The Inquiry

The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world.

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

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      Can we ever understand animals?


      By the time she died at the age of 46, Koko the gorilla was a global superstar. Not only could she apparently understand two thousand words of spoken English and convey her own thoughts and feelings using sign language, but she was even able to give her own pet kitten a name. Some say that it’s impossible to know whether Koko really understood what she was communicating, or whether she was just trying to please people by signing certain things. Either way, her death raises questions a...


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         23m
       
       

      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 repeat 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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         22m
       
       

      Are We Heading for a Trade War?


      The world’s two biggest economies are on the brink of a costly standoff. The US has announced tariffs of 25% on a swathe of Chinese goods, starting July 6th. China has vowed to respond in kind. ‘If someone wants a trade war,’ China’s Commerce Minister said, ‘we will fight to the end.’ President Trump is bullish, threatening further tariffs and tweeting: ‘trade wars are good, and easy to win.’ But the WTO has warned that a trade war would have a ‘severe’ impact on the global economy. We look a...


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         22m
       
       

      Can You Train People To Be Less Prejudiced?


      Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson were waiting to meet a business associate in Starbucks. After two minutes, the store manager called the police and the African-American men were removed from the café in handcuffs. The Starbucks CEO has described the incident as “racial profiling”, claiming that the manager acted on unconscious racial bias. In response, he closed 8,000 branches of the coffee giant so his staff could attend anti-bias training. It’s not just Starbucks - diversity train...


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         23m
       
       

      How do you make people have more babies?


      More than half the world’s countries aren’t producing enough babies to offset the number of deaths. Russia is the latest to experience a dip in the fertility rate, despite the government rolling out measures to encourage people to have more children. They have tried mortgage subsidies, giving couples days off to have sex, and rewarding fruitful mothers with the grand prize of a refrigerator. But the fertility rate continues to drop. It’s a situation that governments in Spain, Singapore, Germa...


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       2018-06-14  23m
       
       

      Is Raqqa Recovering After Islamic State?


      Last year, the world watched as Islamic State was driven from Raqqa, the city they claimed as their capital. The UN has estimated that around 80% of the city’s buildings were destroyed or damaged in the battle. Eight months later, many Raqqans are returning home. Amid the rubble, life is slowly returning to Raqqa. This week, we investigate what life is like after Islamic State.


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       2018-06-07  22m
       
       

      Can Computers Predict Crimes That Haven’t Happened Yet?


      Chicago resident Robert McDaniel was surprised when a police commander showed up at his home to warn him that they were watching him. With only a misdemeanour conviction and arrests for a number of suspected minor offenses, he had somehow made it onto the Chicago Police Department’s so called ‘heat list’ - a list of names created by algorithm of those deemed to be most at risk of either being a victim or perpetrator of violent crime. In this Inquiry we look at whether computers can predi...


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       2018-05-31  23m
       
       

      Is North Korea Broke?


      North Korea has been under sanctions for many years. But this isolated economy is showing signs of life that might surprise you. From hacking and counterfeit money to coffee shops in Pyongyang, we investigate what life is like in North Korea and how the state makes its money. Presenter: Celia Hatton Producer: Josephine Casserly (Photo: A woman shopping at the Kwangbok, or 'liberation', department store in Pyongyang. Credit: Ed Jones / AFP / Getty Images.)


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       2018-05-24  22m
       
       

      What makes a revolution successful?


      Armenia's recent successful uprising is being celebrated as unprecedented for a former Soviet state. The so-called “velvet revolution” began on the last day in March with a protest walk. It ended two weeks and 100km later with the government overthrown. Yet revolutions rarely triumph. In this Inquiry we look at the factors that need to come together for such a revolution to succeed. Do they always need to be bloody and brutal or can non-violence resistance be as effective? How imp...


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       2018-05-17  23m
       
       

      Trump and Kim: Can They Close the Deal?


      Not long ago, they were calling each other names and raising fears of a nuclear war. Now, it is feasible they could together win the Nobel Peace Prize - if they can reach a deal. The mooted meeting between America’s Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could go wrong in many ways. Mr Trump has already talked of walking out. But in a spirit of optimism, this week’s Inquiry hears from those who have brokered some of the world’s most unlikely pacts for advice on how to strike the deal of a...


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       2018-05-10  23m