231 episodes

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

The Real Story BBC

    • News

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

    Can China stop a killer virus spreading?

    Can China stop a killer virus spreading?

    A mysterious new virus has emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan and is rapidly being identified in patients across the globe. Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Hundreds have been infected and some deaths have already been reported. This isn’t the first potentially deadly virus to emerge from China. In 2002/3, the Sars virus killed nearly 800 people globally and belonged to the same family of virus as the current outbreak. At the time, officials in Beijing were criticised for not acting fast enough and failing to be open and honest about the extent of the crisis. But how much has China’s approach changed? And is the world ready for the next global pandemic, whenever it may come? Celia Hatton and her panel of guests explore whether China has learned its lessons when it comes to dealing with the outbreak of deadly diseases.

    • 47 min
    Does philanthropy work?

    Does philanthropy work?

    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 owns more than half of its wealth. Overall, the rich have spent billions in projects ranging from healthcare, education and humanitarian assistance to scientific research and good governance. But critics say that in the United States, only a fifth of the money actually went to the poor. So, is there a need to redefine philanthropy for the rich? Who should decide where their money should be spent? And, would their money be better spent by the state through taxation instead of their charitable foundations? Julian Worricker and a panel of expert guests discuss whether philanthropy works.

    • 49 min
    The world's housing crisis

    The world's housing crisis

    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 pressures it brings on cities’ infrastructure and housing. In Germany, Berlin is the first city in German history to impose rent controls. In London, an inquiry into the disastrous fire in an inner city high rise block has highlighted the quality and safety concerns surrounding affordable accommodation in the capital. Everywhere urban planners are asking: can large cities provide affordable quality accommodation for residents? Paul Henley and a panel of expert guests discuss the big challenges facing local authorities and city dwellers around the world.

    • 49 min
    Can young people change the world?

    Can young people change the world?

    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 marched for a range of causes, whether it was fighting climate change, supporting girls’ education in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, or ending police brutality in the US. Politicians are being forced to pay attention and address previously ignored issues. But will meaningful change come about? Can young people achieve things in activism that adults can’t? And what does it take to become the next Greta Thunberg? Paul Henley and a panel of experts discuss the young people trying to change the world.

    • 49 min
    What next for the UK?

    What next for the UK?

    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 European Union by the end of January. The opposition Labour Party, meanwhile, had a historically poor showing in the polls, while nationalist parties made gains in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    Dan Damon and a panel of expert guests discuss the big challenges ahead for Boris Johnson following his historic win.

    (Photo: Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street in London on Friday after visiting Buckingham Palace, where he was given permission to form the next government during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

    • 49 min
    The world's languages are dying

    The world's languages are dying

    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 numbers of languages heading for extinction number in the thousands and are spoken by small tribes and ethnic groups scattered around the world. In September this year in Russia, a retired professor set himself on fire in protest against the disappearance of his own native language, Udmurt. His tragic death prompted a discussion about the ways of preserving minority languages. But are all indigenous languages worth saving - and at what cost? Which ones should we prioritise and how is that decided? Why do speakers of minority languages feel so deeply about preserving their mother tongue and their culture? Join Julian Worricker and his panel of expert guests as they discuss how we keep the thousands of minority languages alive in an era when just 23 languages accounts for half the world’s population.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

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The real story

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Too brazenly opinionated

Normally a balanced and informative show but that episode on the mueller investigation was infuriating to listen to

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