The Inquiry

One pressing question from the news. Four expert witnesses. Challenging answers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p029399x

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    Why Can't We Stop Looking at Our Phones?


    Our phones are powerful tools with lots of benefits – keeping in touch, accessing information and services and managing our lives. We’re using them more and more, constantly picking them up. Even in situations where it’s considered inappropriate, disadvantageous, or even dangerous, many people still find it hard resist the urge to check their smartphones. Why do we find these mini computers in our pockets so compelling? This week, our expert witnesses explain how tech developers...


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    23m
    Tuesday

    Is Donald Trump Good for Journalism?


    President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for news organizations, stating that the media are "among the world's most dishonest people". He has described The New York Times as "failing", The Wall Street Journal as “a pile of garbage” and CNN as a “terrible organization” responsible for “fake news". The BBC? “There’s another beauty.” The President has made statements and assertions which are false. He uses Twitter to speak directly to the American people. His combative...


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    23m
    last week

    Can You Believe What You Read on WikiLeaks?


    Since 2006 the WikiLeaks website has been publishing secret documents and material obtained from whistleblowers and other sources. Many of the confidential files published by WikiLeaks have been revelatory. The site has frequently made news around the world. But in 2016 Wikileaks published hacked emails relating to Hillary Clinton and her presidential bid. Those leaks appeared to serve the interests of the Trump campaign and were – according to US intelligence – probably provided to...


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    23m
    this month

    What Would ‘No Deal’ Mean For Brexit Britain?


    "No deal is better than a bad deal." So said Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, clarifying her country's position on Brexit negotiations with the EU. In the absence of a deal with the EU Britain would “revert to WTO rules” after Brexit. But what does that mean, exactly? The Inquiry has the answer. Presenter: Linda Yueh Contributors: Emily Lydgate, University of Sussex Alan Winters, UK Trade Policy Observatory Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, European Centre for International Political...


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    23m
    this month

    How do You Launch a Nuclear Missile?


    'Do we want his finger anywhere near the button?' Hillary Clinton asked during the US election campaign, referring to Mr Trump and the nuclear arsenal. But how close is an American president's finger to 'the button'? How close is anyone’s? We explain how the nuclear weapons systems of the US, Russia, Britain and China work – and how much power any one individual has over them. (Photo: A Trident Ii, Or D-5 Missile, Is Launched From An Ohio-Class Submarine. Credit: Getty Images)


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    23m
    last month

    How Did the US Get Stuck With Guantanamo?


    In 2002 US military personnel at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba were given 96 hours to prepare their sleepy base for the arrival of hundreds of prisoners. “The worst of the worst,” they were told. Beyond US jurisdiction, with no clear legal framework, prisoners accused of terror offences have been held there indefinitely without charge ever since. For many, Guantanamo has stained the image of the United States. When President Obama came to power in 2008 he vowed to close it. He failed. In this...


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    23m
    last month

    Is There Anybody Out There?


    It’s a question humans have asked forever. Are we alone in space? But it wasn’t until the late 1960s that humans started an organised, systematic hunt for extra-terrestrial intelligent life. We have listened to radio waves, peered through the celestial dust and beamed The Beatles to distant planets. So how’s it going? Is there anybody out there? This is the story of the search for extra-terrestrial life. Presenter: Helena Merriman (Photo: The ALMA, an international partnership...


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    22m
    last month

    Can We Eat Our Way Out Of Climate Change?


    Food production accounts for as much global greenhouse gas emissions as all forms of transport combined. That’s why many scientists think we can’t tackle climate change without addressing what we eat. So – in this week’s Inquiry – we’re looking at alternative climate-friendly diets and asking what it would take to move the world towards them. Presenter: Helena Merriman (Photo: Friends having a vegetarian meal. Credit: Shutterstock)


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    23m
    last month

    What Went Right in 2016?


    A lot has gone wrong this year. We’re not talking about Brexit or the election of Donald Trump – both of which split opinion in Britain and the US – we’re talking about terror attacks, the brutal conflict in Syria, and the thousands of migrants who died trying to reach Europe. Good things did happen. But the good news was mostly buried under the bad. So for this edition of The Inquiry – our final show of the year – we wanted to find about four things that went right in 2016....


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    22m
    last month

    Should We Give Homeless People Homes?


    It’s a surprisingly simple idea: to end long-term homelessness, give every person living on the streets a home. It can also be surprisingly effective. Medicine Hat, a city in Canada, recently became the first city to end homelessness in this way. The approach is known as Housing First, and – unlike many other homelessness initiatives – it doesn’t require homeless people to make steps towards solving other issues like alcoholism, mental health problems or drug addiction before they...


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    22m
    this year