Podcast

Invasive Species

As humans have migrated around the world throughout the centuries, they often brought with them various animals and plants to help colonize this planet. Whether intending to establish sources for food in otherwise barren landscapes or unleashing unknown stowaway creatures, humans have unwittingly caused countless invasions by other foreign organisms.

In this episode, we discuss invasive species – from cane toad to cat – and the impact they can have on the new lands they occupy.

Global Maternal Healthcare: A Study in Cultural Competency

In this episode, we speak with two recent graduate students from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University here in Washington, DC,  Prerna Balasundaram and Christina Parker, about their ongoing research on cultural competency in maternal global healthcare.

As part of their end-of-degree capstone project, Prerna and Christina are researching how U.S. doctors are being prepared to provide maternal healthcare in foreign countries and in unfamiliar cultures. Today we’ll talk with them to learn more about this topic, including the policy recommendations emerging from their research.

Spotlight: Western Sahara

Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory on the northwest coast of Africa. Bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria, the former Spanish colony has been under dispute since 1976. Ethnic tensions continue to erupt between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants, and Morocco maintains a large security presence in the territory.

In this episode, we take a deep dive into Western Sahara’s ongoing conflict and tensions with Morocco before discussing what the future might hold.

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Photo Credit: NASA

The World of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality–commonly referred to as VR–is an emerging technology that will become increasingly more sophisticated and widespread in the 5G era. VR can improve education, revolutionize healthcare, and even bolster security services. At the same time, however, VR is also be used for malignant purposes.

In this episode, we explore the origins of VR, discuss its applications, and detail some of the risks and vulnerabilities associated with this new technology.

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Global navigation satellite systems

GPS is a critical part of our everyday lives and underpins much of the infrastructure surrounding us. But the GPS satellite system is just one of a growing list of so-called global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) that can provide space-based positioning, navigation, and timing.

In this episode, we explore how GPS fits into the larger GNSS constellation and discuss the future of satellite navigation services.

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International Relations of the Amazon

The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, covering 40% of South America and spanning eight countries and one territory across the continent. It is home to a broad array of languages and cultures that must find a way to ensure a peaceful coexistence.

In this episode, we explore the international relations of the eight countries of the Amazon. We also discuss how these states oversee their portions of the Amazon and govern the rainforest’s inhabitants. In closing, we examine the future of the Amazon, both in its role as a vital climate regulator and as a source of some of the world’s most important natural resources.

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The Heart of Nuba: A Conversation With Doctor Tom Catena

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Tom Catena, the current Chair of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, about his work at the Mother Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan.

The people of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains have long been marginalized by the government of Sudan under the regime of Omar Al-Bashir. Since the region rebelled against Sudan’s rule in 2011, Nubians have lived under constant fear of government violence.

Dr. Catena provides insights into the current conflict, his work to provide medical assistance to those suffering in the region, and how localized aid can offer much-needed support to the Nuba Mountain region and other conflict-ridden areas.

You can find out more about Dr. Catena’s work by watching his documentary, The Heart of Nuba.

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Spotlight: Lesotho

In this episode, we look into the history and current affairs of Lesotho, a country roughly size of Maryland that is landlocked in South Africa.

Much of Lesotho’s history and culture has been shaped by its mountainous terrain, which historically served as a fortress from outside threats. Today,  the Lesotho highlands play an integral part in the local Sotho culture.

However, Lesotho currently faces several challenges, including low life expectancy, water security concerns, tepid economic growth, and a high HIV/AIDS prevalence.

This Spotlight Episode explores the history, culture, and key issues Lesotho faces today.

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Olympic Terrorism

The Olympic Games have long been a symbol of sportsmanship and national pride. However, they can also be a target of terrorism. In this episode, we explore case studies of how organizations and nations have attempted to commit acts of terrorism in the context of Olympic Games. We will also examine how future Olympic hosts are working to ensure the safety and security of their upcoming Games.

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Featured photo credit: AP

Spotlight: Papua New Guinea

In today’s episode, we put a spotlight on the island nation of Papua New Guinea. PNG, bordering Indonesia and Australia on the edge of the south Pacific ocean, is defined by its diversity. Incredibly rich in resources and cultures, Papua New Guinea faces unprecedented challenges that many other nations do not face. In this episode, we discuss how PNG’s cultural and political makeup internally challenge any efforts for it to fit into international society.