300 episodes

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

The Real Story BBC

    • Government
    • 4.7 • 216 Ratings

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

    Omicron: Did Africa get a raw deal?

    Omicron: Did Africa get a raw deal?

    The emergence of the Omicron variant has once again highlighted the difficulty in preventing the pandemic from spreading across the globe. Health experts have long argued that regions like southern Africa, where the variant was first detected, are prone to dangerous mutations of the virus when large groups of people are left unvaccinated. Only a tenth of Africa's billion plus population have received their first dose and the continent is yet to create its own Covid vaccines. African nations are reliant on vaccines from the international alliance Covax but the supply is far less than what's required. Meanwhile many on the continent have opted to pursue traditional remedies, with some denying the existence of the virus altogether. So what's the road ahead for Africa as it tries to overcome the pandemic? What sort of public engagement is required to reduce vaccine hesitancy? And how is the fight against Covid made more difficult by other health emergencies?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.
    Producers: Paul Schuster and Junaid Ahmed.

    • 48 min
    Hunger in Afghanistan: Time to work with the Taliban?

    Hunger in Afghanistan: Time to work with the Taliban?

    It has been 100 days since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan and the country is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. More than half of the country’s 39 million people face acute food insecurity as prices skyrocket. Severe drought, the pandemic and the damage caused by decades of war have all helped to bring the economy to its knees. With winter approaching the World Food Programme has warned that Afghans are at risk of being isolated from life-saving assistance. Previously international aid represented around 40% of the country’s GDP, but since the Taliban takeover the World Bank, the IMF, and the United States have cut off access to more than $9.5 billion in foreign reserves and loans. With the banking system frozen, aid organisations are struggling to pay their staff on the ground and calls for the United States and its allies to ease sanctions are growing. The international community is now asking itself whether it is possible to prevent the Afghan people from starving while at the same time minimising any benefits to a repressive Taliban leadership.

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.
    Producers: Junaid Ahmed, Paul Schuster and Marie Sina.

    • 49 min
    Fortress Europe: Who gets to come in?

    Fortress Europe: Who gets to come in?

    The European Union is at loggerheads with Belarus over the arrival of thousands of migrants. It alleges that President Lukashenko has created a deliberate crisis by facilitating the migrants' travel into Belarus and onwards to the country's borders with EU members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Belarus says the EU is breaching its humanitarian obligations by blocking the entry of those seeking asylum. The question of what to do with migrants is one of the most divisive issues within the EU. Its southern and eastern member countries - where the bulk of migrants arrive - are calling for a more equitable distribution of refugees among member states. They also want more money to support for processing of new arrivals. Meanwhile in western and northern European states, the rise of far-right groups is being seen as a warning to politicians not to be too accommodating to newcomers. So how does the EU fulfil its international obligations around migration while keeping a lid on populist opposition to it?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.
    Producers: Junaid Ahmed and Paul Schuster.

    • 49 min
    The future of Chinese capitalism

    The future of Chinese capitalism

    The Chinese Communist Party has held a high level meeting that will help propel President Xi Jinping to a level of power not seen since Chairman Mao. The gathering was essentially a celebration of Mr Xi's time in office, with a new emphasis on establishing him at the core of the party's identity. Despite the initial shock of the coronavirus pandemic China's economy has continued to grow. But there now appears to be a renewed emphasis on reducing inequality across society. The government has taken measures against property developers, tech giants, and even banned private tuition - all part of President Xi's message of 'common prosperity' which envisions a more equitable distribution of the country's wealth. So what influence will market forces have in communist China moving forward? How much control will the state impose on the private sector? And can the government reduce private and public debt without harming economic growth and hurting consumers?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.
    Producers: Paul Schuster and Junaid Ahmed

    • 49 min
    Who pays to fix climate change?

    Who pays to fix climate change?

    The UN Climate Conference in Glasgow is being described as a make-or-break moment for humanity. The purpose of the gathering is to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times. Currently the world is way off target, with temperatures still projected to rise higher than is sustainable.

    A big part of the problem is the huge cost involved. Developed countries have confirmed they have failed to meet a pledge made in 2009 to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020. Developing countries say the money is needed now. They require defences to protect their populations from the growing effects of climate change, and to move away from carbon energy and towards renewable sources.

    So what is climate finance, what's been promised and will it be be delivered? Join Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests from the UN summit in Glasgow as they discuss who pays to fix climate change.

    • 49 min
    Why do military coups still happen?

    Why do military coups still happen?

    Defiant protesters have been on the streets of Sudan this week after the country's armed forces launched a military coup. On Monday coup leader Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and declared a state of emergency. It wasn't meant to be like this. After long-time Sudanese ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019, civilian leaders and their military counterparts entered a power-sharing agreement designed to encourage democratic reform. So why has the fragile arrangement broken down and what does history tell us about the broader challenges countries face when trying to move beyond military rule? Is democracy possible without strong institutions? Why do countries like Pakistan continue to flirt with military rule despite having elections? And how have others - like Argentina - managed to break away from military rule altogether?

    Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts.
    Produced by: Zak Brophy and Paul Schuster.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
216 Ratings

216 Ratings

Ihavechecks ,

The best current news podcast

Focused on one topic from contemporary events around the world. Straight forward information with a multifaceted view usually doesn't work well but is done wonderfully here.

😉💙🙃 ,

Covid in Africa 🦠

All seven nations put on the no fly list by Biden, all of them refused any additional vaccines yesterday, 12/2/21 WaPo. Between vaccine hesitancy and distribution problems they can’t get the jabs into arms…

avm1406 ,

Ritula is the best!

Great show with wide selection of topics, panelists and perspectives

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