The Week Unwrapped: Exiles, revolting prisoners and sporting health
Will Syrian criminals be allowed home? How did an American prison fall into the hands of inmates? And why are sports stars struggling with their mental health?
Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.
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In this week’s episode, we discuss:
Rifaat al-Assad, who fled Syria in 1984 years ago after seeking to overthrow his brother, Hafez al-Assad, who was the father of the current president, Bashar al-Assad. Now Bashar has allowed Rifaat to return to his country rather than serve a French prison term for money laundering. What does this tell us about the current Syrian regime?
The New York prison at Rikers Island has been a byword for violence and neglect for several years, but Covid and the resulting staff shortages have led to a new crisis. Inmates have reportedly taken control of large parts of the prison, and officers seem to be unwilling or unable to restore order. There is also a political dimension to the crisis, which poses a challenge to candidates in New York’s mayoral election - and to the Biden administration.
Elite mental health
Tyson Fury used his recent win over Deontay Wilder to discuss his mental health struggles, following in the footsteps of Simone Biles, Emma Raducanu and Naomi Osaka. The psychological impact of elite sport has gone from being taboo to widely discussed - but potential solutions may be harder to find.