Frank Wisner & Dragan Zupanjevac
|Dragan Zupanjevac is the Serbian Charge|
d'Affaires in London
Last week the territory of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia provoking a furious response from a number of countries. Notably, most European Union countries and the US endorsed the decision and will recognise Kosovo's independence.
The decision sets a dangerous precedent but advocates of the move say the case of Kosovo is unique. The vast majority of Kosovo's 2 million people are ethnic Albanians and the territory has been under UN control since Nato drove out Serb forces in 1999.
Sir David is joined by Frank Wisner and Dragan Zupanjevac. Wisner, the US special envoy for Kosovo, has been among those trying to broker a negotiated settlement for Kosovo's disputed status. Dragan Zupanjevac is the Serbian Charge d'Affaires in London.
They debate the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence and the implications of the move for other breakaway regions around the world.
|Peter Kornbluh discusses Fidel Castro's legacy|
This week Fidel Castro, the Communist leader of Cuba, announced that he was stepping down after nearly five decades in power. Castro weathered nine US presidents, survived the Cold War and years of opposition from the capitalist West while in power.
Castro grew up in a wealthy, landowning family. Shocked by the poverty around him, however, he became a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary. After seizing power in 1959, Castro's stranglehold on authority was strengthened by support from the Soviet Union.
Despite economic hardship and food shortages during Castro's reign, Cuba made some impressive domestic strides. Medical care is freely available to all, there is 98 per cent literacy and infant mortality rates are low by Western standards.
National Security Archive senior analyst Peter Kornbluh, the director of the archive's Cuba Documentation Project, joins Sir David. They discuss Fidel Castro's legacy and Cuba's political future.
|Economist Muhammad Yunus is known as 'the|
world's banker to the poor'
Muhammad Yunus is affectionately known as 'the world's banker to the poor'. The economist pioneered a system of micro-credit lending schemes for the poor in his native Bangladesh. Yunus set up the scheme in 1976 with the establishment of the Grameen Bank. Three decades on, the bank has over 7 million borrowers, of which 97 per cent are women.
The scheme has empowered millions of families to break the poverty cycle and has been replicated in developing countries across the world. In 2006 Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for their work.
Yunus joins Sir David to discuss the scheme and his new book, Creating a World without Poverty.
|Ronald Harwood discusses the Oscar-nominated|
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Born in South Africa, Ronald Harwood started his career as an actor in the 1950s before rising to prominence as a writer. He has written novels, plays and non-fiction books and also worked as a screenwriter, most recently on the Oscar-nominated The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
It is based on the French memoir Le Scaphandre et le Papillon by Jean-Dominique Bauby. The film chronicles Bauby's life after suffering a stroke that left him paralysed with the remaining means of communication the blinking of an eye.
Harwood talks to Sir David about the film and his recent projects. They also discuss Harwood's Jewish heritage and how it has influenced his work.
|Zhu Feng talks about China's relations with the|
rest of the world
A diplomatic row broke-out between China and the US on Thursday following America's successful missile destruction of a defunct US spy satellite.
Relations between the two super-powers were also strained last week when Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg pulled-out as the artistic director to the Beijing Olympics, saying that the Chinese government was not doing enough to help end the genocide in Darfur.
Zhu Feng, from the School of International Studies at Peking University, joins Sir David to talk about China and its relations with the rest of the world.
|John Githongo uncovered evidence of |
corruption among Kenya's political elite
Last year's December election in Kenya saw Mwai Kibaki return to power for a second five-year term, amidst accusations of vote rigging. The ensuing violence has killed hundreds and stirred up deep-seated tensions between Kenya's various ethnic groups.
Raila Odinga's opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement, has always contested the result. Now, there is hope that a political agreement might be reached that could quell the simmering tensions in a country that until recently was one of Africa's most stable and prosperous.
John Githongo, a former journalist, was appointed by Kibaki in 2003 to rout out corruption in Kenya and investigate the previous government of Daniel arap Moi. Githongo uncovered evidence of widespread corruption amongst the political elite. In 2005, Githongo resigned and moved to Britain after allegedly receiving threats.
Githongo joins Sir David to discuss the prospects for political stability in Kenya. He talks about the detrimental impact of corruption and the possibility of returning to Kenya.