international relations

Where We Live
8:37 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Diplomacy 101

Should American politicians have the power to appoint diplomats?
Credit 123ArtistImages/iStock / Thinkstock

Whenever we hear that a new U.S. ambassador has been nominated, it’s not unreasonable for us to assume that the nominee has been to his or her appointed country. But, as we learned from President Obama’s most recent ambassadorial appointments -- in America, at least -- that's not always the case. 

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Missile Tests
7:52 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Once Again, North Korea Fires Missiles To Send Message

In Pyongyang, North Korea, last July, this short-range missile was among the military hardware on parade.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:43 am

"North Korea fired four projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles off its southeast coast Thursday," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports, citing a "South Korean defense ministry official" as its source.

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Ukraine
6:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ukraine's Yanukovych On Run From Mass Murder Charge

In Kiev's Independence Square, flowers have been left in memory of protesters killed there in recent days.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:10 am

Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Saturday from his post as president of Ukraine, is now wanted by authorities in his country on charges of mass murder, the acting interior minister says.

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Diplomacy
11:51 am
Tue February 18, 2014

For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy

Norm Eisen, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, poses at his official residence in Prague in October 2013. Eisen's mother was born and raised in what was Czechoslovakia and was sent by the Nazis to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which she survived.
Filip Singer The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:18 am

The drive into Prague is like a journey into the past. As you approach, grand castles and cathedrals appear on the horizon and pull you into an old-world city that could be the setting for a fairy tale.

Three years ago, Norm Eisen made this journey in a motorcade. It was his first day as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. He was returning to the land where his mother, Frieda, had been born almost 90 years ago.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:20 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Scrambling to Make Sense of Russia, Woody Allen, and the Westminster Dog Show

A happy dog!!
Credit Goingslo / Creative Commons

While visitors watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, enjoy spectacular feats of athletic ability from the world's most accomplished athletes, those in Russia's LGBT community anticipate laws that punish Russians for even suggesting that it's okay to be gay, let alone live openly as a gay adult.

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Pakistan
3:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

U.S.-Pakistan Relations Shrouded By Decades of Misunderstanding

Credit creativedoxfoto/iStock / Thinkstock

In 1947, the world watched as South Asia gave birth to a new independent nation. That nation was called Pakistan -- a word combining Persian and Hindi to signify a holy and pure country.

That name, however, now stands as an example of tragic irony. Since Pakistan established itself as a militant nation, internal tension and strained international relations -- particularly those with the United States and India -- have tainted Pakistan’s community.

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Where We Live
8:37 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Misunderstanding U.S.-Pakistan Relations; Understanding Spirituality

Credit mjbs/iStock / Thinkstock

The U.S. is curtailing drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, a step toward better relations between two allies who’ve seemingly been at odds for years.

As Husain Haqqani sees it, it’s all part of a history of misunderstanding between the countries. He’s the former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., and a Boston University professor whose new book is called Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

In it, he explains the Pakistani obsession with it’s rival India, and with building military might, something the U.S. has been quick to support. We talk with him on a recent visit to the state. We also run these ideas of U.S.-Pakistan relations past two members of that community here in Connecticut.

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Pakistan
2:22 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

In Pakistan, Another Bhutto Joins The Risky Family Business

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left), son of assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, arrives for a festival at Moenjodaro in southern Pakistan on Feb. 1. The event was seen as a political coming-out party for Bhutto, whose family has prominently featured in Pakistani politics for decades.
Waqar Hussein EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:23 pm

His grandfather was hanged by a military dictator. His mother was assassinated. One of his uncles was slain by the police. Another died in a mysterious poisoning.

His father spent eight years in jail, yet later served a full term as president of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family history is a roller coaster ride, veering from prison, exile and corruption scandals to wealth, fame and power.

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Russia
11:08 am
Tue February 4, 2014

U.S. Ambassador To Russia Will Resign After Olympics

Michael A. McFaul.
U.S. Embassy in Moscow

The United States ambassador to Russia says he will leave his post after the conclusion of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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Intelligence
2:36 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Spy Chief Says Classified Leaks 'Pose Critical Threat' To U.S.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies during a hearing before Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:51 pm

In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.

In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.

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Education
8:36 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Yale Model U.N. Brings Future Leaders From Around The World To New Haven

Credit Mr. Ush / Creative Commons

The 40th session of the Yale Model United Nations is underway in New Haven. Nearly 1,700 high school students from as far away as New Zealand have been immersing themselves in the Model U.N. experience, taking advantage of the plethora of speeches, classes and other activities happening this weekend. 

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Adrift
6:31 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Rat-Infested Ghost Ship Might Be Heading For U.K.

The Lyubov Orlova sits derelict at dockside in Newfoundland in October 2012.
Dan Conlin Wikipedia Commons

A ghost ship full of diseased, cannibalistic rats could be nearing landfall somewhere in the British Isles.

No, it's not the plot for a new horror film. According to The Independent, the 300-foot cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, which has been drifting, crewless, around the North Atlantic for nearly a year since it snapped its towline en route to the scrapyard, might be moving east toward the English coast.

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Where We Live
9:05 am
Thu January 23, 2014

A World of Conflict: Ukraine, Net Neutrality, and Local Man Rescued From Nazis

Protesters clash with police in Kiev last fall.
Credit Mstyslav Chernov / Creative Commons

Shortly after protests began in Ukraine, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy flew to Kiev and met with the anti-government demonstrators. 

"The protesters are down there because they’re sick of seeing a government that too often resorts to violence, that has become endemic with corruption and is moving toward Russia instead of towards the European Union," said Murphy. 

We hear more from Murphy about the recent, violent developments in the Kiev protests.

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Eastern Europe
8:32 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sen. Murphy on Ukraine's "Turn for the Worse"

A line of protesters in Kiev on January 20, 2014.
Credit Mstyslav Chernov / Creative Commons

Protests in Ukraine have turned violent between anti-government demonstrators and the police. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy visited that country last month to meet with both sides.

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Reconstruction of Iraq
8:18 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Iraqi Ambassador to the U.N. to Speak in Stonington

The La Grua Center was founded in Stonington to promote arts and culture programming in the town.
Credit La Grua Center

The Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations will speak in Stonington Thursday evening. Mohammed Alhakim is expected to talk about the challenges to Iraq's reconstruction.

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Demonstrations in Kiev
7:28 am
Thu January 23, 2014

In Ukraine, Protesters Warn They'll Go 'On The Attack'

A protester walks pass burning tires in central Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday.
Sergei Grits AP

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.

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Middle East
6:40 am
Wed January 22, 2014

What's At Stake In The Syrian Peace Conference

A man runs with a child after an attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Activists said President Bashar Assad's military carried out an airstrike.
Ammar Abdullah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:34 am

With a major push from the U.S., a new Syrian peace conference opened Wednesday in Switzerland, the first such effort since the middle of 2012. It wasn't easy getting everyone there, and it will be harder still to achieve a breakthrough.

Here are a few key things to know about the conference:

1. What's the goal?

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Can Music and Art Bring Countries Together?

Credit Nic McPhee/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired October 29, 2013. 

From Faith Middleton: Music and art can make your life bigger. And, under the theory that the world is now “flat,” music and art just might dissolve boundaries, making the world a more manageable place.

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North Korea
9:39 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Dennis Rodman Defends North Korean 'Basketball Diplomacy'

Former U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Monday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 11:48 am

In a combative interview from North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman defended his "basketball diplomacy" in the repressive country and seemed to imply that he believes American businessman Kenneth Bae, sentenced to 15 years' hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the Kim Jong Un regime, is guilty.

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Where We Live
8:05 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Old Tension, New Turmoil for Ukraine

Protestors at Independence Square in Kiev during the Orange Revolution in 2004.
Credit Marion Duimel / Creative Commons

The Cold War is over – but some political relationships in the former Soviet Union remain tense. On Where We Live, we explain the latest turmoil in Ukraine as Russia and the European Union are pulling Ukraine in opposite directions. We're joined by experts and a member of Connecticut's Ukrainian community about to discuss what's happening and why.

Plus, we follow up on a recent show about distracted driving.

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Antarctica
8:56 am
Fri January 3, 2014

One Of The Rescue Ships In Antarctic May Now Be Stuck, Too

The Xue Long in the much warmer waters of Taiwan in 2009.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 10:32 am

One day after helping to rescue 52 people from a ship stuck in Antarctic ice, a Chinese icebreaker is in danger of also being stranded for a while.

Australia's Maritime Safety Authority says the crew of the Xue Long sent out an alert Friday saying their ship may not be able "to move through heavy ice in the area."

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Antarctica
7:34 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Singing, Stomping, Stranded Explorers Prep Antarctic Helipad

Framed by ice: the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been stuck in Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 8:31 am

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Afghanistan
8:59 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Three NATO Personnel Killed By Bombing In Afghanistan

An Afghan security officer runs toward the scene of Friday's bombing in Kabul. Three NATO personnel were killed and at least six Afghan civilians were wounded.
Omar Sobhani Reuters /Landov

A bomb explosion Friday in Kabul killed three members of the NATO coalition serving in Afghanistan and wounded at least six civilians, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the Afghan capital.

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Lebanon
6:41 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Bomb Blast In Beirut Kills Former Ambassador To U.S.

Some of the destruction at the scene of Friday's car bombing in Beirut.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:23 am

  • Correspondent Susannah George describes the scene in Beirut

An explosion in Beirut on Friday killed at least six people, including a former Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. who was a leader of the Western-backed coalition that opposes the militant group Hezbollah.

More than 70 other people were injured by the car bomb, authorities say.

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Fish Imports
2:49 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Battle Of The Bottom Feeder: U.S., Vietnam In Catfish Fight

Freshly caught catfish wriggle in large nets in Doddsville, Miss.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:17 pm

Bill Battle peers through the window of a pickup truck at his catfish farm, Pride of the Pond, near Tunica, Miss. The land is pancake-flat, broken up by massive ponds, some holding up to 100,000 pounds of catfish.

Cormorants fly low over the ponds, keeping an eye out for whiskered, smooth-skinned fish. Battle keeps a shotgun in the front seat; business is hard enough without the birds cutting into his profit.

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Iran
10:26 am
Fri December 13, 2013

American Who Disappeared In Iran Reportedly Worked For CIA

A "proof of life" photo provided to the family of ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson in April 2011.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 6:05 am

The Associated Press reports in an investigative piece that an ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in 2007 and was last seen in a "proof of life" photograph more than two years ago had been working for the CIA, despite official denials from the U.S.

Robert Levinson, who would now be 65, vanished after traveling in March 2007 to the Iranian island of Kish, described by The Associated Press as a resort "awash with tourists, smugglers and organized crime figures."

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Soccer
1:12 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

World Cup 2014 Draw Is Set: U.S. Will Face Germany, Portugal, Ghana

FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke shows a paper with the name of the Korea Republic as Brazilian presenter Fernanda Lima looks on during the final draw of the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Friday.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 2:53 pm

The final draw of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was announced Friday. The U.S. team will face Germany, Portugal and Ghana in Group G; host Brazil will face world No. 16 Croatia in Group A. Only the top two teams of each group advance to the next round.

The draw puts the U.S., currently ranked as the world's No. 14 team, in the same group with the world's No. 2 (Germany) and No. 5 (Portugal). Ghana is ranked 24th. The showdown with Germany has the potential to be bittersweet for Jürgen Klinsmann, the coach of the U.S. team who was a star for German World Cup teams in the 1990s.

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Nelson Mandela
12:02 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Remembering Mandela: "The People's Choice"

Credit Megan Torrey

When I was a young teen in the '80s, I remember watching the news and learning about apartheid in South Africa. I remember learning about a powerful man who had been jailed simply for believing in equality and freedom, all watching the evening news, and seeing protests at Yale against apartheid. 

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Nelson Mandela
5:14 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Mandela: A Rare Success As Liberation Leader And President

South Africa's Nelson Mandela was one of the few figures who managed to make the transition from liberation leader to successful politician and president.
Thomas White Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 6:56 pm

There are many examples of triumphant liberation leaders and successful political leaders, but it's rare to find someone who has managed the transition from one to the other.

George Washington did it in the 18th century. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey did it after World War I. And Nelson Mandela also belongs to this exclusive club.

"It is hard enough to find someone courageous enough to lead a revolution, rarer still for them to have remarkable leadership skills," says Jack Goldstone, director of the Center for Global Policy at George Mason University.

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South Africa
5:09 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

World Reflects On The Life Of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela with South African President F.W. de Klerk in May 1990. Mandela died Thursday at 95.
Denis Farrell AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 8:18 am

Nelson Mandela, who became an icon of the struggle for racial equality during a decades-long struggle against South Africa's apartheid system, is being remembered across the globe on Thursday following his death at age 95.

Mandela died after a prolonged lung infection, which had been a recurring problem for him since his days as a prisoner of conscience on South Africa's Robben Island. He served 27 years at the notorious jail.

"He is now resting. He is now at peace," South African President Jacob Zuma said in an address to the nation.

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