International Affairs

Photo by John Pemble

Iowa’s senior senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, remains hopeful after two disappointing recent events. The spring outbreak of avian influenza devastated Iowa’s poultry industry and then this past week talks on the 12-national trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Grassley has strongly supported, broke down.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Clay Masters conducted this interview with Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley Friday, July 24th. Below is a partially transcribed interview.

M: How do you feel you're getting your name out there? Do you like feel you're connecting more, the more time you spend here?

European External Action Service / Flickr

This month, negotiators reached a deal to lift economic sanctions on Iran while limiting their nuclear ability. Most Republicans, including both of Iowa's senators, are against it. And while the political ramifications have been thoroughly hashed out, less attention has been paid to the perspective of Iranians and Iranian-Americans. 

Niloufar Talebi is an Iranian-American writer and translator, and the editor of Belonging: New Poetry by Iranians Around the World. She says this deal could signal a larger shift and opening of cultural relations.

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton says none of the emails she sent or received using her private server while Secretary of State  were marked “classified” at the time. Clinton told a gathering at the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Central Committee in Winterset on Saturday that she has “no idea” what the emails contained.

On Thursday, Inspector General Charles McCullough said four emails contained classified information, though they were not marked as such. 

US Embassy Kabul Afghanistan / Flickr

For nearly four decades, Ryan Crocker served as ambassador in nearly all the Middle East countries where conflict was present, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

On this edition of River to River, Ambassador Crocker shares his perspective on the Iranian nuclear deal with host Ben Kieffer.

“It could reshape the nuclear scene globally for some time to come,” Crocker says. “That said, no one should think we are moving on to a sun dappled upland in the Middle East.”

Photo by Amy Mayer

It’s planting time for Midwest farmers and much of the corn they grow will end up feeding livestock in China, which has become a huge importer of grain from the Corn Belt. That means the farmers can’t just select seeds based on which ones will get the best yield. They have to think about where their grain will be sold.

China has its own rules for the kind of crops it wants and when American farmers don’t comply, China can close off its market.

Photo by John Pemble

The president of China, a longtime associate of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, will be returning to the United States later this year.  

Governor Branstad has invited the Chinese leader to visit to Iowa again during the trip. Xi Jinping first came to the state in 1985 and returned in 2012 to sign a multi-billion dollar soybean export deal.  

“We have already sent a letter saying we would love to host him in Iowa again,” Branstad says.

Wikimedia Commons

The deadline for outlining a deal with Iran regarding the nation's nuclear weapons program has been extended. 

According to Grinnell College political sciencist Wayne Moyer, that deadline is important. "When it comes to international negotiations, it's only a deadline that causes anything to be done." 

Moyer talked with Iowa Public Radio's Ben Kieffer today during River to River. He also commented that in order for a deal with Iran to have any chance of winning over Congress, it's going to have to contain specifics. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

This week, 47 GOP senators, including Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Joni Ernst, signed an open letter to Iran saying any nuclear deal struck with the US would be “nothing more than an executive agreement.”

Jonathon Colman

A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans (71%) now say the war in Iraq “wasn’t worth it.” That’s similar to sentiments from the Vietnam era about that conflict.

Caleb Smith / Speaker John Boehner via Flickr

Netanyahu stressed Iran’s “radical” regime, saying there is no difference between the country and ISIS in terms of “imposing a militant Islamic empire.”

Karl-Ludwig Poggemann

Leaders around the globe are meeting in Minsk in an attempt to ease the fighting between pro-Moscow rebels and Ukrainian forces over ground in Eastern Ukraine. 

Mohamed Somji / Flickr

In parts of Afghanistan, some families without sons pick a daughter to dress and live as a boy - a practice known as bacha posh.

World Economic Forum / Flickr

This weekend, pro-Moscow rebels - backed by what NATO says is the open participation of Russian troops - restarted the war in Eastern Ukraine. 

Örlygur Hnefill / Flickr

35 years ago this month, we were in the first few weeks of the Iran hostage crisis. The crisis would last 444 days, and one Iowan was there for all of them.

A historic deal regarding carbon emissions has been reached between China and the U.S.  Is it realistic?

Dieter Zirnig / Flickr

Yesterday in a deal brokered by the European Union, Russia agreed to supply gas to Ukraine through March. 

International Food Policy Research Institute / Flickr

From buying Iowa feed to learning from farming practices to possibly buying into our hog market, China's ag ties to Iowa are strong.

Pasu Au Yeung / Flickr

Art Durnev is a finance professor at the University of Iowa, but he got a crash course on political science when he encountered protests daily during a two-week stint at the UI's MBA program in Hong Kong.

This week, Great Britain joined the United States and France in air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. 

Jill Pruetz

Not many animals will use lethal aggression towards those in their own species, but two groups do - humans, and chimpanzees.

Ian Britton / Creative Commons License 3.0

A visiting Professor from Scotland says he's "terrified" about Scotland's vote on independence from the UK September 18th.

United States Forces Iraq

In a prime time address on Wednesday, President Obama will announce how the U.S. plans to confront the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Pete Souza / Official White House photo

Western sanctions have wounded the Russian economy by causing billions of dollars in capital flight, but is that enough to stop what Ukrainian officials say is the strengthening of an "invasion" force?

In this episode of River to River, political analysts Jim McCormick of Iowa State University, and Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa, share analysis on the escalating crisis in between Russia and western powers over Ukraine. Also, a detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups paints a dismal picture for Republicans, especially among women.

Valdemar Fishmen/Flickr

The ongoing turmoil in Ukraine could impact the world’s wheat supply and with reports that fighting is edging closer to a key Black Sea trading port, farmers and commodity brokers are paying attention.

Pro-Russian rebels appear to be pushing closer to the Ukranian city of Mariupol, a strategic port city. As Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, any disruption in the harvest or transport of the country’s wheat crop could put a kink in global supply lines and could raise grain prices across the world.

From "Charting the Path of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Central Africa" / Wikimedia Commons

With the Ebola outbreak continuing to take lives in Western Africa, Iowans working in the region are feeling the effects. 

Jonathon Colman

A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans (71%) now say the war in Iraq “wasn’t worth it.” That’s similar to sentiments from the Vietnam era about that conflict.

Nick Knupffer

Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today’s that’s changed.

assortedstuff / flickr

The Obama administration is asking for #3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress to address the flood of unaccompanied children coming illegally into the U.S.

Today on River to River, we talk about the politics behind this latest chapter in the immigration debate. Also, our guests analyze the latest developments in the Middle East, Ukraine and the disputed presidential election in Afghanistan.

Australian Department of Defence / Copyright: © Commonwealth of Australia 2005; Wikipedia licensed under Fair Use

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, has made major advances and taken control of portions of Iraq where U.S. soldiers once fought.  Three years after the U.S. military's role ended in Iraq, following a decade of conflict, Iraq has devolved into a sectarian conflict.  Host Ben Stanton talks with Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University and Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College about how the U.S. should respond to the Iraqi crisis.

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