8.10  Reem Abbas on the situation in Khartoum and hopes for Sudan’s future 

Reem Abbas

Reem Abbas Photo: supplied

Fighting between Sudan’s military and the Rapid Support Forces continued Friday, hours into a second 72 hour ceasefire say eyewitnesses. The situation across Sudan has deteriorated, with shortages of water and food supplies, and reports of violence and widespread looting. 

In the capital Khartoum the ceasefire is also very fragile. Reem Abbas is a Sudanese feminist activist, journalist and researcher sheltering with her family there. She says they may have to evacuate at any time.

Abbas, who has previously written for the Guardian, the Washington Post and Open Democracy, was this month appointed communications coordinator at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

People fleeing street battles between the forces of two rival Sudanese generals, wait with their belongings along a road in the southern part of Khartoum, on April 21, 2023. - Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands wounded since the fighting erupted on April 15 between forces loyal to Sudan's army chief and the commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). (Photo by AFP)

People fleeing street battles between the forces of two rival Sudanese generals, wait with their belongings along a road in the southern part of Khartoum, on April 21, 2023. Photo: AFP


8.25  Paddy Manning: the real Succession with the Murdochs  

cover of the book The Successor: The High-Stakes Life of Lachlan Murdoch by 
Paddy Manning

Photo: supplied

As the final series of HBO's hit drama Succession goes to air, the Murdoch media empire that inspired the show is dealing with its own dramas.

NBC reported this week that Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert's son, made the decision to fire controversial host Tucker Carlson from the network.

It came just a week after Fox News agreed to pay a massive $787.5 million settlement to Dominion Voting Systems over defamation charges related to Carlson and other high-profile Fox hosts' support of Donald Trump's stolen election claims.

Australian freelance journalist and author Paddy Manning wrote The Successor: The High-Stakes Life of Lachlan Murdoch. He has been keeping a close eye on the latest developments.


SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 13: (L to R) Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp and chairman of Fox News, and Lachlan Murdoch, co-chairman of 21st Century Fox, walk together as they arrive on the third day of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 13, 2017 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, technology and political spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive weeklong conference.   Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan who is widely expected to take over the role of chairman from his father. Photo: DREW ANGERER


9.05 Compost king Liam Prince on life with less waste


How we deal with waste is getting an overhaul by the government with more urban households set to get kerbside food scrap collection.


Community composting groups however are arguing they have a valuable role to play alongside large scale commercial enterprise.


Liam Prince is compost manager at Wellington's Kaicycle, and co-founder with Hannah Blumhardt of The Rubbish Trip, a zero waste advocacy group.


They have lived without a rubbish bin for more than seven years.


A man deposits compost from a white bucking it a composting pile, which is located inside a wooden box.

Kai Cycle is a Wellington based urban farm which makes compost from food-waste collected in and around Wellington's inner-city. Photo: Supplied



9.30 NASA's new head of science Dr Nicola Fox

Official portrait of Dr Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate

Dr Nicola Fox Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

NASA’s new head scientist, Dr Nicola Fox, is on a mission to uncover the mysteries of the Universe and has an over 8.2 billion dollar budget to do it.

Official portrait of Dr Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Raised in Hertfordshire, UK and encouraged by her parents to think big from an early age, Fox is only the second woman to hold the post, which has the formal title Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate.

In the Astrotech processing facility in Titusville, Florida, near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, technicians and engineers perform light bar testing on NASA's Parker Solar Probe. The Parker Solar Probe will launch on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida no earlier than Aug. 4, 2018. The mission will perform the closest-ever observations of a star when it travels through the Sun's atmosphere, called the corona. The probe will rely on measurements and imaging to revolutionize our understanding of the corona and the Sun-Earth connection.

Technicians and engineers performing light bar testing on NASA's Parker Solar Probe back in 2018 Photo: NASA/Glenn Benson

10.05 Curtis Sittenfeld: rehabilitating the image of the rom-com

Romantic comedy or rom-com, is often used as shorthand for something shallow and lacking in substance, but Minneapolis author Curtis Sittenfeld loves them.

Her new novel, Romantic Comedy revolves around a TV show based on the enduring American sketch comedy classic Saturday Night Live. Sittenfeld dissects celebrity culture in a love story set during the pandemic, much of it taking place via email.

She is the author of seven novels, including American Wife and Rodham, reimaginings of the lives of Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton. 

A composite photo of author Curtis Sittenfeld. A photograph of Sittenfeld with her arms crossed on a red background is on the Right. On the left is the cover of her book Romantic Comedy, which shows a woman driving a convertible car with it's roof down.

Authour Curtis Sittenfeld says for a romantic comedy to work there has to be plausible, genuine connection between the characters. Photo: Supplied

10.30 Richard Fidler: following in the footsteps of medieval wanderers

In Australian author and broadcaster Richard Fidler’s The Book of Roads and Kingdoms he delves into the life of medieval wanderers who travelled to the outer edges of the known world during Islam's fabled ‘Golden Age’.

It was the discovery of an account of one of the wanderers, Ibn Fadlan – a tenth-century Arab diplomat who travelled all the way from Baghdad to modern-day Russia - which sparked his interest.

Fidler is one of Australia’s best-known broadcasters, having presented the show Conversations on the ABC for more than a decade. It is also Australia’s most popular locally-produced podcast.

Richard will also be at the Auckland Writers Festival next month. 

On the left is the cover got Richard Fidler's book 'The Book of Roads & Kingdoms. The words are printed in white on a mosaic background of Islamic geometric patterns. On the right is a portrait photograph of the authour.

Photo: Supplied

11:05 Alie Benge: writing about a concept of home

Reflecting on what makes a place home, Alie Benge’s collection of essays Ithaca takes us to wildly different places from her past: from Ethiopia as a child to time spent in the Australian Army and Bible school, and on to a 800-kilometre trek along the Camino De Santiago.

Some places were not as Benge’s memory had left them, others provided a meditation on loneliness and longing; and a search for a sense of home.  

Alie Benge won the Landfall Essay Competition in 2017, and in 2018 gained an MA in Creative Writing from the Institute of Modern Letters. Her work has been published in The Spinoff, Takahē and elsewhere. Ithaca is her first book.

Alie will be at Auckland Writers Festival.

On the right is a cover of Alie Benge's collection of essays ‘Ithaca’. The cover shows a simple outline of a house in red, on a background of blue sky and white clouds.

Photo: Alie Benge

11.30 Kerryn Fields: a folk and country music star finally back home

The world has recently conspired against Australian based New Zealander Kerryn Fields introducing her music to Aotearoa, with disasters as a backdrop. 

Whakaari Island was erupting the hour Fields started recording fine 2020 album Water in rural Victoria, while closer by the bushfires raged. A long awaited return to New Zealand in 2021 met with a Covid-19 lockdown, and a recent appearance at Auckland Folk Festival in February was rather wet.  The cyclone then saw off a planned Hawke’s Bay tour. 

This time then - a national tour with fellow Australian-based New Zealander Matt Joe Gow begins in Wellington May 5 Tour details are on Field's homepage.

Water was a finalist in the Australian Folk Music Awards 2021, and Fields won a MLT Songwriting Award at the 2019 New Zealand Country Music Awards.


Books featured in this show:

The Successor: The High-Stakes Life of Lachlan Murdoch
by Paddy Manning
ISBN: 9781760642365
Published by Black Inc

Romantic Comedy
By Curtis Sittenfeld
ISBN: 9780399590948
Published by Penguin Random House

The Book of Roads and Kingdoms
By Richard Fidler
ISBN: 9780733342592
Published by ABC Books

By Alie Benge
ISBN: 9781776920761
Published by Te Herenga Waka Press


Songs featured on this show

By Kerryn Fields
Played at 11.30am