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HARDtalk

In-depth, hard-hitting interviews with newsworthy personalities.

Tous les épisodes

  • 21.01.2021
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    Lina Khan: Can big tech companies be tamed by US antitrust laws?

    Can and should anything be done to halt the inexorable rise of the global technology giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook? Over the past decade we’ve seen these tech titans come to dominate data collection, cloud computing, retail, social media and publishing, but now there is pushback from anti-monopoly lawyers and sceptical politicians. Stephen Sackur speaks to the American lawyer Lina Khan, who is at the forefront of the movement to tame big tech. But whose interest is she serving?(Photo: Lina Khan appears via videolink on Hardtalk)

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  • 20.01.2021
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    Kenneth Chan: Is democracy lost in Hong Kong?

    The Chinese government began this year by intensifying its crackdown on the pro-democracy opposition in Hong Kong. Amid mass arrests, the surveillance of the media and academia is there any safe space left for those fighting for Hong Kong’s political autonomy? Stephen Sackur speaks to long-time activist in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, Kenneth Chan. Is the fight for freedom in Hong Kong lost?(Photo: Keneth Chan appears via video link on Hardtalk)

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  • 18.01.2021
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    Tamara Rojo: Ballet in a pandemic

    Some of the things the Covid pandemic has taken away are easier to quantify than others. The death toll and the job losses make headlines, but the closed arts venues, the lack of shared creative experiences, not so much. But make no mistake, the arts face an unprecedented crisis. HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to Tamara Rojo, the internationally renowned dancer and artistic director of the English National Ballet. Can the performing arts withstand the Covid calamity?

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  • 15.01.2021
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    Alan Dershowitz: Trump's second impeachment

    Donald Trump has secured a unique place in the history books as the first president in American history to be impeached twice. What that means in practical terms isn't clear. There’ll be no Trump trial in the Senate before Joe Biden moves into the White House, but Democrats insist he will be held to account for the assault on the Capitol. Stephen Sackur speaks to the veteran lawyer Alan Dershowitz, part of the defence team in the first impeachment. Will he get involved in the sequel, and how will it play in a divided America?

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  • 13.01.2021
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    Virologist Barry Schoub: South Africa's covid situation 'is bleak'

    South Africa is now grappling with a highly transmissible new strain of Covid-19 that is causing international concern. Stephen Sackur interviews Professor Barry Schoub, virologist and Chair of the South African Government’s Advisory Committee on Covid-19 vaccines. What does the country’s Covid crisis mean for the worldwide effort to end the pandemic?(Photo: Professor Barry Schoub appears via video link on Hardtalk)

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  • 11.01.2021
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    Alan Rusbridger: Fact v fiction

    Stephen Sackur interviews Alan Rusbridger, former editor of The Guardian and now a member of Facebook’s Oversight Board. The Covid-19 pandemic is a test of global public health systems, but it also presents a profound challenge to our media and information networks. How do we ensure that fact prevails over fiction?(Photo: Alan Rusbridger appears via video link on Hardtalk)

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  • 08.01.2021
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    Admiral James Stavridis: The aftermath of the capitol riot

    The Trump inspired insurrection on Capitol Hill failed. But the wounds to America’s body politic are now raw and deep. The President remains Commander in Chief with his finger on the nuclear button, but is that tenable for the next two weeks? What are the dramatic death throes of the Trump presidency doing to America’s standing in the wider world? Stephen Sackur speaks to retired US admiral and former Supreme Commander of Nato’s armed forces James Stavridis. How deep is the hole America is in?

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  • 06.01.2021
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    Neil Ferguson: Did the UK get its Covid strategy wrong?

    Stephen Sackur speaks to British epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, whose early modelling of Covid-19 made him an influential advocate of the lockdown strategy. The UK is back in lockdown and infections are surging. What has gone wrong, and why have other countries done better?

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  • 21.12.2020
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    Hermann Hauser: Is Europe failing to create tech champions?

    The tech sector is fast becoming a battleground where the world’s greatest economic powers, the US and China, are competing for power and influence. Where is Europe in this race to shape the digital future? We speak to Hermann Hauser, a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist who has profoundly shaped Europe and the UK’s technology sector. Is Europe failing to build its own tech champions?

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  • 16.12.2020
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    Christopher Ruddy: Is the media amplifying division in America?

    Stephen Sackur speaks to Christopher Ruddy, CEO of the conservative Newsmax media group and close personal friend of Donald Trump. His network has tried to outfox Fox News by being Trumpier than Trump. The President's unfounded claims of a stolen election might have been great for ratings, but what's it done to America’s body politic?

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  • 14.12.2020
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    Bernardine Evaristo: Is British culture changing?

    Stephen Sackur speaks to Bernardine Evaristo, the Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other. In any society, the voices that are listened to, and the stories that are shared, say much about who is deemed to belong and who is excluded. On that basis, Britain is changing, but how deep does the cultural change go?

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  • 11.12.2020
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    David Beasley of the World Food Programme: Is the world set for new famines?

    This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the World Food Programme, the UN agency dedicated to feeding the hungry and fending off mass starvation. This week the award was handed to the body's executive director, David Beasley, in recognition of the agency’s worldwide effort to overcome the challenges of conflict and Covid-19. 2020 has been a terrible year for those experiencing extreme hunger; is there a real danger that 2021 will be even worse?(Photo: David Beasley, director of the WFP appears via videolink on Hardtalk)

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  • 07.12.2020
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    Owase Jeelani: Making life and death decisions

    Stephen Sackur speaks to the paediatric neurosurgeon Owase Jeelani. Brain surgery carries with it an awesome burden of responsibility. And within neurosurgery there are particular challenges that take the physical and ethical pressure to an extreme. Imagine doing complex brain surgery on small children; then imagine trying to split conjoined twin babies joined at the head. Mr Jeelani's work has made headlines around the world. How does he deal with the stress of life and death decision-making?

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  • 02.12.2020
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    Ishaq Dar: Pakistan's power struggle

    Imran Khan won power in Pakistan two years ago with a promise to root out corruption and take on the country’s vested interests. So how's it going? Rising food prices and the Covid pandemic have left many Pakistanis feeling worse off, while the anti-corruption drive has become a political battleground. Stephen Sackur speaks to Ishaq Dar, who was Pakistan's finance minister. The country's anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau, alleges he owned assets beyond his means of income, which he denies. He and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are trying to rally opposition to Imran Khan, but how much credibility do they have?

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  • 30.11.2020
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    Anthony Gardner: How will Joe Biden handle foreign policy?

    With Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the presidential election running out of road, attention is increasingly focused on President Elect Biden’s vision of America’s role in the world. Will he revert back to the policies and assumptions that defined the Obama years? Are there lessons to be learnt from Trump's disruption of foreign policy norms? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Anthony Gardner, US ambassador to the EU under Barack Obama. What should the world expect from President Biden?

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  • 27.11.2020
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    Gedion Timothewos: Is Ethiopia sliding into civil war?

    Stephen Sackur speaks to Ethiopia’s Attorney General, Gedion Timothewos. Ethiopia’s federal armed forces have launched the final phase of their assault on Tigrayan rebels in the north of the country. International observers have voiced deep concern about possibly devastating humanitarian consequences. This after many hundreds have already been killed, and tens of thousands have been forced to flee three weeks of fighting. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed pledged to bring the country together - why has it gone so horribly wrong?(Photo: Gedion Timothewos appears via videolink on Hardtalk)

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  • 25.11.2020
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    Jeremy Hunt: Britain's battle with Covid-19

    The UK has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe and one of the steepest declines in economic output. Opinion polls suggest Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s claims of a world-beating governmental response cut little ice with the public. Stephen Sackur speaks to Jeremy Hunt, former Health Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Mr Johnson’s rival for leadership of the Conservative party. Has the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the country and its leader?

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  • 23.11.2020
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    David Nabarro: How can countries minimise Covid damage?

    This is a bittersweet moment in the global fight against the Covid pandemic. Joy that at least two vaccine trials have produced extremely promising results is tempered by the continued spread of the disease across much of the world. To put it bluntly, the global containment effort has had limited success. Stephen Sackur speaks to Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organisation’s special envoy for Covid-19. Are countries doing enough to minimise the damage done before mass vaccination changes the game?

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  • 20.11.2020
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    Pawel Jablonski: Why is Poland blocking the EU's budget?

    The EU is facing an internal political crisis. Two members, Poland and Hungary, are blocking the passage of a new budget and a post-Covid recovery package, claiming it includes unacceptable conditions. At issue is the EU's ability to tie funds to members' adherence to core EU values, such as the rule of law. Stephen Sackur speaks to Pawel Jablonski, Poland's deputy foreign minister. Can Poland afford to defy Brussels' will?

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  • 18.11.2020
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    Judit Varga: How far is Hungary prepared to go in its defiance of the EU?

    The EU has long threatened to punish the populist nationalist government in Hungary for a failure to uphold core EU values. So far the threats have been empty, but now there’s a concerted effort to link post-Covid financial aid to compliance with core principles on the rule of law. Stephen Sackur speaks to Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga. How far is Hungary prepared to go in its defiance of Brussels institutions and EU norms?(Photo: Judit Varga via video link on Hardtalk)

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  • 16.11.2020
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    Arancha Gonzalez: How much influence does the EU have?

    In the midst of of a pandemic which has inflicted severe damage on the European economy, it is tempting to see the US election victory of Joe Biden as a boost for the EU. After all, Donald Trump seemed to view Europe more as an economic rival than strategic partner. Stephen Sackur speaks to Spain's foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez. What kind of power and influence can the EU wield on the world stage when it is grappling with a covid-recession, Brexit and deep internal division?

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  • 13.11.2020
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    HR McMaster: Trump and the transition

    Donald Trump hasn’t yet accepted it, but he’ll be out of the White House in January next year. Gone but not forgotten. His legacy can be seen in a divided body politic, strained international alliances and deep uncertainty about America’s geopolitical ambition. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Lt. General HR McMaster, who served as Mr Trump’s National Security Adviser until he was fired in 2018. In terms of America’s role in the world, will the Trump years be seen as an aberration or a marker of underlying change?

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  • 11.11.2020
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    Jack Kingston: What is next for Trump?

    Donald Trump can't and won't bring himself to concede that he lost the Presidential election. Amid the talk of legal challenges in a slew of states the Republican party is under strain - most senior figures sticking with the President, some very publicly backing away. Stephen Sackur speaks to the former Congressman and loyal Trump backer Jack Kingston. What longer term lessons should his party be taking from the imminent loss of the White House?

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  • 09.11.2020
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    Leopoldo Lopez: An opposition leader in exile

    The socialist government of Venezuela presides over an economy in meltdown and a population desperate for change. Yet the country's opposition has failed to build a movement capable of bringing down President Nicolas Maduro. Why? In an exclusive interview, Stephen Sackur speaks to Leopoldo Lopez, the founder of the opposition Popular Will party. Last month, he escaped from Venezuela and found refuge in Spain. Is that the action of a man who has lost faith in the opposition's ability to win their struggle?

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  • 04.11.2020
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    Jacob Bleacher: Putting astronauts back on the moon

    Scientists have discovered water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the first time. Does it matter? Well, maybe it does. The Moon is back in vogue in terms of space exploration – the US says it will put astronauts back on the lunar surface by 2024. It is supposed to be the precursor to a manned mission to Mars. Stephen Sackur speaks to Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist at NASA. In this time of pandemic and climate change here on Earth, is space exploration a potential lifeline or a massive vanity project?

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  • 02.11.2020
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    Perez Hilton: The 2000s' gossip-in-chief

    Gossip, scurrilous rumour, a fascination with the flaws of the rich and famous: these human foibles are as old as the hills, but the age of the internet has amplified their power. Perez Hilton, real name Mario Lavandeira, can lay claim to being the godfather of online gossip and scandal mongering. He created his showbiz gossip blog 16 years ago, and made a pile of money trashing reputations and inflicting misery on the famous. Now he says he’s sorry, but should we believe him?

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  • 30.10.2020
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    Jim Clyburn: Can Biden win?

    According to the polls Joe Biden is strong favourite to be the next President of the United States. But the party’s leaders bear deep scars from 2016. Donald Trump overcame the odds and beat Hillary Clinton and he claims he can do it again next week. Even if Biden wins does America really know what his presidency would look like? Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the most senior Democrats in Congress, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. Is Democratic party confidence more than skin deep?Photo: US House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee Chairman James E. Clyburn Credit: Getty Images

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  • 28.10.2020
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    Dominique Schnapper on secularism in France after Samuel Paty's killing

    The beheading of a teacher by an 18-year-old outside Paris struck a particularly jarring blow to the French psyche. Samuel Paty was murdered for teaching his students, including young Muslims, about freedom of speech, including the freedom to mock religion. His killing was seen by some as an attack on France’s secular values. Stephen Sackur speaks to Dominique Schnapper, president of a council which advises the government on secularism in education. Is France's government getting its response to this tragedy right?

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  • 23.10.2020
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    Peter Frankopan: Can history offer us any lessons on the coronavirus pandemic?

    Stephen Sackur speaks to Peter Frankopan, historian and author of the bestselling book The Silk Roads. There’s plentiful evidence that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted more serious damage on the US than China. Has the impact of Covid-19 reinforced the notion that global power and influence is shifting to the East?

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  • 21.10.2020
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    Jack Kingston: Can Trump win?

    In a few days time Americans will give their verdict on President Donald Trump. Do they want four more years of Trump in the White House, or will they opt for the other septuagenarian Joe Biden - wholly different in style and worldview? Stephen Sackur speaks to the former Republican Congressman and loyal Trump campaigner Jack Kingston. The polls consistently say Trump is in big trouble. Is there good reason to think they are wrong?

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  • 16.10.2020
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    Jim O'Neill: Is this a time for governments to be bold?

    In every crisis there is opportunity. It is a mantra beloved by business schools and political strategists, but should it offer us comfort as Covid-19 continues to ravage the global economy? Stephen Sackur speaks to Jim O’Neill, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs, erstwhile advisor to the British Government and champion of big measures to revive growth. Is this really the time to be bold?

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  • 14.10.2020
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    Rob Schenck: Can Trump still count on the religious right?

    We cannot know the contents of Donald Trump’s soul, but its fair to say his personal behaviour doesn't point to deeply held Christian belief. And yet the evangelical Christian right is a key pillar of his support base. Could that change in November’s election? Stephen Sackur speaks to Rob Schenck, an influential evangelical pastor and long-time anti-abortion activist who broke with fellow social conservatives over gun control. Can Donald Trump still count on the loyalty of the religious right?

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  • 12.10.2020
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    Volodymyr Zelensky: How is Ukraine's president faring?

    When Ukrainians overwhelmingly voted to make a comedian president, Europeans wondered what the punchline would be. In an exclusive interview, Stephen Sackur speaks to Volodymyr Zelensky, the comic actor who played a president on TV before getting the job in real life. He has had 18 months to make good on his promise to end corruption and find a pathway to peace with Russia. How is he doing?

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  • 09.10.2020
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    Narendra Taneja: How well has India handled the coronavirus crisis?

    Stephen Sackur speaks to the national spokesman for India's ruling BJP Narendra Taneja. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dominance of Indian politics is unquestioned but his ability to deliver competent government in a crisis is less certain. India now has the second highest official number of Covid infections in the world, and the real figure is thought to be up to ten times higher. Is Mr Modi’s populist strong man act about to come unstuck?

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  • 07.10.2020
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    Joe Henrich: Is Western society 'weird'?

    The debate between nature and nurture is as old as the hills - is genetics or cultural conditioning the key to understanding human evolution? We speak to Joseph Henrich, a Harvard professor whose fascination with human evolution and anthropology has brought him to a radical conclusion. He says Western societies preoccupied with the individual not the collective are weird, and the cultural power of the West has skewed our view of what is normal. How much do we humans really have in common?

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  • 05.10.2020
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    James Rebanks: Sustainable food in a growing world

    In a special edition of the programme, HARDtalk is in the area known as the Lake District in north-west England. The landscape is beautiful, but is not wild. The fields have been shaped by generations of shepherds and stockmen. Stephen Sackur speaks to James Rebanks, whose farm has been in his family's hands for at least 600 years. In his book - English Pastoral - he advocates for a better kind of farming that is more sustainable and environmentally responsible. But are his ideas compatible with putting affordable food on all of our tables?

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  • 02.10.2020
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    Leroy Logan: How hard is it to root out discrimination in the police?

    The sense of systemic racial injustice in policing that has fuelled the Black Lives Matter movement is shared far beyond the shores of the United States. In Britain, it is two decades since a top level inquiry into London's police force found it to be institutionally racist. How much has really changed? Stephen Sackur speaks to Leroy Logan, who was one of London's top black policemen until his retirement seven years ago. How easy is it to root out discrimination dressed in a police uniform?

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  • 30.09.2020
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    Paolo Gentiloni: Can Europe's economy recover?

    The economic fallout of Covid-19 has been tough, and with new waves of the virus appearing, restrictions on economic activity are being reimposed in many countries. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commissioner for the Economy. How confident is he that the world's second-largest economy can make a recovery?

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  • 28.09.2020
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    Yusef Salaam: How to reform the US criminal justice system

    Yusef Salaam was just 16 when he and four other black and Latino teenagers were wrongly convicted of the rape and assault of a woman jogging in New York’s Central Park. Even before their trial the then property tycoon Donald Trump took out newspaper ads calling for the death penalty. The five served out their sentences before being exonerated when another man admitted to the crime. Yusef Salaam says their case is the story of the criminal system of injustice in America. But as anti-racism protests continue, and fears of worse unrest to come, is the chance of real change even more remote than in the America of his youth?

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  • 23.09.2020
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    Leonid Volkov: What next for Russia's opposition?

    As soon as he emerged from his coma Alexey Navalny, the Russian opposition leader apparently poisoned by novichok nerve agent, expressed his determination to return to Moscow. But what future is there for an anti-Putin political movement in a country where dissent is all too often seriously bad for your health? Stephen Sackur speaks to Leonid Volkov, opposition politician and chief of staff to Mr Navalny. Is there any weakening of the Kremlin’s grip on power?

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  • 18.09.2020
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    Thomas Chatterton Williams: Race, identity and power

    Not just in the United States, but across the world the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted debate about race, identity and power. It is a campaign predicated on ideas about what it means to be black and white; but what if those very terms are themselves part of the problem? Stephen Sackur speaks to Thomas Chatterton Williams, a mixed-race American writer and self-declared ex-black man, whose ideas present a challenge to so-called 'woke' culture. How much room is there right now for respectful, thoughtful debate?

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  • 16.09.2020
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    Rafael Grossi: Is the world's nuclear watchdog being undermined?

    What is the point of the world’s nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency? Its task is to ensure that countries intent on developing nuclear power don’t use their programmes as cover for development of weapons of mass destruction. But is the task impossible? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the new IAEA chief, Rafael Grossi. From the continued bitter arguments over Iran, to North Korea, and Saudi Arabia, is the IAEA another example of a global agency undermined by geopolitical division?

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  • 14.09.2020
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    Douglas Ross: Can the new Scottish Conservative leader preserve the UK?

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces momentous challenges. The coronavirus pandemic, an economic slump and a looming moment of truth for Britain’s relations with the EU. In the midst of this turbulence the future of the United Kingdom itself looks uncertain. Polls suggest increasing numbers of Scots want out of the Union. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the new leader of the Scottish Conservative party, Douglas Ross. Are events playing into the hands of the Scottish nationalists?(Photo: Douglas Ross, newly announced Scottish Conservative leader, talks to media in Forres, Scotland, Britain 5 August, 2020. Credit: Russell Cheyne/Reuters)

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  • 11.09.2020
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    Gitanas Nausėda: Will people power take Belarus in a new direction?

    Will Moscow’s will prevail in Belarus, or will people power take the country in a new direction? Stephen Sackur speaks to Gitanas Nausėda, the president of neighbouring Lithuania. The daily street protests demanding the resignation of Belarus’s authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko haven’t yet tipped the balance against the regime. Lukashenko is still there; the security forces are still doing his bidding. So how is the geopolitics of this going to play out?

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  • 09.09.2020
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    Frank Luntz: Can Donald Trump win?

    With just two months until the US presidential election, the polls show the incumbent Donald Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden by a significant margin. This is an extraordinary election year marked by a pandemic, economic crisis, street protests over alleged police racism and a toxic political atmosphere. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the veteran Republican party pollster and consultant Frank Luntz. Can Donald Trump win, and should Republicans want him to?

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Laura Kövesi: Can the EU's 'corruption buster' deliver?

    The EU is thought to have lost more than €10 billion to fraud over the last two decades, and yet its anti-fraud and anti-corruption agencies have long lacked the teeth to root out the problem. Could that be about to change? Stephen Sackur speaks to Romanian Laura Codruta Kövesi, the EU's first public prosecutor. She has enhanced powers to tackle transnational crime. But if member states refuse to play ball, how can she succeed?

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  • 08.09.2020
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    UN Secretary General António Guterres: Is multilateralism dead?

    The annual UN General Assembly gets underway this month in New York and this year it will be like no previous one. The coronavirus pandemic means the summit will be held virtually. The medical, social and economic impact of Covid-19 has not only brought much suffering, it is also reshaping the world. HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi speaks to the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres. He believes the pandemic is unleashing a tsunami of scapegoating, hate and xenophobia. As the UN marks its 75th anniversary, is it equipped to deal with these unprecedented global challenges?

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Alfre Woodard: The artist and the activist

    Alfre Woodard has had a distinguished acting career, spanning five decades, with roles ranging from Winnie Mandela to a part in hit TV series Desperate Housewives. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and for much of her career she has been an activist and campaigner, speaking out against race discrimination in the movie business, and lending her support to the Democratic party. Have her art and her activism merged into one?

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Sam Harris: A place for conversation in an angry world

    Thanks to the internet and the mobile phone our ability to communicate, inform and persuade has never been greater. So why is public debate getting ever more polarising and toxic? Stephen Sackur speaks to the american philosopher, neuroscientist and podcaster Sam Harris whose takes on everything from religion to race generate intense heat. Are extremism and intolerance drowning out reasoned debate?

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  • 08.09.2020
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    Natalia Pasternak: Brazil's battle between science and politics

    The global Covid-19 pandemic has put a fierce spotlight on the relationship between scientists and policy makers. Leaders across the world have responded to the science with everything from respect to scepticism. Foremost amongst the sceptics, president Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, one of the countries hit hardest by the virus. Stephen Sackur speaks to the Brazilian microbiologist Natalia Pasternak who has launched a crusade against her President in the name of science. But is she winning the argument?(Photo: Microbiologist Natalia Pasternak)

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