WorldAffairs

Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed a law making it a felony to reenter the US after being deported. Known as Section 1326, this obscure line of immigration code is the most prosecuted federal crime in America. Now, a federal judge has declared it unconstitutional and racist.

In this week’s episode, we look at the far-reaching effects of a single deportation after the 2019 ICE raid of a chicken processing plant in Mississippi. Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Emily Green tells us the story of Edgar Lopez, a grandfather of four who was killed trying to make his way back home to the US. Then, we talk with historian Kelly Lytle-Hernandez and legal scholar Ahilan Arulanantham about the origins of this law and why it might be unconstitutional.

Guests: Emily Green, Pulitzer prize winning reporter for VICE News based in Mexico City; Kelly Lytle-Hernandez, UCLA professor and leading expert on race, immigration, and incarceration; Ahilan Arulanantham, Co-Director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law

Hosts: Ray Suarez, Co-host, WorldAffairs; Teresa Cotsirilos, Co-host & Senior Producer, WorldAffairs

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

Direct download: 9-20_World_Affairs._for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Just weeks after the assassination of Haiti’s president, the island nation was rocked by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. More powerful than the deadly 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, the 2021 quake hit a remote part of Haiti, but it still killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.

We start with an audio diary from Jean Simon Féguens, an English teacher from Les Cayes, one of the cities hardest hit by the disaster. Next, former US Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White reflects on lessons learned about aid distribution after the 2010 earthquake.

Then, we turn to Haitian author Évelyne Trouillot and historian Leslie Alexander, for a conversation about Haiti’s turbulent history since its revolution. In 1804, Haiti became the first nation to free itself from slavery. According to Trouillot and Alexander, it has been paying for its freedom ever since. 

Guests: Leslie Alexander, Professor of History at Arizona State University, activist and author; Evelyne Trouillot, Author, Poet and Professor of French at Universite d’Etat d’Haiti; Pamela White, Former US Ambassador to Haiti, 2012-2015; Jean Simon Féguens, English Teacher in Les Cayes, Haiti

Hosts: Ray Suarez, Co-host, WorldAffairs; Teresa Cotsirilos, Co-host & Senior Producer, WorldAffairs

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

Direct download: 9-13_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:48am PDT

The US led what the White House called one of the biggest airlifts in history as Afghans fled Taliban rule. That exodus has become part of a longstanding humanitarian crisis involving the U.S., Europe, parts of Asia and the Middle East.

On this week’s episode, we hear from Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee and Kelsey P. Norman, Fellow and Director, Women’s Rights, Human Rights, and Refugees Program, Baker Institute, about the evolving situation for Afghan refugees: where displaced people are going, how they’re getting there, and what waits for them on the other side. 

Then, journalist Hana Baba talks with former refugee Maryan Hassan and author Ty McCormick, whose book "Beyond the Sand and Sea" tells the story of Hassan and her family’s heroic journey from Somalia, to the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, and eventually, on to the United States.

Guests: Maryan Hassan, Former refugee; Ty McCormick, Journalist and author of "Beyond the Sand and Sea"; Nazanin Ash, Vice President, Global Policy and Advocacy at International Rescue Committee; Kelsey Norman, Director of Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugee Program at Rice University’s Baker Institute

Hosts: Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs; Hana Baba, Journalist and Podcast 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 WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

Direct download: 9-6_World_Affairs.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

The majority of murders in Mexico have one thing in common: the victims were killed with American guns. Now, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador is suing a slew of American gun manufacturers for their “destabilizing effect on Mexican society”—and they’re seeking $10 billion in damages. This week, we take a look at the “Iron River,” a stream of American guns that wreak havoc south of the border. Journalist Ioan Grillo, and author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels, helps us analyze Mexico’s unprecedented lawsuit, and the complex world of arms trafficking.

Guests: Ioan Grillo, journalist and author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels

Hosts: Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs

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

Direct download: 8-30_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

How did Afghanistan fall to the Taliban so fast? Civilians are fleeing, journalists are hiding as the Taliban goes door to door to find them, and women are being forced out of workplaces. In this episode, we do our best to unpack the war in Afghanistan, the misguided way it began and the catastrophic way it ended.

We hear from former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Massoud Hossaini, who witnessed it all.

Guests: Karl Eikenberry, former US ambassador to Afghanistan and retired US Army lieutenant general; Massoud Hossaini, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist from Afghanistan

Hosts: Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs; Teresa Cotsirilos, producer, WorldAffairs; Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs

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

Direct download: 8-23_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:09pm PDT

On a  Sunday night in 1971, many Americans were at home watching “Bonanza” when President Nixon interrupted the broadcast to share some urgent news. He was taking the US off the gold standard, a move that completely upended the world’s economic order and became part of a series of policy changes that became known as “the Nixon Shock.” In this episode, NPR’s Chief Economics Correspondent Scott Horsley talks with Jeffrey Garten, former Undersecretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration, about what this move meant for the US economy and its implications today.

Guests: Scott Horsley, NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent;
Jeffrey E Garten, Dean Emeritus, Yale School of Management, former Undersecretary of Commerce, and author of Three Days at Camp David: How a Secret Meeting in 1971 Transformed the Global Economy

Host: Philip Yun, President and CEO, World Affairs

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

Direct download: 8-16_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

It’s been a few weeks since the president of Haiti was brazenly murdered in Port Au Prince. Though we’re not sure who ordered the assassination, we do know who carried it out. Eighteen Colombians, most former soldiers, were arrested in connection with the July 7 assassination. Seven received training in the United States. So how did this happen?

This week, we’re looking at Colombia, its increasingly tenuous peace process, and how US intervention has shaped the country, for better or for worse. We also take a deep dive into the protests that have resurged in recent weeks, why they started in the first place, and what the Colombian people hope to see change.

Guests: Adam Isacson, Director of Defense Oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America; Laura Duarte Bateman, organizer and Communications Manager at California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice; Alexander Fattal, documentarian, author and Associate Professor at UC San Diego; and Juanita León, Founder and Director of La Silla Vacía

Hosts: Teresa Cotsirilos, Producer, WorldAffairs; Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs

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

Direct download: 8-9_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Carmen Carcelén lives in a small town on the Colombia-Ecuador border. One night in 2017, she invited 11 beleaguered Venezuelan migrants into her home for a meal and a decent night's sleep. From there, word of Carmen's shelter spread on hand-written notes along the migrant route all the way back to Venezuela.

In this episode, journalist Kimberley Brown takes us to that small town in Ecuador, where Carmen has now housed more than 10,000 migrants.

If you'd like to make a donation to Carmen, we can help make that happen. Please send us an email at feedback@worldaffairs.org.

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

When a wave of citizen-led uprisings swept the planet last summer, the Black Lives Matter movement forced a moment of reckoning at many international institutions. The word “racism” used to be taboo in many donor circles, but now people are talking openly about the role that race and colonialism have played in making foreign aid ineffective. Will this momentum affect meaningful, systemic change or is it just rhetoric?

Degan Ali, a Somali-American who heads the Nairobi based NGO ADESO, talks about the future of aid with Eileen O'Connor, Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Guests: Degan Ali, Somali-American director of aid organization ADESO; Eileen O'Connor, Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation and former official in the Obama Administration

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 WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

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

Last March, six Asian-American women were killed by a gunman in Atlanta. The murders focused the public, as never before, on violence against America’s Asian communities—but a lot of Asian Americans saw this spike in hate crimes coming.

In this collaboration with the podcast Self Evident, we look at what happens when we ignore anti-Asian hate—and what happens when we mobilize against it instead. Self Evident co-founder James Boo takes us to New York City at the height of the pandemic and explains how he anticipated the latest wave in hate crimes. Then, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña takes us to 1980’s Detroit, where anti-Japanese rhetoric fueled another burst of shocking violence.

To learn more, check out Self Evident’s original series on anti-Asian hate, Renee Tajima-Peña’s documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin?, and Tajima-Pena’s docuseries, Asian Americans.

WARNING: There are curse words in this week's episode.

Guests: James Boo, audio producer and co-founder of Self-Evident; Charlie Wang, photographer; Renee Tajima-Peña, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and Professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA

Hosts: Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs; Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs

If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to WorldAffairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
Direct download: 7-26_World_Affairs_Uncensored.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In the past year, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked in major cities, and a third of Asian Americans say they live in fear of racially-motivated attacks. A lot of this is attributed to anti-Asian rhetoric about the pandemic. But the hard truth is that whenever tensions escalate between the United States and Asian nations overseas, Asian-Americans bear the brunt of that anger at home.

This week, we’re revisiting an episode we first released in May that explores the structural racism Asian Americans face within our government. We hear from US Congressman Andy Kim about how the power competition between China and the US creates fear and anxiety on the homefront, which often escalates to anti-Asian rhetoric. Then, we hear the stories of two scientists, Wen Ho Lee and Xiaoxing Xi. Both were racially profiled by the FBI—and falsely accused of spying for the Chinese government.

Guests: Rep. Andy Kim, (D-NJ); Helen Zia, journalist, activist and author of many books including Last Boat out of Shanghai and My Country vs. Me; George Koo, retired business consultant and writer; Joyce Xi, community advocate

Hosts: Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs; Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs; Teresa Cotsirilos, senior producer, WorldAffairs

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

Direct download: 7-19_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Ready or not, the Tokyo 2020 Games are happening...in 2021. Since the Olympics as we know them started in 1896, they have only been canceled or postponed for drastic events like World Wars… and now, a pandemic. Japan is entering a state of emergency as COVID-19 cases are on the rise, so why do they insist on hosting the Olympics? In this week’s episode, we take a look at what it takes (and costs) to host the world’s largest sporting event during a global crisis. We hear from an athlete, a journalist based in Tokyo, and an Olympic historian.

Guests: John MacAloon, Olympic Historian and retired Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago; Keturah Orji, Olympic Athlete, Track and Field; Motoko Rich, Tokyo bureau chief for the New York times

Hosts: Ray Suarez, Co-host, WorldAffairs; Philip Yun, President & CEO, 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: 7-12_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

On August 3, Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge with close ties to Ayatollah Khameini, will replace Hassan Rouhani as President of Iran. And now, the fragile Nuclear Deal negotiated under former President Obama, hangs in the balance. As a candidate, President Biden promised to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal, and relieve crippling economic sanctions imposed under Trump’s policy of maximum pressure. But in the recent aftermath of his landslide victory, Ebrahim Raisi has already rejected a meeting with President Biden and said that he will not negotiate over Tehran’s ballistic missile program, nor its support of regional militias.

In this week’s episode, we talk with US-Iranian relations expert, Trita Parsi, and journalist Negar Mortazavi, about the recent elections in Iran, and whether the Iran Nuclear Deal can get back on track. Plus, we host a conversation between Barbara Slavin and former US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.

Guests: Chuck Hagel, Former US Secretary of Defense & US Senator; Barbara Slavin, Future of Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council & author; Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft & author; Negar Mortazavi, journalist & host of the Iran Podcast

Hosts: Teresa Cotsirilos, Senior Producer, 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: 7-5_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

When Syrian protesters tore down pictures of their dictator, Bashar al-Assad, toppled statues, demanded government reform and braved a military crackdown in 2011, Feras Fayyad was twenty-six years old. He picked up a camera and filmed it all. As his country devolved into warring factions, Fayyad bore witness, documenting the horror, and went on to make two Academy Award nominated films. More than ten years after that first protest, 600,000 people have been killed, more than 6 million Syrians are now refugees, and Assad’s forces have retaken much of the country. This war may have fallen off the front page, but it’s not over, and it’s not just some humanitarian crisis on the far side of the world.

On this week’s episode of the podcast we revisit a program about Syria’s war. We explore what was accomplished after 10 years of bloodshed and what could happen if justice is not served for Syria’s people.

Guests: Feras Fayyad, documentary filmmaker, Last Men in Aleppo and The Cave; Tima Kurdi, author of The Boy on the Beach: My Family’s Escape from Syria and Our Hope for a New Home; Joby Warrick, national security reporter for The Washington Post and author of Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America’s Race to Destroy the Most Danger Arsenal in the World

Hosts: Teresa Cotsirilos, senior producer, WorldAffairs; 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: 6-28_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

As COVID-19 spread rapidly around the globe last year, teachers, parents and students scrambled to adapt to a world in lockdown. Some students turned to virtual and hybrid learning. Others had in-person school with social-distancing and masks, but some saw school closures and increased responsibilities at home. Now, many Americans are starting to get vaccinated, making it easier to imagine a normal school year in the fall, but the pandemic has disrupted the education of about 1.6 billion students worldwide. This massive disruption not only limits the skills of students now, but it could have economic implications for the rest of their lives.

In this episode, we look at the lasting effects of the pandemic on education around the world.

Guests: Xiaoyang Liang, lead education specialist at the World Bank Group; Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education; Whitney Dwyer, teacher at MetWest High School in Oakland, CA; Vanessa Rancaño, education reporter at KQED

Hosts: Teresa Cotsirilos, senior producer, WorldAffairs; 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: 6-21_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed_Rev1.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

The year is 2050. With 9.7 billion residents on Planet Earth, how will we feed everyone? In what ways will our lifestyles, and our global food system, adapt to meet the needs of a changing, warming and expanding planet? Today, we already have food shortages and the pandemic has revealed just how fragile our global food system is. On this week’s episode, we hear from two experts with competing visions of how we can sustainably feed a growing planet. Please join Ray Suarez, Raj Patel and Robert Paarlberg on a journey through the international food system.

Guests:

Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and
co-director of The Ants and the Grasshopper, University
of Texas

Robert Paarlberg, author of Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat, Harvard University

Hosts:

Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs

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: 6-14_World_Affairs_for_podcast_feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

When NATO leaders, including US President Joe Biden, meet in Brussels on June 14, one of the items at the top of the agenda is how the alliance should handle threats and opportunities from emerging technologies. What is the security impact of climate change? How can we responsibly harness artificial intelligence for defense? How do we strengthen cyber security and prepare against the threat of cyber warfare? As autonomous and quantum technologies are changing the world, how should  NATO work with the private sector? On this episode of the podcast, Markos Kounalakis talks with David Van Weel, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General, and Sarah MacIntosh, the permanent representative to the British delegation to NATO. 

 

This conversation was recorded on May 27, 2021 as part of The World Affairs Councils of America series NATO 2030 -  Strengthening the Alliance to Address New Security Threats.

Speakers:

Sarah MacIntosh, CMG, Permanent Representative to the UK’s Delegation to NATO

David Van Weel, Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

Moderator:

Markos Kounalakis, Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution

 

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: NATO_Episode_for_Podcast_Feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:31am PDT

Israeli politics are moving fast right now, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s future hangs in the balance. But no matter who wins the country’s latest political battle, many Palestinians see little hope for real change. Co-host Ray Suarez explores one of the underlying tensions that fuels the Israeli-Palestinian crisis by focusing on a single house in East Jerusalem. We hear from Samira Dajani, a Palestinian resident who’s facing eviction from her family home; Terry Boulatta, a Palestinian advocate; and Avi Bell, an Israeli-American law professor who advocates for the Jewish settlers.

Guests:

Samira Dajani, East Jerusalem resident

Terry Boullata, East Jerusalem resident

Avi Bell, law professor at the University of San Diego and Bar-Ilan University

Hosts:

Teresa Cotsirilos, senior producer, WorldAffairs

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: Sheikh_Jarrah_Final_Mixdown_for_Podcast_Feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:13am PDT

In May, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis erupted into all-our war… again. Over 260 people were killed, the vast majority of them Palestinians in Gaza. Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas have agreed to a ceasefire, and as of this reporting, it seems to be holding. They’ve also both declared victory, but neither party has much to show for it—and both have been accused of war crimes. So, where does the conflict go from here? And what role will the US play in future peace prospects? In this episode, we look at this seemingly never-ending conflict, Biden and Netanyahu’s approaches to the conflict, and emerging models of Palestinian governance.

Guests:

Anshel Pfeffer, columnist for Haaretz who covers Israel for The Economist, author of Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu

Khaled Elgindy, former advisor to Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and senior fellow at the Middle East Institute

Aaron David Miller, former historian and advisor at the US State Department and senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Hosts:

Philip Yun, CEO, World Affairs

Ray Suarez, Co-Host, World Affairs

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: WA_Israel_Palestine_053121_for_Podcast_Feed.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Even before COVID-19, the world’s people were pulling apart from each other. Now, as the pandemic rages on, our differences are even more obvious as people focus on taking care of their own and feel estranged, fearful and suspicious. Turning inward is an understandable response to the heartaches of 21st century life, but is more isolation really what the world needs right now? Drawing from an ancient Sanskrit phrase, “the world is one family,” author Vishaka Desai challenges us to consider a different way of looking at each other and the world we share. She joins co-host Ray Suarez on the podcast to talk about her new book World as Family: A Journey of Multi-rooted Belongings.

 

 

Guests:

Vishakha Desai, Author and Scholar at Columbia University

 

Hosts:

Philip Yun, CEO, World Affairs

Ray Suarez, Co-Host, World Affairs

 

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: World_Affairs_Vishakha_Desai_Episode_052421.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

The world’s refugee population is the highest it’s been since World War II. After fleeing violence, poverty and climate change in their home countries, many displaced people seek asylum in the United States. But coming to the US as a refugee is not easy. Our resettlement system is hopelessly bureaucratic, and four years of President Trump’s nativist immigration policies just made things harder. On the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised to raise a cap on the number of refugees admitted to the US per year, but he’s wavered in recent months. In this episode, journalist Hana Baba talks with former refugee Maryan Hassan and author Ty McCormick, whose new book "Beyond the Sand and Sea" tells the story of Hassan and her family’s heroic journey from Somalia, to the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, and eventually, on to the United States. Then we hear from Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy at the International Rescue Committee, who walks us through the state of displaced people worldwide.

 

Guests:

Maryan Hassan, former refugee 

Ty McCormick, Journalist and author of Beyond the Sand and Sea

Nazanin Ash, Vice President, Global Policy and Advocacy at International Rescue Committee

 

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: 05_16_21_Refugee_Crisis.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:09pm PDT

In the past year, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked in major cities. A lot of this is attributed to anti-Asian rhetoric about the pandemic. But the hard truth is that whenever tensions escalate between the United States and Asian nations overseas, Asian-Americans bear the brunt of that anger at home. In this episode, we hear from US Congressman Andy Kim about how the  power competition between China and the US creates fear and anxiety on the home front, which often escalates to anti-Asian rhetoric. Then, we hear the stories of two scientists, Wen Ho Lee and Xiaoxing Xi. Both were racially profiled by the FBI—and falsely accused of spying for the Chinese government. 

Read Joyce Xi’s op-ed in USA Today

 

Guests:

Rep. Andy Kim, (D-NJ)

Helen Zia, journalist, activist and author of many books including Last Boat out of Shanghai and My Country vs. Me

George Koo, retired business consultant and writer

Joyce Xi, community advocate

 

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: 05_10_21_Asian_Americans.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

When Joe Biden ran for president, he pledged to make climate change a major priority. During his first 100 days in office, he rejoined the Paris Agreement, pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and his administration hosted a global climate summit. Now comes the hard part; convincing Congress to pass a $2 trillion infrastructure and climate plan. This week on the podcast, we talk about climate policy with former California Governor Jerry Brown, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, 2016 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Then, we visit Paradise, California, the site of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California's history.

 

Guests: 

Jerry Brown, Governor of California (1975-1983 and 2011-2019)

Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer and President & Chair of Mission Blue Sylvia Earle Alliance 

Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia & recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize

Emily Thomas, documentary filmmaker

Harmony VonStockhausen, student

 

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: 05_03_21_Climate_Future.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

US military forces have occupied Afghanistan for almost 20 years and now, President Biden says it’s time to end the war. But Afghanistan is still fragile, and the Taliban is more powerful now than it has been in years. In February of 2020, the Trump Administration signed a historic peace agreement with the Taliban, requiring them to renounce attacks on American forces and allies, and the US agreed to withdraw its troops, but the Afghan government wasn’t included in the negotiation -- and Afghan civilians continue to be targeted by the Taliban. Biden says that the US accomplished its goal of degrading Al Qaeda to the point that it cannot not use the country as an operations base again. But it’s possible Afghanistan could devolve into a civil war if the right decisions aren’t made -- and that could destabilize the region. In this episode, we look at the legacy of America’s longest war -- and what’s at stake as the US brings its troops home.
 
 
 

Guests:

Karl Eikenberry, former US ambassador to Afghanistan and retired US Army lieutenant general  

Annie Pforzheimer, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Afghanistan

Rina Amiri,  senior fellow at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs & United Nations senior mediation advisor

Robin Wright, columnist for The New Yorker and author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World”

 

Hosts:

Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs

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: 04_26_21_Afghanistan.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Vaccine hesitancy is actually nothing new, and Pakistani Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq has been working to address the problem for a long time. In this episode, she talks with Ray Suarez about what we can learn from Pakistan’s experience distributing the polio vaccine. Even after CIA agents staged a fake vaccine campaign to collect intelligence on Osama bin Laden, stoking vaccine skepticism, health workers managed to brave death threats and convince people to vaccinate their children. They talked with families about the effects of polio, introduced them to victims of the disease and vaccinated the Prime Minister on live TV. Can we use the same strategies with COVID-19?

 

Guest:

Ayesha Raza Farooq, Senator in Pakistan and former focal point for Polio eradication

 

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: 04_22_21_Ayesha_Raza_Farooq.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 6:25am PDT

As vaccine roll-outs bring the end of the pandemic closer in wealthier countries, many poorer nations are enduring a surge in coronavirus cases without access to life-saving vaccines. COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, is working hard to bridge the divide. Anuradha Gupta, deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, talks with Ray Suarez about why vaccinating the whole world is not only the right thing to do, but it will keep the disease from mutating into a more dangerous one. Can we vaccinate a planet of 7.9 billion before the virus gets the best of us?

 

Guest:

Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

 

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: 04_19_21_Anuradha_Gupta.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

H.R. McMaster, a retired Army lieutenant general and former national security advisor, says the last twenty years of US foreign policy have been characterized by a belief that the world revolves around us. The result? A series of strategic blunders, from the war in Iraq to our missteps in Syria. And we’re not the only political power players who are guilty of “overconfidence” and “strategic narcism.” In this episode, we look at what happens when you think you know what you’re doing and don’t listen to the people you are trying to help.

 

Guest:

H.R. McMaster, Retired lieutenant general, former national security advisor and author of BattleGrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

 

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Direct download: 04_15_21_HR_McMaster.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

What Séverine Autesserre has learned from two decades working on the ground in war torn countries, from Afghanistan to The Republic of Congo, is that the top-down approach to international peacekeeping, practiced by what she refers to as “Peace, Inc,” doesn’t work. With examples drawn from across the globe, she shows how peace can grow in the most unlikely circumstances. Contrary to what most politicians preach, building peace doesn't require billions in aid or massive international interventions. Real, lasting peace requires giving power to local citizens.

Host: Ray Suarez

Guest: Séverine Autesserre, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider’s Guide to Changing the World

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Direct download: 04_12_21_Severine_Autessere.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

After more than five years of civil war, Yemenis are bracing for what could be the worst famine the world has seen in decades. Hunger Ward, a new documentary film, follows two healthcare professionals, on opposite sides of the war, who are fighting to save the children of Yemen from starvation. Oscar-nominated director Skye Fitzgerald and Dr. Aida Al-Sadeeq talk with WorldAffairs producer Teresa Cotsirilos about how hunger is being used as a weapon of war -- and what can be done to stop it.

 

Guests:

Dr. Aida Al-Sadeeq, assistant professor at the University of Aden and former supervisor at the pediatric malnutrition ward at Aden's Al-Sadaqa Hospital 

Skye Fitzgerald, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and director of “The Hunger Ward”

 

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Direct download: 04_08_21_Yemen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

In 2018, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was elected with a promise to transform the country into a fully-fledged democracy after its people faced decades of oppressive rule. In 2019, he won a Nobel Peace Prize for peacemaking efforts with neighboring Eritrea. Last fall, however, Ethiopia’s democratic experiment seemingly fell apart. Now, the country is at the center of a humanitarian disaster. If Ethiopia erupts into an all-out civil war, it could trigger a regional conflict throughout the Horn of Africa, the continent’s ethnically diverse eastern peninsula.

 

Guests:

Michelle Gavin, Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and former Ambassador to Botswana

Adotei Akwei, Deputy Director for Advocacy and Government Relations for Amnesty International

 

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: 04_05_21_Ethiopia.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Last week, there were seven mass shootings in seven days. And though other nations with better gun control see this as an American problem, the US has been exporting its gun problem abroad for years. Arms traffickers thrive on the country’s inconsistent gun laws. And while President Biden is urging Congress to create stronger gun regulations, it’s unclear whether they will take any meaningful action beyond the usual “thoughts and prayers.” In this episode, journalists J Brian Charles and Ioan Grillo join us to talk about how complicated gun violence is, and how tighter gun laws could help reduce it.

 

Guests:

J Brian Charles, journalist covering guns, race and inequality for The Trace

Ioan Grillo, journalist and author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels

 

Produced by Madeleine Wood, Teresa Cotsirilos, and Jarrod Sport

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Direct download: 03_29_21_America_Gun_Problem.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:00am PDT

Ten years since the war in Syria began and one month in office, President Biden launched his first airstrikes in Syria. The targets were Iranian backed militia groups in response to attacks on American personnel in Iraq. This is just one manifestation of the dangerous proxy wars at play in Syria, involving Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The Syrian people are caught in the crossfire and have essentially lost their country. An estimated six hundred thousand people have been killed and twelve million people have been displaced. So what’s happened to the people who were forced to flee? And What does justice for Syria’s people look like? What happened with Syria's chemical weapon stockpile? What can the international community do to bring justice for the Syrian people? In this episode, a Syrian filmmaker, an author and refugee, and a journalist who covers national security explain how we got here.  

Guests:

Feras Fayyad, documentary filmmaker, Last Men in Aleppo and The Cave

Tima Kurdi, author of The Boy on the Beach: My Family’s Escape from Syria and Our Hope for a New Home

Joby Warrick, national security reporter for The Washington Post and author of Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America’s Race to Destroy the Most Danger Arsenal in the World

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_21_20_Syria.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 5:09pm PDT

When Israelis head to the polls on March 23, it will be the fourth time in just two years. The most recent coalition government fell apart last December, when the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) failed to pass a budget, automatically triggering new elections. The vote is regarded as a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is facing corruption charges. At the same time, Israel leads the world in COVID-19 vaccinations and is normalizing relations with some of its Arab neighbors. The Palestinians have been sidelined and will likely hold their own elections in May. In this week’s episode, we get two perspectives on the region’s political transitions, one Israeli and one Palestinian.

 

Guests:

Shlomi Kofman, Israel’s Consul General to the Pacific Northwest

Khaled Elgindy, Director of Middle East Institute’s Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs

 

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_15_21_Israeli_Palestinian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 9:29pm PDT

On February 1, Burma’s military stormed the country’s capital, arrested its elected leaders, and declared a military state of emergency. Since then, protesters throughout Burma (also known as Myanmar) have taken to the streets, even as the military threatens more violence. Dozens of people have been shot and killed by the military junta, and the crackdown has been compared to the 1989 protests and massacre in China’s Tiananmen Square. Burma was supposed to be a transitioning democracy, and the power-sharing agreement between its military and civilian leadership was regarded as one of the Obama Administration’s major foreign policy achievements. So, what went wrong? In this episode, we talk with former US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Yun and Thant Myint-U, a former diplomat, historian and author, about what fueled the coup and what’s different about this protest movement.


Editor’s note: You may be wondering why we are using “Burma” rather than “Myanmar." For decades, the country was called “Burma,” after the dominant Burman ethnic group. But in 1989, one year after the ruling junta brutally suppressed a pro-democracy uprising, military leaders changed the country’s name to “Myanmar.” Out of sympathy with Aung San Suu Kyi and other advocates for democracy many people, and the United States government, continue to use “Burma.” For further explanation, please see this Associated Press article.

 

Guests:

Joseph Yun, former US ambassador to Malaysia and former US Special Representative for North Korea Policy

Thant Myint-U, historian, conservationist, former diplomat, and author of many books including “The Hidden History of Burma: Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century”

 

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_08_21_Burma_Protests.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:29am PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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.

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

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.

 

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

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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

 

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

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



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

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 PDT

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 PDT

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