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FROM THIS EPISODE

Peace talks scheduled for Geneva next month would bring Syria's government together with rebel forces. But bloody fighting continues, and there's growing concern that the civil war will finally be decided not at the conference table but on the battlefield. Also, a federal judge rules that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy. On today's Talking Point: can America's power grid survive renewable energy?

Banner image: Free Syrian Army rebels cleaning their AK47s in Aleppo, Syria during the civil war. Photo: VOA News

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Katie Cooper
Lata Pandya

Main Topic Does Peace Have a Chance in Syria? 33 MIN, 33 SEC

The Geneva conference that led to a nuclear deal with Iran last month also established Geneva II. Scheduled for January 22, it would be the first meeting between the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces. With 125,000 dead, one million starving and three million refugees in Syria's civil war, the goal is a "transition government." But President Assad says he'll never step down, rebel forces are so divided they're fighting among themselves, and all sides are battling to gain advantage on the ground. Is that where the issues finally will be decided? We look at the prospects for a "diplomatic solution" and what's at stake for Russia, the US and the rest of the Middle East.

Guests:
Martin Chulov, The Guardian (@martinchulov)
Salman Shaikh, Brookings Doha Center (@Salman_Shaikh1)
Robert Danin, Council on Foreign Relations (@robertdanin)
Joshua Keating, Slate (@joshuakeating)

Today's Talking Point Are US Power Grids Ready for an Increase in Green Energy? 15 MIN, 9 SEC

As the development of renewable power sources increases by leaps and bounds, is America's fragile power grid prepared for new energy from millions of windmills and solar panels? In Golden, Colorado, the Department of Energy has just turned on a supercomputer named Peregrine, which does a quadrillion calculations per second. "Its job is to figure out how to cope with a risk from something the public thinks is benign: renewable energy." That's from a story by Evan Halper in today's Los Angeles Times.

Guests:
Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times (@evanhalper)

Making News Detroit Ruled Eligible for Bankruptcy 7 MIN, 22 SEC

"This once proud and prosperous city can't pay its debts." So said Judge Steven Rhodes in Detroit today, ruling that America's former industrial powerhouse is eligible for bankruptcy protection. Micheline Maynard is former Detroit bureau chief for the New York Ties, now contributor to Forbes and editor of Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around.

Guests:
Micheline Maynard, Forbes (@MickiMaynard)

The End of Detroit

Micheline Maynard

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