April 26 - The Devastated Tiny County of Nepal; Forgiving Nepal's Debt; The Assad Regime on the Ropes from Within and Without; The U.K. Elections Hinge on Third Parties

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Part 1

We begin with the disastrous 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has devastated the tiny mountainous country of Nepal which is one of the least developed countries in the world ranking 145th out of 187 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. A nanotech engineer and scientist Pradeep Manandhar, a former Professor at Kathmandu University in Nepal who was a previously a social worker in Nepal, joins us to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in the country where much of the population is homeless and living in the streets.

 

Part 2

Then we speak with Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious coalition Jubilee USA Network about the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust which should apply to Nepal which owes the IMF $54 million, with $10 million due in 2015 and another $13 million in 2016. On top of that Nepal owes $3.8 billion to foreign lenders and spent $217 million repaying debt in 2013. Since the IMF canceled Haiti’s debt after its earthquake, we discuss how debt relief will help Nepal rebuild.

Part 3

Then we will examine the military situation in Syria where the tide appears to turning against the Assad regime as internal divisions within the ruling elite surfaced with the murder of a top general in charge of intelligence who was feuding with another general in charge of military intelligence. Murhaf Jouejati, a Syrian-born specialist on Syrian politics who is a Professor of Middle East Studies at the National Defense University joins us.

Part 4

Then finally we get an update on the election campaign underway in the U.K. that has the unpopular Prime Minister David Cameron, who is under attack from the right by the anti-immigrant and anti-Europe UKIP Party, neck-and-neck with the Labor Party headed by a lackluster Ed Miliband who is often portrayed as a wimp and a waffler. Jacob Heilbrunn, a Senior Editor at The National Interest, who is just back from the U.K., joins us. 

 

 

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