If You're Listening

If You're Listening

The world is on fire. There's a coup. A former president is being indicted. Inflation is through the roof, and AI is taking our jobs. What does it all mean? Each week, Matt Bevan explains the biggest story in world news while hiding in his basement from assassins and authoritarian regimes.

Episodes

July 10, 2024 19 mins

Last week, the UK Labour Party won the general election in a landslide victory.

In the past four episodes we've detailed the chaos, ineptitude and hubris of the Conservative Party during their time in office.

So you might be thinking, what took the Labour Party so long to get elected?

On the final episode of our Who Broke Britain series, how Labour went to war with itself — over policy, factions, personalities, Brexi...

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The UK election is being held today and polls indicate the Conservative Party will lose in a landslide.

One of the key policies the government is running on is a version of Australia's offshore immigration detention policy, which was launched by prime minister John Howard in the lead-up to the 2001 election.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's two year fight over this policy has not only been a colossal failure, it will li...

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Britain's National Health Service was in crisis when COVID arrived in the UK.

After years of increasing demand and flatlining funding, the NHS was deeply broken.

One Chancellor called the NHS "the closest thing the English people have to a religion", so how was it left to fall into disrepair, on the edge of collapse, right as a catastrophic pandemic hit?

This is part 3 of our series, Who Broke Britain.

Subscribe to If...

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British Prime Minister David Cameron took a colossal gamble when he called for a referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.

Instead, he brought about Brexit and sent the country into three years of chaos.

Cameron was certain his side — Remain — would win. How did he get it so wrong?

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Watch Who broke Britain, part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watc...

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When the UK Conservative Party won the election in 2010, they took a butcher's knife to the budget.

David Cameron's money-man George Osborne — the young heir to a wallpaper fortune — had a big plan called "austerity," but it put the country on a journey to total chaos.

This is the first episode in a four-part series called Who Broke Britain.

It's about the past 14 years of Conservative Party leadership, all the way u...

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We're still on a break from our regularly scheduled programming but don't worry, we're hard at work.

Next week we'll be launching a four-part series leading up to the UK election called Who Broke Britain?

The country that was once the centre of the world's greatest empire now seems a lot smaller, and in many ways — broken.

So — who broke it?

Until then, check out the latest ABC podcast Not Stupid, from our colleagues ...

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The island of Taiwan, just off the coast of China, is shaping up as the most likely spark for the next global conflict.

China's president Xi Jinping wants to claim all the territory he thinks belongs to China, without triggering a nuclear war.

It's a century-old civil war, which has been frozen in place for decades.

It's an almost unimaginably dangerous situation, and one mistake could lead to catastrophe.

This is a r...

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Earlier this week the President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash in bad weather.

Raisi was a phenomenally important figure in Middle Eastern politics — not just Iran's President, but the likely next Supreme Leader of Iran.

He got there through acts of extreme brutality, showing his willingness to do anything to defend the Iranian status quo.

How did Ebrahim Raisi become the heir-apparent to the Irania...

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Australia's first domestic violence shelter Elsie opened in the 1970s, and researchers have been analysing the problem ever since.

In the last three decades more than 1,500 women have been killed by intimate partners in Australia and we're still no closer to finding out why.

Campaigner Rosie Batty has compared domestic violence to terrorism, and called for similar levels of funding.

Is that comparison extreme, or is ...

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Michael Cohen is the star witness in the Trump 'hush-money' trial.

He was once Trump's personal attorney and said he would "take a bullet" for his boss, but then everything changed.

He has served years in prison for lying, tax fraud, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.

But he thinks everything he's gone through will be worth it if he can take Trump down.

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C...

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Plans for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics are not going well.

It's a political quagmire, with plans for billion-dollar stadium upgrades or massive new venues being thrown around like confetti.

There are concerns that Brisbane is going to blow its budget.

Fifty years ago, the 1976 Montreal Olympics suffered a financial disaster so massive it nearly heralded the end of the Olympic Games.

Is Brisbane repeating the mistakes of...

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April 24, 2024 14 mins

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

He is doing everything he can to stay in office, because if he holds office, he can't be thrown in jail.

Sound familiar? It's a bit like Donald Trump's situation in the United States.

But Netanyahu's case has an old-school flavour. It's a fierce battle between media tycoons, and it even involves Australian media nepo ba...

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Narenda Modi loves to promote India's status as the largest democracy in the world, and experts agree that the country's elections are free and fair for all. Modi is now an unbackable favourite to win a third term as Prime Minister in the weeks ahead, with polls suggesting he is heading for another  victory. So why is he so sensitive to criticism, and aggressive in pursuing his detractors? In this final episode, A...

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Iran and Israel are caught in a cycle of revenge.

On April Fools' Day, there was a huge escalation in the conflict when an Israeli air strike killed 16 people, including two Iranian Generals.

Two weeks later, the skies over Israel lit up with a counterattack.

It might seem like in this conflict, anything goes, but each response and retaliation is a calculated move.

Israel knew the attack was coming and almost every dr...

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Lifting Indians out of poverty lies at the core of Narendra Modi's wildly popular political strategy. And it's worked: during his Prime Ministership, India has risen from the tenth largest economy in the world to the fifth. But this rising tide has also widened the gap between the rich and the poor in India, and has raised questions about Modi's ties to business leaders who have turned the nation's rise to their o...

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April 10, 2024 20 mins

People don't like wind farms. They say they're bad for wildlife, they affect property values and they create pollution.

But are any of these claims true?

Today, the wind farm debate and how it nearly tore the small Australian community of King Island apart.

This episode of If You're Listening is a live recording from the Newcastle Writers Festival.

Subscribe to If You're Listening on the ABC Listen app.

Check out our s...

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April 8, 2024 33 mins

In 2002, Narendra Modi's carefully crafted political story was rocked by a series of deadly attacks in his home state of Gujarat, where he was the highly popular Chief Minister. Thousands were killed in a wave of riots that lasted for three days and became a major national scandal.

Modi's role in the violence has been heavily contested in the decades since, but he has never been able to shake the association in the...

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The Duterte and Marcos families are the Montagues and Capulets of the Philippines.

They are, depending on who you ask, the country's most famous statesmen, thieves, murderers or heroes.

They have tussled for power for nearly 60 years, and now there are talks of secession splitting the country in two.

Could this family feud literally tear the Philippines apart?

Want to watch Matt present If You're Listening live from t...

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In January 2024, Narendra Modi travelled to the northern Indian town of Ayodhya to attend the consecration of a Hindu temple with a very contested history. The site had previously been occupied by a 500-year-old mosque, and had become a focal point of broader disputes between India's Hindu and Muslim communities.

That fight over one hill in Ayodhya resulted in a demolition, mass protests and deadly retaliations acr...

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Australia’s housing market is, like many places in the Western world, in the midst of a crisis that feels like it will never be solved. Owning a property in an Australian city has only drifted further out of reach for most Australians in the last decade, and there are very few practical solutions on offer. Is it possible to actually unpick this situation?

Japan offers a useful example. Thirty years ago, property in...

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