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International Politics

The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Protests in India

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A battle over anti-corruption legislation has led to major protests and hunger strikes in India. Mira Kamdar, senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and associate fellow at the Asia Society, fills us in on what’s going on there for today’s Backstory.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Eritrea

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Journalist Michela Wrong looks at Eritrea and its president Isaias Afewerki. She has spent 13 years reporting in Africa and is the author of In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, about the Congolese dictator Mobutu, and I Didn't Do It for You, about Eritrea.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Roads to Freedom: The Latest from Syria

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Yorker contributor Wendell Steavenson assesses the mood of the Syrian people in the midst of the protests and crackdowns that have been taking place over the last five months. “Roads to Freedom” is an account of her recent trip to Damascus, which is in near-lockdown—and displays abandoned tourist sites, secret police in casual clothing milling around many of the squares, and anti-regime protests.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Reappearing Act: Saif al-Islam Gadhafi

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Initial reports from Tripoli indicated that rebel forces had captured Mummar Gadhafi's son Saif, a defiant spokesman for the regime who was also educated in the West. Then, early Tuesday morning he reappeared at a luxury hotel in Tripoli flashing victory signs for supporters and the press. Philippe Sands talks about how complicit Saif Gadhafi was his father’s brutal crackdown this year.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Parallels Between Gadhafi and Hussein

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New York Times reporter John Burns discusses the parallels between Moammar Gadhafi and Iraq's former leader Saddam Hussein, and what their similarities mean for the future of Libya.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Can Intervention Work?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rory Stewart, a member of the British Parliament, discusses political and military interventions and examines what we can—and cannot—achieve through "nation building." Can Intervention Work?, written with Gerald Knaus, looks at how the massive, military-driven efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans, the expansion of the EU, and the "color" revolutions in the former Soviet states affect international relations, human rights, and our understanding of state building.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Tenth Parallel

Monday, August 15, 2011

Award-winning investigative journalist Eliza Griswold talks about the tenth parallel—the line of latitude 700 miles north of the equator—the geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. In The Tenth Parallel Griswold looks at Nigeria, the Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines—places where religious conflicts are also conflicts about land, water, oil, and other natural resources, and where local and tribal issues are often shaped by religious ideas.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Developments in Syria

Thursday, August 04, 2011

On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement, condemning the violent government crackdown in Syria. Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy, discusses the situation in Syria, where shelling continues in the city of Hama, and the impact of the Security Council’s statement, and why Lebanon refused to sign on to it.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Pakistan: Playing with Fire

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pamela Constable, foreign correspondent and former deputy editor at The Washington Post, discusses Pakistan, a volatile nation at the heart of major cultural, political, and religious conflicts in the world today, and one that continues to struggle over its identity, alliances, and direction. Playing with Fire: Pakistan at War with Itself is based on Constable’s many years of reporting in the region. It explores Pakistan's contradictions, confusion, struggles with inequality and corruption, and how competing versions of Islam divide the country. She also discusses U.S.-Pakistan relations, the ISI, and why the country is so strategically and politically important.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Generation Freedom

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bruce Feiler talks about the historic youth uprisings sweeping the Middle East and what they mean for the future of peace, coexistence, and relations with the West. His new book Generation Freedom, offers a portrait of history in the making—he marches with the daring young organizers in Liberation Square, confronts the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, and witnesses the dramatic rebuilding of a church at a time when sectarian violence threatens peace.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Egypt Update

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daniel Brumberg, Senior Adviser at the United States Institute of Peace and co-director of the Democracy and Governance Center at Georgetown, gives us an update on the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt as the country tries to transition to democracy.

Egypt Update

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Wars on Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Peter Tomsen, an Ambassador and Special Envoy on the wars in Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992, discusses America’s involvement in the long and continuing war in Afghanistan. In The Wars on Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers, he offers a deeply informed perspective on how Afghanistan’s history as a “shatter zone” for foreign invaders and its tribal society has shaped the country, and  he shows how the U.S. and the coalition can assist the region back to peace and stability.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Hugo Chávez

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has been governing his country for the last month from a hospital bed in Cuba. Nikolas Kozloff, author of the book Hugo Chávez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the United States, looks at the Chavez presidency and how he has maintained his grip on power.  

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tropic of Chaos

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Investigative journalist Christian Parenti explains how extreme weather is breeding banditry, humanitarian crisis, and failed states from Africa to Asia and Latin America. In Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, Parenti travels along the front lines of this gathering crisis and describes how to confront the challenge of climate-driven violence with sustainable economic and development policies.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Christine Lagarde

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Earlier this week, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was officially selected to lead the International Monetary Fund. On this week’s first Backstory, Sophie Pedder, Paris Bureau Chief for the Economist, describes Lagarde’s political career in France, her track record as Finance Minister, and how she’s expected to run the IMF as economies across the world continue to struggle.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Mexico and the Mexicans

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Scholar and former foreign minister Jorge Castañeda explains some of the puzzling paradoxes of Mexico. Manana Forever? Mexico and the Mexicans is a portrait of a nation at a crossroads. He examines Mexico’s ambivalent and complicated relationship with the United States, the Mexicans tendency to resent foreigners even while they’ve made their country a popular tourist destination, and the future possibilities for Mexico.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Oman

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oman is a Gulf country we usually hear very little about, despite its strategically important location in the region and its great oil wealth. Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, tells us about the country, its ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, and the harsh crackdowns on dissent there.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: What the WikiLeaks Cables Reveal about Haiti

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On this week’s Underreported, Dan Coughlin, reporter for The Nation magazine, Kim Ives, editor for Haiti Liberté, discuss what the WikiLeaks cables reveal about American diplomatic attitudes toward Haiti – both before and after the devasting earthquake there in 2010. A new series of reports about the 1,918 cables that relate to Haiti is being published in a partnership between The Nation and the Haiti Liberté newspaper.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Henry Kissinger on China

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dr. Henry Kissinger discusses China, a country he has known intimately for decades, and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape.  In On China, he draws on historical records as well as his conversations with Chinese leaders over the past 40 years to examine how China has approached diplomacy, strategy, and negotiation throughout its history, and reflects on the consequences for the global balance of power in the 21st century.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Russian Politics

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charles Clover of the Financial Times joins us for a look at Russian politics and the jockeying between President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the country prepares for its presidential election next year.

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