Rob Hugh-Jones

The Takeaway Managing Editor

Rob Hugh-Jones appears in the following:

First Multi-Party Elections in Sudan Under Way

Monday, April 12, 2010

The first multi-party elections held in Sudan in two decades began Sunday. In a complex three-day balloting process, Sudanese are choosing not only their president, but also their national and state assemblies, their governors and other local officials.


Chile Struggles Four Days After Quake

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It's been four days since an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile and since then, the country's military and police force have been tested in some of the hardest hit areas, where there have been reports of curfews, looting, and vigilantes protecting their threatened property. At the same time aid has been arriving from around the world, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arriving in the capital yesterday.


Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Explains US Military Role in Haiti Relief Effort

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The United States military is getting more involved in the Haiti relief effort by the day. On Wednesday, 4,000 more troops were added, bringing the total U.S. presence in the country to about 16,000. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the nation's highest ranking military officer, tells The Takeaway that he recognizes the scale of the U.S. footprint and insists the focus is to support other organizations. He also says the use of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is an option in the treatment of the many wounded Haitians.

John Hockenberry sat down with Adm. Mullen in the Pentagon on Wednesday. Here is a partial transcript of the interview.

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Looking Back from Karzai's Second Inauguration

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In 2001, many were excited at the prospect of Hamid Karzai leading Afghanistan's transitional government forward.  After winning the country's first presidential election, hopes ran high that Karzai would usher in a transparent, clean government. The recent presidential elections, however, were messy and tarnished by allegations of fraud.  What's happened since the heady days of 2001?

We're joined by Ambassador Robert Finn, associate research scholar with the Liechtenstein Institute at Princeton and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2002 – 2003.  We are also joined by Nadir Atash, former Afghan government official and author of "Turbulence – The Tumultuous Journey of One Man’s Quest for Change in Afghanistan."


The Next Five Years With President Karzai

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hamid Karzai has been sworn in today as the president of Afghanistan for a second five-year term.  After an optimistic first presidential election in 2004, this second election was, in the words of President Obama, "messy." It was fraught with allegations of corruption, and looked like it might require a run-off.  However, today's inauguration officially secures Hamid Karzai as president for the next five years. The inauguration itself is to be held as a private event on the heavily-secured presidential palace grounds. Anand Gopal of the Wall Street Journal, on the ground in Kabul, gives us the scene during the inauguration.

President Karzai still faces great international pressure to address corruption in the government in order to continue receiving support from the United States.  Earlier this week the Afghan government announced plans to create a major anti-corruption unit to investigate senior officials.  This Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on ABC's The Week "I have made it clear that we're not going to be providing any civilian aid to Afghanistan unless we have a certification that if it goes into the Afghan government in any form, that we're going to have ministries that we can hold accountable."

We discuss this statement and the possible impact on the future of Afghanistan with Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.


Is Mehsud the Taliban's Che Guevara?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hakimullah Mehsud is the new leader of the Pakistani Taliban. He's an enemy of Pakistan and, by extension, the United States. However, to some in his own ranks he is a hero: a young Pashtun willing to stake everything on upholding the Taliban's cause. BBC Urdu correspondent Haroon Rashid has met Hakimullah Mehsud many times and offers us a profile of the apparently charismatic young leader.

The following clip is in Pashto, but the images of Hakimullah Mehsud are fascinating in any language:


UN General Assembly Convenes This Week

Monday, September 21, 2009

As the U.N. General Assembly convenes, it brings together all of its 192 member countries; this year, the U.S. is playing a larger role than usual. President Obama will attend some of the proceedings this week, starting with a summit on climate change. Then the General Assembly debate takes place, where a speech by Obama is scheduled to follow a speech by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi. We talk to BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus, who is in New York covering the events.


Hotter Planet Allows Shortcut Through Arctic

Monday, September 21, 2009

For hundreds of years, mariners have dreamed of a shipping shortcut through the Arctic that would allow them to speed trade between Asia and the West. Two German ships became the first-ever Western commercial vessels to sail that route, thanks to the recent thawing and withdrawal of the Arctic sea ice due to global warming. BBC Moscow correspondent Richard Galpin tells us what he saw as one of the first journalists onboard this historic journey.


Obama Scraps Bush-Era Missile Plan

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yesterday President Obama announced that he is scrapping the Bush administration's plans for a land-based missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. He's opting instead to focus on a defense system that would intercept shorter-range missiles from Iran. This move has upset Poland and the Czech Republic, but pleased Russia, who was against Bush's plan. Is this an intelligent decision based on new information about Iran's weapons? Or will it empower Russia and Iran at the expense of American allies? We speak to former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who served under President Bush, and to Alexander Cooley, professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Barnard College. (Click through for a full interview transcript.)

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Emotional Depression, Economic Recession

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The World Health Organization said last week that within the next 20 years, depression will become the largest health burden on society. But treatment for mental health is often underfunded, despite the fact that it drastically affects productivity in many countries.  We talk to Professor Cary Cooper, who teaches psychology and health at Lancaster University in Britain. We also speak with Dr. Shekhar Saxena, program manager of the WHO's Department of mental health and substance abuse.



Afghanistan: Is the Current Strategy Working?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

America's top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, submitted a strategic review yesterday to General David Petraeus and to NATO. A version of that report will land on the desk of President Obama soon. While the full text of the report hasn't been made public, what has come out is a glimpse of the general's assessment: that the current strategy in Afghanistan is not working. With us is Richard Kemp, former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan. He is author of the book "Attack State Red."

There's another school of thought that we don't hear from often: instead of a military surge, what is needed is a political surge. Fotini Christia joins the conversation -- she's an assistant professor of political science at MIT and recently returned from Afghanistan.


Does Karadzic Have a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card?

Monday, May 25, 2009

The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was arrested in July 2008, after 11 years on the run. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia accuses him of genocide for his involvement in the decimation of Bosnia's Croat and Muslim population. But his lawyers say they have evidence that he was told by Richard Holbrooke, now the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, that he would not stand trial for war crimes. They are outlining their evidence today in The Hague. For more on this story, The Takeaway is joined by Charles Ingrao, professor of history at Purdue University.


North Korea: When is a satellite not a satellite?

Monday, April 06, 2009

The North Koreans have launched what they say is a “communications satellite’ into orbit. America and its allies suspect the state’s “satellite” is in fact a long-range ballistic missile, which North Korea was testing. North Korea and their leader Kim Jong-Il remain defiant in the face of global protest and strong warnings from North Korea's neighbors. After the launch, the U.S. and its allies denounced the move and called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to . The BBC's John Sudworth and Brian Myers of Dongseo University join The Takeaway to discuss the implications of this launch.

"Even though it did violate the U.N. Security Council resolution, North Korea did handle the actual launch with a measure of respect for international norms and procedures that we don't normally associate with that country."
—Brian Myers of Dongseo University on the launch of what North Koreans are calling a communications satellite

Our partners at the New York Times are reporting that the North Korean Missile Launch Was a Failure, Experts Say.


Last stop Ankara: President Obama ends his European tour in Turkey

Monday, April 06, 2009

As the last stop on his first Presidential tour of Europe, President Obama heads to Turkey. This visit is seen as another step towards engagement of the Muslim world. Turkey was once a strong strategic ally of the U.S., but the relationship has drifted in the last few years. This trip to Ankara is seen as a move to renew the partnership. For more, we turn to Dr. Gulnur Aybet, a specialist on Turkey at the University of Kent in England to discuss the President's visit and his efforts to reach out to Muslims in Turkey and around the world.


G-20 meeting in London to shore up global financial crisis

Monday, March 30, 2009

The G-20, a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from around the world, is set to meet this week in London to tackle the global financial crisis. Dan Price, the White House official responsible for the preparation of the G-20 summit in Washington last November, joins The Takeaway from London to talk about why this G-20 is so important for the U.S.


In Dubai, all that glitters is not gold

Monday, March 30, 2009

This past weekend, the richest horse-race in the world was run. It was the 14th Dubai World Cup and the prize money was worth six million dollars. (A Kentucky horse named Well Armed won the race. Whoot!) But despite the opulent horse race, and the showiness of Dubai's gleaming and booming economy in recent years, the country is showing signs of vulnerability to the global economic downturn. For more we turn to the BBC Persian Gulf correspondent, Julia Wheelerin, who is in Dubai.

Watch the start of the race and meet the horses and riders:


It's just not (Indian) cricket if it's in South Africa

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Imagine if, after 9/11, the U.S. government said it was so concerned about another attack, that it decided the World Series would be played outside America. Well, that’s pretty much what’s just happened in India. After the Mumbai attacks and rumbling instability in neighboring Pakistan (remember the recent attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team there?) the Indian government moved the Indian Premier League cricket South Africa. To discuss the global implications of this move, The Takeaway is joined by Alex Capstick, the BBC’s Sports News correspondent.


Iranians and Iranian-Americans react to President Obama's video address

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last Friday, President Barack Obama addressed the people of Iran in a video message on Nowruz, the Persian New Year. In his appeal, Obama paid tribute to Iranian history and culture and stressed the need for stronger diplomatic ties. But how did that message resonate with ordinary Iranians and Iranian Americans? To answer that question, The Takeaway talks to Cyrus Razzaghi a marketing consultant from Tehran who joins us from his Nowruz celebration on the Caspian Coast. Also adding his voice to the discussion is Amir Farokhi is an Iranian-American attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who is running for a seat on the Atlanta City Council.

Watch President Obama's Nowruz message to the Iranian people below.


Creative re-branding in dour times

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In trying economic times, even the most popular brands fade away. In the UK the famous American brand Woolworth's has all but shuttered its windows, save for one store that's survived by re-inventing itself. Can American businesses take a lesson? The Takeaway talks with Woolworth's owner, that is, Wellworth's owner Claire Robertson of Dorchester, England and with branding expert Elizabeth Talerman about what it takes to make or break a brand in tough economic times.

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