KGOU

World Views

Fridays 4-4:30 p.m., 6:30-7 p.m. and Saturdays 6-6:30 a.m.

World Views is hosted by Suzette Grillot, Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma, with regular analysis from Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at OU, and Rebecca Cruise, the College's Assistant Dean and a security studies and a comparative politics expert. Each week's show focuses on specific global topics in a roundtable discussion, followed by in-depth interviews with experts and news makers.

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Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the death and legacy of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and the heightened tensions between North Korea, the U.S., and its allies as the reclusive country threatens to launch a medium-range ballistic missile.

Retired State Department official and former U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson returns to World Views for a conversation about Iran, the energy industry, and nuclear security.

yeowatzup / Flickr

The White House is trying to tamp down concern over a new intelligence report showing North Korea could arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.

The Defense Intelligence Agency says in a newly revealed report that it has "moderate confidence'' that North Korea knows how to deliver a nuclear weapon on a ballistic missile.

“The United States seems to be taking this a little bit differently as we're thinking about the deliverance capabilities of these nuclear missiles that we've started to see tested,” says Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies and a regular contributor to KGOU’s World Views.

David Holt London / Flickr

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will be remembered Wednesday during a funeral with full military honors at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Suzette Grillot, the host of KGOU’s World Views and the Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says debates about Thatcher’s legacy and even her funeral suggest Britain is still deeply divided.

A painting on the walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran
David Holt London / Flickr

Iranian state television says the Islamic Republic inaugurated two key nuclear-related projects Tuesday, just days after another round of talks with world powers seeking to limit Tehran’s atomic program.

Retired State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson described what he calls “delusional security” in foreign policy that’s bubbled up in both Tehran and Washington, D.C. over the last three to five years.

“It's come to a peak ostensibly over the nuclear issue, but what it's coming to a peak over really is a power struggle in the Gulf for who's going to be the power to be reckoned with outside the United States,” Wilkerson says.

On Tuesday the U.N. General Assembly approved a treaty to regulate the global arms trade, and the panel explores what role the CIA is playing in Arab and Turkish military aid to Syria.

Ambassador Cynthia Schneider joins Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis to discuss how culture influenced her diplomacy while representing the United States in the Netherlands between 1998 and 2001.

isafmedia / Flickr

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multi-billion dollar global arms trade Tuesday.

Iran, North Korea and Syria voted "no" on Tuesday, while Russia and China, both major arms exporters, abstained.

Suzette Grillot is the co-author of the 2009 book The International Arms Trade. She says Syria opposed the treaty because it does nothing to prevent weapons from flowing to non-state actors, like the Syrian opposition.

Focus Features / NBCUniversal

While serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands in 2001, Cynthia Schneider used Hollywood to approach sensitive drug issues between American and Dutch officials.

Schneider invited embassy staffers focusing on drugs, and their counterparts in the Dutch Ministry of Justice, to a screening of Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning film Traffic.

“It's a very powerful film that shows the intricacies of drug trafficking, and really shows how complicated it is,” Schneider says. “That was a fantastic experience because it kind of leveled the playing ground, and after seeing that film together we were able to have the most honest, direct conversation that we ever had, and really make progress.”

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the banking crisis in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, and the decision to re-try American student Amanda Knox in Italy.

University of Oklahoma Italian language and literature professor Jason Houston joins Grillot from Arezzo, Italy. He's been following the Catholic Church's transition of power in the Vatican, and speculates what the last voluntary papal resignation in 1294 could teach us about 2013.

urbanlegend / Flickr

Banks in Cyprus are open for normal business for the second day, but with strict restrictions on how much money their clients can access, after being shut down for nearly two weeks to prevent people from draining their accounts as the country's politicians sought a way out of an acute financial crisis.

"They were weakened by the fact that they had too many investments in Greek companies," said Suzette Grillot. "So they've become another victim of the Greek financial crisis."

vatican / YouTube

The world’s 1.2 billion Catholics are celebrating Holy Week, and Pope Francis is preparing for his first Good Friday and Easter Mass as pontiff. It’s been exactly a month since Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from the office of the papacy, which has given observers time to reflect on the historic transfer of power.

“This will stand out as a moment that Church historians will talk about for the next 600 years,” said University of Oklahoma Italian language and literature professor Jason Houston. He says if Benedict set a precedent for resignation that future pontiffs would follow, “he has changed the papacy in a way that no one has since probably the 11th Century. [But] I don't think that's going to happen.”

Provided / ahmed-ahmed.com

Audiences most likely know Egyptian-American stand-up comedian Ahmed Ahmed as a member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.

“Comedians have become, most recently, cultural ambassadors of the world,” Ahmed said. “Whether you're in Africa, or America, or Russia, or Asia, laughter is the common language of the world.”

Suzette Grillot,  Joshua Landis, and Rebecca Cruise discuss the election of Pope Francis, the financial situation of the Vatican, and the influence of the New World on the Catholic Church.

Deputy Director for Research at the Mohyla School of Journalism at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Anastasiia Grynko joins Grillot and Cruise for a conversation about media ethics and transparency in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries.

The Vatican

On Friday, Pope Francis paid a heartfelt tribute to his predecessor Benedict XVI, saying his faith and teaching had "enriched and invigorated" the Catholic Church and would remain its spiritual patrimony forever.

Francis offered the respects during an audience with the cardinals who elected him to succeed Benedict, whose resignation set in motion the extraordinary conclave that brought the first prelate from the New World and the first Jesuit to the papacy.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the hope among many Catholics is that the Church moves away from such strong European influence.

jf1234 / Flickr

In 2004, a disputed presidential election in Ukraine sparked a two-month series of economic and political protests known as the Orange Revolution.

The U.S. Department of State reported in 2006 that Ukrainian media outlets were freer and politically diverse than any time since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

University of Oklahoma comparative political scientist Charles Kenney looks at the death and legacy of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and John Topping, the President and CEO of the Climate Institute, discusses climate change, the Arctic, and international security.

Luigino Bracci / Flickr

World leaders, athletes, and left-wing celebrities were among those who attended Friday's funeral in Caracas for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

"He produced in people profound feelings of love, affection, and loyalty, and of rejection and hate," said Charles Kenney, a University of Oklahoma comparative political scientist and an expert on Latin American democratization. "So for those who loved him, this is a very sorrowful time, and he is indeed, I think, seen as a martyr-like figure."

NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Flickr

A new study out this week finds that ice-free passage from North America to Asia directly over the North Pole could be possible after 2049.

UCLA geographers Laurence Smith and Scott Stephenson published the study Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Eric Vernier / Flickr

The governor of the Bank of Greece says the recession has cut Greece’s economic output by 20.1 percent between 2008 and 2012. Earlier this week George Provopoulos says the country is “clearly improving,” but Greece’s economy would remain stuck in recession in 2013.

Alison Johnston is a comparative political scientist at Oregon State University, and studies economics and labor markets in the European Union. She says Greece will only leave the eurozone voluntarily.

“Are countries going to get kicked out of the euro?” Johnston asks. “Whenever I'm asked this question, I like to ask people, 'Well how likely is it that you think that a state like Massachusetts could kick a state like California out of the dollar because California might be borrowing from the U.S. government?'”

Cos Cob
Georgia O'Keeffe / Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

In 1946, the U.S. State Department tried to diplomatically reach politically unstable cultures in Eastern Europe and Latin America through a traveling exhibit of 117 modern and abstract paintings by leading American artists of the period.

“It really was almost a kind of "Who's who?" of American art at the time,” said Mark White, the Chief Curator of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. “Georgia O'Keeffe. Ben Shahn. George L. K. Morris. Arthur Dove. John Marin.”

Feb. 6, 2013
Jacque Braun / tumblr

As Congress tries to avoid a looming set of sharp, across-the-board spending cuts that would strike the Pentagon and domestic agencies in just two weeks, a former State Department official says the Department of Defense could avoid “clumsy” automatic cuts by starting with personnel.

“In World War II, we had fewer flag and general officers than we do now,” said retired U.S. Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. “Wow. People are anywhere from 50-60 percent, depending on whose records and analysis, of the DoD budget. They are so expensive.”

Wilkerson served as former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff from 2002-2005. 

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