8:10 Can Michael Bloomberg's billions buy the Democratic nomination?

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg stepped into the spotlight this week appearing on stage for a debate with five other candidates for the Democratic nomination.

The billionaire has already spent US$464 million on his campaign but avoided the Iowa caucuses and the primary in New Hampshire.

He faces ongoing criticism for his support of "stop and frisk", a practice which allowed police to search suspects without a warrant. Over 80% of those stopped were non-white.

We talk to Nicholas Kulish, an investigative correspondent for The New York Times who has been taking a deep dive into how Bloomberg has been using his wealth and charitable giving to influence the leadership contest.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 15, 2019 Michael Bloomberg arrives to the opening celebration of the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island at the Statue Cruises Terminal in Battery Park in New York.

Photo: AFP

8:30 Moral philosopher Professor Peter Singer vs cancel culture

Australian moral philosopher and professor at Princeton University, Peter Singer's work challenges people to question whether their behaviour is ethical and highlights blind-spots and moral inconsistencies in our actions.

He's a champion for animal rights and believes those lucky enough to have been born in rich countries have a moral obligation to help those living in poverty.

He's has also argued for the rights of parents to euthanise severely disabled newborns.

Criticism from members of New Zealand's disabled community over his views has prompted SkyCity Auckland to cancel a speaking appearance booked at the venue for June, citing fears that his appearance could damage its reputation.

Professor Singer says it's the first time he's been 'de-platformed' in this way by a commercial venue in a career spanning 50 years. And although he says he's already been offered another Auckland venue, he's worried about what recent events say about New Zealand's attitudes towards freedom of speech.

Prof Peter Singer

Prof Peter Singer Photo: supplied / Alletta Vaandering

9:05 Katherine Eban: Fraud in the generic drug industry

The development of generic drugs has been one of the most important advances for public health, making medicines cheaper and more accessible, especially in developing countries.

But what are the risks involved in allowing these drugs to be manufactured in countries with potentially lax regulatory control?

Katherine Eban is an investigative journalist who has spent the last 10 years examining fraud in the generic drug industry.

The result is her New York times best selling book Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom which draws on accounts from whistle-blowers and regulators, as well as thousands of pages of confidential FDA documents.

She has a Guide to Investigating Your Own Drugs on her website.

Katherine Eban and the cover of her book "Bottle of Lies"

Katherine Eban and the cover of her book "Bottle of Lies" Photo: supplied

9:40 New Zealander of the Year: Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Actor and director Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira has been chosen as the 2020 New Zealander of the Year.

The award was presented by the Prime Minister in Auckland on Thursday night and follows her being made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019 New Year's Honours List for her services to theatre, film, and television.

She is also known for her campaigning for te reo Māori and as a determined advocate for actors' working conditions and pay.

Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira

Jennifer Ward-Lealand Te Atamira Photo: Supplied

10:05 Namwali Serpell: Author of The Old Drift

Praised by the likes of Salman Rushdie and Ali Smith, Namwali Serpell's debut novel The Old Drift reputedly took her nearly 20 years to write.

It weaves together "...ideas and experiences of colonialism, the HIV crisis, the Zambian space programme and political revolution" in the magical realist tradition.

Now a Professor of English at UC Berkeley, Serpell grew up in Zambia before moving to the US.

She will be appearing this weekend in Wellington at two events as part of the New Zealand Festival of the Arts, Namwali Serpell: The Old Drift and Real Imaginary Lives

 Namwali Serpell and the cover of her book "The Old Drift"

Namwali Serpell and the cover of her book "The Old Drift" Photo: supplied

10:35 Surgeon Sanduk Ruit on helping 130,000 people see again

Pioneering Nepalese eye surgeon Dr Sanduk Ruit has saved the sight of an estimated 130,000 people around the world using small incision, low cost, cataract surgery.

Working alongside New Zealander Fred Hollows, the pair honed the technique as a way of restoring sight in developing countries, and stopping people from needlessly going blind.

Now starting to contemplate retirement aged 65, Dr. Ruit is the Executive Director of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu. And one of his biggest achievements is to encourage more Nepalis, despite widespread religious objections, to donate their corneas for implantation after they die.

Sanduk Ruit

Sanduk Ruit Photo: supplied

11:05 Guy Garvey: lead singer of UK band elbow

No caption

Photo: supplied

Guy Garvey's the lead singer of the English band elbow who will play in Auckland in June.

elbow was formed in the town of Bury near Manchester in 1997 by college mates Garvey (lead vocals, guitar), Craig Potter (keyboard, piano, backing vocals), Mark Potter (guitar, backing vocals) and Pete Turner (bass guitar, backing vocals).

It's the band's first visit to NZ in more than 5 years and sees them playing material from their eight previous albums. Their most recent, last year's Giants of All Sizes, became their third UK number 1 album after Little Fictions (2017) and The Take Off and Landing of Everything (2014).

In Garvey's words the latest album is "...sonically unabashed and concerned with mourning, dissatisfaction, unrest and death. An angry, old, blue lament but one that finds ultimate salvation in family, friends, the band and new life."

11:40 Stanley Makuwe: Sir Garfield Todd's African legacy

Juggling his writing with a career in psychiatry, Stanley Makuwe moved to New Zealand from Zimbabwe in 2002 during the Robert Mugabe regime.

In his play Black Lover, which get its premiere in an Auckland Theatre Company production at the Auckland Arts Festival next month, he dramatises the later years of expat New Zealander Sir Garfield Todd.

Todd was a former Prime Minister of Rhodesia who damaged his political career and was put under house arrest for being a so-called 'black lover', championing racial equality in less enlightened times.

Stanley Makuwe

Stanley Makuwe Photo: supplied

Books mentioned on the programme:

Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom
by Katherine Eban
Published by  Ecco

The Old Drift
by Namwali Serpell
ISBN: 9781781090503
Published by Penguin




Music played in this show

Song: One Day Like This
Artist: Elbow
Played at 11:05

Artist: Elbow
Played at:11:32