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Simon Parker

In London, the House of Lords' Arctic Committee has been hearing evidence on the potential economic and environmental impacts that climate change and the loss of sea ice could have on the Arctic Ocean, as well as the role of Russia in the region. VoR's Simon Parker has more.


Dozens of British jihadists who have become disillusioned with fighting in Syria have contacted the UK begging to come home. One jihadist, claiming to represent 30 Britons said they wanted to return to Britain because their plan to fight against President Assad in Syria had not turned out the way they intended. VoR’s Simon Parker looked at some of the implications and challenges facing these men.

Britain's Labour leader Ed Miliband has told the Scottish electorate that voting yes in their forthcoming referendum on independence would be a bad move. He claims voters should not opt to become independent because they oppose the current Tory government because Miliband is confident a Labour government will be in power following the next election. VoR's Simon Parker has more.

Amid tight security and street protests, government leaders from across the world are gathering in Newport, Wales for tomorrow's largest-ever NATO summit. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization began in 1949 and today the combined military spending of its members constitutes over 70 percent of the global total. But what significance does NATO have? And how important is this week’s summit? VoR's Simon Parker has more.

The decision to dismiss plans for a new London airport on what is known as 'Boris Island' on the River Thames has left three options open: a third runway or a runway extension at Heathrow, or a second runway at Gatwick. VoR's Simon Parker has more on the debate.

The threat of Islamic extremism to the UK continues to fuel debate within British politics and today PM David Cameron unveiled new plans to counter extremism. The government now plans to give the police new powers to seize the passports of terrorist suspects and stop British jihadists from returning to the UK. VoR's Simon Parker reports.

On August 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Petr Poroshenko and representatives from the European Commission in the Belarusian capital Minsk to discuss relations between Ukraine and the Eurasian Customs Union, whose members are Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Richard Sakwa, professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent.

Crimea is looking forward to local and parliamentary elections scheduled for next month. In March, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine after over 95 percent of its residents voted to join the Russian Federation in a referendum disputed by the West. VoR's Simon Parker asked Kharkov-based activist Denis Schedrivy, who is in Crimea, what everyday life is like and what the general feeling there is at the moment.

In the wake of EU sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia is a country that ''must feed itself and not only feed itself but supply other countries". VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Dr Richard Connolly, senior lecturer in Russian political economy at the University of Birmingham.

Britain’s economic recovery has been put in doubt new figures showing a record fall in food sales in the UK. Fierce price wars between high street chains led by companies like Aldi and Lidl are partly to blame for the trend. VoR’s Simon Parker spoke to retail analyst Jon Copestake from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Obesity in mid-life is linked to a heightened risk of dementia in later life, according to a study published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal. Researchers at Oxford University found that the age at which a person is obese could be a key factor. VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer's Research UK.

The global prominence of Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria continues amid global condemnation of the murder of US journalist James Foley. In the past months, IS have slaughtered thousands of men and women on their rampage across Iraq and Syria. The extremist group is growing in numbers, with new Islamic recruits are joining them from around the world. VoR spoke to Professor Ian Robertson, the author of the book The Winner Effect.

The number of people travelling to Switzerland to take their own lives because of serious illness has doubled within the space of four years. A study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics shows that the bulk of patients are from Germany and the UK. For many people suffering from debilitating illnesses, Switzerland offers the only place where they can end their lives. VoR's Simon Parker has more.

The Chief Constable of one of Britain’s biggest police forces has revealed she is being “bombarded” with offers from private security companies with the hope of landing lucrative security deals worth £2.3 billion. VoR's Simon Parker reports.

Prospects for world peace are slowly but steadily decreasing, at least according to the latest study from the Institute for Economics and Peace. Their Peace Index shows that of 162 countries, just 11 are free from conflict. VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Thomas Morgan, research fellow at the Institute, about the findings.

The Ukranian parliament has approved a bill set to impose sanctions on Russian individuals and companies who it claims are funding separatist militias in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has said the move is proof that the country can defend itself. VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Natalia Antonova, a journalist following the situation closely. 

Official Eurostat figures, released on Thursday, show that growth in the Eurozone has flat-lined in the second quarter of the year. France and Germany - the economic bloc's two biggest economies - both performed less well than expected. VoR's Simon Parker spoke to Christian Schulz, a senior economist at the German Berenberg bank

Iraq's military leadership continues to be closely watched by western nations as the conflict in the country worsens. The White House launched a fresh volley of phone calls to politicians in Baghdad on Monday with the aim of removing Prime Minister Maliki. VoR's Simon Parker reports.


The peaceful existence of the Sami - sometimes known as Laplanders - is under threat because a British mining company called Beowulf has set its sights on an area of Sami land in the Kallak region of northern Sweden. They want to mine the area for precious iron ore. If successful they will receive a 25-year mining licence from the Swedish government but the Sami community has objected. VoR's Simon Parker has this report.

Forestry experts have suggested introducing foreign species such as French trees, giant redwoods and Japanese red cedars in Britain’s forests as traditional species like oaks struggle to cope with rising temperatures. Could this be the end of the iconic English oak? VoR's Simon Parker has more.

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January 2018
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January 2018