100 episodes

The world as we knew it is undergoing a rapid transformation…so what's next?

Welcome to WorldAffairs, your guide to a changing world. We give you the context you need to navigate across borders and ideologies. Through sound-rich stories and in-depth interviews, we break down what it means to be a global citizen on a hot, crowded planet.

Our hosts, Ray Suarez and Philip Yun, help you make sense of an uncertain world, one story at a time.

World Affairs World Affairs

    • News
    • 4.3 • 175 Ratings

The world as we knew it is undergoing a rapid transformation…so what's next?

Welcome to WorldAffairs, your guide to a changing world. We give you the context you need to navigate across borders and ideologies. Through sound-rich stories and in-depth interviews, we break down what it means to be a global citizen on a hot, crowded planet.

Our hosts, Ray Suarez and Philip Yun, help you make sense of an uncertain world, one story at a time.

    I Was Held Hostage. America Can Do Better

    I Was Held Hostage. America Can Do Better

    In 2008, Jason Rezaian made a life changing decision to move to Iran and follow his dream of being a foreign correspondent. He fell in love, became a reporter for the Washington Post, and even played host to Anthony Bourdain in the Iran episode of “Parts Unknown.” Then, Jason’s life was turned upside down when he was arrested and held hostage in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison for 544 days.
     
    At least 40 Americans are currently held captive around the world–not by terrorist groups, but by foreign governments. On today’s episode, we hear Jason’s story and why he thinks it’s essential that the US government and media change the way they talk about American hostages abroad so we can finally bring them home. 
     
    Guests:  
     
    Jason Rezaian, Washington Post global opinions writer, host of 544 Days and author of Prisoner
     
    Yeganeh Rezaian, senior researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists
     
    Host: 
     
    Ray Suarez


    If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

    • 24 min
    What Brittney Griner’s Detention Can Teach Us About Putin’s War

    What Brittney Griner’s Detention Can Teach Us About Putin’s War

    Just days before Putin invaded Ukraine, Russian authorities detained U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner on reported minor drug charges. Seven months later, Putin’s war rages on … and Griner—a Black lesbian athlete—remains in Russian custody, facing a brutal nine-year sentence that experts say may be politically motivated. 
     
    With her sentencing, Griner joins a growing list of US citizens detained abroad—not by rogue terrorist groups, but by established foreign governments. This week, ESPN investigative reporter TJ Quinn and hostage expert Dani Gilbert join Ray to discuss how state-endorsed hostage-taking creates leverage for autocrats—like Putin—upends American diplomatic norms, and places civilians in the crossfire.
     
    Guests:
     
    TJ Quinn, investigator reporter and senior writer at ESPN
     
    Dani Gilbert, hostage expert and Rosenwald Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security at Dartmouth College
     
    Host:  
     
    Ray Suarez
     
    If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

    • 35 min
    Ambassador Michael McFaul on Putin’s “Failed” War

    Ambassador Michael McFaul on Putin’s “Failed” War

    On September 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin ordered a draft of Russian reservists, mobilizing up to 300,000 troops – the first such draft since World War II.
     
    Just before Putin's military order, former US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, spoke with Ray Suarez to give a sense of what we can expect from the war in Ukraine in the coming weeks and – perhaps – months, and how it’s impacting Russia’s international standing.
     
    Guest:  
     
    Michael McFaul, Professor of Political Science and Director of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and author of From Cold War to Hot Peace
    Host:
     
    Ray Suarez
     
    If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

    • 59 min
    Cryptomania: How Cryptocurrency Can Save—or Destabilize—a Country

    Cryptomania: How Cryptocurrency Can Save—or Destabilize—a Country

    Whether you’re a trader,  techie, or average joe, you’ve probably heard the words “crypto” or “bitcoin” swirling around the web. In the past year, digital coins – once viewed as the exclusive domain of tech millionaires – have shot to global prominence as the preferred currency of Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian resistance fighters, Salvadoran politicians, and everyone in between.
     
    Despite the explosion of “cryptomania,” most people still know little about how the digital currency actually works. This week, we take a deep dive into the global world of cryptocurrency.
     
    We start in Kazakhstan, where crypto miners are converting frigid winters into digital cash – and straining the country’s energy grid. Then, Ray Suarez sits down with Ukrainian crypto champion Michael Chobanian and skeptic Molly White to discuss the ways crypto may help or hurt a country in crisis.
     
    Guests: 

    Denis Rusinovich, co-founder of Maveric Group AG

    Joanna Lillis, author of Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan

    Jonathan Levin, co-founder and CSO of Chainalysis Inc. 

    Michael Chobanian, founder of KUNA exchange and president of the Blockchain Association of Ukraine

    Molly White, software engineer and author of “Web3 is Going Just Great”
     
    Host:
     
    Ray Suarez

    This program was produced with additional reporting from Levi Bridges. You can check out more of Levi's work here.
     
    If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
     
     

    • 59 min
    Boris Out, Liz In: The Global Impact of the British Election

    Boris Out, Liz In: The Global Impact of the British Election

    Between the passing of Queen Elizabeth and the election of a new leader, the world’s eyes are on the United Kingdom.
     
    Until recently, British politician Liz Truss was a relative unknown outside of the UK. Now, as prime minister, she faces the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, the first monarchy changeover in seventy years, and a host of pressing foreign policy matters – notably, Ukraine, Brexit, and Northern Ireland.
     
    On this week’s episode, we break down the global implications of new British leadership with Ronan McCrea, professor of law at University College London. He joins Ray to discuss the country’s changing voting laws, party politics, and how Truss’s governing approach may differ from past Tory leaders. Then, we travel to Northern Ireland, where the fate of a Brexit protocol – and the precarious peace between north and south – is back up for debate.
     
    Guests:

    Ronan McCrea, professor of law, University College London

    Noel Large, tour guide, Ex-Prisoners Interpretive Center  
     
    Host:

    Ray Suarez
     
    If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

    • 59 min
    Feeding 7.9 Billion…Without Wrecking the Planet

    Feeding 7.9 Billion…Without Wrecking the Planet

    In today’s global economy, a single event – like a storm or virus outbreak – can impact access to basic necessities, like food for millions of people. Add to that a rapidly growing world population and many experts are wondering…  how will we keep everyone fed? In what ways will our lifestyles, and our international supply chains, adapt to meet the needs of a warming and increasingly crowded planet? 
     
    On this week’s episode, we hear from two experts with competing visions of how we can sustainably feed a growing planet. Ray Suarez is joined by Raj Patel and Robert Paarlberg on a journey through the inequities and promise of our global food system.
     
    Guests:  
     
    Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved and co-director of The Ants and the Grasshopper, University of Texas
     
    Robert Paarlberg, author of Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat, Harvard University
     
    Host:
     
    Ray Suarez
     
    If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
175 Ratings

175 Ratings

zxxcb. ,

Cryptomania 9/19/22

Ray your program content as always, is so well resourced with intriguing guests and your poignant questions asked. Thank you for your consistency in journalistic excellence.
With regards to All Cryptocurrency it’s the “Mining” process that isn’t being discussed.
Thousands of special computers in shipping containers requiring huge amounts of energy to keep them cool to function, are consuming climate altering amounts of electricity.
Vast areas of Solar Panels built for Green Energy homes has now been transferred to cool Mining Computers in shipping containers .
Deactivated Coal burning plants bought on the cheap, are being re-activated spewing air pollutants back into our atmosphere.
Mining of Cryptocurrency will completely Crush our ecosystem Ray.

KF-Albuquerque, NM

womanbyherradio ,

1st rate

World Affairs is one of the finest, most informative, news and issues programs around. Ray Suarez continues his deeply considered and compassionate newscasting in this forum. Unlike current affairs podcasts with a set of bright folks who mainly speak to each other, this program never loses sight of its purpose, to inform listeners.

Sonia PQ ,

Excellent global affairs podcast

In the world of global affairs, geopolitics, and international relations podcasts, this one is hands-down one of the best out there. Weekly episodes cover urgent and important world issues with clarity against the backdrop of well-researched historical context. Ray Suarez's depth of knowledge makes the discussion of complicated topics a fascinating listen. I am also a big fan of Philip Yun and his expertise and insights that come from extensive foreign policy work. I look forward to this podcast every week and highly recommend to to all who are passionate or just plain curious about foreign affairs and the intriguing world in which we live.

You Might Also Like

Foreign Policy
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
Mark Leon Goldberg
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker