WorldAffairs

Computer security experts at the Department of Homeland Security sighed in relief after seeing minimal Russian interference in the 2020 elections. What they didn’t realize was that hackers were in the process of performing what might be the largest and most sophisticated cyberattack on the United States. SolarWinds is named after the software hackers used to breach computers throughout the federal government, including nuclear labs and the Department of Homeland Security, the agency charged with keeping us safe. Today, more than 35 countries have the technology to perform a major attack on the US while only nine have nuclear capabilities. In fact, cyberattacks are much easier to get away with because they’re hard to track and retaliate against. This week on WorldAffairs, New York Times reporters David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth join us to talk about the threat of cyberwarfare, how the United States is uniquely vulnerable, and whether or not there is something we can do to prevent it.

 

Guests:

Nicole Perlroth, Cybersecurity Reporter, The New York Times and author of This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends

David Sanger, National Security Correspondent, The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 03_01_21_Perlroth_Sanger_Solarwinds.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

When India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a series of agricultural reforms last November, India’s farmers launched what might be the largest protest movement in modern history. An estimated 250 million Indians went on strike in solidarity, and today, tens of thousands of farmers are camped just outside the nation’s capital. Modi’s government has responded by silencing  journalists and detaining activists, raising troubling questions about the state of the world’s largest democracy. Then pop star Rihanna tweeted about the protests, causing an international incident, and all hell broke loose. In this episode, we talk with experts and journalists about India’s new agricultural reforms, why farmers don’t like it, and how platforms like Facebook and Twitter are playing a pivotal role in this conflict.  

 

Guests:

Ravi Agrawal, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy Magazine

Milan Vaishnav, Director of the South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and host of Grand Tamasha

Pranav Dixit, Tech reporter for BuzzFeed News, based in New Delhi


If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_22_21_India_Farmers.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Michael McFaul and Kathryn Stoner take a closer look at Russia — a country whose economy has continued to grow despite international sanctions—as Vladimir Putin cracks down on protestors. The discuss her new book, Russia Resurrected.

In this episode, we partnered with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_18_21_Russia_Resurrected.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

In his inaugural address, president Biden declared, “Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause -- the cause of democracy.” But is the United States still a beacon for aspiring democratic societies around the globe?  In this episode, we’re partnering with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University to look at the state of democracy with Francis Fukuyama and Michael McFaul.

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_15_21_Democracy_Peril.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

As the US reckons with the shock of the Capitol insurrection on January 6, the FBI has arrested dozens of alleged rioters, and we still don’t fully know why law enforcement was so unprepared for the attack.In this episode of the podcast, we talk with former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi about the issues now facing authorities in the wake of the January 6 insurrection and reflect on the FBI’s history and culture. In his new book, The FBI Way: Inside the Bureau’s Code of Excellence, Figliuzzi makes the case that the FBI, for all its recent and historic public controversies and transgressions, still sets a gold standard for excellence and ethics that should be followed more widely.

 

Guest:

Frank Figluizzi,FBI Assistant Director (ret) and author of THE FBI WAY: Inside the Bureau’s Code of Excellence

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_11_21_FBI_Way.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

When footage of rioters storming the US Capitol was broadcast live around the world, some far-right extremists in Germany were watching it like a soccer game. The country has spent decades confronting its dark history, but neo-Nazis and conspiracy theorists remain a threat. In this episode, we hear from Stephan Kramer, the head of domestic intelligence in the eastern German state of Thuringia. He talks with Ray Suarez about what he’s learned trying to stop this movement.

 

Guest: 

Stephan Kramer, head of domestic intelligence for the eastern German state of Thuringia

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_08_21_White_Nationalism_Germany.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm PST

After years of agonizing political and economic uncertainty, the United Kingdom has finally left the European Union. Brexit is the law of the land and UK voters are just as divided over it as they were five years ago. As the UK’s new trade deal with the EU rattles the country’s economy, Teresa Cotsirilos talks with two political activists on opposite sides of the Brexit divide. 

 

Guests: 

Lara Spirit, Our Future Our Choice

Hani Mustafa, Student and Brexit activist

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_04_21_Brexit.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:52pm PST

The United Kingdom has officially left the European Union, but Brexit is far from resolved. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leaving the EU in 2016, but they were powerless to stop it. Now, Scotland is talking about independence again and tensions are on the rise in Northern Ireland. With the Republic of Ireland still a member of the EU and Northern Ireland in the UK, how will Northern Irish people and commerce move freely between the two countries? Will Brexit divide or unite Ireland? Fintan O’Toole, a columnist for The Irish Times and author of  Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain breaks it down with co-host Ray Suarez.

 

Guest: 

Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times columnist and author of Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain

 


If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 02_01_21_Fintan_OToole.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

Donald Trump is no longer in charge, and much of the world is hoping Joe Biden will rebuild America’s international reputation. President Biden got the ball rolling his first week by rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Accords, and stopping construction on a border wall with Mexico. How will his administration mend relationships with the rest of the world after four years of unpredictability? Michael McFaul, former US Ambassador to Russia, and Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico, join co-host Ray Suarez to talk about how to best address foreign policy moving forward. 

 

Guests: 

Michael McFaul, Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Former Special Assistant to the President at the National Security Council and US ambassador to Russia and author of From Cold War to Hot Peace

Jorge Castañeda, Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Mexico, professor and author of America Through Foreign Eyes

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_25_21_Castaneda_McFaul.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

For months, the domestic terrorist attack on the US Capitol was planned in plain sight on social media. So why weren’t we ready for it? This week, former FBI special agent Michael German explains why the bureau deprioritized the threat posed by white supremacists… and why the Department of Homeland Security says they pose “the most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland.” Then, historian Nell Irvin Painter breaks down how a legacy of racism in the United States brought us to this moment. Can we change our trajectory? She argues that the Black Lives Matter Movement of 2020 could bring lasting, positive change to this country.

 

Guests: 

Nell Irvin Painter, American historian, artist, author of numerous books including The History of White People and Professor of American History Emerita at Princeton University

Michael German, Brennan Center for Justice at NYC Law School, former FBI agent and author of Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy



If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_16_21_German_Painter.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:19pm PST

Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat has spent her career documenting the stealth strategies authoritarian leaders use to gain power. In her new book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, she outlines the “strongman playbook” used by authoritarian leaders including Donald Trump. She says that the January 6 insurgency by far-right extremists, meant to facilitate Trump’s self-coup, lays bare how much the 45th president has in common with autocrats like Benito Mussolini and Vladimir Putin. When President Trump incited his followers to storm the US Capitol, some were shocked, but Ben-Ghiat saw this coming. She joins Ray Suarez on the podcast to talk about last week’s events and warn us of what could come next.

Guest: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_08_21_Ruth_Ben-Ghiat.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:20pm PST

As each country manages the pandemic differently, the already fragile global economy has been disrupted by broken supply chains and shifts in demand. Now we’re questioning the role of the government, the future of capitalism and changing our values. The choices we make now could change the world for decades. On this week’s episode, we revisit a conversation about the future of the global economy with James Manyika, Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, and Gillian Tett, Editor at Large at the Financial Times. 

 

Guests: 

James Manyika, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Chairman and Director, McKinsey Global Institute

Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz 

Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times

 

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 01_04_21_Global_Economy_COVID-19.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PST

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