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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.




Jia Tolentino: is the internet fuelling self-delusion?

Jia Tolentino is a 31-year-old American writer who is being hailed as the voice of a generation. Her pieces for the New Yorker magazine nail everything from feminism to capitalism and vaping. Jia was born in Texas and brought up in a Southern Baptist community; as a teenager she starred in a reality TV show. Later she spent time working for the US Peace Corps in Kyrgystan. Her recently published collection of essays has become one of the most talked about books of the year. You can listen to...


Why is Trump pardoning war crimes?

President Trump’s been in the UK for the meeting of the world’s biggest military alliance, NATO. NATO’s been struggling recently, partly because Trump doesn’t get along so well with America’s traditional allies and now he’s in a row with his own military chiefs. This is because he’s taken decisions without informing them, like pulling out of Syria. And also because they think he doesn’t care about traditional military standards like army discipline. The latest row involves the trial of...


Does climate activism have a privilege problem?

In October, a video went viral after Extinction Rebellion protesters disrupted public transport by protesting on the roof of a train at Canning Town station in east London. The stunt took place during rush hour and the intention was to raise awareness of the climate emergency. But it ended in angry commuters dragging the protesters off the train and the video sparked a debate around climate activism and privilege. This week Swedish activist Greta Thunberg will be joining world leaders in...


Can terrorists ever really be rehabilitated?

The man who killed Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt was a convicted terrorist who had spent eight years in prison. Usman Khan was jailed in 2012 for preparing acts of terrorism. While he was inside he underwent a deradicalisation programme. He was released on licence last December and on Friday he travelled to London to take part in a conference on prisoner rehabilitation. It was there that Jack and Saskia were murdered. We speak to the BBC’s Home Affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani about...


Is TikTok being censored?

The app best known for short, funny videos that have made it the meme engine of the internet found itself hosting a different kind of viral video. Feroza Aziz, a teenager from New Jersey, posted what looked like a makeup tutorial but was actually trying to raise awareness of the detention of China’s Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province. When she woke up her account was suspended. TikTok says it didn’t censor her content, but as Karishma Vaswani tells us, the company is walking a difficult...


Hillsborough: do we inherit trauma?

96 Liverpool FC fans died at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on 15 April 1989. It remains the worst disaster in British sporting history. The tragedy happened over 30 years ago and many say the trauma of Hillsborough has been passed on to the next generation, those who weren’t even born in 1989. In this episode we speak to the BBC’s North of England correspondent Judith Moritz about what happened at Hillsborough. We also hear from two young women who grew up in Liverpool and have been...


Grace Millane: why is ‘rough sex’ a defence?

Last Friday a 27-year-old New Zealand man was found guilty of the murder of British backpacker Grace Millane. During the trial questions were raised over how the press covered the case and how the defence was put together. Campaigners say Grace was blamed for her own death and that other assailants are claiming their victims simply enjoyed ‘rough sex.’ We speak to BBC producer Simon Atkinson who covered the trial in Auckland and discuss why Grace Millane’s sexual history was brought up in...


Why is Instagram hiding likes?

Instagram has announced that it’s extending a trial where it hides likes from other users. You will still see your own like count, but not that of people you follow. It’s being heralded as a positive thing, and all about improving mental health. Instagram bosses say they want to depressurise the experience, and look after young people. But how far do we trust Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, to do the right thing? What will it mean for all those influencers who rely on likes to impress...


Blue Story: is banning the film racist?

Blue Story, a film about two young black boys from different London postcodes who get caught up in rival gangs went on general release on Friday. By Saturday two cinema chains, Vue and Showcase, had pulled the film from all their cinemas. The decision was made after a mass fight broke out at the Star City multiplex, in Birmingham. Six people have been arrested and although Showcase has reversed its decision, there has been a huge backlash with people calling the move racist. We speak to the...


Are billionaires a bad thing?

There are more than 150 billionaires in the UK, but is that concentration of immense wealth actually a sign of failure? Should anyone ever be worth a sum of money that has nine zeroes in it? For decades nobody seemed to question wealth: it was something to aspire to, and the idea that money would trickle down to the rest of society was widespread. But things seem to be shifting. Mainstream politicians are questioning what, until just a few years ago, was the accepted wisdom that it’s fine to...


Drag Race: what’s it done for queer culture?

This was the year that the world’s most famous drag queen, RuPaul, brought his critically-acclaimed TV show to the UK. The series has helped bring British drag queens and topics that affect the LGBT community to a wider audience. But, does appreciation of drag always mean there’s acceptance in society? In this episode we speak to Baby Lame, host of the official Drag Race UK podcast on BBC Sounds, to get the lowdown on life as a drag queen. We also talk to journalist and author Amelia Abraham...


Is mental health breaking the NHS?

Once more the NHS is at the heart of a general election campaign and politicians on all sides are promising to improve the health service. With more than four million patients on the NHS waiting list and delays in A&E at their worst level since records began, many people believe the health system in struggling. But, what's not as widely talked about is the way the service is dealing with the growing number of people needing treatment for their mental health. In this episode we speak to Ellen...


What’s wrong with plastic surgery?

Plastic surgery has never been cheaper or more accessible. The industry is booming: it’s worth an estimated £19 billion. The results of cosmetic self- improvement are readily available on Instagram, and appear in the breaks of Love Island. More people than ever are considering going under the knife. Despite all the moralising about plastic surgery, it doesn’t seem to put people off seeking it. We speak to Mobeen Azhar who made TV programme where people seeking surgery watch procedures live...


Has the royal soap opera lost the plot?

Three days later and the fallout from Prince Andrew’s BBC interview keeps coming: today university students and a big accountancy firm are distancing themselves from the duke. Prince Andrew appeared on Newsnight to address controversy over his ties to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. But it backfired after critics called the interview a “car crash”. On the same weekend the other royal drama The Crown returned to TV screens after a two year break. In this episode we talk to the...


Why aren’t we talking about Baptista Adjei?

There was a story in October you may have missed: a 15-year-old boy from London was stabbed to death after getting off a bus on his way home from school. Baptista Adjei was one of the youngest people to be murdered in the capital this year. In this episode we speak to BBC London’s Greg McKenzie, who’s been reporting on knife crime in 2019, including the death of Jodie Chesney. She was the 17-year-old girl who was fatally stabbed in an east London park in March. Today two teenagers were...


Does self-care really make you happy?

We know that one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their life and that anxiety seems to be on the increase. The latest research suggests that rates of psychological distress and illness are especially high among undergraduates. Dr Laurie Santos wanted to do something about it: she’s professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University and was so concerned about the anxiety her students experienced she devised a course that would teach them...


Election memes: are we being played?

The 2019 general election is in full swing and political parties are relying on digital campaigning more than ever before. Targeted marketing has made a profound change in how political parties can reach you and our compulsion to click, like and share can be used against us in surprising ways. We speak to Kirk J. Torrance, a former digital strategist for the SNP, who worked on their landslide 2015 campaign. The BBC’s Maryam Ahmed has built an algorithm to catch all targeted political...


Why did a Chinese row ruin a bake off?

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have been going on for months now. In the past few days the violence has escalated and schools are being closed for safety reasons. The row centres on a fight for national identity. For Hong Kong protestors this is a fight for freedom from influence from mainland China. For the Chinese authorities it is a fight to protect their nation. In this episode, we meet Maggie Watson, a cake maker from Derby who was surprised to witness the ferocity of this row at a...


Why are bombs going off in Sweden?

Last month in Sodermalm, a gentrified part of Stockholm, an explosion tore through an apartment block. Residents were left shocked and the bomb squad was called out. That night two more explosions happened in two other parts of the city. In fact, since the beginning of 2019 there have been over 100 explosions in Sweden. Right wing commentators have spoken about violence in Sweden before and often say that the stories aren’t being reported on because the media doesn’t want to undermine...


Who killed Jodie Chesney?

On a weekend at the start of March, two murders caused public outcry. Two 17-year-olds were killed in two different attacks in London and Greater Manchester. Politicians said knife crime was out of control and called for urgent action. Last week two teenagers were found guilty of murdering Jodie Chesney, the girl killed in London. For the past few weeks the BBC’s Dan Johnson has been covering the trial of Jodie’s killers at the Old Bailey. In this episode Dan tells us what happened to Jodie...