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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.
122 Episodes
It’s been just over a month since the Taliban took Kabul. Some fled Afghanistan, not wanting to see what their new lives might look like. Others stayed out of choice or because there was no other option. And there was talk of a new, reformed Taliban that's less strict and less restrictive of women's rights than the regime of the 1990s, but what is life like now in the new Afghanistan? Kiran speaks to our international editor Lindsey Hilsum, who recently spent two weeks in the country to find out who makes up the new administration, what the future holds for women and girls and what life was really like in the last 20 years in the cities and countryside.   Sources: BBC News, The Guardian
The perilous nature of our planet, our future, is evident. A recent UN report said that human activity is changing our climate in unprecedented and irreversible ways.  So what can be done? Many catastrophes are here now. Others are already locked in. This autumn is the United Nations Climate Change conference, when the countries of the world will gather in Glasgow to negotiate a way forward. We talk to our climate journalist, Simon Roach, about whether this November really is the planet’s last best hope to stave off this crisis - and whether that hope will be met with real, concrete change. Sources: CGTN, CNA, COP26, ITN
It was all going so well for the United States and Covid-19. Before the summer, vaccinations were rising and cases falling. It looked normal. And then the Delta variant hit, cases rose, hospital wards began to fill again, and with all that, the death toll increased. With vaccinations hitting a wall, with some governors refusing to impose new restrictions and fake news rife, President Biden introduced a vaccine mandate. Our Washington correspondent, Siobhan Kennedy, looks at the summer of Delta in the US, the new policy from the Biden White House - and how this will play with a country where the party lines are even more rigid when it comes to the approach to Covid. For more information on the Covid vaccine, read Factcheck. Sources: CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, 11ALIVE, WPTZ. 
There’s the impossible and then there’s the completely unbelievable. This past week has been all about Emma Raducanu. We talk to the sports journalist and commentator Anne-Marie Batson about the young powerhouse that is Emma Raducanu, what she means for the British game and the game in general, as well as why female tennis players are such huge superstars compared to those from other sports?   And whether Raducanu represents the young face of modern Britain - or whether that will add to the weight of pressure on someone who should be left alone to enjoy her career and her talent. Sources: Prime Video, Channel 4, ITN, ABC.
With ever more devastating hurricanes and floods, Miami is set to be transformed if not submerged: sea levels could rise more than 30 inches by 2060, putting over 100,000 properties by the sea at risk. And so, some are already moving to higher ground elsewhere in the city. And that has its own consequences. Today, reporter Kate Fisher details climate gentrification, where the rich move to safer ground and force other communities to bear the brunt of the climate disaster. Sources: CCN, NBC 6, ABC Local 10 News
Caution: This episode contains references to drug use.  You may know it as an illegal party drug. But there's growing research to suggest that psychedelic drugs could be used , in a clinical setting, as treatments for depression, addiction and PTSD.  Some clinical trials seem to show that these substances, when combined with therapy, can be effective for some of those who find antidepressants and other forms of therapy unhelpful.  But this is a drug that has had proven negative-side effects such as addiction and bladder issues.  Today, we look at one particular drug, ketamine, as the UK's first ketamine-assisted psychotherapy clinic prepares to open, and our reporter Keme Nzerem meets one person who's found this treatment transformative. Could this clinic mark a shift in the way we view psychedelics? Or is it an expensive, under-researched and unproven experiment?  If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this episode, you can find information and support on our website: Sources: BBC News, ITV News, PBS News Hour, ABC News.
Black women report being dismissed and neglected by healthcare professionals throughout pregnancy, childbirth and beyond - and are four times more likely to die in childbirth than women of other ethnicities.  So could inducing pregnant Black women, bringing their birth forward early, address that problem?  That’s what one prominent medical committee, NICE, has proposed.  Today we speak to a doctor who says it’ll make birth safer for mums and babies, and a campaigner who says that early induction is not the solution to a deep and complex issue, rooted in racism and inadequate healthcare for Black mothers-to-be.  And a warning, this episode includes discussion about maternal death and stillbirth.
It’s 20 years since a clear, sunny morning in downtown Manhattan was transformed at 8:46am. Four planes were hijacked on the east coast of the USA: two hit the World Trade Center. One hit the Pentagon, the heart of the country’s defence. Another went down in western Pennsylvania. It was a day that left nearly 3,000 dead. It was a day that changed everything: from the way we live and travel and the threats we fear, to the global world order and modern terrorism. All of which still lives on today, from New York City to Kabul. In today’s episode, Jon Snow takes us back to that fateful, generation-defining day, and recounts his visit to Ground Zero in November 2001. And a warning: this content contains distressing themes.
Downing Street has said the government will introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs and other crowded indoor venues in England and Scotland from the end of September, subject to votes in both parliaments. For some, this makes sense: a public health measure that allows us to return to normality safely, and perhaps acts as an incentive to get vaccinated. For others, it’s a threat to our way of life, and as we have seen in some countries where they’ve already been introduced, people are angry. We look at the pros and cons of Covid passports, and turn to Israel, a country that has been using a type of domestic Covid passport since February. Sources: Reuters, DW News, News For All, YouTube: Clive Harris 
Delta down under

Delta down under


For more than a year, Australia and New Zealand were sanctuaries away from the pandemic world. But the Delta variant snuck in through Australia’s strict quarantine borders and called the whole strategy of Covid elimination into question. With lockdowns affecting half of the population in Australia - and some tired of the endless cycles - the country has now shifted focus: Australia says suppressing Covid to zero is impossible and vaccinations will allow them to live with the virus. But that shift has not been repeated in New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern has stuck to her original plan, believing strict and quick lockdowns combined with increased vaccinations can completely suppress the Delta wave. What's next for both nations as they go their different ways? Sources: Sky News, DW News, 7:30, 7 News
First it was Nando's, then McDonald's, and finally Greggs. Supply issues at major chains have forced a shortage of milkshakes and chicken, with the problems this summer seen as a warning of what's to come. We speak to Business and Global Trade Correspondent Paul McNamara to discuss why there aren't enough lorry drivers and workers - and why the British workforce isn't queuing up to take the vacancies. How bad could this all get? Could it damage our economy? And is this just the tip of the iceberg as we head for the winter months - with another Covid wave possible?
In China, women have had enough. There's a feminist awakening as groups challenge laws and customs, which they believe are entrenched in sexist ideas. But as the movement grows, the ruling Communist Party wants to shut it down, labelling these liberal attitudes as contrary to their growing nationalist agenda.  Today, we speak to the reporter, Jessie Lau, who tells us about the women on the front line of China's feminist fight back and we ask whether the MeToo movement in China can prevail.  Sources: YouTube: TanWeiWei, DW News, CNN, ITV News
Italy was the first European country to feel the full force of Covid-19. The images of army trucks carrying bodies and of deserted streets in Milan and Rome were the first inkling we had, in Europe at least, of what was to come. Antonello Guerrera, a journalist for the Italian newspaper la Repubblica, talks about how those scenes are embedded in the minds of Italians, forming a solidarity and caution that could mean they are more likely than others to embrace vaccinations and vaccine passports. And do the recent sporting triumphs represent a redemption for the country, after the despair of 2020? Sources: Sky Sports, Andrea Bocelli, CGTN, NBC News, France 24
Our climate is changing, and the consequences are playing out right before our eyes. As the UN issues a "code red for humanity", Anja Popp is on the front line of our warming planet, reporting on floods in Germany and fires in Greece. In today’s episode of The Fourcast, she tells us what it’s like to witness the devastating consequences of climate change up close. And our climate journalist Simon Roach explains what the recent IPCC report means and what, if anything, can be done about our rapidly warming planet.
If you thought the summer of sport was over, think again. It’s not just the football that’s back, it’s the Paralympics tomorrow. But just like with the Olympics, with Covid cases increasing in Tokyo, there will be no spectators to watch the athletes. Today, our sports reporter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, who is out in Japan, tells us what we can expect from Team GB, who have finished in the top three in every Paralympics since the turn of the century.  We ask how much has the Paralympics changed minds in society about people with disability - and do we finally put these games on a similar level to the Olympics? Sources: CNN, World Watch News
The fall of Kabul

The fall of Kabul


Afghanistan is once again under the control of the Taliban, 20 years after the US Army and its allies forced them into retreat. When Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of US troops, there were immediately concerns that this could all happen. And yet no one foresaw the shocking ease at which Taliban forces swept through the country, taking city after city, and eventually the capital Kabul. We’ve been here before: when the Russians left in 1989, the Soviet-backed regime lasted just a few years. This time, the American-backed administration lasted mere weeks. Why was it so easy for the Taliban to regain control? And is this really a new-look Taliban - or is the future still just as bleak for the women and girls of Afghanistan? In today’s episode, we once again chat with our international editor Lindsey Hilsum about where this leaves the West’s status as defenders of freedom and liberty, and we ask, what was the point of the last 20 years of bloodshed?
Last month, UNESCO stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage status, saying that developments along its waterfront were damaging the historic value of its docks. The last decade has seen the Liverpool skyline transformed - with new buildings popping up alongside the famous Three Graces. Yet the latest batch of modern high-rises and a new football stadium have pushed UNESCO to their limit - and yet the council are pushing on regardless. This is about heritage versus regeneration, about trying to re-energise a city as well as ensuring the past is preserved.  How do you do that and please all sides? In this episode, we spend time in Liverpool speaking to those on both sides of the debate to figure out how a city can become the perfect mix of the modern with the historic.
More than 75 per cent of adults in the UK have had both doses of the vaccine and more than 90 per cent have Covid-19 antibodies, either from infection or vaccination. At the beginning of the pandemic, scientists speculated that around 60 to 70 per cent of people might need to be immune to the virus to hit the “herd immunity” threshold. This is the point where so many people are immune to the virus that it can no longer spread through the population and goes into decline. Clearly this hasn’t happened, as a third wave of coronavirus infection is still raging in the UK. Why? FactCheck’s Patrick Worrall goes through the data.
Trouble at Pride?

Trouble at Pride?


The Pride parade in London: it’s all about inclusion, openness, community - a beautiful, vibrant safe space where everyone can be who they want to be.  But that has recently been called into question. Pride in London, the non-profit volunteer organisation that controls the parade and much more - has been accused of not taking diversity seriously, of creating a hostile environment, and of bullying - all mainly towards people of colour. And now that has come to a head with eleven volunteers resigning from Pride - resulting in five directors standing down, forcing the organisation to apologise and commit to reform. Pride in London admit that they have not done enough for Black, Brown and Asian people, and say they are committed to being actively anti-racist.  Today, we hear from two of those volunteers who left - and ask what Pride in London needs to do to make sure it can once again be the progressive, inclusive face of the queer community.
Just weeks after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban have taken more than half of Afghanistan's around 400 districts.   More than 1500 civilians have died. Thousands more are fleeing. And many young girls are being forced into underage marriage by the Taliban.    Today, we speak to our international editor, Lindsey Hilsum, who has recently been to Afghanistan herself. We ask how close Afghanistan is to falling under Taliban control. We discuss what this means not just for the people of Afghanistan, but the geopolitical consequences as Pakistan and China look to assert control in the space left behind by the Americans.    Sources: DW News, Sky News, NewsX, Republic World
Comments (1)

DJ Barker

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

Sep 24th
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