KQED's live call-in program presents wide-ranging discussions of local, state, national and international issues, as well as in-depth interviews.
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In a recent article on the Ukraine crisis, journalist Masha Gessen calls Russia President Vladimir Putin a "playground bully" and says that his use of intimidation is nothing new. The author of a 2012 critical biography of Putin, Gessen's new book "Words Will Break Cement," takes a closer look at Pussy Riot, the female punk rock group whom Putin imprisoned in 2012. She talks to us about Russian politics, protest movements, and LGBT rights overseas.
The California Republican Convention begins this weekend in Burlingame with the theme "rebuild, renew, reclaim." With Democratic Governor Jerry Brown boasting high approval ratings, Republicans face a tough road in defeating Brown and retaking other statewide offices. We discuss the upcoming convention and challenges facing California Republicans in the coming year, and talk about the future of the national GOP five years after the Tea Party movement shook up U.S. politics.
Three years after the demonstrations that launched the so-called Arab Spring, the political and social stability of nations involved remains uncertain. In his book, "The Second Arab Spring," former deputy prime minister of Jordan, Marwan Muasher, argues that all governments involved, including the U.S., Israel and Arab states, had unrealistic expectations for a quick transformation to democracy in the Middle East. In his book, Muasher traces causes of the unrest and warns of the forces that threaten today's movements toward positive state-building. He joins us in the studio.
Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom has introduced legislation that would outlaw keeping killer whales in captivity for entertainment purposes. Supporters of the bill point to what they call inhumane marine mammal park practices like forced breeding and separation of calves from mothers. Critics of the measure say that captive orcas are not in fact mistreated and serve important educational and research purposes. We take up the debate.
On Wednesday, a Chinese government agency said it had "observed a suspected crash area at sea," while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. We'll discuss the possible lead and ongoing investigation into the plane's disappearance.
Jaron Lanier is an Internet visionary and pioneer in the development of virtual reality. But he is not optimistic about how network technologies are reshaping society. We'll talk to him about surveillance, privacy, income inequality and other issues raised in his latest book, "Who Owns the Future?" which is now out in paperback.
California's drought woes may have dominated recent news, but the 6.8-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Eureka on Sunday was a reminder of another lurking natural threat. In this segment, we'll talk about all things seismic with quake experts John Dvorak and David Schwartz. Dvorak's book "Earthquake Storms" examines the history of the San Andreas Fault, the narrow break in the earth's crust which stretches more than 800 miles from Northern to Southern California.
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein denounced the C.I.A. for allegedly spying on the Senate intelligence committee, specifically the committee's probe into a C.I.A. detention program. The charges have split top lawmakers, who either support Feinstein or say it's too early to draw conclusions. We look at how Feinstein's allegations could impact the national debate on surveillance.
Historian Jared Farmer's book "Trees in Paradise" tells the story of California through four main characters: the majestic redwood, the glamorous palm, the fragrant eucalyptus, and the colorful citrus tree. Farmer joins us in the studio to discuss what the state's trees can tell us about its culture and history.
Russia continued to tighten its control of the Crimean peninsula on Monday, with pro-Russian forces taking over a naval base that had been blockaded by Ukrainian troops. We'll analyze the latest developments in Ukraine with Georgetown University professor Angela Stent, a former presidential advisor on Russia and author of the new book "The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century."
Menlo Park City Council has unanimously approved Facebook's offer of $600,000 to pay for a beat cop for three years. The officer, due to start in April, would work in Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood, a low-income area close to Facebook headquarters. While some are praising Facebook's contribution to local law enforcement, others question the implications of a private company funding a public resource.
Once dubbed "the city's brightest satiric star" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Charlie Varon is back with a new one-man show at the Marsh Theater. In "Feisty Old Jew," Varon plays Bernie, a grumpy 83-year-old who makes a massive bet that he can catch a wave in Bolinas. Varon joins us to talk about the show, and about his long career in Bay Area theater.
Writer and comedian Brian Copeland's latest play and third one-man show, "The Scion," recalls the 2000 shootings of USDA food inspectors at a San Leandro sausage factory. He used police reports and testimony to research his act, but puts a comedic spin on the gruesome crime. Copeland's first solo show, "Not a Genuine Black Man," recounted his upbringing in mostly white San Leandro and gained the actor wide acclaim. He joins us.
In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami triggered a meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Three years later, we examine the state of the cleanup, its effect on Japanese politics, and the impact on marine life and the environment.