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The Fourcast

Author: Channel 4 News

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From Channel 4 News, an in-depth look at the news stories you need to know about; how the past shapes the present and what might lie ahead for us all.
297 Episodes
At the Nato summit this week, the star attraction was President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. But while he knew he was among friends - and allies were keen to emphasise their continuing support - he came with a clear demand: let Ukraine join the Nato alliance.  But even before his arrival, the mood music suggested that Ukraine was not going to be offered membership to Nato, nor was it going to be given a clear timetable on how and when it could join. With President Erodgan of Turkey also holding up Sweden’s membership, it seemed like Nato had some trouble ahead of the summit. But then things changed. On the eve of the summit, Erdogan said he was stopping his blocking of Sweden’s application, and during the summit, President Zelenskyy appeared to accept that even if membership was not forthcoming, the head of Nato was clear that it might come one day. But how might the war come to an end? And why can’t Ukraine join now, to deter Russia? In today’s episode, we put these questions to Emma Ashford, an expert on Russia and Europe at the foreign affairs think tank, The Stimson Centre. I spoke to her about Nato, the war, and how it might conclude.  
The story of the sinking of the Titan submersible dominated news headlines. Five people killed underwater. That same week, our international correspondent Paraic O’Brian was also reporting on people drowning at sea.  In a small port in Tunisia, 11 people died after their boat, full of asylum seekers and refugees, capsized on its way to Europe. One story, but it happens all the time.  It is an ongoing crisis in the Mediterranean, claiming lives every day, as the EU and other nations try to deter migration itself, wanting to avoid an influx in refugees. On today’s Fourcast, we talk to Foreign Correspondent Paraic O’Brien about his time in Tunisia on the frontline of this crisis, and what the reaction by politicians, as well as the lack of reaction from the public, tells us about how we view migration today. This episode includes distressing themes.    
This hasn’t been the greatest week for Russia President, Vladimir Putin in two decades of power in the Kremlin. A mutinous band of mercenaries, that he himself created, charged up towards Moscow, denouncing his war in Ukraine and seemingly meeting little resistance on the way. While he faced down Evgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner group, appearing to banish them to Belarus, it’s not all over for Putin. In this episode, Hubertus Jahn, professor of the history of Russia and the Caucasus at Cambridge University, explains how the “mafia boss” in the Kremlin has seen cracks forming in his enterprise - and explores what might be next for Russia and its leader.    
The Darién gap is a stretch of land between Colombia and Panama, an unavoidable section of the route from South America to Central America that thousands of migrants a week take, as they travel up to the Mexico / United States border.  It’s been called ‘hell on Earth’ because of its dense and dangerous jungle. There are no roads, just treacherous paths, rivers that can wash you away, vast swamps, steep mountains and deadly animals. And it’s lawless, with cartels and kidnappers taking advantage of the vulnerable migrants.  The fittest take days to cross, the feeble can table weeks and many do not make it at all.  And despite all of this, record numbers are still crossing. Our Latin America correspondent Guillermo Galdos travelled that most dangerous of human trails, and in today’s episode of The Fourcast, he speaks about his journey, the people he met along the way.  
In March this year, the owner of a hotel in the Leicestershire village of Kegworth signed an exclusive contract with the Home Office to use his hotel to house asylum seekers. But the local community has been starkly divided over the arrival of dozens of their new neighbours. While some are welcoming, the arrival has also drawn angry protests. In today's episode of The Fourcast, we speak to our Communities Editor, Darshna Soni, about how this town has become divided over immigration and whether the government’s mission to stop the boats is inflaming tensions - as Number 10 says it is trying to get a handle on net migration and its growing asylum backlog. This episode contains reference to suicide.  
This past week, the G7 - the group of the world’s richest democracies - gathered in Japan to discuss Ukraine, Russia, global affairs, and their increasing concerns about a rising power looking out at them from over the water: China. This was some of the sternest wording from the G7, and China dismissed it as a smear. But the West also doesn’t want to completely antagonise and cut off China, with the Australian Prime Minister saying lessons had to be learnt from history. So, are we entering a new Cold War, where conflict is avoided but tensions remain? Or are we not far off from a catastrophic war? On today’s episode, I speak to Graham Allison, a former member of Bill Clinton’s defence department and one of the preeminent national security voices in America. He speaks to me about his historical theory called Thucydides Trap, where throughout the past a rising power has often come to blows with an established one. Will China and America go the same way? Producer: Freya Pickford Sources: AP
For weeks now, the world has been waiting for Ukraine to launch their spring counter offensive against Russia. But how much longer will we wait? Or has it already begun? As the battle for Bakhmut rages on, Ukraine has made steady gains around that region - whilst Russian troops have retreated but stepped up strikes on the capital city, Kyiv, this month. President Zelenskyy has toured European capitals asking for more weapons, securing from Britain long-range attack drones and missiles. In today’s episode, I speak to our international editor Lindsey Hilsum about why the spring offensive might be slightly delayed, what Ukraine really wants from any advances, and the geopolitical factors at play that mean Ukraine has to strike soon or lose the momentum. Producer: Freya Pickford
Fentanyl is killing at least seventy thousand Americans a year. It’s a synthetic drug, it’s up to 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s also the biggest cause of death for Americans aged between 18 and 45: more than gun crime, more than road accidents. But where is that supply of Fentanyl to America coming from? And why are people taking it, when it’s so dangerous? And are there any solutions to this deadliest of epidemics? In today’s episode we speak to our Latin America correspondent, Guillermo Galdos, about the rare access he gained inside the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico, where he witnessed the mass production of Fentanyl. We also hear from journalist Ben Westhoff, who has spent years investigating the world of synthetic drugs in America and he explains why this crisis will get worse - even reaching the UK, before it gets better. Producer: Freya Pickford
70 years on from the last Coronation, when Britain was still an empire and hardly anyone had a TV - what does Charles the Third’s crowning say about us today and the Britain of the future? We know that the British do this type of pomp and ceremony better than anyone else, it defines who we are. But is that true?  You may be told this is all ancient, but many of the royal ceremonies we witness are actually made-up rituals from the Victorian era used to legitimise the monarchy in modern British life. Today we speak to the historian, Sir David Cannadine, an expert on modern British history who sat on the coronation committee, about how we got to this place of flamboyant royal symbolism - and what this modern coronation tells us about where we are today. Sources: AP Producer: Freya Pickford
The US Vice President Kamala Harris recently went on tour to Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia. But she was not the only US official to visit the African continent recently: First Lady Jill Biden, the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen have all been in recent months. And they’re not alone either; Turkey and China’s Foreign Ministers made five-nation tours of Africa earlier this year. Russia’s Sergei Lavrov has also made several trips to the continent over the last few months. But why are countries courting African nations now? In today’s episode, we speak to our international editor, Lindsey Hilsum, about why the Ukraine war has intensified and accelerated a new scramble for Africa, and whether amidst all this jockeying for influence - the people on the continent once again get left behind?
Donald Trump has arguably done it all in his 76 years, and as president he’s secured a lot of firsts. But never has he been under arrest. The 45th president of the United States stands accused of falsifying business records in order to cover up payments he made to suppress news stories he believed would hinder his bid to become president in 2016. Trump pleaded not guilty and later left New York to fly back home to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, to deliver a defiant rally to his supporters. He was told by the judge to not do anything, yet he continues to rail against the system. In today’s episode we speak to presenter Matt Frei who has been in downtown Manhattan for the past few days, soaking up the history and scandal, and ask whether this is really the right first case to bring against the former president - and whether it may just embolden him even more. Producer: Freya Pickford Sources: AP
In Israel, a constitutional crisis has seen thousands take to the streets, fearing that their rights could be eroded, as the government plans to weaken the powers of the highest court in the land. Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu’s far-right coalition argues the Supreme Court is too powerful and they’re simply righting the wrongs of the system. Protesters say the overhaul would erode Israel’s proud democracy and lead them towards a dictatorship. After weeks of protests and pressure from all sides, Netanyahu finally backed down - but only slightly. He’s now paused the reforms ahead of the next session of parliament in a few weeks. In this episode, editor in chief of Haaretz Esther Solomon unpicks Israel’s biggest protests in decades - and wonders whether Netayanhu’s pause is a chance for his side to regroup of yet more battles to come.  
Rishi Sunak came into Downing Street back in October with a huge mess to clear up after the disaster of Liz Truss and her mini budget. After a week that has seen him secure his own Brexit Deal as, Boris Johnson struggled in front of a privileges committee over partygate, has he started to turn it around - can Rishi Sunak have what it takes to win the next election? In today's episode, Kiran Moodley speaks to our policy correspondent, Paul McNamara, about what Mr Sunak needs to do to win over the Red Wall - those Labour turned Tory voters from the last election - following an exclusive poll carried out by Channel 4 News and the polling company JL partners.  Sunak may have made Conservatives feel a bit more positive, but there’s still a long way to go before the next election, and is time on his side? Producer: Freya Pickford  
Three years ago this week, Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown to curb the spread of Coronavirus. But three years on, Covid and the impact of lockdowns continue to dominate our headlines.  This week, Boris Johnson faced a Commons inquiry on whether he misled parliament over the notorious lockdown parties, and just a few weeks ago, WhatsApp messages sent by Matt Hancock and others during the pandemic were leaked, with some claiming that they threw into question whether the government took the right path to control the pandemic. And there is still ongoing debate about whether this deadly virus began after a lab leak in China.  In today’s episode, Kiran Moodley speaks to Health and Social Care Editor Victoria Macdonald, as well Edinburgh University’s professor of Global Public Health Devi Sridhar, about whether the ongoing fallout and discussions around the pandemic have actually altered their views on what happened at the peak of the virus.  Sources: ITN, CNN  
Gary Linker and the BBC have been dominating the headlines after the Match of the Day host was asked to step back from presenting after tweeting out criticism of the government’s language around refugees. But what does this whole row mean for the BBC, and what does it say about the state of our media and its relationship to impartiality? In today’s podcast, we speak with Adam Boulton, formerly editor-at-large of Sky News, whether he thinks the BBC has an issue over impartiality.  
We were told to prepare for a “Winter of Discontent”, of strikes, rising prices, a coming recession with our economy set this year to shrink unlike all the rest. Even Russia was going to fare better than the UK. But it has not been as bad as once feared - so what is going on? In today’s episode, Business Reporter Neil Macdonald discusses the state of our economy ahead of next week’s budget and whether a slightly improved outlook means energy prices can remain low and strikes could even come to an end. Producer: Freya Pickford and Alice Wagstaffe 
China wants to be the superpower of the 21st century, but does it want to provoke war or play peacemaker? This week the country announced it was increasing military spending, and its newly installed foreign minister warned that if the US did not change course soon, there would be conflict. But China also recently published a 12-point plan for ending the conflict in Ukraine, despite not condemning Russia’s invasion. Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelenskyy even said he would meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss the plans. So is this the moment where Beijing asserts itself on the world stage after being locked away during Zero Covid for so long?  In today’s episode, Kiran Moodley speaks to Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, about China’s growing frustration with Moscow and the likelihood of a new Cold War. Producers: Freya Pickford and Alice Wagstaffe
This week, Rishi Sunak agreed a new Brexit deal with the European Union: the Windsor framework.    Seven years after Britain voted in the referendum, is this the end of protocol conversation, trade deals, backstops, and late night votes? Does this mean we can finally all stop talking about Brexit? What exactly does the Windsor framework do? How is it different from before? And is this really the end of the Conservatives’ decades-long battle over its relationship with Europe?   In today's Fourcast, our political editor Gary Gibbon delves into the details, ponders what Sunak did that others could not, and whether the DUP’s official silence means this may not be over yet. Oh and also - what about Boris Johnson?   Producer: Freya Pickford and Alice Wagstaffe
Today marks one year since Russia began its latest invasion of Ukraine: one year since tanks rolled across the border, one year since missiles struck the capital and beyond, one year since the post Cold War world changed forever. Now, the expected defeat of Ukraine is clearly a long way off, but any sense of how this war might end feels equally far from reality - with Joe Biden this week reaffirming the West’s commitment to Ukraine’s fight for as long as it takes - while Vladimir Putin used his state of the nation speech to double down on his worldview. In today's Fourcast, our Europe editor Matt Frei speaks to us from Kyiv, the capital where he was last year when the first bombs fell, and where he was again this week to take in the latest, historic events in this 21st century conflict. Sources: AP  Producer: Freya Pickford and Alice Wagstaffe  
On Monday last week, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey and northern Syria. The WHO has called this the "worst natural disaster" in 100 years in its European region, and the death toll has now surpassed 35,000.  But that first quake was followed by a 6.7 magnitude aftershock 11 minutes later, while a 7.5 magnitude quake hit after 1pm. Three devastating earthquakes in nine hours. There are countless tales of remarkable survival, but many, many more of terrible loss, families torn apart or gone entirely. In today’s Fourcast, we speak to our two reporters on the scene, Emily Wither, and chief correspondent Alex Thomson, as they detail what they have seen, the stories they have told, and how on earth Turkey and war-torn Syria recover. Sources: AP Producer: Freya Pickford  
Comments (2)

Steve Garner

Broken source please repair

Mar 8th

DJ Barker

Great idea but the presenter pauses randomly when he's speaking and it's really annoying

Sep 24th
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