PRI's The World: 03/06/2014
March 06, 2014
Crimea's parliament says it wants to split from Ukraine and join join Russia. And it's putting the issue to a vote in 10 days. Also, a look at how energy supply, demand and transport are playing into the geo-politics of the current crisis in Ukraine. Plus, the State Department has confirmed that the movements of Syria's ambassador to the United Nations are restricted to a 25-mile radius.
Stories in this Edition
Here's the music played between segments on The World for March 6, 2014
Conflict & Justice
An Islamic extremist group fighting in Syria, known as ISIS, is demanding that non-Muslims in areas they control convert to Islam or pay a "tax" for protection. Syrian Christian pastor Nadim Nassar, living in exile in London, says Syria's Christians are caught "between two fires" — Assad's dictatorship and a fragmented rebellion.
It seems like Crimea will soon be part of Russia, unless Ukraine want to fight its neighbor or western sanctions prompt a dramatic about-face for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Wednesday evening, Liz Wahl, an anchor for the Russian-backed, English language news organization RT, quit on air after denouncing Russia's invasion of Crimea. Suddenly, RT became known across the social media universe. But Journalism Professor Ann Cooper says it and other state-sponsored news channels generally dwell in obscurity.
Syrian ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja'afari is now confined to a 25-mile radius from the United Nations headquarters in New York City, based on an order from the US State Department.
Conflict & Justice
There is plenty at stake in Ukraine for many governments around the world, especially China. Beijing has developed strong ties with Ukraine in recent years, but Chinese leaders don't want to risk alienating their much more powerful friends in Moscow.
Arts, Culture & Media
The Russian move into Ukraine has surely put the Crimean peninsula in the media spotlight. But Crimea's also a place that's embedded in Russian popular culture and art. It's a place that has filled the imagination of artists, poets and writers for centuries.
Russia is the world's largest exporter of natural gas, and it has used that power before as a geopolitical weapon. But the US recently became the biggest producer of natural gas due to new fracking technology. And the US is working to use its new might to undercut Russia's sway over Europe.