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. Issues that affect our lives and global stability are debated and discussed in a free-wheeling, unscripted discussion of fact and opinion.
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Encounter is broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also listen to us via affiliate stations in your area. Check your local radio station guide for more information.
Saturdays: 0330 0930 1430 1800 and 2330 UTC
Sundays: 0530 1230 1730 1930 UTC
About Your Host
Carol Castiel moderates and produces not only Encounter but Press Conference USA as well. She also oversees the production of Issues in the News, VOA’s roundup of the week’s top stories by distinguished Washington journalists.
Before joining the Voice of America, Carol was a consultant/freelance journalist specializing in the promotion of trade and investment between the United States and Africa. She was also a contributing editor to the London-based West Africa Magazine. Carol is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish. She holds an M.A. degree in International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Voice of America
Washington, D.C. 20237 USA
US Politics: Election Stakes
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans to vote early and by mail in far greater numbers than they did in 2016. John Fortier, Director of Governmental Studies at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Jim Kessler, co-founder and Executive Vice President for Policy at Third Way, spar over the state of the 2020 presidential and congressional races and react to the final presidential debate between US President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, with host Carol Castiel.
Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director of the Asia Program and Senior Associate for South Asia at The Wilson Center, and Scott Smith, Senior Expert for Afghanistan Peace Processes at the U.S. Institute of Peace, discuss the US-Taliban pact that paved the way for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha, Qatar, which are designed to end the almost two-decades long civil war. They talk with host Carol Castiel about the role of Washington and daunting challenges to attaining a permanent ceasefire and lasting peace.
Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Strategic Implications
Renewed conflict has erupted over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily ethnic Armenian region in Azerbaijan. Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, former US diplomat with expertise in the Caucasus, now professor of diplomacy at the University of Kentucky, and Jonathan Katz, director of Democracy Initiatives and senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States, discuss the strategic implications of this conflict for the United States, Europe, Russia and Turkey with host Carol Castiel.
US Politics: Debate Fallout/Trump Covid-19
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for Covid 19. The news arrived just days after the first presidential debate between the Republican incumbent and Democratic nominee, Joe Biden. Meantime, in part due to the pandemic, Americans across the country have begun casting ballots early in person and via mail in advance of election day, November 3rd. John Fortier, Director of Governance Studies at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Jim Kessler, Senior Vice President for Policy at Third Way, analyze these developments with host Carol Castiel.
Japan: After Abe
Yuki Tatsumi, Director of the Japan Program at the Stimson Center, and Kristin Vekasi, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine, discuss with host Carol Castiel the legacy of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest serving prime minister, who resigned in August, and how his successor will continue or modify Japan’s domestic and foreign policies.
US Census 2020 Update
On this edition, Bill Galston, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, and Kathay Feng, National Redistricting Director at Common Cause, explain the significance of the constitutionally mandated decennial US census and discuss with host Carol Castiel the implications of the Trump administration attempts to cut short the deadline for counting by one month and to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the census numbers.