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Crispin Blunt MP

Does David Cameron's position on Syria and the migrant crisis make sense?

Does David Cameron's position on Syria and the migrant crisis make sense? Hardtalk speaks to the Chairman of the UK's Foreign Affairs Select Committee, MP Crispin Blunt.

The British Government wants parliamentary authorisation to bomb the jihadists of IS in Syria. That same Government adamantly does not want to offer refuge to any of the many tens of thousands of Syrian refugees now homeless and desperate inside Europe. Does David Cameron's position make sense? Stephen Sackur talks to the UK Government’s Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Conservative MP Crispin Blunt.

(Photo: Syrian Vice President Faruq al-Shara meets with British MP Crispin Blunt. Credit: Getty Images)

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HARDtalk

Foreign Minister, Hungary - Péter Szijjártó

How well is Hungary handling the migration crisis on its borders?

HARDtalk is in Hungary for an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó. How well is Hungary handling the migration crisis on its borders?

HARDtalk is in Hungary for an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó. Hungary is facing a migration crisis; already this year nearly 250,000 migrants have entered the country. Hungary’s response has included razor wire, tear gas and threats of imprisonment. The Prime Minister says that the refugees are a threat to security and cultural identity but is Hungary defending or betraying European values?

(Photo: Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (L) welcoming to Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó prior their talks in Kiev. Credit: Andrew Kravchenko/AFP/Getting Images)

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HARDtalk

02/11/2015 02:06 GMT: Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service - Richard Leakey

Will the fight for Africa's endangered wildlife have a happy ending?

Will the fight for Africa's endangered wildlife have a happy ending? Stephen Sackur speaks to Richard Leakey, Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Stephen Sackur speaks to Richard Leakey, Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service. Africa's wildlife is one of the wonders of the natural world, but the fate of the continent’s elephants, rhinos and big cats is now desperately uncertain - illegal poaching could see these great species disappear from their African heartlands. Will the fight for Africa's endangered wildlife have a happy ending?

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HARDtalk

19/10/2015 02:06 GMT: US Ambassador to Syria 2011-2014 - Robert S. Ford

What does Syria tell us about US foreign policy making in the age of Obama?

The escalation of Russia's military involvement in Syria has been greeted with dismay in Washington. What does Syria tell us about US foreign policy making in the age of Obama?

Stephen Sackur talks to Robert S. Ford, US Ambassador to Syria until last year. The escalation of Russia's military involvement in Syria has been greeted with dismay in Washington. Vladimir Putin hasn't just shifted the military balance in favour of the Assad regime, he has also exposed the lack of decisiveness and clarity in President Obama's Syria strategy. What does Syria tell us about US foreign policy making in the age of Obama?

(Photo: Robert S. Ford)

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HARDtalk

14/10/2015 02:06 GMT: Novelist Jonathan Franzen

American author Jonathan Franzen on his life and work and modern culture

American author Jonathan Franzen on his life and work and why he hates so much of the modern culture around him.

So much of our developed world culture is driven by the instant, all pervasive internet. Our opinions, our fantasies, our lives, delivered in bite sized chunks, consumed with a glance and a click. Jonathan Franzen writes novels, long novels, that take years to complete and days, not minutes to read. He has become one of the defining voices in contemporary American literature. So why does he hate so much of the culture around him?

(Photo: Jonathan Franzen. Credit: Getty Images)

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HARDtalk

HARDtalk

Professor Robert Reich – United States Secretary of Labor, 1993-97

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, on the Sanders campaign and Hilary Clinton

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, on the Sanders campaign and Hilary Clinton.

It is now all but certain that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party candidate in November’s US presidential election. After the latest batch of primaries, her lead over Bernie Sanders is insurmountable. But even now the Sanders campaign - radical, anti-establishment and crowdfunded - refuses to admit defeat. Hardtalk talks to Robert Reich, formerly Secretary of Labor in Bill Clinton’s administration, now a prominent supporter of Senator Sanders. Has the centre of gravity in the Democratic Party shifted?

(Photo: Professor Robert Reich, speaking from Berkeley, California via video link)

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HARDtalk

Human Rights Activist - Raheel Raza

Does Islam need a reform movement?

Does Islam need a reform movement? Human rights activist and co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, Raheel Raza on Islam and extremism.

In recent years there has been plenty of often heated debate about the relationship between Islam and extremism. Much of the fiercest commentary has come from outside the faith, but increasingly there are calls for change from within the Muslim community. Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the most controversial voices in that internal debate. Raheel Raza is a Pakistani born Canadian human rights activist who co-founded the Muslim Reform Movement. How many Muslims are ready to talk her language?

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The Real Story

Can Iraq Avoid Fragmentation?

Will the Iraqi government have to cede power to armed groups controlling their own areas?

We are in Baghdad where the central government struggles to keep control of the whole country while it faces challenges from Islamic State militants and accusations of corruption.

Ever since the invasion in 2003 Iraq has faced ceaseless conflict. Today there are two parallel crises. In Baghdad protesters are demanding an end to elite corruption. And, on the battlefield, the Iraqi army and Shia militias are fighting so-called Islamic State. But Iraqis are wondering about the battles to come. Will the central government have to cede power to armed groups that control their own areas? Owen Bennett-Jones is in Baghdad, along with his guests to discuss the forces threatening Iraq's fragmentation.

(Photo: Protest by supporters of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Credit: AP/Khalid Mohammed)

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The Real Story

Zika and the Next Global Pandemic

Can we defeat mosquito-borne diseases and other global health threats?

As fears grow over the impact of the Zika virus and its suspected links to birth defects, Newshour Extra brings together a panel of global experts to discuss how best to tackle the virus and the dangers of global transmission. Owen Bennett-Jones and his guests also ask whether global health authorities should be taking more drastic steps to combat the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, and whether we can predict and prevent the next global pandemic.

(Photo: Mosquito on a person's arm. Credit: Thinkstock)

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Søren Espersen - Deputy Chairman, Danish People’s Party

Søren Espersen on immigration and Danish values

The Danish People's Party is seen by its critics as xenophobic and by its supporters as upholding true Danish values. Stephen Sackur speaks to Søren Espersen.

The Danish People's Party is seen by its critics as xenophobic and by its supporters as the home of true Danish values. Hardtalk speaks Søren Espersen, the Party's deputy chairman.

(Photo: Søren Espersen)

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HARDtalk

Composer - Hans Zimmer

Is there still life in the superhero movie?

HARDtalk speaks to film composer Hans Zimmer who's written the music for such movies as The Lion King, Gladiator, and a series of superhero blockbusters.

From his Oscar winning score for The Lion King, through 12 Years A Slave to a series of superhero blockbusters, including the latest - Batman v Superman - Hans Zimmer is, as one director put it, "quite simply the contemporary composer to work with". German born, British educated, he never received formal musical training and he's a champion of technology. Hardtalk’s Shaun Ley asks Hans Zimmer whether the technology he so loves is killing the music makers?

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HARDtalk

Northern Ireland First Minister - Arlene Foster

Will Brexit mean a return to the divisions of the past?

How will the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland be managed once the UK has left the EU? Sarah Montague asks Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, how she will make sure Brexit does not mean a return to the divisions of the past.

(Photo: First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster arrives for a meeting at 10 Downing St, London, 2016 in , England. Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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The Real Story

The Anti-Establishment Revolt

Is politics changing - and should we embrace it?

Is politics changing - and should we embrace it? A special edition of the programme recorded at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Across the world we’re seeing the rise of a new kind of popular politics. The old established order is under threat and voters are turning to politicians who offer bold promises for a fresh start. Should we embrace these politicians as charismatic visionaries or deceitful populists manipulating truth in their desire for personal power? Owen Bennett Jones is joined by an expert panel for this special edition of the programme recorded at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

(Picture credit: a Tea Party protestor holds two microphones)

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The Real Story

Syria: A Complicated War

Is the Syrian conflict a civil war or a war waged by militant jihadi groups?

Is the Syrian conflict a civil war or a war against Syria waged by militant jihadi groups?

This week, a special programme recorded in Damascus and Beirut looking at the Syrian conflict and its possible solutions. It’s a highly complex struggle. But is it right to characterise it as a civil war, a home-grown uprising to Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime – as many in the Syrian opposition view it? Or is the conflict a war against Syria, conducted by militant jihadi groups supported by Syria’s enemies – as the Assad government would like it to be seen? In Damascus, Owen Bennett Jones talks to supporters of President Assad, and in Beirut he considers the same issues with a panel of Syrian government critics.

(Photo: bereaved woman crying outside Aleppo hospital. Credit: Dan Isaacs, BBC)

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UN Special Envoy for Syria - Staffan de Mistura

Is ending the Syrian conflict mission impossible?

Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy is charged with trying to find a way out of the conflict in Syria. But is it mission impossible?

Stephen Sackur speaks to Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy charged with trying to find a way out of the conflict in Syria. He has spent four decades trying to stem bloodshed by way of diplomacy but is Syria mission impossible?

(Photo: UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura attends a conference held by Catholic at the Vatican, 2016. Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP)

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HARDtalk

Former President of Russian Railways - Vladimir Yakunin

Are cracks showing in the Putin project?

Are cracks showing in the Putin project? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the former head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin.

Stephen Sackur speaks to the former head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin. For the past 17 years Vladimir Putin has ruled Russia - as President or Prime Minister. But he hasn't done it alone. He has been backed by a coterie of trusted associates, connected through past ties in St. Petersburg, or in the KGB or in business. Yakunin was part of President Putin's inner circle, so much so the US made him a target of sanctions after the invasion of Crimea. Are cracks showing in the Putin project?

(Photo: Vladimir Yakunin at the BRICS/SCO Summit. Credit: Ria Novosti/Getty Images)

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HARDtalk

Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister - Alexander De Croo

Does Europe view Britain's travails with sympathy or relish?

Does Europe view Britain's travails with sympathy or relish? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de Croo.

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de Croo. The recent UK General Election was supposed to strengthen the British Government’s hand in the looming Brexit negotiations. Instead, it has backfired with Theresa May a weakened Prime Minister at the head of a minority government ill-prepared for the complex, difficult talks that lie ahead. Does Europe view Britain's travails with sympathy or relish?

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HARDtalk

Former US North Korea negotiator Christopher Hill

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to the American diplomat Christopher Hill.

Stephen Sackur speaks to the American diplomat Christopher Hill who has served under three US Presidents and was a former lead negotiator on North Korea. Recently, President Trump has described North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un as a “pretty smart cookie” who he would be “honoured” to meet. But with military tensions on the peninsula rising, could Trump's unpredictable approach to foreign policy actually work?

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The Real Story

Trump and Russia: A Long Relationship

How do you separate fact from rumour in President Trump's connections with Russia?

President Trump’s connections with Russia is a story that won’t go away. There are so many allegations flying around that it can be difficult to separate what is actually known and what is rumour. The President and his supporters have one key point - that despite all the coverage and official investigations, there is still no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Nor is there evidence that Trump’s business connections to Russia are other than legitimate. But did Russia try to influence the election outcome? And what about the stream of stories linking members of Trump’s team to Russia? As a special counsel is appointed to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election, Owen Bennett Jones and panel of expert guests marshal the facts and explain what is known for sure about Donald Trump’s longstanding relationship with Russia.

Photo: Donald Trump in White House talking on phone to President Putin, 28 January 2017. Credit: Getty Images

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Economist Stephen King

Economist Stephen King explains why globalization might be going into reverse.

Stephen King was the chief economist at HCBC for 17 years. He tells HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur why he thinks globalization could go into reverse.

Stephen King was the chief economist at HSBC from 1998 to 2015. He now says 'Western led globalization is in big trouble. We may be witnessing the collapse of the post-war international economic and political order'. Stephen Sackur asks him why he thinks globalisation could go into reverse and what damage could be done to economies across Europe and the United States.

(Photo: Stephen King on Hardtalk)

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