Marcie Sillman talks with James Coomarasamy, host of BBC's Newshour and former Moscow correspondent, about the domestic situation within Russia ahead of the Sochi Olympics, including growing opposition to President Putin.
The United Nations General Assembly opened this week and on the top of the agenda is the crisis in Syria. UN weapons inspectors said that based on their investigation, chemical weapons were definitely used in an August 21 attack of a city on the outskirts of Damascus.
While many officials believe evidence points to Bashar al-Assad's government as being the perpetrator of the attack, Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday that the UN and Western officials have incorrectly tied the Syrian government to that attack.
Fred Weir is the Moscow correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, he explains why Russia is still blaming the Syrian rebels for the chemical weapons attack.
In Washington, D.C., this week, there have been demonstrations both in favor of and against a military strike on targets in Syria. Outside the White House on Monday, supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad waved a Syrian flag with his face on it.
President Obama arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia, today for the G-20 summit. He’s expected to make his case for launching a military strike on Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is publicly opposed to military action in Syria – a longtime Russian ally. Yesterday, Putin accused Secretary of State John Kerry of lying to the US Congress about Al Qaeda’s presence in Syria.
Relations between the two countries have been increasingly tense recently. Just last month Obama canceled a one-on-one meeting with Putin, after Russia granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum.
What other factors are pushing the two countries apart? And how will tensions influence the discussions between the United States and Russia over a potential military strike in Syria? Dr. Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian history and politics at New York University and Princeton University. He talked with David Hyde.
Tuesday afternoon, activists led by The Stranger's Dan Savage will protest in front of the Russian Consul General's house in Madison Park. The protest is in response to a Russian law passed in June that outlaws "propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors."
Russian authorities have interpreted that language broadly and as a result, people seen as "promoting gay values" have been arrested and subject to violence from police or other Russians.
Metro Driver Safety Yesterday morning in downtown Seattle, a Metro bus driver was shot and wounded by a passenger. While assaults on Metro drivers have decreased overall since 2006, there were still 107 incidents last year. What is Metro doing to keep drivers safe? And what affect has ending the ride-free-zone downtown had on driver safety? Dow Constantine is the King County Executive. He joins us from the Ryerson Base in SODO.
Gay Rights In Russia According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, only 16 percent of Russians say homosexuality should be accepted by society. In another survey conducted a nonprofit Russian research center this spring, nearly 35 percent of Russians believe that homosexuality is a disease.
Recently, the Russian government has been legislating against gay rights. In June, the government passed a law that prohibits the distribution of so-called “homosexual propaganda” to minors. Protests are gaining momentum in the United States to dump Russian vodka and even boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. What are the historical and cultural factors that have influenced Russian attitudes toward homosexuality?
Interfaith Amigos Death is something we all need to grapple with. The Three Interfaith Amigos join us with a look at what religion has to say about mortality and the afterlife. They’ll also respond to the common accusation from the non-religious: That God is just a story to make people feel better about life and death.
The Weather And Hike Of The Week Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.
President Obama is set to hold a news conference at the White House on Friday at noon P.T. — his first such formal give-and-take with the press corps since "NSA leaker" Edward Snowden started spilling secrets about National Security Agency surveillance programs in June.
Shopping malls have come to Russia. Investors as diverse as IKEA and Wall Street banks are funneling money into new Russian shopping centers. They are big, and very popular. Russian malls are anchored by grocery stores, where aisles full of fresh food dazzle older shoppers who still carry memories of shortages and food lines. We talk with The New York Times' Moscow correspondent Andrew Kramer about the malls of Russia.
In 1917, the glittering elite of Tzarist Russia were crushed, practically overnight, by the Communist revolution. What happened to the nearly two million people who lived at the top of Russian society? Douglas Smith, awarding-winning historian and author, joins us to talk about "Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy."