May 17 - Refugees as Bargaining Chips; Canada's Costliest Wildfire Heads for the Tar Sands; The 100th Anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Map Now in Flames

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with the growing use of refugees as bargaining chips following the deal between Turkey and the E.U. with countries like Niger extorting $1.2 billion to stop the flow of refugees into Libya and the Mediterranean and Kenya threatening to close down the massive Daadab camp of refugees then deporting 600,000 Somalis back to their war-torn country. Joining us is James Jennings, founder and President of Conscience International, a humanitarian aid organization that worked during the worst of the 2011 Somali famine in Daadab and now is working in Lesbos, Greece where today there were riots as desperate Syrian refugees face deportation back to Turkey. We will discuss the fate of 60 million refugees worldwide and what the U.N.-sponsored World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul later this month will address and possibly achieve.


Part 2

Then with the wildfires in Canada now heading towards the oil sands mines in Alberta forcing the evacuation of thousands of workers, we speak with Dr. Toddi Steelman, the Executive Director and Professor at the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. She joins us to discuss the worsening turn in what is Canada’s costliest natural disaster and the central role of climate change in fueling wildfires that is not only making these vast boreal forest fires more deadly, but more frequent as well.

Part 3

Then finally on the 100th anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement that divided up the Middle East between France and Britain at the end of World War 1 as the Ottoman Empire collapsed, we speak with James Paul. The author of “Syria Unmasked” who was Executive Director of the Global Policy Forum and longtime Editor of the Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, he joins us to discuss how the map that spawned a century of resentment is now in flames as the unitary states of Iraq and Syria are embroiled in war and face disintegration as smaller marginalized ethnic groups either form states or face extinction.