8:10 The trial of Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou

This week a Canadian court has been considering a US application to extradite Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei (and daughter of its founder).

Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 at the request of the US government, accused of fraud for violating economic sanctions against Iran.

The case has escalated diplomatic tensions at a time when several members of the 'Five Eyes' intelligence alliance (including New Zealand) are considering whether there could be security risks associated with using Huawei technology in their 5G mobile networks.

Jason Proctor is a reporter for CBC News in Vancouver and the creator of Sanctioned a podcast about the affair.

Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou Photo: AP

8:35 David Shariatmadari: Don't Believe A Word

Are standards of English declining, or is the language simply evolving?

Editor, writer and linguist David Shariatmadari has a deep love of words, and an ongoing interest in how they emerge, change, and impact the way we think.

His new book Don't Believe A Word explores, then explodes, nine commonly held myths about language.

David Shariatmadari / Cover of "Don't Believe a Word"

David Shariatmadari / Cover of "Don't Believe a Word" Photo: supplied

9:05 Coronavirus latest: virologist Chris Smith

How serious is the outbreak of coronavirus? How far and fast is it likely to spread?

Cases of the coronavirus "2019-nCoV" have now been confirmed in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the US.

In China, where the outbreak began, at least 25 people have died and more than 500 have contracted the virus.

There are fears that we could be facing a global pandemic to rival the SARS outbreak of 2002 and 2003 which killed 788 people.

Some international airports are now screening passengers arriving from China and travel bans are in place in 5 Chinese cities.

Dr Chris Smith, consultant virologist at Cambridge University and one of BBC Radio 5 Live's Naked Scientists, joins us for an update.

Workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China's northern Hebei province, on 22 January 2020.

Photo: AFP

9:30 Prof Robin Dunbar: How many friends do you really need?

Prof Robin Dunbar

Prof Robin Dunbar Photo: Supplied: Colin McPherson/Corbis

Could having too many friends be bad for you?

The answer is yes, according to Oxford University Professor Robin Dunbar who studies human social networks.

Maintaining a friendship is cognitively demanding and our brains may be wired with a limit to the number of stable social relationships we can handle.

Dunbar started his career studying African monkeys before turning his attention to less hairy hominids.

His key discovery? That a primate's brain size seems to dictate the size of their social networks and the number of relationships they can maintain.

So how many is too many? And do Facebook friends count?!

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Photo: Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

10:05 Author André Aciman on the sequel to Call Me By Your Name

American novelist André Aciman authored worldwide bestseller Call Me by Your Name in 2007.

His recently released book Find Me revisits the same characters decades on from the summer romance recounted in Call Me By Your Name.

André Aciman was born and raised in Egypt before emigrating with his family to Italy and onto the US, and is currently a professor of literature in New York.

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Photo: supplied: Sigrid Estrada / Faber

10:35 Simon Heath: Outdoor adventures at Mistletoe Bay

Simon Heath

Simon Heath Photo: supplied

Since 2003, Renwick School principal Simon Heath has been involved in developing the Mistletoe Bay Eco Village and Camp Ground, an outdoor activity centre in the Marlborough Sounds.

Thousands of people now flock there every year to kayak and to experience the great outdoors.

School groups make up about one fifth of the numbers and a charitable foundation's also been set up, offering scholarships to disadvantaged children so they can experience it too.

Mistletoe Bay

Mistletoe Bay Photo: supplied

11:05 Anton Thomas: Hand drawn map maker

Australia-based Nelson-born creative Anton Thomas is putting the art back into cartography with beautiful hand-drawn maps.

His giant (1.2 metre by 1.5 metre) map North America: Portrait of A Continent took an estimated 4000 hours and nearly 5 years to complete.

It covers the continent from Greenland in the North to Panama in the South and contains delightfully detailed miniature portraits drawn from each state and region's culture, geography and history.

It was recognised as one of the best maps of 2016 by National Geographic.


11:45 Kate's Klassics: The Heat of The Day by Elizabeth Bowen

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Photo: supplied

Poet and writer Kate Camp returns for the latest instalment of Kate's Klassics.

This week she reviews Elizabeth Bowen's 1948 novel, The Heat of the Day.






Books mentioned in this show

Don't Believe A Word: The Surprising Truth About Language
By: David Shariatmadari
ISBN: 9781474608442
Published by Orion Publishing Co

Find Me
Andre Aciman
ISBN 9780571356492
Published by Faber

The Heat of the Day.
By Elizabeth Bowen
Published by Vintage Classics

Music played in this show

Song: Everyone Hides
Artist: Wilco
Played at 8:30

Song: Mystery of Love
Artist: Sufjan Stevens
Played at 10:38