Spotlight

Spotlight: Urumqi

Positioned in China’s resource-rich northwestern region, the city of Urumqi is gaining strategic importance as China seeks to diversify its energy resources. However, ethnic and cultural tensions between the Chinese government and Uighur minority population continue to threaten the region’s stability. Read More

Spotlight: Cyprus

The island nation of Cyprus can be summed up in one word: divided. Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1960, tensions between the ethnically Greek and Turkish sides of the island escalated to a Greek coup d’Etat attempt and invasion by Turkey in 1974. This conflict has resulted in the island being split, monitored, and guarded by the UN and a reunification debate that continues to this day. Read More

Spotlight: Mali

Following the death of three US soldiers in Nigeria, there has been a re-examination of the relationship between terrorism, Western intervention, and African nations. Given that Africa is seen as a strategic priority in preventing the spread of terrorism, we examine the history, current state, and future of Mali in this context. 

Throughout the show, we discuss the history of the country, including its ancient role on the continent, its modern contemporary history in relation to politics and external influence. Then we will look at the emergence of terrorism in Mali, separatist movements, and French intervention. Lastly, we examine the future of the country and the role of the international community.

Spotlight: Belarus

Today’s episode will feature a spotlight on Belarus only recognized as a country since 1991. Sandwiched between Russia and the European Union, Belarus is known as “Europe’s Last Dictatorship.” Its president, Alexander Lukashenko has held this position since being the first “democratically” elected president in 1994. Since then, Belarus has faced a sensitive diplomatic environment, constantly having to appease its dominant neighbor, Russia, while also balancing its relations with the European Union and the West. In this spotlight episode, we discuss Belarus’ brief history and its place in the international community.

Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s Female PM

Bangladesh is a country with a significant gender gap, steeped in patriarchal tradition. So it may come as a surprise that its Prime Minister is a woman. In this episode, we shine a spotlight on PM Sheikh Hasina. Read More

Spotlight: Guyana

Tucked away in the northeast corner of South America, Guyana is often overshadowed by its larger neighbors Venezuela, Brazil, and Colombia. However, the Guyanese are a diverse and resilient people who play an integral role in the region. Read More

Japan’s Emperor Akihito

Emperor Akihito of Japan is not your traditional emperor. In light of Akihito’s unconventional remarks hinting at a possible desire to abdicate, we spend this episode discussing the emperor’s place in Japanese government and culture. Read More

Spotlight: Doctors without Borders

During periods of major disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and deadly conflicts, victims can count on one organization to come to their aid. Doctors Without Borders, or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is an internationally focused non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides assistance to areas in critical need of medical care.  Read More

Spotlight: Gwadar Port, a Chinese Foothold in Pakistan

In this episode we look at Gwadar port, a deep-sea port located in the Balochistan province in southwest Pakistan, along a strategic trade route in the Arabian Sea. A Chinese state-owned company, Overseas Ports Holding Company, signed a 40-year lease for the port in 2014 to advance China’s economic and trade interests in the region. Read More

Spotlight: Comoros

Comoros_in_relation_to_Afrika_mapMaybe you’ve at least heard of most countries around the world. But have you ever heard of Comoros? This small island nation east of Africa and north of Madagascar has had an outsized impact on international trade and the the history of its region. Today’s Comoros has a complex political system and a rich diversity of culture. Join us as we discuss Comoros in this latest installment of our Spotlight series!

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