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Hardtalk interviews newsmakers and personalities from across the globe.




Former South African Finance Minister - Pravin Gordhan

For more than two decades the ANC has been South Africa's impregnable political structure, but now cracks are appearing. At least 30 ANC MPs defied the party whip and supported a no confidence motion against party leader and national President, Jacob Zuma. Stephen Sackur speaks to Pravin Gordhan, the man President Zuma sacked as Finance Minister in controversial circumstances earlier this year. Does the ANC need to be broken up to enable South Africa to thrive?

Duration: 00:23:23

Director General, Al Jazeera Media Network - Mostefa Souag

When the Al Jazeera news network was launched in Qatar in 1996 it had a seismic impact on the media landscape in the Middle East. Here was an Arab broadcaster refusing to play by local rules; ambitious, punchy and provocative in its coverage of the region and the world. Two decades on, it seems that patience is wearing thin in much of the Arab world. Saudi Arabia and its closest allies recently demanded Qatar close the network down. HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur asks Mostefa Souag, Director...

Duration: 00:23:22

Anti-Maduro Dissident - Isaias Medina

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Isaias Medina, former Venezuelan diplomat at the UN and now an anti-Maduro dissident. Venezuela's political and economic crisis is precariously poised - the Maduro regime is determined to re-write the constitution to strengthen its grip on power - the opposition is intent on using mass protest to bring the Government down. The current standoff isn’t sustainable, but which side will prevail? Can Maduro outlast his enemies?

Duration: 00:23:24

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland - Witold Waszczykowski

Is Poland, a country that was held up as a model of post-Soviet transition, turning away from liberal democracy? In July the EU announced that it would launch legal action against Poland over plans to give politicians more power to sack and appoint judges. Zeinab Badawi speaks to Poland's foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski and asks what this latest dispute means for Poland's place in Europe.

Duration: 00:23:16

Former Governor of the Bank of France Christian Noyer

Zeinab Badawi speaks to one of the most influential voices in global finance today. He was made honorary Governor of the Central Bank of France, following a period as Governor for twelve years. Prior to that he was a Vice President of the European Central Bank and has worked for various leading international financial institutions. Christian Noyer has been tasked with making the case for Paris as a financial hub following Brexit. Is he making too tough a sell and potentially damaging ties...

Duration: 00:23:21

Vice President of Iraq - Dr Ayad Allawi

This summer, Iraqis can perhaps see a glimmer of light amid the darkness that's enveloped their country for so long. The country's second city, Mosul, is no longer in the hands of jihadist fanatics, with the so-called Islamic State caliphate shrinking fast. But will any semblance of stability and unity follow? HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to one of the great survivors of Iraqi politics, Vice President Ayad Allawi. Does he think Iraq has a viable future?

Duration: 00:23:02

Mother of deceased 'IS' fighter - Nicola Benyahia

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Nicola Benyahia, the mother of a deceased ‘IS’ fighter. After terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the UK is preoccupied with questions about how best to counter the Jihadist threat. For politicians the focus is on policing, intelligence, and detention powers. Nicola Benyahia's son Rasheed was radicalised in Birmingham, went to fight with the so called ‘Islamic State’ group in Syria and was killed aged just 19. She now offers support to other...

Duration: 00:23:23

Nicola Benyahia - Founder of anti-radicalisation service Families for Life

HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur speaks to Nicola Benyahia, the mother of a deceased ‘IS’ fighter. After terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, the UK is preoccupied with questions about how best to counter the Jihadist threat. For politicians the focus is on policing, intelligence, and detention powers. Nicola Benyahia's son Rasheed was radicalised in Birmingham, went to fight with the so called ‘Islamic State’ group in Syria and was killed aged just 19. She now offers support to other...

Duration: 00:23:21

Civil Rights Activist - Rachel Dolezal

Stephen Sackur talks to Rachel Dolezal, the ostensibly black American human rights activist whose life unravelled in 2015 when it turned out that she was the daughter of white parents. So what gives us our sense of who we are? Our upbringing and our communities both have a huge impact, but what about the most basic pillars of identity that we tend to regard as immutable? Is our racial identity something we can define for ourselves? (Photo: Rachel Dolezal talks to Stephen Sackur as part of...

Duration: 00:22:55

US Politician - Bernie Sanders

Stephen Sackur is at the 2017 Hay Literary Festival to speak to the US Senator Bernie Sanders - the longest serving independent in US congressional history. He was credited with injecting passion and belief into the race for 2016’s Democratic presidential nomination - a race that was eventually won by Hillary Clinton. But did he plant the seeds of a political revolution in the United States? (Photo: Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) react during a news conference on release of the president"s...

Duration: 00:22:56

Executive Editor of the New York Times - Dean Baquet

President Trump has regularly criticised the New York Times and accused it, and other media, of propagating ‘fake news’. Does its claim to be fair in its reporting stand up to scrutiny? Hardtalk is in New York city to speak to Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times. The paper has been at the forefront of reporting into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and the first months of the Trump presidency. Stephen Sackur asks Dean Baquet how far the...

Duration: 00:23:24

Sir Suma Chakrabarti - President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Stephen Sackur speaks to Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. After the collapse of the Soviet Empire, a new, freer, more prosperous region emerged in eastern Europe, anchored in the EU and Nato. The EBRD was created to foster that transformation to democracy and the free market. These days many of its investment projects are in Turkey, Central Asia and North Africa - has mission creep undermined its founding values?

Duration: 00:23:23

Midlle East Specialist - Gilles Kepel

Stephen Sackur speaks to renowned academic Gilles Kepel, an expert on Islamist terrorism in France and beyond. His work is influential - it was cited by newly elected French president Emmanuel Macron during the recent campaign - and to some, controversial. In the wake of the terrible suicide bombing in Manchester, a familiar question is being asked again - is the West any closer to an effective counter terror strategy? (Photo: Midlle East specialist and Professor at the Paris Institute of...

Duration: 00:23:23

Turkish Author - Elif Shafak

Stephen Sackur speaks to Elif Shafak, the Turkish novelist and writer who lives much of her life in London. A dozen years ago Europeans looked at Turkey and thought they saw a country becoming more like them - embracing western values and on a long term track to EU membership. But today Europe sees authoritarianism, conservatism and repression embodied in the all-powerful figure of President Erdogan. Does the West get anywhere close to understanding Turkey's complex culture and politics?...

Duration: 00:22:57

Nigeria's Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu

Stephen Sackur speaks to Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum resources, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. When President Muhamadu Buhari won the Nigerian presidency two years ago it seemed like Africa's most populous nation had turned a corner. A first ever peaceful, democratic transition brought a promise of cleaner, better governance, and major economic reform. How is it going? Can oil dependent Nigeria transform itself into a modern trading economy? (Photo: Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu arrives for...

Duration: 00:23:25

Speaker of the Venezuelan Parliament Julio Borges

Every day Venezuela seems to get one step closer to economic and political chaos. Mass anti-government protests have swept the country for the past month. Close to forty people have been killed in street clashes, the shops are short of food and hospitals low on medicine. Stephen Sackur asks Julio Borges, Speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, if the Chavista Socialist revolution is dying on its feet? (Photo: Julio Borges speaks at a joint press conference with Peruvian...

Duration: 00:22:19

Director of Europol - Rob Wainwright

Are the cyber-crooks several steps ahead of the cyber-cops? Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur speaks to Rob Wainwright, head of the European police agency Europol. In every aspect of our public and private lives we have become increasingly dependent on the power of the internet and computing. That makes us vulnerable to those who would do us harm. One such example is the worldwide spread of the ransomware known as WannaCry which has shut down vital computer systems in businesses, and public...

Duration: 00:23:38

Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade - Charles Flanagan

Ireland has bounced back from the financial crisis of 2008, but now it is being swept by a new wave of apprehension. This time it is all about Brexit. When Britain leaves the European Union, Ireland will suffer significant collateral damage – in terms of jobs, trade, and the status of its borders. Stephen Sackur speaks to Ireland’s foreign and trade minister Charles Flanagan - will Brexit have catastrophic consequences across the Irish Sea? (Photo: Charles Flanagan, Minister for Foreign...

Duration: 00:22:57

Emmaunel Macron advisor Sylvie Goulard MEP

This Sunday, Emmanuel Macron takes office as President of France. His nascent political organisation promises to get France's sluggish economy on the move again; but only if it can win legislative elections next month. Shaun Ley speaks to French MEP Sylvie Goulard who has thrown her support behind Mr Macron. Can the new President deliver and move France forward ?

Duration: 00:23:18

Former US North Korea negotiator Christopher Hill

Stephen Sackur speaks to the American diplomat Christopher Hill who has served under three US Presidents and was a former lead negotiator on North Korea. Recently, President Trump has described North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un as a “pretty smart cookie” who he would be “honoured” to meet. But with military tensions on the peninsula rising, could Trump's unpredictable approach to foreign policy actually work?

Duration: 00:23:25

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