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Harsh new anti-gay laws in African countries have Western donors threatening to withhold assistance. That's raised questions about unintended consequences and renewed the debate on whether foreign aid does more harm than good. Also, Russia rebuffs the West for sanctions over Ukraine, and new research shows America's in for some big changes.

Banner image: Andrew Regan

Russia Rebuffs West for Sanctions over Ukraine 7 MIN, 44 SEC

After an hour on the phone with President Obama today, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted that Ukraine's new authorities are "absolutely illegitimate" and that Russia "cannot ignore calls for help" from Russian speakers in Crimea. Ukrainian border guards say 30,000 Russian troops are now in Crimea, compared to 11,000 normally stationed there. Andrew Kuchins is Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Andrew Kuchins, Center for Strategic and International Studies (@CSISRussia)

Kuchins' 'The Russia Balance Sheet'

The Russia Balance Sheet

Andrew Kuchins and Anders Aslund

Should Western Values Be a Condition of Foreign Aid? 44 MIN, 3 SEC

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has broad support in Uganda for a new law imposing sentences up to life in prison for homosexual acts. Nigeria and many other sub-Saharan nations also have anti-gay laws. Such harsh anti-gay laws in African countries have the US and other donors threatening to reduce foreign aid. Norway, Denmark and the World Bank have withheld or diverted some $110 million in aid. President Obama says the US is "reviewing ties." Is it right to withhold food and medicine based on acceptance of western values? Will attaching strings to foreign aid make targeted leaders stronger than ever? Will African soldiers continue to protect western interests? Finally, does aid do more harm than good by making nations dependent? Would the money be better spent to help them help themselves?

Heather Murdock, Christian Science Monitor and Voice of America (@heather_murdock)
William Easterly, New York University (@bill_easterly)
John McArthur, Brookings Institution (@mcarthur)
Dayo Olopade, journalist and author (@madayo)

Easterly's 'The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor?'
Olopade's 'The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa'

The Tyranny of Experts

William Easterly

New Research Finds that Half of Millennials Are Independents 7 MIN, 23 SEC

"America is in the throes of a huge demographic shift." "Millennials have fewer attachments to traditional political and religious institutions" than those who've gone before." That's according the Pew Research Center after polling the millennial generation, people between the ages of 18 and 33. Carroll Doherty is Director of Political Research of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Carroll Doherty, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (@CarrollDoherty)

The Bright Continent

Dayo Olopade

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