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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
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.
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.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
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.
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.
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.