In Depth

The Week Unwrapped podcast: French sperm, reparations and the Arctic

The Week Unwrapped podcast: French sperm, reparations and the Arctic

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

French sperm

This week, French lawmakers began debating a controversial change to the country's IVF laws that would allow single women and lesbian couples (instead of just opposite-sex couples) to be eligible for the fertility treatment. Advocates say the current law is discriminatory - any woman should be able to try for a child regardless of marital status or sexuality. Clinicians warn the change could create a sperm shortage, and critics on the religious right argue the move will deprive children of their father, saying “there is no such thing as the right to a child.” As fertility treatments become more common, how do we decide who has the right to IVF?

Colonial reparations

A few years ago the idea of reparations - either for slavery or colonialism - was barely discussed, and then only on the far-left fringe. Now it is moving closer to the mainstream. In his speech this week to the Labour party conference, shadow chancellor John McDonnell pledged to pay reparations to former British colonies in the form of green technology intended to tackle climate change.

Scramble for the Arctic

The rapid melting of the polar ice caps, confirmed this week by new Nasa statistics, is both an ecological disaster - and, according to politicians in the US, Russia and China, an economic opportunity. As the ice melts, new shipping routes are opening up, linking Asia and Europe via the North Pole - as are previously inaccessible oil reserves.

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped on the Global Player, Apple podcasts, SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. It is produced by Sarah Myles and the music is by Tom Mawby.

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