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August 4, 2020

United States
Happy 230th Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard!

The United States Coast Guard celebrates its 230th birthday today. The Coast Guard was created on August 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton to constr…

Coast Guard

July 1, 2020

Political History and Theory
Living in History

Whether you think we are making history or repeating it, it’s safe to say we are living in a historic time. In this episode, Why It Matters asks three historians to weigh in on how to use the past to…

Podcast Hong Kong protester reads book while sitting

May 22, 2020

United States
Remembering Those Memorial Day Honors

The United States has fought twelve major wars and numerous smaller skirmishes in its history. Memorial Day is how we honor the soldiers, sailors, airmen, airwomen, and marines who did not return hom…

Memorial Day

May 25, 2017

World Health Organization (WHO)
A Change of Guard at the WHO

With the United States likely to pull back on global health funding, the World Health Organization, under its new director-general, will need to undertake serious structural and administrative change…

WHO Director-General-Elect Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

February 17, 2017

China
A Lethal Bird Flu Returns to China

A surge in deaths in China from a virulent form of influenza has set off a scramble among health officials to find infected bird stocks, while experts have yet to produce a viable vaccine, writes CFR…

December 18, 2019

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
Prescription for Disaster

Antibiotics have saved untold millions of lives, but bacteria are learning to outsmart them at alarming rates. Projections show that by 2050, ten million people could die each year from antibiotic-re…

Podcast Doctors in surgery scrubs look downward.

December 17, 2019

Election 2020
The President's Inbox: Should the United States Rethink Its Nuclear Weapons Policy?

Each week between now and the Iowa caucuses, I’m talking with two experts with differing views on how the United States should handle a foreign policy challenge it faces. These special episodes are p…

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a test at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

February 13, 2017

Global
CRISPR: Transformative and Troubling

A new genetic technology has the potential to cure diseases and boost plant, insect, and human lives, but it also poses profound ethical questions.

February 22, 2017

The Resignation of George Mitchell

U.S. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell in Cairo December 15, 2010. (Amr Dalsh/Courtesy Reuters) George Mitchell resigned today as the president’s special envoy for the Middle East. Mitchell was appointe…

U.S. Mideast Envoy George Mitchell in Cairo December 15, 2010.

November 15, 2019

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
The End of Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are facing an existential crisis less than a century after their introduction. Increased bacterial resistance is putting the world at risk of an era in which routine infections are untreatable.

Amy Spoering, Director of Biological Research at the biotech NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, holds up a sample of the bacterium Eleftheria terrae, the basis for the promising new antibiotic Teixobactin, at NovoBiotic's labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts.