Technology, Censorship and Iranian Popular Culture

Iran produces a wealth of homegrown popular movies, music andliterature. Iranian popular culture thrives under the watchful eyes ofgovernment censors — in part by creatively pushing the boundaries ofwhat is permissible, and in part by using the Internet and technology to avoid those limitsaltogether. Worldfocus correspondent Bigan Saliani and producer Richard O’Regan report.

Saudi Arabia Looks Beyond an Oil Economy

In an interview with PBS’ Nightly Business Report, Saudi Arabian oilminister Ali al-Naimi talks about his country’s plans to move beyond aneconomy that is so heavily dependent on oil, and about the opening of themulti-billion dollar King Abdullah University for Science andTechnology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

How to Reform the U.S. Decision-Making Process

Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation and national security reform expert Jim Locher discuss how the chain of command that is described in the Goldwater-Nichols Act could be expanded to include inter-agency systems. Locher says that the White House is currently lacking an integrated effort between agencies that would allow departments to share expertise.

China Challenged to Unite Ethnic Groups

As China prepares to mark 60 years of communist rule, one of thegreatest challenges facing the country’s rulers remains uniting China’sdiverse ethnic groups, as recent unrest in Tibet and Xinjiang provincedemonstrates. Ninety-two percent of China’s 1.3 billion people areethnic Han Chinese,while the rest consists of a mix of 55 officially recognizedethnic minorities, from Mongols and Manchus, to Tibetans andMuslim Uighurs. Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan reports from Sichuan province.

NATO Secretary General Defends Alliance’s Afghanistan Contributions

NATO’s new secretary general says thealliance remains committed to the fight in Afghanistan, despite greaterviolence in the country and a rising death toll among U.S. and NATOtroops. Monday in Washington, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the need formore resources to battle Taliban militants comes at a time when publicsupport for continued operations in Afghanistan is waning in manyallied nations. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.

New U.S. Initiative on Global Food Security

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon hosted a meeting on Global Food Security Sept. 26 in New York, with leaders from 130 countries. Ban and Clinton jointly introduced a proposal at the meeting titled “Partnering for Food Security: Moving Forward.” The thrust of the initiative is to take a more preventative and less reactive approach toward food security. “We will continue of course to invest in the crises and emergencies, but we want to begin to try to alleviate the crises and the emergencies by once again enabling people to feed themselves,” Clinton said at […]

NATO Commodore Steve Chick on Pirates

Royal Navy Commodore Steve Chick, seniorofficer of a NATO counter-piracy force on the Gulf of Aden, discussesthe state of Somali piracy, during a visit to the U.S.S. Donald Cook inSeptember 2009. Video by David Axe.

Parag Khanna: ‘Invisible Maps’ at TED

At the TED Global Conference in Oxford, England, Parag Khanna looks atinternational borders, globalization, and how to create a prosperous,peaceful and integrated world. By looking at the “Invisible Maps”behind political borders, Khanna demonstrates how economic, demographicand cultural factors — such as Chinese migration into Russia, and theconstruction of oil and gas pipelines in the Mideast and Central Asia– are shaping the geopolitical future.

Obama, Sarkozy, Brown on Iranian Nuclear Facility

U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Nikolas Sarkozy, and U.K.Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the discovery of Iran’s covertnuclear facility at the G-20 economic conference in Pittsburgh.

A Comprehensive Peace Agreement: A Palestinian View

Amjad Atallah of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force speaks with Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO executive committee, the highest decision-making body of the PLO, which has responsibility for negotiating with Israel and the United States over a comprehensive peace agreement.

Obama Speaks to United Nations General Assembly

On Sept. 23, U.S. President Obama spoke before the United Nations General Assembly for the first time as president. The president outlined “four pillars” he believes are “fundamental to the future that we want for our children”:”non-proliferation and disarmament; the promotion of peace andsecurity; the preservation of our planet; and a global economy thatadvances opportunity for all people.” Full transcript.

Obama Administration’s Vision for the U.S.-China Relationship

Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg delivers a keynote address on the Obama Administration’s vision for the future of the U.S.-China relationship at a conference hosted by the Center for a New American Security in Washington. Full transcript.

Obama Speaks to Press During Netanyahu, Abbas Meetings

After the President held separate bilateral meetings with PrimeMinister Netanyahu of Israel and President Abbas of the PalestinianAuthority at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, Sept. 22, he spoketo the press before beginning another trilateral meeting.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran on Obama’s Afghanistan Policy

The Washington Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran says Obama is considering a”pretty significant shift in policy” on Afghanistan, from acomprehensive counterinsurgency and nation-buiilding campaign to a muchmore narrowed mission focused on counterterrorism. The fraudulentAfghanistan elections are at least one major factor in precipitatingthis change from March, when the White House promulgated a much moreexpansive Afghanistan strategy.

Southern Thailand Insurgents Target State Schools

In southern Thailand, Muslim insurgents are targetinggovernment-run schools. For the insurgents, the schools symbolize theThai Buddhist state, and a threat to their Muslim Malay culture. Voiceof America’s Daniel Schearf reports from Thailand’s PattaniProvince.

Challenges for the G-20 in Pittsburgh

Uri Dadush of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace provides apreview of the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh this week. Dadush says worldleaders musttread carefully as they plan for the withdrawal of government support,insist onreforms needed to prevent a future crisis, and remove the uncertaintysurrounding the role of the G-20 as a forum for global economicgovernance

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