Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

The longest running independent international affairs podcast features in-depth interviews with policymakers, journalists and experts around the world who discuss global news, international relations, global development and key trends driving world affairs. Named by The Guardian as "a podcast to make you smarter," Global Dispatches is a podcast for people who crave a deeper understanding of international news.

Episodes

April 22, 2024 25 mins

Diplomats are gathering in Ottawa this week for the latest round of negotiations on a treaty to end plastic pollution.

Back in 2022, 175 countries agreed to develop a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution by 2024. This meeting in Ottawa is the penultimate round of negotiations and a critical moment in the long effort to curb the environmental damage caused by the rampant production and use of plastic today.

On the line wit...

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On April 1st, Israel launched airstrikes on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus, killing seven Iranian officials, including a very senior general. Iran responded with a massive drone attack on Israel, marking the first time that Iran directly attacked Israeli soil. All this is happening, of course, in the context of the conflict in Gaza.

My interview guest Dalia Dassa Kaye is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for Int...

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April 15, 2024 27 mins

On the one year anniversary of the outbreak of civil war, Sudan is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. On April 15, 2023, fighting spread from Khartoum to other parts of the country, including Darfur, where the conflict took on ugly ethnic dimensions, potentially leading to genocide. Over 8 million people have been displaced, and the UN is warning of famine in parts of the country.

My interview guest today, Kholood ...

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The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, better known as UNRWA, was established in 1949 to support Palestinians displaced during the first Arab-Israeli war. Today, it provides services and humanitarian relief to nearly 6 million Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and of course Gaza. 

There has always been some tension between Israel and UNRWA, but since the October 7th attacks and the...

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On March 31st, Turkey held local elections across 81 provinces. These elections took place less than a year after national elections cemented President Erdogan and his AK Party's hold on power, which he had been consolidating for nearly 20 years through democratic backsliding. But these elections were different -- very different. Erdogan's AKP suffered huge defeats across the country, perhaps none more impactful and symbolic than t...

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The Gaitenistas, otherwise known as the Gulf Clan, are Colombia's largest and richest criminal armed group. They formed nearly 20 years ago but have gained considerable strength since Colombia's landmark 2016 peace agreement with the Leftist FARC guerrilla group. Today, The Gulf Clan controls much of Colombia's Atlantic coast and is a key player in drug trafficking and migrant smuggling. All the while, they use coercive tactics to ...

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Xi Jinping has dramatically reshaped China since coming to power in 2012. He is now effectively a leader for life, and throughout his time in power, he has molded Chinese politics and society to his own ideological predilections. Understanding this ideology, known as "Xi Thought," is crucial for comprehending how China perceives its role in the world today.

Steve Tsang, the director of the China Institute at SOAS University of Lond...

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March 28, 2024 23 mins

Podcast guest Rosemary Salomone is the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law at St John's University School of Law and author of the book "The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language." The book takes readers around the world to show the political, social and cultural implications of English having been firmly established as the Lingua Franca. We kick off discussing how English became the dominant global language. We then...

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In Mid-March the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would effectively ban Tik Tok in the United States. Tik Tok's parent company, Byte Dance, is Chinese. This bill would force Byte Dance to sell Tik Tok to an American buyer or else the app would no longer be available in the United States. President Biden has said he’d sign this bill into law, but at the moment the legislation is stalled...
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The Commission on the Status of Women concludes this week at the United Nations. CSW, as it is known, is one of the major annual events at UN headquarters, second only to the opening of the UN General Assembly in September. But unlike UNGA, it rarely gets much media attention, at least not the kind of attention commensurate for a diplomatic gathering of its size.

Joining me to explain the key debates and discussion from the 68th Co...

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The security and humanitarian situation in Haiti has gone from bad to worse over the last several days. The country, ensnared in an enduring crisis following the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, now faces a critical juncture as violence led by gang coalitions escalates and state authority wanes. Amid this chaos, Prime Minister Ariel Henry signaled his intent to step down, agreeing to a transitional governing council. ...

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Artificial Intelligence is changing warfare. Fully autonomous weapons that can make their own decisions about what to target or whom to kill are already in limited use today. But the pace of development of AI suggests that these so-called "Killer Robots" may become more and more common in future armed conflicts. Meanwhile, the speed at which new AI technology is coming online far exceeds the ability of the international community t...

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Western countries have seized hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian assets following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago. Since then, the question of what to do with those assets has loomed large over debates about Ukraine.

Vladimir Milov is a Former Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation and now a Russian opposition politician. Milov makes a compelling case for the expropriation of these assets ...

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Stuart Reid is the executive editor of Foreign Affairs and author of the new book "The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination." The book tells the story of Congo's liberation from Belgium in the 1950s and 60s and the rise to prominence of Patrice Lumumba, Congo's charismatic independence leader. Believing Lumumba to be under the sway of the Soviet Union, the CIA hatched a plot to assassinate him at...

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Alexander Ward ia national security reporter for POLITICO and author of the book "The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump." We discuss the implications of Mitch McConnell stepping down as the leader of the Senate Republicans and delve into the key themes and insights from Ward's important new book. We explore the concept of the "foreign policy for the middle class" and how it shaped the Biden...

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There is a global development pileup on the horizon. In 2024 and 2025, about a dozen funding pools that support global development and global health are due for replenishment. These replenishments are essentially fundraisers for entities like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), and the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), among man...

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On January 28th, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger jointly announced they were leaving the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. This is a regional economic and political union of most countries in West africa. Citizens enjoy free movement across borders of ECOWAS member states and many of its members share the same currency.  ECOWAS also seeks to uphold democratic norms, and each of these three countries are led by militar...

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Last week, the United States Senate passed a foreign aid bill that included about $60 billion for Ukraine's defense. The vote was overwhelmingly bi-partisan, but the ultimate fate of continued American aid for Ukraine now depends on action in the House of Representatives, where the outcome is unknown.

Mounting uncertainty around America's commitment to Ukraine's defense comes at the two year anniversary of Russia's invasion. The ap...

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Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world, and on February 14th national elections were held including to replace the extremely popular outgoing president Joko Widodo. The current defense minister Prabowo Subianto won those elections and will be Indonesia's next president. He's a controversial figure who has been credibly accused of human rights abuses during Indonesia's long Suharto dicatorship. He was also a former ri...

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February 15, 2024 27 mins

2024 is an important year for African democracy. At least 19 national elections scheduled to take place this year. Not all of these elections will be free or fair-- let alone competetive. Some of these elections will serve to ensconce leaders for life like Rwanda's Paul Kagame. Others may serve to consolidate power following a coup. But genuine multi-party democracies like Ghana and South Africa are also headed to the polls in impo...

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