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Culture

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Episode 4 – Wolfgang Ischinger

Andrew Neil talks to a man once described as Europe’s most powerful ambassador about Germany’s shifting security policy and why he would still invite Russia’s foreign minister to the Munich Security Conference

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Episode 3 – Robert Kagan

Andrew Neil talks to the hawkish US foreign policy thinker about Russia’s war in Ukraine, his belief in liberal interventionism and why he thinks there’s a constitutional crisis in the United States

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Member exclusive – Inside the Interview: General David Petraeus

In a bonus episode for Tortoise members, Andrew Neil reflects on his interview with former CIA director and commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus

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Foreign aid: Is 0.7 per cent virtue signalling or value for money?

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available. The UK first hit the UN target of spending 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on foreign aid in 2013. The UK Government cut this to 0.5 per cent in 2021 as a “temporary measure” to recover from the pandemic — about £4bn less. Sunak has stated that the full aid budget will return in 2024-25, but campaigning groups claim this isn’t fast enough. This has all happened against the backdrop of the FCO and DFID merger into the FCDO — a move argued by many to muddy humanitarian action with foreign interests such as the arms trade. Those against the cut argue that reducing annual aid expenditure diminishes the Government’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as gender equality and poverty alleviation. But where does the UK’s foreign aid budget actually go? Does anyone really know? Are we giving money to the right places, and does it make any difference? Does aid genuinely help, or is it virtue signalling? editor and invited experts Lara Spirit Reporter Romilly Greenhill UK Director, ONE Campaign Saul Parker Founder, The Good Side

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Are Labour’s foundations its biggest obstacles?

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available. The Labour party was built by and for the working class and, as Ernie Bevin put it, the party “grew out of the bowels of the Trade Union Congress” to become one of the two main political parties in the UK today. Yet, since 1966, the Labour party has won only four elections. Trade Union membership has halved since its peak in the late 70’s and, today, the majority of Labour’s membership is considered ‘middle class’. What and who is the Labour party for in 2022? And why do they spend so much time on their own internal battles? Join us for a ThinkIn where we’ll discuss whether socialism, trade unions and the working class are in fact the obstacles to Labour’s success. editor and invited experts Lara Spirit Reporter Ayesha Hazarika former senior Labour adviser to Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband Denis MacShane Former Labour MP and Author of ‘Must Labour Always Lose?’ Nathan Yeowell Director, Progressive Britain; Editor, Rethinking Labour’s Past

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Do faith schools have a place in modern education?

About a third of all state-funded schools in England and Wales are schools with “a religious character”, otherwise known as “faith schools” — around 37% of primary schools and 19% of secondary schools are faith-based. The Government’s flagship free schools policy has been very popular with organised religious groups, but they are a mixed bag when it comes to performance. Some faith school do out-perform non-faith schools yet Ofsted’s latest statistics show that 25% of non-association independent faith schools have not met required school standards. So, can it be argued that they offer a better quality education, or is it just a way to try and boost congregations? Why are faith schools so popular — what do they offer that non-faith school don’t? Should we be actively segregating our children by religion? And is it appropriate that they receive public funds? editor and invited experts Liz Moseley Editor Alastair Lichten Head of Education and Schools, The National Secular Society Imam Mansoor Clarke Baitul Futuh Mosque Joshua Rowe Chair of Governors, The King David Highschool Sarah Hill Governor of a Church of England school and Teacher

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Shadow whipping: The men who saved Boris

Political wisdom says Ukraine has saved Boris Johnson’s skin – a global crisis so grave that it looks self-indulgent to question his leadership. But the really successful operation to rescue the prime minister started long before Russia’s war, and much closer to home

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Policing is male-dominated. That needs to change

On both sides of the Atlantic, the police have an intractable cultural problem. As a former police chief in the US, Jeff Patterson has seen it first hand. Here he outlines how the force’s treatment of female officers has changed over the years – and why it needs to be improved further still

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Retreat from Kabul: 11 days in August – Part II

In Kabul, the Taliban’s takeover was assured. In London, an ignominious retreat, and the betrayal of former comrades in the Afghan army, was more than a group of ex-soldiers, now MPs, could stomach

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Retreat from Kabul: 11 days in August – Part I

As the Taliban closed in on Kabul, and Western troops and desperate Afghans scrambled to leave, Britain found itself frozen out of decision making and incapable of influencing events. It was a stark illustration of the UK’s status, made worse by catastrophic misjudgements at the top of government

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Georgia: A democracy on the edge

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has been on hunger strike now for 48 days, in protest against what he alleges is his politically-motivated arrest. It’s a fight that serves as a proxy for the debate over Georgia’s future and its fragile democracy

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“Now it’s a war”

The plight of Romania – suffering horrendously from Covid – shows that getting vaccine doses to the countries that need them is only start of the challenge

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A five-point plan for Britain

The country needs rejuvenating. Here, at the start of a series, Giles Whittell introduces the five low-cost ideas that he’d like implementing – from EU membership to a new capital

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Getting to Net Zero: an Inuit perspective

Nobody understands what is happening in the Arctic better than its Indigenous people. Effective climate change adaptation means giving them more power over the resources on which they depend

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Orphaned by America

Thousands of children were separated from their parents at the US border under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. This is the story of how, five years later, 300 remain lost in a system designed to swallow them

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Modi hails the vaccinated as “Strong Arms” – but there are far too few of them

India has suffered terribly from the failure of its populist government to order anything like the number of doses it needs – and must now hope that the international community acts with urgency

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South Africa: A state of emergency

In the fortnight since former President Jacob Zuma’s arrest, the country has faced riots, looting and social fracture. Now it must try to rebuild, yet again, but in a time of Covid and economic uncertainty

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Left to die: Escape from the Amarula – Part 3

Nick Alexander tells the story of his torturous escape from the ambushed Amarula Hotel convoy – and the question left lying in the dust of the attack: who, really, abandoned them all?

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A ThinkIn with Ruby Wax – on reasons to be cheerful

We all feel glum – but the bestselling author and comedian Ruby Wax says there’s plenty of news to be positive about…. Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.How can we take the wheel from our overworked, over-stressed and over critical minds and swerve ourselves onto a happier highway? Treat yourself to an hour listening to Ruby Wax, bestselling author, comedian and leading mental health campaigner. In characteristically whip smart and sardonic style, Ruby will hold forth on the future of humanity and our planet. It’ll be a treat. Her new book, And Now for the Good News…To The Future, is out on 17th September. Editor: Merope Mills, Editor and Partner, TortoiseBuy the book hereAbout RubyRuby Wax is a successful comedian, TV writer and performer of over 25 years. Ruby additionally holds a Masters’ degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her services to mental health. She is the author of books Sane New World and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled and has toured all over the world with the accompanying one-woman shows. Both books have reached the number one spot on the Sunday Times bestsellers list and a third book, How to Be Human: The Manual was also a major bestseller. In March 2017 she launched Frazzled café in partnership with Marks & Spencer and has been running daily sessions online at Frazzled.org during the coronavirus lockdown. Her memoir, How do You Want Me? was published with a new introduction in April 2020. To date, Ruby has sold over one million copies of her books worldwide.How does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comRead our ThinkIn code of conduct here.What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.

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James O’Brien

The outspoken radio presenter on how to change your mind in a world that is notoriously unforgiving of uncertainty. Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.Radio presenter and writer James O’Brien doesn’t hold back. His previous book, How to Be Right, was all about winning arguments. In this ThinkIn he’ll talk about the follow-up, How Not to Be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind, which is about making your mind up rather than making your voice heard. In a world that can be notoriously unforgiving of uncertainty, and sometimes actively hostile to nuanced discussion, taking the time to examine our opinions and ask where they come from is as important as it can be uncomfortable. `Editor: Matt d’Ancona, Editor and Partner, TortoiseBuy the book here. How does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Doors open at 6:25pm for a welcome and briefing. Come early to get settled, meet the team and chat to other members. ThinkIn starts at 6:30pm. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comRead our ThinkIn code of conduct here. What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.

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Sensemaker Live: American culture and values

Make sense of this week’s major news stories in a live editorial conference with Tortoise editors. Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.Sensemaker Live is our chance to get under the skin of a ‘live’ news story. Our Sensemaker team choose a topic a few days beforehand. Editor: Giles Whittell, Editor and Partner, TortoiseSensemaker Live is in partnership with SantanderHow does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comRead our ThinkIn code of conduct here. What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.How we work with partners We want to be open about the business model of our journalism, too. At Tortoise, we don’t take ads. We don’t want to chase eyeballs or sell data. We don’t want to add to the clutter of life with ever more invasive ads. We think that ads force newsrooms to produce more and more stories, more and more quickly. We want to do less, better.Our journalism is funded by our members and our partners. We are establishing Founding Partnerships with a small group of businesses willing to back a new form of journalism, enable the public debate, share their expertise and communicate their point of view. Those companies, of course, know that we are a journalistic enterprise. Our independence is non-negotiable. If we ever have to choose between the relationship and the story, we’ll always choose the story.We value the support that those partners give us to deliver original reporting, patient investigations and considered analysis.We believe in opening up journalism so we can examine issues and develop ideas for the 21st Century. We want to do this with our members and with our partners. We want to give everyone a seat at the table.

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Britain and slavery: Who profited and what should they do now?

What should companies that profited from slavery do now to make amends? Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.In the early 1800s, Benjamin Greene was running his own brewery and managing of a number of sugar plantations in the West Indies. When the British government abolished slavery in 1833, he was paid the equivalent of almost £500,000 in today’s money to compensate him for the loss of his ‘property’ – that is, men, women and children who had been kept as slaves on the plantations. Greene’s brewery is now the highly successful Greene King brewery chain, just one of 43,000 UK companies – including several major banks – named on a database at University College London to have directly or indirectly benefited from these compensation payments. What can and should these companies do now to make amends?Editor: James Harding, Editor and Co-founder, TortoiseHow does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Doors open at 6:25pm for a welcome and briefing. Come early to get settled, meet the team and chat to other members. ThinkIn starts at 6:30pm. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comRead our ThinkIn code of conduct here. What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.