Hardtalk

Hardtalk

Interviews with the world's leading politicians, thinkers and cultural figures. In an in-depth, hard-hitting, half-hour discussion, Stephen Sackur talks to some of the most prominent people from around the world. Broadcast on the BBC World Service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Mehmet Fatih Ceylan 24th October

    Fri, 24 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    National governments and security organisations are becoming increasingly preoccupied with the threat posed by the extremist group Islamic State and what their response should be. Hardtalk travels to Brussels to speak to Turkey’s ambassador to NATO, Mehmet Fatih Ceylan. Turkey has been criticised for its failure to act against Islamic State, so is Ankara finally ready to confront the threat they pose?

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  • Ambassador James Jeffrey 21 October

    Wed, 22 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    President Obama is just where he didn't want to be - fighting another war in the Middle East. He promises that American troops will not be dragged back into Iraq, yet he portrays the confrontation with the group calling itself Islamic State as a generational struggle that has to be won. Hardtalk speaks to James Jeffrey, a former US ambassador in Turkey and Iraq. Is the Obama administration making the right calls in the Middle East?

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  • Giandomenico Picco: Monday 20th October

    Mon, 20 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    Is there a new brand of violent extremism that is identifiably different from all forms of militancy that have gone before? The question is prompted by the shocking and self-publicised brutality of the group calling itself Islamic State. Boko Haram in Nigeria deserves mention in the same breath. These groups provoke worldwide revulsion, but is force the only possible response? Hardtalk speaks to Giandomenico Picco, the former UN envoy who risked his life to negotiate the release of western hostages in Lebanon.

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  • Mathias Döpfner

    Fri, 17 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    Twenty five years after the world’s most notorious wall came crashing down, Germany is Europe’s dominant nation. This is a reflection of its economic power and its media power. HARDtalk is in Berlin to talk to Mathias Dopfner, CEO of one of Europe’s most powerful publishing companies – Axel Springer. How does a traditional company thrive in the age of the internet?

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  • Joe Hockey MP: Wednesday 15th October

    Wed, 15 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    Next month the international club of rich nations, the G20, will meet in Australia. For much of the past decade the host nation boasted one of the strongest economies in the developed world, but not anymore. Australia has been badly hit by falling commodity prices and China's economic slowdown. HARDtalk speaks to the country's Treasury minister, Joe Hockey. Should Australians brace themselves for a prolonged period of economic pain?

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  • Alexander Stubb: Monday 13th October

    Mon, 13 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    A sense of gloom is hanging over Europe. Years of economic stagnation are at the heart of it, but there are other factors too - for example, the security challenge posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and also a rising tide of scepticism about the European Union itself amongst many on the continent. HARDtalk speaks to Alexander Stubb, the Prime Minister of Finland and one of the EU’s new young leaders. How does Europe rescue itself?

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  • David Miliband: Friday 10th October

    Fri, 10 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    The Middle East is in turmoil, beset by ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts that together have created one of the gravest global humanitarian crises since World War Two. And once again a US-led military coalition is dropping bombs in the region. HARDtalk speaks to David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, now head of the US-based, International Rescue Committee. Given recent history, is there any reason to believe western intervention to end the killing and the suffering can work?

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  • General Lord Richards: Wednesday 8th October

    Wed, 8 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    The US led military operation against the so-called Islamic State organisation has raised a host of awkward questions. Is the makeshift coalition fighting a war, or mounting an anti-terror operation? What will victory look like, and how long will it take? HARDtalk speaks to General Lord Richards, who recently retired as Britain's top military chief. He has led military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Sierra Leone. What does he make of this latest one?

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  • Professor Peter Piot: Monday 6th October

    Mon, 6 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    The warnings about Ebola have been apocalyptic: Liberia's defence minister says it threatens his country's existence, while the US president says it threatens "global security". Three thousand people have already died from the disease and the World Health Organisation warns the number of cases is likely to exceed 20,000 within weeks. And it's spreading: America has diagnosed the first case outside Africa. HARDtalk speaks to Professor Peter Piot, the man who first identified the disease back in the 70s. Forty years on and we still don't have a cure. So, what should be done to stop it?

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  • Gilles de Kerchove: Friday 3rd October

    Fri, 3 Oct 14

    Duration:
    24 mins

    How serious a threat to western security is the extremist group that calls itself Islamic State? According to those governments now backing military action against the jihadis the danger is very real - not least from foreign fighters, battle hardened in Syria and Iraq, who return to homes in the west. HARDtalk speaks to the EU counter-terror coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove - does the EU have a coherent response to the Islamic State challenge?

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