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  • The legality of anti-terror measures outlined by Britain's David Cameron on Monday has been questioned, as differences over how to tackle Islamic extremism persist within the coalition government. The news comes as a video purportedly showing the beheading by Islamic State militants of a second American was released, featuring the commentary of an English speaking jihadist.  VoR's Flora Neve reports.

  • The Islamic State militant group have released a video purporting to show the beheading of US hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday. The video is unverified, but contained a threat against another hostage, David Haines, from Britain. It follows the beheading of US hostage James Foley last month.

  • The decision to dismiss plans for a new London airport on what is known as 'Boris Island' on the River Thames has left three options open: a third runway or a runway extension at Heathrow, or a second runway at Gatwick. VoR's Simon Parker has more on the debate.

News
  • The legality of anti-terror measures outlined by Britain's David Cameron on Monday has been questioned, as differences over how to tackle Islamic extremism persist within the coalition government. The news comes as a video purportedly showing the beheading by Islamic State militants of a second American was released, featuring the commentary of an English speaking jihadist.  VoR's Flora Neve reports.

  • The decision to dismiss plans for a new London airport on what is known as 'Boris Island' on the River Thames has left three options open: a third runway or a runway extension at Heathrow, or a second runway at Gatwick. VoR's Simon Parker has more on the debate.

  • The Islamic State militant group have released a video purporting to show the beheading of US hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday. The video is unverified, but contained a threat against another hostage, David Haines, from Britain. It follows the beheading of US hostage James Foley last month.

VoR Debate
  • New restrictions are being introduced in England and Wales to curtail one of the most controversial powers in policing, Stop and Search. Concern remains over the most controversial aspect of Stop and Search - the claim that it is disproportionately applied to people from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background. VoR's Juliet Spare hosts a discussion.

  • Britain has been put on severe alert for terrorism following the killing of US journalist James Foley by Islamic State, overseen by a man with a London accent. PM David Cameron has warned of 500 Britons fighting for Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), but faces a greater threat at home. VoR's Brendan Cole hosts a debate.

  • Pubs in Britain are closing at the rate of 28 a week. To its supporters, the pub is a great British institution that is part of the fabric of society.  While not quite on the endangered species list just yet, what is the future of the British pub? VoR's Brendan Cole discusses the fate of the great British boozer.

Telling It Like It Is
  • The Rotherham child abuse scandal, the defection of Conservative MP Douglas Carswell from the Tories to UKIP, the Scottish referendum debate and the merits of the singer Kate Bush are among the topics discussed by David Coburn, the UKIP MEP for Scotland and the former Kremlin adviser, Alexander Nekrassov in this week’s Telling It Like It Is. VoR's Brendan Cole mediates.

     

  • 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.

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
  • Graham Phillips is a 35-year-old civil servant turned blogger from Nottingham who shot to fame when he started reporting from Ukraine as a freelancer for RT, the Russian television channel. But what made this young man from Nottingham go to Ukraine, a country where he did not speak the language or have any ties, in the first place?

  • 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.

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

Microbes have been genetically engineered to produce renewable propane for the first time, according to researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Turku, Finland. Propane is a major component of liquid petroleum gas with an existing global market for a wide number of applications.

The Islamic State armed group (ISIS) is committing crimes against humanity on a historic scale in northern Iraq. According to London-based Amnesty International, who have people on the ground there, "entire communities are at risk of being wiped off the map of Iraq".

New restrictions are being introduced in England and Wales to curtail one of the most controversial powers in policing, Stop and Search. Concern remains over the most controversial aspect of Stop and Search - the claim that it is disproportionately applied to people from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background. VoR's Juliet Spare hosts a discussion.

Fighting in Ukraine has driven over half a million people from their homes, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said today, warning that the real number could actually be well over a million, in a crisis threatening the entire region.

In this edition of our new series News Bites, former Kremlin adviser Alexander Nekrassov takes a sideways look at the ‘information war’ between Russia and the West over beleaguered Ukraine.

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Washington should use its influence to push for peace in Ukraine. He also said that Ukraine's moves to join NATO were aimed at undermining efforts to end the war in the east of the country, and called on Washington to use its influence with Kiev to start a political process rather than pursuing a military one.