The Week Unwrapped: New news, equality in space and small talk

Will new TV news channels threaten impartiality? Is space the final frontier for disability? And do we really need lessons in chit-chat?

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(Image credit: SpaceX)

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

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Rolling news

UK News and GB News - two new faces emerging soon on the UK's media scene - have got journalists chattering about whether more right-leaning punditry is really needed and the continued influence of media moguls. But are the two channels really going to bring Fox News-style broadcasting to the UK? Or is the concern about the launches just a storm in a tea cup?

Space

The European Space Agency has put out a call for more female and disabled applicants, as it seeks to broaden the pool of potential astronauts. The theory is two-fold - that non-traditional candidates will bring new talents (people with some physical disabilities, for example, may be more adept at manoeuvring themselves in zero gravity, as they are used to managing without the use of their legs) and also that the work they do could contribute to better assistive technology on earth.

Chit-chat 101

A British university has begun offering its law students a world first: classes in chit-chat. The module was introduced after internal polls found that 43% of students feared they would be judged by the way they speak, and a third worried about being asked a question they did not know how to answer. The university’s response? Talks on small talk.

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