BBC World Service, Weekend
What a difference a week makes - or maybe not. Last Sunday I joined BBC World Service Weekend's host, the audacious and fantastic Catrin Nye and my fellow panelist, Simon Robinson, regional editor Europe, Africa and Middle East for the Reuters New Agency to discuss everything from votes for 16 year olds to world peace resting on the shoulders of a joint North and South Korean ice hockey team heading for the Winter Olympics.
I never need much encouragement to join well-informed and knowledgeable media types to discuss world affairs, topical issues and the matters that effects some or all of us. It's a brilliant excuse - if you needed one - to bury yourself further into newspapers and analysis.I left feeling intellectually refreshed and enriched.
And now the Winter Olympics have started and I'll be watching closely for any snippets of both on and off the ice rink drama. So will everyone else. Makes me appreciate the rights we enjoy here to be able to discuss such issues freely without fear of persecution - other than a social media bashing. Those living in some of the countries often discussed - in this case, North Korea - will be less free to speak. I wonder if there'll be any defections.
Here are the links if anyone is interested in hearing how the conversation went. Other areas covered included Yemen and the further deterioration of this already bloody war, the horrific accounts from eye witnesses of Syrian refugees freezing to death as they continue to flee almost certain death from Assad and Putin’s brutal punishment of Syrian civilians and Formula 1 finally halting its use of grid girls (hurrah) and Macedonia and what's in a name.