Here And There with Dave Marash (general)

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un both came to Singapore, had an apparently amiable conversation and went home in peace.  President Trump called this a game-changing triumph, but only weeks later admitted that North Korea hadn’t changed, and was still a dangerous nuclear threat to America. So are the analysts who say Trump gave North Korea more and got less than his Presidential predecessors correct?  Joe Cirinicione of the Ploughshares Fund is one of our top experts on nuclear weapons and diplomacy with Pyongyang.  

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Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST

President Donald Trump, under extreme political pressure, suddenly reversed his family separation policy for migrants crossing America’s southern border.  But are the forcibly separated families really being reunited, and will they now face years together in detention while they await their day in court? Zoe Carpenter of The Nation has visited one notorious detention center and tells how it’s just one part of a zero tolerance policy that collapsed of its own weight, incompetence and cruelty. 

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Ivan Duque won the Presidency of Colombia campaigning on the program of his political mentor, former President Alvaro Uribe, to undermine the peace agreement with the FARC rebels.  Now that he’s won, Colombians are asking if he’ll keep to that hard line or show some independence and try to negotiate changes the FARC will accept?  The bigger question is will he bring law, order and governance to the rural areas the FARC has surrendered?  Joshua Goodman of the Associated Press discusses the story, in depth.

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It has been more than 32 years since one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents destroyed a reactor at the Chernobyl complex in Ukraine.  Harvard University historian Serhii Plokhy new book, entitled Chernobyl, sorts out the many consequences of the accident, for the health of people in Northern and Eastern Europe and for the politics of the Soviet Union and its successor states. 30-plus years and we’re still learning new things about the persistence of radiation and its human impacts. 

Direct download: HT_PLOKHY.mp3
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Colombia has elected a new President who wants to do a Trump-like thing and toss out a peace treaty his predecessor made with the former FARC guerilla army.  But at least the results were decisive and the election was clean.  Christopher Sabatini of Columbia University says recent elections in Venezuela and Honduras were as dirty as could be, and the prospects for upcoming Presidential elections in Mexico and Brazil show how threatened the very existence of real democracy is in today’s Latin America.

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In the last weeks before NM’s gubernatorial primaries, Politico Magazine broke what is called a “scandal” about the Democratic primary winner Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.  Grisham’s spokeswoman admits to “honest mistakes,” but how big a deal is this?  Are the faults in the state’s Democratic star, or in the way the State does public business.  Should public servants make private profits doing other public services? Trip Jennings of NM In Depth helps us sort that out. 

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The first place Russian use of fake news to manipulate foreign populations was uncovered was in Ukraine.  Todd Helmus of the RAND Corporation led a study team to detail what the Russian trolls were doing and how they did it.  He’ll tell us what his team found, and how they did that.  Ukraine, of course was only the beginning, interfering in the 2016 American Presidential election was the main event, but the Russian digital intrusions kept on coming, in the Brexit vote, and in national elections in France, Germany and Italy.  

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For 9 of the past 11 years, the University of New Mexico’s Athletic Department overspent its budget by millions of dollars.  And now it’s revealed UNM is out of compliance with Title IX because women aren’t getting an equal share of finding or participation in UNM athletics.  What went wrong and how did the University’s Presidents and Regents let it happen, and did the fact that a lot of university fund-raising has been kept secret from the public made problems worse?   Investigative reported Daniel Libit of the websitenmfishbowl.com has been first on this story, and give us an update. 

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero tolerance” policy on immigration across America’s southern border was designed to have consequences.  But new statistics uncovered by Reuters reporter Mica Rosenberg show the effect of prosecuting every border-crosser is separating migrant families in enormous numbers.  How enormous?  Before zero tolerance families were separated at a rate of about 100 a month.  But – in the only numbers ICE has made public – in 2 weeks in May 638 families were broken apart.  And reuniting them after deportation is not easy nor always quick.

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Turkey seems to have won a stare-down with the United States in Northern Syria.  The US has agreed to make Kurdish troops, our best allies in the fight against the Islamic State, leave the Syrian city of Manbij.  Now Turkey has announced it has an active incursion inside Iraq, whose government is also our ally, and Iran and Hezbullah are threatening US interests  elsewhere in Syria.  Pultizer Prize winning reporter Roy Gutman explains what’s going on. 

Direct download: ht061818pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm MST