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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.
98 Episodes
When England dropped almost all Covid restrictions nearly two weeks ago, people piled into venues and businesses and hospitality celebrated what felt like the end of the pandemic and a new beginning following the success of the vaccine rollout. But for some with complex health conditions, it felt like it was starting all over again, leaving them feeling abandoned and unprotected.  Today on The Fourcast we speak to a representative of the hospitality industry, to ask if "Freedom Day" can save businesses on the edge, and a chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patient, who’s been forced to go back into shielding.
The Covid pandemic has seen NHS staff become heroes as they worked round the clock to save lives and ensure the system didn't buckle. But the focus on coronavirus has left many patients waiting for surgery that has had to be postponed. In the second episode of our two-part series on the NHS in crisis, we ask whether hospitals in England are going to be cope in the weeks and months to come when another Covid wave looks likely, and staff try to address an ever-growing backlog. Sources: BBC News, Sky News
It's been an unprecedented year for our national health service, the first global pandemic to hit during its 73-year existence. But is the worst yet to come? With a waiting list of five million cancelled surgeries and GPs flooded by patients wanting appointments. Can the NHS cope with the backlog caused by the coronavirus? And what about those who still haven't even come forward with their problems or their illnesses? The roughly seven million who never made themselves known for fear of catching the virus, as well as for fear of putting added pressure on an under-strain NHS. In the first episode of our two-part series on the NHS in crisis, we look at primary care and the GP practices that are trying to get back to normal when normality still feels so out of reach. Sources: BBC News, Sky News, ITV News, IGPM
In the UK there is a general 24-week time limit to have an abortion.   But if the fetus has a substantial risk of having a series physical or mental disabilities once born, that time limit does not apply.    A woman with Down's Syndrome is leading a high court case to challenge these laws.    Today's episode of The Fourcast is all about actor, presenter and dancer Reuben Reuter.    He talks to Kiran about the misinformation and risks that stand in his community's way.   Sources: RTE Radio, CBS, Benefit Cosmetics UK
Morecambe Bay, Shrewsbury, Telford and East Kent. Those are the names of hospital trusts where the failures in maternity care have been exposed. And now, sadly, there’s one more – Nottingham University Trust. A joint investigation by Channel 4 News and Shaun Lintern at The Independent exposed a maternity service accused of bad care and neglect after dozens of babies were left with brain damage or tragically died. They found from 2010 to 2020, at least 46 babies have suffered brain damage and 19 have been stillborn at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS trust maternity units. But this story of poor care of mothers and babies, one of repeated failures to investigate deaths of babies in maternity units, is one we’ve heard many times before. So why do we keep getting it wrong? Is there something fundamentally wrong with the way babies are born in this country? Sources: BBC News, ITV News, 5 News
It was all meant to be historic. A once in a generation moment. 55 years of hurt no more. Whatever the result, England had finally broken that painful barrier and made it into a final. And yet even before a kick of the ball, something was rotten around Wembley Way.   After hours of drinking all day last Sunday, people smashed through flimsy fences, they pushed through turnstiles, they kicked, they punched, and they made their way into those hallowed seats. All without a ticket.   And then after the defeat, the racism online.   How did it come to this? That a summer of hope and joy could turn so ugly in mere hours? Today, we look at what happened in and around Wembley last Sunday - as well as what happened online - and ask what it all says about the English of today.
Many dream of owning a second home - especially as the workforce ditches the office, and people consider alternative living and working arrangements.  But what if your second home was driving up property prices, making buying a home impossible for local people, or endangering the language and culture of the area?  Our home affairs correspondent Andy Davies has visited towns in Wales where some say that second home ownership is a threat to their very identity.
Myanmar’s military junta has taken full control of the “blood jade” mines, worth billions of dollars, fuelling conflict in the region. And as the Generals and other armed ethnic insurgencies line their pockets, migrant artisanal miners risk their lives in appalling conditions, toiling in the rubble of what the Junta leave behind. Our Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller has been looking into the industry that’s been called “the biggest natural resource heist in modern history.”
Sorry to be a downer - but while the football is now over - Covid definitely is not - and is a month of sporting socials to blame? For nearly three months, cases were declining across Europe. But not anymore. The risk of a new wave on the continent is growing. Yet England is set to ditch masks and social distancing and will allow full capacity football matches. That’s despite Japan banning spectators from most events at this summer's Olympics - and despite recent data showing that men in England have been more likely to test positive for Covid recently because they’ve been watching the football together So was Euro2020 behind some of the rising cases in the last few weeks in Europe and what does the data say about how risky large-scale events are when it comes to Covid?
Despite rising Covid infections and the threat of new variants, the UK government promises when England exits lockdown on July 19, it will be for the very last time. But is that a promise they can keep? And will vaccine boosters be the key that will lock the door behind us on the way out? We speak to Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, and Stephen Reicher, Professor of Psychology at the University of St Andrews and member of the Sage subcommittee advising on behavioural science, about what the next few months could look like.  Sources: ITN, BBC
Last month an election happened that you might not have known about.    It was for hereditary peerages in the House of Lords and it gave three men a right to sit in our Parliament for life. There were only 36 people who voted in that election.   When Tony Blair whittled down the hereditary peers from several hundred to just 92, they were meant to only sit there for a few years. Yet here are, 21 years later, and nothing has changed.   We speak to a hereditary peer, a life peer and a constitutional expert to understand why it’s so damn hard to try to change a House that is one of the largest parliamentary bodies in the world - only beaten in number by the Chinese National People's Congress.
In this exclusive investigation: a senior ExxonMobil lobbyist has been captured on camera claiming that the oil giant is using its power and influence to water down US climate legislation. And not just that. In this Greenpeace UnEarthed investigation, exclusively reported by Channel 4 News, the senior lobbyist revealed that ExxonMobil secretly uses “forever chemicals” in some products. ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, and a major contributor to carbon emissions.  They say they’re committed to a greener planet, to having a carbon tax, and that they’re listening to the science when it comes to climate change. But is there more to the story? Today, our chief correspondent Alex Thomson asks if this dying industry could take the planet down with it. 
South America's biggest country has been struggling with pandemic since the start. Brazil reached a grim milestone of half a million deaths from the virus.  And it's this number that's been written on signs at demonstrations all over the country. Some Brazilians have become so exasperated they're out on the streets, putting them at risk to the virus, to protest against the man they blame for this covid-19 crisis, President Jair Bolsonaro, a  president who is known for craving alternative facts. 
Matt Hancock is health secretary no more, after footage revealed he’d broken the Covid rules during an affair with an aide. While he may be gone, he leaves behind many questions about his handling of the Covid pandemic, particularly when it comes to care homes. Georgina Lee from our Fact Check team has looked into his past claims: did he really not have a list of homes in the country? Was the number of Covid positive patients sent back to care homes from hospitals really incredibly low? And also: did he break the law or just Covid guidance during that infamous kiss? These are the issues that will dominate a future inquiry - and Matt Hancock’s legacy will once again come under scrutiny.
Institutionally corrupt. That’s how the Metropolitan Police have been described after a review into an unsolved murder of a man called Daniel Morgan in the 1980s, a now infamous crime committed 34 years ago, that's still not been solved. Our Home Affairs Correspondent Andy Davies has been looking into the panel's findings, which leave many asking, who can we trust when the institutions meant to protect us failed so badly in their duty? Sources: Channel 4: Murder in the Car Park, ITV Wales News
Ghislaine Maxwell will go on trial later this year accused of helping convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse girls under the age of 18. Ms Maxwell has denied all of the charges.  Yet the question is why is this taking place in the United States given that one of the victims in Maxwell’s case claims the alleged abuse happened in London? A new Channel 4 News investigation has more than half a dozen claims that young women and girls are alleged to have been targeted, trafficked, groomed, or abused in the UK by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, over a period spanning more than a decade. And the Met Police was contacted - but decided to do nothing.
Girls being constantly sent nude images, sexist name-calling, harassment, rape, a climate of fear, an over-sexualised culture that has become the normality in schools across the country.  That's the conclusion of Ofsted's recent report into sexual harassment, which revealed that for some children, incidents are so commonplace they see no point in reporting them.  Our social affairs editor, Jackie Long, asks: how did we get here and why are our schools no longer safe spaces?  Warning: This episode contains reference to sexual abuse and includes distressing testimony some listeners may find upsetting. Sources: BBC News, ITV News
The United States is set to make the 19th of June - known as “Juneteenth” - a national holiday. The day commemorates the emancipation of slaves. It marks a shift in American society; of the nation recognising past injustices. And it comes shortly after Joe Biden became the first US President to mark the anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. 100 years ago, the city in Oklahoma saw a prosperous Black neighbourhood burned to the ground and innocent citizens killed. There were no arrests, no justice. There was just silence. We talk to the historian Dr Scott Ellsworth and Anneliese Bruner about those events - and the America of today. Sources: AP, ITN archive, CNN
Homelessness is at record levels in New York City, and the economic carnage of Covid is making it worse.  With one epidemic feeding another, there is now more homelessness in YC than at any time since the Great Depression, and it's disproportionately affecting Black and brown people. More than 3000 people live on the street, and at least another 60,000 in shelters, including 21,000 children.  Krishnan Guru-Murthy finds out what it's like for the homeless in New York City.  
In recent years, Republican states have passed restrictive voter ID laws that they say stop electoral fraud, but which activists say discriminate and disenfranchise certain voters. Here in the UK, the government wants to introduce a voter ID law so that when you vote in the next election you have to prove who you are before casting your ballot. Yet with fraud vanishingly rare, why do we need this new law? And are the lessons from America a warning for its potential impact on turnout? Today, we talk to voting rights expert Ari Berman and Factcheck’s Paddy Worrall. Sources: CNN, CBS 60 Minutes, ITV News, MSNBC, ITV Peston, KVUE  
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