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This week in Tortoise: Odesa

This week in Tortoise: Odesa

Three weeks ago we were warned by David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, that unless the Ukrainian port of Odesa was reopened soon, there would be global food shortages, surging prices and famine.

This week’s Slow Newscast is Odesa – the story of the long shot campaign to reopen the port that feeds the world.  It is reported by Nina Kuryata, a journalist who grew up in Odesa, fled Ukraine after the war began, escaped to Poland and is now the newest recruit to the Tortoise newsroom in London – and me.  Together, we ask what the world can do – and whether it has the will to do it – to prevent a food crisis that threatens the lives of millions and a mass migration of millions more.  Odesa, as you’ll hear from Nina, is a magical city; it is also the place where Ukraine’s war spills over into all of our futures.

The next episode of The Backstory is out tomorrow. In it, Andrew Neil talks to the journalist, left-wing activist and contributing editor at Novara Media Ash Sarkar. Having risen to prominence during the Corbyn years, she first became known to many when she told Piers Morgan that she was “a communist, you idiot” live on Good Morning Britain after he interrupted her. Suffice to say her conversation with Andrew is a lot calmer – and far more interesting – covering her politics as well as how she deals with the online abuse hurled at her daily.

Thursday’s episode of Slow Politics, meanwhile, will see the discussion turn to a figure on the other side of the Left – Wes Streeting. With Keir Starmer’s future as Labour leader up in the air, could the shadow health secretary take the reins – and potentially lead the party back to power?

This week’s ThinkIns are, in one form or another, all looking to the future:

Lots on. If you’re around in London – or Newcastle – do pop in and see us. We’d love to hear what you think.

Have a very good week.


James Harding
Editor & co-founder