September 1 - The "You Stink" Movement in Lebanon; The Undeclared Cyberwar Between the US and China and the US and Russia; Egypt's Jails Are Overflowing

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We begin and go to Beirut. Lebanon and speak with Thanassis Cambanis who writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe and discuss the growing “You Stink” movement that has occupied the offices of Lebanon’s environment minister whose resignation they are demanding because of the piles of uncollected garbage festering in the streets as a result of a political dispute. A Beirut-based journalist, Thanassis now finds himself living amongst mountains of trash that highlights the country’s gridlock and corruption and its political dysfunction and paralysis.

 

Part 2

Then we examine the undeclared cyber war underway between the U.S. and China and the U.S. and Russia and speak with August Cole a writer and analyst specializing in national security issues. He is a senior fellow at The Atlantic Council where he directs the Art of Future Warfare project and is the co-author with Peter Singer of “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War”. We discuss how China’s and Russia’s intelligence services are aggressively aggregating and cross-referencing hacked data from U.S. government databases as well as medical records and other data hacked from private companies like Ashley Madison that allows them to build dossiers on all U.S. spies.

Part 3

Then finally we look back on the Egyptian revolution and the Arab Spring that brought hope for change in the Middle East only to provoke a counterrevolution financed by Saudi Arabia that brought back Egypt’s military ruler who have long-dominated the country and are now jailing so many political opponents and reformers that the jails are overflowing. Noha Radwan, a Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, who participated in the 2011 Tahrir protests, joins us to discuss the current sad realities of life in Egypt today.   

 

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August 31 - Obama's Mixed Message in Alaska; Behind the Sentencing of Journalists in Egypt; The Ugly Face of Ukrainian Nationalism

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We begin with President Obama’s three day trip to Alaska which is meant to highlight how much the United States is being affected by global warming and rising oceans and go to Alaska to speak with Lois Epstein, the Arctic Program Director for the Wilderness Society. She currently serves on the ocean, energy and safety advisory committee for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. We will discuss Obama’s mixed message of warning about global warming while allowing Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic.   

 

Part 2

Then we examine what is behind the sentencing of the three al-Jazeera journalists by an Egyptian court that appears to be petty, cruel and vindictive and based on absurd charges and laughable evidence.  An expert on the Arab media, Marwan Kraidy, the Anthony Shadid Chair of Global Media, Politics and Culture and the Director for Advanced Research in Global Communications at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania joins us. We discuss the sentencing of journalists for practicing journalism that has been widely condemned and examine the broader issue of the many more victims of injustice in Egypt.

Part 3

Then finally we examine the ugly violence that took place in front of the Ukrainian parliament where members of the far-right nationalist Svoboda Party tossed smoke bombs then grenades into the crowd killing one national guardsman and wounding 122 others, 11 critically. Alexander Motyl, a professor of political science at Rutgers University and the author of “The Turn to the Right: The Ideological Origins and Development of Ukrainian Nationalism 1919-1929” joins us to discuss the difficulty Ukraine’s President Poroshenko is having selling the Minsk agreement to the country’s restive pro-government paramilitary groups. 

 

August 30 - Turkey's Role in the Syrian Refugee Crisis; Austria Faces a Refugee Crisis; A Possible Presidential Candidate in the Democratic Primary

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We begin with the origins of the European refugee crisis and go to Turkey to speak with Antonia Rados, an award-winning veteran Middle East correspondent and crisis reporter for the German television network RTL , where since 2009, she has been the chief foreign correspondent. We discuss how much Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon have borne the brunt of the Syrian refugee crisis so far and Turkey’s plans to set up safe zones inside of Syria to try to deal with the crisis at its source.

 

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Part 2

Then we go to Vienna, Austria to speak with Christian Schueller, a reporter and correspondent currently based in Austria for the Austrian TV network ORF, who for the last five years, reported from Turkey and Iran for ORF. We will discuss the shocking discovery of 71 bodies inside a truck abandoned by the highway near to a palace where European leaders were meeting to try to develop an EU policy to deal with the refugee crisis. We also look into the growing pressure from the right that Eastern European countries, in particular Hungary are feeling as Germany prepares to take in over 800,000 asylum-seekers this year.

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Part 3

Then finally we speak with Lawrence Lessig, a possible candidate in the Democratic primary now considering a run for president of the United States. A Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School and author of “Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress – and a Plan to Stop It” and “One Way Forward: The Outsider’s Guide to Fixing the Republic”, we discuss his article at The Huffington Post “On "Dumbing Down’ the Democratic Debate” and why we can’t govern ourselves effectively and what change would make effective governing possible.     

 

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August 26 - What Progress Is Being Made to Stop the NRA?; An In-Depth Analysis of China's Economy; Congressman Alan Grayson on Running for Marco Rubio's Vacated Senate Seat

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We begin with the impassioned plea by the father of the journalist who was murdered on camera along with her cameraman, to our gutless politicians calling them out that it is past time for them to stand up to the NRA. Ladd Everitt, Director of Communications at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence joins us to discuss the sickening pattern in America where mass shootings take place in cinemas, churches, and now live on TV, then the vast majority of the population share the nation’s and the world’s outrage and demand something be done to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Then the NRA steps in and cowers enough politicians to do nothing so that the gun lobby can continue ensuring that America’s criminals are the best armed in the world, and that any loner, loser, misfit or mentally disturbed person in America can buy an arsenal and murder as many of their fellow citizens as possible.

 

Part 2

Then, since the recent upheavals on the global markets were related to China’s economy, we examine the Chinese fiscal, banking and political situation in depth with Minxin Pei, a Professor of Government and Director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at Claremont McKenna College. We discuss the problems posed by debt bubbles not burst yet and the endemic corruption, as well as assess the leadership’s vain efforts to revive communist ideology and its more aggressive nationalism that seems to have backfired.

 

Part 3

Then finally we speak with Florida Congressman Alan Grayson who is running for Marco Rubio’s vacated U.S. Senate seat as an economic populist against a former Republican in the Democratic primary. We discuss the peculiar politics of the important electoral state of Florida where a criminal who paid a record fine for bilking millions of elderly folk was elected twice as governor in a state dominated by retirees, as well assess the electoral chance of the two Floridians running for president, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

 

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August 26 - "Why Trump Could Win the GOP Nomination";Behind the Buzz About Biden's Run for the Presidency; What is Behind the Riots in India?

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We begin with the growing political phenomenon that is dominating the headlines and causing the GOP establishment serious heartburn, and that is the continuing rise of Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary race where the latest PPP poll in New Hampshire has Trump at 35%, with Bush trailing at 7%, Walker at 7% and Rubio at 6%, meaning that all three of them combined are trailing Trump by 15%. Robert Creamer, a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win” joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “Why Trump Could Win the GOP Nomination” and why the unbridled egotism of Trump and his right wing populist demagoguery is striking a cord with Republican primary voters.

Part 2

Then we investigate the burgeoning rumors that Vice President Joe Biden is considering a run for the presidency in 2016, thus challenging Hillary Clinton who already has a serious challenge on her left from Bernie Sanders. Ed Kilgore, the principal writer for the Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog and the Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist joins us to discuss what substance there might be behind the buzz about Biden and what the consequences for the Democrats holding onto the White House might be for whichever candidate emerges from a bruising primary.

Part 3

Then finally we look into the riots in India and speak with Sumit Ganguly, the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University in Bloomington. We discuss the violence that has taken Prime Minister Modi’s home state by storm, perpetrated by the affluent and powerful Patel clan who curiously want to benefit from India’s affirmative action program that gives government jobs and university placements to members of the OBC (Other Backwards Classes) in a quota system designed to help the country’s historically lower castes.

 

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