The Fourcast

Channel 4 News

From Channel 4 News, an in-depth look at the news stories you need to know about; how the past shapes the present and what might lie ahead for us all.

Trailer: The Fourcast
Trailer 1 min 35 sec

All Episodes

Since the murder of Sarah Everard, it has come to light that a number of police officers abuse their positions to target women, and a recent episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches programme revealed the shocking scale of that abuse.  In the past four years, nearly 2,000 police officers, special constables and PCSOs in the UK have been accused of some form of sexual misconduct.  Dispatches interviewed dozens of women who were victims, and the programme asked whether enough was being done to investigate these crimes. On today’s podcast we speak to the investigative journalist, Ellie Flynn, about the widespread police sexual misconduct and police-perpetrated domestic abuse in the UK.  And a warning - this podcast contains themes that some listeners may find distressing.

Dec 3

27 min 6 sec

Ever since Boris Johnson marched into Number 10 after his 2019 landslide, he has promised to level up. But the government was accused of ‘betraying’ the North recently after scrapping parts of their plans for HS2 - the high-speed rail service that was meant to transport the region’s infrastructure. Number 10 argued their revised plan for the project was still "one of the biggest single acts of levelling up of any government in history" But what exactly is levelling up and do voters really understand it or even care about it? Our political correspondent Liz Bates explains how a political slogan and manifesto promise is now considered important enough to have its own government department. 

Dec 1

23 min

55 years since Barbados achieved independence from British rule, tomorrow the country will make history by becoming the first country in almost three decades to sever ties with the British Royal family. Today, Ayshah Tull asks what this move means for the Royal family but also for the status of ‘global Britain’. We speak to Guy Hewitt, former High Commissioner of Barbados in London about why, after decades of discussions, Barbados has decided now is the right time to depart with the past and start the next chapter in the country’s history. And we talk to Dr Christopher Sabatini, senior fellow for Latin America at Chatham House, about what concrete changes this could bring for the people of Barbados and whether countries around the world will follow suit.  Sources: ITV News, Sky News, Television Jamaica  

Nov 29

24 min 58 sec

When it comes to Covid, what starts in one country, quickly spreads to another. As Europe is gripped by a fourth wave, and sees civil unrest as some protestors say “no” to new restrictions, will we see infections, and tempers, peak in the UK too?  Here in the UK, our Delta wave came much earlier in the summer, and our boosters are working - although cases remain high. So has the UK’s path through the pandemic taken a different turn to the rest of Europe? Are we on top of it, or do we need Covid passports, or vaccine mandates to keep things under control?  On today’s Fourcast, our Health and Social Care Editor Victoria Macdonald explains why the cases are rising in Europe and asks whether the compulsory jab mandates seen on the continent are coming to our shores next.

Nov 26

23 min 43 sec

For some parts of Africa, climate change is already destroying populations, causing unpredictable rains, failing crops and starving livestock. And now, as the battle for resources intensifies, it’s fuelling terrorism and war.  One of the worst areas affected is the Sahel, a swathe of arid land crossing central Africa, where temperatures are rising by 1.5% more than the global average. Conflict over diminishing resources is driving jihadi violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Today, our International Editor Lindsey Hilsum reports on her recent trip to Niger.

Nov 24

24 min 32 sec

Last week, Azeem Rafiq gave a devastating account of the racism he faced at Yorkshire Cricket Club, and it's turned the cricket world upside down.  Is this a watershed moment for English cricket? Or is there a deep-rooted racism in the gentleman's game that's too entrenched to eradicate?  In today's episode, Rafiq sat down with our sports reporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan to discuss his cricket career and what he hopes will change after his story.  And a warning, this episode contains some upsetting language and themes.

Nov 22

23 min 11 sec

Two sisters, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, were brutally murdered by a stranger in North West London in June 2020. And what followed on from that tragedy is unimaginable. An inadequate police response that meant their bodies were found, not by officers, but by the boyfriend of one of the sisters. And then, the unthinkable; two police officers found guilty of misconduct, after they took photographs of the murdered women and shared them in a WhatsApp group, actions that the Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick described as “unprofessional, disrespectful and deeply insensitive.” Today, our former Senior Home Affairs Correspondent Simon Israel comes out of retirement to tell the story of what happened that night and the shocking events that followed, and what it tells us about the so-called “canteen culture” in the Met Police.

Nov 19

26 min 57 sec

In Wales right now there are stories of people waiting for hours in agony as ambulances struggle to reach patients. A backlog in demand for help after months of lockdown, and Covid cases still stubbornly high, the situation is bleak ahead of winter. And even when ambulances do arrive and take patients to hospital, there are sometimes no beds left inside. Our Home Affairs correspondent, Andy Davies has been out with one paramedic crew in south Wales as they tried to cope with this unprecedented crisis. 

Nov 17

22 min 24 sec

They think it’s all over. But is it? COP26 was billed as our last chance to save the planet from climate catastrophe. To keep 1.5 alive. So did world governments rise to the challenge? Climate journalist Simon Roach explains all the details in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Nov 15

25 min 39 sec

The most exclusionary summit ever. That’s the cry from critics here at the COP26 climate conference – with accusations that voices from the Global South and climate activists aren’t being heard. Today we speak with Namibian activist Ina-Maria Shikongo and UN Youth Climate Delegate Sophia Kianni, on their experience at COP26, and to London Mayor Sadiq Khan on whether politicians are doing enough. 

Nov 12

23 min

Westminster is once again in crisis, amid the chaos surrounding the Owen Paterson lobbying affair. The MP was found to have broken the rules and was meant to be suspended, but MPs voted to overturn the system rather than suspend their colleague, only to then U-turn the next day. Mr Paterson maintains he did nothing wrong but has resigned his seat. The crisis has thrown up questions that have been asked before: should MPs be lobbyists? Should MPs have second jobs? Who should oversee the conduct of MPs? Who should be allowed a seat in the Lords? Is the Prime Minister shirking responsibility or are his poll numbers immune to scandal? Correspondent Paul McNamara discusses what exactly Owen Paterson did, whether the system is broken, and what this all tells us about not just what MPs are up to, but what this government thinks it can and cannot get away with.

Nov 10

24 min 29 sec

Are you sick of the five day grind? How does a four-day week sound?  Around the world, companies are trailing the four-day week, with one study in Iceland proving to be an “overwhelming success”. Researchers said that the trials, in which workers were paid the same amount for shorter hours, showed that productivity remained the same or even improved in most workplaces.  In today’s episode, we speak to one of the researchers behind that trial, as well as to a company in Scotland where they have already switched to a four-day week. Does it really work, and could it soon be coming to an office near you?  Sources: WBTV, ITN 

Nov 8

20 min 34 sec

Cobalt is an essential component for things like electric cars and rechargeable batteries. And cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo is fuelling the planet’s green revolution - but at a heavy price. In the copper belt around the city of Kolwezi, Africa Correspondent Jamal Osman tracks down the men who are risking their lives to work the mines, and the families living with the life changing consequences of these risks.  In this podcast, Jamal tells Krishnan Guru-Murthy about his recent trip to the DRC for Unreported World, and what he found there. 

Nov 5

23 min 51 sec

COP26 has only just begun, but has it already ended?  The big leaders have gone home, leaving their major commitments on the table. Some aim for net zero carbon by 2050, some 2060, others 2070. Disappointed? You’re not alone. We all know that urgent action needs to be taken now. There is some good news: more than 80 nations have pledged to cut methane emissions and world leaders have promised to end deforestation by 2030. Is it too little too late, or are we finally making progress? Today, our climate journalist Simon Roach breaks down what COP26 has offered so far, and what hope he has for the rest of the conference.

Nov 3

23 min 20 sec

Booster Covid jabs are now being given in the UK to over-50s, those with underlying health conditions, and health and social care staff.   But what are they, how much protection do they offer and will we all need to have a third dose of the vaccine at some point?   Today, FactCheck's Georgina Lee tells us everything we need to know about boosters and discusses whether we should really be jabbing Britons three times when parts of the world haven’t even had one dose yet?   Sources: Sky News, DW News, ABC News, NBC News

Nov 1

24 min 54 sec

Mexicans are the biggest consumers of surgery drinks in the world. But the country’s sugar obsession is causing what health officials are calling a diabetes emergency. In some poor towns across the country, Coca-Cola is even more available than fresh water.  Our reporter, Guillermos Galdos went to Chiapas for Unreported World, the poorest state in Mexico, where people drink on average two litres of sugary drinks a day, and Coca-Cola is King.  He met the families in the thick of a diabetes crisis and also encountered people who in fact use Coca-Cola to treat illnesses, believing the drink has special healing powers.  So why are fizzy drinks so popular in this part of the world and what will happen if the sugar epidemic continues?   

Oct 29

24 min 45 sec

Rishi Sunak presents his Autumn Budget today, with some of the sweeteners already released; public sector pay rises and a hike in the national living wage. That fits in with Boris Johnson’s vision: to completely transform our economy with a revolutionary new model of high wages, high skills and high productivity. But will this work? Or will it be made redundant with higher costs of living? In today’s podcast we talk to our Economics Correspondent Helia Ebrahimi to explain if Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak can deliver on their new economic model and create a brighter future.

Oct 27

26 min 45 sec

Newcastle United's Saudi Arabian backed takeover is being hailed by many fans in the city as a great moment the chance for the sleeping giant to finally reach the summit of the Premier League. But for critics and indeed other fans, this is the last straw. The moral bankruptcy of a billionaire business that was once a simple game at the heart of the community.  In today's podcast, we hear from our chief correspondent, Alex Thompson, who as a Newcastle fan we have allowed to drop his normal impartiality to give his thoughts on his club's new owners. And Kiran sits down with the author, Joshua Robinson, about how we got here. How a sport dominated by decaying grounds and violent fans in the 80s became a global phenomenon that has become the plaything of billionaires and autocrats, with accusations of sportswashing. Sources: Sky Sport, BBC Sport, France 24

Oct 25

34 min 28 sec

Georgia's surrogacy industry is booming, as prospective parents from around the world turn to clinics with modest prices to help provide their dream of a family. But does this largely self-regulating industry safeguard the thousands of women who are turning to surrogacy to make a living? Anja Popp went to Georgia for Unreported World, and found a largely unregulated surrogacy market, where wealthy couples can have multiple babies at the same time, and where there is no shortage of vulnerable women to meet the demand.

Oct 22

25 min 51 sec

Sir David Amess was a working class Plaistow boy made a proud Essex man, who sat in Parliament for nearly 40 years.  A man who put the people first and who was more at home walking the streets of Southend West than Westminster. While listening to his constituents at his weekly surgery, he was killed. This week, MPs from all sides and from all backgrounds paid their respects to a great parliamentarian. Political Correspondent Liz Bates talks about the past few days in UK politics, as we all come to terms with another politician killed in our democracy.

Oct 20

29 min 18 sec

The first ever vaccine for malaria has been approved by the WHO and will now be rolled out across sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions, in a bid to save thousands of children’s lives. A chance to change the course of a disease that in 2019 killed more than 260,000 children in Africa. In today’s podcast, Dr Mary Hamel, who leads the WHO’s malaria vaccine implementation program, talks about the effectiveness of this vaccine and whether one day we really could see the eradication of malaria. Sources: ITN, WHO, AP

Oct 18

21 min 46 sec

Year after year, the NHS faces a deluge of “winter pressures”, as seasonal illnesses are passed around and beds fill up.  But with the ongoing pandemic and a huge backlog already adding pressure, will the NHS cope this year? And what are the government’s plans to get us through it? Today, our Health and Social Care editor Victoria Macdonald talks us through the government’s plan this winter, and asks whether the Covid Plan A, which focuses on vaccines and boosters, will be enough to stop us from resorting to Covid Plan B, and the more extreme measures that dominated our lives for most of the past 18 months and ruined Christmas last year.

Oct 15

23 min 14 sec

For decades, there has been a delicate peace off the coast of China. In recent days, that peace has felt at its most fragile, with talk of the worst relations in 40 years and murmurs about a coming invasion, a coming war on the island of Taiwan. And a new pact between the Americans, the British and the Australians has heightened tensions like never before. In today’s podcast, we speak to both our international editor Lindsey Hilsum and Dr Jie Yu from Chatham House about the ongoing tensions in the region, the history behind that fragile peace in Taiwan - and whether we are on the cusp of conflict or simply the start of a truly 21st century cold war. Sources: DW News, ABC News, France 24

Oct 13

32 min 13 sec

Just over a year ago, Belarus, known as the last dictatorship in Europe, saw some of the biggest protests in its history. They followed yet another presidential election where Alexander Lukashenko was the apparent victor, his sixth straight win in 26 years. But this time the opposition was led by three, inspiring women, who not just challenged the president’s authority more than ever before but made many people in Belarus feel change was possible. Today, our correspondent Paraic O’Brien looks at the past year in Belarus, what the effect of the clampdown by Lukashenko has done to the opposition movement, and whether recent events, from the sentencing of one of the key leaders to the infamous Ryanair arrest, show that real change is still a long way off in Minsk.

Oct 11

21 min 51 sec

It's been nearly two weeks since the results of the German election came in. And still, Angela Merkel remains in post at the Chancellery in Berlin.    With no knock-out winner in these elections, what type of government do Germans exactly want and what will they actually get?    In today's episode, our Europe editor Matt Frei explains the 2021 election results that saw the SPD emerge from the ashes of 2017 and Merkel's party record their worst result since World War Two.   And in an election framed as a climate election while the Greens doubled their votes, will their failure to not finish in the top two mean they have to dilute their radical policies to enter into government? And does that mean this is not a change election, but more a continuity one?   Sources: BBC News, The Guardian 

Oct 8

27 min 14 sec

What does £20 mean to you? For some families, it’s the difference between the cupboards being full or empty.  At the start of the pandemic, the government introduced the Universal Credit uplift, an extra £20 a week for the people who needed it most. From today, that benefit ends.  In today’s episode, our Social Affairs Editor Jackie Long explains why the number of people receiving Universal Credit has doubled since the start of the pandemic, and asks what the ending of the uplift could mean, amidst rising costs of living and worries about a long winter ahead.

Oct 6

24 min 46 sec

Can you remember the fear and confusion of January 2020? A mystery illness swept across the globe and governments scrambled to contain it. Looking back, what did we get right and what did we get wrong? Today, in his last appearance on The Fourcast, FactCheck guru Paddy Worrall will cut through 18 months of pandemic noise and lay out the truth. What predictions were accurate and what early thinking was just plain wrong? And what has Covid has taught him about the world of vaccines and misinformation? Ultimately, are we wiser now than we were back then? Sources: ITN, MSNBC

Oct 4

30 min 32 sec

In its long history, there have been landmark, controversial Supreme Court decisions: Plessy v. Ferguson, Bush v. Gore, Shelby v. Holder. Yet arguably none has divided Americans, defined the parties, and affected the lives of millions of women more than one particular ruling on the 22nd of January 1973: Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right for women to have an abortion. Since then, those opposed to abortion have campaigned to chip away at that decision, in the hope that one day, when the conditions are right, they can knock down that ruling completely. Is that day almost upon us? Today, Professor Mary Ziegler, the author of the book “Abortion and the law in America,” talks to me about the history of abortion in the United States, and about recent laws in Texas and Mississippi that could profoundly change the law of the land on this key issue for the first time in nearly 50 years. Sources: CBS NEWS, MSNBC, ITN.

Oct 1

31 min 20 sec

Panic buying at petrol stations has forced queues up and down the country and closed forecourts, with key workers struggling to make their shifts. The army is on standby to help out. And the trouble doesn’t stop there. There’s a global gas shortage that has forced prices up and caused UK energy companies to go bust. In today’s podcast, we talk to Business and Global Trade correspondent Paul McNamara to explain what’s going on with fuel, gas and our cost of living. The government says this won’t be like the 1970s all over again, but will it? Sources: ITN, BBC News, Al Jazeera

Sep 29

27 min 6 sec

A few weeks back, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation made their recommendation on whether healthy 12 to 15-year-olds should get the Covid vaccine. Yet the chief medical officers of the four nations made their own assessment and said it was best to give a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine to that age group. Now that may seem a bit confusing, so our FactCheck reporter Georgina Lee is going to explain it all: the benefits and risks of vaccinating both children and adults with the Pfizer jab. 

Sep 27

22 min 37 sec

It’s been just over a month since the Taliban took Kabul. Some fled Afghanistan, not wanting to see what their new lives might look like. Others stayed out of choice or because there was no other option. And there was talk of a new, reformed Taliban that's less strict and less restrictive of women's rights than the regime of the 1990s, but what is life like now in the new Afghanistan? Kiran speaks to our international editor Lindsey Hilsum, who recently spent two weeks in the country to find out who makes up the new administration, what the future holds for women and girls and what life was really like in the last 20 years in the cities and countryside.   Sources: BBC News, The Guardian

Sep 24

26 min 24 sec

The perilous nature of our planet, our future, is evident. A recent UN report said that human activity is changing our climate in unprecedented and irreversible ways.  So what can be done? Many catastrophes are here now. Others are already locked in. This autumn is the United Nations Climate Change conference, when the countries of the world will gather in Glasgow to negotiate a way forward. We talk to our climate journalist, Simon Roach, about whether this November really is the planet’s last best hope to stave off this crisis - and whether that hope will be met with real, concrete change. Sources: CGTN, CNA, COP26, ITN

Sep 22

22 min 32 sec

It was all going so well for the United States and Covid-19. Before the summer, vaccinations were rising and cases falling. It looked normal. And then the Delta variant hit, cases rose, hospital wards began to fill again, and with all that, the death toll increased. With vaccinations hitting a wall, with some governors refusing to impose new restrictions and fake news rife, President Biden introduced a vaccine mandate. Our Washington correspondent, Siobhan Kennedy, looks at the summer of Delta in the US, the new policy from the Biden White House - and how this will play with a country where the party lines are even more rigid when it comes to the approach to Covid. For more information on the Covid vaccine, read Factcheck. Sources: CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, 11ALIVE, WPTZ. 

Sep 20

29 min 14 sec

There’s the impossible and then there’s the completely unbelievable. This past week has been all about Emma Raducanu. We talk to the sports journalist and commentator Anne-Marie Batson about the young powerhouse that is Emma Raducanu, what she means for the British game and the game in general, as well as why female tennis players are such huge superstars compared to those from other sports?   And whether Raducanu represents the young face of modern Britain - or whether that will add to the weight of pressure on someone who should be left alone to enjoy her career and her talent. Sources: Prime Video, Channel 4, ITN, ABC.

Sep 17

29 min 30 sec

With ever more devastating hurricanes and floods, Miami is set to be transformed if not submerged: sea levels could rise more than 30 inches by 2060, putting over 100,000 properties by the sea at risk. And so, some are already moving to higher ground elsewhere in the city. And that has its own consequences. Today, reporter Kate Fisher details climate gentrification, where the rich move to safer ground and force other communities to bear the brunt of the climate disaster. Sources: CCN, NBC 6, ABC Local 10 News

Sep 15

25 min 15 sec

Caution: This episode contains references to drug use.  You may know it as an illegal party drug. But there's growing research to suggest that psychedelic drugs could be used , in a clinical setting, as treatments for depression, addiction and PTSD.  Some clinical trials seem to show that these substances, when combined with therapy, can be effective for some of those who find antidepressants and other forms of therapy unhelpful.  But this is a drug that has had proven negative-side effects such as addiction and bladder issues.  Today, we look at one particular drug, ketamine, as the UK's first ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic prepares to open, and our reporter Keme Nzerem meets one person who's found this treatment transformative. Could this clinic mark a shift in the way we view psychedelics? Or is it an expensive, under-researched and unproven experiment?  If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this episode, you can find information and support on our website: Sources: BBC News, ITV News, PBS News Hour, ABC News.

Sep 13

26 min 46 sec

Black women report being dismissed and neglected by healthcare professionals throughout pregnancy, childbirth and beyond - and are four times more likely to die in childbirth than women of other ethnicities.  So could inducing pregnant Black women, bringing their birth forward early, address that problem?  That’s what one prominent medical committee, NICE, has proposed.  Today we speak to a doctor who says it’ll make birth safer for mums and babies, and a campaigner who says that early induction is not the solution to a deep and complex issue, rooted in racism and inadequate healthcare for Black mothers-to-be.  And a warning, this episode includes discussion about maternal death and stillbirth.

Sep 10

22 min 33 sec

It’s 20 years since a clear, sunny morning in downtown Manhattan was transformed at 8:46am. Four planes were hijacked on the east coast of the USA: two hit the World Trade Center. One hit the Pentagon, the heart of the country’s defence. Another went down in western Pennsylvania. It was a day that left nearly 3,000 dead. It was a day that changed everything: from the way we live and travel and the threats we fear, to the global world order and modern terrorism. All of which still lives on today, from New York City to Kabul. In today’s episode, Jon Snow takes us back to that fateful, generation-defining day, and recounts his visit to Ground Zero in November 2001. And a warning: this content contains distressing themes.

Sep 8

26 min 8 sec

Downing Street has said the government will introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs and other crowded indoor venues in England and Scotland from the end of September, subject to votes in both parliaments. For some, this makes sense: a public health measure that allows us to return to normality safely, and perhaps acts as an incentive to get vaccinated. For others, it’s a threat to our way of life, and as we have seen in some countries where they’ve already been introduced, people are angry. We look at the pros and cons of Covid passports, and turn to Israel, a country that has been using a type of domestic Covid passport since February. Sources: Reuters, DW News, News For All, YouTube: Clive Harris 

Sep 6

31 min 58 sec

For more than a year, Australia and New Zealand were sanctuaries away from the pandemic world. But the Delta variant snuck in through Australia’s strict quarantine borders and called the whole strategy of Covid elimination into question. With lockdowns affecting half of the population in Australia - and some tired of the endless cycles - the country has now shifted focus: Australia says suppressing Covid to zero is impossible and vaccinations will allow them to live with the virus. But that shift has not been repeated in New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern has stuck to her original plan, believing strict and quick lockdowns combined with increased vaccinations can completely suppress the Delta wave. What's next for both nations as they go their different ways? Sources: Sky News, DW News, 7:30, 7 News

Sep 3

29 min 21 sec

First it was Nando's, then McDonald's, and finally Greggs. Supply issues at major chains have forced a shortage of milkshakes and chicken, with the problems this summer seen as a warning of what's to come. We speak to Business and Global Trade Correspondent Paul McNamara to discuss why there aren't enough lorry drivers and workers - and why the British workforce isn't queuing up to take the vacancies. How bad could this all get? Could it damage our economy? And is this just the tip of the iceberg as we head for the winter months - with another Covid wave possible?

Sep 1

21 min 31 sec

In China, women have had enough. There's a feminist awakening as groups challenge laws and customs, which they believe are entrenched in sexist ideas. But as the movement grows, the ruling Communist Party wants to shut it down, labelling these liberal attitudes as contrary to their growing nationalist agenda.  Today, we speak to the reporter, Jessie Lau, who tells us about the women on the front line of China's feminist fight back and we ask whether the MeToo movement in China can prevail.  Sources: YouTube: TanWeiWei, DW News, CNN, ITV News

Aug 30

20 min 16 sec

Italy was the first European country to feel the full force of Covid-19. The images of army trucks carrying bodies and of deserted streets in Milan and Rome were the first inkling we had, in Europe at least, of what was to come. Antonello Guerrera, a journalist for the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, talks about how those scenes are embedded in the minds of Italians, forming a solidarity and caution that could mean they are more likely than others to embrace vaccinations and vaccine passports. And do the recent sporting triumphs represent a redemption for the country, after the despair of 2020? Sources: Sky Sports, Andrea Bocelli, CGTN, NBC News, France 24

Aug 27

21 min 59 sec

Our climate is changing, and the consequences are playing out right before our eyes. As the UN issues a "code red for humanity", Anja Popp is on the front line of our warming planet, reporting on floods in Germany and fires in Greece. In today’s episode of The Fourcast, she tells us what it’s like to witness the devastating consequences of climate change up close. And our climate journalist Simon Roach explains what the recent IPCC report means and what, if anything, can be done about our rapidly warming planet.

Aug 25

26 min 7 sec

If you thought the summer of sport was over, think again. It’s not just the football that’s back, it’s the Paralympics tomorrow. But just like with the Olympics, with Covid cases increasing in Tokyo, there will be no spectators to watch the athletes. Today, our sports reporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, who is out in Japan, tells us what we can expect from Team GB, who have finished in the top three in every Paralympics since the turn of the century.  We ask how much has the Paralympics changed minds in society about people with disability - and do we finally put these games on a similar level to the Olympics? Sources: CNN, World Watch News

Aug 23

25 min 45 sec

Afghanistan is once again under the control of the Taliban, 20 years after the US Army and its allies forced them into retreat. When Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops, there were immediately concerns that this could all happen. And yet no one foresaw the shocking ease at which Taliban forces swept through the country, taking city after city, and eventually the capital Kabul. We’ve been here before: when the Russians left in 1989, the Soviet-backed regime lasted just a few years. This time, the American-backed administration lasted mere weeks. Why was it so easy for the Taliban to regain control? And is this really a new-look Taliban - or is the future still just as bleak for the women and girls of Afghanistan? In today’s episode, we once again chat with our international editor Lindsey Hilsum about where this leaves the West’s status as defenders of freedom and liberty, and we ask, what was the point of the last 20 years of bloodshed?

Aug 20

31 min 45 sec

Last month, UNESCO stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage status, saying that developments along its waterfront were damaging the historic value of its docks. The last decade has seen the Liverpool skyline transformed - with new buildings popping up alongside the famous Three Graces. Yet the latest batch of modern high-rises and a new football stadium have pushed UNESCO to their limit - and yet the council are pushing on regardless. This is about heritage versus regeneration, about trying to re-energise a city as well as ensuring the past is preserved.  How do you do that and please all sides? In this episode, we spend time in Liverpool speaking to those on both sides of the debate to figure out how a city can become the perfect mix of the modern with the historic.

Aug 18

30 min 36 sec

More than 75 per cent of adults in the UK have had both doses of the vaccine and more than 90 per cent have Covid-19 antibodies, either from infection or vaccination. At the beginning of the pandemic, scientists speculated that around 60 to 70 per cent of people might need to be immune to the virus to hit the “herd immunity” threshold. This is the point where so many people are immune to the virus that it can no longer spread through the population and goes into decline. Clearly this hasn’t happened, as a third wave of coronavirus infection is still raging in the UK. Why? FactCheck’s Patrick Worrall goes through the data.

Aug 16

19 min 17 sec

The Pride parade in London: it’s all about inclusion, openness, community - a beautiful, vibrant safe space where everyone can be who they want to be.  But that has recently been called into question. Pride in London, the non-profit volunteer organisation that controls the parade and much more - has been accused of not taking diversity seriously, of creating a hostile environment, and of bullying - all mainly towards people of colour. And now that has come to a head with eleven volunteers resigning from Pride - resulting in five directors standing down, forcing the organisation to apologise and commit to reform. Pride in London admit that they have not done enough for Black, Brown and Asian people, and say they are committed to being actively anti-racist.  Today, we hear from two of those volunteers who left - and ask what Pride in London needs to do to make sure it can once again be the progressive, inclusive face of the queer community.

Aug 13

25 min 45 sec

Just weeks after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban have taken more than half of Afghanistan's around 400 districts.   More than 1500 civilians have died. Thousands more are fleeing. And many young girls are being forced into underage marriage by the Taliban.    Today, we speak to our international editor, Lindsey Hilsum, who has recently been to Afghanistan herself. We ask how close Afghanistan is to falling under Taliban control. We discuss what this means not just for the people of Afghanistan, but the geopolitical consequences as Pakistan and China look to assert control in the space left behind by the Americans.    Sources: DW News, Sky News, NewsX, Republic World

Aug 11

26 min 34 sec