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The North Korea Problem

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Glenn Kessler, reporter for The Washington Post

Jasper Becker, foreign correspondent with The Independent and author of the new book: Rogue Regime: Kim Jon Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea.

Journalist Andrew Meldrum

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You can kick a journalist out of the country but you still can’t shut him up.
Andrew Meldrum, the last foreign journalist in Zimbabwe, was forcibly expelled from the African nation two years ago. But he’s as big a thorn in the side as he ever was for the corrupt regime of Robert Mugabe.

The correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, 23 years in Zimbabwe, now works the phones from South Africa. Different dateline for a never-ending story: the violence and poverty that are modern day Zimbabwe.

But American-born Andrew Meldrum remembers a better time — and, somehow, he sees a better future. His memoir of Zimbabwe is called “Where We Have Hope.”


Andrew Meldrum, author of “Where We Have Hope: A Memoir of Zimbabwe” and a journalist for The Guardian.

Responding to Terror

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There was gunfire, but no bombs, in London today. Officers shot a man dead at a subway station, and a mosque was evacuated after a bomb scare; this, on the heels of attacks that killed more than 50 people in the city two weeks ago, and four failed bombings that caused chaos on the mass transit system yesterday.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair urges people to go about their lives, and they are, but what HAS changed in London? And how about here at home? Mass transit in the U.S. is beefing up security as the question looms: are we next on the terror list and are we ready? We examine the psychological aftershocks of terror.


Mathieu Deflem, Associate professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina

John Danisweski, London correspondent for the Los Angeles Times

Jessica Stern, Lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and author of “Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill”

Justice in Rwanda

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The Rwandan Genocide ended eleven years. In just 100 days in 1994, an estimated 800,000 people were murdered, many of them hacked to death. Most of the killers were ethnic Hutus and most of the victims were Tutsis.

The international community did virtually nothing to stop it. But in the genocide’s aftermath, the UN created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The tribunal has its critics: those who say it is costing too much, working too slowly or not up to the task. But the tribunal has won some historical firsts, including the first conviction in history for the crime of genocide.

Stephen Rapp is the Chief of Prosecutions at the tribunal. We talk with him about what he has faced — and heard — at the tribunal and whether it can ever see enough justice done for the victims of Rwanda.


Stephen Rapp, Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Israeli Columnist Ari Shavit

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Tension grows in Gaza today as the planned withdrawal of some 9,000 Israeli settlers from the Palestinian territories approaches. It is a political confrontation, and according to our guest today, it is an ideological one as well.

Ari Shavit, a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, is a powerful voice for a new kind of thinking about the Middle East conflict. It is thinking which scraps the idea of peace altogether — and instead settles for diminished violence. Extracting Israeli settlers from the Palestinian territories won’t be pleasant, Shavit says, but it may stop the cycle of bloodletting.

Not everyone agrees. On the right are the settlers who refuse to leave what they call their rightful homeland. On the left are Israelis contemptuous of any such land privilege. But Ari Shavit stays firm in the middle.


Ari Shavit, Tel Aviv based columnist for Ha’aretz.

Those New Yorker Magazine Covers

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There is no shortage of things to say about those New Yorker magazine covers. They are timeless, yet timely. Hip, but refined. They make us laugh and give us pause.

And, sometimes they are a little New York-centric. Saul Steinberg’s “A View of the World From 9th Avenue” is one of the most famous sketches to ever grace The New Yorker. Like many covers, it found a way to make all of us laugh.

A current exhibition of New Yorker covers reminds us how well the illustrations have captured the moment – and more – for the past 80 years. The magazine’s stunning response to 9/11, the ominous, almost empty, black cover of the twin towers has become an icon.


Lee Lorenz, former Art and Cartoon Editor of The New Yorker, and author of “The Art of The New Yorker: 1925-1995″

Francoise Mouly, current Art Editor of The New Yorker

Maira Kalman, illustrator and The New Yorker cover artist.

And the Nominee Is….

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President Bush has made his pick for the Supreme Court. Everyone seems to agree that John G. Roberts Jr. is a brilliant legal mind, but what’s in his heart?

We examine what this nominee believes, what ideology he brings, what effect he would have on the highest court in the land. We take a look at what we know — and what we don’t — about this conservative choice of the President.

How does Roberts compare to those who came before him, and what does his nomination tell us about who might come after? How would he change the balance of — outlook, of gender, of temperament — on the court?


Emily Bazelon, Senior Editor and Legal Analyst for Slate magazine

Heather Gerken, Professor at Harvard Law School

Peter Irons, Professor Emeritus at the University of California in San Diego, and author of “The People’s History of the Supreme Court”

Susan Hill, of the National Women’s Health Coalition

The Syringa Tree

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In Africa, the syringa tree is a fragrant, flowered tree that can survive in shade or blistering sun. In actress Pamela Gien’s memories, it is much, much more.

In her one-woman play, “The Syringa Tree,” the tree is a magic sanctuary for a young white girl living in South Africa under apartheid. For her black nanny, it is a hideaway from the police. For those who believe in spirits, the tree is the landing place for the dead, who roam in its limbs.

Gien wrote the play in the mid 90s and has performed it around the world. She makes a seamless tour de force of a work that features more than twenty characters. And at its center is a 6-year-old narrator Elizabeth — or Lizzie — Grace, a curious, clever wide-eyed innocent witness to the violence and racism that was apartheid.


Pamela Gein, actress and playwright of the award-winning play, “The Syringa Tree.”

Charging Saddam Hussein

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Saddam Hussein will have his day in court. On Sunday, a special tribunal in Iraq filed the first formal charges against Iraq’s former ruler.

Hussein was charged with allegedly ordering the execution of about 150 people in Dubail, a small town north of Baghdad. The massacre was in retaliation for an assassination attempt against Saddam near Dujail in 1982. The trial may start as early as the fall, and if he is convicted, Hussein could face death by hanging.

Some human rights groups criticize the tribunal as an illegal court set up under an occupation. But others say it will showcase justice and the rule of law in a country still unraveling in chaos, where bombs rain down and sectarian strife rules the day.


Luke Baker, Baghdad Correspondent for Reuters

Michael Scharf, Professor of Law at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio

Robert Weiner, political analyst, former Clinton Administration Public Affairs Officer, currently the Director of Robert Weiner Associates, based in Washington, DC.