Join host Carol Castiel each week as she and two advocates from the world of politics, culture, public policy, or academia debate and discuss a critical issue in the news. This program brings depth, perspective, and insight to the world around us.
Fallout from the Kyle Rittenhouse/Ahmaud Arbery Verdicts - November 26, 2021
Olayemi Olurin, a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in New York City and Mollie Saltskog, an expert in disinformation and domestic extremism at the Soufan Center, discuss the ramifications of the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, a young man charged with homicide in the deadly Kenosha, Wisconsin shootings of August 2020. Olurin tells VOA the self-defense argument was unsupported and Saltskog expresses dismay over the celebration of Rittenhouse as a “hero” among right-wing media/politicians and domestic and foreign terrorist groups. The guilty verdict for three white men who fatally shot a young Black jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, on the other hand, was hailed by civil rights leaders across the country.
Belarus/Russian “Ruse” - November 19, 2021
Will Pomeranz, deputy director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, and Andrea Kendall-Taylor, senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, discuss the motives behind Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s creation of an artificial migrant crisis on the border with Europe and the malign role played by Russian President Vladimir Putin in this ruse with host Carol Castiel. They also analyze the Russian troop buildup on the border with US ally Ukraine.
Ethiopia Update - November 12, 2021
Ambassador Tibor Nagy, former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs and former US Ambassador to Ethiopia and Ambassador Donald Booth, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia and former special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, diagnose the roots of the looming crisis in Ethiopia as well as recommend keys to a peaceful outcome with host Carol Castiel.
US Politics Update: Democrats Dilemma - November 05, 2021
John Fortier, resident scholar at The American Enterprise Institute, and Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at Third Way, discuss the main issues dominating the US political landscape with host Carol Castiel, including the implications of the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races for the 2022 midterm elections. A decisive Republican victory in Virginia is seen as a “wake-up” call for Democrats nationwide and a good omen for Republicans who seek to win back one or both houses of Congress in 2022.
Program Note: Late Friday night (11/05/21), Democrats set aside differences and passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, sending it to President Joe Biden to sign into law. This program was recorded before the legislation was passed.
Analysis of Coup d’état in Sudan - October 29, 2021
Cameron Hudson, former chief of staff to the US Special Envoy to Sudan and Ismail Kushkush an independent Sudanese journalist, discuss the factors leading to the recent coup in Sudan with host Carol Castiel. They tell VOA the military fear losing control over key economic sectors in which they have business interests and the prospect of facing accountability for past atrocities. Hudson and Kushkush say the Sudanese who rose up to throw off the yoke of military rule under Omar al Bashir, are likely to mount a strong resistance to this attempt at subverting the democratic transition.
LATAM Update: Blinken reset in Ecuador and Colombia - October 22, 2021
On this edition of Encounter, host Carol Castiel talks with Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas and the Americas Society, and Steve Hege, deputy regional director for the US Institute of Peace in Colombia, about the significance of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Colombia and Ecuador and challenges in bolstering democracy, equitable economic growth, combatting corruption and mitigating irregular migration from Haiti and Venezuela.