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Beyond Today


News built to last from the BBC. Tina Daheley and Matthew Price ask one big question of one big story every weekday. A space to figure out what’s going on.

News built to last from the BBC. Tina Daheley and Matthew Price ask one big question of one big story every weekday. A space to figure out what’s going on.
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News built to last from the BBC. Tina Daheley and Matthew Price ask one big question of one big story every weekday. A space to figure out what’s going on.




Michael Barbaro

Michael Barbaro is the host of The New York Times’ podcast The Daily - a podcast that spends 20 minutes every day focussing on one big news story. Regular listeners of Beyond Today might find this familiar… And in truth without The Daily we might not exist: it was a blueprint for a new type of journalism, a revolution in how news is reported and covered. And The Daily started around about the same time as another revolution was taking place - the election of President Donald Trump. Here...


Should we kill elephants to save them?

Botswana is home to the world’s largest population of elephants. And now you can hunt them. It’s a fascinating debate which pitches the moral question and knee-jerk reaction against killing endangered animals, against the economic and social reality of having more elephants than anywhere else on earth. Elephants can be very destructive when they encroach onto farmland and move through villages destroying crops and sometimes killing people. But conservationists are angry. They believe the...


Grenfell: what have we learnt?

72 people died in the Grenfell Tower fire two years ago this week. Since then the first part of a public inquiry has taken place looking at the events of that night. The next phase, which will investigate why the 24-storey tower was wrapped in combustible cladding, will start next year. Kate Lamble from the BBC Grenfell Inquiry podcast tells what we have learnt so far. We also speak to Gill Kernick, who used to live in Grenfell Tower and works in risk management. She tells us what should be...


Black Mirror: what makes it work?

Charlie Brooker started his career writing video game reviews before he went on to become a TV critic. He’s written and presented two successful TV series, Screenwipe and Newswipe, which pulled apart the news and what we watch on TV. But he’s best known as being the creator and writer of the hugely successful Black Mirror series, which looks at our unease with technology and has attracted some huge names. Series 5 is no different: Miley Cyrus is part of the cast. Charlie Brooker came into...


Why aren’t lesbian couples taken seriously?

After Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris were attacked on a London bus last week they chose to share the photo of the aftermath of the attack, and their story, with the world. They wanted people to understand something about what they and other lesbian couples face, not just violence but also the subtle ways in which their relationships are undermined and laughed about by men. On today’s episode Melania explains why she chose to go public about the horrific incident. And couple Bex...


James Bridle

James Bridle wants us to think about technology in a different way. His book ‘A New Dark Age’ is a slightly foreboding look at our relationship with the digital world, arguing that as it gets more complex our understanding of it diminishes. His work addresses a lot of the themes we talk about on Beyond Today and, as on a Friday we often like to take a step back from the news and hear from someone we’re interested in, we decided to grab him for a chat while he was over from his home in...


DNA testing: is it worth it?

There are lots of reasons you may want to take a DNA test. Perhaps you want to find out where in the world your DNA comes from or connect to relatives. But people don’t always know what they’re getting themselves into and some make shocking discoveries about their families. We speak to Rebekah Drumsta from the NPE Friends Fellowship, a charity which helps people come to terms with finding out that one of their parents isn’t a biological relative. DNA tests also raise questions about...


What happens when you get health advice on Instagram?

Helena Kornilova is a 29 year-old Russian model and biochemist. She’s also a blogger and Instagram influencer with 280,000 followers. She’s been in the news in Russia because she’s been exposed as a fraudster after recommending medical advice and, in particular, supplements to buy. But this isn’t just a Russian problem, influencers all over the world are selling products and giving health advice even though they are not qualified. We hear from Dr Jen Gunter, who describes herself as the...


Tiananmen: how dangerous is protest in China now?

China has ramped up efforts to prevent people from reading about the student protests of 1989 that ended in bloodshed when the government sent tanks into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Activists have been arrested and censorship has been stepped up, with bans placed on English-speaking foreign media such as CNN and the BBC. We speak to the BBC’s longest serving foreign correspondent John Simpson, who was in Beijing in 1989. We also examine how the truth has been suppressed and what the...


Why did the Windsors want to meet the Trumps?

Most of the President’s family flew in for a guided tour of London’s hotspots with the royals on the first day of their state visit to the UK. Protesters waved their banners and everyone waited for Trump to start tweeting. The President and First Lady Melania Trump went to Buckingham Palace for a private lunch and welcome ceremony. But could the Queen’s role be more than just ceremonial? Former presidential aide Mary Jo Jackobi and our royal correspondent Jonny Dymond tell us how she, and...


Is this a golden age for English football?

Tomorrow night in Madrid Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will face each other in the Champions League final, the pinnacle of the club game. With Chelsea having beaten Arsenal in Europe’s second tier competition the Europa League on Wednesday, it’s been a huge week for English football. And there’s even more to come. Next week the Women’s World Cup starts, where England are expected to do well, and the men’s team compete in the Nation’s League semi-finals on Thursday to add to their...


Why is Malaysia sending our rubbish back?

This week Malaysia ordered several thousand tonnes of imported plastic waste to be sent back to the countries it came from. The country’s government says it has become a dumping ground for wealthier nations and that much of the refuse has been imported illegally. Some of it is from the UK. We talk rubbish with comedian Phil Wang who was brought up in Malaysia and the BBC’s South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head, who has been visiting waste recycling plants in Thailand. You can email the...


Fortnite: more than a video game?

Fortnite tends to make headlines because of how many people play it and how much money it makes, but it’s much more interesting than that. In this episode we explore how Fortnite’s founders have created a new way of experiencing the world that is up against Netflix, Facebook, Google and Amazon in the battle over how you spend your free time. You might not be a gamer, but the creators of Fortnite have a vision of the technology that is so ambitious there’s a chance you’re going to feel...


Why is it so hard to go undercover?

Last week Panorama went undercover inside a hospital for vulnerable adults and revealed patients being mocked, taunted and intimidated by abusive staff. In shocking footage, reporter Olivia Davies filmed patients with autism and learning disabilities being deliberately provoked by staff and regularly physically restrained by them. The investigation comes eight years after her colleague Joe Plomin exposed the scandal of abuse at Winterbourne View, another specialist hospital. Then, the...


Jon Ronson: what does porn tell us about hypocrisy?

Jon Ronson’s new podcast ‘The Last Days of August’ explores the reasons behind the death of the famous porn performer August Ames, who killed herself in 2017. It is a sad story that casts light on an industry of outsiders who support each other under difficult circumstances. We also spoke to Jon about how the internet transformed pornography and what we can all learn from that. He also tells us why porn films have such weird titles and how people react to his distinctive voice. This is a...


What does Europe think?

Theresa May says she’s resigning, making way for a new prime minister. But she’s leaving without Brexit being resolved. The new person in the job will have to continue to negotiate and with European Parliament elections taking place this weekend the leaders there will have their eye on the results. We speak to the BBC’s Europe Editor Katya Adler and Tanit Koch managing editor of n-tv in Berlin about the view from Europe and the new political forces likely to have influence there. Produced by...


How did Jamie Oliver change food culture?

Jamie Oliver is one of the UK’s best-known chefs and restaurant owners. He’s had world wide success with his books, TV series, and campaigns, but this week it was announced that his restaurant company had gone into administration with the loss of 1,000 jobs. Since he came onto our screens 20 years ago with the Naked Chef series he’s had a huge impact on British food culture. To find out how we speak to the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s the Food Programme Sheila Dillon and two men whose careers...


Why is revenge porn still spreading?

A woman who changed her name to escape revenge porn has once again become a victim after finding images of herself on a website containing folders full of explicit images of women “from every city in the UK”. Some of the folders give away full names and locations of the women, but most of them do not even know that the website exists. We hear about Mikala Monsoon who waived her right to anonymity as a victim of crime because she wants the crime taken more seriously. BBC Scotland news...


Huawei: what’s the problem with Chinese phones?

The Chinese company Huawei wants to be the biggest tech firm in the world. But this week the US tried to squash it by cutting Huawei off from Google’s Android operating system, meaning that users’ phones may no longer get security updates. It’s the latest move in an ongoing trade war between the US and China. So how much is this about phones, and how much is it about a battle for global supremacy? BBC Click’s Jen Copestake, Vincent Ni from the BBC Chinese Service and our Security...


Why are female MPs terror targets?

On Friday the former BNP poster boy and 23 year-old convicted paedophile Jack Renshaw was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for plotting to murder the Labour MP Rosie Cooper. Renshaw has been a hero to some racists, misogynists and anti-semites in the North West for a few years. We speak to Robbie Mullen, a former neo-nazi who risked his life to blow the whistle on Renshaw; Ruth Smeeth, the Labour MP who told Cooper about the plot, and the BBC’s Daniel De Simone, who covered the case,...