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Affairs / Podcast

The Foreign Desk

Presented by Andrew Mueller, 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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Strained relations:

Australia's non-compulsory postal plebiscite on equal marriage is well underway – but is it necessary, why has it taken so long and why is Australia making this so complicated? We speak to Tim Wilson MP, Josh Taylor, Christine Forster and veteran rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Latest episodes

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19316 Sep 2017
30 min

Strained relations: 

Australia's non-compulsory postal plebiscite on equal marriage is well underway – but is it necessary, why has it taken so long and why is Australia making this so complicated? We speak to Tim Wilson MP, Josh Taylor, Christine Forster and veteran rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

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14 Sep 2017
5 min

Explainer 82: What is Fema’s future?: 

Tomos Lewis takes a look at Fema, the agency tasked with cleaning up the areas devastated by the recent hurricanes. With the Trump administration's assault on big-government spending underway, what might its future be?

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1929 Sep 2017
30 min

The Rohingyas – and the silence of Aung San Suu Kyi: 

As the violence against the Rohingya continues to intensify in western Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi remains defiantly silent, what is really happening inside the country and when is it time for the international community to step in?

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6 Sep 2017
5 min

Explainer 81: Is the New Zealand election finally something worth talking about?: 

As New Zealanders prepare to head to the polls on 23 September, James Chambers profiles the contenders and asks whether they’re worth getting excited about?

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1912 Sep 2017
30 min

How to heal a nation: 

In countries ravaged by war, once the killing stops, the white flags are raised and gun-barrels are lowered, what hope is there that former enemies can once again co-exist as citizens of a single nation? We ask veteran BBC correspondent Martin Bell, Remembering Srebreneca’s Amra Mujkanovic, former special envoy to the Colombian peace process Dag Nylander and Rwandan-genocide survivor Jean Kayigamba.

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30 Aug 2017
5 min

Explainer 80: Is sport still a soft power?: 

Sport can be a great way for a country to show its power over others. But that doesn’t always go as planned. Now, even hosting a major international event can cause considerable damage to a country’s reputation. So, Andrew Mueller asks, why bother?

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19026 Aug 2017
30 min

Democracies and the monuments of their past: 

During our summer series we’ve looked at art, architecture and personality cults of autocracies. But what happens when dictatorships end? In our final episode we turn to democracies and ask how countries deal with the symbols of their troubling past. From the confederate statues in the US to former Soviet monuments, how do we remember without glorifying ‘our’ history?

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23 Aug 2017
3 min

Explainer 79: Too many tourists?: 

In Japan tourism is on the up. The government initiatives to attract more foreign visitors have worked but residents are feeling the strain.

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18919 Aug 2017
30 min

Autocracies and the personality cult : 

In part three of our summer series we explore how autocratic leaders have built a personality cult. We look at the personality traits needed to build one and look at dictators’ legacies once the parades cease and the statues are toppled. Author Kapka Kassabova tells us what it was like to grow up in a place where the leader’s portrait hung in every classroom and shop.

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16 Aug 2017
5 min

Explainer 78: President Pence?: 

Donald Trump is taking a battering from “many sides”. The investigation into alleged meddling in the US presidential election has intensified; key aides have resigned or been sacked; and Trump has failed to convincingly condemn violence perpetrated by white supremacists. So, could Mike Pence be preparing for a tilt at the presidency?

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18812 Aug 2017
30 min

Autocracies and architecture: 

Christopher Lord discusses the relationship between governance and architecture. For example, what does the layout of your parliament building say about your government? And why has work by so-called 'starchitects' started popping up in surprising corners of the world? With Razan Alzayani, Yasser Elsheshtawy, David Mulder van der Vegt, Peter Murray and Charlotte Skene Catling.

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9 Aug 2017
5 min

Explainer 77: Is Kagame really that popular?: 

After winning yet another election with well over 90 per cent of the vote – and a similarly high turn out – is Rwanda's Paul Kagame really that popular? And if so, why?

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1875 Aug 2017
30 min

Autocracies and art: 

In part one of our summer series we explore the relationship between autocratic regimes and art. From lewd fantasy art collections and obscene home decor to the vast and impressive – not to mention expensive – state collections of Qatar. We ask why power and money rarely lead to good taste.

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2 Aug 2017
7 min

Explainer 76: Do political scandals still matter?: 

Whether it was a secret affair, colluding with the enemy or saying something they shouldn’t have near a microphone, when a scandal emerged politicians used to prepare for the end of their careers. But is that still the case – and if not, what could it mean for political integrity?

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18629 Jul 2017
30 min

Trump: 42 months to go: 

Donald Trump’s first six months in the Oval Office have given us plenty to talk about. His policies aren’t passing, his tweets keep coming – and what about that wall? But accusations against him and his closest allies are building, so how long can it last?

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