The Brian Lehrer Show

Jordan Versus The So-Called 'Islamic State'

Monday, February 09, 2015

The Jordanian military launched several attacks against ISIS after the group released a video showing the burning of a Jordanian pilot. We'll discuss what it means for US involvement.

Comments [23]

On The Media

ISIS Video Shocks Arab World

Friday, February 06, 2015

The ISIS video depicting Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive pierced through the violence fatigue of the Arab world, says FT correspondent Borzou Daragahi.

Comments [4]

The Takeaway

As Jordanians Mourn, A Look at The New Fight Against ISIS

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Islamic State's murder of Moaz al Kasasbeh seems to have bolstered Jordanian support for the U.S.-led strikes against ISIS. But how long will that last?

Comments [1]

The Takeaway

Brutal ISIS Execution Triggers Backlash

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

After a Jordanian pilot was burned to death by ISIS, Jordan responded rapidly by executing two prisoners. The Islamic State's latest casualty has consequences beyond the Middle East.

Comments [3]

The Takeaway

Humanitarian Crisis in Syria Worsens as U.S. Deliberates Action

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

As President Barack Obama and politicians on both sides of the aisle debate whether to intervene in Syria, the humanitarian crisis in the region continues to grow. More than two million Syrian refugees have now fled their home country for neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. Dr. Hammam Akbik is a Syrian-American working with refugees near the capital of Ammam, Jordan.


The Takeaway

Syria's Prime Minister Reportedly Defects to Jordan

Monday, August 06, 2012

Syria's Prime Minister, Riyadh Farid Hejab, has defected to Jordan, according to the Jordanian Government. But state-run media in Syria says he was "fired." Dale Gavlak is a reporter for our partner the BBC and joins us from the Jordanian capital Amman.


Transportation Nation

Meeting About Sheridan Expressway Ends in Protest

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Sheridan Expressway, as seen from West Farms Road (photo by Kate Hinds)

The first community meeting since New York City announced it would no longer study the removal of the Sheridan Expressway was a bumpy one.

Community members rally outside a meeting of the Sheridan-Hunts Point Land Use and Transportation Study (photo by Kate Hinds)

Members of the New York City Department of Planning were in the South Bronx Thursday to give an update on the Sheridan-Hunts Point land use study. But some area residents -- including members of the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, who led a march to the meeting -- wanted answers about why the city dropped the Sheridan takedown option.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Tawkiyah Jordan, a project manager in the Bronx city planning office, started off the meeting talking about demographic trends in the neighborhood and said the evening's agenda would focus on land use planning west of the Bronx River.

Kellie Terry Sepulveda, executive director of the South Bronx community development group The Point, asked why the meeting didn't include the Bruckner neighborhood -- which lies on the other side of the river. "From a community perspective they're one and the same."

Jordan said "it has so many complicated pieces I felt like we needed to focus on it separately...this is more a presentation about land use and just trying to think about how to get through all the information, it felt like Bruckner Boulevard would be a meeting unto itself."

But Sepulveda said the community had spent almost a decade looking at the South Bronx and decided that the best option was to remove the Sheridan. "Our needs weren't being addressed holistically by the state. And now we're here today having these needs being unmet. And we're concerned."

Jordan countered that the Bruckner neighborhood was "of such importance that it really deserves a deeper look, and in a different way, than the areas we're looking at right now." ("I want you to do the same for the removable option," muttered one meeting attendee under her breath.)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

"It seems to me, if you separate Bruckner Boulevard from all the other communities, it feels to me like a sense of divide and conquer," said local resident Elisabeth Ortega.

"It's not!" said Jordan. "But that's how it feels!" said Ortega. "And if not today, when?"

Ortega spoke bluntly of "feeling shafted" by the city's decision to take the Sheridan removal off the table. "Without any conversation! Without any transparency whatsoever! The fact that it's just off the table! How can it be off the table when you've got people here who feel so strongly about it!" She continued: "It just hurts to hear you say 'well, we're just going to deal with the Bruckner at another time.'"

The Sheridan Expressway (photo by Kate Hinds)

"I know that there's extreme dissatisfaction with not just the process but with the way things have been communicated and decided," said Jordan. "And I understand that that conversation is not going to stop today. And that many of the people in this room will probably continue that conversation. That is fine. What we are here to do today --"

Sepulveda interjected. "Will the city continue that conversation with us? That's why we're here. Because if not there's nothing left for us to discuss. Respectfully, Tawkiyah, respectfully."

Jordan said what was important to remember is that "there are actual opportunities to create change, and to make improvements in all of the neighborhoods we're looking at."

"We need to allow them to give their presentation" said another man in the back later identified as a member of Bronx Community Board 3.

After some more back and forth, Jordan got to the point. "If what you want to hear me say is that the removal option is back on the table, I don't have the right or power to say that. But what I do have the right and the power to talk about tonight is what we can do in the neighborhood....that conversation is one that can be had, but that's not one I came here prepared to talk about tonight." She tried gamely to keep moving the meeting forward, but another burst of questions from the back derailed her.

Eventually Nnenna Lynch, a senior policy adviser to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, stood up. "We're happy to meet again to talk about the transportation analysis," she told the room. "As far as what we're going to do..."

"Yes or no, please," said Julien Terrell, a community organizer for Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. "Yes or no please? Are we going to be able to talk about our recommendations within the context of removing the Sheridan? Because that's the only way getting access to our waterfront is actively going to work."

"We're here tonight to talk about land use," said Lynch. "If you'd like to continue the conversation about the removal option, we're happy to do that -- we just don't think tonight's the proper forum."

And for about three-quarters of attendees, that was the end of the meeting. "Our communities are under attack! What do we do?" yelled Terrell. "Stand up fight back!" shouted meeting attendees. And, chanting, the group walked out.

While the meeting about land use continued inside the building on Intervale Avenue, members of the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance congregated outside.

Cerita Parker (photo by Kate Hinds)

Some were hopeful. "I'm going to write to the president of the United States," said Jimmy Graham, an area resident. "He won that battle over health care."

But Cerita Parker, an activist with the South Bronx advocacy group Mothers on the Move, was disheartened. "I feel insulted by the whole process. For the people who make the decisions to not even be here -- it's an insult and a slap in the face as well," she said. "I just couldn't sit there and hear her talk about 'well, we're going to do the Bruckner at another time.' The Bruckner is a part of the whole deal. And all of that area encompasses the Hunts Point Market. Obviously we are not the big stakeholders in the Hunts Point Market. And I feel that once again the community has been given the shaft."

But remaining inside, according to a spokesperson for the city, were people who held a productive meeting about land use. "This is far more than a study about a transportation artery – it’s about planning for the future of neighborhoods around the Sheridan. We're looking for ways of achieving the objectives in the study that the community identified in previous workshops," said the spokesperson, adding the city is committed to improving issues of waterfront access, pedestrian safety, strengthening retail corridors and providing affordable housing in the South Bronx. "And we're looking for ways to do that collectively with the community."

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New Jersey News

Christie: Israel Trip Will Yield Dividends at Home

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he brought a little Jersey to Jerusalem this week in hopes of drumming up business and jobs back home.


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.



The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Libya, Middle East, Unemployment

Monday, March 28, 2011

With support from coalition forces in the air, Libyan rebel forces have been able to recapture recent losses and are pushing towards Col. Moammar Gadhafi's strongholds. However, the U.S. is committed to passing responsibility on and Defense Secretary Robert Gates told NBC's "Meet the Press," "beginning this week or within the next week or so, we will begin to diminish the commitment of resources that we have committed to this." Marcus Mabry, editor-at-large of the International Herald Tribune, looks at how the impact of a U.S. drawdown could impact the situation in Libya.


The Takeaway

Jordanians Still Demand Change, Eight Weeks into Protests

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

As protesters continue efforts to uproot governments throughout the Middle East, Jordan has faced eight straight weeks of public demonstrations. But unlike some of its neighboring countries, protesters there are not demanding their leader, King Abdullah II, step down. Instead they are asking for political reforms, including wider parliamentary representation and limitations on the powers of the throne. They also want to see the government address rising food prices, inflation and unemployment. We talk with the former deputy prime minister of Jordan, Ayman Safadi, about the political uprisings in Jordan.


The Brian Lehrer Show

After Egypt

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Marwan Muasher served as foreign minister (2002-2004) and deputy prime minister (2004-2005) of Jordan.  He is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation.  He joins us to discuss how movements in Egypt might spread through the rest of the Middle East, and how regional governments are reacting.

→Read a Recap and Join the Discussion at It's A Free Country

The Brian Lehrer Show

Beyond Egypt

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Steve Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation and the man behind the popular political blog "The Washington Note," discusses the uprisings in the Middle East , Washington's response, and how it affects politics and people in the region. Plus, Tala Al-Husry, former Brian Lehrer Show intern and native Jordanian gives us her point of view on the ground in Amman, Jordan.

→ Read More and Join the Conversation at It's A Free Country

It's A Free Blog

Jordan Is No Egypt

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Jordanian king’s recent dismissal of the Prime Minister triggered dramatic statements by the press, asking “is Jordan next?” While the political change in Jordan seems to fit into the narrative of Tunisia and Egypt inspiring protests all over the Middle East, in reality, the change is a regular part of Jordanian politics.

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Jordanian Suicide Bomber Was Double Agent

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The suicide bomber blew up seven C.I.A. officers at an American base in Afghanistan last week.



A Jordanian-American's First Feature Film

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Captain Abu Raed

Captain Abu Raed

'Captain Abu Raed,' the first film from Jordanian-American film maker Amin Matalqa, opens this week. The captain in question would like to have traveled around the world. But he's actually an airport janitor. Kids in his ...


The Takeaway

Jordan's King Abdullah visits the White House

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

President Barack Obama is set to meet with King Abdullah of Jordan today. This is his first major meeting with a leader from the Middle East and the leader is not Israeli. It has long been standard practice for U.S. Presidents to meet with Israeli leaders first, before reaching out to their Arab counterparts. Earlier this week Press Secretary Robert Gibbs described Jordan as a close ally and partner of the United States. But is this international friendship worth the risk of appearing to snub the Israeli government? For more we turn to the BBC's Jonathan Marcus.