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FROM THIS EPISODE

As President Obama visits Asia, the US is still in deep trouble while China is riding high. What does America want, and what can it provide in the newest world order? Also, the US ambassador to Afghanistan says hold that surge, and chimpanzees, human beings and genetic comparisons between humans and chimpanzees shows why we can speak and they can't.

Banner image: Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama (R) motions for President Barack Obama to be seated at the start of the bilateral meeting with their delegations at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan. Official White House Photo: Pete Souza

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott

Making News US Ambassador to Afghanistan Says, Hold That Surge 7 MIN, 49 SEC

President Obama's considering four options for Afghanistan, all of which involve sending more troops. Now the ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, says don't sent any reinforcements at all until the Karzai regime cracks down on corruption. Peter Spiegel is reporting the story for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Peter Spiegel, Financial Times (@SpiegelPeter)

At War with Ourselves

Michael Hirsh

Main Topic The President's Trip to Asia: Substance and Symbols 34 MIN, 25 SEC

As the US continues to struggle out of recession, Asia currently is regarded as the most economically dynamic place in the world. In high-profile visits to four countries in eight days, President Obama will express what the State Department calls "strategic reassurance." We hear what that means to allies, including Japan and South Korea, and to China, which the President describes as both a competitor and a "vital partner," one whose influence is increasing. We also hear about conflicts with different countries and broader issues of human rights, global warming, Iran and Afghanistan. 

Guests:
Michael Hirsh, National Journal (@michaelphirsh)
Nicholas Szechenyi, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Gary Hufbauer, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Dan Southerland, Executive Editor, Radio Free Asia

Reporter's Notebook Scientists Discover the 'Speech Gene' 8 MIN, 47 SEC

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to human kind. They can even speak a crude kind of language. Now researchers have discovered genetic clues that explain how humans can do what no other animal can. It's all about a gene called FOXP2.  Nicholas Wade reports the story in today's New York Times.

Guests:
Nicholas Wade, New York Times

The Faith Instinct

Nicholas Wade

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