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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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Autonomous weapons and the future of war:

Advances in military technology pose profound questions of morality and law – as well as opportunity on the battlefield. But what happens when (and the time is not far off) weapons can think for themselves? Andrew Mueller is joined by former fighter pilot Missy Cummings, philosopher of technology Peter Asaro and former US General John R Allen.

Latest episodes

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24622 Sep 2018
30 min

Autonomous weapons and the future of war: 

Advances in military technology pose profound questions of morality and law – as well as opportunity on the battlefield. But what happens when (and the time is not far off) weapons can think for themselves? Andrew Mueller is joined by former fighter pilot Missy Cummings, philosopher of technology Peter Asaro and former US General John R Allen.

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19 Sep 2018
5 min

Explainer 133: What is the significance of Mexico City’s mariachi murders? : 

Five people were killed after three men dressed as mariachi musicians started shooting in a busy tourist area in Mexico City. The capital has largely escaped the violence of other regions but is this changing? And will president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador be able to bring the spike in violent crime rates under control?

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24515 Sep 2018
30 min

Brazil’s baffling ballot: 

The lead-up to next month’s elections has been nothing short of extraordinary, even by Brazilian standards. But the results should not be overlooked given that the victor will take charge of South America’s biggest economy. Who will win – and can they clean up Brazil’s politics?

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12 Sep 2018
6 min

Explainer 132: The EU vs Viktor Orban: 

This week, MEPs voted in favour of unprecedented disciplinary action against Hungary over alleged breaches of the EU's core values. Prime minister Viktor Orban has been accused of attacking the media and refusing refugees, as well as promoting anti-Semitism and the death penalty. So what are the EU’s options – and what are the risks of implementing them?

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2448 Sep 2018
30 min

What does Brexit mean for British Overseas Territories?: 

Among the ever-increasing number of things that weren’t really considered during the run up to the Brexit vote was what would happen to Britain’s 14 overseas territories. For some it might pose some minor inconveniences but for others it could cut off vital trade and travel routes – or even lead to conflict.

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5 Sep 2018
4 min

Explainer 131: Korean train diplomacy: 

Can a rail link connecting North and South Korea help ease tensions between the countries? And, if so, why isn’t it being allowed to go ahead? Monocle’s Asia editor at large Kenji Hall explains.

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2431 Sep 2018
30 min

Is Kosovo's border in the right place?: 

Previously a red line at the negotiating table, the idea of a land swap between Serbia and Kosovo is now being touted by both countries’ leaders. However, the idea hasn't been received well by the international community – or even by many of those living in the disputed regions.

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29 Aug 2018
5 min

Explainer 130: Iran: parliament vs president: 

This week Iran’s parliament moved a step closer to impeaching president Hassan Rouhani. Despite his high public ratings, the dire economic situation since the US pulled out of the nuclear deal have led to his colleagues losing faith in his leadership. Andrew Mueller asks if Rouhani is really to blame.

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24225 Aug 2018
30 min

Global leaders: Narendra Modi: 

In the final part of our summer series on global leaders, we profile Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. He campaigned on a promise to modernise India – a task not for the faint of heart – but since taking office his lifelong links with hardcore Hindu nationalists have threatened to lead the country down a different path. Andrew Mueller is joined by Somnath Batabyal, Shashank Joshi, Shruti Kapila Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay and Preti Taneja.

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22 Aug 2018
5 min

Explainer 129: The people vote again?: 

Since the UK voted to leave the European Union there have been many attempts to try to stop it from happening. The most recent comes in the form of a donation from the founder of fashion brand Superdry. Andrew Mueller asks if the People’s Vote campaign can be successful – and if it’s even what the people want.

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24118 Aug 2018
30 min

Global leaders: Miguel Díaz-Canel: 

In part three of our summer series on global leaders we profile Cuba’s new president Miguel Díaz-Canel. After almost 60 years, the revolutionary Castro brothers have handed over power. Andrew Mueller – joined by Helen Yaffe, Cristina Escobar and Victor Bulmer Thomas – asks what Díaz-Canel’s plans for the country might be and if he’ll be allowed to implement them.

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15 Aug 2018
4 min

Explainer 128: Pacific Islands Forum: 

At the beginning of September, the 18 full-time members of the Pacific Islands Forum will gather on the tiny atoll of Nauru. Our Hong Kong bureau chief James Chambers explains why not everyone is looking forward to attending, and why some aren’t allowed to attend at all.

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24011 Aug 2018
30 min

Global leaders: Theresa May: 

In part two of our summer series on global leaders we profile UK prime minister Theresa May. The Conservative party leader was handed the poisoned chalice of Brexit little more than two years ago. Andrew Mueller – joined by Terry Stiastny, Andrew Gimson and Meryl Kenny – asks what hope she has of succeeding with Brexit negotiations and whether she can achieve anything else while in power.
Related reading:
– Andrew Gimson:
Gimson’s Prime Ministers
– Meryl Kenny: From Thatcher to May and beyond
– Terry Stiastny: Conflicts of Interest

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8 Aug 2018
6 min

Explainer 127: What does Ontario’s new premier tell us about politics in Canada?: 

Anyone wanting a glimpse of what might be unfolding in Canadian politics should look to Ontario, which has just elected Doug Ford – brother of the late crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, Rob – as its new premier. In the opening weeks of his time in office Ford laid down the kind of populist agenda that Donald Trump could be proud of. Monocle’s bureau chief in Toronto, Tomos Lewis, has more.

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2394 Aug 2018
30 min

Global leaders: Benjamin Netanyahu: 

In part one of our summer series on global leaders we profile Israeli prime minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu. Soon to be the country’s longest-serving PM, he is also one of its most divisive. We speak to his biographer Anshel Pfeffer, former Knesset researcher Susan Hattis Rolef and CEO of Bicom James Sorene.

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