Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.

Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.
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Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.




Elmar Brok - Member of the European Parliament

Stephen Sackur speaks to Elmar Brok, MEP - the longest serving member of the European parliament and a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The EU is bedevilled by problems that simply won’t go away – from Brexit to immigration to an increasingly vexed relationship with the Trump Administration. Germany is the EU’s most powerful economy, but is its political clout on the wane ?


Palestinian Ambassador to the UN - Riyad Mansour

There have been three costly spasms of violent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza over the last 11 years. In the past week, a fourth seemed dangerously close. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Palestine’s Ambassador at the United Nations, Riyad Mansour. With the Trump administration claiming a new US peace plan is coming soon, is there any prospect of change in the grim status quo?


Minister for Law and Justice in India - Ravi Shankar Prasad

There are growing concerns that India, the world’s most populous democracy is in the grip of a divisive brand of populism. The ruling BJP Hindu nationalist party has been accused by the country’s 180million plus Muslims of treating them as second class citizens. India may be one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women because of the high risk of sexual violence. Stephen Sackur speaks to India’s Law and Justice Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is at the centre of many of...


Hameed Haroon, CEO of Dawn Media Group

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Hameed Haroon, CEO of the Dawn Media Group. In just a few days’ time Pakistanis will go to the polls to elect a new Government. Democracy rather than military dictatorship is becoming a habit. Or is it? Accusations are flying inside the country of military meddling - intimidation of critical media voices, and tacit support for friendly politicians. Is Pakistan's democracy in danger?


CEO, Newsmax Media Inc. - Christopher Ruddy

How far will Trump take his love of disruption? Stephen Sackur speaks to Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media Inc. President Donald Trump seems to value his gut instinct more than expert advice; and appears to respect raw power more than traditional alliances. This is not a President ready to make nice with Europe simply because of shared values. Amid the constant churn of Administration staff his informal advisers seem to know him best - like long time Trump ally and conservative media...


Prime Minister of Macedonia - Zoran Zaev

For nearly three decades the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been locked in a bitter dispute with neighbouring Greece over its name. There’s a Greek province called Macedonia. Last month the two countries signed a historic accord to change the name of this small Balkan state to the Republic of North Macedonia - subject to a referendum. The agreement paves the way for Macedonia to join the EU and Nato. This would be a welcome step for a country that is one of the poorest in Europe....


Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology - Sue Black

HARDtalk goes to the Hay Literary Festival in Wales where we are joined by an audience to meet a world-renowned specialist in death. For many of us, it is the hardest subject of all to think and talk about - yet for author Sue Black it is the very business of life. She's a professor of forensic anthropology whose ability to read the clues and stories in human remains has made her a world renowned investigator. What does she see when she looks death in the face?


Mayor of Jerusalem - Nir Barkat

HARDTalk is in Jerusalem, an ancient city which arguably stirs more passion, argument and hostility than any other. Israel claims all of it as its eternal, undivided capital - a claim at odds with international law and much world opinion, but boosted by President Trump's decision to move the US embassy there. Stephen Sackur talks to Jerusalem's two term mayor Nir Barkat. Can Israel conclusively win the struggle for Jerusalem?


US Deputy National Security Advisor, 2009 - 2017 - Ben Rhodes

Sarah Montague speaks to Ben Rhodes who was Deputy National Security Adviser for President Barack Obama. During his time at the White House he developed such a close bond with the President that he earned a reputation for being able to anticipate his thinking and administration insiders described him as the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Obama himself. So how does he feel about the new occupant of the White House and what he has done with their...


Computer scientist and author - Jaron Lanier

The internet is perhaps the defining technological advance of the last fifty years. It has opened up a new world of possibilities, but what if it also represents an existential threat to humanity? That is the alarming possibility raised by computer scientist Jaron Lanier. He is no tech-phobic sensationalist; he is a Silicon Valley insider who was a hugely influential pioneer in Virtual Reality and a consultant to some of the biggest tech giants. In what ways are we sowing the seeds of our...


Iranian Environmental Scientist - Kaveh Madani

Since the beginning of 2018, the Iranian Government has locked up a number of environmental scientists and campaigners. One respected conservationist was found hanged in his cell in what the authorities said was a suicide. What is going on? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Kaveh Madani, a scientist invited back to Iran from an academic post in London to be deputy head of the Environment Department. He got caught up in the crackdown and fled Iran in April. Why has environmental activism...


Former Director of the FBI James Comey

When historians write their versions of Donald Trump’s extraordinary ascent to the Presidency, prominence will surely be given to the former Director of the FBI James Comey. He was a Republican hired by a Democratic President, whose handling of two key investigations; into Hilary Clinton’s emails and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, polarised America. His recent memoir was a withering condemnation of the man who fired him, President Trump. But has James Comey...


Austria's Foreign Minister - Karin Kneissl

One issue more than any other that is polarising European politics and dividing the European Union is migration. In Germany, it threatens Angela Merkel’s grip on power, whilst from Italy to Austria and Hungary and Poland, it is driving policies which threaten to smash any continental consensus. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Karin Kneissl- the foreign minister in Austria's right wing, nationalist coalition government. Are Europeans finding their authentic voice or is a dangerous brand...


Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan - Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Can Kazakhstan move beyond one party rule? Stephen Sackur talks to the chairman of the Kazakh Senate, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The country's shiny new capital city, Astana, tells you plenty about the country’s oil wealth and its big ambition to be Central Asia’s regional powerhouse. But all of this cannot mask a nagging question - what happens in this country when the long serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev finally leaves power? (Photo: Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (L), chairman of the Senate...


President of Sinn Féin, Ireland - Mary Lou McDonald

HARDtalk is in Dublin to meet Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sinn Féin- the party of Irish Republicans in the Irish Republic and in Northern Ireland. Ireland is going through a period of extraordinary change. Social attitudes have shifted profoundly on abortion, gay rights and the role of the Catholic Church. Now Brexit poses a challenge to the island, North and South. Can Sinn Féin take advantage?


Ethiopian opposition politician Andargachew Tsege

The new Ethiopian government is making dramatic reforms in the country: the state of emergency had been lifted, the military and intelligence chiefs have been replaced and opposition politicians have been released en masse from prison. One of those released is Andargachew Tsege a prominent opposition leader from the organisation Patriotic Ginbot 7. He’d been on death row in an Ethiopian jail for four years. Will his group renounce violence and will he go back to Ethiopia to help build the...


Maria Lourdes Sereno - Former Supreme Court Chief Justice, Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte has been President of the Philippines for two years. His war on drugs has cost thousands of lives, with his human rights record attracting international condemnation, and prompting charges of authoritarianism. Yet he has an approval rating unheard of in most democracies. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to former Chief Justice of the Philippines- Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was removed from the Supreme Court by her fellow justices. Was that a victory against official...


Afghanistan's Chief Executive - Abdullah Abdullah

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive officer of the Afghan unity Government. The Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has ordered an unconditional ceasefire in the army's military campaign against the Taliban. But Afghans can be forgiven for being sceptical. The pause is for just two weeks. The Taliban has given no sign it will respond in kind; and the broader security, economic and political condition of the country remains parlous. Do he and president Ghani...


Labour MP, UK - Chuka Umunna

With Brexit the main preoccupation for politicians in Britain, the opposition Labour Party has announced a shift in policy which would see the UK retaining most of the elements of its current relationship with the EU. It wants Britain to have full access to the single market and stay a member of the customs union. But that does not go far enough for some staunchly pro-EU members of the party who want Britain to stay part of the European Economic Area. HARDtalk’s Zeinab Badawi speaks to...


US Ambassador to Russia, 2012-14 - Michael McFaul

It's hard to imagine how the US-Russia relationship could be any more dysfunctional. Each accuses the other of consistently malign action and intent. 'Worse than the Cold war' was the way it was described by Russia's foreign minister. And yet, the two presidents, Trump and Putin, appear to have some regard for each other. What does it all mean? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to former US ambassador to Russia, and Obama adviser- Michael McFaul. How deep does the poison in the relationship...