300 episodes

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

The Real Story BBC World Service

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 72 Ratings

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

    Is the US getting serious about climate change?

    Is the US getting serious about climate change?

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

    Paul Henley is joined by a panel of guests.
    Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.

    • 49 min
    Italy’s right-wing nationalists on the rise

    Italy’s right-wing nationalists on the rise

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

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.
    Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.

    • 49 min
    Bolsonaro v Lula: The race to lead Brazil

    Bolsonaro v Lula: The race to lead Brazil

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

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.
    Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster

    • 49 min
    Can our cities survive climate change?

    Can our cities survive climate change?

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

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.
    Producers: Paul Schuster and Zak Brophy.

    • 49 min
    A new phase in the Covid pandemic

    A new phase in the Covid pandemic

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

    Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests.
    Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.

    • 49 min
    How the Supreme Court is reshaping the US

    How the Supreme Court is reshaping the US

    Abortion, environmental protections and gun ownership rights are among the controversial topics the US Supreme Court has ruled on over recent weeks. The highest court in the land has the final say on interpreting laws and deciding what’s constitutional and what isn’t. Now - with a clear conservative majority at the helm - the court’s move to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling guaranteeing abortion rights across the country (Roe v. Wade) signals it’s willing to re-visit previous judgments many had considered ‘settled law’. Campaigners fear past decisions on other subjects, such as gay marriage, the right to contraception and even the way elections are run, may now also be overturned. So, what is the role of the Supreme Court within the United States’ system of government and is it changing? How will its rulings impact politics federally and in individual states? And is the system set up by America’s founding fathers working as designed, or is political polarisation undermining the very principles it was built around?

    Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests.
    Producers: Paul Schuster and Zak Brophy.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
72 Ratings

72 Ratings

DesLucc ,

Outstanding journalism

An intelligent, well researched and well argued podcast that helps better understand the themes covered. Balanced, insightful, with impressive guests and expert panels.

It epitomises the best of journalism and demonstrates why it is important to support good journalism. It makes you better informed, more prepared to voice and further investigate your own views and, most importantly, it gives you hope in humanity

Tanymac ,

Annoying introduction music

Please, can you remove the over dramatic introduction music. It’s so annoying!

Australian farmer ,

Fantastic podcast

I am someone who doesn't actually watch or listen to the news so I really appreciate hearing intelligent people debate important topics. The presenter is incredibly skilled at cutting to the point, sometimes across strong opinions and personalities and yet everyone seems to be very respectful and polite. Thank you so much for delivering this podcast and for your amazing background knowledge and skill in interviewing and group dynamics.

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