Every week we provide online briefings on key issues and places around the world. It’s a subscription service. Membership will give you unique Insight into the places and issues we cover around the world, and keep our team together so that we can be in a position to provide tours as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. If you have any enquiries about the service or requests please email us at [email protected]
John McCarthy & Living in Isolation
Can Lebanon Be Fixed?
North Korea’s Economy: Prof. Ruediger Frank
Russia, Covid-19 & the Autocrat’s dilemma
How to Subscribe
If you like what we are doing you can join the service and enjoy a minimum of 6 sessions a month. You can pay for your subscription to Insight’s limited membership with PayPal (you can use a credit or debit card) or by bank transfer to Beyond the Headlines Ltd. Fee options for full membership subscriptions are as follows:
£80.00 per month (minimum 6 briefings, £13.33 per view)
£240.00 every three months
Six monthly: £432.00
10% discount for a six month subscription (total would be £480.00, saving of £48.00)
To trial membership: £18.00 Pay per view.
For bank transfers & standing orders: Please email us at [email protected] and we will send you the bank details for Beyond the Headlines Ltd.
For online payments: The PayPal button below will take you to a different page and you can choose to pay via PayPal or a debit or credit card. Just choose if you want to pay Monthly, Quarterly or every Six months. Or you can opt to trial one session.
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What to Expect
Help us to Carry On. As well as giving you a unique perspective at this critical time, Insight with Beyond The Headlines will help keep our team together so that we are in a position to provide tours as soon as travel restrictions are lifted. We will continue to give you access to our contacts and communities around the globe. And you don’t even have to get on a plane to do it!
Multiple Time Zones. We’ll rotate talks so you are guaranteed to get at least 3-4 talks a month within your time zone. If you miss a broadcast you will be able to see it online within 24 hours. These are all live and interactive – so you can put your questions directly to speakers.
Join the Debate. At the end of each session you’ll be able to exchange views on air with other members of the club, just as we do on the tours. This will give us a chance to discuss points of interest amongst ourselves. We have a great community of travellers, many with their own areas of expertise. Those views add to the quality of our debates.
Limited Membership. The new subscriptions club will be limited to just 100 peopled uring the first six months. This means you won’t be one of several hundred or thousand people viewing a discussion. You are guaranteed access and able to ask our own questions. You will also be able to propose new debates. We want to hear your ideas on what topics you would like to explore, and who you would like to hear from.
Unlike Anyone. Like our tours – the key thing you’ll get from us is access to people on the ground. We steer clear of armchair experts that populate most online forums. We have experts and access to people around the globe, so whether its speaking to someone in Soweto or hearing a North Korean defector speaking – you are guaranteed to get a unique view of what’s happening at the moment.
Tuesday 1 September
Lukashenko’s Fix – with Leonid Ragozin & Igor Kuley
Alexander Lukashenko has managed to remain in power for 26 years almost unchallenged. Now it looks as though he’s in trouble. Will Putin come to his rescue? Former BBC Russia correspondent Leonid Ragozin with guests from Minsk.
5am PDT (San Francisco), 8am EDT (New York), 1pm BST (London), 3pm (Riga), 10pm AEST (Sydney), 12am NZST (Wellington +1)
Thursday 3 September
Pakistan Power Struggle – with Owen Bennett-Jones
The Bhutto family have been at the center of power in Pakistani politics for over a century. Former BBC correspondent Owen Bennett-Jones is releasing a book later this month on the family’s trials and tribulations, culminating in the tragic death of Benazir in 2007. It’s a story of murder, intrigue, and bitter family rivalries. Interview with Owen Bennett-Jones.
5am PDT (San Francisco), 8am EDT (New York), 1pm BST (London), 2pm CEST (Paris), 3pm (Jerusalem), 10pm AEST (Sydney), 12am NZST (Wellington +1)
Monday 7 September
US Election 2020 – The Conspiracy – with Michael Isikoff
Michael Isikoff, one of America’s best known investigative reporters joins us to talk about how conspiracy theories are being used to affect the election. Michael’s last book Russian Roulette, looked at Russian interference in the 2016 election. He looks at the use of such stories in social media including Qanon followers who believe a group of satanic worshiping celebrities and businessmen are conspiring to get President Trump out of the White House. What impact are these groups having on the election this time around.
6am PDT (San Francisco), 9am EDT (New York), 2pm BST (London), 3pm CEST (Paris), 11pm AEST (Sydney), 1am NZST (Wellington +1)
Friday 18 September
Peace in the Balkans? Kosovo & Serbia – with Jeta Xharra & Sonja Biserko
It’s almost twenty years since the end of the last Balkan war (Macedonia 2001) but the prospect of long-term peace in the region is on hold. Serbia is flirting with Russia, and EU membership for the region, the glue that is meant to prevent another conflict is a long way off. Where’s it all going? Interview with two leading commentators in Kosovo and Serbia give their views.
12pm PDT (San Francisco), 3pm EDT (New York), 8pm BST (London), 5am AEST (Sydney +1), 7am NZST (Wellington +1)
Tuesday 22 September
Covid & The Rules of Contagion – with Adam Kucharski
Adam Kucharski spoke to our group at our Experts Weekend in London in March. He’s widely regarded as one of the best epidemiologists of his generation and his book, The Rules of Contagion, has become a global best-seller. He speaks about what we’ve learned about the virus so far and what is still to come.
9am PDT (San Francisco), 12pm EDT (Washington DC), 5pm BST (London), 7pm (Istanbul), 2am AEST(Sydney+1), 4am NZST (Wellington+1)
Thursday 24 September
Across the Jordan – with former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher
Already inundated with over a million Syrian refugees, Jordan is having a terrible year with covid19 and the fallout from Israel’s moves to seize parts of the West Bank. What are its options? We hear from Marwan Muasher formerly the Jordanian foreign minister and deputy prime minister.
5am PDT (San Francisco), 8am EDT (New York), 1pm BST (London), 2pm CEST (Paris), 3pm (Amman), 10pm AEST (Sydney), 12am NZST (Wellington +1)
Tuesday 4 August
The Hidden Holocaust with Efraim Zuroff
Famed Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff’s latest book is on the holocaust in the Baltics. The book, entitled Our People was co-written with Lithuanian author Rūta Vanagaitė who discovered that her relatives had played a role in the murder of Jews. Efraim’s maternal grandparents were born in Lithuania and the great-uncle he was named after were killed in Vilnius. Together the pair uncover the terrible history of the Lithuania’s holocaust and try to convince local authorities to tell the truth amid considerable opposition.
Thursday 6 August
Election 2020 – How Trump Lost the Mid-West with Prof. David Dulio & Prof. Dave Swenson
In 2016 Trump came from behind to surprise the Democrats in states like Michigan. The so called Reagan Democrats, white working class voters turned out in droves to support him, but now it looks like he is loosing their support fast. Political experts David Dulio (Professor of Economics and Politics at Rochester University Michigan) and David Swenson (Professor of Political Economy at Iowa State University) look at what’s happening and argue that the President is fighting a losing battle in an area that once seemed his for the taking.
Tuesday 11 August
‘Ndrangheta – Italy’s Mafia with Tobias Jones & Zora Hauser
While Sicily’s Cosa Nostra continue to be highly influential, the country’s biggest organised crime group is actually based elsewhere; Calabria. Known as the ‘Ndrangheta they have surpassed the Mafia as one the most powerful criminal groups in the world. Zora Hauser is an Oxford based researcher specialising in Italian organised crime. Tobias Jones is a British writer based in Parma and author of the best seller The Dark Heart of Italy as well as Ultra: The Underworld of Italian Football (winner of The Daily Telegraph Football book of the year). Both will be leading our Southern Italy tour, 3-11 October 2020.
Thursday 20 August
Can Boris Bounce Back? with Stephen Castle
Boris Johnson was once the Teflon Don of UK politics on whom no mud could stick. But he has had a torrid time during the pandemic not least ending up critically ill with the disease himself. Britain’s Covid19 death toll is among the worst in the world and the Prime Minister has been widely criticised for his handling of the crisis. Can he put it all behind him and keep his ambitious plans intact? Two leading UK journalists Stephen Castle from the New York Times and TBC assess his performance.
Tuesday 25 August
US Election 2020 – The Southern Problem with Jeff Smith & Simon Romero
The Lone Star State, long a bastion of conservative Republicans, could vote for Biden in 2020. With 38 electoral college votes at stake Trump would have little chance of staying in the White House if he loses it. How has it come to this? Jeff Smith from the Center for Public Integrity in Washington and other experts discuss.
Thursday 27 August
Human Rights Frontline with Peter Bouckaert
How do you improve human rights in the middle of a conflict zone? Peter Bouckaert was director of the Human Rights Watch’s emergency’s team for over a decade working in areas as diverse as the Sri Lanka and Syria. He talks about his experiences.
Tuesday 30 June
We hear from Iceland’s most controversial entrepreneur and genetics expert Kari Stefansson and award winning journalist and bestseller author Thordur Julliusson on how Iceland beat Covid19. Are there lessons for the rest of the world?
Friday 3 July
Iran and Exile
Kasra Naji is editor of the BBC’s Persian service and is regarded as one of the foremost commentators on Iran. Naji was forced into exile for his reporting and is the author of a biography of Mahmoud Ahmedinajad. He speaks about Iran today and his own personal story.
Thursday 9 July
Venezuela – Sanctioned Pandemic with Joe Parkin Daniels & Patricia Torres
Venezuela has superseded Cuba as the pariah state of the Americas. The White House has ramped up sanctions but there’s little sign of the Maduro government going soon. Will Covid-19 change that? The New York Times and The Guardian correspondents discuss.
Tuesday 14 July
Japanese Demographics with Tom Feiling
Japanese lifestyles – single living and small households – may be helping to slow the growth of Covid-19, but in the long-term Japan’s population is collapsing. Villages in some parts of Japan are literally dying out. Award winning author Tom Feiling looks at the long-term impact on the world’s 3rd largest economy.
Friday 17 July
Covid Frontline with Dr. Victoria Whitford
Victoria Whitford was one of the UK’s most promising diplomats serving in conflict zones such as Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as the US Embassy in Washington. She then gave up her career to become a doctor. For the last three month she’s faced a new battle on the wards of a London hospital; Covid-19. This is her account of fighting the virus.
Tuesday 21 July
Egyptian Clampdown with Timothy Kaldas
The Eygpt’s government has taken a firm stance against the media when it comes to reporting on the pandemic with some reporters jailed and others expelled from the country. We can an update on the country with Timothy Kaldas, non-resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
Thursday 23 July
Disunited Kingdom? with Magnus Llewellin, Editor of The Times in Scotland
The UK’s four home nations have all had differing approaches to the pandemic. Boris Johnson pushed for a more liberal approach, while Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been more cautious. Magnus Llewellin, the editor of Scottish edition of The Times, argues that the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the differences between the four nations, and is a taste of things to come. There is, however, a different case to be made, one in which devolved power goes hand-in-hand with co-operation in a united and C21st kingdom.
Tuesday 28 July
Thomas Dworzak: A Retrospective
As President of MAGNUM, Thomas Dworzak is one of the world’s leading photographers. He started taking photos aged just 16 in Northern Ireland and has covered some of the world’s major conflicts. He now lives in Paris. He gives us a retrospective of his work.
Thursday 25 June
Russia, Covid19 & The Autocrat’s Dilemma
The pandemic has been a gift to most autocrats seeking more power but things don’t seem to have gone that well for Vladimir Putin. He’s tried to keep his distance from the handling of the crisis but it may well have damaged his image among ordinary Russians. Former BBC Russian service editor, Konstantin Von Eggert, and Political Tours expert Leonid Ragozin discuss.
Tuesday 23 June
For decades Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth and conservative ruling family have ensured a stable ally for the west in the Arabian Peninsula. But a ruthless heir apparent and tumbling oil prices compounded by a looming fiscal crisis and regional instability raise huge questions about the Kingdom’s future. We are joined by the Britain’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir William Patey and Neil Quilliam an associate fellow of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa program.
Thursday 18 June
Living in Isolation
With many countries gradually moving out of quarantine BBC broadcaster and former Lebanese hostage John McCarthy is joined by consultant psychiatrist Judith Mohring to look at what impact isolation and quarantine have had on us all and how we should cope.
8am EDT (New York), 1pm BST (London), 2pm CEST (Paris), 10pm AEST (Sydney), 12am NZST(Wellington +1)
Tuesday 16 June
Black Lives Matter
What can we learn from George Floyd’s death and the wave of protests that followed it? Professor Thomas Holt is one of the most respected historians of race relations in the United States. While the civil rights movement has seen African-Americans make some significant advances since the 1960s it has not been matched by economic progress. Professor Holt gives an overview of how race relations have evolved in the US over the past 40 years.
2pm PDT (San Francisco), 4pm CDT (Chicago), 5pm EDT (New York), 10pm BST (London), 7am AEST (Sydney +1), 9am NZST (Wellington +1)
Thursday 11 June
North Korea’s Economy
In our third in a series of discussions on the DPRK Professor Ruediger Frank separates truth from fiction in North Korea’s economy. How do ordinary North Koreans get by? How is the economy affected by sanctions? And where does this leave Kim Jung-Un’s ambitions for the country.
7am EDT (New York), 12pm BST (London), 1pm CEST (Paris), 9pm AEST (Sydney), 11pm NZST (Wellington)
Tuesday 9 June
ANC leader Nelson Mandela is credited with bringing about a peaceful transition to democracy in South Africa but what of his legacy? South Africa is scarred by enormous social and racial differences and many critics suggest the ANC has squandered the two decades to bring about economic change. Former editor of The Star newspaper, Peter Sullivan and Ambassador Nozipho January-Bardill assess.
1am PDT (San Francisco), 4am EDT (New York), 9am BST (London), 10am SAST (Johannesburg), 6pm AEST (Sydney), 8pm NZST (Wellington)
Thursday 4 June
Reporting Covid19 in the UK
Reporting on the coronavirus has been a difficult task according Andrew Testa, a renown freelance photographer with The New York Times. He talks about the challenges of telling the story that has taken at least 40,000 lives and possibly over 60,000.
28 May 2020
A New Cuban Crisis – The US Embargo & Covid19
Already before the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, Cuba’s economy was struggling. After a decade of halting economic reform, GDP growth remained sclerotic, and the re-intensification of U.S. sanctions under Donald Trump was intensifying existing difficulties. Now Covid-19 has forced Cuba to shut its borders to international tourism, and hard currency reserves needed for importing foodstuffs are depleted. Beyond the public health crisis—which Cuba has responded to with considerable success compared to regional peers—what is in store for Cuba’s future? Is the island on the doorstep of an economic crisis that rivals the severe depression experienced after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s?
Michael J. Bustamante, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Florida International University in Miami. He is co-editor of The Revolution from Within: Cuba, 1959-1980, published by Duke University Press in 2019. His commentary on contemporary Cuban affairs has appeared in Foreign Affairs and The Washington Post among other publications.
26 May 2020
You’ve Been Trumped
Documentary maker Anthony Baxter came to fame with his film on Donald Trump’s Scottish golf-course. Trump then tried to sue the BBC and prevent the film being broadcast helping the film become a major success. His most recent film is called FLINT. Made over 5 years it examiens the water pollution crisis in Flint, Michigan. In conversation with Nicholas Wood.
Tuesday 26 May 9.00 pm BST 4pm EST (Florida) 1pm PDT (San Franciso), 4pm EDT (New York), 10pm CEST (Paris), 6am AEST (Sydney +1), 8am NZST (Wellington+1)
Annexing Palestine – Netanyahu’s Push to Seize the West Bank
Israel has a new government all the while its Prime Minister is simultaneously trying to avoid jail and annex part of the West Bank. It seems the famed-two state solution is well and truly dead. Discussion with Dahlia Scheindlin and Sam Bahour.
Thursday May 21 5pm BST (UK), 9am PDT (San Francisco), 12pm EDT (New York), 2am AEST (Sydney+1), 4am NZST (Wellington+1)
Fleeing North Korea: A conversation with a defector
Eunhee Park escaped North Korea at only 18. She’s part of a new generation of defectors who have fled the north surviving on their wits and surprisingly a spirit of enterprise. In conversation with Nicholas Wood and Eunkoo Lee and Casey Lafargue from Teach North Korean Refugees.
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The Inflation Bogeyman
David Smith, The Sunday Times Economics Editor and Luka Gakic, an investment director with Ruffer discuss the risks of the Covid19 bailouts. Central banks and governments are spending money in a way never seen before but what will the long term impact of this be. There are some who fear it will unleash massive inflation. Others are turning that economic theory on its head.
Tuesday May 12 10.00 a.m. BST 5am EDT (New York), 7pm AEST (Sydney), 9pm NZST (Wellington)
Catch 22 – Lockdown in South Africa
How do you tackle Covid19 in places where social distancing and good hygiene are near impossible? We’re joined by Thulani Madondo who runs Soweto based charity the Kliptown Youth Program, John Matisonn, author of a new biography on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Dr. Paul Davis, who has just retired as Chairman of Aurum, South Africa’s foremost independent health charity. South Africa was quick to impose restrictions and has kept the virus in check so far but at what cost?
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April 30, 2020 1.00 PM BST
Just How Bad Can It Get? The Global Economic Meltdown & Covid19
How much damage is being done to the global economy and what are the possible political and economic outcomes?
Prof. Jeremy Jennings from King’s College London and Tom Elliott, former market strategist with JP Morgan Asset Management assess the damage being done to the global economy. Both suggest that this is likely to be the most significant political and economic crisis of our lifetimes. They’ll also ask how quickly we will recover. There’s an alphabet soup of answers. Will it be a U, W or even worse a “long slow reverse J”?
Tom Elliott helps clients understand the economic and political influences that drive capital markets, which in turn drive investor returns. Tom, formerly an Executive Director at JP Morgan Asset Management, has 25 years experience in the financial sector. He is currently a visiting lecturer in the department of political economy at King’s College, London.
Professors Jeremy Jennings is Head of the School of Politics & Economics at Kings College London. Previously he served as Head of Department in Birmingham and at Queen Mary, was Vincent Wright Professor at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris in 2006 and was also a visiting fellow at the University of Columbia Research Centre in Paris. Jeremy holds a visiting professorship with the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques.
April 28, 2020 12.00 PM BST
Art vs Propaganda; Culture in North Korea with Nick Bonner
Few outsiders know North Korea as well as Nick Bonner. As the founder of North Korean travel specialists Koryo Tours he has an unparalleled range of contacts in the hermit-like state. He also owns one of the best North Korean art collections outside of the DPRK and has worked with artists and cinematographers there for many years. It’s enabled him to build up a rich and nuanced understanding of the most authoritarian state on earth.
April 24, 2020, 11.00 a.m. BST
Power Grab; Freedom in Hungary & Covid19
Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. In Hungary Prime Minister Victor Orban now has the power to rule by decree and anyone who spreads “false rumours” can face jail time of up to 5 years. The new law has caused an outcry from civil liberties advocates who say it may have a lasting impact. Elsewhere governments around the world are introducing steps that would in normal times provoke a public outcry.
Nick Thorpe, BBC Central Europe Correspondent, based in Budapest. He outlines Victor Orban’s latest steps and describes how Hungary’s nationalist Fidesz party is hoping reshape the EU its own image.
Gerald Knaus, Founder of the European Stability Initiative, one of the most influential think tanks in the EU at the moment. The ESI says the EU needs to find a way to stop countries like Hungary undermining democracy. Its latest paper argues European financial aid for the economy after the pandemic should have strings attached.
Boris Kalnoky, Budapest based correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt who has covered central and south eastern Europe since the 1980s. He believes the criticisms made of Hungary and other states are overblown. It’s time for the preaching from Brussels and elsewhere to stop.
April 16, 2020, 8:00 PM BST
Lebanon: Debt, Revolution & Covid19
Lebanon based reporters Leena Saidi and Nicholas Blanford discussed the impact of Covid19 on a state already struggling to cope with significant problems. Before the onset of the pandemic the government in Beirut had just defaulted on part of its colosal national debt. Nationwide street protests brought the previous government to its knees. And on top of that it is home to at least 1.5 million Syrian refugees. How do measures like quarantine work in these conditions? Is there an alternative approach?
April 9, 2020, 9:00 PM BST
Tobias Jones on Italy: Life under lockdown, Life after Covid19
Author and Parma based reporter, Tobias Jones, discusses the impact of Covid19 on Italian society and looks at the implications for the country beyond the pandemic. Like much of Europe, Italy looks set to go into a deep recession. There is much anger at the EU for what many Italians see as the block’s failure to help them in their hour of need.
(Sound only for first minute)
April 2, 2020 3:00PM BST
From 1918 to 2020; the US response to the Flu Pandemic.
It now seems clear that the United States is set to become one of the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus despite the advanced warning it has had from China and Europe. Similarly 102 years ago the US was hit by a similar crisis. While the world has obviously changed enormously, not least in terms of medicine and technology we are interested to know what parallels there are here, and our focus here is how government at the state and federal levels have reacted.
Nancy Bristow is Professor of History at Puget Sound University and Author of American Pandemic: The lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epedemic.
David Swenson, Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. We look at the emerging economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.
R Jeffrey Smith, Pullitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, formerly with The Washington Post and now National Security Editor at the Center for Public Integrity, Washington DC. Jeffrey will look at the divisions between state and federal government.
Discussion followed by q&a.