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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

Lebanon on the brink:

Since October, the Lebanese lira has lost more than 80 per cent of its value. Lebanon’s long-suffering people now face losing their jobs, businesses and savings, as well as shortages of power and basic supplies. Andrew Mueller is joined by Leila Molana-Allen, Lina Khatib and Vicky Pryce for an insight into how Lebanon got here and what factors are at play when a currency collapses.

Latest episodes

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34011 Jul 2020
30 min

Lebanon on the brink: 

Since October, the Lebanese lira has lost more than 80 per cent of its value. Lebanon’s long-suffering people now face losing their jobs, businesses and savings, as well as shortages of power and basic supplies. Andrew Mueller is joined by Leila Molana-Allen, Lina Khatib and Vicky Pryce for an insight into how Lebanon got here and what factors are at play when a currency collapses.

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2238 Jul 2020
6 min

Explainer 223: Why Melbourne’s new lockdown is a warning to the world: 

As Melbourne reimposes its coronavirus lockdown and Victoria closes its border with New South Wales, Andrew Mueller explains that while some cities are reopening, it’s the ones closing back down that might give more of an indication of what we’ll have to get used to.

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3394 Jul 2020
30 min

Has the Confederacy finally surrendered?: 

More than 150 years after the US Civil War ended, Mississippi has decided to haul down the state flag that bore the Confederate battle standard. But are we witnessing more than just cosmetic alterations? Is the South really changing? And if so, how? Andrew Mueller speaks to Charles K Ross, Lottie Joiner and Patterson Hood.

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1 Jul 2020
6 min

Explainer 222: Why did Iran issue an arrest warrant for Trump?: 

This week Iran issued an arrest warrant for Donald Trump over January’s killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani – and asked Interpol for its help in enforcing it. Andrew Mueller looks at what Iran might actually be trying to achieve with such a move.

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33827 Jun 2020
30 min

Has populism been found out?: 

The pandemic is a populist’s nightmare: a virus makes no ideological distinctions and requires expertise and patience to defeat. In Brazil, at least 50,000 people have died while a populist president blusters – a situation echoed in the US, the UK and elsewhere. Has populism been unmasked? Andrew Mueller is joined by Fernando Augusto Pacheco, Tessa Szyszkowitz and Tom Nichols.

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24 Jun 2020
5 min

Explainer 221: Where is Socotra and who has invaded it?: 

In an intriguing sub-plot of Yemen’s ghastly civil war, one of the factions allegedly supporting the government has taken control of an island near the Gulf of Aden. Andrew Mueller looks at who has seized Socotra and why.

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33720 Jun 2020
30 min

The Philippines: Rodrigo Duterte goes after the messengers: 

The conviction of prominent journalist Maria Ressa is yet another worrying sign of the Philippines’ direction under Rodrigo Duterte. Andrew Mueller talks to Sheila Coronel and Richard Heydarian about Duterte’s assault on democratic norms and to Carlo Bonura about the populist president’s so-called independent foreign policy.

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17 Jun 2020
7 min

Explainer 220: What are Somaliland and Somalia discussing in Djibouti?: 

As Somalia conducts talks with the unrecognised government of breakaway region Somaliland, Andrew Mueller asks if Somaliland’s time might be coming.

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33613 Jun 2020
30 min

Jeffrey Sachs and the future of globalisation: 

​We talk to leading economist – and advisor to three UN secretary-generals – Jeffrey Sachs about his new book, ‘The Ages Of Globalisation: Geography, Technology and Institutions’, which tracks globalisation through history to the present time. Is this the peak from which globalisation descends? Is this an opportunity to make it better?

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10 Jun 2020
5 min

Explainer 219: Why has North Korea stopped talking to South Korea?: 

As North Korea halts all cross-border communication with the South in a row over propaganda balloons, Andrew Mueller wonders why Pyongyang has chosen this moment to get so angry.

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3356 Jun 2020
30 min

Black Lives Matter: a tipping point?: 

The killing of George Floyd has resulted in protests across the US and the world. Andrew Mueller is joined by Charles H Ramsey – former Washington police chief and co-chair of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which was set up by Barack Obama – to consider how the police can be reformed. Plus: Amy Pope looks at Joe Biden’s chances of healing a nation if he is elected in November, and Errin Haines explains why for black people this is a pandemic within a pandemic – and why this time, it may be a tipping point.

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3 Jun 2020
6 min

Explainer 218: Make G7 G8 again?: 

Why did Russia get punted out of the G7 and why does Trump want it back in? Andrew Mueller explains.

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33430 May 2020
30 min

Is this China’s world now?: 

Has the pandemic accelerated China’s plans? Andrew Mueller talks to James Chambers about the escalating situation in Hong Kong, to Beijing journalist Sophia Yan about China’s plans elsewhere and to former diplomat John Everard about how other countries can usefully – and tactfully – try to change China’s behaviour.

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27 May 2020
6 min

Explainer 217: How will Benjamin Netanyahu survive his trial?: 

As the trial begins of Israel’s long-serving prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Andrew Mueller explains what the charges are why Netanyahu is still in the job.

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33323 May 2020
30 min

Remember Brexit?: 

The devastating impact of coronavirus has, quite rightly, become the top priority of the EU and the UK. But Brexit is still happening. The current transition period is due to end on 31 December and the 30 June deadline for extending that transition is looming. Does a global pandemic make an extension – or a deal – more likely or less? And might the UK government’s spin doctors spy an unlikely opportunity? Andrew Mueller is joined by Naomi O’Leary, Raoul Ruparel and Lance Price.

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