GEORGE MONBIOT, COLUMNIST, 'THE GUARDIAN'
- INTERVIEW 25th April 2010

The world is a much smaller place than it used to be, with countries more intricately and intimately connected than ever before.

And that, says environmentalist and author George Monbiot, is the problem; when a natural event like the eruption of Eyjafjallajvkull volcano on the remote island of Iceland is able to seize up international flight paths and wreak untold economic havoc round the world.

For many commentators, this week's volcanic chaos was an early glimpse of what the world may look like when oil runs out.

According to UK-based Monbiot, it proved evidence of a world reliant on an over-strained system - ultimately making the global financial crisis and a blast of nature's fury not too dissimilar.

So what is his answer for a simpler world? Or will nature do the job before world leaders can?

Hear his take on the forthcoming UK elections and the rise of Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg.

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WILL HUTTON  (AUTHOR AND ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR)
- INTERVIEW 2nd May 2010

Last October, UK author and commentator Will Hutton predicted on Dateline that David Cameron would be the next British Prime Minister. This week, George Negus asks him if he’s still so sure, with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg rising rapidly in the opinion polls, and many suggesting that Britain could elect its first hung parliament since 1974.

But UK politics aren’t the only thing hanging in the balance… the Eurozone is facing renewed crisis over what to do about Greece’s huge debts, as Spain’s credit rating is also downgraded.

Some are calling this week’s events a ‘Lehman moment’, which could trigger stage two of the GFC, taking Europe with it.

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SABRIA JAWHAR, SAUDI JOURNALIST AND BLOGGER
– INTERVIEW 9th May 2010

The question of whether Muslim women should be allowed to cover themselves in a burqa, or wear a niqab with only their eyes showing, is polarising opinion across Europe.

Last month, Belgium’s lower house voted unanimously for a ban on wearing full Islamic veils in public spaces, and French politicians have cited security reasons for considering a similar ban. French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared the burqa is not welcome in France, and has branded the face-covering, body-length gown as a symbol of women’s oppression.

But that's certainly not the view of Saudi Arabian journalist and blogger Sabria Jawhar, who’s adamant she doesn't want western lawmakers telling her what she can or can't wear.

George Negus speaks to her from the UK, where she’s currently studying, in her first interview not wearing her burqa.

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WESTMINSTER INSIDERS - INTERVIEW 23rd May 2010

Is the new UK coalition government between the centre-right Conservatives and centre-left Liberal Democrats a marriage made in heaven or a marriage of convenience?

George Negus travels to London for a special Dateline debate with four Westminster Insiders, to get the lowdown on what’s been happening in British politics and whether they think it will succeed. Jackie Ashley is a columnist and political reporter for the Guardian newspaper and has a long background of covering politics as a TV and print journalist.

Lord Matthew Oakeshott is a Liberal Democrat politician and currently Spokesperson for the Treasury, and Work and Pensions. He has been a pension fund investment manager for more than 30 years. He was made a life peer in 2000.

Clare Short served as an MP in Birmingham from 1983, but stood down at this election. For most of that time she was a Labour MP, but resigned from the party in 2006 over Tony Blair's handling of the Iraq War. She served the rest of her term as an Independent. She spent six years as Secretary of State for International Development in the Blair government.

Will Hutton is a former editor and ongoing columnist for The Observer newspaper. He is also Chief Executive of The Work Foundation, a consultancy advising on employment issues. He was recently appointed by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government to head a review into public service pay. Will is a seasoned political commentator and a regular contributor to Dateline.

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Please Note: More interviews will be added as time permits.