Monocle 24: The Foreign Desk

Monocle 24: The Foreign Desk


Presented by Steve Bloomfield, 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.


Venezuela: can Maduro hold on?  

Unofficial referendums, spurious elections, strikes and riots – the ongoing instability in Venezuela is taking its toll on the people that live there. But could things have been different? And what can be done to return the country to normality?

Explainer 74: Cultural boycotts  

After a drawn-out media spat, Radiohead played a concert in Israel this week. But why were people so against it – and what were they hoping to achieve?

No place like home  

In 1965 the UK separated the Chagos Islands, an archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean, from Mauritius to form the British Indian Ocean Territory. Everyone living there was evicted and they have been fighting to return ever since. After a vote in the UN referred the matter to the International Court of Justice, is now the time for Chagossians to return home?

Explainer 73: The decline and fall of Chris Christie  

After a term steeped in controversy, has the political career of the outgoing governor of New Jersey come to an end? And if so, what’s next?

Hong Kong’s 20-year handover hangover  

Twenty years after the “one party, two systems” treaty guaranteed Hong Kongers’ democratic rights, we ask if China has kept its promises and whether the UK should have been a better advocate for its former colony. We get the verdicts from Lord Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong; Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive; Nathan Law, one of the key figures of the Umbrella Movement and the youngest lawmaker in Hong Kong’s history; and China Dialogue’s Isabel Hilton.

Explainer 72: What’s next for Yuriko Koike?  

The Tokyo governor’s political career is going from strength to strength despite pervading attitudes – but what’s next for her?

Mosul: the end of the fight against Isis?  

In Iraq, Mosul is all but recaptured from Islamic State. In Syria, Raqqa looks likely to be freed next. Does the caliphate have a future if it holds no territory? And how can the retaken cities be rebuilt to stop IS coming back?

Explainer 71: Canada’s 150th Birthday  

As Canada reaches the ripe old age of 150, Tomos Lewis asks what, exactly, is Canada celebrating?

The Gulf – another Cold War?  

As tensions continue to rise between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Andrew Mueller asks if the co-ordinated shunning of Qatar by many of its neighbours is just a distraction – and where this political stalemate could be heading.

Explainer 70: Who are Mali’s Islamists?  

After Sunday’s attack on a tourist resort just outside Bamako, Andrew Mueller asks who are Mali’s Islamists and what do they want?

Does independence always matter?  

Independence movements don’t always mean a heroic struggle against oppression. Some countries that appear functional and pleasant to the outside world are home to people who do not agree. They want to be free – but from what?

Explainer 69: How will Hong Kong celebrate its return to China?  

As Hong Kong prepares to celebrate 20 years since its return to the motherland, Monocle’s Ceinwen Thomas asks who is celebrating what?

Horn of Africa – Kenya  

In the last part of a special series looking at the Horn of Africa, we turn to Kenya ahead of this year’s election. Its old problems are still unresolved. So what sort of nation will emerge after the vote?

Explainer 68: Is the US becoming a rogue state?  

Monocle’s Steve Bloomfield on what it means if the leader of the US walks, talks and acts like an autocrat.

Horn of Africa – Ethiopia  

In the second of a three-part special looking at the Horn of Africa, we explore a country in a state of emergency: Ethiopia. Protests have put the government under pressure and hundreds have been killed. So what’s next?

Explainer 67: Mongolia votes  

Monocle’s Asia editor at large, Kenji Hall, looks at the upcoming election in Mongolia.

The Foreign Desk: Horn of Africa – Somalia  

In the first of a three-part special looking at the Horn of Africa, Steve Bloomfield explores a country in a state of flux: Somalia. The threat of terror, corruption and famine are high and help from outside often does more harm than good. Is Somalia on the path to stability or yet another crisis?

Explainer 66: What’s next for Manchester?  

After Monday night’s terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester, Monocle’s Chris Lord looks to the past for hope for his home city’s future.

Russia’s foreign policy  

Russia has had an impact on a vast range of the world’s biggest stories in recent years: from the war in Syria to the unrest in Ukraine and the election in the US. Monocle’s Steve Bloomfield is joined by former Kremlin adviser Alexander Nekrasov and author Ben Judah to unpack Russia’s foreign-policy strategy.

Explainer 65: Who really rules in Iran?  

With Iranians going to the polls this weekend, our features editor asks if the votes really matter?

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