The Breakdown

Make sense of your world with original reporting and explainers that break down the world’s biggest news stories.

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Episodes Season 1

  • The Breakdown | Wrongful murder conviction + Afghan migrants in Pakistan

    The National breaks down how two New Brunswick men spent decades in prison for a murder they didn’t commit. Plus, time runs out for Afghan migrants stuck in Pakistan.

  • The Breakdown | IVF access in Canada

    The National breaks down what access to in vitro fertilization looks like across Canada and why there are vast discrepancies depending on where you live.

  • The Breakdown | The murder of Angie Sweeney + Library cyberattack

    The National breaks down what friends and police say could’ve been done to prevent Angie Sweeney’s ex from murdering her. Plus, what happens when ransomware hackers go after the public library.

  • The Breakdown | The Alberta model for the opioid crisis

    The National breaks down how Alberta is tackling drug addictions. Ian Hanomansing goes inside a new treatment centre and hears from critics who argue Alberta’s approach won’t stop the growing number of toxic drug deaths.

  • The Breakdown | Russia rebuilds Mariupol + Canada’s role in the space race

    The National breaks down how Russia is using the rebuilding of Mariupol — a Ukrainian city it destroyed — as a propaganda tool. Plus, why Canada plays a key role in the modern space race.

  • The Breakdown | The politics of the online harms bill

    The At Issue panel breaks down the political debate over the online harms bill and the personal attacks stemming from it. Plus, Quebec wants $1 billion to handle the growing cost of asylum seekers.

  • The Breakdown | State of Russia-Ukraine war + Senior’s freezing death

    The National breaks down where Russia’s war with Ukraine stands after two years of fighting and what could be next. Plus, a 91-year-old froze to death outside her retirement home and experts say the tragedy will become more common.

  • The Breakdown | Why a two-state solution is so elusive

    The National breaks down the Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution, long sold as the best hope for peace in that region and the major challenges making it so elusive.

  • The Breakdown | U.K. post office scandal + Work from home fever

    The National breaks down a scandal at the U.K. post office that was thrust into the spotlight by a TV drama. Plus, why some people say working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

  • The Breakdown | Seth Rogen talks pot and pottery

    The National breaks down Seth Rogen’s latest fascination — ceramics. The Canadian actor sat down with Ian Hanomansing to talk about pot, pottery, and why CBC’s The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down is unlike any other competition show.

  • The Breakdown | Impact of Navalny’s death

    The National breaks down the impact of Alexei Navalny’s reported death with a fellow opposition leader and the filmmaker who documented Navalny’s final trip to Russia.

  • The Breakdown | The politics of the ArriveCan app

    The National’s At Issue panel breaks down the political fallout of this week’s auditor general’s report highlighting “glaring disregard” for the rules in commissioning the ArriveCan app. Plus, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault tries to clarify controversial comments that Ottawa will stop investing in roads.

  • The Breakdown | Canada’s NATO role + Russia’s hypersonic missile

    The National breaks down why Canada has never met its defence spending targets as NATO responds to Trump’s jabs. Plus, Andrew Chang explains why Russia’s new hypersonic missile is so hard to shoot down.

  • The Breakdown | Housing market rebound + Matthew R. Morris

    The National breaks down what’s next for Canada’s housing market and looks at some innovative solutions. Plus, Matthew R. Morris, the author of Black Boys Like Me, discusses navigating the education system from both sides of the classroom.

    Leaving in 14 days

  • The Breakdown | Tent housing rights + AI’s carbon footprint

    The National takes you to Halifax, where a man living on the edge fought to have his tent declared a home. Plus, how AI helps fight climate change despite its carbon footprint.

    Leaving in 13 days

  • The Breakdown | Affordable homes in a hotel + Actor Supinder Wraich

    The National breaks down how an Ontario hotel helped with the housing crisis by offering low-rent apartments. Plus, Canadian actor Supinder Wraich discusses landing the lead in the new police drama ‘Allegiance.’

    Leaving in 12 days

  • The Breakdown | Concerns about Joe Biden’s mental state

    The National breaks down what’s happening behind closed doors in Washington as U.S. President Joe Biden tries to quell concerns about his age and mental fitness. Plus, a Korean-Canadian adoptee reunites with the family she didn’t know existed.

    Leaving in 10 days

  • The Breakdown | Alberta’s gender policies on Parliament Hill

    The At Issue panel breaks down the week in politics, including Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre's comments on Alberta’s gender policies and the NDP’s pharmacare ultimatum.

    Leaving in 9 days

  • The Breakdown | Car theft trackers and hackers

    The National breaks down Canada’s stolen vehicle crisis with a look at how the professionals track stolen vehicles and the people pushing for automakers to make vehicles harder to steal. Plus, four ways to help prevent your car from being stolen.

    Leaving in 8 days

  • The Breakdown | The rise of Yemen’s Houthi militants

    The National breaks down the growing menace of Houthi militants, the importance of Iran’s backing and what the world needs to watch for. Plus, What’s behind the push for more magic mushrooms research.

    Leaving in 7 days

  • The Breakdown | King Charles’ cancer diagnosis

    The National breaks down the Royal Family's decision to reveal King Charles' cancer diagnosis and what’s at stake for the monarchy. Plus, what’s driving the “Sephora kids trend,” and how worried should we be about tweens' growing skin-care obsession?

    Leaving in 6 days

  • The Breakdown | Sexual assault conviction rate of junior hockey players

    The National breaks down why junior hockey players appear to be convicted of sexual assault at a lower rate than others. Plus, B.C.’s outgoing chief coroner says a safer supply is key to tackling the toxic drug crisis.

    Leaving in 5 days