World Review from the New Statesman


Is the far right about to come to power in Italy?

The Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, has resigned after roughly a year and a half in charge of a caretaker government, meaning there will be early elections.


Emily Tamkin and Katie Stallard in Washington DC are joined by Jeremy Cliffe in Berlin to discuss why Draghi quit, the far-right coalition hoping to take power, and what a government led by Giorgia Maloni would mean for Italy and its future support for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, China is warning of “serious consequences” if Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, visits Taiwan, as she is said to be planning. The team discuss what’s behind those threats, why the timing of the proposed visit is particularly important, and how it could exacerbate tensions between Washington and Beijing.

In You Ask Us, a listener asks why a long-term adviser to Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister, has resigned.

If you have a You Ask Us question for the international team, email

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Further reading:

Katie Stallard writes on the gathering storm over Pelosi's proposed visit to China.

Jeremy Cliffe on what a Giorgia Meloni government would mean for Italy.

Emily Tamkin on the threat of Viktor Orbán's anti-mixed race speech.

More Episodes


What’s the cost of Qatar’s World Cup?

The Qatar World Cup, which began on Sunday 20 November, has been marred in controversy, from the country’s oppression of LGBT+ people and women to a last-minute decision to ban sales of beer inside stadiums. Thousands of migrant workers are believed to have died during construction of the stadiums, and others employed as security guards appear to be paid as little as 35p an hour. Gianni Infantino, the president of Fifa, who is paid about £2.6m this year, defended the tournament in a rant in which he said he feels “like a migrant worker”. Ido Vock in Berlin, Megan Gibson in London and Katie Stallard in Washignton DC discuss Fifa’s defence and the attempt by some politicians to “keep politics out of sport”, how individual teams have and have not shown real moral courage, and the power of sport to affect political change. Next, Megan reports on her trip to Brussels, where she interviewed Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary-general. The team discuss his unwavering support for Ukraine, the prospect for negotiations and the state of the Western alliance. Then, in You Ask Us, a listener asks what role the Wagner Group plays in Russia’s war effort.If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer: visit to learn more Read more: Katie on what the World Cup tells us about power. Megan on why Iran’s brave act of defiance puts England to shame. Megan interviews Jens Stoltenberg. Katie asks if Volodymyr Zelenksy is losing the support of the West in Ukraine. Ido on the brutal methods of Russia’s Wagner group.

Russia in retreat

On Tuesday a missile hit a Polish town near the Ukrainian border, killing two people. It was initially suspected to have been fired by Russia, causing speculation about whether Poland, a Nato member, would invoke the alliance’s collective defence agreement. Poland and Nato now believe, however, that the cause was Ukrainian defences firing in an attempt to intercept a Russian bombardment. Emily Tamkin and Katie Stallard in Washington DC, and Ido Vock in London, discuss what we know about what happened, how the incident highlights the risk of the war in Ukraine escalating, and the recent liberation of Kherson. Then they turn to Bali, in Indonesia, where the G20 summit was held this week. The team consider the US president Joe Biden’s strikingly cordial meeting with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, and the G20 leaders’ statement denouncing “Russian aggression” in Ukraine (Russia is itself a member of the G20). Then in You Ask Us, a listener asks: will Donald Trump be the Republican presidential candidate in 2024?If you have a question for You Ask Us, go to listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer: visit to learn more  Read more: Ido writes that Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson proves Western support is working Katie on why the Poland missile explosion highlights risk of escalation in the war in Ukraine. Katie reports on Joe Biden and Xi Jinping try to avoid a “new Cold War” Emily asks what wDonald Trump’s 2024 presidential bid will mean for American democracy. Emily asks whether Donald Trump’s domination of the Republicans is under threat.