World Affairs

When the British government handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997, it was with China’s promise that Hong Kong’s relative autonomy would be preserved, under the framework known as “one country, two systems.” But in recent years, China has cracked down on the region’s freedoms, especially freedom of press. One example is the 2020 arrest of media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, who helped catalyze an opposition movement. In 2021 Lai was arrested again, and sentenced to 13 months in jail for participating in a vigil marking the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

 

On this week’s episode of WorldAffairs, World Affairs CEO Philip Yun talks with Mark Clifford, who was the director of Apple Daily’s parent company at the time of Lai’s arrest. Clifford, a journalist, activist, and president of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong, has a new book, Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China’s Crackdown Reveals About its Plans to End Freedom Everywhere.

 

Guests:  

 

Mark Clifford, president of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong, journalist, activist 

 

 

Host: 

 

Philip W. Yun, President and CEO, WorldAffairs

Direct download: Mark_Clifford_for_podcast_feed_REV1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt’s “Pillar of Shame,” a 26-foot copper-cased monument to the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, stood for nearly a quarter century outside the student union at Hong Kong University. The tower-like statue of human faces contorted by suffering was installed in 1997, just before the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. In December 2021, under cover of darkness, the university removed the statue. It’s a move many say is an overt attempt to suppress the memory of the brutal crackdown—and part of a broader effort by China to erase Hong Kong’s history of independence. On this week’s episode, we hear from Galschiøt, the sculptor who built the “Pillar of Shame.” Then, Ray Suarez talks with former NPR Beijing correspondent Louisa Lim about China’s brazen efforts to stamp out free speech in Hong Kong, the city she grew up in. Lim shares the experiences she chronicled in her new book Indelible City, an emotional eyewitness account of the pro-democracy protests and a reflection on Hong Kong’s identity.

 

Guests:  

Jens Galschiøt, Danish sculptor

Louisa Lim, author of  “Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong 

Host: 

Ray Suarez, co-host WorldAffairs

Direct download: HK_for_podcast_feed_pt.1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm PDT

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, we are confronted daily with images of atrocities. But what constitutes proof of a war crime in the digital age? It’s a question a new generation of experts is answering. In December, the United Nations Human Rights Office teamed up with lawyers at UC Berkeley to release a new set of legal guidelines for gathering and verifying war crimes. The “Berkeley Protocol” establishes norms for authenticating open source and social media evidence of human rights violations, and it stands to usher in a new era for punishing those who commit these horrors. In the past, war crimes were proven with extensive witness testimony and conventional forensic evidence, often gathered slowly and well after the fact  by government agencies. Now, researchers can use an array of digital tools, including social media videos, satellite imagery, and geolocation, in real time. By codifying professional standards in the field, the Berkeley Protocol aims to shore up the admissibility of digital evidence in court and could change the future of prosecuting these heinous crimes.   

On this week’s episode of WorldAffairs, Ray Suarez talks with Alexa Koenig, executive director of the Human Rights Center and Investigations Lab at Berkeley Law, which has been at the forefront of this new legal frontier in human rights.

Direct download: Koenig_Segment_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:50am PDT

When President Biden calls Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” and says that Russia’s war in Ukraine amounts to “genocide,” what does it mean? Do such prounouncements place obligations on the United States? Does it threaten some sort of legal jeopardy for the Russian president? When an artilleryman a thousand yards away sends a projectile slamming into an apartment building full of civilians, is that a war crime? Is the soldier who released the shell more or less responsible than the politician a thousand miles away who ordered the assault on a city? Ray Suarez tackles these questions with a war-crimes prosecutor and a former student organizer who played a critical role in the downfall of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who was the first sitting head of state indicted for war crimes.

 

Guests:  

Ivan Marovic, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict 

Alex Whiting, war-crimes prosecutor and visiting professor at Harvard Law School

Host: 

Ray Suarez, co-host WorldAffairs


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: War_Crimes_Pt.1_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:59am PDT

Even with the heat turned up on Russian oligarchs—and more recently, his own family—Vladimir Putin’s wealth remains one of the biggest mysteries for law enforcement, investigative journalists, and anti-corruption activists.


New York Times investigative journalist Mike McIntire explains to us what his reporting has uncovered about Putin’s strategy for avoiding sanctions, the Western advisors who shield his inner circle from financial scrutiny, and maybe, perhaps, where the Russian President is ultimately hiding his riches.

 

Guests:

 

Mike McIntire,  investigative reporter The New York Times

 

Host:  

 

Ray Suarez, co-host WorldAffairs

 

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: McIntire_Segment_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

A complex web of shell companies, offshore banks and hidden transactions has concealed the wealth of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs for years. With international sanctions aimed at staunching the flow of money that funds Russia's war in Ukraine, a new nonprofit reporting collaboration led by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Guardian, launched the Russian Asset Tracker. It's the most comprehensive database to date that catalogs the assets of Russians with links to Putin. On this episode of the podcast, we follow the money trail to better understand the connection between Putin’s power and his oligarchs. Then we explore the legal mechanisms for seizing these assets. 

Guests:

Drew Sullivan, co-founder of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project 

Karen Greenaway, former special agent in the FBI's International Corruption Unit

Host:  

Ray Suarez, co-host WorldAffairs

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: Russian_Assets_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Teklia Zumuy fled Eritrea, a small and autocratic nation in the Horn of Africa, in 2016. He sought out for a new life in Europe, and hoped to eventually bring his wife and three young daughters with him. But as he attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea on a small wooden boat, Teklia and his companions were apprehended by the Italian Coast Guard and handed over to Libyan militias. He was held there for over two years, with inadequate food or health services, and with no way to contact his family. Teklia is one of hundreds of migrants whose stories are told in a new book by investigative journalist Sally Hayden. In My Fourth Time, We Drowned, Hayden reports on a shadowy immigration system, created by the European Union, which captures and imprisons African migrants in Libya, keeping them from reaching European soil. In Libya, they endure starvation, scorching temperatures, beatings and rape -- and are sold to human traffickers. In an interview with Senior KQED editor Rachael Myrow, Hayden also explains the role that western institutions have played in this humanitarian crisis.

 

Featuring:

Rachael Myrow, senior editor of KQED's Silicon Valley News Desk

Sally Hayden, author of My Fourth Time, We Drowned and Africa correspondent for the Irish Times

Teklia Zumuy, teacher and refugee

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: Hayden_Segment_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In times of crisis, one of the most painful decisions people face is whether to stay or leave: to risk abandoning their homes, personal belongings, and sometimes, loved ones. 10 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes this month. Many have been displaced within their country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has called this exodus Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II.

 

In this episode, we hear audio diaries from two people on opposite sides of the crisis. First, filmmaker Iryna Tsilk, who we first met in the weeks before the invasion, takes us through her decision to leave Kyiv where her husband is fighting as a soldier in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces. Then, a Russian-Ukrainian student living in Germany named Alex records his story from the road. The week after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, Alex traveled to a border crossing with Poland, joining a ragtag army of volunteers providing humanitarian assistance and safe passage to those fleeing Ukraine.

 

Guest Contributors:

 

Iryna Tsilyk, filmmaker and director of “The Earth is Blue as an Orange

 

Alex Gerz, Russian-Ukrainian student based in Kassel, Germany

 

Host(s):  

 

Ray Suarez, WorldAffairs co-host

 

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: EU_Refugees_Pt._1_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

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