The number of people ill and dying from Covid-19 is increasing globally, and whole national economies are grinding to a halt. We are living through a time of great insecurity and uncertainty in which many people will experience suffering and loss. But could the coronavirus outbreak provide humanity with new perspectives? Our politicians are being held accountable in real time in a way that hasn’t happened in decades - their decisions measured in days, not years and not easily spun. As daily life and travel is disrupted, frenetic modern lives are slowing down in a way unseen outside of wartime. Overlooked workers like cleaners and supermarket shelf stackers have been given new value. Many will have no remote working options, but some people are for the first time successfully working from home rather than commuting to work. Parents are coming to grips with the material their children are learning at school. Younger and healthier members of society are introducing themselves to elderly neighbours and offering to do their shopping. Blue skies are emerging over smog cloaked cities. There are even acts of national altruism, as some countries provide others with much-needed supplies to tackle the outbreak. Has coronavirus given us an opportunity to reflect on and change the way we see ourselves, those around us, our relationship to nature and our collective futures? If there is a ‘silver lining’ to the coronavirus outbreak, what is it?
Coronavirus: The economic crisis
People around the world are facing severe economic problems because of the coronavirus.. The global shutdown has sent stock prices plunging as workers and customers stay at home. The world’s governments are having to mount an economic response unimaginable just weeks ago. The US has promised close to a trillion dollars of stimulus money. In Europe - the French government is adding a fifty billion dollar economic aid package to the three hundred and thirty billion dollars of loan guarantees for banks. The UK has unveiled similar measures. But will it be enough? The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio has likened the impact of the outbreak to the Great Depression. So, who in the economy is most vulnerable, what measures will make a difference – and have policy makers failed to prepare the world for a crisis of this magnitude? Join Ritula Shah and a panel of expert guests as they discuss the impact of coronavirus on the global economy.
Beating coronavirus: What will you sacrifice?
Across the globe, authorities are taking unprecedented steps to curb the spread of coronavirus - as well as the increased levels of public fear and anxiety that accompany it. But do our views on the place of individual freedom and the role of the government in society help dictate how effective those measures will be? As rationing, quarantines and travel restrictions become more common place, there’s growing concern that some countries will struggle to control the actions of their citizens. With many shoppers ignoring pleas not to panic buy provisions, does this bode ill for more stringent curbs on behaviour still to come? When it comes to tackling a global pandemic, how many of your freedoms are you willing to sacrifice for the greater good?
What’s the Democrats' best plan to beat Trump?
After the results of the Super Tuesday primaries in the United States, two candidates have emerged as front-runners in the battle for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination - Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But which vision for the future of the party will be the one more likely to deliver electoral success across the nation? One that aims to reach out to swing voters and Republicans, or one that energises the base of the party and attempts to bring new people to the polls? Is history a good indicator of how each candidate would perform in the general election, or has politics in America changed beyond recognition? Can Democrats beat President Trump - and if so, how?
Was it a mistake to overthrow Gaddafi?
In 2011, a Nato-led coalition intervened with lethal air power to aide forces taking part in an uprising against Libya’s brutal military leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Shortly after, Col Gaddafi was caught and killed by rebels and there were high hopes the country would become a safer and more open place. But since then, fighting between militias has destroyed much of Libya and two rival governments now vie for full control of the country. As talks take place at the UN in Geneva this week aimed at addressing the crisis, we ask whether it was a mistake for the West to help overthrow Gaddafi? As the government led by General Khalifa Haftar from his base in Benghazi gains increasing influence, is the battle for Libya nearing its completion? And as Gen Haftar is accused of overseeing a crackdown on dissent in the parts of the country he runs, would a Libya governed by him be any better than the one run by Col Gaddafi?