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Pod Save the World

Updated 2 months ago

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“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.

Read more

“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.

iTunes Ratings

17944 Ratings
Average Ratings
16771
555
145
147
326

Disappeared?

By gordoe72 - May 29 2020
Read more
Where in the world is Rudy Sandiego ?

Can Ben Rhodes stop yelling?

By sllimaraik - May 22 2020
Read more
Content is usually A1 but his yelling...no.

iTunes Ratings

17944 Ratings
Average Ratings
16771
555
145
147
326

Disappeared?

By gordoe72 - May 29 2020
Read more
Where in the world is Rudy Sandiego ?

Can Ben Rhodes stop yelling?

By sllimaraik - May 22 2020
Read more
Content is usually A1 but his yelling...no.
Cover image of Pod Save the World

Pod Save the World

Latest release on Aug 05, 2020

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“Pod Save America” cohost Tommy Vietor thought foreign policy was boring and complicated until he got the education of a lifetime working for President Obama’s National Security Council. On “Pod Save the World,” he and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes break down the latest developments and bring you behind the scenes with the people who were there. New episodes every Wednesday.

Rank #1: Trump goes to war with Iran

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In a bonus episode, Tommy and Ben discuss Trump’s decision to assassinate a top Iranian official named Qassem Soleimani. What happened? How did we get here? Who is Soleimani and why is he so influential? What happens next and how should the 2020 Democrats respond? 

Jan 03 2020

40mins

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Rank #2: U.S. policy towards Israel

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Tommy and Ben Rhodes talk with former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about his time in Israel, why the Middle East Peace process failed, Trump's approach to Israel, the BDS movement, whether support for Israel is getting politicized, Netanyahu's legal jeopardy, and Jared Kushner managing our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Dec 12 2018

57mins

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Rank #3: Ronan Farrow

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Tommy talks with Pulitzer Prize winning author Ronan Farrow about his new book War on Peace and the militarization of American foreign policy. 

May 02 2018

50mins

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Rank #4: Iran retaliates to the Soleimani strike

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Tommy and Ben talk about the fallout from Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. What do we know about Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on bases hosting U.S. troops in Iraq? How are the Iranian people responding? Why is Trump threatening to commit war crimes? Why does the rationale for the strike keep changing and what can Congress do to stop the war from escalating? Then they discuss Kim Jong Un’s announcement that North Korea will abandon constraints on its nuclear program and how climate change has led to catastrophic fires across Australia. Then Middle East expert and former Bush, Obama and Trump aide Brett McGurk joins to discuss when the Soleimani assassination means for our relationship with Iraq and our efforts to fight ISIS.

Jan 08 2020

1hr 17mins

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Rank #5: Bill Taylor’s got the Ukraine receipts

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Tommy and Ben talk about the latest on impeachment and about Turkey’s invasion of Syria. Then they run through a whirlwind week of news that included Brexit updates, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s narrow election victory, and Israel’s ongoing government formation process. They also discuss the treatment of US diplomats in China, Facebook’s handling of disinformation campaigns, protest movements in Haiti and Lebanon and some great reporting about the war in Afghanistan. And in this week’s interview, National Security Advisor Susan Rice joins the pod to talk about Trump and Syria, General Mattis, Benghazi and leading Bill Clinton’s Africa policy.

Oct 23 2019

2hr

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Rank #6: LIVE from J Street

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Tommy and Ben record a special episode from D.C. at the national conference hosted by the progressive Jewish organization J Street. They run through news from around the globe and from the Middle East with Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times - and chat with two activists, Maisam Jaljuli and Mikhael Manekin, about progressive solutions for the Arab-Israeli peace process. The episode also includes selections from interviews Tommy and Ben recorded at the conference with five presidential candidates: Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders. Full videos for all interviews are available at jstreet.org.

Oct 30 2019

1hr 38mins

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Rank #7: Dunking on Erdogan with Enes Kanter

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Police crack down as protests escalate to new heights in Hong Kong. An explosion involving a nuclear reactor in Russia kills at least a half dozen people.  Boris Johnson tries to negotiate a U.S.-U.K. trade deal ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union. A scary report in the New York Times sheds light on what’s driving the spread of right wing extremism around the globe. And Ben Rhodes shares the story behind his recent reporting for The Atlantic on Aung San Suu Kyi. Then Enes Kanter, a professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics, joins Ben in the studio to talk about human rights and the politics of his home country, Turkey - and why President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put out a warrant for his arrest and banned him from coming home. 

Aug 14 2019

1hr 10mins

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Rank #8: Syria strikes and North Korea talks

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Tommy talks with foreign policy expert Kelly Magsamen about Trump’s strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons site, his lack of a broader strategy, and her attempt to “red team” the policy options during the Obama administration. Then they talk about CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea.

Apr 18 2018

39mins

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Rank #9: The CIA's tortured history

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Tommy talks with ACLU political director Faiz Shakir about the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA despite her role in the Bush-era torture of terrorism suspects. They also discuss the politics of national security in the Trump era, and whether Obama did enough to hold the CIA accountable for its actions.

Apr 27 2018

55mins

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Rank #10: Right-wing radicals and CIA secrets

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Tommy talks with former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano about her efforts to combat right-wing extremists. Then he is joined by former Deputy CIA Director David Cohen to talk about what it was like to learn the world’s most closely guarded secrets, how the CIA works, and hear his David’s views on North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs. 

Aug 16 2017

52mins

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Rank #11: Infiltrating al Qaeda

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Tommy interviewed undercover FBI agent Tamer Elnoury about his work penetrating and disrupting an al Qaeda cell plotting attacks in Canada and the United States. They discussed what it was like to live with and pretend to become a terrorist, including having to visit the Ground Zero memorial with a man who took pride in the 9/11 attacks and wanted to repeat them. His book, AMERICAN RADICAL, is great - read it!

Dec 15 2017

45mins

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Rank #12: Revoking John Brennan's security clearance

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Tommy talks with former acting CIA director Michael Morell about President Trump's decision to revoke his opponents' security clearances. They discuss why the politicization of intelligence is so dangerous and why many former spy chiefs decided to speak out on Brennan's behalf. 

Aug 22 2018

36mins

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Rank #13: Owned by Russia but itching to bomb Iran

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First, Tommy and Ben discuss two stories about the Trump administration agitating to attack Iran. Then they discuss several unnerving reports about Trump potentially being compromised by Russia, followed by Brexit, the World Bank, and our Twitter troll ambassador to Germany. Then a Sudanese-American activist named Wafa May Elamin joins to discuss the ongoing protests in Sudan.

Jan 16 2019

51mins

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Rank #14: 8 Years in the Situation Room with Ben Rhodes

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Tommy and Obama’s former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes discuss Ben’s career path, Obama’s Cairo speech, the damage Trump is doing, counterterrorism, restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, Wikileaks, Snowden, Israel, Syria and more.

Feb 15 2017

1hr

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Rank #15: Emergency North Korea update then Putin’s #1 enemy

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Former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes talks through Trump’s promise of “fire and fury” if North Korea threatens the US and today’s reports on advances in North Korea's nuclear program. Then Tommy is joined by Bill Browder, a businessman who became Putin’s #1 enemy after exposing corruption in Russia. Browder was the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act sanctions to punish Russian human rights abusers.

Aug 09 2017

47mins

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Rank #16: UK election aftermath

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British MP David Lammy joins to talk about the UK elections and what they mean for Brexit and the future of the Labour Party. Then Ben and Tommy talk about India’s ongoing slide into Hindu nationalism, the China trade war, and a troubling investigation into problems with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process. Plus, Biden’s record on Iraq, unfair charges of antisemitism against Bernie Sanders, and a proposal from Elizabeth Warren to fight global financial corruption.

Dec 18 2019

1hr 7mins

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Rank #17: Foreign lobbying and what Bob Woodward taught us about Trump's foreign policy

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Two part show this week! First, Tommy talks with the Wall Street Journal's Julie Bykowicz about new and insidious ways foreign countries are lobbying the Trump administration. Then, Tommy is joined by Vox's Alex Ward to discuss North Korea, revelations in Bob Woodward's book, new theories about what harmed diplomats in Cuba, and Burma.

Sep 05 2018

47mins

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Rank #18: "Space Force all the way!"

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Tommy talks with defense expert Katherine Charlet from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace about President Trump's plan to create a Space Force!!! How much is the military currently operating in space? Is this proposal smart, necessary or a gigantic waste of taxpayer money. Listen to this episode (which includes lasers) to find out!

Aug 15 2018

37mins

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Rank #19: Jerusalem went to Jared

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Tommy talks with Politico’s foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi about Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Then they discussed news reports indicating Rex Tillerson’s disastrous tenure as Secretary of State may be coming to a close. It was lit. 

Dec 08 2017

45mins

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Rank #20: Snowden and Surveillance with Glenn Greenwald

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Intercept editor Glenn Greenwald joins to respond to criticism of Edward Snowden and to discuss his views on intelligence collection.

Mar 15 2017

57mins

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Explosions in Beirut

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Tommy and Ben talk about the enormous explosions in Beirut, why Cuba has become an issue for Congresswoman Karen Bass in Biden’s VP selection process, Biden’s 2000(!?!) campaign foreign policy advisors, why US troops are leaving Germany, the upcoming election in Belarus, why the Department of Homeland Security was collecting “intelligence” on activists and journalists, why Spain’s former king is in trouble, how schools are coping with COVID, climate change and Bangladesh, Afghanistan and TikTok.

Aug 05 2020

1hr 5mins

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Ambassadors Gone Wild

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Tommy and Ben make the case for Susan Rice as Vice President, the latest on escalating tensions between the US and China, US plans to sell advanced armed drones abroad, two Trump donors turned ambassadors are engulfed in scandal, anti-corruption protests threaten the government in Bulgaria, Bob Gates writes a book and we’re confused, the truth about TikTok and things aren’t looking good for Major League Baseball. Then Ben interviews Israeli news anchor Yonit Levi about the massive anti-Netanyahu protests in Israel.

Jul 29 2020

1hr 21mins

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Everything Mike Pompeo touches turns to sh*t

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Democrats sound the alarm about foreign election interference. Experts say Israel and the US are responsible for mysterious explosions across Iran. Mike Pompeo uses taxpayer dollars to run for President. A fire on a US Navy ship has major implications. Lebanon’s economy nears collapse. The UAE launched a space craft. The White House threatens to prevent 92 million Chinese citizens from entering the US. A coronavirus update and some baseball news. Then Bernie Sanders’s foreign policy advisor Matt Duss joins to talk about lessons from the 2020 campaign and how to push for a smarter, more progressive foreign policy.

Jul 22 2020

1hr 20mins

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Dems in Congress push for a more progressive foreign policy

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A leadership fight in Congress that could help make the Democratic Party’s foreign policy more progressive. A far-right nationalist wins reelection in Poland. How other countries are reopening schools during COVID. Egypt cracks down on press freedom. China, the NBA and why ESPN suspended a reporter. Turkey tries to silence critics abroad. China sanctions Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and may sign a strategic deal with Iran. And the US keeps its border closed.

Jul 15 2020

1hr 7mins

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Trump’s cruel immigration policies

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Literally no one is surprised that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has contracted COVID, and how Sweden’s terrible response could help us move past the broken debate about reopening our economy. Mysterious explosions at military sites in Iran. Garbage right-wing outlets publish fake news by fake people. Joe Biden’s diplomatic style. China’s legal crackdown on Hong Kong. Neo-Nazis infiltrate the German military. And then Ben talks to Cecila Muñoz, former head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, about Trump's latest heinous efforts to restrict immigration and what the next administration will have to do to change course - and about her new book, "More than Ready."

Jul 08 2020

1hr 19mins

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Russian bounties with Rep Adam Schiff

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Explosive reports that the Russia military has been paying Taliban-linked militants to kill US forces in Afghanistan. Tommy and Ben try to figure out why Russia would do this and how the US should respond. China ends Hong Kong’s independence. The LGBT community is under attack in Chechnya. Social media platforms crack down on hate speech. A new strain of pig flu worries scientists. A reexamination of Belgium’s racist, colonial history. Congress tries to weaken encryption. The humanitarian situation in Yemen worsens, and progressive Democrats call out Israeli annexation of the West Bank. Then Congressman Adam Schiff joins to discuss reports of Russian bounties against US troops and the politicization of the US intelligence community.

Jul 01 2020

1hr 17mins

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John Bolton’s sh*tty book

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Tommy and Ben talk through some of the explosive revelations in John Bolton’s book, from supporting the construction of concentration camps in China, to thinking it would be “cool” to invade Venezuela to his approach to North Korea and Iran. They also cover news about climate change, Chinese cyberattacks, the ongoing saga of Capt Crozier, the latest with the Coronavirus and an update out of Afghanistan. Then Tommy is joined by Hamed Sinno, the lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the Middle East, Mashrou’ Leila, and an influential LGBTQ rights activist.

Jun 24 2020

1hr 19mins

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Assault on the press and democracy in the Philippines

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An attack on press freedom in the Philippines and what it could mean for the future of their democracy. The two year anniversary of the US-North Korea Singapore summit. Right-wing zealots take over the Voice of America. Fighting between China and India and updates out of Russia. The US threatens to sanction the International Criminal Court (huh?), how right-wing news outlets are being used by foreign intelligence, and Bob Gates and John Bolton sell books. Then Ben talks to Rokhaya Diallo, a French journalist and activist, about the protests against systemic racism and police brutality in France and what's next for President Emmanuel Macron. 

Jun 17 2020

1hr 20mins

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Why policing is better abroad

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Tommy and Ben examine how other countries structure and run their police forces to see if there are policies or tactics the US can adopt to improve outcomes. New data suggests that claims of election fraud in Bolivia were wrong. Why the possibility of creating a Palestinian state is in jeopardy. The international movement to get rid of racist statues and monuments. Trump orders US troops out of Germany. Honor killings in Iran. Why John Bolton is sad. And then the Washington Post’s David Ignatius joins to talk about his new spy novel The Paladin, why Generals are abandoning Trump, General Flynn’s call with Russia and more.

Jun 10 2020

1hr 12mins

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The world is watching

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The global reaction to the protests in the United States and the scary and inappropriate way the US military is being asked to police them. Trump’s latest fight with the G-7, an update on the war in Libya, why Ted Cruz is threatening Twitter, and locusts. Then Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah joins to talk about how Western media would be covering the protests in the US if they were happening in another country.

Jun 03 2020

1hr 20mins

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False START

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China tries to crush dissent in Hong Kong. Tommy and Ben discuss what the White House, Congress and the Biden campaign can do to stop them. Failed diplomacy with North Korea and why the US is walking away from bipartisan arms control agreements. Facebook leadership ignored evidence that the platform was polarizing users and driving them to extremism, the US bans travel from Brazil, scandal erupts in the UK, and Iran and Venezuela increase cooperation. Then Ben talks to Aidan Eyakuze, a Tanzanian activist, about the Tanzanian government's failure to take coronavirus seriously.

May 27 2020

1hr 31mins

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The corruption of Mike Pompeo

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Al Qaeda stages its first successful attack on American soil since 9/11, exposing America’s broken relationship with Saudi Arabia. Mike Pompeo fires the man investigating his corruption. Israel accelerates plans to annex West Bank settlements and engages in cyber warfare with Iran. French President Emmanuel Macron loses his majority, a typhoon barrels down on India, and a financier of the Rwandan genocide is apprehended. Marco Rubio takes over the Senate Intelligence Committee as concern grows about foreign interference in the upcoming election, Trump’s war of words with the WHO continues, and we got a super duper missile in the house.

May 20 2020

1hr 7mins

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Flynnocent After Proven Guilty

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The political fallout from the failed coup attempt in Venezuela. General Flynn and the administration’s attempt to undercut the Mueller probe and punish Trump’s political enemies. The coronavirus weakens Putin’s strongman image. Peace slips further away in Afghanistan. The ongoing, escalating war of words between the US and China and much more. Then Wind of Change host Patrick Radden Keefe joins to discuss spies, propaganda, and how music and culture became weapons in the Cold War.


Follow Wind of Change on Spotify to binge all 8 episodes now: https://spoti.fi/WindOfChange

May 13 2020

1hr 38mins

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Mercenaries invade Venezuela

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Why the Trump administration is directing the intelligence community to prove their claims about China and the coronavirus is so dangerous. A truly unbelievable story about a ragtag group of mercenaries who attempted to invade and stage a coup in Venezuela. Trump’s nominee to be Director of National Intelligence gets a hearing. Then Asia expert Danny Russel joins to talk about White House plans to punish China over the coronavirus, how Beijing might respond, and what the hell we should make of Kim Jong Un’s reemergence after weeks of rumors about his health.

May 06 2020

1hr 22mins

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TMZ at the DMZ

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The latest rumors and news about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health, and what we know about a possible succession process. Iran launches a military satellite and Trump tries to use the Iran nuclear deal to put in place more sanctions. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro could face legal trouble. New Zealand eliminates the coronavirus while doctors in the UK race to produce a vaccine and major countries come together to discuss how to accelerate work on treatments. The latest in Afghanistan and Navy Capt. Brett Crozier might get his job back. Then journalist Rana Ayyub talks with Ben about life in India during COVID.

Apr 29 2020

1hr 23mins

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Kim Jong Un-healthy?

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Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu cuts a deal that allows him to stay in charge. We explain how the price of a barrel of oil briefly becomes negative. Rumors about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health and who might come next. Hong Kong leaders face more attacks on democracy and heavy-handed tactics from China. Parliaments around the world figure out how to meet virtually, and new polling on Trump’s handling of national security. Then former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joins.

Apr 22 2020

1hr 22mins

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Samantha Power Hour

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Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus talks about Capt Crozier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and how the coronavirus created a crisis in the Navy. Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power explains why a successful US coronavirus response has to be global. And Tommy and Ben talk about how a Chinese lab is raising questions about the origin of the coronavirus, Vladimir Putin’s disinformation campaigns against science and his muddy political future, why the UK has reacted to the pandemic in a more united and less partisan fashion and how China is using water to squeeze its neighbors.

Apr 15 2020

1hr 34mins

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The Navy’s coronavirus clusterf*ck

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A coronavirus clusterf*ck in the Navy leads the Acting Secretary of the Navy to resign. The virus sends British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the ICU while the Queen of England releases a message to the British people. Trump retaliates against an impeachment enemy by firing the Intelligence Community Inspector General. The White House has a new press secretary (sort of) while press freedom is under assault in India. Good news about efforts to stop the coronavirus in Austria, Denmark and New Zealand. And then Tommy connects with some Americans stranded abroad because of the coronavirus.

Apr 08 2020

1hr 17mins

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How a virus can threaten democracy

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Today’s show is a little different. We skip the update on the spread of the coronavirus itself and instead focus on the impact it’s having on governments and people. For example, 2019 was the year of the protestor, but how do protestors continue if they can’t gather safely or legally? How can we stop leaders from using the coronavirus to consolidate power, stifle the press or jettison privacy protections? And with the news that the virus has temporarily sidelined a US aircraft carrier, how do we refocus defense policy and spending for the future? Then Tommy talks with former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about the shocking news that Blue and White Party chief Benny Gantz is forming a coalition with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. And Ben talks with British Labour Party MP David Lammy about the UK’s response to the coronavirus.

*Crooked has started a Coronavirus Relief Fund for organizations supporting food banks, health care workers, restaurant workers, seniors, kids who depend on school lunches, and others in need. Donate: crooked.com/coronavirus

Apr 01 2020

1hr 38mins

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A criminally negligent coronavirus response

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Tommy and Ben go through the latest news on the international response to the coronavirus, including nationwide lockdowns in the UK and India and signs of hope in Italy. Then they look at how the virus is impacting US relations with North Korea, how US sanctions are impeding health care workers in Iran and Venezuela, and how authoritarian leaders are using the pandemic to grab more power. They also cover Mike Pompeo’s trip to Afghanistan and how China is trying to turn the coronavirus into a propaganda win. Then Ambassador Susan Rice joins and does not mince words about her assessment of Trump’s performance.

Mar 25 2020

1hr 13mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

17944 Ratings
Average Ratings
16771
555
145
147
326

Disappeared?

By gordoe72 - May 29 2020
Read more
Where in the world is Rudy Sandiego ?

Can Ben Rhodes stop yelling?

By sllimaraik - May 22 2020
Read more
Content is usually A1 but his yelling...no.