What’s next for America and Iran?Beyond the Headlines add
The US has upped the pressure on Iran and since the start of May, tensions across the Middle East have risen. Officials on both sides are publically saying they don’t want a war (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/threats-from-iran-remain-high-but-have-been-put-on-hold-pentagon-chief-says-1.864604) but have released numerous statements warning of the devastating consequences if the other starts one.
In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in rockets and weaponized drones launched towards Saudi Arabia from Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, four ships were sabotaged off the coast of the UAE (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/uae-welcomes-allies-participation-in-tanker-sabotage-investigation-1.865117) , and a rocket landed in the secure Baghdad Green Zone where the US embassy is located.
Analysts are concerned that despite no one wanting war, a regional game of brinksmanship could lead to a conflict.
Iran has dozens of proxy forces across the region from Lebanon to Yemen and an increase in US forces in the region being implemented, there is a lot of room for mistakes.
It doesn’t appear that anyone in the region wants to see the situation spill over (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/iraq-emerging-as-an-unofficial-iran-us-go-between-1.864538) and several intermediaries – including Iraq and Oman – are stepping forward even if Washington and Tehran say that the time’s not right for talks.
This week on Beyond the headlines, we’re joined by The National’s Washington Correspondent Joyce Karam (https://www.thenational.ae/topics/Author/Joyce%20%20Karam) to discuss what’s next for the US and Iran and how do parties cool tensions when neither side appears set to talk.
Yemen's floating bombBeyond the Headlines add
Moored off Yemen’s Red Sea Coast is a rusting oil tanker, with a million barrels of crude aboard.
It has been described as a 'floating bomb'.
After going without maintenance for the duration of Yemen’s four-year civil war, the UN says it is now at risk of exploding, potentially unleashing an environmental catastrophe on an historic scale.
But, with 80 million dollars’ worth of oil involved, Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government have disagreed on what is to be done.
The bombing of Syria's last rebel provinceBeyond the Headlines add
For months, the headlines have revolved around the winding down of the Syrian war and what the next phase looks like.
In April, US backed and Kurdish led forces retook the once sprawling so called caliphate of ISIS in eastern Syria. Across much of the rest of the country, the regime was consolidating control.
But talking about the future has overlooked the fate of nearly 3 million civilians living in the last rebel-held territory that is now largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a group of hardline extremists once affiliated to Al Qaeda.
In recent weeks, the regime and its backers in Tehran and Moscow have turned their attention to the North eastern province of Idlib.
Over 150,000 people have already been displaced and 100 civilians killed in a campaign that those who fled Aleppo and Deraa say is as intense.
Sudan moves on from Omar Al BashirBeyond the Headlines add
For three decades, Omar Al Bashir ruled over Sudan. But in April, in the face of growing protests, he was removed from office and the future of the country was suddenly up in the air.
In this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines, we talk about the changes sweeping Sudan.
Hamza Hendawi, The National’s Cairo correspondent, has been on the ground in Sudan this week. She tells foreign editor James Haines-Young about the mood in the streets of Khartoum, where since December demonstrations have drawn millions and eventually helped lead to a dramatic end to the ruinous reign of Mr Al Bashir.
Now, the military along with the main protest group – dubbed the Freedom and Change Forces – are working together to oversee the transition into Sudan's new future.
Sri Lanka reels after Easter Day massacreBeyond the Headlines add
Suicide bombs, 359 dead and an ISIS claim of responsibility. On Sunday, Sri Lanka was hit by the single largest terror attack in its history. Hundreds attending Easter Sunday mass or at high-end Colombo hotels were killed and wounded in a coordinated wave of bombings.
In the wake of the blasts, communities have undoubtedly rallied together. But the shared grief belies the underlying communal tensions that have existed for years.
Amid the pain, there is also anger. It appears intelligence received by some government officials could have helped police prevent the attacks. But the documents were not shared with everyone.
Jack Moore, Deputy Foreign Editor at The National, talks us through the last week in Sri Lanka where he has been reporting.
The many issues at play in India's electionBeyond the Headlines add
The scale of India’s ongoing election is staggering – nearly 900 million people are registered to cast their ballots.
And there are many issues at stake, with India's economy on pace to become of the world's five largest this year.
While many have been concerned about the economy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s track record of reforms, national security, the rural economy and Hindi nationalism are all issues that have played a central role as Indians go to the polls.
The National's Ramola Talwar Badam was in Uttar Pradesh, and she brings perspective and analysis with foreign editor James Haines-Young in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
Israel’s Arab population and the Palestinians fear for the future as Benjamin Netanyahu clinches victory in a general election.Beyond the Headlines add
Benjamin Netanyahu has won a fifth term in office and looks set to be Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister, after a campaign which saw him pledge to annex the occupied West Bank.
Beyond the Headlines podcast: Bouteflika bids goodbye to power in AlgeriaBeyond the Headlines add
After weeks of mounting protest, Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has stepped down, ending 20 years as the country’s ruler.
While the moment is historic, protesters – many of whom won’t remember a time before Mr Bouteflika was their president – are not finished.
Fear that a younger, healthier version of the ailing 82-year old will step into his place or that the army may co-opt power, they say they will push on to ensure a real democratic transition.
After years of economic stagnation after oil revenue – the backbone of the economy – collapsed when oil prices fell in 2014, people are calling for a brighter future. Unemployment is high, costs are rising and many felt that there would be no future if Mr Bouteflika had won a fifth term in the election that was supposed to take place in April.
But now, they say they are turning a new page in their country’s history.
In this week’s Beyond the Headlines, The National’s Foreign Editor James Haines-Young speaks to Chellali Khalil who has been part of the protests since the start, and Algerian researcher Tin Hinane El Kadi from the London School of Economics to ask how the country got here and what comes next.
Former UK PM Tony Blair says Brexit is a messBeyond the Headlines add
The Untied Kingdom’s march towards Brexit has been postponed but questions about the fate of the country’s place in the world continue to swirl.
Prime Minister Theresa May has been given extra few weeks to breath but the UK remains no closer to any solutions.
On this week’s edition of Beyond the Headlines The National’s Editor-in-Chief Mina Al Oraibi sat down with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss how the divide nation can move forward.
New Zealanders shaken but unbowed by terrorist attacksBeyond the Headlines add
It's been one week since the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand. The mass shooting was the worst peacetime attack in New Zealand’s history, and has shaken the country to its core.
In the week that followed the slaying of 50 people by a white supremacist gunman at two separate mosques, New Zealanders rallied around the victims, while grappling with shock, grief and anger. The government, meanwhile, has moved swiftly to announce stricter gun laws.
_The National_'s journalists and expatriated New Zealanders, Ashleigh Stewart and Campbell MacDiarmid, discuss how their homeland is responding to the tragedy, and bring stories of some of the victim's families.
The last stand of ISIS in SyriaBeyond the Headlines add
Syrian Democratic Forces are slowly extinguishing what’s left of the Islamic State. The US-backed SDF has the grouped trapped in a tiny sliver of land along the Euphrates River.
Baghouz, Syria, is a small farming village. Before it became home to the last pocket of ISIS, it was just a dot on the map that many Syrians hadn’t even heard of. Now it’s the centre of a months-long battle between the SDF and what’s left of ISIS.
Assistant Foreign Editor, Campbell MacDiarmid and Multimedia Producer Willy Lowry travelled to Baghouz to cover ISIS’s last stand.
In this edition of Beyond the Headlines, we take you to the frontlines in the fight to end ISIS.
National Geographic's Enric Sala on saving the planet, one kilometre at a timeBeyond the Headlines add
Enric Sala has a plan to save the planet. National Geographic’s explorer-in-residence is in Abu Dhabi for the World Ocean Summit. His one message — that we need to protect 30 per cent of our planet’s land and oceans by 2030.
But at a time when it feels overwhelmingly difficult to be positive about the Earth’s future, what can be done to save our habitats?
“Being a conservationist, sometimes it is hard to be optimistic,” he says. But despite the worrying headlines, the plastic in our oceans, the devastating deforestation, all is not yet lost, Sala claims.
“I have seen with my own eyes how nature comes back when we give her some space, both in the oceans and on the land. Right now, we are at a tipping point so it's not too late.”
Listen to the full interview with Mina Al Oraibi, editor-in-chief of The National on protecting the Earth and its species.
The curious case of the runaway ISIS brideBeyond the Headlines add
This week, The National spoke to Alistair Burt, the British Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa. The chance to speak to the top British official was timely.
Shemima Begum, who fled the UK when she was 15 to join ISIS, was found in a Syrian refugee camp recently. Four years later, she’s now pleading to return home with her new-born. But what does that mean for the UK as Shemima might be just one of many cases where former ISIS members plead to return to their countries.
In this episode of Beyond the Headlines, Minister Burt breaks down the situation with Shemima and her child. He also discusses the crisis in the Syrian Rukban camp, where 50,000 refugees have been cut off from aid and left to starve.
How digital transformation will change the jobs we haveBeyond the Headlines add
The World Economic Forum says that the digital transformation of economies and businesses will displace 75 million jobs as the division of labour shifts between humans, machines and algorithms. However, 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to this technology-led future.
The Abu Dhabi School of Government has partnered with Coursera, one of the world’s leading online learning platforms, to provide professional training and development programmes for critical skills such as data science, artificial intelligence, leadership and digital transformation.
This week's host Mustafa Alrawi, The National's assistant editor in chief talks to Solveig Nicklos, the dean of the Abu Dhabi School of Government and Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s chief executive, about their initiative to support Abu Dhabi’s ambition of upskilling its governmental workforce, as well as fulfilling its potential as a knowledge economy.
The Pope's visit to Abu DhabiBeyond the Headlines add
Pope Francis's visit to the UAE was the first time a Catholic pontiff stepped foot in the Arabian Peninsula.
During his Mass, he prayed for his devotees at Sports Zayed City Stadium and for everyone in the region.
On this episode of Beyond the Headlines, Naser Al Wasmi talks to those who attended the Mass and discusses how the visit impacts the region.
A week after Davos, did the WEF solve anything?Beyond the Headlines add
The richest and most powerful people met at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos.
The range of topics was as wide spanning as the challenges the world faces today.
Although this year’s forum wasn’t as well attended as previous iterations of the prestigious event, it still gathers important leaders from around the world.
But, with so many pertinent issues, such as climate change, the gender gap and trade tensions looming on the world, is one week enough to solve the world’s most pertinent crises?
The UAE-Saudi Arabia co-operation plan, explainedBeyond the Headlines add
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are entering a new phase of co-operation.
The two countries announced a [seven-point co-operation plan](www.thenational.ae/uae/uae-and-saudi-arabia-unveil-seven-point-co-operation-plan-including-new-cryptocurrency-1.815401) this week on money management for children, natural crises emergency plans and, perhaps most interestingly, a joint cryptocurrency.
The move is the latest sign of strengthening ties between the two, and should open the door for easier business relations. It also strengthens the bond between the two countries as they look to face regional challenges in unity.
We explain the deal in this week's episode of Beyond the Headlines.
The great Arab rivers are under threatBeyond the Headlines add
For thousands of years, the great Arab rivers sustained some of the world’s most important ancient civilizations.
The Nile River fuelled the development of 10 thousand years of Pharaonic rule. The Tigris and Euphrates, home of Mesopotamia, were witness to some of the most important developments to mankind, including agriculture and the written word. The rivers helped spread Islam during Prophet Mohammed’s conquests and sustained generations.
But today, whether through government policies or global warming, all three rivers are under threat.
As Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week looks for solutions to global problems, we assess the crises surrounding the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
[**Full report: How the great tides of history turned**](https://rivers.thenational.ae/)
Pompeo's timely tour of the Middle EastBeyond the Headlines add
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on an expansive tour of the Gulf and wider Middle East this week. His task is to clarify President Donald Trump's often-confusing interests in the region.
We discuss in this week's Beyond the Headlines.
Last month, President Trump tweeted that he would pull out of Syria within 30 days, sending shockwaves around not just the region, but in his own administration. Since then, the White House has said there is timetable on US withdrawal. The message keeps changing.
The National's Hashem Osserian explains how Pompeo's tour will influence the region going forward on Syria. We also ask Cinzia Bianco of Gulf State Analytics, about what else is on Pompeo's agenda.
In Central African Republic, poaching thrives in the chaosBeyond the Headlines add
In the middle of Africa lies one of the world's most neglected crises. In the Central African Republic — an environmentally diverse but politically fraught state — the illegal hunting of endangered species is rampant.
How did the country become such a hotbed for poaching, and is there hope to rectify the situation? We look at the issue in this week's Beyond the Headlines podcast.
Chinko is a wildlife refuge in the eastern part of CAR and one of the most uniquely diverse ecological landscapes in Africa. It's also home to communal violence and combative groups vying for control of some of the country's most valuable resources — illegal animal parts.
_The National's_ Campbell MacDiarmid speaks to experts and conservationists who explain the chaotic situation in CAR, and offer insights into how the country can start trying to resolve the issue.