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  • The US is set to ask the UK for assistance in carrying out air strikes in the fight against the radical forces known as the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS), though Downing Street insists that Prime Minister David Cameron has received no such request as of yet. VoR's Louis Degenhardt looks into what such a request - and a possible refusal - could mean for the transatlantic relationship.

     

  • Yesterday 130 businesses signed a letter saying the business case for Scottish independence had not been made. And today, almost 200 businesses have signed a different letter making the opposite claim: that a Yes vote would benefit the economy. But with three weeks to go, is it the economic arguments that are going to prove decisive? VoR's Flora Neve reports.

     

  • As the clean-up from the war in Gaza continues, Palestinians are coming to terms with a lack of resources in the area, with only one orphanage open to look after the many children left parentless as a result of seven weeks of fighting.

News
  • The US is set to ask the UK for assistance in carrying out air strikes in the fight against the radical forces known as the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS), though Downing Street insists that Prime Minister David Cameron has received no such request as of yet. VoR's Louis Degenhardt looks into what such a request - and a possible refusal - could mean for the transatlantic relationship.

     

  • Yesterday 130 businesses signed a letter saying the business case for Scottish independence had not been made. And today, almost 200 businesses have signed a different letter making the opposite claim: that a Yes vote would benefit the economy. But with three weeks to go, is it the economic arguments that are going to prove decisive? VoR's Flora Neve reports.

     

  • As the clean-up from the war in Gaza continues, Palestinians are coming to terms with a lack of resources in the area, with only one orphanage open to look after the many children left parentless as a result of seven weeks of fighting.

VoR Debate
  • Outrage over Ireland’s abortion laws is nothing new, and the most recent case concerning what many call unworkable legislation this week triggered fresh protests worldwide. In London, more than 150 people gathered outside the Irish Embassy holding posters bearing slogans such as ‘I am not a vessel’ and ‘this brutality makes me ashamed to be Irish’. VoR's Natasha Moriarty hosts a discussion.

  • Suicide is three times as common in men than women. And men suffer from mental health issues just as much as women. But do we acknowledge that, and do we get enough help to the men who need it? VoR's Juliet Spare hosts a discussion.

  • Exponential growth in the power of silicon chips, digital sensors and high-bandwidth communications are changing what robots can do. And the field is the target of mammoth investment from some of the world’s biggest companies. VoR's Natasha Moriarty hosts a discussion.

Telling It Like It Is
  • The British response to the rescue of the persecuted Yazidi sect in Iraq; the death of actor Robin Williams and the appeal of real ale in the UK are among the topics discussed in Telling It Like It Is. Joining Brendan Cole is Maggie Pagano of the Independent newspaper and Alexander Nekrassov, the political analyst.

  • The journalist Maggie Pagano and the former Kremlin advisor and political analyst Alexander Nekrassov join VoR's Brendan Cole to discuss the week's events. They talk about the crisis in Gaza, Boris Johnson announcing that he will stand as an British MP, the Scottish independence TV debate and sanctions between Russia and the west.

  • Claims of a Westminster paedophile ring, whether parliament is sexist and Britain's relationship with the EU are among topics discussed by Brooks Newmark, the Conservative MP for Braintree and Essex and the former Kremlin adviser Alexander Nekrassov. Joining them for this week's Telling it Like It Is, is VoR's Brendan Cole.

     

Talking Points
  • The economic question of the day has suddenly become: ‘Is the global economy about to slide into another recession?’ In this Talking Point, Dr Jack Rasmus gives his view of the economic effects of the coup in Ukraine, USA-driven sanctions on Russia, and the weakening of the world economy.

     

     

  • As John Tefft takes over from Michael Anthony McFaul as the US ambassador in Russia, Eric Kraus looks at McFaul's legacy and says the US government's decision to apply more sanctions on Russia is a grave mistake.

  • Would people in Britain understand Russia's position on Ukraine if it had a situation closer to home with which to empathise? Imagine a scenario where Scotland were to be independent and a similar course of action that is taking place in Ukraine happened. Ian Sumter, a Moscow-based British journalist explains.

Debating Russia
  • The presidents of Russia and Ukraine have shaken hands in Minsk. Beyond that fact, Ukraine’s civil war rages on as the country faces serious economic breakdown. On this edition of the programme Peter Lavelle discusses where Ukraine is heading.

     

  • Gaza is again under Israeli attack. What makes this assault different from past attacks? Should we stop talking about a peace process? And what role can countries like Russia play to finally resolve this conflict? Peter Lavelle hosts the latest edition of Debating Russia.

  • Ukraine and the EU Association agreement: It is hotly debated whether Kiev’s signature on this agreement will result in a more modern and prosperous Ukraine or a country that will experience extreme economic pain and long term austerity. VoR's Peter Lavelle hosts a discussion.

In Conversation
  • It’s long been said that we are what we eat. For many of us in the developed world almost everything we eat comes from commercially produced animals and crops, and is bought from supermarkets. A new book lifts the lid on the dangers of mass food production both for human health and for the health of the planet. VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Philip Lymbery, one of the joint authors of Farmageddon: the true cost of cheap meat.

  • Australian by birth, author and adventurer Tim Cope decided to train as a wilderness guide in Finland. That led to an adventure riding across Russia to China by bicycle and then to a bolder journey on horseback across Mongolia all the way east to Kazakhstan and Ukraine eventually ending up in Hungary. The journey took three years and his story is told in On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey through the Land of the Nomads. VoR’s Tim Ecott talks to Tim Cope.

  • In this edition of In Conversation, VoR's Tim Ecott talks to Christian Wolmar, Britain’s foremost writer on railways. His latest book is called To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Wolmar, who has himself travelled the line, describes the building of the Trans-Siberian as possibly the greatest human engineering achievement. I asked him what it was about the railway that inspired him.

     

Curtain Up
  • Families from all over England travel down to London to see the Nutcracker ballet at Christmas. But it wasn’t always such a hit. VoR's Alice Lagnado invited Russian music expert Daniel Jaffe into the studio and began by asking him how the ballet was first greeted back in the late 19th century.

  • The ballet world is going through a difficult time in Russia, with courtroom trials and a change in management at the renowned Vaganova academy in St Petersburg. VoR’s Alice Lagnado takes a further look.

  • In this edition of Curtain Up, VoR’s Alice Lagnado talks to conductor Alice Farnham, who is bringing Britten’s opera The Rape of Lucretia to the Mariinsky Theatre this month. It’s her first time conducting at the Mariinsky, and it’s also the first time the opera has been performed at the theatre.

Features
  • Russia's top Antarctic scientists are hoping to penetrate Lake Vostok for the second time this autumn and obtain pristine samples of its water, which will provide clues to the climate of the past and the future.

  • At the beginning of the new film Hermitage Revealed, director and narrator Margy Kinmonth says that the story of this grand old museum is a microcosm of Russian history. VoR's Alice Lagnado spoke to Kinmonth about the film.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken out on the role of government in lifestyle issues, saying that while heavy drinking and smoking are social problems that should be addressed, they need to be tackled in the right way. Sky-high excise duties on tobacco or a re-run of the unsuccessful Soviet-era campaigns against alcoholism would just be counter-productive.

Galleries
  • A vintage car exhibition displaying unique models of Soviet automobiles from the 1930-1970s has opened in GUM, the main Russian department store on Red Square in Moscow. Here's a selection of the sleek creatures for automobile geeks who can't make it to GUM by September 28, when the exhibition closes.

  • Rossiya Segodnya photojournalist Andrei Stenin, who has been held in Ukraine - ostensibly arrested by the Ukrainian Security Service on charges of assisting terrorists - has a respected reputation for images of conflicts around the globe. Here, we present some of his world-class photographs.

  • A total of over $22 million will be allocated from Russia's federal budget to restore the ensemble of the Solovetsky Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the deputy prime minister said on Monday.

All programmes
  • The execution of the journalist James Foley, the media frenzy surrounding Sir Cliff Richard and the press conference given by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are among the subjects tackled by the Independent journalist Maggie Pagano and the political analyst and former Kremlin adviser, Alexander Nekrassov. Joining them is VoR's Brendan Cole.

  • It is not exaggeration to say that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most recognisable leader in the world today. He is also regularly demonised by the West. What is it about Putin that captures the imagination of so many? Peter Lavelle hosts a discussion.

  • Western sanctions against Russia have engendered a decisive backlash from Moscow. Russia has returned the favour. Where is this going and is there a way back to normal relations between them? Peter Lavelle hosts a discussion.

Featured
World

There are no grounds for allegations that Russian troops have been moved into Ukraine, the head of Russia's parliamentary committee Leonid Slutsky said today. He added that Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko's cancellation of his scheduled trip to Turkey citing concerns of a Russian 'invasion' was nothing more than an attempt to attract international attention.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is in Scotland on Thursday making the business case for it to remain part of Britain as 200 business leaders signed an open letter backing independence. Questions over whether Scotland's economy could go it alone have been at the heart of the campaign with a rival group of 130 captains of industry claiming on Wednesday that independence would be "bad for business".

More than 130 business leaders in Scotland have signed a letter in the Scotsman warning that the case for Scottish independence 'has not been made.’ The letter says there is still too much uncertainty surrounding the issues of Scotland’s currency and European Union membership. VoR's Juliet Spare reports.

Children in Russia are happier than those in the UK and US, who are among the least happy in the western world, according to a new report published today.

New research shows that Britain's political, business, legal and media institutions are dramatically over-represented by those educated at independent schools and Oxbridge across the institutions that have such a profound influence on what happens in Britain. It found them to be "less informed, less representative and, ultimately, less credible than they should be".

The European Union will rely on Russian gas for at least another 10 years and potentially much longer, according to a new report. The US-based Fitch ratings agency suggests that many European states will have no choice but to stick with gas from Russia until the mid-2020s because of a lack of alternative sources. VoR's Tim Walklate has more.