European Union

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss tensions between Israel and the United States ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress next week, and European nations that are working to develop a more unified energy policy.

Then, a conversation with art historian Maya Stanfield-Mazzi. She studies pre-Colombian art in the Andes, and says the work of South America’s Inca culture was abstract, without a clear narrative.

Samer Shehata joins Suzette Grillot to talk about democratic developments in Egypt, and how the conviction of journalists and questions about the fairness of May’s elections have affected the country’s relations with the United States.

Later, a conversation about police cooperation and Europe’s internal security policy with Canisius College political scientist John Occhipinti.

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Europol, based in The Hague, Netherlands, is the European Union’s police office. Staffed by high-level police officers from the 28 EU member states, John Occhipinti says it functions as the “hub of a liaison network” that manages a database of criminal intelligence.

Suzette Grillot talks with Italian citizen and lawyer Katia Girotto about the outcome of European parliamentary elections, and how Italians feel about the elections' impact on the future of EU politics and economics.

Rebecca Cruise and Joshua Landis discuss television and social media in Lebanon with University of Balamand journalism department head Ramez Maluf. He says Beirut's position as a major entertainment production hub is controversial among conservatives and Arab intellectuals.

University of Oklahoma Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Clarke Stroud joins Suzette Grillot again on their European tour to discuss the concept of “euroskepticism” and the European Union's parliamentary elections.

Later, a conversation with UCLA historian Nile Green about putting Islam into the context of global history. He says the same religious fragmentation that causes sectarian violence in the Middle East leads to religious misunderstanding in the West.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss China 's move to grab airspace over the East China Sea, and ongoing protests in Ukraine over a jailed political leader, and a scuttled trade pact with the European Union.

The Dallas Morning News Mexico Bureau Chief Alfredo Corchado joins Grillot to talk about his 20-year career. His memoir Midnight in Mexico chronicles his coverage of the country’s war against the drug cartels.

Thousands of Ukrainians protest the scrapping of a trade pact with the European Union on the streets of Kiev - November 24, 2013.
Ryan Anderson / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of people have gathered in Kiev's Independence Square over the past two weeks, where Orthodox priests chanted prayers at dawn and demonstrators are vowing to keep up their protests.

The government is showing no signs of yielding, suggesting that the tensions that have gripped the country for two weeks are far from a resolution.

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the protests are about two things: The jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, and the president’s decision not to sign agreements with the European Union that would bring them closer to Europe, both economically and politically.

Earlier this week anti-American protests in Iran marked 34 years since the storming of the Embassy in Tehran, and the start of the 18-month hostage crisis. Suzette Grillot talks about the anniversary with Joshua Landis, who also provides a brief update on Saudi Arabia's frustration with the U.S. over Syria.

Later, a conversation with Boston University modern European historian Jonathan Zatlin. He says parts of Europe's debt crisis can be explained by religious tension between the Protestant North and the Catholic South.

Raphaël Thiémard / Flickr Creative Commons

Allied powers divided war-torn Germany into four zones of occupation after World War II, with three of those zones uniting in 1949 to form what became known as West Germany.

The Soviet Union controlled the fourth zone, and East Germany remained within the Eastern Bloc’s sphere of influence for the next four decades.

Boston University modern European historian Jonathan Zatlin says the divided nation served as a tripwire for all the tensions of the Cold War, and that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin worried a united Germany posed a security risk.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss record levels of smog that are forcing the closure of schools and businesses in Northeast China, and heavy-handed tactics by Russia toward its former Soviet neighbors.

University of Oklahoma historian Kyle Harper joins the program to talk about how smallpox and the bubonic plague contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. His latest project focuses on the effects of disease and climate change on the history of civilization.

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