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Newshour Extra

Podcast Newshour Extra
Podcast Newshour Extra

Newshour Extra


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  • What should we make of Russia’s nuclear threats?
    The US has warned Russia of “catastrophic consequences” if it uses nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine. The statement comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted he’d use “all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people”, adding this is “not a bluff”. The threat of escalation feels more acute after Moscow reported four self-styled referendums held in Russian-held regions of Ukraine showed near universal public support for joining Russia. So, if Ukraine continues to try to wrest back full control of the regions, is it possible the Kremlin could respond with the use of small ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
  • What next for the Commonwealth?
    The Queen was seen as a unifying force in the Commonwealth. With her death, will the organisation re-invent itself for the next generation, or fade away? Questions are being asked about whether the Commonwealth is a neo-colonial project and what it can actually do for its members. Others argue that while the Commonwealth has its roots in empire, it is a crucial forum for smaller countries to amplify their voice and work with more powerful allies. We'll look at what the Commonwealth is for and what challenges lie ahead for King Charles III as he takes the helm. What would change if the organisation ceased to exist and what does it mean for Britain's place in the world? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Zak Brophy
  • Boris Johnson is out, Liz Truss is in
    Liz Truss has taken over as leader of Britain’s Conservative Party and has therefore also become Prime Minister. She won the internal party race to succeed Boris Johnson by promising that she’ll cut taxes and deliver economic growth. But the country is facing strong economic headwinds with soaring energy prices, relatively low productivity and the highest inflation rate of any G7 nation. Post-Brexit trade frictions between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK remain a sore point among Tory MPs, a result of the deal struck with the European Union aimed at avoiding a hard border between The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Does Liz Truss have the political skills and policies needed to reverse a sharp decline in support for the Conservative Party? And what will facing a new PM mean for the country’s opposition Labour Party? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
  • Are sanctions on Russia working?
    It’s been six months since the West imposed an array of sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Around half of Russia’s $640 billion worth of foreign exchange and gold reserves have been frozen, major Russian banks have been barred from the international financial messaging system Swift, the selling of key technology to the country has been prohibited, and the assets of some wealthy individuals have been seized. But Europe is still buying large amounts of Russian gas, a commodity it depends on to keep its citizens warm and its industries running. So, what are the main aims of the sanctions regime? Are the measures working or is Russia finding new ways around restrictions? And what does the future hold for an economy that’s increasingly cut off from major world markets? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Rozita Riazati and Paul Schuster.
  • Nasa's plan to go back to the Moon
    Nasa's first step in their plan to send humans back to the surface of the Moon is fast approaching. The programme, called Artemis, is costing tens of billions of dollars and will begin with Artemis I, scheduled to launch on 29 August. The uncrewed mission will send the Orion spacecraft to orbit the Moon. Subsequent missions in the coming years aim to return humans to the Moon’s surface for the first time in over 50 years and will include a woman and a person of colour. Nasa sees a return to the Moon as a way to prepare for a mission to Mars. But what exactly are they hoping to learn and what difference will any of it make to all of us back here on Earth? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.

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