WorldAffairs

On this week’s episode, we check in with correspondents and artists from around the world. Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire was instrumental in organizing a global effort to defeat Ebola. Can her team do it again for COVID-19? Co-host Ray Suarez also talks with journalists in Italy and South Africa, who are watching their countries’ responses to the pandemic closely. And though it feels like the rest of the world has come to a complete stop, artists have found creative ways to collaborate and keep us entertained. Members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra created a virtual performance of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, which was commissioned in 1942 in a world at war. And lastly, photojournalist Caroline Gutman talks about her new exhibit, the Rhythm of Indigo, which documents indigenous Miao communities in China working to preserve centuries-old handicraft traditions at risk of disappearing.

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Direct download: 03_30_20_Global_COVID-19_Update_Art.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:20am PDT

On this bonus episode, we get behind the scenes of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s virtual performance of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. It was the brainchild of Principal Double Bass Jeffrey Beecher. 

Then we take you to the remote and mountainous villages of Guizhou Province, China, where indigenous Miao communities are working to preserve centuries-old handicraft traditions that are at risk of disappearing. Our guide is Caroline Gutman, photojournalist and co-founder of Nu Market.

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Direct download: 03_27_20_Virtual_Symphony-Rhythm_Indigo.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:53pm PDT

Breaking news about novel coronavirus is dominating headlines, making the context we need to understand it more important than ever. This week, as the virus redefines every aspect of our lives, we’re turning to the experts to help us understand where we were before the news of COVID-19 hit and how we ended up where we are today. What can we learn from past pandemics? How will this change our relationship with China, where this all began? First, we have Dr. Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to discuss the Spanish flu, his experiences fighting the Ebola outbreak, including, what a resilient global health system looks like and what needs to happen to be prepared for a pandemic. Next, we hear from David M. Lampton, of the Stanford Spogli Freeman Institute, to discuss the complicated history behind the US - China relationship.

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Direct download: 03_20_20_Coronavirus_Warning_US_China.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:53pm PDT

Taiwan is just 81 miles from mainland China, but it has managed to prevent an outbreak of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 disease. Stanford University’s Dr. Jason Wang explains how Taiwan acted quickly, aggressively and strategically to prevent the type of outbreaks and death rates we’re now seeing around the world. We also hear from William Yang, Taipei correspondent for Deutsche-Welle.
 
Today’s unrelenting coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic can feel overwhelming. Though it may seem like the world around us has come to a stop, major global events march on. Stories about U.S. airstrikes against an Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Vladimir Putin’s new plan to become president for life may not be front page news today, but they will inevitably demand our attention soon. This week on the podcast, Deb Amos, international correspondent for NPR and Michele Kelemen, NPR’s diplomatic correspondent, talk with Ray Suarez about the world’s most important stories that you might have missed.
 
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Direct download: 03_16_20_COVID_19_Taiwan_World_News.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:06pm PDT

The World Health Organization is warning all countries to take the threat of a coronavirus global pandemic seriously as governments around the world are scrambling to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19. Local health officials worldwide are preparing for widespread outbreaks while encouraging citizens to remain calm. Financial markets are bracing for the worst as many schools and corporate offices are closing their doors. On this week’s episode, Ray Suarez talks with Larry Brilliant, a renowned epidemiologist, credited with playing a major role in eradicating smallpox, and Pulitzer Prize-winning global health journalist Laurie Garrett. We also get dispatches from Rafael Suarez in China, Christopher Livesay in Italy and Peter Kenyon, who recently returned from Iran.

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Direct download: 03_09_20_Coronavirus_Global-Pandemic.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:36pm PDT

How did El Salvador become one of the most violent countries on earth? And what role did the United States play in creating the notorious MS-13 gang? On this week’s episode, we explore the origins of El Salvador’s bloody gang war with journalist William Wheeler. Wheeler spoke with gang members, frustrated reformers, crime investigators and government officials to better understand the violence in the country and what is driving El Salvadorans northward and for his new book: “State of War: MS-13 and El Salvador’s World of Violence.” He is in conversation with World Affairs executive producer Joanne Elgart Jennings.

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Direct download: 03_02_20_MS-13_El_Salvador.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

The deadly civil war in Syria has raged for almost a decade. For besieged civilians, accessing basic services, like health care, comes with extraordinary risks. In his Academy Award® nominated documentary film, The Cave, director Feras Fayyad reveals a world of hope and safety inside a subterranean hospital. The hospital’s director is 29-year-old Dr. Amani Ballour. In a patriarchal society, she is a force and an inspiration as she keeps the hospital running through air bombardments, chronic food shortages and the threat of chemical attacks. Ray Suarez talks with Fayyad and Ballour about the National Geographic film and the current situation in Syria.

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Direct download: 02_24_20_Syria_The_Cave.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

US - India relations are back in the spotlight as President Trump travels to the world’s largest democracy. The visit comes as India faces the slowest economic growth since 2009 and social unrest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which has been pushing a Hindu nationalist agenda. Ray Suarez gets a debrief from Tanvi Madan, director of the India Project at The Brookings Institution and author of Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped U.S.-India Relations During the Cold War.

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Direct download: 02_22_20_India_Trump_Modi.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Are we witnessing the end of Hong Kong as we know it - or is this the biggest challenge yet to China’s authoritarian rule? This week on the podcast, we’re looking at what’s driving the protests in Hong Kong and why the demonstrations have persisted for so long. We walk through the history of Hong Kong, right up to today with: Jeffrey Wasserstrom, professor of history at UC Irvine and author of Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink, and former East Asia Correspondent for NPR and PRI’s The World, Mary Kay Magistad.

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Direct download: 02_17_20_Hong_Kong_Brink.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

American kids today are 55 percent more likely to die by the age of nineteen than children who grow up in other industrialized countries. Is the American dream an outdated one? Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn explore this question in their latest book, "Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope." It chronicles the lives of people Kristof grew up with in rural Oregon, where roughly a quarter of the children who rode the school bus with him, died in adulthood from drugs, alcohol, suicide or accidents. In conversation with KQED’s Mina Kim, Kristoff and WuDunn discuss why so many Americans are struggling with poverty, addiction and depression despite living in the wealthiest country in the world.

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Direct download: 02_10_20_Kristof_WuDunn.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

One question at the heart of the impeachment case against Donald Trump is whether the president threatened to withhold US military assistance from Ukraine. In this episode, we explore why the US has been supporting Ukraine in Europe’s only active war and why Ukraine needs help defending itself against Russian aggression. John E. Herbst, Atlantic Council and former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Oxana Shevel, Tufts University, and Simon Ostrovsky, Filmmaker and Journalist at the PBS NewsHour, speak with Ray Suarez.

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Direct download: 02_03_20_Ukraine-Explained.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

President Trump made building a border wall between the US and Mexico a cornerstone of his 2016 presidential campaign. Since taking office, he has called for a travel ban on people from Muslim countries.  He has limited the rights of asylum seekers and presided over a family separation crisis at the southern border. New York Times journalists Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear discuss the decisions and the ideologies shaping US immigration policy with  WorldAffairs co-host Markos Kounalakis.

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Direct download: 01_27_20_Immigration.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Protests from Paris to Santiago share themes of resentment towards economic policies that are seen as inherently unfair. These very public demonstrations show how, in many countries, citizens are losing faith in free market democracy, which emerged triumphant over communism and fascism in the 20th century. As the new world order is being reshaped, which form of government and governance will be ascendant? Stanford University’s Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama join WorldAffairs co-host Ray Suarez to discuss what’s at stake for liberal market democracy and the changing world order.

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Direct download: 01_20_19_Liberal_Capitalism.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

The killing of Iran’s most important general by an American drone and a subsequent Iranian missile attack on US assets inside Iraq, threatened to bring the United States and Iran closer to war than at any time since the hostage crisis in 1979. The U.S and Iran may have taken a step back from the brink, but underlying tensions between the two nations remain. In this episode, we look at the circumstances that led to this escalation. And we get an overview of how recent events impact the balance of power in the Persian Gulf. What are the strategic implications for Iran, the Middle East and the World? Vali Nasr of Johns Hopkins University, Barbara Slavin of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and NPR’s Jane Arraf join WorldAffairs co-host Ray Suarez to talk about what US actions mean for the Middle East and the rest of the world.

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Direct download: 01_12_20_Iran_US.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

"Don’t be evil." It’s an iconic phrase that was written into Google’s code of conduct during the early days of the company. It conveyed a utopian vision for technology that would make the world better, safer and more prosperous. But twenty years later, has big tech lived up to its founding principles or has it lost its soul? Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist at The Financial Times and Global Economic Analyst at CNN, documents the bigger implications for how tech companies now operate.  In her conversation with World Affairs CEO, Philip Yun, Foroohar looks at the extent to which the FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) threaten democracies, livelihoods and our thinking.

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Direct download: 01_06_20_Rana_Foroohar.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

After 21 years as CEO and host of WorldAffairs, Jane Wales has moved on to join the Aspen Institute. In this bonus episode, Jane says farewell and sits down with Philip Yun, WorldAffairs’ new CEO, for a brief conversation about his vision for the future of WorldAffairs. While working on North Korea policy under President Clinton, he learned that context matters.

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Direct download: Jane_Wales_Philip_Yun-BONUS.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

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