February 6 - Putin's 51 Billion Dollar Bash; Are Pakistan's Talks with the Taliban a Prelude to War?; The Soprano State's Chris Christie

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Full Program

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Part 1

We begin on the eve of the Sochi Winter Olympics, and get an analysis of how Vladimir Putin’s big showcase event will play at home and abroad as the foreign press focuses on shoddy amenities at hotels and stray dogs while the Russian press gushes with pride. Clifford Gaddy, a Senior Fellow at the Brooking Institution and co-author of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin”, joins us to discuss the economics behind this $51 billion bash that is meant to highlight Russia’s sense of its own cultural, political and moral standards, which, unlike the West and America in particular, respects the sovereignty of others and does not seek to imposed its values.

 

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Part 2

Then we look into the peace talks underway between the Pakistani government and a Pakistan Taliban-nominated delegation in Islamabad. The Director of the South Asia Center at the Atlantic Council, Shuja Nawaz, the author of “Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within”, joins us to discuss attempts underway to end a decade-long insurgency through talks initiated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.  We explore the conditions laid down by the government and look into resistance from the powerful Army, whose soldiers have died in Taliban attacks across the country.

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Part 3

Then finally we get a profile of New Jersey’s controversial and embattled governor, Chris Christie from an award-winning veteran New Jersey journalist Robert Ingle, the author of “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption” and “Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power”. We discuss the scandals dogging the likely Republican presidential candidate who is taking a hit in recent polls from the negative publicity of bridge closings and alleged strong-arm tactics and political retribution over development projects and endorsements.

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