The Real Story

The Real Story

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02dbd4m
Global experts and decision makers discuss, debate and analyse a key news story.


Does philanthropy work?
Jan 17 • 49 min
Many of the world’s rich and powerful will gather at the Swiss resort of Davos next week to discuss the future of the world, including how to make it a more equitable place. According to most estimates, the richest one percent of the world’s population…
The world’s housing crisis
Jan 10 • 49 min
The state of affordable housing in major cities around the world is an issue of increasing concern to politicians - and of course to the growing population of large cities. Next month, the UN’s World Urban Forum will discuss rapid urbanisation and the…
Can young people change the world?
Dec 19, 2019 • 49 min
2019 has been a year of youth activism. From the Swedish climate change protester Greta Thunberg to Hong Kong’s democracy activist Joshua Wong, young people have been making headlines. Millions of school children and college students all over the world…
What next for the UK?
Dec 13, 2019 • 49 min
The Prime Minister’s core message during the campaign was simple: “Get Brexit done.” It worked, with the Conservative Party enjoying its widest margin of victory since its win under Margaret Thatcher in 1987. The United Kingdom now appears set to leave…
The world’s languages are dying
Dec 6, 2019 • 49 min
The world’s rich linguistic tapestry is unravelling. Around a third of the world’s languages now have fewer than a thousand speakers left. The UN says more needs to be done and, to raise awareness, it declared 2019 the year of indigenous languages. The…
Who runs Iraq?
Nov 29, 2019 • 49 min
Iraq has been gripped by mass public protests for weeks. Thousands of people have been taking to the streets in cities like Baghdad, Basra and Karbala to demand an end to corruption and unemployment, and an improvement in public services. The government…
Can algorithms be trusted?
Nov 22, 2019 • 49 min
Algorithms have become a ubiquitous part of modern lives. They suggest films on streaming services, vet loans for approval, shortlist job candidates, even help decide prison sentences and medical care. But there are questions over the way they are…
The future of oil
Nov 15, 2019 • 49 min
The state owned Saudi oil company, Aramco, is considered to be the most profitable business in the world. In the coming weeks it plans to raise billions by selling shares publicly for the first time. Despite the proliferation of green technologies and a…
India’s pollution problem
Nov 8, 2019 • 49 min
At one point this week air pollution in Delhi was so high that monitors could not record the toxicity because it was off the scale. Schools were closed, vehicles restricted, and people were advised to stay indoors. But the situation in Delhi is not the…
Russia’s new internet firewall
Nov 1, 2019 • 49 min
A law is coming into effect in Russia that will redefine the way internet is governed in the country. Russia says the law will allow internet providers to filter content to ‘protect’ its citizens. It wants Russian data to remain within its border and…
Mass protests in Lebanon
Oct 25, 2019 • 49 min
This week millions of people were out on the streets of Lebanon demanding change. A lack of jobs, crumbling public services, rising living costs and rampant inequality had brought out people from all sections of the society. The proposed budget with more…
Canada at a crossroads
Oct 18, 2019 • 49 min
Canada is a vast country with rich natural resources. For decades it has relied on global trade and a stable international order to prosper. As Canada heads to polls on the 21st of October, it finds itself with challenges at home and abroad that could…
Does the US have a Syria plan?
Oct 11, 2019 • 49 min
Following a late evening phone conversation with the president of Turkey, President Trump approved the Turkish decision to send troops in parts of Syria that are now controlled by American backed Kurdish forces. He said that it is time for the US troops…
Is impeachment a fair process?
Oct 4, 2019 • 49 min
In the United States, the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump - only the fourth president to face such an investigation - has become the most talked about issue in Washington. At the centre of it is a phone conversation in which president Trump…
Can China tame Hong Kong?
Sep 27, 2019 • 49 min
This week China marks the 70th anniversary of its founding. The great fanfare playing out across the country could be overshadowed by events in the southern territory of Hong Kong, which is part of China but maintains separate judicial and economic…
Russia’s Africa doctrine
Sep 20, 2019 • 49 min
In October thousands of delegates are expected to arrive in the Russian resort of Sochi for an extraordinary gathering. It will be the first ever conference between Russia and the countries of Africa. President Putin is due to hold meetings with African…
South Africa’s anti-foreigner violence
Sep 13, 2019 • 49 min
South Africa is one of the richest countries in Africa. Its businesses and investments have been a catalyst for growth on the continent and according to the World Bank, African immigrants have made a positive impact on South Africa’s economy. Yet foreign…
The future of money
Sep 6, 2019 • 49 min
Every summer at a mountain resort in Wyoming, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas hosts a symposium of central bankers and academics to discuss the global economy. This year at Jackson Hole, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney,…
Who owns the Amazon?
Aug 30, 2019 • 49 min
The Amazon rainforest is an essential part of maintaining the earth’s ecosystem and weather patterns. But this year thousands of fires are ravaging there - the most intense blazes for almost a decade. Brazil’s indigenous and environmental groups have…
The changing face of protest
Aug 23, 2019 • 49 min
The on-going protests in Hong Kong and Russia come as Eastern Europe begins to mark the 30th anniversary of one of the most important geopolitical shifts of the 20th century - the collapse of Communism. The 20th century struggle against communist…
How do women change politics?
Aug 16, 2019 • 49 min
The British Green MP, Caroline Lucas, this week called for an ‘emergency cabinet’ of women from across the UK’s political spectrum to help prevent Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal. Women, she said, were better placed to deal with…
What happened to the political centre ground?
Aug 9, 2019 • 49 min
In recent years the formula for winning elections has moved away from reaching out to all voters and charting a middle ground. Instead, politicians are promoting wedge issues and activating voters along issues of identity and against the status quo. The…
What is immigration for?
Aug 2, 2019 • 49 min
In his first speech to the British parliament as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson promised a “radical” overhaul of the British immigration system modelled on an Australian-style points-based system where applicants are judged on the contribution they could…
The politics of Boris Johnson
Jul 26, 2019 • 49 min
Boris Johnson has become the prime minister of Britain at a time when the country is facing numerous challenges at home and abroad. His supporters admire him for his colourful politics and quick-witted oratory skills, but he has also been described as…
Europe’s migration standoff
Jul 19, 2019 • 49 min
The Italian government has been calling on European countries to come up with a new plan to absorb migrants reaching its shores via the Mediterranean Sea. A tougher approach to migration was one of the campaign promises of the deputy prime minister Matteo…
The future of space exploration
Jul 12, 2019 • 49 min
This month in 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. It was a culmination of human and technological achievement. Both the United States and the Soviet Union claimed victory in space, but for the rest of the world, the race…
Africa’s digital transformation
Jul 5, 2019 • 49 min
The rollout of the internet in Africa has been patchy. Some countries have used it to leapfrog others, boosting their economies. For many others, new networks and technologies have yet to bear fruit. From Sudan to Ethiopia to the DRC, the continent is…
What’s happened to gay rights since Stonewall?
Jun 28, 2019 • 49 min
Fifty years ago, when gay protesters clashed with New York City police outside a nondescript bar, the Stonewall Inn, few expected it to become one of the turning points in the gay rights movements in the world. But the encounter motivated and galvanized a…
The vaccination divide
Jun 21, 2019 • 49 min
A global survey of public attitudes to health and science has found that twenty percent of Europeans have no confidence in life-saving vaccines. The figure was highest in France where a third of the adult population does not believe that immunisation is…
Syria: Assad’s endgame
Jun 14, 2019 • 49 min
After eight gruelling years of war, the rebels in Syria seem to be making a last stand in the province of Idlib. The opposition stronghold in the northwest of the country has been under intense bombardment from government forces backed by Russia. Idlib is…
What does the future hold for the Rohingya?
Jun 7, 2019 • 49 min
One year ago this week, the government of Myanmar signed an understanding with the United Nations that would pave the way for hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees to return home from camps in southern Bangladesh. But the UN says, no family has…
European election results: Gridlock or opportunity?
May 31, 2019 • 49 min
This week the European elections have generated intense discussion: The turnout was the highest for twenty years. And for the first time in decades, the traditional Centre-Right and Centre-Left failed to win enough seats to form a majority. They are under…
The new technology cold war
May 24, 2019 • 49 min
This week the tech giant Google announced it would not provide some of its services to the Chinese company, Huawei, the second biggest mobile handset maker in the world. The Trump administration alleged that Huawei might spy on America and its allies on…
Does WikiLeaks matter?
May 17, 2019 • 49 min
WikiLeaks has never been far from controversy since the release of its first cache of documents in 2006. Its supporters have welcomed the organisation as a bearer of truth and transparency. Its method of publishing troves of sensitive documents from…
Can nature be saved?
May 10, 2019 • 49 min
Biodiversity – that’s the subject of a major report from the UN this week – and it comes with an alarming warning: the variety and fabric of life on earth is in rapid decline all over the planet. Because of human behaviour, nearly a million species are…
China’s Arctic ambitions
May 3, 2019 • 48 min
China is located nearly 3,000 kilometres from the Arctic Circle but that hasn’t stopped it taking a keen interest in the region. Last year China described itself as a ‘near Arctic State’ and said that it plans to play a crucial role in the Arctic’s…
Is social media killing elections?
Apr 26, 2019 • 49 min
Free and fair elections are needed for democracy, and their manipulation has always been an issue. But with the advent of social media, has this problem now become unmanageable? Some argue that social media has levelled the playing field and opened up…
The return of the eco-warriors
Apr 19, 2019 • 49 min
As evidence of climate change and mass extinctions becomes ever harder to ignore, a new tide of eco-activism is making waves. Schoolchildren across the world have been coming out on strike, with Swedish student climate activist Greta Thunberg meeting Pope…
Has Brexit broken UK politics?
Apr 12, 2019 • 49 min
Has what’s happened since the Brexit referendum revealed serious problems with the way the UK is governed? Was the big mistake to have a referendum on such a complex issue in the first place, challenging the sovereignty of parliament and our…
Has the International Criminal Court failed?
Apr 5, 2019 • 49 min
Since the inception of the ICC 20 years ago it has been controversial. Supporters see it as a guarantor of justice, ready to step in when states are unable or unwilling to prosecute crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes. But to many the Court…
What’s at stake in India’s election?
Mar 29, 2019 • 51 min
Battle lines have been drawn, alliances are being firmed up, and the electoral machine has kicked into action. With over 900 million eligible voters, the 2019 parliamentary elections in India will be the biggest exercise of democracy in the world. Voting…
Who are the far-right extremists?
Mar 22, 2019 • 49 min
The terror attack on Muslims worshipping in Christchurch, New Zealand has focused minds around the world on the threat from racist far-right extremists. The man responsible cited influences from the US and UK among others, and claimed to be motivated by…
What’s going on at the US-Mexico border?
Mar 15, 2019 • 49 min
The number of undocumented migrants captured at the US Mexico border has reached a decade-long high, with the government predicting that the number will continue to rise. President Trump says the situation at the border is a national emergency. So, is he…
Has China’s economy peaked?
Mar 8, 2019 • 50 min
This week thousands of delegates from across China arrived in Beijing for the biggest political gathering of the year. But this time, the government’s message about the economy is less upbeat than it has been before. The growth forecast has been reduced,…
What next for the wives of Islamic State fighters?
Mar 1, 2019 • 49 min
What’s next for the thousands of foreign women who have been living with Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria? The situation was highlighted after a British and an American woman expressed the desire to return to their countries of origin. With the…
Are referendums ever a good idea?
Feb 22, 2019 • 49 min
This week was another dramatic one in the long-running saga of Brexit, with the possibility of a second referendum to solve the political impasse created by the first still widely discussed. Meanwhile on Sunday in Cuba, which is of course not a democracy,…
Is capitalism killing our planet, or is it our only hope?
Feb 15, 2019 • 50 min
This week was another bad one for the environment, with a major scientific review predicting a mass extinction of insects within a century if current trends continue. Meanwhile, the news on climate change gets more alarming by the day. But when we talk…
Forty years since revolution: How stable is Iran?
Feb 8, 2019 • 49 min
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a defining moment of the 20th Century. What began as a popular movement to oust the Western backed monarchy, later turned Iran into the world’s first Islamic republic. Since then, the Iranian government has been accused…
What Will Happen to Afghan Women When the US Leaves?
Feb 1, 2019 • 49 min
The United States and the Taliban say they have made significant progress towards ending the war in Afghanistan, with the deal expected to include a withdrawal of foreign forces. In return, the Taliban would agree not to shelter terrorists. But what will…
What’s keeping Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir in power?
Jan 25, 2019 • 50 min
Sudan has been witnessing the biggest anti-government protests in years. They began over a month ago when the government announced plans to reduce subsidies on staples like bread and fuel. But a heavy-handed response by the authorities has led to dozens…
Why Does President Trump Stick by Saudi Arabia?
Jan 18, 2019 • 49 min
Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as US president was to Saudi Arabia - and this week his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Kingdom. Despite increased strains on the relationship, including the controversial war in Yemen and the murder of the…
Are We Alone In The Universe?
Jan 11, 2019 • 49 min
It’s an old question, but despite many estimates - based on Frank Drake’s famous equation - that our own Milky Way galaxy could contain up to a million alien civilisations, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence begun in 1961 has so far failed.…
BBC Correspondents Look Ahead
Dec 28, 2018 • 48 min
How do you look ahead in a world which constantly takes us by surprise, sometimes shocks us, often makes us ask ‘what happens next?’ Who would have predicted that President Trump would, to use his words, fall in love with the North Korean leader Kim…
France’s Yellow Vests: Macron’s Malaise
Dec 21, 2018 • 49 min
After weeks of protests and violence, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bowed to the yellow vests protestors. First he made an televised address to the nation in which he admitted he had made mistakes. Now he has issued a new budget with financial…
China’s Big Social Experiment
Dec 14, 2018 • 49 min
In 2014, the Chinese government issued a document aimed at increasing the amount of ‘trust’ in society. Today this emerging system is known as China’s social credit system - like a credit score but tracking more than financial transactions. China’s…
Britain’s Big Brexit Moment
Dec 7, 2018 • 49 min
There’s only one question in Britain these days: what will happen with Brexit? On Tuesday, the future of the country is at stake when the British parliament takes a historic vote on the withdrawal deal that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has negotiated…
A New Vision for Mexico
Nov 30, 2018 • 49 min
On Saturday, Mexico gets a new president. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador - or AMLO as he’s known. He won a landslide victory and now controls both houses of Congress. Born in poverty, AMLO is promising to eliminate corruption, champion the poor, and stand up…
The Modern Face of Money Laundering
Nov 23, 2018 • 49 min
The largest money laundering scandal yet uncovered has been back in the spotlight. 200 billion Euros were allegedly laundered through a tiny Estonian branch of the Danish Danske Bank between 2007 and 2015. The whistleblower who first alerted Denmark’s…
Is ‘Fake News’ a Threat to Democracy?
Nov 16, 2018 • 49 min
In the two years since the election of Donald Trump the world has heard a lot about ‘fake news’. It’s a term the president often uses to go after the media and his opponents. But ‘fake news’ can mean a lot of things. It can refer to inaccurate stories…
Why Are Germans Going Green?
Nov 9, 2018 • 49 min
Germany, the biggest and richest country in the European Union, is going through a period of considerable political turbulence. After Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, the CDU, performed badly in state elections, she said she would not seek re-election.…
Why is Infertility Rising?
Nov 2, 2018 • 49 min
As the world’s population continues to rise, the numbers of children born per woman is still falling. Worldwide there’s now around 2.49 live births per woman, not far above replacement rate. Many couples are choosing to have smaller families and…
Brazil’s Lurch to the Right
Oct 26, 2018 • 49 min
This weekend, if the polls are right, Brazilians are expected to elect an obscure far-right politician as their next president. Jair Bolsonaro has spent over 20 years in Congress in a variety of fringe parties to very little effect. Now he is promising to…
Is Identity Corroding Democracy?
Oct 19, 2018 • 49 min
In many democracies people are demanding attention based on their identity, on their race, sex, or sexual orientation. We see groups such as Black Lives Matter, or movements for white power or LGBT rights. Are these demands for redress legitimate —…
Climate Change: Tough Choices
Oct 12, 2018 • 49 min
On Monday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its latest report. The IPCC looked at keeping to a 1.5C rise above pre-industrial temperatures. Scientists say that we can still do it. But there’s a lot of work to be done. It will need…
Norway: From Oil to Renewables
Oct 4, 2018 • 49 min
We know that to keep our climate safe we need to stop burning fossil fuels and move to renewables. But how? Leading scientists and government delegates have been asking that question this week at a gathering in South Korea. Perhaps inspiration can be…
Air Pollution: Invisible Killer
Sep 28, 2018 • 49 min
Air is all around us. It’s invisible and most of the time we don’t think much about it. But when the air is polluted, it’s deadly. Even when it doesn’t kill us, polluted air increases respiratory illnesses, strokes, and Alzheimers; it may even be making…
Is Unity Coming to Ireland?
Sep 21, 2018 • 49 min
Twenty years after the signing of The Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland, Brexit has unleashed new uncertainty about the island’s future. In 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union but Northern Ireland voted to remain.…
How Lehman’s Collapse Changed the World
Sep 14, 2018 • 49 min
Ten years ago the US investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed. The event rocked global stock markets and led to the biggest financial crash since the Great Depression. The decade that followed has been extraordinary. We’ve seen anger and discontent as…
Sweden: Liberalism in Trouble
Sep 7, 2018 • 49 min
For years Sweden has been praised for its generous welfare state and the welcoming hand it held out to refugees. But things are changing. Sweden is approaching the end of its most closely fought election in decades. Polls predict that the long dominant…
Who Should Own South African Land?
Aug 31, 2018 • 49 min
Nearly 25 years on from independence the vast majority of South Africa’s farmland is still owned by the country’s white minority. But now the governing ANC is coming under pressure to change that. In the past the government has tried to find “willing…
A New Perspective on Psychedelics
Aug 23, 2018 • 49 min
LSD, magic mushrooms, mescaline, peyote - just some of the most well known psychedelic drugs. Most of them are illegal around the world. Research into psychedelic medicine was virtually shut down in the West because psychedelics were considered…
Is the Nation State in Decline?
Aug 16, 2018 • 49 min
People around the world continue to want a nation to call their own. There have been recent independence referendums in Kurdistan, Catalonia and Scotland. This trend has being going on for a century, as empires have given way to nation states, and those…
Extreme Heat: The New Normal?
Aug 9, 2018 • 49 min
In many parts of the world this has been a season of extreme heat. Records have been broken from North America to Europe, from the Middle East to Japan and Korea. We know the climate is changing, and that many of the reasons are man-made. International…
Syria: Has Assad Won?
Aug 3, 2018 • 49 min
It has been over seven years since the uprising in Syria turned first into a civil war and then into a proxy war that has drawn in countries near and far. During that time at least 350,000 people have been killed, over 5 million have fled the country, and…
A New Dawn for Zimbabwe?
Jul 27, 2018 • 49 min
On Monday Zimbabwe will hold elections - the first to take place since former President Robert Mugabe was forced to stand down by the military after nearly 40 years in office. Under his rule the southern African country went from being one of the…
How Political is the Mueller Probe?
Jul 20, 2018 • 49 min
It has been a torrid week for US-Russian relations. Days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 US presidential election, President Trump met President Putin in Helsinki. In an…
Do Protests Still Work?
Jul 13, 2018 • 49 min
Donald Trump has arrived in England but he’s not getting the red carpet treatment a US president might expect. Big protests are planned in London, featuring a march to Trafalgar Square and a six metre high balloon of Donald Trump as a snarling orange…
Poland Out in the Cold
Jul 6, 2018 • 49 min
Poland is one of Europe’s economic success stories - and after Brexit, Poland stands to become the EU’s fifth-largest state. France and Germany had hoped Poland would work with them to find solutions to the EU’s big challenges, such as migration. But…
Can the EU Survive?
Jun 29, 2018 • 49 min
“The fragility of the EU is increasing,” says EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, and, “the cracks are growing in size.” The cracks appear in many forms. The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel says migration is the issue that “could decide the EU’s…
Who Should Be Let In?
Jun 22, 2018 • 49 min
Images of crying children separated from their parents at the US border with Mexico have brought a new urgency to the migration debate in the US. After a week of intense scrutiny on the issue, President Trump signed an executive order so that families…
The Great Disruptor
Jun 15, 2018 • 49 min
What is Donald Trump thinking? In one week he calls Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ‘dishonest and weak’ and then proceeds to boast of his ‘terrific relationship’ with the dictator Kim Jong-Un. In just a few days, he riles America’s closest allies…
The World Cup: Holy Grail or Poisoned Chalice?
Jun 8, 2018 • 48 min
All eyes will be on Russia shortly as it hosts the FIFA World Cup, one of the world’s great sporting occasions. The country will get a boost as tourists visit Russia’s many far flung cities and spend freely in hotels and restaurants. But staging the event…
Italy’s Populist Future
Jun 1, 2018 • 49 min
After nearly three months of negotiations and disputes, Italy has a new government. The country that road-tested Trump-style populist politics before the Donald has handed power to a pair of anti-establishment parties, The League and the 5 Star Movement.…
The Coming Pandemic
May 25, 2018 • 49 min
Ebola is back. In 2014, it killed over 11,000 people in West Africa. Now the disease has struck once again in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This time doctors are better equipped, with a vaccine and immunisation campaign but the outbreak highlights the…
How Do Monarchies Survive?
May 18, 2018 • 49 min
Hundreds of millions around the world will watch live coverage of the latest British Royal wedding. Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry is marrying Meghan Markle, an American actress. Divorced and biracial, she wouldn’t have been considered British…
What Next for Iran?
May 11, 2018 • 49 min
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made,” said President Trump as he pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.” So what now for Iran, for the stability…
Does the Left have a Future in Latin America?
May 4, 2018 • 49 min
Thousands of Nicaraguans have been taking to the streets this week to protest against the killing of anti-government demonstrators. They say Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista Front (FSLN) has betrayed the people in whose name it once fought. For President Ortega…
Crossing The Age Divide
Apr 26, 2018 • 47 min
The world’s population is ageing. According to the UN the number of people aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups. This is putting new pressures on relationships between generations. In richer countries, younger people are not…
What Justifies Military Intervention?
Apr 20, 2018 • 50 min
The decision by the US, France and Britain to bomb Syria after seeing evidence that President Bashar al-Assad had allegedly used chemical weapons on civilians has divided the international community. Are we living in a world where might, not right…
The State of the Unions
Apr 13, 2018 • 50 min
The French President, Emmanuel Macron is taking on the country’s powerful unions. The response to his proposed labour reforms has been a wave of public sector strikes across France. It’s a battle that has played out many times over recent years in…
How Do We Cure Our Plastic Addiction?
Apr 5, 2018 • 50 min
We have a problem with plastic. We’re making too much of it and not re-using and re-cycling enough of it. Plastic is contaminating our oceans and polluting our world. Until this year China took two thirds of the world’s plastic waste, but now it’s saying…
How Do We Build a Better Internet?
Mar 29, 2018 • 49 min
When the first website went live just over 25 years ago, there was hope that the internet would change life for the better. These days, though, there is deep unease about the direction the internet is taking. Allegations that data firm Cambridge Analytica…
What is Fuelling War in Yemen?
Mar 22, 2018 • 49 min
The UN calls Yemen ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’. It says more than three-fourths of the population - over 22 million people - are in need of humanitarian assistance. Yemenis face hunger, disease, and the terror of a war which has pitted…
What Does Putin Want?
Mar 15, 2018 • 49 min
Major Western powers are united in their conclusion. Russia, they say, carried out the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War Two. The attack happened in the English city of Salisbury, where former spy Sergei Skripal and his…
Does the US Still Want Free Trade?
Mar 8, 2018 • 49 min
Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to put ‘America first’. In his first year in office the policy was pursued in a number of areas including immigration and national security, but, when it came to the economy, despite threats, the status quo more or less…
Xi Who Would be King
Mar 1, 2018 • 50 min
The announcement was low key but the implications are big. The Communist Party of China has recommended that the constitution be amended to allow President Xi Jinping to serve longer than the currently mandated two terms. The move would sweep aside a…
Russia’s Information Wars
Feb 22, 2018 • 50 min
The first edition with our new name: Newshour Extra is now The Real Story with Carrie Gracie. Has Russia changed the rules of the game with the use of fake accounts on social media to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election? The US Special Counsel…
Does Europe Need an Army?
Feb 15, 2018 • 49 min
As European intelligence chiefs meet in Germany calling for greater co-operation to tackle common security threats, we take a look Europe’s move towards a more unified defence strategy. Since the Second World War, the NATO alliance has provided the West’s…
Should Your Pay be Private?
Feb 8, 2018 • 49 min
Our pay is still largely a private matter - but why is that? What would happen if pay was transparent? Would it be good or bad for business? Would employers have to address inequality and discrimination? Would workers feel demoralized or empowered? And…
Afghanistan: Time to Talk to the Taliban?
Feb 2, 2018 • 49 min
January has been bloody in the Afghan capital Kabul, where more than 130 civilians have been killed and many more wounded in a series of attacks by the Taliban and the Islamic State group. Suicide bombers have targeted not only security forces but also a…
What are Turkey’s Aims in Syria?
Jan 25, 2018 • 49 min
Turkey has sent tanks and warplanes into northern Syria. Their stated target is a Kurdish militia group, the YPG, regarded by Ankara as a terrorist organisation allied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, which has been fighting for autonomy in…
Does Coal Have a Future?
Jan 18, 2018 • 49 min
President Trump says he is a friend of coal country. He promised to end the “war on coal” and bring back jobs in the coal mines. A year on from his inauguration and he seems to have made good on some of his pledges. Late last year his administration…
Addicted to the Game
Jan 11, 2018 • 49 min
Gaming is big business. More that 2 billion gamers around the world generated more than 100 billion dollars in game revenues last year. But for some people all the fun is coming at a cost. The World Health Organization wants to classify gaming addiction…
What is Wrong with Eating Meat?
Jan 5, 2018 • 49 min
It’s the first week of the new year, which means many people are recovering from consuming large quantities of meat over the festive season. In fact, people around the world are eating more meat than ever. The average American man now eats more than his…
What Now For the Palestinians?
Dec 15, 2017 • 49 min
Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s formally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and setting in motion a plan to move the US embassy there has been condemned by many world leaders. So where does it leave the Palestinians? The decision has…
Bitcoin: Bubble or Brave New World?
Dec 7, 2017 • 49 min
In March you could buy a Bitcoin, one of a number of ‘cryptocurrencies’, for about US$1,200. Since then its value has increased more than tenfold to over US$15,000. So why the excitement? Is it yet another irrational speculative bubble driven by what John…
Brexit’s First Big Test
Nov 30, 2017 • 49 min
A key deadline is looming for Brexit Britain. The British government has until Monday, December 4th, to finalise its offer on three key issues: the Irish border, a financial settlement and European citizens rights. The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel…
The Battle for Lebanon
Nov 23, 2017 • 49 min
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri shocked his country when he recently resigned while in Saudi Arabia citing fears for his safety. The move plunged Lebanon into a crisis as Lebanese leaders accused Saudi Arabia of forcing him to go. It has also stoked…
Europe’s Growing Culture Wars
Nov 17, 2017 • 49 min
One of the explanations for the victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election was that Trump had pushed back against the progressive cultural values that had been occupying the US political mainstream. There was a feeling…
What does Trump want from China?
Nov 10, 2017 • 49 min
When President Trump was elected a year ago he promised tough action on China. During his campaign he called the rising Asian power a currency manipulator and threatened tariffs on Chinese goods. But the tone since then has significantly softened.…
Do We Need Economic Growth?
Nov 3, 2017 • 49 min
Donald Trump has said his proposed tax cuts will be ‘rocket fuel’ for the US economy. He is the latest in a long line of political leaders chasing economic growth as a key policy objective. We are told again and again that GDP - Gross Domestic Product -…
Is Democracy Working For Africa?
Oct 30, 2017 • 48 min
Kenya’s disputed presidential election has plunged the country into crisis and brought the legitimacy of the whole democratic process there into question. So on this week’s Newshour Extra we take a look across Sub-Saharan Africa, and ask whether democracy…
Is a Stronger Japan Good for the World?
Oct 20, 2017 • 49 min
After its traumatic defeat in the Second World War, Japan turned its back on military power and concentrated instead on economic growth. Japan’s alliance with the US was enough to protect it from threats in the Cold War. But times have changed. China has…
Iran: Deal or no Deal?
Oct 13, 2017 • 49 min
A nuclear weapon in the hands of the Ayatollahs has long been a nightmare of Iran’s opponents in the Middle East and beyond. So when, in 2015, the world’s big powers signed a deal with Iran that prevented it from developing a nuclear bomb it was seen as a…
What Does it Take to Make Peace?
Oct 6, 2017 • 49 min
We live in dangerous times. Conflicts in the Middle East continue unabated; President Trump threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea; and Catalonia opts to secede from Spain with potentially violent consequences. UN Secretary General, António Guterres…
Why Secede?
Sep 29, 2017 • 49 min
What’s so important about having your own country? On Monday many Kurds in Northern Iraq voted for independence, and the Spanish government is seeking to stop a separatist referendum in Catalonia this Sunday. But why do many Iraqi Kurds and Catalans want…
Who Do You Trust?
Sep 22, 2017 • 51 min
With journalists disbelieved, politicians distrusted, judges called ‘enemies of the people’, and scientists and experts dismissed out of hand, established democracies seem to be undergoing a crisis of trust. But what has caused it: growing affluence,…
Extreme Weather: Who Foots the Bill?
Sep 15, 2017 • 50 min
The trail of wrecked buildings, overturned cars, and broken boats in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma have reminded the world of the ferocious power of nature. Extreme weather events are becoming more common, more destructive, and much more costly.…
What’s Gone Wrong in Myanmar?
Sep 8, 2017 • 49 min
As tens of thousands of Muslim Rohingya refugees flee Myanmar for Bangladesh we ask who’s responsible for the violence in Rakhine state that’s forcing them out. It all looked so different two years ago when Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won landmark…
Are Smartphones Harming Teenagers?
Sep 1, 2017 • 49 min
The spread of smartphones has come with increasing rates of depression in teenagers. Psychologists are debating whether too much time online and looking at screens is causing rising rates of obesity, depression and even suicide, or whether these problems…
Toppling statues: When Should They Come Down?
Aug 25, 2017 • 49 min
The violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia - which left one woman dead and many others injured - have intensified the debate about the hundreds of statues and plaques commemorating Confederate leaders right across the United States. So, what is the…
Facing the Future
Aug 18, 2017 • 49 min
Facial recognition technology - once a thing of science fiction - is coming to a screen near you. It’s already helping to smooth our travel experiences and assisting police to track and arrest suspects. Facial recognition offers alternatives to…
Pakistan at 70 - Success or Failure?
Aug 11, 2017 • 48 min
As the 70th anniversary of the partition of British India approaches, Owen Bennett Jones is in Pakistan. In the massive, energetic, creative and sometimes violent city of Karachi, Owen and his guests ask how successful has Pakistan been, what was its…
How secular is India 70 years after Partition?
Aug 4, 2017 • 49 min
In 2014 Narendra Modi’s BJP returned to power winning a majority in India’s parliament. He offered a billion Indians a blend of pro-business economics and a vision of India as primarily a Hindu state. In recent months, Muslims and Dalits - formerly known…
Water: The Stuff of Life
Jul 28, 2017 • 49 min
Water supplies are coming under pressure in many parts of the world. Too much water is taken out of rivers or pumped from underground aquifers to be sustainable. While water has been used as a weapon of war for centuries, could its scarcity become a cause…
Living Longer Lives: Blessing or Curse?
Jul 21, 2017 • 50 min
Half of all people born in industrialised countries today can expect to live to 100. What implications does that have for individuals and for societies around the world? Owen Bennett Jones and his guests discuss the many issues arising from an ageing…
What Next For Islamic State?
Jul 14, 2017 • 49 min
‘Their fictitious state has fallen,’ announced an Iraqi spokesman following the retaking of Mosul this week after a long and brutal battle with Islamic State militants. With IS also in retreat in Raqqa in neighbouring Syria, regarded by the militants as…
Globalisation: Winners and Losers
Jul 7, 2017 • 51 min
Globalisation is under fire. Many voters in Britain and America have turned against it, and in President Trump protectionism has found a champion. But the promoters of globalisation are regrouping. As the G20 group of countries with the largest economies…
What’s the Best Healthcare System?
Jun 30, 2017 • 49 min
Cost, coverage, choice - some of the trade-offs needed to make a healthy nation. As the US Congress struggles to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act - widely known as Obamacare - we ask what makes for a good healthcare system and how does society…
Greece: A Long Road to Recovery
Jun 23, 2017 • 49 min
Greece has been through dark economic times over the past decade. Last week a European Union loan of 8.5bn Euros enabled Greece to meet its latest debt payments. The IMF says this deal will help Greece stand on its own feet again over the course of the…
Qatar Under Siege
Jun 16, 2017 • 49 min
Qatar has been economically and diplomatically isolated by its powerful neighbours, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain. They accuse the small Gulf state of supporting terrorist groups and of being too close to the regional Shia power-house Iran. While Qatar…
UK Election 2017: The World View
Jun 9, 2017 • 50 min
The UK election has produced a much closer result than expected, with the Conservative Party now seeking to form a minority government. On Newshour Extra this week, Owen Bennett Jones and his panel of experts from around the world take a step back and ask…
Brazil’s Corruption Crisis
Jun 2, 2017 • 49 min
Brazil has been rocked by a series of corruption scandals in recent years - Operation ‘Car Wash’ is just one of the many ongoing investigations that stretch into the highest levels of business and politics. President Michel Temer is himself implicated in…
How Can We Make Our Cities Safe?
May 26, 2017 • 50 min
In the wake of the suicide bomb attack at a concert venue in Manchester, Newshour Extra this week is asking how major cities around the world can minimise the risk to their citizens from such atrocities. Owen Bennett Jones and his guests consider urban…
Trump and Russia: A Long Relationship
May 19, 2017 • 49 min
President Trump’s connections with Russia is a story that won’t go away. There are so many allegations flying around that it can be difficult to separate what is actually known and what is rumour. The President and his supporters have one key point - that…
Iran: Voting for Change?
May 12, 2017 • 51 min
Next week Iranians go to the polls to elect a new president. But how much of a choice do they really have? All six candidates are men, and all six have been chosen by the unelected Guardian Council. The members of the Council are selected by Iran’s…
What’s Wrong with Science?
May 5, 2017 • 50 min
Science has changed the world - it helps us live longer and more productive lives. It helps us communicate, explore the universe, understand our planet and cure our illnesses. It’s so powerful a force that it has undermined confidence in religion and…
Trump’s World: 100 Days of Change
Apr 28, 2017 • 51 min
Donald Trump came into the White House promising to tear up the US foreign policy playbook: Russia could be a friend, NATO was ‘obsolete’, and trade deals hurt American jobs. In his first hundred days has President Trump carried out his radical promises…
Hungary: Protest and Populism
Apr 21, 2017 • 49 min
Is the increasingly autocratic brand of populism adopted by Hungary’s right-wing government becoming a laboratory for right wing parties around the world? Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s tough policy against Muslim migrants and his call to defend Europe’s…
Hacking the Vote
Apr 14, 2017 • 49 min
Highly sophisticated techniques to ‘micro-target’ voters, using personal data and demographics have been credited with contributing to the recent outcomes of both the Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s victory in America. Strategists involved in the…
President Trump’s Promises to America’s Farmers
Apr 7, 2017 • 50 min
How will President Trump’s pledge to remove illegal immigrants and create jobs for Americans impact America’s agricultural heartlands? Owen Bennett Jones and his guests are in the rural American state of Nebraska to discuss whether Mr Trump’s trade…
Under Scrutiny: America’s Somali Community
Mar 31, 2017 • 51 min
The state of Minnesota is home to America’s largest Somali community. This week, Owen Bennett Jones and the Newshour Extra team are there for a special edition of the programme. In front of a live audience, Owen and his guests will examine the impact of…
South Sudan: The Creation of a Failed State
Mar 24, 2017 • 50 min
South Sudan, the world’s newest state, faces a humanitarian catastrophe from famine driven by conflict. According to the United Nations many millions are threatened by severe food insecurity, with at least 100,000 facing starvation. Aid agencies are…
Brexit: Now for the Hard Part
Mar 17, 2017 • 50 min
This week the UK’s parliament gave Prime Minister Theresa May permission to trigger the process that will take the UK out of the European Union. Two years of negotiations will follow. But what kind of deal should Mrs May go for? Hard Brexit that treats…
What is an Islamic State?
Mar 10, 2017 • 49 min
Pakistan was conceived of as a country where Muslims could live free of Hindu domination and discrimination but was that the extent of the project? Was it meant to be a country in which Muslims could live safely or was the idea to establish an Islamic…
De-Extinction: Return of the Woolly Mammoth?
Mar 3, 2017 • 49 min
If we had the scientific capability to bring back extinct species should we do it? Which ones would we choose and why? How about woolly mammoths roaming across the Arctic tundra, or vast flocks of passenger pigeons – once the most numerous birds on earth…
The French Election: What’s at Stake?
Feb 24, 2017 • 49 min
A presidential race for the Elysee Palace that has torn up the rule book is nearing its tumultuous conclusion. France’s two main parties have cast aside their old leaders and an independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron - the youthful leader of a new…
Libya: Return of the Strongman
Feb 17, 2017 • 50 min
Six years ago this week the brutal repression of a protest in Libya’s second city of Benghazi inspired a revolution that led to the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Today the country is preyed on by more than 1500 militias. Different governments rule in…
Will Your Children Have A Job?
Feb 10, 2017 • 50 min
Robots, artificial intelligence and automation are spreading beyond the assembly line to compete for many of our jobs. Economists forecast that as many as half of current jobs in the developed world could be lost to computers in a generation, and as many…
What Does Steve Bannon Think?
Feb 3, 2017 • 51 min
Steve Bannon is widely seen as one of the most influential – and in some quarters one of the most dangerous - men in President Trump’s administration. He holds the key post of White House Chief Strategist, but who is he and what does he really believe?…
Nuclear Weapons: How Safe are We?
Jan 27, 2017 • 51 min
Nuclear weapons and mutually assured destruction are associated with the Cold War but today more countries have the bomb than ever. An American president has the power to unilaterally start a nuclear war. In South Asia, India and Pakistan face off across…
Turkey: Democracy and Crisis
Jan 20, 2017 • 51 min
Turkey straddles the divide between Europe and Asia and is seen as a key ally against the rise of islamist extremism. Yet Turkey is at the same time facing its own potentially destabilising political and security crises. In the week of Donald Trump’s…
What Future for Ukraine?
Jan 13, 2017 • 51 min
Three years ago this winter hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square, demanding closer integration with Europe instead of Russia, and, eventually, forcing the government’s resignation. But what’s changed in the years…
Tackling Urban Violence
Jan 6, 2017 • 50 min
In 2016 the murder rate in the American city of Chicago went up by 50% - there were were 762 killings. That’s more killings in Chicago than Los Angeles and New York combined. The fact other cities have far lower levels of violence raises the question -…
What to Look Out for in 2017
Jan 4, 2017 • 50 min
BBC correspondents predict what’s going to happen on the world stage in the coming year. Joining Owen Bennett Jones to look into the global crystal ball are Lyse Doucet, Jon Sopel, James Robbins and Kevin Connolly. So what are their predictions for Donald…
After Aleppo?
Dec 23, 2016 • 51 min
What should we make of the growing influence of Iran in the politics of the region? Along with Russia, Iran has been a key ally to President Assad in turning the tide the Syrian conflict. So is it right to cast this as the growing dominance of Shia powers…
Just a Phone Call: Shaking up US-China Relations
Dec 16, 2016 • 50 min
The delicate balancing act over Taiwan has been a cornerstone of US-China relations for decades, but it appears that Donald Trump wants to shake it up. In early December he broke decades of diplomatic protocol by talking on the phone with the president of…
Congo in Crisis
Dec 9, 2016 • 51 min
Opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo are warning that the country faces civil war if the current president, Joseph Kabila, refuses to step down at the end of his term of office. That term was due to end this month but elections will not…
Why is Guantanamo Still Open?
Dec 2, 2016 • 51 min
On just his second day in office, President Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. It’s now approaching the end of his second term and prisoners are still being held there. Why has it been so difficult to close?…
Trade Wars: the End of Globalisation?
Nov 25, 2016 • 51 min
Donald Trump has promised to tear up the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal – or TPP – on his first day in office. The massive trade deal agreed in 2015 would have lowered tariffs and deepened economic ties between twelve countries, which…
Syria: A Complicated War
Nov 18, 2016 • 48 min
This week, a special programme recorded in Damascus and Beirut looking at the Syrian conflict and its possible solutions. It’s a highly complex struggle. But is it right to characterise it as a civil war, a home-grown uprising to Bashar al-Assad’s brutal…
Trump’s World
Nov 11, 2016 • 50 min
What might American foreign policy look like under a Donald Trump presidency? Based on his rhetoric during the campaign, the scale of the departure from the status quo will be profound. He promises to upend long-standing relationships with both America’s…
The Anti-Establishment Revolt
Nov 4, 2016 • 51 min
Across the world we’re seeing the rise of a new kind of popular politics. The old established order is under threat and voters are turning to politicians who offer bold promises for a fresh start. Should we embrace these politicians as charismatic…
Election Rigging: Safeguarding the Vote
Oct 28, 2016 • 51 min
Donald Trump says the US presidential election is rigged. To what extent are his complaints justified and just how do politicians and their supporters manipulate the results of elections in their favour? In this week’s Newshour Extra, Owen Bennett Jones…
South Africa: an Uncertain Future
Oct 21, 2016 • 51 min
South Africa’s universities are being rocked by increasingly violent student protests over tuition fees. The issue has become a flashpoint for a country struggling to provide education, jobs and housing, amid growing political divisions within the ruling…
Debt: Borrowers Beware?
Oct 14, 2016 • 48 min
Is debt essential for economic growth? We look at the economics and morality of debt. Should countries burdened with huge debts be forced to repay them in full? And, if it is fine for an individual to borrow large sums to buy a house, why shouldn’t…
Mercenaries: Guns for Hire
Oct 7, 2016 • 51 min
The use of mercenaries in warfare has a very long history, and still very much in evidence today. African governments seeking to push back rebel insurgents often employ mercenaries to carry out the task. From Yemen to Syria, mercenaries are directly…
Challenging America’s Two Party System
Sep 30, 2016 • 51 min
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are seen as the most unpopular candidates to have ever stood for the presidency of the United States. So why is it so difficult for a third party candidate to break through and make a real impact? Owen Bennett Jones and…
Kashmir in Crisis
Sep 23, 2016 • 50 min
Tensions are high in the disputed region of Kashmir. Weeks of protest in the Indian-administered part have left dozens dead and hundreds injured many of them blinded by crowd-control pellets fired by the Indian army. Kashmir has been a dangerous…
Driving into the Future
Sep 16, 2016 • 50 min
How comfortable would you feel getting into a vehicle driven by a computer? Versions of the driver-less car are now a reality, already on public roads in Singapore and as a taxi service in the city of Pittsburgh in the United States. But can a computer…
Aleppo: Syria’s Stalingrad?
Sep 9, 2016 • 50 min
The battle of Stalingrad was arguably the most important strategic battle of the Second World War. The Germans and their allies were eventually defeated by Russian forces after a long, brutal conflict and siege of the city. Aleppo has been described as…
The End of Cash?
Sep 2, 2016 • 49 min
In the UK most payments now made do not involve cash. Rather than handing over notes and coins, most transfers are made electronically. South Korea’s central bank has a target of eliminating cash by 2020 and many other countries want to reduce the amount…
What is the Cost of Preserving the Past?
Aug 26, 2016 • 50 min
There was widespread shock and international condemnation when the Islamic State group destroyed the ancient Syrian site of Palmyra in 2015. But why does preserving heritage matter? Does an exploration of the past always bring unity, or is there a danger…
Online Harassment: the Plague of Social Media
Aug 19, 2016 • 50 min
This week it was announced that London was getting a new team of specialist police officers to investigate online hate crimes, including abuse on Twitter and Facebook. But how widespread is the problem, and is getting law enforcement involved the best way…
Is it time to Abolish India’s Caste System?
Aug 12, 2016 • 49 min
Is India’s caste system a discriminatory and divisive anachronism that’s had its day, or does it provide stability and order in a complex society with its roots in ancient traditions? Members of the low-caste Dalit community – once known as ‘untouchables’…
Zimbabwe after Mugabe
Aug 5, 2016 • 51 min
Zimbabwe’s economy is in severe crisis and President Robert Mugabe’s opponents are growing increasingly bold with widespread public sector strikes and protests on the streets of the capital Harare and other cities. As ever, Mr Mugabe remains defiant, and…
A Flickering Flame: is the Olympic Ideal Dead?
Jul 29, 2016 • 51 min
“The important thing in life is not to win but to take part, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”. So said the founder of the modern Olympic movement, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, at the end of the 19th Century. How does his…
Turkey’s Failed Coup: What Next?
Jul 22, 2016 • 51 min
This week, Owen Bennett Jones is in Istanbul for a special edition of the programme looking at the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey. We ask who was really behind the putsch and what will be the impact of President Erdogan’s purge of tens of…
Bangladesh: Extremism on the Rise
Jul 15, 2016 • 49 min
Is Bangladesh losing control to violent fundamentalists? That’s the question Razia Iqbal and her guests are discussing on this week’s Newshour Extra. In early July Islamist gunmen took hostages in a Dhaka cafe, leaving 20 dead. That’s part of an upsurge…
Power to the People?
Jul 8, 2016 • 51 min
British politics is in turmoil following the EU referendum result, and the American political establishment has been turned upside down by the rise of populist candidates. Is this a sign that democratic institutions are being successfully wrested from the…
Don’t Be Evil: Technology and Power
Jul 1, 2016 • 49 min
Google famously said “don’t be evil” in its mission statement. But what does this actually mean in practice? The giants of the internet such as Google, Facebook and Amazon have transformed our world by creating a virtual space within which we express our…
Does the EU Have a Future?
Jun 24, 2016 • 49 min
What does the UK leaving the EU say about the strength of the organisation going forward? Can it perhaps accomplish more with a reluctant partner gone? Or is the ambition of ever-closer political and economic union doomed? Owen Bennett Jones is in…
The Shameful Game: Understanding Hooliganism
Jun 17, 2016 • 49 min
This week Owen Bennett Jones and his guests on Newshour Extra explore the reasons behind the shocking level of fan violence at the Euro 2016 football championships in France. English and Russian supporters clashed both on the streets and inside the…
America’s Global Challenge
Jun 10, 2016 • 49 min
What might foreign policy look like under the next president of the United States? This week, Ritula Shah presents the programmes from Washington, asking how President Trump or President Clinton might face up to the big global challenges:…
Cyberwarfare: The Digital Battlefield
Jun 3, 2016 • 51 min
Will future wars be fought online? Just how much damage can be done by cyber terrorists hacking into to top secret military sites, secure government networks, or perhaps vital public utilities running our power and water supplies? And when does a hack…
Venezuela on the Brink
May 27, 2016 • 51 min
How has a country so rich in natural resources ended up so poor? That’s the question Owen Bennett Jones and his guests are discussing in this week’s Newshour Extra. Venezuela’s economy is in freefall, the shops are empty of even the most basic…
Saudi Arabia’s Grand Vision
May 20, 2016 • 51 min
This week, Owen Bennett Jones and his guests are looking at a radical new economic and social vision for the country proposed by the Saudi monarchy. It’s not simply a set of proposals to end Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil. Beyond this, it seeks to…
The Cost of Corruption
May 13, 2016 • 49 min
This week, Owen Bennett Jones and his guests tackle the world of tax havens, financial transparency and money laundering. World leaders, activists and experts met in London for a major conference on fighting global corruption, but what practical measures…
The Philippines: a Pivotal Election?
May 6, 2016 • 49 min
On Monday the Philippines holds what are seen as the most hotly contested elections in its history. The country is a key regional ally for the United States as part of its ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategy, but it is also a nation of extreme of wealth and poverty…
US Sport: Money and Power
Apr 29, 2016 • 50 min
Owen Bennett-Jones is at the University of Texas in Austin, discussing sport and empowerment in the United States. The major professional sports in America make billions of dollars in revenue, and great wealth to a select few top athletes. But college…
The End of Feminism?
Apr 22, 2016 • 52 min
Owen Bennett Jones is in New Orleans, debating with his guests the relevance of feminism today. In many ways things have never been better for women; there are more female college graduates than men, the gender pay gap is the narrowest it has ever been,…
Oklahoma: Reclaiming Native America?
Apr 15, 2016 • 51 min
Oklahoma has one of the largest Native American populations in the United States. By using their right to govern themselves, Oklahoma’s tribes have become economic powerhouses, contributing hugely to the state economy. But is Oklahoma as much of a success…
Should Britain Be Ashamed Of Its Colonial Past?
Apr 8, 2016 • 51 min
This week, Owen Bennett Jones and guests are at the Oxford Literary Festival. Across the world student bodies have been have been asking universities to distance themselves from historical symbols of oppression. In Oxford, the protests took the form of…
Can Iraq Avoid Fragmentation?
Apr 1, 2016 • 49 min
Ever since the invasion in 2003 Iraq has faced ceaseless conflict. Today there are two parallel crises. In Baghdad protesters are demanding an end to elite corruption. And, on the battlefield, the Iraqi army and Shia militias are fighting so-called…
Tanzania: Can Language Unite a Nation?
Mar 25, 2016 • 50 min
We travel to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania - a country that many believe can teach a lesson to others seeking unity and stability, because right from the start the first post-independence leader Julius Nyerere insisted that everyone should learn Swahili. Well…
Colombia: Peace at Last?
Mar 18, 2016 • 50 min
Is half a century of civil war about to come to an end in Colombia? Negotiators from the government and the FARC rebels are currently hammering out the final terms of a deal. The agreement will ultimately see disarmament and re-integration of FARC…
Understanding North Korea
Mar 11, 2016 • 50 min
What does North Korea’s leader want? And, what do we really know about who runs the country? As the international community ramps up sanctions in response to Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, will anything change? Join Owen Bennett Jones and his panel of…
Money for Nothing?
Mar 4, 2016 • 49 min
What if governments paid all their citizens a basic income? Whether rich or poor, you would receive the same amount of money, and you would keep it whether you went out to work and received a salary or not. It is an idea that has been around for…
Is Iran Changing?
Feb 26, 2016 • 50 min
Iran is holding its first elections since the nuclear agreement was signed last year under which international sanctions against Iran were lifted. We take a look inside Iran and asking whether real social, economic and political change is taking place…
What Hope For Peace in Syria?
Feb 22, 2016 • 50 min
In the four years since the Syrian conflict began, a quarter of a million people have been killed and 11 million people - half the country’s population - have fled their homes. Despite each new set of talks, peace seems no closer to hand and as the…
Getting the World Online
Feb 12, 2016 • 51 min
Billions of the world’s poorest people have no access to the internet. Connectivity is growing fast in many parts of the globe, but not everywhere. In large parts of Africa and South Asia, for example, the barriers to joining the information age are…
Zika and the Next Global Pandemic
Feb 5, 2016 • 49 min
As fears grow over the impact of the Zika virus and its suspected links to birth defects, Newshour Extra brings together a panel of global experts to discuss how best to tackle the virus and the dangers of global transmission. Owen Bennett-Jones and his…
Cities of the Future
Jan 29, 2016 • 51 min
What will the cities of the future look like, and will we like living in them? Vast mega-cities are emerging, notably in the developing world, as people migrate towards urban centres in search of work. Cities in the richer world also need to find ways…
One Rule for the Rich…
Jan 22, 2016 • 50 min
The world’s wealthiest business executives and most influential politicians are meeting this weekend in the exclusive Swiss ski resort, Davos. They’ll be striking deals, making decisions that will affect all our lives and fawned over by the world’s media.…
A New Deal for Libya?
Jan 18, 2016 • 50 min
After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has descended into a chaos of warring factions. Western forces that initially supported the uprising are now largely absent and Islamic State militants have taken advantage of the power vacuum. The…
The End of Oil?
Jan 8, 2016 • 50 min
In recent months oil prices have fallen to historically low levels. The impact is being felt from Saudi Arabia to Venezuela – revenues are collapsing, and producers are in trouble. Why has the price collapsed and what are the long term consequences? In…
Reaching for the Stars
Dec 18, 2015 • 50 min
What does the future hold for human space exploration? With more countries getting involved and costs falling, increasingly ambitious projects are being proposed. Is a permanent base on the Moon feasible? Are there vast mineral resources to be harvested…
Exodus from Eritrea
Dec 11, 2015 • 51 min
Why are so many Eritreans fleeing their country? With a population of just six million, this young country in the Horn of Africa has accounted for the third largest flow of refugees into Europe this year, behind only Syria and Afghanistan. Join Owen…
Adapting to a Warmer World
Dec 4, 2015 • 50 min
Our world is getting warmer despite the best efforts of the scientists, politicians and diplomats. A global agreement in Paris on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions may help slow the rise in temperature, but it’s rising nonetheless. What might the world…
Editing the Human Genome
Nov 27, 2015 • 49 min
Remarkable new techniques for ‘editing’ DNA – chemically cutting and splicing sections of genetic code – are revolutionising research in laboratories around the world. The potential for eradicating hereditary diseases is enormous. But are the benefits…
What Drives Islamic State?
Nov 20, 2015 • 49 min
The rise of the Islamic State group has been both shocking and unprecedented. With ever more violent attacks on civilian targets come outpourings of anger and frustration at the inability of governments and security services to defeat them. The aftermath…
Global Trade: the New Imperialism?
Nov 13, 2015 • 49 min
In December, the World Trade Organisation will hold major talks in Nairobi, Kenya – the first time ever one of its high-level summits has been in Africa. Global trade has brought enormous economic benefits, but has the WTO failed in its prime directive to…
The Obama Doctrine
Nov 6, 2015 • 49 min
When Obama first came to office there was a huge amount of global expectation riding on his foreign policy. He promised to heal the breach with the Islamic world, restore America’s good name, and fight fewer wars. But as his time in the White House draws…
Egypt: Democracy or Dictatorship?
Oct 30, 2015 • 49 min
More than two years after the overthrow of elected president Mohammed Morsi, Egyptians are going to the polls in the final stage of a promised return to parliamentary democracy. Morsi, whose government was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, remains in…
A Scramble for the Arctic
Oct 23, 2015 • 49 min
The Arctic is the fastest-warming region of the globe, with temperatures rising at least twice as quickly as the rest of the planet. While that means hardship for much of the area’s wildlife and indigenous peoples, it’s also creating many opportunities.…
Is Europe Broken?
Oct 16, 2015 • 49 min
As European leaders gather in Brussels to discuss the many crises facing the continent, we ask whether the Union can survive the multiple shocks of migration, economic stress and the possibility of losing at least one of its key members. Join Owen…
Doing Business with Mr Putin
Oct 9, 2015 • 49 min
A special edition of Newshour Extra, recorded at the annual conference of the governing UK Conservative Party, discussing appropriate responses to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria. Should EU and US sanctions, imposed following Russia’s annexation of…
Watching Big Brother
Oct 2, 2015 • 49 min
When former CIA employee Edward Snowden blew the lid on the extent of digital surveillance by western governments two years ago, it sparked a fierce debate about the rights of citizens to privacy versus the duty of governments to protect against the…
Does Power Make You Mad?
Sep 29, 2015 • 48 min
Should political leaders be subject to term limits? Is power so intoxicating that too much of it sends you mad? There are those in power who seem convinced that if they stood aside the consequences would be disastrous, but perhaps allowing them to remain…
Who Runs Pakistan?
Sep 25, 2015 • 49 min
Owen Bennett Jones and his guests are in Islamabad to discuss who is actually governing Pakistan. Two years into the civilian premiership of Nawaz Sharif, there is much talk of the growing influence of the military in all the key decisions. The army chief…
Argentina’s Lessons for Greece?
Sep 23, 2015 • 49 min
The Greek government is facing a critical test. Wracked with debt, can it keep its economy afloat whilst staying within the European currency zone? And if it does fail to reach a deal with creditors over the coming days, what would be the consequences of…
Britain’s Battle with Radical Islam
Sep 23, 2015 • 48 min
This week a young British suicide-bomber has been killed in Iraq; three sisters travelled to Syria taking their children along with them; and a white British muslim convert died fighting with the Somali islamist group al-Shabab. What motivated them to…
Have we Forgotten to Fear the Bomb?
Sep 23, 2015 • 49 min
Have we lost our fear of the bomb? And, how successful have efforts been to limit its spread? Seventy years ago, the very first nuclear weapon was detonated by the US army in the deserts of New Mexico. Since then, diplomats and politicians have sought to…
How Close Are We to an Independent Kurdistan?
Sep 23, 2015 • 49 min
***This broadcast features an interview with an individual, 28, referred to as Macer Gifford. We have been asked to clarify that this is not his real name but a pseudonym.*** For millions of Kurds in the Middle East, the drive for a state of their own has…
Haiti Aid: Throwing Good Money After Bad?
Sep 23, 2015 • 49 min
Five and a half years ago Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake, affecting three million people. It was already the poorest country in the Americas, and the disaster prompted an unprecedented response – including the largest-ever humanitarian appeal…
China’s Embattled Lawyers
Sep 23, 2015 • 49 min
In the past two months over 200 Chinese lawyers and their associates have been detained – some have even vanished completely. The Chinese government says that they’ve been abusing their positions to influence the outcome of court decisions, and “breaching…
Dangerous Games
Sep 18, 2015 • 49 min
There is now compelling scientific evidence that repeated head injuries in contact sports can result in permanent brain damage. But how seriously are sporting authorities taking this latest research? The Rugby World Cup kicks off this weekend in Britain…
India’s Education Boom
Sep 15, 2015 • 49 min
Across the developing world there is an unprecedented demand for education, and to meet it countries are rapidly developing their higher education systems. It’s seen as a vital path to success and a way out of poverty. But existing education systems are…
Yemen’s Forgotten War
Sep 4, 2015 • 49 min
The conflict in Yemen has descended into a humanitarian crisis of devastating proportions, largely unseen by the rest of the world. What began during the Arab Spring with a popular uprising to oust a long-time autocrat, has developed into a complex proxy…
Crash, Contagion or Correction?
Aug 28, 2015 • 49 min
Are global financial markets on the edge of a precipice, or have the dramatic falls in China’s markets been contained? After the crash of 2008, President Obama assured the world that secure measures had been put in place to prevent another financial…