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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama says he's begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. We get the details and the reaction from Washington to South Asia. Also, GOP negotiators pull out of budget talks, and the release of Chinese artist and political critic Ai Weiwi.

Banner image: A US soldier from Viper Company (Bravo), 1-26 Infantry stands on a guard tower as the sun rises at Combat Outpost Sabari in Khost province in the east of Afghanistan on June 23, 2011. Photo: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Karen Radziner
Christian Bordal

Making News GOP Negotiators Pull Out of Budget Talks 7 MIN, 9 SEC

Bi-partisan budget talks headed by Vice President Biden lost an important participant today. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pulled out, saying an impasse over taxes requires that discussions be held at a higher level. Janet Hook is congressional correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal (@hookjan)

Reporter's Notebook Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Released, but Still under Investigation 7 MIN, 9 SEC

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is the highest-profile anti-government critic arrested during a months-long political crackdown. Yesterday he was released after weeks of detention and alleged confession, but told Reuters, "I'm sorry I can't [talk], I am on probation, please understand." Phelim Kine, Asia researcher with Human Rights Watch, discusses the conditions under which he’ll now have to live.

 

Guests:
Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch (@PhelimKine)

Main Topic President Obama Proposes Drawdown in Afghanistan 35 MIN, 57 SEC

President Obama says bringing home 30,000 troops from his "surge" before next year's elections is "the beginning, but not the end," of his effort to wind down the war. The Pentagon wanted a slower withdrawal to maintain what commanders concede are "fragile" gains, but 56 percent of Americans have severe "war fatigue." Is al Qaeda no longer a threat to Americans? Are the Taliban on the run? Can the Karzai government learn to provide services and defend the country? We get reaction to last night's speech from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Washington, DC, and from local elected officials who want to see "nation building" at home.

 

 

Guests:
Alissa Johannsen Rubin, New York Times (@alissanyt)
Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist
Michael Crowley, Time magazine (@CrowleyTIME)
Robert Lamb, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Antonio Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles (@villaraigosa)

Descent into Chaos

Ahmed Rashid

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