This week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Ethiopia, just months before the planned partial opening of a controversial new dam project that Egypt says will harm tens-of-millions living along the River Nile. Construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia began in 2011 and is expected to start generating electricity within months. But Ethiopia has yet to agree with nearby Egypt how quickly the dam’s reservoir should be filled (the faster the process happens, the less water will flow downstream to Egypt). Attempts by the United States to negotiate a deal between its competing allies in North-Eastern Africa have so far failed, leading to concerns the row could lead to conflict. Ritula Shah and her panel of expert guests assess the economic costs and benefits of the dam to those up and downstream. And as climate change continues to threaten water security in the region, will the dam make the situation better or worse? In the end, who controls the Nile?
What's next for Iran?
Next week, Iranians go to the polls to elect a new parliament. This time around there will be fewer choices on the ballot, after a number of ‘reformist’ politicians were purged from the list of candidates allowed to stand. Popular anger over the country’s dire economy has been spilling onto the streets, with some criticising Iran’s ruling elite, while others blame the United States for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and introducing fresh sanctions. But just who is in charge in Tehran? If hardliners are consolidating power, why now? And is outside pressure to bring about regime change strengthening the hand of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or helping those Iranians who want a closer relationship with the West? Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests discuss - what's next for Iran?
Impeachment: What's changed since Nixon?
In August 1974, the 37th President of the United States - Richard Nixon - resigned after being told by members of his own Republican party that they could no longer support him. Evidence brought during the process to impeach and remove him had implicated the White House in an attempt to sabotage President Nixon's Democratic rivals. The allegations against President Nixon were similar in nature to those levelled at the 45th President Donald Trump. But this week, Mr Trump was acquitted of the two charges against him following his impeachment trial, after Republicans in the Senate voted not to hear new evidence in the case. So, have public attitudes towards allegations of corruption in public office changed over the past four decades? US politics itself, is different, but how did it arrive here? Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests discuss - what’s changed since Nixon?
Brexit: The next chapter
As the clock strikes 23:00 GMT on Friday, Britain will be out of the European Union. It marks the end of a bitter chapter in the country’s history – and the start of new one. The Brexit referendum of 2016 and its aftermath has dominated UK politics for the past three and a half years. The debates were fierce and the atmosphere acrimonious. Only late last year did the picture stabilise with the election of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his large Conservative majority – on the campaign promise to "get Brexit done". But the path ahead is far from clear. Britain will now enter a transition period, which the UK government has said it will not extend. At face value, this leaves less than a year for the UK and the EU to negotiate a future trading relationship and resolve key issues like security cooperation and immigration policy. So what will the talks look like and can solutions be found? Join Pascale Harter and a panel of expert guests as they discuss the challenges, as well as the opportunities, presented by Brexit for the UK and the EU.
Can China stop a killer virus spreading?
A mysterious new virus has emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan and is rapidly being identified in patients across the globe. Signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Hundreds have been infected and some deaths have already been reported. This isn’t the first potentially deadly virus to emerge from China. In 2002/3, the Sars virus killed nearly 800 people globally and belonged to the same family of virus as the current outbreak. At the time, officials in Beijing were criticised for not acting fast enough and failing to be open and honest about the extent of the crisis. But how much has China’s approach changed? And is the world ready for the next global pandemic, whenever it may come? Celia Hatton and her panel of guests explore whether China has learned its lessons when it comes to dealing with the outbreak of deadly diseases.