Standort: / Meldung: "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows"

Kate Farmer

Cutting to the chase

10. 1. 2012 - 15:19

Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows

Reality Check: Iran's one-upmanship, Republican primaries - Rick Santorum, Syria's Assad addresses the people, Alpine plants under threat, Jamie Oliver on casual cooking

Subscribe to the Reality Check podcast and get the whole programme after the show.

"Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows." Shakespeare's words have an eerie ring when you look around the world today.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, bogey man of the axis of evil, conservative Islamist and sabre rattler extraordinary, is on a charm offensive in Venuzuela. So what is he talking to left wing dictator Hugo Chavez about? Are they comparing oil reserves? Discussing election fixing tactics? No, they are talking about how much they both hate the USA.

However, according to analyst Michael Lüders, the alliance with Venezuela, along with Iran's developing nuclear programme and the death sentence just passed on a suspected Iranian-American CIA spy, is all just one-upmanship in the tit-for-tat war of words between Iran and the West, and Iran is only behaving as badly as it is being treated.

Dieses Element ist nicht mehr verfügbar

Republicans looking right

Meanwhile in the USA, republican hopefuls are lining up for the second round of the long series of primaries and caucuses that will eventually lead to a republican nominee to face Barack Obama in the presidential election in November.

Here, their common enemy is, of course, Obama - but before ripping into him, the candidates warm up by ripping into each other. Last time, in 2008, it was all about the centre ground with the eventual nomination going to moderate republican John McCain. This time, it all seems to be about positioning as far to the right of Mitt Romney as possible. In 2008, Romney's main stumbling block was his Mormon religion - in 2012, it seems to be that he may not be radical enough, after being pressed hard in the Iowa contest by the hard line anti-abortion and anti-gay rights candidate, Rick Santorum - who was profiled in Reality Check today.

Dieses Element ist nicht mehr verfügbar

New rhetoric, old messages, from Assad

Back on the other side of the world, Syria's President Assad addressed his country today, apparently feeling offended and betrayed by the criticism he is receiving from the rest of the Arab world. Maybe he has a point - most of the critical voices are coming from governments who are involved in violent crackdowns on popular protests in their own, or each other's countries. A case of the pots calling the kettle black, or as Assad himself said, a doctor telling a patient not to smoke, while having a cigarette in his mouth. But, as analyst Shashank Joshi says, there's nothing new in the sentiments behind what Assad is saying, and prospects for a solution any time soon look bleak.

Dieses Element ist nicht mehr verfügbar

The decline in Alpine vegetation

While the west of the country may be under snow at the moment, plants that thrive in cold conditions are coming under serious threat from climate change.

A report from the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments, or GLORIA, says the mountain plants we know and love look set to disappear: Chris Cummins spoke to researcher Michael Gottfried:

Dieses Element ist nicht mehr verfügbar

Cooking made easy

Celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, talks to Chris Cummins about how to cook without the complicated bits.

As FM4 launches its appeal for recipes for the FM4 cookbook Jamie Oliver can serve as an inspiration to all!

Dieses Element ist nicht mehr verfügbar

FM4 Reality Check

Monday to Friday from 12.00 to 14.00, and after the show via Podcast or