World Affairs (news & politics)

The United States is a leader in environmental policy, with California at the forefront as a global hub for clean energy technology and investments. With Trump as President, many environmentalists fear this will change. Trump has vowed to bring back coal jobs, withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and reduce clean energy spending — not to mention calling climate change a “hoax” and selecting climate change deniers to head the EPA and Energy Department.

Californian officials and other international leaders have spoken out and pledged for continued environmental progress, regardless of what happens in Washington. What specific protections can state governments such as California put in place? Are market forces and technology strong enough that current trends towards clean energy will continue despite any potential policy decisions? If the US were to pull out of the Paris Agreement, would other countries continue to hold up their end of the bargain?

Hal Harvey, the CEO of Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC, and Severin Borenstein, E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, will evaluate the ramifications of potential policy decisions that Trump could make.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1681

Direct download: 02_28_17_CA_Energy.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:13am PDT

The Syrian war has left an estimated 470,000 dead, with 4.8 million international refugees and 6.6 million people internally displaced. As peace efforts falter, the world cries out for the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law, seeking accountability for their infringement.

Recent attention has focused on the siege of Aleppo, where intense aerial bombardment by Syrian and Russian forces destroyed all medical care infrastructure, wiped out marketplaces and bakeries and led to thousands of civilian deaths. Unlawful killings remain a hallmark of this blood-soaked conflict. Humanitarian access is blocked. What can be done?

This panel discussion will examine the findings of the the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic special report examining the violations that took place in Aleppo city since late 2015, and debate its impact on any future accountability for victims of the conflict's many crimes.

This event is co-organized by World Affairs and the Center for Justice and Accountability

SPEAKERS

Sareta Ashraph
former Chief Analyst, UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Scott Gilmore
Staff Attorney, Center for Justice and Accountability

Stephen Rapp
Former Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, U.S. Department of State

MODERATOR:

Beth Van Schaack
Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights, Stanford Law School

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1685

Direct download: 02_13_17_Syria_War_Crimes.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:45pm PDT

Join Asia Society, The Asia Foundation, Commonwealth Club, and World Affairs for a unique dialogue featuring the leaders of four of the Bay Area’s most prestigious public affairs and non-profit organizations, who will look at the presidency of Donald J. Trump and what it will mean for America’s relationship with Asia and the world.

Held within the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, the dialogue will examine more closely a persistent divide between California and the Bay Area, and the rest of the country, on the future direction of this nation. The dialogue will examine how the Bay Area, and the state more broadly, views America’s relationship with Asia, as well its place in the world on global issues such as trade, security and climate change.

What are some of the primary issues of importance to the Bay Area—politically, economically, culturally—as it relates to US-Asia relations and are they similar or different from the rest of the country? Has the state and the region evolved differently from the rest of the country in how they perceive America’s relationship with Asia and the world, and if so, why?

World Affairs seeks to explore problems and expand opportunities at the intersection of international policy, philanthropy and enterprise — where solutions to hard problems lie. Every day, we convene thought leaders, change makers and engaged citizens to share ideas, learn from each other and engage in conversations that matter. Founded in 1947, following the San Francisco conference that established the United Nations, World Affairs remains one of the most vibrant global affairs organizations in the United States.

SPEAKERS

David D. Arnold
President, The Asia Foundation

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy
President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club of California

N. Bruce Pickering
Vice President of Global Programs, Asia Society and Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California, Asia Society

Jane Wales
CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

MODERATOR:

Mina Kim
PM Anchor and Forum Friday Host, KQED

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1691

Direct download: 03_07_17_Trump_West_Coast.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:20am PDT

In the first months of the new administration, multiple questions have arisen about President Donald Trump’s approach to executive power. Join us for a discussion that will focus on the White House’s policy on immigration. We will discuss the law and policy of the executive order suspending immigration from seven majority Muslim nations under the Immigration and Naturalization Act and the US Constitution.

Does the president have the authority to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and tax Mexican imports or currency transfers to pay for it? What can the president do in the absence of legislative action and when and where does the judiciary step in? Has President Trump gone too far or simply not framed the orders correctly? Daniel Farber, Peter Schuck, and John Yoo, three of the nation’s leading legal scholars, respond to these questions and more, illuminating the limits of the executive power.

As part of our "Engage" series, this event features a post-discussion Q&A, when you will have the chance to participate directly with the speaker and gain incredible insights that you won't get anywhere else.

SPEAKERS

Daniel Farber
Sho Sato Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley School of Law

Peter Schuck
Visiting Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley School of Law

John Yoo
Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley School of Law

MODERATOR:

Jeffrey L. Bleich
CEO, Dentons Diplomatic Services and Chair, Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1700

Direct download: 03_09_17_Trump_Executive_Power.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:52pm PDT

Join Asia Society Northern California and World Affairs for a dialogue with The Honorable Kevin Rudd, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute and former Prime Minister of Australia, who will look at some of the critical issues facing the Asia-Pacific region today and the challenges likely to emerge in the coming years.

While Asia is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies and a young, dynamic population, the region is also confronted with a number of issues that threaten to stymie the region’s rise. Growing nationalism, enduring security flashpoints in the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea, an ascendant China, and climate change are just some of the factors that will demand attention and action in the coming years. The election of Donald Trump as the new U.S. President adds unpredictability to the region given his campaign promises to upend America’s role in the alliance infrastructure that underpins security, economic, and political relationships in the region and the world.

Co-Chairman of the ASNC Advisory Board and Chairman Emeritus of Silicon Valley Bank Ken Wilcox will moderate the dialogue.

Direct download: 02_08_17_Kevin_Rudd.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:27pm PDT

There is a new world order. This isn't the 20th century anymore: shifting coalitions, changing spheres of influence, evolving economic and political powers. A friend one minute; a foe another. To address these challenges, the next US president must reconsider our statecraft and diplomacy. Career Ambassador and renowned expert on US-China and Middle East relations, Chas W. Freeman, will call upon his decades of experience to discuss how US foreign policy must change to suit today’s increasingly competitive and disorderly world.

How can the US better navigate its complex relationship with China? What lessons can be learned from our failed interventions in the Middle East, and what steps can be taken to remedy those diplomatic and military errors? How should the US respond to the Arab uprisings and the deteriorating order in the Middle East? Is Israel a strategic asset or liability for the US?

Ambassador Chas Freeman is well-positioned to respond to these questions. During his three decades as an American diplomat, he has served as the US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; negotiated with Fidel Castro and other state leaders; translated for President Nixon during his breakthrough visit to Beijing; and served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Freeman is one of America’s most distinguished diplomats. Providing frank, but graciously rendered observations, he will challenge us to think critically about US foreign policy - how we have erred in the past, and how we might do things differently in the future.

Speaker Chas W. Freeman is Senior Fellow of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, and Chairman of the Board, Committee for the Republic

Moderator Jane Wales is CEO of World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum, and Vice President of The Aspen Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1686

Direct download: 02_07_17_Chas_Freeman.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:34pm PDT

The news each week is filled with increasingly horrific stories of the effects of violent extremism and ISIL-led and ISIL-inspired attacks in Iraq, Syria and around the world. We will make a a clear-eyed assessment of the challenge of violent extremism, including recruitment and radicalization, and the current state of the conflict and discuss how the US and our partners might respond in 2017 and beyond. How are the US defense, intelligence, diplomatic, and development agencies working to prevent the rise of violent extremism and counter ISIL? What consensus for our strategies and tactics exists among US allies and partners? What role should the multilateral organizations, including the UN, NATO and others play in the year ahead? How is ISIL able to convince young vulnerable populations across the globe to join them? How do we work with our local communities and in communities in Europe and other regions to identify signs of radicalization to violence and prevent it? How is the US and our partners working to leverage the technology sector, social media platforms and counter-messaging efforts to counter ISIL’s use of the internet for self-promotion and recruitment?

Rukmini Callimachi, Foreign Correspondent covering extremism, The New York Times

Michael Ortiz, Deputy Coordinator for Countering Violent Extremism, Bureau of Counterterrorism, US Department of State

Moderator: Martha Crenshaw, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

For more information please visit: https://www.worldaffairs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=792

Direct download: 10_28_16_Countering_ISIL.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:52am PDT

Head west. Start up. Get rich.

The Silicon Valley mythos describes a steady stream of young, idealistic startup founders who have made it big. No longer content on joining the next “unicorn” (the unprofitable startup with a billion dollar valuation), entrepreneurs now chase the goal of the “deca-corn” - the 10 billion dollar startup. But what about the rest of those many unknown entrepreneurs battling to make it to the top?

Alexandra Wolfe, staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of Valley of the Gods, takes us on a journey into the unique Silicon Valley culture, turning her relentless gaze and unflinching wit on the life and times of the startup bubble. What makes these Silicon Valley entrepreneurs tick? How do these young up-and-comers balance Silicon Valley’s endless optimism with its lofty expectations? Who are these men and women of Silicon Valley, whose hubris and ambition are changing the world?

Speaker Alexandra Wolfe is an author and Staff Reporter at the Wall Street Journal.

The conversation is moderated by Brad Stone, Senior Executive Editor for Technology at Bloomberg News.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1673

Direct download: 01_12_17_Alexandra_Wolfe.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:08am PDT

Take an extraordinary journey through the criminal underworld of the Mexican drug cartels and the dark heart of the US-Mexican drug wars. Los Zetas, the infamous Mexican drug cartel, has taken gang brutality to unprecedented levels. United States and Mexican law enforcement agencies accuse Los Zetas of hundreds of deaths and laundering millions of dollars.

As blood has spilled on both sides of the US-Mexican border, the cartels have increasingly turned to children as their foot soldiers - for trafficking, kidnapping, and even murder. Journalist Dan Slater has spent years researching this phenomena as it has played out in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and just across the border in its sister city, Laredo, Texas - border towns that are a prime battleground for control of lucrative US drug smuggling routes.

Sharing insights from his book, "Wolf Boys", Slater will respond to the questions: Who are the casualties when cartels go to war? Why did the cartels begin this sinister recruitment of children, and how did two American teens get caught up in the violence? What can be done to break this vicious cycle?

Speaker Dan Slater is author of Wolf Boys.

The discussion is moderated by Andrew Becker, Reporter, The Center for Investigative Reporting.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1632

Direct download: 10_05_16_Dan_Slater.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:49pm PDT

Disorder is on the rise: in the Middle East, in Europe, across Asia and even on the home front. It is not merely that the players in the international arena have changed, but the rules of the game itself have changed too. Old approaches to world affairs are now rendered obsolete.

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of the upcoming book, A World in Disarray, will provide a compelling diagnosis of the most pressing global challenges today and his prescription for a renewed American foreign policy to address these challenges. In the age of non-state actors re-writing traditional rules of diplomacy, the US, while still an indispensable nation, must also recognize that once-great powers are losing their sway. The old global order has shifted, but the US - through its relationships with China, Russia and in the Middle East - can help forge a new order for this twenty-first century world.

Calling upon his years of experience working as an analyst and in the highest levels of government, Haass will provide a lucid and incisive analysis: what is the state of the world; how did it become a world of disarray; and what can we do about it?

Speaker Richard N. Haass is President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The conversation is moderated by Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

For more information please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/media-library/event/1678

Direct download: 01_30_17_Richard_Haass.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:51pm PDT