Global experts and decision makers discuss, debate and analyse a key news story.
What next for US foreign policy?
While US domestic policy has taken centre stage in the race for the White House, whichever man wins the presidency will also help define America’s place in the world for years to come. President Trump won 2016’s election, in part, on promising to reduce the number of military and diplomatic entanglements the country was involved in across the globe. In the Middle East he pulled US forces out of Syria, withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated during the Obama administration, and has strengthened ties with regional allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In Asia the US is engaged in a trade war with its single biggest trading partner - China. During his first term Donald Trump also had a frosty relationship with many of his NATO allies - and a much closer one with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin than any of his predecessors. Did those newly-defined strategic partnerships herald new achievements? Joe Biden has promised to turn back the clock on many of Mr Trump’s ‘America First’ themed policies, but which ones? And has the role the US plays on the world stage changed forever? As part of the BBC World Service's 'US Elections 2020: What the World Wants' series, Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests discuss what's next for American foreign policy.
How dangerous is North Korea?
This week North Korea celebrated 75 years of communism with a military parade at which it unveiled an giant intercontinental missile. The heavily choreographed event featured all the pomp and circumstance the world has come to expect from North Korea's mass human performances. It also contained a surprisingly emotional speech from Chairman Kim Jong-Un, who at times wept as he spoke about the country's struggles. The country’s first military parade in two years signalled a shift back to the more aggressive stance it used to adopt before the now stalled nuclear talks with the Trump administration. So is there any hope that temporary thaw created enduring opportunities for engagement with the rest of the world - or are we seeing a return to past behaviour? Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests discuss - how dangerous is North Korea?
India's Dalits: Fighting for justice
The alleged rape and subsequent death of a 19-year-old woman in India has again shone a spotlight on caste-based violence against the Dalit community – formerly known as “untouchables”. According to official figures, men from India's upper castes rape ten Dalit women a day. Although the northern state of Uttar Pradesh records the highest number of such cases, caste-based violence and discrimination is prevalent throughout the country and in Indian communities around the world. Dalits make up nearly twenty percent of India's population and were given equal protection under the constitution after independence from Britain. But rights groups say while many Dalits have been able to take advantage of quota systems to move up the economic ladder, violence and discrimination against the community is worsening. The current racial justice movement in the United States is inspiring Dalit activists to be move assertive in speaking up for their rights – but what gains can Dalits expect to make? What is at the core of the discrimination and prejudice against them? And why are Dalit women especially targeted for sexual violence? Ritula Shah and guests discuss the future of Dalits in India.
Turkey flexes on the world stage
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has taken on a new dimension with the alleged involvement of the Turkish military. Armenia says one of its fighter jets was shot down by a Turkish aircraft over the disputed central Asian region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In the summer, France accused the Turkish navy of confronting one of its frigates in pursuit of a vessel suspected of taking arms to Libya. Meanwhile Turkey's understanding with Russia and Iran over the war in Syria has strained its ties with Washington, as well as several Gulf countries. So do these events suggest that Ankara is becoming more assertive in its foreign policy? Or is this the reaction of a country that finds itself isolated and is being forced to act in order to preserve its interests? Does Turkey still see a future in NATO? And what is the long term vision of president Erdogan; are his critics right to accuse him of trying to return the country to its Ottoman past?
Covid-19: What's best for the elderly?
Governments across Europe have this week introduced new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control reports that over the past fortnight five countries have reported over 120 cases per 100,000 residents, including Spain, France, and the Czech Republic. But the increased restrictions on freedom of movement and congregation in many countries is sparking push-back from some, who argue that the elderly should be shielded - while the rest of society returns to some semblance of normality. It’s a suggestion British Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected this week during an address to the nation. He said such a policy wouldn’t be ‘realistic’ - insisting widespread transmission of the virus would inevitably see infection rates rise in vulnerable communities too. But after months of effectively being locked away from the outside world, many of those who’ve been shielding from the virus are now showing signs of adverse physical and mental health problems due to isolation. So as the pandemic grinds on, are attempts to protect the elderly from exposure to the coronavirus prompting other health crises - and what can be done to keep them safe and happy? Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests discuss - what is the best approach for the elderly?
Covid unemployment: A new crisis?
Millions have been left without work as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate economies across the globe. This week, there’s been a sharp rise in the unemployment rate in Britain. This follows recent increases in other European countries. The International Labour Organisation has warned the pandemic is having a “devastating and disproportionate” impact on youth employment. In the United States, unemployment remains above 10 percent in black and Hispanic communities. After India’s lockdown ended, many living in cities have found their old jobs gone - with former office workers, builders, drivers and factory workers left scrambling to find alternative employment. But analysts warn that the longer the crisis goes on, the more jobs simply won’t return - replaced, they say, by automation or artificial intelligence solutions that don’t get sick and don’t need to socially distance. And while this trend existed before Covid, there are signs the virus has brought forward an employment challenge many governments had hoped to address years down the line. So how can governments minimise job losses, help retrain those whose past careers have gone, and make sure younger workers are prepared for the jobs of the future - all during a time of reduced revenue from taxation and ballooning deficits? Dan Damon and a panel of experts discuss what should be done about rising unemployment in the age of Covid-19?
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Real news analysis podcast
A welcome podcast in these times of sound bites. In-depth analysis of a theme, interviews where the question is not longer than the answer and opportunity to see different sides to a story - the real 50 shades of grey in news
This is one of my favorite podcasts!!! The in-depth conversations/debate that provide context, insightful perspectives about a single topic, current event, political situation, conflict, laws, natural disaster/event and so on are second to none!
My favorite episodes when they cover an event that has been reduced to a headline or a soundbite and they truly shine a spotlight on a story that has been otherwise overlooked or lost in the relentless tsunami of newsworthy stories that occur everyday around the world! At the end of each episode I feel well informed and been exposed to different perspectives and given a solid base to have generated my own unique take heard different sides and given the information to draw my own conclusions. To me that is what news should do, provide a baseline understanding of the topic and presented you the tools to research more into the topic so you choice... but podcasts like this provide a good basis for what it means to be informed on current events!!!!
They don’t tell you what to think but rather present the proper context, provide diverse perspectives, give you tools and tips on where to look if you like to know more. Being well informed takes work, commitment and effort, The Real Story is a good tool for those who desire to be informed! Keep fighting the good fight!!!
A bit of overkill lately
Three straight weeks on climate issues. Let’s mix it up a bit