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  • Qatar’s World Cup gamble
    The Gulf state of Qatar is currently hosting the most expensive Fifa World Cup ever having spent an estimated $220 billion on the event. Seven of the eight stadiums have been built from scratch with new railways, motorways and dozens of new hotels also adding to the cost. It’s the first time the tournament has been hosted in the Middle East, a source of pride to many. But human rights groups say thousands of migrant workers have died during construction of venues and associated infrastructure - a claim the Qataris reject. Campaigners say not enough is being done to support gay people in a country where homosexuality remains illegal. But many across the Middle East believe the criticisms are unfair and that rich, Western nations are insulting a history-making event. So once the football is done, what will be the legacy of Qatar 2022 for the country, the region, its Western allies and the world? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. James Lynch - A former diplomat based in Qatar and a founding director of FairSquare Research and Projects, which works to prevent human rights abuses. Alistair Burt – UK Minister of State for the Middle East 2017-2019. Also featuring … Dr Nayef bin Nahar - Director of the Ibn Khaldon Center for Humanities and Social Sciences at Qatar University, based in Doha. Dr Nasser Mohamed - A gay Qatari, now living in the United States. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
    12/2/2022
    49:06
  • Is India ready to become the world's most populous country?
    This month the world population reached 8 billion people - and India is leading the charge. It's set to overtake China as most populous country in the world next year. India is currently home to more than 1.39 billion people. By April, the UN says it will hit 1.42 billion. What’s caused this rapid population growth, what does it mean for India, its economy and its neighbours? The growth has already put an enormous amount of pressure on India’s resources and economic stability. The country is on the frontline of climate change and is struggling with extreme weather events 80% of the year. Should the Indian government be doing more to slow population growth or is in fact an opportunity for economic development? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of experts. Poonam Muttreja - executive director of Population Foundation of India (PFI). Colette Rose - sociologist and researcher at the Berlin Institute for Population and Development. Dr Shatakshee Dongde - associate professor at the School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology. Also featuring : Shaina NC (Shaina Nana Chudasama) - Indian BJP government spokesperson. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta (Photo :People walk through a congested road of a wholesale market in the old quarters of Delhi, India; Credit: EPA/RAJAT GUPTA)
    11/25/2022
    49:06
  • War and starvation - Ethiopia’s Tigray conflict
    After two years of civil war, Ethiopia and Tigray have agreed to terms for a peace deal which stipulates that both parties will begin to lay down their arms The plan is to create a humanitarian corridor to Tigray which will offer food relief to more than 6million civilians in Tigray who have been under blockade by government forces for most of the conflict. The war in Africa's second-most populous country has seen abuses documented on both sides, with millions of people displaced and many near famine. Several sticking points remain. Will the Eritrean forces - who have fought alongside Ethiopian troops and have their own territorial claims - also lay down their arms? Without sustained attention from US, African and other donor nations, could the cease-fire quickly fall apart again? Can famine in Tigray be avoided? Chris Morris is joined by a panel of expert guests. Alex Rondos - Former European Union’s Special Representative to the Horn of Africa. Tsedale Lemma - Ethiopian journalist and founder of the Addis Standard publications. Alex De Waal - Author and Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation. Also featuring: Getachew Reda - Spokesperson for the Tigray People's Liberation Front Producers: Ellen Otzen and Rumella Dasgupta (Photo: Internally displaced women and children in Ethiopia; Credit: Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)
    11/18/2022
    49:15
  • Russia, France and the battle for influence in West Africa
    President Macron this week announced that France's anti-jihadist military mission in the Sahel region of Africa has ended. The departure of troops from the former colonial power and the end of Operation Barkhane comes at a challenging time for the region which is in the grips of a security crisis fuelled by Islamist extremists. Both Mali and Burkina Faso face jihadist insurgencies and the countries have seen a combined four coups d’état since 2020. Mali's ruling junta, which has been in power since 2020, has brought in Russian operatives it says are military trainers, but western nations describe as mercenaries from the pro-Kremlin Wagner Group. Could Russia become the new big player in West Africa? Paul Henley is joined by a panel of expert guests. Jean-Hervé Jezequel - Project Director for the Sahel at the International Crisis Group. Niagalé Bagayoko - Chair of the African Security Sector Network, a think tank based in Ghana. Paul Melly - Journalist and Consulting Fellow in the Africa Programme at the Chatham House think tank. Also featuring: Yéah Samaké - A Malian politician and the country’s former ambassador to India. Sergei Markov - A former member of the Russian parliament for Vladimir Putin's United Russia party and former adviser to the Kremlin. Producers: Ellen Otzen and Paul Schuster.
    11/11/2022
    48:57
  • Daunting challenges for UN climate conference
    Delegates are gathering in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for the COP27 UN climate change conference beginning on Sunday 6 November. But a lot has changed in the 12 months since attendees of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow promised bold action to tackle global warming. Russia invaded Ukraine sparking global inflation and rising energy prices. Relations between the United States and China have continued to sour. And extreme weather events have caused thousands of deaths across the planet. Last week a UN report concluded there’s no longer any "credible pathway" to keeping the rise in global temperatures below the key threshold of 1.5C and that the world will warm by around 2.8C this century if current policies remain in place. So, what’s on the agenda at COP27? Can the conference come up with solutions to the growing number of challenges posed by climate change? And how can we judge whether the meeting will be a success or a failure? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests. Mohamed Nasheed - Former President of the Maldives, now an ambassador for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). Dr Jessica Omukuti - Research Fellow on net zero emissions, climate finance and climate justice at the University of Oxford. Nick Robins - Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE). Also featuring ... Dr Michael E. Mann - Professor of Earth & Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of 'The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet'. Dr Michal Meidan - Director of the Gas Research Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies think tank. Producers: Paul Schuster and Ellen Otzen.
    11/4/2022
    48:55

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