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.


Explainer 57: Why Trump needs the media  

As the fallout from the US secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s tour of Asia shows, treating the media like the enemy can cause problems.

Iceland’s triumph  

No nation fell as far during the 2008 global financial crisis as Iceland. But unlike other countries Iceland decided to hold those responsible for the crash to account. Now, nine years on, the country has recovered. What can other nations learn from Iceland’s actions?

Explainer 56: Should we be working fewer hours?  

The dream of working less and relaxing more is not a new one. But for too long we’ve talked about work purely in terms of money.

Why the Dutch election matters  

The first of Europe’s big-three elections of 2017 takes place next week; in the Netherlands it is yet another test for liberal democracy. Monocle’s Steve Bloomfield is joined by Philippe Remarque, editor in chief of ‘De Volkskrant’, and [Emilie van Outeren](, a political journalist for ‘NRC’, to discuss why this vote matters.

Explainer 55: When Angela meets Donald  

German chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Washington to meet Donald Trump. It will be his trickiest meeting since taking office – Merkel is one of the few world leaders who has made no attempt to hide her disdain for him.

Brexit – what Europe wants  

At some stage this month the UK prime minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally announcing that the UK wishes to leave the European Union, kickstarting two years (or more) years of negotiations. We’ve heard a lot from May and her merry band of Brexiteers about what the UK wants – indeed, expects – from the negotiations. But what does Europe want? And isn’t it about time that the UK started to listen?

Explainer 54: Why Turkey’s referendum matters  

Turkey is gearing up for a constitutional referendum in April that could give executive powers to President Erdoğan. Our Istanbul bureau chief Christopher Lord explains how important and disruptive this could be for the country.

The revival of American satire  

President Trump presents a formidable challenge to satirical writers, broadcasters, comedians and visual artists. What are the ins and outs of covering such an unpredictable president and more importantly, how do you satirise the self-satirising?

Explainer 53: Nato’s Trump card?  

Could Donald Trump’s presidency end up leaving Nato better armed and better defended?

North Korea in the age of Donald Trump  

Kim Jong-un now finds himself facing a foe who also understands the awesome and disorienting power of unpredictability. How will North Korea negotiate the age of Donald Trump?

Explainer 52: What will Brexit mean for the UK’s border with Ireland?  

With the triggering of Article 50, Brexit will mean that the UK will have a physical border with the EU. But how would that work?

Who is Martin Schulz?  

As Germany gears up for the federal election in September, we profile SPD’s candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz. After a successful stint as European Parliament president, his popularity at home is growing. But is it enough to beat Angela Merkel?

Explainer 51: The Southern Cameroons crisis  

Southern Cameroons is predominantly English-speaking, whereas the rest of Cameroon speaks French. While this might not seem like a big deal it has been at the centre of a conflict between both region and in recent weeks, the squabble has flared up again.

How to defeat Trump  

In just two weeks Donald Trump has come up against an almost uncountable number of objections, lawsuits and protests criticising his actions and policies. But what is his main opposition and is there anything that might stop him serving his full four-year term?

Explainer 50: Trump’s migration ban  

President Trump’s controversial ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States’ executive order, known by some as the ‘Muslim ban’, has led to criticism from foreign leaders, anger from human rights groups and disgust from protesters all over the world.

From democracy to autocracy  

There are signs that the US is being ruled by an autocratic leader but part of the reason that many Americans will baulk at that description is that life in an autocracy is not always that different from life in a proper democracy. At least not at first.

Explainer 49: Democracy takes hold in west Africa  

West Africa has had a troubled recent relationship with democracy – but times are changing. Yahya Jammeh’s departure from Gambia means that every nation in west Africa is now, technically, a democracy.

Rouhani’s Record  

With presidential elections in May, Iranians have a rare chance to show either their support or their discontent for Hassan Rouhani. Steve Bloomfield sits down with Mehrad Vaezinejad and Maryam Namazie to discuss what really matters to Iranians at home and what chance, if any, there is of real reform.

Explainer 48: Russia as the world’s policeman  

As Trump enters the Oval Office promising to put America First, who will fill the role of the world police? As the US steps back, Russia, it would appear, is stepping forward. But is the world ready?

China and Trump  

What will Donald Trump's presidency mean for China? He's tested the water with tough rhetoric – and that phone call to Taiwan – and Beijing has reacted accordingly, albeit with caution. But which of the two greatest powers will come out on top? Steve Bloomfield sits down with ambassador Chas Freeman and NYU professor Ann Lee.

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