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Brexit: Now for the Hard Part
This week the UK’s parliament gave Prime Minister Theresa May permission to trigger the process that will take the UK out of the European Union. Two years of negotiations will follow. But what kind of deal should Mrs May go for? Hard Brexit that treats the EU like any other trading partner, or something much closer? On this week’s Newshour Extra Owen Bennett Jones and a panel of experts sift through the tough choices facing Britain over the next two years. (Photo: Brexit Sandcastles. Credit: Getty Images)
What is an Islamic State?
Pakistan was conceived of as a country where Muslims could live free of Hindu domination and discrimination but was that the extent of the project? Was it meant to be a country in which Muslims could live safely or was the idea to establish an Islamic state? And is, in fact, an Islamic state the final goal of Muslims? Are there ways of blending the ideas of Islam with systems of government that do not take a view on religion and allow individuals to live their religious lives as they see fit? On this week’s Newshour Extra Owen Bennett Jones is in the Pakistani capital Islamabad to find out whether an Islamic state is possible in the modern world. The guests this week are Zubair Safdar, Public Policy Analyst and Media Coordinator of the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, Dr Soumia Aziz, Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Islamic International University, Islamabad, and Mosharraf Zaidi, the leader of Alif Ailaan, a political campaign that helps to address Pakistan’s education crisis, and also a columnist and former government adviser. Owen Bennett Jones was also speaking to lawyers Asma Jahangir and Justice Muhammad Raza Khan (Photo: Pakistan's national flag Credit: Getty Images)
De-Extinction: Return of the Woolly Mammoth?
If we had the scientific capability to bring back extinct species should we do it? Which ones would we choose and why? How about woolly mammoths roaming across the Arctic tundra, or vast flocks of passenger pigeons – once the most numerous birds on earth – back in our skies again? Scientists believe they are on the threshold of the technologies that could make all this possible. But could the power to bring animals back make us more complacent about their extinction? And what might the consequences be for the habitats into which they’re introduced? On this week’s Newshour Extra Owen Bennett Jones and his guests take a step back from the global news agenda to consider one of the great challenges facing biological and environmental scientists today. (Photo: artist's impression of a woolly mammoth. Credit: Thinkstock)
The French Election: What's at Stake?
A presidential race for the Elysee Palace that has torn up the rule book is nearing its tumultuous conclusion. France’s two main parties have cast aside their old leaders and an independent candidate, Emmanuel Macron - the youthful leader of a new left-leaning movement ‘En Marche’ - is now widely seen as the front runner. The only certainty throughout has been the strong support for the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, riding high in the polls on the populist, anti-establishment policies. Join Owen Bennett Jones and his guests as they discuss which two candidates will make it through to the second round in May, and what the consequences will be for France and the rest of Europe.
Libya: Return of the Strongman
Six years ago this week the brutal repression of a protest in Libya's second city of Benghazi inspired a revolution that led to the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Today the country is preyed on by more than 1500 militias. Different governments rule in the west around Tripoli and in the east from Tobruk. Now some international powers are considering abandoning the ineffectual UN-led attempts to find political solutions and instead are turning once again to a Libyan military leader to seize control. General Khalifa Haftar commander of a powerful militia, the Libyan National Army, is seen by his supporters as the only man to restore stability to the country. But his critics argue that the last thing Libya needs is a return to the rule of a strongman. (Photo: General Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army. Credit: Getty Images)