How is America reshaping its future? In this coproduction from the BBC and Ozy, Katty Kay and Carlos Watson share fresh perspectives on America and the world.
Biden’s first 100 days
President Joe Biden promised to restore the soul of America. He took office during a time of crisis. Can his administration pull the country together?
Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it’s become a tradition to take stock after a president’s first 100 days in office. While Washington DC has felt quieter, the president and his administration have been quick to work: from signing executive orders, to passing multi-trillion dollar legislation through Congress, and sailing past vaccination targets.
But the challenges are acute – with the pandemic dragging on, a crisis on the border, widespread racial justice protests, and a climate crisis, just to name a few. And with the 2022 midterm elections on the horizon, how likely is it that the Democrats will maintain control of Congress?
Katty and Carlos are joined by former congressman and 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke. He captured national attention when in 2018 he ran a hard fought campaign to unseat Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
They also speak to Jennifer Kerns, a long-time Republican who worked in the California state government. She says President Biden is reaping the success of foundations laid by his predecessor.
A BBC World Service and OZY Media co-production, presented by the BBC’s Katty Kay from World News
Dr Atul Gawande: Matters of life and death in America
This week’s guest wears many hats. Dr Atul Gawande is a medical doctor, a surgeon and a best-selling author, and has also been an advisor to presidents, including on the Covid pandemic.
Katty Kay of the BBC World Service and Carlos Watson of Ozy Media discuss a wide range of issues with Dr Gawande, including how we should face up to death and dying, and how we should speak to our loved ones about it.
A BBC World Service and OZY Media co-production.
How can Americans of colour trust the police?
Katty Kay and Carlos Watson discuss police brutality and shooting cases in the US. What needs to change?
Last year 1127 people were killed by the American police; most of them were shot. People of colour were disproportionately the victims.
Katty and Carlos speak to the civil rights attorney John Burris, who has taken on hundreds of police brutality cases, including most famously the case of Rodney King after he was beaten by LAPD officers in 1991. The second guest is Mecole Jordan-McBride, a community advocacy worker for the Policing Project, which is seeking police reform in Chicago.
Is America beating the pandemic?
America’s Covid-19 vaccination programme is progressing at a staggering pace and states are beginning to reopen. But the country also tops world rankings when it comes to deaths from the virus. As worrying new variants emerge, could they now undermine America’s progress?
Across the US, communities of colour have been impacted disproportionately by the pandemic. Despite that, vaccinations of Black and Hispanic Americans have lagged. One person who’s trying to change that is retired clinical social worker, Cynthia Finch, in eastern Tennessee. By keeping an ever-expanding list of people in her community who want vaccines, she’s helped facilitate thousands of jabs. “We have created an access for our people of colour to get into the lines”.
Dr. Michael Osterholm is one of the world’s leading epidemiologists. In early 2020 he raised the alarm over the severity of the incoming pandemic. Now he’s warning that if the US doesn’t help vaccinate lower income countries quickly, it will continue to be impacted by dangerous new variants of Covid-19. “I have said for the past few months, that I thought the darkest days of the pandemic were still ahead of us… we are not out of the danger zone yet with this virus on a global level”.
With China on the rise, how will America react?
Chinese influence across the world is growing, in economic and political terms. This raises serious questions for the new Biden administration.
The US and China are economically interdependent, and need to have shared interests, particularly in trade and climate change.
But the rhetoric in recent weeks has been anything but friendly. The two superpowers are going head-to-head in trade wars, retaliatory sanctions, and accusations of human rights abuses.
Katty and Carlos take a step back and look at what is at stake for both sides, and whether there is a chance for a future of peaceful coexistence.
Katty and Carlos’ guests are:
Kaiser Kuo, Editor-at-Large at SupChina, a media company that focuses on explaining China to the West. He’s also founder and co-host of the Sinica podcast, a show that discusses all things China. He spent 20 years working and living in Beijing and is now back home in the US.
Robert Daly is the Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Centre. He’s a former diplomat who spent eleven years based in China where he worked on an array of cultural exchange programmes, including the translation of Sesame Street into Chinese.
A co-production from the BBC World Service and OZY Media.
#MeToo today with Rose McGowan
It was in 2017, with numerous allegations against Harvey Weinstein, that #MeToo went viral around the world.
One of the most outspoken people was the actress Rose McGowan, who accused Weinstein of raping her. A number of other women also accused the disgraced movie producer. He was found guilty of rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison in February 2020.
Katty Kay and Carlos Watson speak to Rose McGowan about her personal story, and what drove her to speak out and “fight the system.” They also discuss what more needs to be done to prevent sexual abuse – of girls and women, and of boys and men.
A co-production from the BBC World Service and OZY Media.
Fresh and Focused!!
Thank you Apple! I no longer have to get up at 5 a.m. Saturdays to hear WKmetC on BBC. Each show is focused on one major U.S.-related social, political, cultural, and/or international topic. Probing questions are asked of interviewees who are not usually appearing on othe shows or given air-time for in-depth responses to such questions.
A world perspective!
It is refreshing to hear great commentary from both Katy and Carlos! I’m really enjoying two side of America! I also love Katy’s finger on the pulse of the rest of the land! Love you too Carlos!
Intelligent and Calm
Woke up to this at 4:30 this morning and boy am I glad I did! Amid the firestorm that is Donald Trump and the media coverage of his presidency, this was a refreshingly calm, rational, intelligent conversation.