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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama's hope of a "re-set" of relations with Russia is a thing of the past as the Ukrainian crisis continues to boil.  Is last week's plan to "de-escalate" already failing?  Will the White House increase sanctions?  Can Vladimir Putin ignore threats to Russia's economy? Also, back-to-back drone strikes in Yemen kill 16 Alleged al-Qaeda members. On today's Talking Point, will history's worst accident on Mount Everest put an end to this year's climbing season?

Banner image: A pro-Russia protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask sits on a barricade outside a regional government building in Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine April 20, 2014. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Producers:
Jenny Hamel
Mike Kessler
Caitlin Shamberg

Tragedy on Mt. Everest Puts Spotlight on Sherpas 8 MIN, 3 SEC

Since Edmund Hillary got all the credit for the first ascent of Mount Everest, the role of his sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, has been recognized as at least equally important. Now, an avalanche has killed 16 sherpas in the worst disaster in the mountain's history. A sherpa boycott might mean the end of this year's climbing season. In Nepal, where $700 is the average salary, a mountain guide can earn up to $6000 during the three-month season. Is that enough? What do sherpas do? Nick Heil is Digital Editorial Director of Outside magazine and author of Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season.

Guests:
Nick Heil, Outside (@nickheil)

Dark Summit

Nick Heil

Drone Strikes in Yemen Kill 16 Alleged al Qaeda Members 7 MIN, 50 SEC

In Yemen this past weekend, two American drone strikes killed between 13 and 55, according to different sources. The targets were alleged al Qaeda militants, but some of the dead reportedly were civilians. Seth Jones is an official at the RAND Corporation and author of Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of al Qa'ida Since 9/11.

Guests:
Seth Jones, RAND Corporation (@SethGJones)

Hunting in the Shadows

Seth G. Jones

Ukraine's Future and Russian Politics 35 MIN, 13 SEC

Despite last week's plan to "de-escalate" the crisis, Ukraine and Russia are now exchanging accusations over Saturday's deadly shootings near the Eastern city of Sloviansk. Russia says Ukraine has failed to crack down on "extremists" as promised last week in Geneva. Ukraine says people were killed in a "crude provocation" staged for Russian TV. Vice President Biden has arrived in Kiev for talks with Ukraine's interim government starting tomorrow, while the Obama White House decides whether to escalate economic sanctions. Would they make any difference in the short term? Does Vladimir Putin want to invade Ukraine, or will continued destabilization suit his purposes? His domestic approval rating is 80% based on nationalism and conservative values. Is that more important than the economy in the short term?

Guests:
Alec Luhn, Guardian (@ASLuhn)
Carol Williams, Los Angeles Times (@cjwilliamslat)
Sergei Guriev, Paris Institute of Political Studies (@sguriev)
Angela Stent, Georgetown University (@AngelaStent)

More:
Guardian on Russia accusing Kiev of violating last week's Geneva agreement
Luhn on separatists' refusal to end occupation despite Geneva agreement
Stent's 'The Limits of Partnership: US-Russian Relations in the 21st Century'
Williams on Biden's arrival in Ukraine for talks with interim leaders

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