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March 5, 2018

March 5, 2018

Another Russian Spy Poisoned in the UK
Alarm at the Re-Emergence of Italy’s Right
Growing Concern at Home and Abroad That Trump is Triggering a Trade War
Program Notes

We begin with the latest mysterious poisoning of another former Russian spy in the U.K., this time Colonel Sergei Skripal a retired Russian Military Intelligence GRU officer who was one of four prisoners Russia swapped for ten deep cover “sleeper” agents planted by Moscow in the U.S. who were exchanged in 2010.  Luke Harding the former Moscow bureau chief of The Guardian who was expelled by the Kremlin and is the author of “A Very Expensive Poison: The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko”, and his latest book “Collusion: How Russia Helped Trump Win the White House”, joins us. We discuss whether this latest hit involving a mysterious unknown substance was ordered by Putin as a way to bolster his credentials with right wing nationalists ahead of the March 18 presidential election he is expected to win. And we will also assess what kind of protection former Russian spies are provided by the U.K. security services, given the record of high-profile hits by the Kremlin on British soil.

Then we examine the results of the Italian election that have alarmed the E.U. as illiberal right wing regimes sympathetic to Putin gain more ground in Europe with Italy’s center right Five Star Movement getting the most votes at  32% and are expected to form a coalition with the far-right anti-immigrant League which captured 17.5% of the vote. Ruth Ben-Ghiat,a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University who writes on fascism, racism and authoritarian rulers, joins us to discuss her article at CNN “In Italy’s elections, the fascists did scarily well”.

Then finally, with growing concern from Republicans at home and from leaders around the world that Donald Trump is triggering a trade war because of his snap decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, we will speak with Matt Gold, a Professor of Law at Fordham University where he teaches International Trade Law. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America in the Executive Office of the President and we will discuss whether Speaker Ryan and others will be able to convince Trump to walk back his plan as Trump threatens to double down, pressuring NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico.

Luke Harding | Ruth Ben-Ghiat | Matthew Gold