The Week Unwrapped: Russian spies, climate law and literary warfare

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. With Julia Macfarlane, Jamie Timson and Julia O’Driscoll.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Russian spying

Claims emerged this week that an alleged Russian intelligence agent took advantage of the Homes for Ukraine refugee scheme to bring his family to the UK. The report sparked fears that other spies might also have come to Britain under the scheme. At the time, some ministers suggested that security checks on applicants from Ukraine were inadequate. Could more have been done to weed out Russian agents?

Climate lawsuit

A court trial is currently underway in the US state of Montana, with 16 young plaintiffs alleging that the state has failed to protect their constitutional rights to a “clean and healthful environment”. As one of the country’s biggest coal exporters, the local economy depends on fossil fuels – but extreme weather events are threatening the state’s prosperous outdoor recreation industry too. This is the first climate case of its kind to reach the courtroom in America, but how significant will its outcome be?

Literary warfare

The novelist Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love”, has decided to cancel the release of her latest book, set in Siberia in the 1980s, after a Ukrainian campaign against its Russian setting. What are their objections, and should Gibert have agreed to their requests? Or are we in danger of a counterproductive cancellation of all things Russian?



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