological conservatives are using state activism to confront federal power. Stephen Sackur spoke to Texas Republican State Senator Bryan Hughes just hours before the first law suit was filed against a doctor under the new law.
2021-09-22
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Carlos Fernando Chamorro: Exiled from Nicaragua

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nicaraguan journalist and former revolutionary Carlos Fernando Chamorro. He is currently in exile as President Daniel Ortega intensifies his crackdown on dissent. Why has the country slumped back into authoritarianism?
2021-09-20
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Naomi Campbell, supermodel and businesswoman

In an exclusive interview for the BBC?s 100 Women season, Zeinab Badawi speaks to supermodel Naomi Campbell. (Photo: Naomi Campbell smiles at Zeinab Badawi)
2021-09-17
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Robin Hanbury-Tenison: An explorer protecting indigenous lands

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the world?s great modern-day explorers, Robin Hanbury-Tenison. He has committed himself to the protection of indigenous people and their lands, but have his efforts made a difference?
2021-09-15
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Former interrogator for the CIA, James Mitchell

American psychologist James Mitchell helped devise the CIA?s enhanced interrogation programme after the 9/11 attacks. He personally interrogated some of the top terrorist suspects using the programme?s techniques, including waterboarding. His critics label him a torturer; he says he has nothing to apologise for and what he did was harsh, but legal and necessary.He speaks to Zeinab Badawi. (Photo: James Mitchell)
2021-09-13
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Rudy Giuliani: Reflecting on 9/11

It?s 20 years since the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center were reduced to dust and ash. This week, the US is again immersed in memories of the attack and what came after. In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Stephen Sackur spoke to the man who was mayor of New York City on that fateful day, Rudy Giuliani. His response back then earned him the title ?America?s Mayor?; a decade later, HARDtalk invited him to reflect on how he and his country had been changed by the horrifying events of 9/11.
2021-09-10
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Nadia Calviño: Is Europe too fragmented to shape the 21st Century?

The covid pandemic and emerging superpower rivalries have presented the EU with troubling questions. Stephen Sackur speaks to Spain's Deputy Prime Minister and Economy minister Nadia Calviño. Is Europe too inward looking and too fragmented to shape the 21st Century? (Photo: Nadia Calviño, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy minister of Spain. Credit: Reuters)
2021-09-08
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Lindsey Graham: What is the Republican vision for America?

After the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan, how does America see itself and its place in the world? Stephen Sackur is at the Ambrosetti Forum in northern Italy to speak to one of the Republican Party's most prominent voices, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham.
2021-09-06
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Omar Zakhilwal: What ideology will prevail in Afghanistan?

Will pragmatism or zealotry prevail in Afghanistan, as the Taliban grapple with the reality of ruling a broken country? Stephen Sackur speaks to former finance minister Omar Zakhilwal, who has been involved in talks with the Taliban.
2021-09-01
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Maggi Hambling: An evolving creative vision

Stephen Sackur speaks to the artist Maggi Hambling. Her works have won international acclaim, but some have also stirred controversy, including a sculpture unveiled in London last year for 18th century feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. How has her creative vision evolved over the last six decades?
2021-08-30
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Andrei Kelin: Russia, Afghanistan and the UK

The chaotic evacuation operation still underway at Kabul airport has put a harsh spotlight on two decades of US and NATO military commitment in Afghanistan. It looks and feels like a strategic defeat, but what does it tell us about the wider geopolitical balance of power? Stephen Sackur speaks to Russia?s ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin. Is this reverse for the US and her allies a positive for Russia?
2021-08-27
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Paula Kahumbu: Saving Africa's wild spaces

Stephen Sackur speaks to Paula Kahumbu, CEO for WildlifeDirect, Kenya. Her campaign to protect elephants and other endangered species asks Kenyans to prioritise protection of the country?s wild spaces ? is it working?
2021-08-25
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Gedion Timothewos: Ethiopia's civil war

HARDtalk?s Stephen Sackur speaks to Ethiopia?s Attorney General Gedion Timothewos. The conflict between government forces and Tigrayan rebels has cost thousands of lives and revived the spectre of famine ? is there a way to avert catastrophe?
2021-08-23
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Kamila Sidiqi: What future do Afghanistan's women face?

HARDtalk?s Stephen Sackur speaks to Kamila Sidiqi, a leading Afghan women's rights campaigner, entrepreneur and government adviser under President Ghani. She escaped from Kabul as the Taliban took over. Is her cause now lost and who is to blame?
2021-08-20
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Tobias Ellwood: Britain's Afghanistan exit

HARDtalk?s Stephen Sackur speaks to British Conservative MP and former soldier Tobias Ellwood. Two decades after they were expelled from Kabul the hard-line Islamists are back. US and British troops are scrambling to complete a humiliating evacuation. It looks like an historic defeat for western powers. How damaging could the consequences be?
2021-08-18
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Aly Raisman: Are gold medals put above athletes' wellbeing?

The athletic excellence seen at the Tokyo Olympics will live long in the memory, but so will the moment the brilliant US gymnast Simone Biles chose not to compete to safeguard her mental and physical health. US gymnastics is still reeling from the repercussions of a sex abuse scandal - what can go wrong when results are put above care of individual athletes? Stephen Sackur speaks to Aly Raisman, a multiple Olympic gold medallist who testified about being abused by the team's former doctor. Is there a wider lesson for elite sport in the shame of American gymnastics?
2021-08-16
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Getachew Reda: What is the endgame for Tigray's rebels?

The humanitarian suffering in northern Ethiopia is appalling, as conflict continues on multiple fronts. Tigrayan rebel forces have won a string of victories over the Ethiopian military, and Ethiopia?s prime minister now says all the state's military resources will be deployed to crush the rebels. Stephen Sackur speaks to Getachew Reda, spokesperson for the Tigray People?s Liberation Front. With the death toll rising and man-made famine taking hold, what is the endgame for Tigray?s rebels?
2021-08-13
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Daryl Davis: Reaching out to the KKK

Stephen Sackur speaks to Daryl Davis, a black musician who has spent four decades trying to talk to America?s most diehard racists, the Ku Klux Klan. He claims to have forged friendships with white supremacists and opened their minds, but is reaching out to the KKK a distraction from the bigger task of dismantling systemic racism?
2021-08-11
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Hamid Mir: Is Pakistan a safe place for journalists?

In the last year, there have been a string of attacks on reporters in Pakistan. The perpetrators remain unknown and unpunished. The government insists Pakistan is a bastion of media freedom. Hamid Mir is a high-profile columnist and TV presenter, a survivor of several assassination attempts, and is currently facing accusations of sedition. Is the state out to silence independent journalism?
2021-08-09
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Sir Andrew Pollard: The war on Covid-19

Stephen Sackur speaks to Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and a key figure in the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Science has offered up tools to beat the virus - but from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine inequality - are we making the most of them?
2021-08-06
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RoseAnne Archibald: Uncovering Canada's dark past

Stephen Sackur speaks to RoseAnne Archibald, newly elected National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Canada. The truth about the deaths of thousands of indigenous children in schools infamous for abuse and neglect has shocked the world. Why has Canada failed to heal the wounds of a dark past?
2021-08-04
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Sir Hilary Beckles: Reparations for slavery

Zeinab Badawi speaks to the eminent historian professor Sir Hilary Beckles in Barbados. Over three centuries, Africans were transported to the Caribbean to toil on sugar and cotton plantations - a trade that made Britain rich. For decades there have been calls for compensation to atone for the sins of slavery. Sir Hilary is Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission. Can there be justice for the descendants of enslaved Africans?
2021-08-02
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Lazarus Chakwera: President of Malawi

Sarah Montague speaks to the President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera. The preacher turned politician won power last year pledging to create a million jobs and ?clear the rubble? of corruption. But a year on, the economy is being hit hard by the effects of Covid, his government admits it has no idea how many jobs have been created and he?s been accused of nepotism. Can President Chakwera keep the promises he made during the election? (Photo: Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi in the Hardtalk studio)
2021-07-30
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Péter Szijjártó: Is Hungary undermining European values?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. On a range of issues from press freedom to LGBT rights, Hungary routinely ignores the collective interpretation of EU values. Populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban seems to regard his increasingly toxic relationship with the EU?s institutions as a badge of honour and a political asset. But could Hungary's ongoing row with Brussels cost the country dear? (Photo: Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó appears via video link on Hardtalk)
2021-07-28
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Hamdullah Mohib: Can the Afghan government hold out against the Taliban?

Since the United States pulled its troops out of Afghanistan at the beginning of July, the Taliban have continued to retake vast swathes of the country. Reports have emerged that they are once again enforcing the same repressive practices of their past rule; including the closure of girls' schools, public beatings and a prohibition on women travelling unaccompanied outside their homes. Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are not making progress and there are real fears of an all out civil war. Sarah Montague speaks to Afghanistan's National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib. Can the Afghan government hold out against the Taliban? Photo: Afghanistan"s National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2021 Credit: Reuters
2021-07-26
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Fikile Mbalula: Is South Africa's government being confronted with its own failure?

South Africa is facing its deepest political crisis of the post-apartheid era. Days of violence and looting saw more than 200 people killed and thousands arrested. Stephen Sackur speaks to Fikile Mbalula, the country's transport minister. Is the ANC government being confronted with its own failure?
2021-07-23
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Laurent Lamothe: Can anything be done to end Haiti's suffering?

Stephen Sackur speaks to former Haitian Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe. Pity the eleven million people of Haiti; it is hard to think of a nation more comprehensively shattered by many decades of misrule and the ravages of natural disaster. In the latest lurch toward chaos the president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated earlier this month. Who ordered the hit is not clear but a protracted struggle for power seems certain. Can anything be done to end Haiti?s suffering? (Photo: Laurent Lamothe appears via video link on Hardtalk)
2021-07-21
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Michael Holding: Can sport win its fight against racism?

HARDtalk?s Stephen Sackur speaks to Michael Holding, the former West Indies cricket great who is now a prominent voice confronting racism. In England, there?s a fierce debate about how best to root out racism, following vile abuse aimed at black footballers. But it?s an issue confronting many sports. Is this a fight sport can win? Image: Michael Holding (Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire)
2021-07-19
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Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho: Can courage overcome injustice?

Measured by the number of murders Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world to be a journalist. Eight were killed last year; and countless more suffered threats, intimidation and violence. Stephen Sackur speaks to Lydia Cacho - one of Mexico?s most prominent journalists who - after decades of assaults, death threats and at least one assassination attempt - is currently in exile for her own safety. Her particular focus is the violence done to women in Mexico and the failure of those in power to make good on promises of protection. Can courage overcome injustice? (Photo: Lydia Cacho appears via video link on Hardtalk)
2021-07-16
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Jess Phillips: What happened to progressive politics?

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the leading figures in the British Labour party, Jess Phillips MP. She?s a tireless campaigner against domestic violence and has won plaudits for her direct, from-the-heart style of politics. Across continents and cultures there is a common, and corrosive, political phenomenon ? rising anger and alienation amongst voters who feel neglected and ignored by the system. Is there a way out of today's polarised politics?
2021-07-14
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James Lovelock: The fragility of life on Earth

Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the past century's most influential environmentalists, James Lovelock. He introduced us to the Gaia hypothesis ? the idea that our planet and all the life on it are part of one dynamic, self-regulating system. Lovelock is now 101 years old and still having big thoughts about the future of life on Earth. Have we humans sown the seeds of our own destruction?
2021-07-12
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Writer Lionel Shriver

In our culture of 24/7 news and trending social media reactions, it sometimes takes a novelist?s eye to chart the deeper, current events swirling beneath society?s surface. Lionel Shriver is a British-based American writer whose fiction has addressed school shootings, obesity, economic crisis and in her latest book, voluntary euthanasia. She?s a contrarian, but is she also a combatant in the western world?s culture wars?
2021-07-07
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Christian Happi: Can Africa become a world leader in vaccine development?

Zeinab Badawi speaks to Professor Christian Happi whose ground-breaking research is helping tackle diseases that kill thousands every year. He gave up a career at Harvard University in the US and moved back to Africa where is setting up a world-class laboratory in Nigeria which will have a pandemic early detection system. He believes Africa could become a global centre of knowledge about infectious diseases such as Covid-19. How realistic is his vision?
2021-07-05
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Victor Gao: 100 years of the Chinese Communist Party

As the Chinese Communist Party marks its 100th anniversary, Stephen Sackur speaks to veteran party loyalist Victor Gao, vice president of the Centre for China and Globalization in Beijing. The party has engineered a remarkable transformation that?s made China a global superpower, but is the level of internal control and repression sustainable?
2021-06-30
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Zainab Ahmed: Can Nigeria avert financial meltdown?

Africa is going through its first recession in more than a quarter of a century because of the global downturn caused by the Covid pandemic. The economic crisis is being keenly felt in Nigeria, the continent?s most populous country. Its 200 million people are struggling with long-standing challenges, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and deteriorating security. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Nigeria?s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed. What is her plan to avert financial meltdown as well as help deliver stability?
2021-06-25
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Rawdah Mohamed: Fashion and Muslim women

Somali-born fashion editor Rawdah Mohamed has taken up a senior role at the soon-to-be launched Vogue Scandinavia. After moving to Norway as a child, she became a model, and in April created a social media storm with a post called ?Hands off my Hijab?. How far can she use fashion to overturn negative stereotypes of Muslim women?
2021-06-23
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REM lead singer Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe was the lead singer of one of the most influential bands of the last four decades, REM. He was the figurehead of indie rock, enigmatic, serious, political. Now he?s a visual artist, so how has his creative vision evolved?
2021-06-21
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Johan Lundgren, EasyJet CEO: Can his business model survive Covid and climate change?

No industry has been hit harder by the global pandemic than aviation. Cross-border travel is either banned or constrained by tests and quarantines across much of the world. And, in a time full of uncertainty and insecurity, who wants to travel for either business or pleasure? Stephen Sackur speaks to Johan Lundgren, CEO of EasyJet, Europe?s second biggest budget airline. Can his business model survive the double whammy of Covid and climate change? (Photo: Johan Lundgren in the Hardtalk studio)
2021-06-18
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Jens Stoltenberg: Is the old alliance ready to tackle new threats?

President Biden says the US is determined to lead NATO's response to evolving geographical and technological threats. But there have been marked disagreements between alliance members on relations with Russia, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, defence spending and the so-called ?systemic challenge? posed by China. Just how united is the West?s military alliance?
2021-06-16
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Ben Rhodes: President Biden's foreign policy challenges

Stephen Sackur speaks to former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, Ben Rhodes. He has written a new book, After the Fall, reflecting on his time in the White House, the legacy of President Trump and the foreign policy challenges facing President Biden. With the rise of authoritarian, nationalist trends around the world, is the US in any position to lead a much touted global alliance of democracies? (Photo: Ben Rhodes appears via video link on Hardtalk)
2021-06-11
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