Martin Savidge hosts Barbara Demick of the LA Times and Leon Sigal of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project. They discuss North Korea's recent currency devaluation, how the state is closing underground markets, the grim economic reality for the North Korean people and the prospects of U.S. economic engagement with this rogue and isolated nation.
Marcus Mabry, international business editor of The New York Times, and John Authers, the investment editor for the Financial Times, join Daljit Dhaliwal to discuss the impact of U.S. economic policies overseas, the risk of inflation in China, the fate of Japan's economy and recovery in Europe.
Worldfocus blogger Michael Lwin, who recently returned from Myanmar, writes about the urban Burmese social scene. He describes Yangoon's "karaoke girls"-- young women from poor families who make a living offering affectionate company for the evening.
The 2010 British General Election, which must be held by June 3, pits embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the Labour Party against David Cameron of the Conservatives. Jamie Macfarlane writes about the perennial issue of class as a potential factor in the race.
The attempted Christmas day bombing -- and a recent message purportedly from Osama bin Laden -- have focused new attention on al-Qaeda. A report from a former senior C.I.A. official warns that al-Qaeda is being patient but has not abandoned its mission. Daljit Dhaliwal interviews Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, and Al Jazeera English's Nadim Baba reports from London.
Jens Kristensen, a senior humanitarian officer with the UN's peacekeeping force in Haiti, survived for five days under the rubble of the UN headquarters. Since he was largely unharmed, Mr. Kristensen chose to stay in Haiti to help with the rescue mission. Listen to our interview with him from Port-au-Prince.
It might seem as though Pakistanis have little to laugh about. But as Alan Fisher of Worldfocus partner Al Jazeera English discovered when he visited comedian Saad Haroon's standup show in a tent outside Islamabad, political comedy is alive and well in the South Asian nation.
A French parliamentary panel recommended today that France impose a ban on wearing the full face veil in public -- buses, subways and hospitals. Under the proposal, women would have to show their faces when entering a facility and remain uncovered. The ban could take effect by the end of the year -- but would not apply to wearing the veil on the street or in private.
Ahmad Kamal, Pakistan's former Ambassador to the United Nations, and Hassan Abbas, a former Pakistani government official who is now with the Asia Society, join Edie Magnus for a roundtable on AfPak. They discuss power-sharing with the Taliban, drone strikes along the Afghan border in northwest Pakistan and American foreign policy challenges in the region.
Jen Marlowe is an independent journalist with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. She is currently documenting and writing about education, infrastructure and health care, which remain among the most vital needs in rebuilding South Sudan.