In this week's Beyond the Headlines podcast host Willy Lowry speaks to fellow Canadian Chris Hadfield. The astronaut has been into space three times and worked as an astronaut, training in extreme conditions and preparing physically and mentally to be cooped up in the International Space Station. What does he have to say about our current state of self isolation, the fear of the pandemic and the break from our normal life patterns?
This week James Haines-Young, foreign editor at The National, talks about how a slow response and official denials turned Iran’s Covid-19 outbreak into a national emergency. We also speak to Ali Alfoneh, senior fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
It’s the word on everyone’s lips, and has been for months now -coronavirus. We haven’t seen an international response to a crisis on this scale before. One in which every single one of the world’s 195 countries are at risk. Nations are closing their borders, halting flights, limiting social interaction and closing workplaces... except for the most essential. The world's stock market has tumbled and shows no signs of stability. These are unprecedented times, when fake news and panic travel faster than the virus.
Host Suhail Akram talks to Dr Tarik Jarasevic of World Health Organisation and science historian Simon Ings about the Coronavirus. We also hear from Dr Thoraiya Kanafani, a clinical psychologist, and Ali Khawaja, a self-proclaimed prepper based in the UAE.
The dull thud of bullets smacking into water, followed by the panicked cries of desperate people trying to get to Europe. That was the scene off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey when the Greek Coast Guard confronted refugees and migrants. It’s an extreme example of scenes that have been playing out daily on land and sea.
Host Willy Lowry looks at the latest wave of refugees and migrants trying to get into Europe and why Turkey is encouraging them. We talk to Fadi Hakura, an analyst at Chatham House, Kareem Shaheen, a journalist based in Canada, and Rami Jarrah, a Syrian-British journalist. We also hear from Tony Rigopoulos, who works for the Athens-based newspaper Documento, Andreas Mountzourlias and Pål Nesse from the Norwegian Council for Refugees.
The United States has just signed a deal with the Taliban that it hopes will end nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan. The US government has spent $2 trillion on the conflict. At least a hundred thousand Afghans have been killed or wounded in the last ten years of the war. At least 3,500 American and NATO coalition troops have lost their lives since the US invasion. To understand how long the United States has been in Afghanistan, consider this: the youngest American troops being sent to Afghanistan these days were born after the 9/11 attacks. Many of the Taliban fighters they’re battling don’t know a time before the US invasion. Will the new deal with the Taliban bring peace to the country?
Host Suhail Akram speaks to Jasmine Bhatia, research fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies London, and Stefanie Glinksi, reporting for The National in Afghanistan. We also hear from Afghan-American Sulaiman Hakemy, the Deputy Comment Editor at The National.
The new coronavirus has spread far and wide - shutting schools, businesses and impacting international travel. The new coronavirus, COVID-19, has already spread to nearly 40 countries after it was first reported in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. Experts say the disease could be a potential pandemic if it’s not stopped. But there are many crucial pieces to this puzzle that need to be solved.
This week on Beyond the Headlines, host Suhail Akram, video journalist at The National talks to Dr Angela Rasmussen, virologist at Columbia University and Dr Kamran Khan, founder of Bluedot, about how close we are to a vaccine for the new coronavirus.
Every Friday, tens of thousands of Algerians pour on to the streets of their hometowns to protest. They protest against the government, which they see as corrupt. They protest for their future, which they see as in peril. They protest a political system they say doesn’t represent them.
The scale and size of the protests vary from week to week, but without fail, they happen and they’ve been happening for exactly one year.
On this edition of Beyond the Headlines, host Willy Lowry delves into Algeria’s year of change. One in which the country’s longtime president, Abdulaziz Bouteflika was forced to resign and a leaderless protest movement morphed into a serious player in Algeria’s politics.
Black range rovers and luxury vehicles slowly navigated through Beirut’s protest filled streets. Angry mobs hurled rocks and other debris at the occupants and Lebanon’s political leaders trying to block them from entering the now heavily fortified parliament. On February 11, twelve weeks after Hassan Diab was tasked with forming a new government, MPs gave his administration the vote of confidence. For nearly five months, mass protests have paralysed the country as people demand a new type of government that can work to fix the worst economic crisis in Lebanon’s history.
Host Willy Lowry talks to The National’s Beirut correspondent Sunniva Rose and Ghassan Moukhaiber, a lawyer and former Member of Parliament about the protests and how the newly formed government can move forward. We also hear from Imad Salamey, a professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Lebanese American University and Sami Nadr, director of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs.
On December 31st, 2019 China reported 27 cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause in the city of Wuhan, in central China. The majority of people affected were workers from a local seafood and live animal market. As the virus spread and more cases were announced, talk of a deadly pandemic began circulating.
This week's host Juman Jarallah, deputy national editor, talks to Dr. Amr Mahmoud El Naggar, Head of ER at Medcare Hospital Dubai and Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson for the World Health Organisation about the Coronavirus and why we should we worried.
Two and a half years after US administration began drafting a plan for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestinians, it is finally here.
Long delayed and often described as dead on arrival, the proposal was roundly rejected by Palestinian officials even before it was released.
The announcement on January 28 was met with anger on the streets of the West Bank.
Countries around the world have reacted. While many have welcomed the effort to restart long dead talks the praise isn’t effusive. But what has Trump proposed, why has it been rejected and what happens now?
On this week's Beyond the Headlines host James Haines Young, The National’s foreign editor, is taking a loo at what does the Trump plan mean for the Palestine and Israel?
After more than three months of protests, Lebanon's politicians agreed on a new government. But this has done little to ease anger on the streets after three months of mass uprisings. Hassan Diab announced the formation of his 20-member government on Tuesday and vowed to get to work on fixing the country's mounting problems. Lebanon faces a huge economic crisis – debt has topped $85 billion, growth is flat, unemployment is rising and the currency has lost nearly 40 per cent of its value in the past three months.
On this week's Beyond the Headlines, The National's Willy Lowry reported from the tear gas-filled streets of Beirut. He spoke to young people angry at what they've called Mr Diab's "one-colour" government. We also spoke to Nasser Saidi, a former Lebanese economy minister and former vice governor of the central bank of Lebanon. He laid out plainly the scale of the crisis and his recommendations of what the new government should do.
Previous coverage of the Lebanon protests: https://www.thenational.ae/podcasts/beyond-the-headlines/beyond-the-headlines-politics-protests-and-partying-on-the-streets-of-lebanon-1.927718
Bonus Episode: https://www.thenational.ae/podcasts/beyond-the-headlines/beyond-the-headlines-the-musicians-contributing-to-the-lebanese-protests-1.928328
The first signs that something big was happening came a little after noon on Friday when the army and police deployed across Oman. The tensions between the United States and Iran lead many to assume the sudden deployment was related.
When regular overnight programming stopped and the television stations started broadcasting excerpts from the Quran, it was obvious. Sultan Qaboos, the longest serving monarch in the Middle East, had passed away.
Host James Haines-Young looks at the life of Sultan Qaboos and what’s next for Oman as it looks to the future.
The United States has killed Iran’s Qassim Suleimani sparking the most serious situation in the Middle East since ISIS took over huge areas of Iraq in 2014. The late head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard overseas Quds force has spent decades building up Tehran’s army of proxy militia and allies from Beirit to Sana’a. The response from Tehran came just four days later when they fired 22 rockets at US troop locations on Iraqi bases.
This week on Beyond the Headlines, host James Haines-Young looks at how Iran and the US got here and will it escalate further or is that it? We also talk to Dr Aniseh Tabrizi, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute in London and Ahmad Qureshi, a senior research fellow from Project Pakistan 21 focused on Iran. We are also joined by Mina Al-Oraibi, editor-in-chief at The National.
The Arab uprisings, the brutal Syrian war, the rise of ISIS, the slide into chaos in Libya and Yemen, the counter revolutions, the crackdowns on protesters in Iraq and Iran, the displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis.
This week on Beyond the Headlines, were going to travel across the region, speaking to The National’s writers and reporters who have been covering the biggest stories in the Middle East and around the world this decade.
In March 2017 the ship Tamim Aldar found itself, along with its crew, abandoned at sea 25 nautical miles off the coast of the UAE. It was one of seven ships owned by Elite Way Marine Services, a company that was facing financial difficulties and found itself unable to pay crew salaries or maintenance for its fleet.
It has been over two and half years but four crew members, two from India and two from Eritrea, had been awaiting payment and to travel home.On December 19th, 33 months after they were first abandoned at sea, the four seafarers finalised an agreement with their employer for 80% of their owed wages.
We hear from Vikas Mishra one of the seafarers who has spent over three years away from his family as well as Rev. Andy Bowerman from the Mission to Seafarers, a non profit that has been helping the crew. Senior Associate Shehab Mamdouh from the legal firm Fichte and Co. gives us an insight into maritime law.
ISIS has dominated headlines for nearly a decade. Even as the groups power has waned the fear it instils has remained. In 2019 ISIS saw its last pocket of territory wiped from the map, ripped from its dying hands by Kurdish forces in Eastern Syria.
In October, US special forces managed to chase down the group’s elusive leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. He killed himself by detonating a suicide vest.
US president Donald Trump may have declared ISIS defeat. But are they are really?
The National sent Journalists Willy Lowry and Jack Moore into Kurdish controlled Iraq to investigate the state of the world’s most feared terrorist organisation.
In the last century, the global population has exploded.
Today, there are 7.7 billion people on the planet and that number is rising at the pace of another billion every 12 to 15 years.
Scientists say this is simply unsustainable.
In this week’s Beyond the Headlines, we’re asking, how many children is too many when it comes to climate change?
We hear from Emma Lim, 18-year-old activist and creator of the No Future No Children pledge has vowed, along with over 5000 others, not to have children until governments around the world take substantive action on climate change.
We’ll also hear from Professor Corey Bradshaw, fellow in Global Ecology at Flinders University in Australia, who has been modeling population growth and looking at what methods could cause the global population to decline.
Robin Maynard, director of British-based campaign charity Population Matters, joins us to talk about why all this matters and whether he’s feeling optimistic about the future.
If you missed last week’s episode, catch up below.
Every year on December 2nd, millions across the seven emirates mark the day the UAE became a country. This week, we are doing something a bit different.
Regular listeners will know that on Beyond the Headlines, we try to break down some of the most pressing issues from across the region and beyond. In the last few months, we’ve discussed protests in Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon and Hong Kong. We’ve tackled environmental issues from India’s choking smog to whether carbon capturing rocks in Oman can help avert climate change.
But today, we’ll hear a conversation between Faisal Salah and Daniel Lee, two men in their 20s from very different parts of the world - the UAE and South Korea - as they reflect on their time as a conscript, their fears, the lessons they learned and what they missed most while serving.
The true extent of Iranian infiltration of Iraq has been revealed. 700 pages from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security were released to western outlets, The New York Times and The Intercept. They show interference at the highest level in Iraq’s political, military, and judicial system.
Host Taylor Heyman, foreign editor from The National talks to Dr Zana Gulmohamad, from the University of Sheffield and Dr Michael Knights from The Washington Institute. We also talk to Iraqi member of parliament Sarkwat Al Shamsi.