Mideast Tensions Grow, Consumer Electronics Show Spotlights AI, Divided U.S. Congress Returns, and More

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returns to the Middle East as the region reacts to attacks in Iran, Lebanon, and the Red Sea; the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas previews new products and services equipped with artificial intelligence (AI); the U.S. Congress returns from its holiday recess with divisions over migration and defense aid; and the stabbing of South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung stirs fears ahead of elections.

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Hosts
  • Robert McMahon
    Managing Editor
  • Carla Anne Robbins
    Senior Fellow
Credits

Ester Fang - Associate Podcast Producer

Gabrielle Sierra - Editorial Director and Producer

Show Notes

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United States

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his last State of the Union address before elections to a polarized Congress; Iran holds its first parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections since the 2022 protests sparked by the death of activist Mahsa Amini; Bosnia and Herzegovina marks independence as ethnic divisions fester; and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) welcomes Sweden as its newest member state.

Ukraine

Ukraine marks the second anniversary of Russia’s large-scale invasion; the World Trade Organization (WTO) holds its thirteenth ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi amid deep uncertainty about progress on dispute settlement system reform; U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Argentina and Brazil to forge stronger U.S.-South America ties; and the World Health Organization raises alarm about the situation at the Gaza Strip’s Nasser Hospital.

North Korea

World leaders gather for the sixtieth Munich Security Conference with growing concerns about a continued war in Ukraine and threats to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) cohesion; the African Union holds its annual summit as multiple crises mount, including armed conflict and democratic blacksliding; Kim Jong Un increases aggressive language and acts as North Korea prepares to celebrate the late father and leader Kim Jong Il’s birthday; and former Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is nominated to lead a coalition government as the new prime minister.

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