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Affairs / Podcast

The Foreign Desk

Presented by Steve Bloomfield, this is Monocle 24’s flagship global-affairs show featuring interviews with political leaders and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the day. Featured as a ‘best classic podcast’ in the iTunes best of 2016 collection.

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The Foreign Desk: Horn of Africa – Somalia:

In the first of a three-part special looking at the Horn of Africa, Steve Bloomfield explores a country in a state of flux: Somalia. The threat of terror, corruption and famine are high and help from outside often does more harm than good. Is Somalia on the path to stability or yet another crisis?

Latest episodes

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17727 May 2017
22 min

The Foreign Desk: Horn of Africa – Somalia: 

In the first of a three-part special looking at the Horn of Africa, Steve Bloomfield explores a country in a state of flux: Somalia. The threat of terror, corruption and famine are high and help from outside often does more harm than good. Is Somalia on the path to stability or yet another crisis?

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25 May 2017
4 min

Explainer 66: What’s next for Manchester?: 

After Monday night’s terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester, Monocle’s Chris Lord looks to the past for hope for his home city’s future.

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17620 May 2017
30 min

Russia’s foreign policy: 

Russia has had an impact on a vast range of the world’s biggest stories in recent years: from the war in Syria to the unrest in Ukraine and the election in the US. Monocle’s Steve Bloomfield is joined by former Kremlin adviser Alexander Nekrasov and author Ben Judah to unpack Russia’s foreign-policy strategy.

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17 May 2017
7 min

Explainer 65: Who really rules in Iran?: 

With Iranians going to the polls this weekend, our features editor asks if the votes really matter?

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17513 May 2017
26 min

Covering the UK election: 

The UK goes to the polls next month but enthusiasm for the vote is somewhat limited. For the media, reporting on this election is no easy task. Steve Bloomfield is joined by George Parker, political editor for ‘The Financial Times’, Gaby Hinsliff, political editor at ‘The Pool’ and Darren McCaffrey, politics correspondent for Sky News, to ask how this election will be covered.

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11 May 2017
3 min

Explainer 64: Venezuela’s protests: 

For more than six weeks there have been near-daily demonstrations across the country, but the big question is 'what happens next'?

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1746 May 2017
28 min

Rouhani's ‘referendum’: 

On 19 May Iranians get to decide their next president. In an election that’s more a test of current president Hassan Rouhani’s policies than an act of democracy, its importance might seem secondary to those elsewhere. But with domestic economic problems, unrest with its neighbours and the future of the nuclear deal unclear, casting a ballot paper is more important than ever.

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3 May 2017
6 min

Explainer 63: Government shutdowns: 

As the US government struggles to agree on a budget for the rest of the fiscal year, Ed Stocker looks at why government shutdowns have become so common.

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17329 Apr 2017
29 min

Trump’s first 100 days: 

We look at five key days that have defined Donald Trump’s presidency so far: from healthcare, to the relationship with the media, turning against old allies, imposing a travel ban and the ongoing investigation into links with Russia.

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27 Apr 2017
3 min

Explainer 62: Democratic choices: 

It can be rare on election day to be faced with a candidate that really represents your values. So if you're faced with a ballot paper full of maybes, what are your options?

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17222 Apr 2017
29 min

The legacy of colonialism: 

Countries that were colonised don’t tend to forget – but for the colonisers it’s a little more complicated. We look at three different periods in colonial history: Belgium and Congo; Portugal and Angola; and the UK and India.

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19 Apr 2017
3 min

Explainer 61: If Theresa May wins the election, will she win big?: 

The UK prime minister’s decision to hold a general election in June makes political sense. However, if she wins but her victory is not as impressive as she hopes, will it all have been worth it?

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17115 Apr 2017
30 min

What does the election mean for France?: 

As Europe’s next big election draws closer, France has a choice to make: socialist, far-right populist or straight down the middle. But what are the issues that matter to the only people who matter, and is there anything the candidates can do at this late stage to win over the French voters?

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12 Apr 2017
4 min

Explainer 60: What Donald Trump means for Congo: 

Congo’s presidential election was supposed to happen last year as Joseph Kabila’s second five-year term came to an end – but he doesn’t want to stand down. Under President Obama the US took a leading role in putting pressure on Kabila to step aside. But what happens now?

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1708 Apr 2017
29 min

The French election and Europe: 

France’s presidential election has 11 candidates, from established parties and no party at all. The winner will not just take France in a new direction but will also have a major impact on the future of Europe as a whole.

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