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Affairs / Podcast

The Foreign Desk

​Presented by ​Andrew Mueller, Monocle 24’s flagship global-affairs show features​ expert guests ​and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the week. Winner in the ‘best current affairs’ category of the 2018 British Podcast awards.

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Latest episode

Social Gastronomy:

Special episode in association with the Nordic Council of Ministers We’ve teamed up with the Nordic Council of Ministers for a series of five special episodes delving deeper into topics of global importance from the region. In this, the first, Michael Booth hears how the Social Gastronomy movement is using food and farming to change Nordic society, one meal at a time.

Latest episodes

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18 Sep 2019
8 min

Explainer 183: Why does the Rugby World Cup matter for Japan?: 

With the Tokyo Olympic Games less than a year away, Monocle 24’s Rhys James examines why the success of the Rugby World Cup matters to more than just Japanese rugby fans.

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29714 Sep 2019
30 min

Social Gastronomy: 

Special episode in association with the Nordic Council of Ministers We’ve teamed up with the Nordic Council of Ministers for a series of five special episodes delving deeper into topics of global importance from the region. In this, the first, Michael Booth hears how the Social Gastronomy movement is using food and farming to change Nordic society, one meal at a time.

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11 Sep 2019
5 min

Explainer 182: What do Moscow’s elections tell us about Putin’s grip on power?: 

Last weekend’s municipal elections in Moscow shouldn't have made international news. However, due to some less-than-subtle silencing, imprisoning and broad-daylight beating of the opposition, Vladimir Putin made sure they did. Did the protests, and significant losses at the ballot box for Putin’s supporters, mark a shift?

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2967 Sep 2019
30 min

Keeping the peace: 

Ending a war is far harder than starting one. That said, once a peace deal has been signed, ensuring that formerly warring parties stick to the deal is even trickier. As Colombia’s deal threatens to unravel, what have we learned elsewhere about how – and how not – to keep the peace?

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5 Sep 2019
6 min

Explainer 181: Brexit: will it ever end?: 

As the deadline for the UK leaving the European Union draws ever closer Andrew Mueller looks back on yet another wild week in British politics.

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29531 Aug 2019
30 min

America’s opioid crisis: a turning point?: 

A judge in Oklahoma this week ruled that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has to pay $572m for its part in the state’s opioid crisis. The firm is far from the only company embroiled in this ongoing and devastating problem that’s sweeping the US. But does this ruling, and a shift in the way law enforcement deals with those hooked on prescription medicine, show a country starting to come to terms with the severity of the issue – and even the beginning of the end? Andrew Mueller is joined by Anna Lembke, Sam Quinones and Beth Macy.

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28 Aug 2019
6 min

Explainer 180: Why is Australia questioning question time?: 

Question time is a key part of some parliaments that operate under the Westminster system, allowing MPs direct access to senior members of the government. As Australia considers reforms, Andrew Mueller explains why protecting it is so important for democracy.

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29424 Aug 2019
30 min

Sustainable cities: 

Special episode in association with the Nordic Council of Ministers
'The Foreign Desk' has teamed up with the Nordic Council of Ministers for a series of five special episodes delving deeper into topics of global importance from the region. This episode looks at sustainability in the region’s cities. What happens when a capital goes car-free? How are Swedes reacting to the Greta Thunberg phenomenon? And which Nordic city is claiming to be the world’s ‘most functional’? Michael Booth finds out how Nordic cities are planning to save the world.

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21 Aug 2019
4 min

Explainer 179: Why is Russia cracking down on election protests?: 

Last month authorities in Moscow disqualified dozens of opposition candidates from a city council vote due in September on apparently spurious claims that many of the signatures required for their candidacy applications were forged. This triggered an unprecedented protest movement in Moscow and Russian cities, which have been met with a violent crackdown by riot police. Monocle’s Alexei Korolyov reports.

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29317 Aug 2019
30 min

Can a cure for Ebola be a cure for the DRC? : 

As two new anti-Ebola treatments prove effective, making the disease potentially 90 per cent survivable, we ask how close we are to completely beating the virus, what a cure could mean for ending violence in the DRC and how big a role widespread diseases still play in restricting Africa’s development. Andrew Mueller is joined by Dr Ike Anya, Dr Margaret Harris and J Stephen Morrison.

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14 Aug 2019
6 min

Explainer 178: The curious case of President Berdymukhamedov: 

As footage of Turkmenistan’s president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at a forum in Avaza appears, Andrew Mueller asks: what happened to the rumours of his death?

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29210 Aug 2019
30 min

The future of Kashmir: 

Description: Earlier this week, the special status that Kashmir had long enjoyed within India was revoked, communication was cut off, thousands of extra troops were deployed and politicians detained. Abolishing its special status was a promise made by Narendra Modi in this year’s election but what does it mean for the people of Kashmir? Andrew Mueller is joined by Kapil Komireddi, Muzamil Jaleel, Ayesha Siddiqa and Mirza Waheed.

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7 Aug 2019
8 min

Explainer 177: Why has white nationalism re-emerged?: 

It is not news that white nationalism has returned to the US’s political discourse, but at least one of last weekend’s mass shootings appeared to offer further proof of how dangerous it has become. Why has a movement that had been cast to the fringes for so long made a comeback?

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2913 Aug 2019
30 min

Gender pay gap: 

Special episode in association with the Nordic Council of Ministers
The Foreign Desk has teamed up with the Nordic Council of Ministers for a series of five special episodes delving deeper into topics of global importance from the region, the first of which looks at the gender pay gap. The Nordic countries have taken radical steps to narrow the gap but “the last mile” to parity between pay for men and women is still proving tough. Michael Booth finds out what’s next from these world leaders in gender equality.

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31 Jul 2019
7 min

Explainer 176: Can land expropriation help heal South Africa?: 

This week an advisory report on land reform in South Africa has recommended changing the constitution to allow the government to seize land without compensation. The aim is to help ease the huge inequalities in land ownership between white and black South Africans; Andrew Mueller explains what the fallout could be.

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