International Relations

IPR file photo by Amy Mayer

After years of work, U.S. negotiators on Monday announced agreement on a trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations that is expected to expand export opportunities for U.S. farmers.

The 11 countries included in the deal, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, already import some 42 percent of U.S. agricultural exports at a value of $63 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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.

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.

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. / Used under Creative Commons license:

In about two weeks, the first of at least six Republican primaries will feature establishment Senate incumbents versus Tea Party challengers. Host Ben Kieffer and political analysts look at these primaries and the GOP’s bid to retake the U.S. Senate.  Also, A U.N. panel accuses North Korea of crimes against humanity, and Ukraine erupts again.  Guests are Dennis Goldford, Professor of Politics at Drake University and Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University.

Just outside the spotlight of these Olympic games in Sochi, Russia and the U.S. are navigating a tense point in their relationship.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of Political Science at Grinnell College and Tim Hagel, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about the tension and the ongoing cooperation between the U.S and Russia.  They also reflect on the U.S.

johnny9s / flickr

In this News Buzz program, hear six short interviews about: the Iowa Juvenile Home, the Olympics in Russia, an embarrassing phone conversation involving the U.S. State Department, a cyber-security competition, a deadly snowmobile accident and safety concerns, and the analysis of flood prediction. 

After western powers reached a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, what’s next? Today on River to River, guest host Ben Stanton sits down with political science experts Tim Hagle, of the University of Iowa, and Wayne Moyer, of Grinnell College. They talk about the deal and why it’s being met with skepticism by Israel, and some in Congress. They also discuss what happens after one party in the U.S. Senate uses a so-called nuclear option.

Wojtek Ogrodowczyk

How will Iowa’s congressional delegation vote on the question of possible military action in Syria? This show features discussion about the factors that congress will consider, why President Obama chose this path, and how his decision might affect the power of the presidency at home and abroad.

Kasper Nybo / Flickr

The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 was the most costly natural disaster in the history of the world and killed almost 16,000 people.  Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Daisuke Ogata, a Japanese college student visiting Des Moines for the summer, and Mary McCarthy of Drake University to discuss how this tragic event has changed U.S.-Japan relations.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.