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Competitive sport is one of the great joys of the human condition for athletes and spectators alike. It brings happiness, livelihood, and physical health and provides an education in teamwork, discipline, maturity, and humility. But for this to continue, sports around the world must acknowledge challenges both current and future and both internal and external. Then, steps must be taken to overcome what faces them, or risk losing what so many people hold so dear. But what are the challenges a ...
 
This challenging eight-part series investigates the links between sport and climate change and asks the sporting community, including us as fans, to assess our contribution to an unfolding crisis. Athletes, clubs and governing bodies tell stories from three angles; the impact of climate change on everyday sport, the contribution of sport to the global emergency and the solutions sport can deliver to help make a difference. Can sport lead on this? Why are athletes afraid? What can we all do t ...
 
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show series
 
What is the galvanising force behind transformational economic change? Capitalism encourages us to look to the raw power of markets as the driver of innovation. But is that really true? Stephen Sackur speaks to the economist Mariana Mazzucato. Her faith in the transformational power of the proactive state has made her the go-to adviser to a host of…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to Hong Kong Legislative Councillor Dominic Lee Tsz-king, a high profile defender of Beijing’s increasingly tight grip on the territory. With China’s increasing crackdown in the city and pro-democracy activists arrested, exiled or cowed into silence, has "one country, two systems" become "one country, one system"?…
 
HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the adviser to Iran’s negotiators in Vienna, Mohammad Marandi. Time is running out for negotiators trying to break the impasse between the United States and Iran and revive the deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Iran is still enriching uranium; the Biden administration is talking of giving up on the current…
 
Stephen Sackur interviews British Conservative MP Damian Collins, who has been working on online regulation. After the stream of revelations about lockdown socialising in Downing Street, he and his party colleagues must decide whether they want Boris Johnson to continue as party leader. Is the Prime Minister damaged beyond repair?…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to philosopher and author Kathleen Stock whose views on the immutability of biological sex and the limitations of gender self-identity have made her a hate figure for some transgender activists and supporters. Why has debate about sex, gender and identity become a culture war battleground?(Photo: Kathleen Stock in the Hardtalk…
 
Women are still fighting for equality all over the world. Even in long established democracies like the UK plenty of evidence suggests that from the workplace to the law courts there is a long way to go. Stephen Sackur speaks to Baroness Helena Kennedy who has been trying to loosen the grip of the patriarchy in the British legal system for five dec…
 
Black and white Americans have always had vastly different experiences within their country’s justice system. You see it in so many different data sets, from police violence to incarceration and sentencing. It's impossible to understand without reference to America’s history of institutionalised racism. But understanding is one thing; the real chal…
 
HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Sudanese diplomat Nureldin Satti. It’s surely hard for the people of Sudan to be optimistic about their country’s prospects in 2022. The new year began with the nominal head of the transitional government quitting his post, leaving Sudan, once again, in the grip of the military. Street protests in recent months h…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to Laurence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard University. It’s a year since pro-Trump protesters stormed the US Capitol and unleashed a spasm of violence which left five people dead. While hundreds of people have since been charged, none have been key associates of Donald Trump, and the former president seems t…
 
This episode examines how gambling and sports betting companies keep us betting, despite the odds being against us. One of their primary weapons is that they have a better scientific understanding of our brains and senses than we do. They barrage our senses with sights, sounds, and smells, all of which almost imperceptibly encourage us to stay. Of …
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of National History in New York. He is one of America’s most popular scientists and shares his fascination with space with millions of Americans. But here on Earth, science is under pressure, from Covid to climate change. Is tr…
 
Stephen Sackur is in Oslo to interview the joint winners of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Both are independent journalists who have defied threats and repression to continue their work. Maria Ressa, founder of the Rappler news website in the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov, long time editor in chief of Novaya Gazeta in Moscow. Theirs is a fight for…
 
Can America lead an effective global response to the climate change emergency? At last month’s COP26 summit in Glasgow the chorus of concern from world leaders was deafening, but the really tough decisions on deeper emissions cuts to reduce global warming were put off until next year. Stephen Sackur speaks to the US Special Envoy for Climate John K…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks with Moeed Yusuf, National Security Adviser of Pakistan. The Taliban is back in power in neighbouring Afghanistan. US and Nato forces are gone. Pakistan sees opportunities in this new reality but are there grave dangers too?(Photo: Moeed Yusuf appears via videolink on Hardtalk)By BBC World Service
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to one of New York City's most famous writers, Paul Auster, whose novels and screenplays have done much to capture the New York state of mind. The city prides itself on being a 24/7 melting pot of glitz, glamour and buzz, but it has been hit hard by Covid; only now are overseas visitors being allowed back in. In this era of pa…
 
This episode explains how bookmakers are guaranteed to make a profit. Many sports betters are under the impression that they are playing ‘against’ the bookmaker. Either they win or you win. This is simply not true. Firstly, there are so many people betting on all the possible outcomes. Secondly, the odds that bookmakers offer are “priced up” so tha…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to the Indian investigative journalist Rana Ayyub whose determination to dig deep into the past and present of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prompted abuse, intimidation and legal action. What does her case say about the health of India’s democracy?(Photo: Rana Ayyub appears via videolink on Hardtalk)…
 
This episode explains a core understanding of gambling: the House Edge. Using consistent mathematical principles, casinos and bookmakers convert the small edges embedded in their games into a massive and guaranteed profit margin. The key ingredient is scale. The House Edge on a single hand of a single game is a bet only slightly in their favour. Bu…
 
Next Spring, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the EU's most controversial leader, will seek a new mandate. His grip on power in Budapest is tight, covering the parliament, the media and the economy. His opponents at home and in Brussels call him an autocrat, but can he beaten at the ballot box? Stephen Sackur speaks to Péter Márki-Zay, who wi…
 
Scratch beneath the surface of everyday American life and you find an increasingly polarised culture. Donald Trump is no longer in the White House, but the culture wars he inflamed are still raging. In a special edition of HARDtalk from New York, Stephen Sackur speaks to an influential conservative activist in the thick of the fight. Ryan Girdusky,…
 
This is the beginning of a series of episodes that seek to give the listener a much clearer understanding of sports betting. Gambling as an industry is often reviled yet continues to grow. This growth guarantees more people will fall foul of its most negative aspects such as debt and addiction. From the outside, it is easy to say that only fools ga…
 
Poland is the biggest rebel in the European family, and matters are coming to a head over its latest disputes with the EU. Brussels accuses the centre-right government in Warsaw of a blatant disregard for EU law, in particular over changes it wants to make to the judicial system. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Pawel Jablonski, the country's deputy foreign…
 
Football's global appeal can’t disguise the problems facing the game. Some fans say the sport is being ruined by financial greed, and racism is still to be rooted out. Stephen Sackur speaks to the former Manchester United and France star, Patrice Evra. He’s just done something most footballers never do, by revealing his deep emotional scars. What m…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to Mike Leigh, the acclaimed writer and director of films such as Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake, Happy-Go-Lucky and Mr Turner. For five decades, he has told stories about believable characters facing very human dilemmas. They’re painstakingly put together and not always easy to watch. But is the demand for his kind of artistic …
 
Kosovo has enjoyed independent statehood for 13 years but almost half the world does not recognise it. Stephen Sackur speaks to Prime Minister Albin Kurti who has had a turbulent career. He has been a political prisoner, he launched five tear gas attacks on his own parliament and he has a vision of Kosovo unifying with Albania. Is he a source of in…
 
The Trump Presidency challenged many public officials to make a choice: obey directives from the White House against their better judgment, or take a stand and face the wrath of the pro-Trump movement. Fiona Hill, a former Russia adviser at the White House, took a stand. She was a key witness in Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, and has since…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to French finance minister Bruno Le Maire. France is in recovery mode after the damaging impact of Covid but is struggling to deliver on long promised economic reform. With a presidential election looming, is France looking for a new direction?(Photo: Bruno Le Maire, Economy and Finance Minister for France. Credit: Oan Valat/E…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to the acclaimed novelist and playwright Ariel Dorfman. His life has been shaped by political upheaval and exile. He fled Chile after General Pinochet seized power in 1973 and his books were banned and burned. Dorfman’s work explores humankind’s capacity for sin and salvation. Do we have it in us to overcome our worst instinct…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to Andrew Forrest, an Australian billionaire mining magnate who is using a chunk of his fortune to push a green, hydrogen-based energy solution. In the run up to the Glasgow climate change summit, his conversion to decarbonisation is timely, but is it credible?(Photo: Andrew Forrest in the Hardtalk studio)…
 
When the first Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals came to an end, the ground-breaking international tribunal handed down 12 death sentences. Seventy-five years on, is the world any better at delivering justice for the worst of crimes? In the years that followed, there were hopes that an evolving mechanism of international justice would deter and…
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to Adela Raz, still officially Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States, though the Taliban disowns her and the Americans ignore her. In the face of a looming humanitarian catastrophe is it time for the outside world to come to terms with Afghanistan’s new rulers?(Photo: Adela Raz appears via videolink on Hardtalk)…
 
Do we understand the urgency of the global biodiversity and climate change crisis? Stephen Sackur speaks to the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, Richard Deverell. Kew Gardens in London is a UNESCO world heritage site and home to one of the largest collections of living plants in the world and an unrivalled repository of preserved speci…
 
From Covid to climate change, governments around the world face challenges which demand modifications of human behaviour. When it comes to getting people to do things differently, what works best: the carrot of persuasion, or the stick of coercion? Stephen Sackur speaks to Richard Thaler, the world renowned economist and behavioural scientist who b…
 
Seventy-five years after the Nuremberg Military Tribunals convicted some of the most senior Nazis of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the last surviving prosecutor from the trials, Ben Ferencz talks to Zeinab Badawi. Does he believe the Nuremberg trials have made genocide and crimes against humanity less likely to be committed in the world t…
 
The crisis over a lack of supplies in the UK triggered by a shortage of truck drivers has reignited the debate about the consequences of Brexit. This comes on top of concerns about the impact on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and what it means for the historic peace agreement there. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Michel Barnier, who was …
 
Zeinab Badawi speaks to Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, amid concern about renewed tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme. Tehran insists that it is only developing nuclear power for civilian purposes but now Israel has warned that it crosses all “red lines” and that it won’t allow Iran to acquire nuclear …
 
Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the world's most celebrated cinematographers, Roger Deakins. He has won Oscars for his work on 1917 and Blade Runner 2049, and also shaped the look of modern classics such as O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Skyfall, The Big Lebowski and The Shawshank Redemption. But is technology, from CGI to the ubiquitous camera phone,…
 
Republicans in Texas have managed to ban abortion in almost all cases in their state. Anyone performing, aiding or abetting the termination of a pregnancy after roughly six weeks can be sued in court. The implications are enormous, not just in Texas but across the US. And it points to a wider phenomenon. Ideological conservatives are using state ac…
 
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