International Affairs

Zeinab Mohamed

Massive protests once again in Egypt. Join host Ben Kieffer to talk about the political situation there with Iowa State University's Jim McCormick and long-time Iowa resident Dr. Hani Elkadi, a native of Egypt, who’s just returned from Cairo.  Also, hear about the larger implications of this event for the Middle East.

John Pemble / IPR

Governor Branstad just announced Iowa’s ninth sister-state relationship with Kosovo, a state Iowa has maintained a unique partnership with over the years. Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Iowa national-guard members who have spent time in the region. He also explores Iowa's other sister city relations, from the Hebei province in China to Yucatan, Mexico.

U.S. Government

President Obama has chosen U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor.  Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's replacement after drawing criticism from Republicans for statements made about the attack on the U.S.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

As she led reporters around displays of the pins she wore during her career, it was as if Madeleine Albright were introducing old friends at a family reunion.

With each pin came a memory for the former Secretary of State; crucial diplomatic decisions, casual moments in the White House, and tense meetings with international heads of state… including Kim Jong-Il. 

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire for a wide-ranging subpoena of phone records at the Associated Press, as part of investigating a national security leak. That, along with continuing investigations of the IRS and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, has sucked all the air out of Washington for several days. Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Wayne Moyer from Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa about the scandals and how they're impacting President Obama's second-term agenda.

Eliza_Tasbihi / flickr

Host Ben Kieffer talks with Christopher Merrill, Director of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.  Merrill has just returned from a month-long trip on behalf of the program that took him to Baghdad and the Kurdish region of Iraq, Abu Dhabi, and Turkey.  He is about to leave for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan as part of a cultural diplomacy mission for the State Department.

In this show, Kieffer also gets a weather update from the Des Moines National Weather Service about temperature swings and the lack of an Iowa tornadoes for nearly a year.

Above the Din of War

Apr 4, 2013
Peter Eichstaedt

"River to River" sits down with journalist Peter Eichstaedt to talk about his new book "Above the Din of War" which examines the results of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the Afghan people.

Expert Infantry / flickr

The U.S. Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer to waters off the Korean peninsula. This comes in the wake of ongoing aggressive rhetoric from North Korea. On this Politics Day, we ask Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University and Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College to share their political analysis of the situation. We also cover the other international hotspots in the news.

Flickr / The U.S. Army

More than 60,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan. What hurdles does the US face as that international military operation winds down? Today on "River to River" National Security Analyst Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress will talk about US withdraw from Afghanistan.  He'll also comment on the status of Iraq, ten years after the start of the Iraq War.

assortedstuff / flickr

As drones proliferate and become more sophisticated, what questions does this raise in the international arena? Do drones present challenges we’ve never faced before?

It's politics day here on the program, and this hour we cast our analysis to the world outside our border. We take a look at how new technology, drones and cyber attacks, are shaping international politics. Also, updates on Syria, Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan. Our analysts are Lindsay Cohn, of the University of Northern Iowa, and Jim McCormick, of Iowa State University.

Chris Devers / Flickr

Legal experts have expressed grave reservations about an Obama administration memo concluding that the United States can order the killing of American citizens believed to be affiliated with al-Qaida.On today's River to River we’ll talk about the drone controversy and other international political issues with analysts Jim McCormick of Iowa State University and David Skidmore of Drake University.

Stephen Cummings / Flickr

2012 was another big year for news in Iowa.  The headlines ranged from pink slime and spaceships, to the presidential election and financial scandal.  Ben Kieffer counts down the top 10 news stories of the past year, plus some honorable mentions.

International Politics

Dec 12, 2012
U.S. Mission Geneva / Flickr

Protests continue in Egypt in advance of voting on a new constitution. On politics day Ben Kieffer talks with political experts about why protestors say the draft constitution does not represent the hope inspired by the Arab spring. And why NATO fears the Syrian President may use chemical weapons on his own people.

Yew Kwang / Flickr

When thinking of U.S. – China relations, small town Iowa rarely comes to mind. But a few Muscatine residents are working to change that, by building stronger cultural, educational, and corporate relations between the two countries. Host Ben Kieffer speaks with four Muscatine residents who recently returned from a trip to China.

Post-Debate Wrap-Up

Oct 23, 2012

Viewership slipped from the first to the second Presidential debate, and is expected to dip even more as the candidates discuss foreign affairs. Clay Masters, guest hosts for Ben Kieffer, to spotlight some of the news from the final debate of the campaign. Masters talks with analysts from other battleground states to find out how the debates have impacted the campaign and voters watching in Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire and Iowa.

Drake University / Facebook

Former President Jimmy Carter says he disagrees with President Obama’s assessment this week of Egypt’s relationship to the United States.

The Democrat addressed students and faculty at Drake University in Des Moines Thursday. During a forum focused primarily on social justice issues, Carter was asked if he agrees with President Obama’s statement that Egypt is neither an ally nor an enemy.

"No, I think Egypt is an ally of the United States," Carter says. "We know Egypt well."

Max Klingensmith / Flickr

Participating in exchange programs with other countries is one way Americans can actively engage in citizen diplomacy. Tara Shonenshine, the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the U.S. State Department talks about her efforts to strengthen our standing and relevance around the world. Then host Charity Nebbe talks about an art exhibition traveling the U.S. for the past two years, called "Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan."

 

Voluntourism

Aug 27, 2012
Iowa Resource for International Service / Facebook

Traveling abroad to Tanzania or Nigeria may sound exotic and exciting.  What if you got to travel to one of those far off places, got to really know some of the local people, and got to do work that will make a lasting difference… that sounds life changing.  On today's "Talk of Iowa"… Voluntourism, Iowans traveling the world to do good. 

In his new book, celebrated poet, essayist, and Director of the University of Iowa International Writing Program Christopher Merrill explores the nature of terror, its place in the post-911 world and how terror unites and galvanizes those in the throes of it. In The Tree of Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War Merrill takes us on his exotic journeys to Malaysia, China, the Dead Sea and war-torn Syria.

My Farm Roots: Ryan Brady

Aug 15, 2012
Justine Greve / Harvest Public Media

This is the sixth installment of My Farm Roots, Harvest Public Media’s series chronicling Americans’ connection to the land. Click here to explore more My Farm Roots stories and to share your own.

Dr. Alan Koslow / Facebook

An Iowa doctor is preparing to come home after spending the past couple of weeks doing relief work in a part of the world facing one of the worst refugee crises in memory.

Dr. Alan Koslow is a vascular surgeon from Des Moines. He landed in South Sudan about two weeks ago, in an area where tens of thousands of refugees have been fleeing violence and famine across the border in Sudan.

Koslow spoke with IPR's Sarah McCammon through an internet phone from the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

We start the program with a conversation with Dan Mozena, member of the United States Foreign Service, currently U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh – a post he has held since November of last year. Mozena was born and raised on his family’s dairy farm in northeast Iowa near Dubuque.  He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in political science and history. Dan Mozena has served in many other countries –in Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Pakistan, and Angola.  Later, what is it about Iowa that has spawned so many U.S.

They are known as our friendly neighbors to the north- host Dean Borg examines Iowa's relationship with Canada with Mary Lawyer, the new Honorary Consul of Canada in Iowa. She'll discuss her role advising Canadians on policy and trade issues and helping Iowans make business contacts north of the border. Later, Dean talks with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. The Senator will discuss prospects for a 2012 Farm Bill and his recent meeting with education officials in Washington.

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