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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

Peru’s procession of presidents :

Last week, Peru’s former president Martín Vizcarra was impeached. His replacement Manuel Merino resigned a few days later after police killed two protesters. Can Merino’s successor, Francisco Sagasti, calm the political turmoil? Andrew Mueller is joined by Maria Luisa Puig, Simeon Tegel and Natalia Sobrevilla Perea.

Latest episodes

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25 Nov 2020
7 min

Explainer 243: What do we know about Joe Biden’s cabinet?: 

As Joe Biden unveils his first cabinet picks, Andrew Mueller talks us through the candidates and explains what it tells us about Biden’s plans for the US’s role in the world.

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36021 Nov 2020
30 min

Peru’s procession of presidents : 

Last week, Peru’s former president Martín Vizcarra was impeached. His replacement Manuel Merino resigned a few days later after police killed two protesters. Can Merino’s successor, Francisco Sagasti, calm the political turmoil? Andrew Mueller is joined by Maria Luisa Puig, Simeon Tegel and Natalia Sobrevilla Perea.

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18 Nov 2020
5 min

Explainer 242: RCEP: What’s the Deal? : 

Arguably the biggest trade deal in the world, the RCEP will bring together 15 countries in and around Asia in a bid to encourage production and cooperation. Andrew Mueller explains why this is a significant leap for China.

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35914 Nov 2020
30 min

Ethiopia: a Nobel Peace laureate goes to war: 

It’s barely a year since Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Prize for Peace. Now, his country is – at the very least – on the verge of civil war. Why has he chosen military force to resolve his dispute with Tigray? Andrew Mueller speaks to Mary Harper, Adem Kassie Abebe and William Davison.

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11 Nov 2020
6 min

Explainer 241: Saudi’s sporting soft-power attempt: 

Saudi Arabia will host a new Grand Prix for Formula 1, a clear soft-power move from the country. Andrew Mueller explains that the roar of the engines might not be loud enough to drown out the voices decrying human-rights offences.

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3587 Nov 2020
30 min

The Foreign Desk Live: 2020 election special : 

Andrew Mueller is joined by Jeffrey Howard and Amy Pope to discuss what a Biden presidency might look like, how he’ll bring a divided nation together and the challenges ahead. Plus: the future of Trumpism with Nicholas Lemann.

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4 Nov 2020
5 min

Explainer 240: The incumbent: 

Ivory Coast’s president, Alassane Ouattara, was re-elected to a third term at the weekend despite the constitution stipulating a two-term limit. Andrew Mueller explains how Ouattara has, so far, gotten away with it.

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35731 Oct 2020
30 min

PJ O’Rourke and the search for the centre ground: 

In our final episode before US voters decide whether or not to renew Donald Trump’s lease on the White House, we look at whether a more reasonable – or at least less obviously deranged – politics is still possible. We’re joined by the satirist PJ O’Rourke, whose new book, ‘A Cry from the Far Middle’, wonders how America got so divided – and if it ever wasn’t.

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28 Oct 2020
9 min

Explainer 239: Erdogan’s war on liberté : 

The response of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to the murder of Samuel Paty in Paris is characteristic of his culture war on freedom of expression. Andrew Mueller explains why that is both ironic and futile.

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35624 Oct 2020
30 min

Coronavirus – what have we learned?: 

In much of Europe this winter feels depressingly like last spring: a spike in coronavirus transmissions and a surge in lockdowns and other restrictions. But are we any wiser about what works and what doesn’t? Or the costs of shutting down cities and countries? Andrew Mueller is joined by Chris Smith, Margaret Harris and Tran Le Thuy.

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21 Oct 2020
5 min

Explainer 238: Who won in Bolivia?: 

In presidential and parliamentary elections last weekend, Bolivians voted overwhelmingly for Luis Arce, the leader of exiled former president Evo Morales’s socialist party. Andrew Mueller looks at what that means for Bolivia – and for Morales.

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35517 Oct 2020
30 min

The Macron doctrine: 

President Macron always looked like he wanted to reassert France as a global power. As his presidency has overlapped with domestic crises consuming France’s traditional allies the US and the UK, he has found himself with even greater foreign policy opportunities than he might have anticipated. What kind of influence does Macron think France should have – and why? Andrew Mueller asks Sophie Pedder, Philippe Marliere and Leila Molana-Allen.

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14 Oct 2020
6 min

Explainer 237: I’ve got a ‘golden passport’: 

Cyprus has suspended its “golden passport” initiative after undercover ‘Al Jazeera’ journalists exposed a trail of corruption leading to Demetris Syllouris, president of the Cypriot parliament. Andrew Mueller explains.

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35410 Oct 2020
30 min

Can Belgium survive?: 

After nearly 500 days of negotiations, Belgium finally has a national government. It consists of seven parties but excludes the two biggest – both Flemish nationalist parties. Is Belgium’s complex political system workable in the long term? And can the country hold together? Andrew Mueller asks Régis Dandoy, Carl Devos and Barbara Moens.

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7 Oct 2020
6 min

Explainer 236: What’s the deal in Kyrgyzstan? : 

Andrew Mueller dissects the ongoing situation in Kyrgyzstan after violent protests followed disputed election results.

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