April 26 - The Devastated Tiny County of Nepal; Forgiving Nepal's Debt; The Assad Regime on the Ropes from Within and Without; The U.K. Elections Hinge on Third Parties

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We begin with the disastrous 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has devastated the tiny mountainous country of Nepal which is one of the least developed countries in the world ranking 145th out of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. A nanotech engineer and scientist Pradeep Manandhar, a former Professor at Kathmandu University in Nepal who was a previously a social worker in Nepal, joins us to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in the country where much of the population is homeless and living in the streets.

 

Part 2

Then we speak with Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious coalition Jubilee USA Network about the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust which should apply to Nepal which owes the IMF $54 million, with $10 million due in 2015 and another $13 million in 2016. On top of that Nepal owes $3.8 billion to foreign lenders and spent $217 million repaying debt in 2013. Since the IMF canceled Haiti’s debt after its earthquake, we discuss how debt relief will help Nepal rebuild.

Part 3

Then we will examine the military situation in Syria where the tide appears to turning against the Assad regime as internal divisions within the ruling elite surfaced with the murder of a top general in charge of intelligence who was feuding with another general in charge of military intelligence. Murhaf Jouejati, a Syrian-born specialist on Syrian politics who is a Professor of Middle East Studies at the National Defense University joins us.

Part 4

Then finally we get an update on the election campaign underway in the U.K. that has the unpopular Prime Minister David Cameron, who is under attack from the right by the anti-immigrant and anti-Europe UKIP Party, neck-and-neck with the Labor Party headed by a lackluster Ed Miliband who is often portrayed as a wimp and a waffler. Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at The National Interest, who is just back from the U.K., joins us. 

 

 

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April 23 - Human Trafficking Networks in Egypt and Libya; In Search of a Saudi Strategy as Bombing of Yemen Resumes

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We will begin with the E.U. emergency summit to prevent further deaths of migrants, 1,750 of whom have drowned in the Mediterranean so far this year prompting European leaders to promise more naval assets but not much help for those 35,000 who have made it to Europe and no strategy to stem the flow of refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Patrick Kingsley, the Egypt correspondent for the U.K. Guardian, who has investigated networks of human traffickers in Egypt and Libya, joins us from the island of Malta where funerals for 24 of the 800 victims who lost their lives in last weekend’s sinking were held today, with many buried in nameless graves.   

 

Part 2

Then, as Saudi airstrikes resume in Yemen after a brief pause, we look into what possible strategy the Saudis might have as they insist the rebel Houthis must give up all the territory they have captured before any talks begin, while at the same time the Houthis insist they won’t begin talks unless Saudi airstrikes end. Sharmine Narwani, a political analyst and commentator on Mideast geopolitics and a former senior associate at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, joins us from Beirut to discuss the growing problems the Saudis have around their periphery and at home with a restive Shia minority and 25% of the population living in poverty, while a billionaire prince offers 100 free Bentleys to 100 Saudi pilots who are bombing one of the poorest countries in the world.      

sharmine narwani

 

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April 22 - Turkey's Denial on the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; The Former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Unexplained Saudi Role in 9/11

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We begin with the attempt by Turkey’s Prime Minister to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide while still strenuously denying that the genocide took place and calling the Pope part of an “evil front” for using the term. David Phillips, the Director of the Peace-Building and Rights Program at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, who headed up diplomatic efforts at reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia known as the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, joins us to discuss a major reversal by Turkey’s top trading partner in Europe, Germany, who is now joining France, the European parliament and Pope Francis in calling what happened to the Armenians in 1915 genocide.  

Part 2

Then we examine unexplored avenues of inquiry into the untold story leading up to 9/11 and its aftermath, in particular the role of Saudi Arabia since 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens. Senator Bob Graham, the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the co-chairman of the 2002 joint congressional inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, joins us to discuss his push for the disclosure of the 28 pages of the congressional inquiry that remain classified and the extraordinary coincidences involving meetings between Saudi officials and the hijackers in San Diego and ties between the hijackers and a Saudi family in Sarasota, Florida who abruptly left the U.S. under suspicious circumstances just before 9/11. 

 

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April 21 - The Deepening Humanitarian Crisis in the Mediterranean; In Spite of Airstrikes and Iraqi/Iranian Offensives, The Islamic State Remains Strong; Scott Walker Wins the Koch Brother's Republican Lottery

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We begin with the deepening humanitarian tragedy in the Mediterranean where 1,700 migrants have died this year so far compared to 96 last year, and that number is expected to grow to 30,000 unless the European Union, which is about to meet to deal with the crisis, can come up with a solution. Joel Millman, the spokesman for the International Organization for Migration in Switzerland joins us to discuss the desperation of migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to get to Europe in the hope of a better life, who scrounge up all they have to pay human traffickers who crowd them into unseaworthy vessels then callously put their lives at risk crossing the Mediterranean.

 

Part 2

Then we get an analysis of the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State whose leader is said to be recovering from a near-death experience from an airstrike. Richard Barrett, who sits on the boards of the International Center for Counter Terrorism in the Hague and the Center on Global Counter Terrorism Cooperation in Washington, joins us to discuss how, in spite of promises by President Obama to degrade and destroy the terrorist organization, and military offensives by the Iraqi government and their Iranian allies, the Islamic State remains strong and is on the offensive is parts of Iraq and Syria.

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Lisa Graves, the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy about presidential candidate Governor Scott Walker’s big win in the Republican lottery following an apparent endorsement by David Koch of the billionaire Koch brothers who plan to spend up to a billion dollars in the next election, almost twice what the Republican Party itself spent in the last presidential election.

 

 

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April 20 - China's $46 Billion Silk Road to Pakistan; Republicans Slow-Walk Nominees as Payback; Greece and the IMF on a Collision Course

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We begin with China’s President Xi Jinping’s $46 billion investment in Pakistan to build a new Silk Road known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a network of roads, railway and pipelines between China and the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Indian Ocean. Political and strategic analyst Shuja Nawaz, the Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council and author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within” joins us to discuss Monday’s extravagant summit in Islamabad where these ambitious plans were announced and possible impediments it faces from restive Uighurs in China’s far-Western provinces and a separatist insurgency in Baluchistan where the new Silk Road will meet the sea.  

 

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Then following an admission by Senator McCain, we examine the payback Senate Republicans are inflicting on the Democrats by slow-walking their nominees in retaliation for the so-called nuclear option used in the last Congress to overcome a bottleneck of blocked appointments held up by Republican filibusters. A 21 year veteran of the U.S. Senate, Jim Manley, who was senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, joins us to discuss how this infantile behavior has ground the government to a halt.

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Part 3

Then finally we assess the just-concluded IMF spring meeting in Washington at which the renewed possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone got most of the attention. Dominico Lombardi, the Director of the Global Economy Project at the Center for International Governance Innovation joins us to discuss Greece as well as other global financial concerns about falling oil prices and the rising dollar.

 

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