300 episodes

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

The Real Story BBC World Service

    • Government
    • 4.5 • 17 Ratings

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

    Is India ready to become the world's most populous country?

    Is India ready to become the world's most populous country?

    This month the world population reached 8 billion people - and India is leading the charge. It's set to overtake China as most populous country in the world next year. India is currently home to more than 1.39 billion people. By April, the UN says it will hit 1.42 billion.

    What’s caused this rapid population growth, what does it mean for India, its economy and its neighbours?

    The growth has already put an enormous amount of pressure on India’s resources and economic stability. The country is on the frontline of climate change and is struggling with extreme weather events 80% of the year. Should the Indian government be doing more to slow population growth or is in fact an opportunity for economic development?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.

    Poonam Muttreja - executive director of Population Foundation of India (PFI).

    Colette Rose - sociologist and researcher at the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.

    Dr Shatakshee Dongde - associate professor at the School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Also featuring : Shaina NC (Shaina Nana Chudasama) - Indian BJP government spokesperson.

    Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta

    (Photo :People walk through a congested road of a wholesale market in the old quarters of Delhi, India; Credit: EPA/RAJAT GUPTA)

    • 49 min
    War and starvation - Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict

    War and starvation - Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict

    After two years of civil war, Ethiopia and Tigray have agreed to terms for a peace deal which stipulates that both parties will begin to lay down their arms The plan is to create a humanitarian corridor to Tigray which will offer food relief to more than 6million civilians in Tigray who have been under blockade by government forces for most of the conflict. The war in Africa's second-most populous country has seen abuses documented on both sides, with millions of people displaced and many near famine. Several sticking points remain. Will the Eritrean forces - who have fought alongside Ethiopian troops and have their own territorial claims - also lay down their arms? Without sustained attention from US, African and other donor nations, could the cease-fire quickly fall apart again? Can famine in Tigray be avoided?

    Chris Morris is joined by a panel of expert guests.

    Alex Rondos - Former European Union’s Special Representative to the Horn of Africa.

    Tsedale Lemma - Ethiopian journalist and founder of the Addis Standard publications.

    Alex De Waal - Author and Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation.

    Also featuring:

    Getachew Reda - Spokesperson for the Tigray People's Liberation Front

    Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta

    (Photo: Internally displaced women and children in Ethiopia; Credit: Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

    • 49 min
    Russia, France and the battle for influence in West Africa

    Russia, France and the battle for influence in West Africa

    President Macron this week announced that France's anti-jihadist military mission in the Sahel region of Africa has ended. The departure of troops from the former colonial power and the end of Operation Barkhane comes at a challenging time for the region which is in the grips of a security crisis fuelled by Islamist extremists. Both Mali and Burkina Faso face jihadist insurgencies and the countries have seen a combined four coups d’état since 2020. Mali's ruling junta, which has been in power since 2020, has brought in Russian operatives it says are military trainers, but western nations describe as mercenaries from the pro-Kremlin Wagner Group. Could Russia become the new big player in West Africa?

    Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests.

    Jean-Hervé Jezequel - Project Director for the Sahel at the International Crisis Group.

    Niagalé Bagayoko - Chair of the African Security Sector Network, a think tank based in Ghana.

    Paul Melly - Journalist and Consulting Fellow in the Africa Programme at the Chatham House think tank.

    Also featuring:

    Yéah Samaké - A Malian politician and the country’s former ambassador to India.

    Sergei Markov - A former member of the Russian parliament for Vladimir Putin's United Russia party and former adviser to the Kremlin.

    Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.

    • 48 min
    Daunting challenges for UN climate conference

    Daunting challenges for UN climate conference

    Delegates are gathering in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the COP27 UN climate change conference beginning on Sunday 6 November. But a lot has changed in the 12 months since attendees of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow promised bold action to tackle global warming. Russia invaded Ukraine sparking global inflation and rising energy prices. Relations between the United States and China have continued to sour. And extreme weather events have caused thousands of deaths across the planet. Last week a UN report concluded there’s no longer any "credible pathway" to keeping the rise in global temperatures below the key threshold of 1.5C and that the world will warm by around 2.8C this century if current policies remain in place. So, what’s on the agenda at COP27? Can the conference come up with solutions to the growing number of challenges posed by climate change? And how can we judge whether the meeting will be a success or a failure?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.

    Mohamed Nasheed - Former President of the Maldives, now an ambassador for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

    Dr Jessica Omukuti - Research Fellow on net zero emissions, climate finance and climate justice at the University of Oxford.

    Nick Robins - Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE).

    Also featuring ...

    Dr Michael E. Mann - Professor of Earth & Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of 'The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet'.

    Dr Michal Meidan - Director of the Gas Research Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies think tank.

    Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.

    • 48 min
    Why the US midterm elections matter

    Why the US midterm elections matter

    The United States will hold midterm elections on 8 November, votes that could have a major impact on the remaining two years of the Biden presidency. Join The Real Story and our US Public Radio partners in Michigan, Arizona and California as we delve into some of the key issues driving this year's race - the cost of living, abortion rights and perceived threats to democracy.

    Ritula Shah is joined by Rick Pluta, Senior Capitol Correspondent at Michigan Public Radio Network MPRN, Ben Giles, Senior Editor KJZZ Phoenix 91.5FM and Marisa Lagos, Political Correspondent for KQED in California.

    Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster

    • 49 min
    What caused the turmoil in British politics?

    What caused the turmoil in British politics?

    After the resignation of Liz Truss the UK will soon have its third prime minister this year. Britain has long been considered a politically stable nation. So has something changed? The governing Conservative Party is divided on many issues, including the country’s future direction post-Brexit. The opposition Labour Party has also struggled to accommodate different views on economic and social policy. Meanwhile the two-party system is being challenged by shifting demographics, a rural-urban divide and strengthening support for Scottish nationalists. So what lies at the heart of the turmoil in the British political system and where does it go from here?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.

    Professor Tim Bale - Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London and author of the upcoming book The Conservative Party After Brexit: Turmoil and Transformation.

    Polly Toynbee - Guardian columnist and co-author of The Lost Decade: 2010–2020, and What Lies Ahead for Britain.

    Sir John Curtice - Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and a leading expert on public opinion.

    Also featuring:

    David Blunkett (Lord Blunkett) - Former UK Home Secretary in Tony Blair's Labour government.

    Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Bieskinazi ,

Great!

It's a great podcast, brilliant topics.
Please bring Ritula Shah back though, the Canadian girl is not half as good as Ritula.

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