Today in Focus

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Hosted by Anushka Asthana, Today in Focus brings you closer to Guardian journalism. Combining personal storytelling with insightful analysis, Today in Focus is The Guardian's daily podcast that takes you behind the headlines for a deeper understanding of the news, every weekday. 

The Guardian


    • Dec 6, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 28m AVG DURATION
    • 597 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Today in Focus

    How Pablo Escobar's ‘cocaine hippos' became a biodiversity nightmare

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 25:53

    Animals brought illegally to Colombia by the drug kingpin have been allowed to roam free and are now disrupting the fragile ecosystem. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    How designer Virgil Abloh transformed fashion

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 19:52

    The visionary black designer revolutionised the way we dress. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Will the Omicron Covid variant cancel Christmas?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2021 24:32

    A new Covid variant first identified in South Africa is spreading around the world, with leaders rushing to respond. Our science correspondent Nicola Davis outlines what we know so far about the Omicron variant. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The Mississippi and Texas laws threatening US abortion rights

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 29:40

    As the supreme court hears new challenges to Roe v Wade, American abortion rights hang in the balance. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Barbados becomes a republic – and Britain faces a reckoning

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 38:27

    On Tuesday, Barbados replaces Queen Elizabeth II with president Sandra Mason – and while some are celebrating the change, others ask if a symbolic shift is really enough to reckon with the legacy of colonialism. Michael Safi visits Bridgetown to ask if the country can free itself from the history that got it here – and what Britain owes to the people of its former colonies whose ancestors were enslaved. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Inflation's back – but is it here to stay?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 18:28

    The inflation rate keeps going up – and some economists are warning that it's time to take urgent action. So what is causing the change, what does it mean for ordinary people, and what's the best way to deal with it?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    A tragedy in the Channel

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 25:35

    At least 27 people died when their boat sank in the Channel attempting to reach the UK. Diane Taylor reports on a tragedy that was long in the making – and avoidable. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2021 31:04

    The Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai vanished after making an allegation of sexual assault against a senior political figure. Her subsequent reappearance has raised more questions than answers. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The autistic women denied a diagnosis for decades

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 28:32

    When the television presenter Melanie Sykes and the model Christine McGuinness revealed they had been diagnosed with autism as adults, it brought new attention to the challenges for others like them whose symptoms have been missed. This is the story of one autistic woman - and how diagnosis in her thirties changed her life. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The human cost of Qatar's 2022 World Cup dream

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 30:14

    Qatar says it has reformed conditions for workers building its World Cup facilities, but change is hard to see on the ground, reports Pete Pattisson. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    After a lifetime in the background, Huma Abedin steps forward | Podcast

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 28:17


    As Hillary Clinton's most trusted aide, it was her job to stay out of view. Even when her husband Anthony Weiner's scandalous behaviour dragged her into the spotlight, she mostly stayed silent. In this interview, Huma Abedin explains why she is ready to tell her own story, in a new memoir that sheds remarkable light on what it cost her to become a public figure against her will. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus


    Covid is surging in Europe. What does it mean for the UK?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 25:04

    As the days get shorter and we huddle indoors, memories of 2020's catastrophic winter are close at hand. Now a new surge of coronavirus cases is spreading across Europe. But as well as notes of caution, there are good reasons to hope that the UK will avoid the lows of last year – from lower hospitalisation rates to exciting treatments on the verge of approval. How optimistic should we be – and can we still go to Christmas parties?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The EU border where refugees are treated as human weapons

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 29:36

    How the humanitarian crisis playing out on the border of Poland and Belarus became the latest front in the battle between President Lukashenko and the European Union. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Is Donald Trump plotting to steal the 2024 election?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 29:33

    Trump's attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 US election was ultimately thwarted, but through efforts at state level to elect loyalists to key positions, the stage is set for a repeat showing in 2024. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Azeem Rafiq's long battle to expose racism at Yorkshire cricket club

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2021 31:53

    When Azeem Rafiq went public with the claim that he had faced a series of racist incidents throughout his time at Yorkshire cricket club, the incidents he described were written off as ‘banter'. But that defence has crumbled – and now he is ready to give evidence to MPs. What will he reveal about his experiences of bigotry in cricket?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Cop26: where does the world go from here?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 26:56

    Environment correspondent Fiona Harvey describes a global climate deal that makes some progress but goes nowhere near far enough to avert devastating global heating. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    A day with the paramedics on the frontline of the UK's ambulance crisis

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 27:54

    If you dial 999, you might expect an ambulance to come in minutes – but in reality, the pandemic has pushed an already creaking service to its limits. This is the story of one shift, and how the people charged with saving our lives are navigating a system on the brink of collapse. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    A British betrayal: the secret deportations of Chinese merchant sailors

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2021 30:52

    During the second world war, Chinese sailors served alongside their British allies in the merchant navy, heroically keeping supply lines open to the UK. But after the war hundreds of them who had settled in Liverpool suddenly disappeared. Now their children are piecing together the truth. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Emily Ratajkowski's body – and what she wants to make of it

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 24:12

    The model views her body as a ‘tool' to make a living – but ever since 2013's Blurred Lines video, it has also been treated as public property. In this interview, she explains why she has written a book about her experiences, from an allegation of assault by Robin Thicke to how motherhood has changed her. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    ‘Politically corrupt': the sleaze allegations engulfing the Tories

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 30:31

    Following the resignation of the former Conservative minister Owen Paterson, MPs have been debating changes to their disciplinary procedures and the government has been forced to defend itself against a number of allegations of ‘sleaze'. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Josh Cavallo: the world's only openly gay top-tier men's footballer

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 26:51

    Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo says the response to his recent coming out as gay has been overwhelming. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Cop26: what are the chances of keeping the 1.5C target alive?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 33:21

    At the UN climate summit in Glasgow, global environment editor Jonathan Watts examines the emissions-cutting pledges from world leaders as time runs out to prevent catastrophic global heating. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Enter the metaverse!

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2021 25:36

    Mark Zuckerberg changed Facebook's name to Meta last week – and launched a vision for his company that he claims will transform the way we interact with the internet and each other. So what exactly is the metaverse? And will it ever leave the realm of science fiction?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Could China ever invade Taiwan – and what would happen next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 27:57

    With a record number of Chinese fighters flying sorties in Taiwan's air defence zone in October, and rhetoric on all sides becoming more heated, many observers say the past few weeks have been the most tense in the region for decades. How serious is the prospect of an attempt by Beijing to take back the island that it has claimed since 1949 – and would an attack draw the US into a major international conflict?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Cop26: how three young activists are trying to change the world

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 28:01

    Ridhima Pandey in India, Iris Duquesne in Canada and Raina Ivanova in Germany tell Michael Safi about their attempts to force their political leaders to change course on tackling the climate crisis. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The regrets of the unvaccinated: why Covid-bereaved families are speaking out

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 29:22

    The majority of those dying of Covid-19 in the UK and the US have not been vaccinated. Bereaved relatives are telling their stories to try to convince others to get their jabs. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Cop26: what would success look like for a country vanishing under water?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 28:51

    On the eve of Cop26, Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives, argues that if countries do not get serious about reducing emissions, it will not be just the Maldives that faces a perilous future. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The scourge of spiking: the students fighting for a safe night out

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 27:08

    A flurry of reports of students who fear they have been targeted in nightclubs has prompted social media outrage. Now the young women behind the Girls Night In campaign want to turn that anger into lasting change. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The day that could define Rishi Sunak

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 30:02

    He has risen smoothly from private schooling to Oxford, the City, and then parliament – and now he is a youthful and popular chancellor who many believe will be the next prime minister. How has Rishi Sunak managed it – and does the budget that will set the terms of the UK's exit from the pandemic pose the biggest threat yet to his Teflon reputation?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    How British police tried to recruit an informant in Black Lives Matter

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 30:16

    When anti-racism activist Lowri Davies got a call from a covert officer in Swansea, she played along. But she was recording the conversation – and what she learned sheds new light on how progressive movements are monitored by the state. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    What a net zero world will look like – and how to get there

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 24:27

    It's the phrase that will be on every world leader's lips at the Cop26 summit – and it summarises the ambitious plan that will be central to efforts to limit the ravages of the climate crisis. So what is net zero? What kind of world could it create? And what needs to happen to to make it a reality?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The Korean debt crisis that inspired Squid Game's dark dystopia

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 30:16

    The Netflix hit is as fantastical as it is violent – but underpinning its macabre story of impoverished contestants risking their lives for money is a real crisis of personal debt in Korea. Why has it resonated all over the world?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Face off: the government versus GPs

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 28:05

    The government is demanding that GPs see more patients face-to-face in return for an injection of extra funding, but many in the profession say the pandemic has left them close to breaking point. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Cop 26: a question of degrees – what a hotter planet means for all of us

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 30:42

    The world is heating up at an alarming rate and world leaders are running out of chances to keep temperature rises below 1.5C, says Jonathan Watts. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The killing of MP David Amess

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 25:53

    The shocking killing of the Conservative MP David Amess has been described as an attack on British democracy. Gaby Hinsliff looks at how politicians are responding. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Britain's rich history of black literature

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 31:53

    For Black History Month we've brought together star authors Ben Okri, Candice Carty-Williams and Caleb Azumah Nelson to discuss the past, present and future of black writing. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Newcastle fans think they've got their club back. But at what cost?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 30:22


    After Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund bought Newcastle United, there was jubilation on Tyneside but revulsion among critics who view the deal as an egregious example of sportswashing. What does the deal tell us about the soul of the beautiful game – and what football clubs mean to their fans?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus


    Has England gone back to the office?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 25:21

    Ever since the order to work from home was lifted, workers in England have been heading back to the office – but mostly only a few days a week. Joanna Partridge looks at whether work will ever be the same again. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    What went wrong with the UK's handling of the Covid pandemic?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 28:00

    A parliamentary report says the initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak was one of the worst public health failures in UK history. Could tens of thousands of deaths have been avoided – and what are the lessons for the future?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Dubai's ruler and the Pegasus phone hacking exposed in a UK court

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 29:42

    A high court judge has ruled that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum hacked the phone of his ex-wife Princess Haya using Pegasus spyware. In this episode we look at the implications of the affair. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The countdown to Cop26: can world leaders save the planet?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 32:51

    Three weeks from today leaders will gather in Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit. But will their individual pledges to reduce emissions carry enough weight to avert the growing threat of catastrophic global heating?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The whistleblower who plunged Facebook into crisis

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 27:40

    After a set of leaks last month that represented the most damaging insight into Facebook's inner workings in the company's history, the former employee behind them has come forward. Now Frances Haugen has given evidence to the US Congress – and been praised by senators as a ‘21st century American hero'. Will her testimony accelerate efforts to bring the social media giant to heel?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Can women trust the police?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 25:41

    In the aftermath of the sentencing of Sarah Everard's killer, women's trust in the police has collapsed. Can anything be done to restore it? Is misogyny endemic in British policing? And is there a risk that such an appalling crime could happen again?. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Why everything you've heard about panic buying might be wrong

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 25:40

    With queues outside petrol stations and claims that selfish punters are using jerry cans to stockpile fuel, one word has become synonymous with the supply chain crisis that has hit the UK in recent weeks: panic. But the social psychologist Clifford Stott says something different is going on. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The Pandora papers: who's giving money to the Conservatives?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 23:02

    Fresh questions for the Conservative party today after it emerged one of its major donors was involved in structuring of a telecoms deal later alleged to be corrupt Pandora papers news and reaction – live updates See all of our Pandora papers coverage. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Inside the Pandora papers – financial secrets of the rich and powerful

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 24:59

    A massive trove of leaked offshore data reveals the financial dealings of current and former world leaders. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Boris Johnson wants a conference reset. Will reality ruin it?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 26:28

    The prime minister was hoping to use his party's major gathering to seize the agenda and set out his plans for the rest of the parliamentary term. Instead, he may be forced to deal with evolving supply chain and fuel crises – and bat off claims that Brexit is to blame. The Guardian's political editor, Heather Stewart, explains the task he has ahead of him. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The conviction of R Kelly

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 32:16

    More than 20 years after the first allegations of sexual violence and abuse against R Kelly, he has been convicted on racketeering and sex trafficking charges. But as the women of colour who gave evidence celebrate the verdicts, there are renewed questions in the US about how the music industry, the media and the criminal justice system failed to hold him accountable for decades. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Can China help end the world's addiction to coal?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 27:44

    Beijing has won international praise for announcing that it will stop funding coal projects in the developing world – but it is still heavily reliant on the fossil fuel for rapid economic growth at home. The Guardian's global environment editor, Jonathan Watts, explains why China took such a significant step before Cop26 – and how much there still is to do. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    Bond is back. Where's he going next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 33:46

    He's a lucrative cultural export – and as unreconstructed as secret agents come. Now, as Daniel Craig's final instalment finally hits the cinemas, many are calling for a new kind of 007 – but is the franchise too conservative to make the leap? Guardian film editor Catherine Shoard surveys the history of an $8.5bn cultural institution. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

    The Pegasus project: hacked in London

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 30:47

    The tragic story of Alaa Al-Siddiq has further exposed the extent of how powerful Pegasus spyware has been used against human rights activists even once they have fled their home country. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/infocus

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