WorldAffairs

Last year, Russia surprised the world by seizing control of Crimea. When the Russian parliament voted on this military action, there was only one dissenting voice – Ilya Ponomarev. Now, living in the United States, barred from returning home, Ponomarev has continued his political participation in absentia.

In Putin’s Russia, acting in opposition to the government can be a risky choice. In 2012, two members of a punk band called Pussy Riot were arrested for their performance in a Moscow cathedral. Anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny was placed under house arrest in 2013. And in March, opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was fatally shot just outside the walls of the Kremlin. How long can this government maintain control by silencing these voices of opposition? Can military action in Eastern Ukraine and elsewhere succeed in drawing attention away from mounting economic and political challenges? With elections scheduled for next year, what is the future of Putin’s government? And what is the future of relations between Russia and the United States?

Speaker Ilya Ponomarev is a member of the Russian State Duma.

The conversation will be moderated by Edward W. Walker, Executive Director, Program in Eurasian and East European Studies, University of California, Berkeley.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1460

Direct download: 05_20_15_Ilya_Ponomarev.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:52pm PST

Last month, a massive earthquake hit Nepal. While this event had been predicted for years, it still caught many unaware and unprepared. Thousands lost their lives, and many thousands more lost homes, loved ones and livelihoods. With the quake and its aftershocks behind us, attention has now turned to the challenges of rebuilding.

How are NGOs and other organizations addressing both the physical reconstruction and the provision of necessary services such as clean water, sanitation and healthcare? How did the Nepalese government prepare for and respond to this long-predicted disaster, and where did they fall short? How does this earthquake and the international response compare to similar events, such as Haiti’s 2010 crisis? And what can we lessons can we take away to help limit the losses next time?

Speakers Elizabeth Hausler, Founder and CEO of Build Change, Birger Stamperdahl, President and CEO of Give2Asia, and Norbu Tenzing, Vice President of the American Himalayan Foundation, will hold a panel discussion.

David D. Arnold, President of the Asia Foundation, will moderate the conversation.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1471

Direct download: 05_13_15_Rebuilding_Nepal.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:51am PST

In this pilot episode of the World Affairs podcast we are looking at diseases: how they are spread, how they are contained, how they are cured. We reached out to learn more about how recent disease outbreaks have affected those in our community and what health professionals are doing to prevent the next deadly pandemic on local and global scales. In this episode you'll hear from Alex Karolyi, a Bay Area dad who had a trip planned to Disneyland that coincided with a recent measles outbreak; Adam Crawley, an epidemiologist and research associate at the Skoll Global Threats Fund; Peter Robertson, former Vice Chairman at Chevron, and now an Independent Energy Advisor with Deloitte; and Larry Brilliant, who took part in the World Health Organization's smallpox eradication program, and is now Senior Advisor for the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

Direct download: 03_02_15_Global_Epidemics-podcast.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:22am PST

Drones have become a regular, if controversial, part of US military operations. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, in Libya and against ISIS, these unmanned crafts are frequently put to use against specific targets, while keeping US soldiers out of the line of fire.

However, the strikes that hit the headlines are only one part of the story. According to investigative journalist Chris Woods, a secret war has been underway for years, with drones in the air over Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen and others, searching for militant and terrorist targets. How have armed drones changed the face of modern warfare? What are the implications for US foreign policy decisions? And how does the drone program affect America’s reputation abroad?

Speaker Chris Woods is an investigative journalist. He will be in conversation with Andrew Becker, reporter at The Center for Investigative Reporting.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/event/1456

Direct download: 05_06_15_Chris_Woods.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 10:31pm PST

1