Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the problem of shipping hazardous material in light of the Chinese port explosion, Amnesty International’s announcement that they want to see the sex trade decriminalized, and the African continent's first full year without a polio case.

Then, Suzette talks with Taiwanese author T’ien-Wen Chu. She won the University of Oklahoma's Newman Prize for Chinese Literature for her collection of short stories that intimately draws the reader into the text, and chronicles Taiwan's fraught linguistic past.

Hunter Defends Big Game Hunting

Aug 5, 2015

The professional hunter who helped an American kill a popular lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe last month said in court today that he had not done anything illegal. He is accused of luring Cecil off of a park where the lion had protected status, onto a neighboring game farm, then trying to destroy the lion’s tracking collar.

Zimbabwean officials now want to extradite two Americans: Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, who shot Cecil with a bow and arrow, and Dr. Jan Seski, a Pennsylvania doctor who killed a different lion in a different hunt a few months earlier. Both deny wrongdoing.

For some time, researchers suspected that the São José-Paquete de Africa, a Portuguese slave ship, was lost in 1794 off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. But only now, after years of painstaking work, have they finally confirmed it.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the former military dictator who’s about to take over for Goodluck Jonathan as Nigeria’s new president, and two dozen looted religious artifacts recently returned to Italy.

Then, Rebecca talks with war photographer Ashley Gilbertson. His most recent book, Bedrooms of the Fallen, depicts the homes of men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan to remember how they lived, rather than how they died.

Muhammad Buhari speaks at the international think tank Chatham House on February 26, 2015.
Anieduugo / Wikimedia Commons

In the mid-1980s, Muhammadu Buhari ruled Nigeria as an iron-fisted military dictator. But today, Buhari represents a transition toward democracy for the country as the first Nigerian to come to power through a democratic process.

Rebecca Cruise joins Suzette Grillot to discuss an expansion of government surveillance in France that critics compare to the PATRIOT Act here in the United States, and they talk about African child migrants and draw comparisons to similar issues at the U.S./Mexican border.

Then Rebecca talks with Trinity University political scientist Sussan Siavoshi She's spent her career studying an Iranian cleric who almost became the country's Supreme Leader. They'll also talk about gender issues in the Islamic Republic.

A Pen-Pal Friendship Changes Two Lives

May 4, 2015

When Pennsylvania schoolgirl Caitlin Alifirenka was offered a pen pal in a foreign country, she chose Zimbabwe because she liked the sound of it. But as she began to correspond with Martin Ganda, who lived in Zimbabwe with his family, she had no idea the extent to which that correspondence would change both of their lives.

As Alifirenka began to learn more about the poverty that Martin faced on a daily basis, her perceptions of her own world began to change.

Joshua Landis discusses Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and President Obama’s proposal to combat the self-proclaimed Islamic State, and Rebecca Cruise provides an update on anti-Islam protests in Leipzig, Germany.

Then Joshua and Suzette Grillot talk with University of Oklahoma sociologist Loretta Bass about first- and second-generation immigrant populations in France, and revisit issues of race and identity.

French flags
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

The relationship between racial identity and national identity is a contentious subject in France.

France’s National Assembly voted in 2013 to remove any references to race from national legislation, and French President François Hollande has asserted his belief that racial distinctions have no place in French society.

University of Oklahoma sociologist Loretta Bass calls this attitude toward racial issues the “Ostrich Policy.”

Suzette Grillot talks with University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie about West Africa's worst Ebola outbreak in history, and Monday's anniversary of Britain's entry into World War I.

Later, a conversation about education and development in Africa with OU economist and international and area studies professor Moussa Blimpo.