Episodes about #politics
Countries all around Europe are dealing with the same dilemma: what to do with citizens who went to join ISIS. Tiny Kosovo is alone in opting to bring back a large group of its citizens when other countries are turning their backs. To find out why, Dominic talked to AJ Naddaff, who spent months researching why so many left Kosovo to fight, and the country's humane response to bringing people back.
Over on the western edge of Europe Katy's been chatting to the French writer Maxime Calligaro about why the Brussels bubble is a surprisingly great place to set a crime novel. Maxime and Katy also spoke at the Ancienne Belgique last week about how to make Europe less boring (you can watch it here). Thanks Liveurope for hosting!
This week a brilliant young journalist was shot dead in Northern Ireland, on the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement. The senseless death of Lyra McKee is a reminder of a conflict that most in the country have put behind them. Her friend, the writer Susan McKay, is here with a very moving tribute to a remarkable person.
Also this week: a rebellion in London, rising from the ashes in Paris, and the magnificent species that is the European honey bee.
This week, a little glimmer of hope from central Europe in the form of a new Slovakian president who refuses to fight dirty. And a little glimmer of the future in the form of our guest, bionic woman and tech journalist Mimi Billing, one of a growing number of Swedes to have got themselves... microchipped? Plus: Russian whale jails, a decades-old French mystery, and germs at the opera.
This week we're stretching the definition of Europe to the limit and travelling all the way down to the French-Italian research base in the Antarctic! By some miracle we managed to Skype the physicist Meganne Christian at the Concordia base about what it's like spending an entire year living in the most isolated place on Earth (albeit with decent Italian cooking). At the other end of the planet: bears, Viktor Orbán's bid to turn Hungarian women into baby-machines, and pop that pisses off the populists.
This week, smart Finns and a very smart bear. Computer scientist Teemu Roos is on the line from Helsinki to explain why Finland is trying to educate its population en masse about artificial intelligence. And our Woman in Warsaw Ania Jakubek is back with the tale of a Polish wartime hero who just happened to be... a bear. Plus: Greek drama, Satanic tourism, and how to make the internet a nicer place.
This week, the need for more buzz around Europe: the bee kind, and the excitement kind. Our very special guest to round off the year (and keep Katy company while Dominic was rolling around on the floor) is the Dutch writer Joris Luyendijk, who despite having been named Bad News reporter for De Correspondent has more hope than you might think for this continent as we roll into 2019. Trigger warning: there's a mention or two of the b-word as we talk about why Europe ain't so boring and the mysteries of the British psyche. Plus: Powerfrauen; an all-too-human robot, and the fight to save our pollinators.
What's in a name? A lot, if you're Macedonia. Emil Atanasovski is here to talk us through one of the most confusing questions in the Balkans, thank god. Transatlantic movie man Kevin Sachs is on the line to explain why Netflix is about to get a lot more European, with his tips for stylish German television thrown in for free. Plus bears, trains, and ancient weapons, we've got it all this week.
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A treasure-themed episode for you this week: the natural treasures of Poland's ancient Białowieża forest, hidden treasures in rural France, and buried treasure on a German island. Dominic's been chatting to Agata Szafraniuk of environmental lawyers ClientEarth about their battle with the Polish government to protect Białowieża, one of the few remaining patches of the primeval forest that covered Europe 10,000 years ago. Also heading into the countryside are Parisian podcaster Oliver Gee of The Earful Tower fame and his fiancee Lina Nordin, on a quest to discover the real France through a heart-shaped (awwwwww) tour of the country.
Plus: Strict Belgian gyms, 10th century bling and a bitcoin heist.
This week we're imagining a better future for baby Europeans and also what might happen after the nuclear apocalypse. Jennifer Pettersson is Swedish radio maker who's been based in Amsterdam for the last 20 years. She's always loved living in the city — until it came to putting her kids in school there. Dutch kids are famously supposed to be the happiest in the world, but is it really true?
Since we're planning for the future we might as look all the way ahead to Doomsday. Katy's been chatting to Asmund Asdal, the coordinator of Norway's Global Seed Vault, which keeps back-ups of the world's grains and seeds for use in case of disaster.
Also: good news for young Europeans with wanderlust, bad news for clocks, and some mile-high poetry.
Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Not Alexandra Pascalidou. The Greek-Swedish journalist did something that would scare many of us: after years of threats from neo-Nazis, she invited one of them for a cup of coffee. Alexandra gives us a masterclass in forgiveness — and stay tuned later in the week for a bonus episode featuring her full conversation with The Europeans.
But first, actual wolves. After Belgium saw its first in a century, we're taking a look at how different countries across the continent are dealing with 20,000 of the proud predators — and our guest Max Rossberg of the European Wilderness Society argues we need a total rethink.
Plus: the monster of Brussels, a monstrous week for Britain's Jeremy Corbyn, and some less monstrous news to cheer us up at the end.