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RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – August 16, 2021

Today in Russia: Russia to partially evacuate staff from Kabul embassy; Russia in talks with the Taliban; Moscow envoy demands that ex-President Ashraf Ghani be “punished” for leaving his country, denied landing rights in Tajikistan; Likely winners in September Duma elections; US to review Russia’s status as ‘market economy’

Departures Podcast with Sarah Berman, author of ‘Don’t Call it a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM’

In “Don’t Call it a Cult,” Vancouver-based investigative journalist Sarah Berman tells the story of the bizarre cult known as NXIVM. Founded by longtime pyramid scheme mastermind Keith Raniere in 1998 who referred to himself in the group as the “Vanguard,” the group roped in many rich and prominent individuals from socialities Buffy and William […]

Departures Podcast with Andrew Bacevich, author of ‘After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed’

By many measures, 2020 was a year to forget. With natural disasters, a climate crisis, a vicious pandemic, a massive economic crisis, a cruel and dishonest president, unprecedented demands for racial justice and its corresponding ugly backlash, US society has been taken to the brink. For Prof. Andrew Bacevich of Boston University, these events represent […]

Departures Podcast with Geoffrey Cain, author of ‘The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey Into China’s Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future’

In the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, more than 1.8 million people have been disappeared into a vast network of concentration camps without any clear charges, due process, or fair trial. How are these victims selected? Via state-of-the-art predictive artificial intelligence and surveillance technology systems deployed by Beijing that seek to punish people for political […]

Departures Podcast with John Lough, author of ‘Germany’s Russia Problem: The Struggle for Balance in Europe’

In power since 2005, Angela Merkel’s CDU coalition has managed to govern Germany with an admirable level of success, but at the same time during this period, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has invaded multiple countries, interfered in elections both near and far away, and run amok with jailings and assassinations of dissidents. How is it possible […]

Departures Podcast with Anne Meng, author of ‘Constraining Dictatorship: From Personalized Rule to Institutionalized Regimes’

When we think about dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, we tend to think of extremes. Places like North Korea, with brutal, absolutist rulers vanquishing their opponents with prejudice and limitless power. But that’s really not the reality for most autocratic countries, in fact, there are usually a series of executive constraints, rules, procedures, and structures even […]