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International Politics

The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: UK Referendum

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Voters across the UK are heading to the polls today to vote in their local elections. There’s also a referendum on the ballot that, if passed, would change how the voting system works. On today’s Backstory, David Rennie, Political Editor and Bagehot columnist for The Economist, and Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs columnist for The Financial Times, explain what that would mean for UK politics.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Geopolitics of Food Scarcity

Monday, May 02, 2011

Lester Brown, President of The Earth Policy Institute, discusses the emerging geopolitics of food scarcity. His latest article in Foreign Policy looks at the role food scarcity has in driving political upheaval in the Middle East and threatening stability in other developing regions. Falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures threaten food supplies, and Brown will discuss the political implications.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Cambodia’s Curse

Friday, April 15, 2011

Veteran New York Times reporter Joel Brinkley, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting in Cambodia on the fall of the Khmer Rouge discusses how that country is still haunted by its years of terror. In Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land, he looks at the results of efforts to pull the small nation out of the mire by making Cambodia a United Nations protectorate in 1992, and looks at the country, its people, and the deep historical roots of its modern-day behavior.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Protests in the Arab World, Part II

Friday, April 08, 2011

Our look at Friday protests throughout the Arab World continues with Christoph Wilcke, Senior Researcher in the Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, who gives us an update on the protests in Jordan. We’ll find out why the protests there have been relatively orderly and how the Jordanian government and King Abdullah II have responded to the protesters’ demands.

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Political Dysfunction in South Africa

Thursday, April 07, 2011

South Africa has been held up as one of Africa’s most stable countries, but numerous allegations of political corruption and bribery, high crime and unemployment rates, and the deteriorating political climate in neighboring Zimbabwe may be threatening South Africa’s stability. Journalist  Charlayne Hunter-Gault discusses the current situation there.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Ali Abdullah Saleh

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Despite 32 years of near absolute rule, the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh is teetering. A rapidly intensifying protest movement, along with an insurgency in the north and a secessionist movement in the south have put Yemen on the brink of unraveling. Christopher Boucek, an associate in the Carnegie Enowment for International Peace’s Middle East program, looks at how President Saleh has kept a grip on power, even as ambassadors from the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries meet opposition representatives in Saudi Arabia to work on negotiating a deal for his exit.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Collapse of the Congo

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Jason Stearns talks about the brutal war that has raged in Congo since 1996, costing millions of lives. Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa tells the story of this misunderstood and overlooked conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He spoke with key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as—and was a direct consequence of—the genocide in Rwanda.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: The Legal Troubles of Silvio Berlusconi

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has had legal troubles for years, and now he’s facing several different trials, ranging from underage prostitution to tax fraud. Columbia journalism professor Alexander Stille describes the cases against Berlusconi, how he’s has managed to avoid charges in other cases, and how Berlusconi is dealing with his duties as prime minister.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Update on the Protests in the Arab World

Friday, March 25, 2011

Robert Powell, the Middle East analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, gives us an update on the protests across the Arab World and on the Syrian government’s response to Thursday’s protest marches and the marches planned for today.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Moammar Gadhafi

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dirk Vandewalle, Associate Professor of Government at Dartmouth University, discusses the 40-year rule of Libya’s Colonel Moammar Gadhafi. Professor Vandewalle’s most recent books are A History of Modern Libya and Libya since 1969: Qadhafi's Revolution Revisited.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

America’s Hottest Export: Weapons

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Patriot Missile systems to F-15 fighter jets to high tech helicopters, more than $100 billion in weapons sales have been approved (just to the Middle East) during the first two years of the Obama Presidency. Mina Kimes looks at America’s booming arms sales. She’s the author of “America’s Hottest Export: Weapons,” in the March 7th issue of Fortune magazine.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: South Sudan Independence

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Last month, the southern Sudanese people voted 99% in favor of breaking away from northern Sudan and creating an independent state. Oliver August, Africa correspondent for The Economist, and Jehanne Henry, Sudan researcher for Human Rights Watch, explain the 2005 peace agreement that led to this vote and the challenges South Sudan faces in setting up a new nation.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Revolution in Cairo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Charles Sennott, GlobalPost’s veteran Middle East correspondent, discusses the youth movement that ignited the uprising in Egypt, and his investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood. His Frontline special report, “Revolution in Cairo,” airs February 22, at 9 pm, on PBS.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak Steps Down

Friday, February 11, 2011

Last night, President Hosni Mubarak spoke on Egyptian state television to say that he is not stepping down. Today, there are large crowds in Tahrir Square and across Egypt. Tarek Osman, author of Egypt on the Brink: From Nasser to Mubarak, joins us from Cairo to give us an update and describes how the role of the military has changed in the last few days.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Last Shah of Iran

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Abbas Milani discusses Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlevi, the last Shah of Iran, who shaped Iran’s modern age and the contemporary politics of the Middle East, and gives an account Iran’s turn from politically moderate monarchy to totalitarian Islamic republic. His biography The Shah is an account of the man full of contradictions, who made Iran a global power, and how U.S. and Iranian relations have reached the point where they are today.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Egypt and the Negotiations

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Michael Peel, Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times gives us the latest on negotiations between the government of Hosni Mubarak and the Egyptian opposition.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Egypt’s Opposition Leaders

Monday, February 07, 2011

Wall Street Journal reporter Charles Levinson gives us an update on what’s happening in Egypt and looks into who is running the opposition—from Mohamed ElBaradei, to other figures you may not have heard of.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Update from the Streets of Cairo

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim gives us an update on the latest unrest and today's massive protests from Cairo, Egypt.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Hosni Mubarak

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Earlier this week, people took to the streets of Cairo, protesting the government of President Hosni Mubarak. On today’s Backstory, Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef and Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist who has been covering the protests for Foreign Policy, discuss how Mubarak came to power and how he’s maintained control of Egypt over the last 29 years. Plus, we’ll get an update on one of the largest protests that the country has seen in more than 30 years.

Ashraf Khalil, a Cairo-based journalist who has been covering the protests for Foreign Policy.

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