WDET in the news

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Trump’s Iran policy another chapter in decades of dysfunctional relationship

Tensions between Iran and the United States have taken a turn, with retaliation on military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops and a statement from President Trump about the conflict. Trump says there were no U.S. casualties in the attacks, and announced a new round of sanctions on Iran. He also called on NATO to become more involved “in the Middle East process.” The president struck a tone that suggested Iran is standing down after its retaliation on Tuesday night. But this is just another development in the long-running story of the U.S. relationship with Iran — tracing back to the birth of the Islamic Republic. Saeed Khan, Wayne State University Near and Middle East expert, discussed what these events mean in this context. 
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Beaumont Health exec returns to WDET as general manager

The estate of prominent Judge Damon J. Keith, who was the grandson of slaves and a figure in the civil rights movement, made a $100,000 bequest to a scholarship fund in his name, West Virginia State University announced Wednesday. Keith, who was sued by President Richard Nixon over a ruling against warrantless wiretaps, died in April in Detroit at 96. He spent more than 50 years on the federal bench. Before his death, he still heard cases about four times a year at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. He was a 1943 graduate of what was then West Virginia State College and went on to graduate from Howard University Law School in 1949 and Wayne State University Law School in 1956.
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Russia Steps Into Syria As United States Withdraws

News of the United States pulling out of Syria has triggered upheaval and turmoil in the region. The Trump Administration’s change of course in Syria has complicated the already complex power structure in the Middle East. Wayne State University history professor Aaron Retish joined Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today to help unpack the complex web of interests and influence in the region. On the administration’s newfound adoption of non-intervention policy, Retish says, “There are going to be ramifications for that, one of them is going to be instability and the other one is going to be new power asserting themselves.” Those power players he is speaking of include Russia, Turkey and the Assad-led Syrian government, all of which have unique motivations. Retish asserts that we have to rethink the region if we are not going to commit to a military presence. This new American foreign policy approach in the area might mean “a totally refigured Middle East.”
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Iran sanctions, Saudi Oil attack and changes to Middle East college programs in U.S.

There are allegations that a Saudi oil facility was attacked earlier this month, there’s an Afghan election coming up and Trump discussed Iran aggressively in his address at the UN climate summit yesterday. Plus, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is going after some Near and Middle East college programs to reformat their curriculum to address what her department is calling “anti-Israel bias.” Detroit Today’s host Stephen Henderson sat down with Saeed Khan, senior lecturer of Near and Middle East history and politics at Wayne State University. On the attack on a Saudi oil facility: “The fact that Saudi are self investigating,” is troubling, explained Khan. “I think it’s quite telling that there is still quite a bit of ambiguity regarding what the intel and the investigation have shown, to the point that the government of Japan is still not persuaded that Iran was involved in any way,” he said. At the same time, Khan also pointed out that “the British, the French and the Germans have said Iran is responsible in some way, shape or form.” On the changes to Middle East college programs: “It seems as though the focus is on what is perceived to be an anti Israel bias, that of course is going to be in the eye of the beholder as to what then is the threshold of what is seen as criticism,” explained Khan.
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New podcast from Wayne State features stories of Iraqi students studying in Detroit

Twenty one Iraqi college students came to Wayne State for three weeks over the summer to learn about American culture and democracy. They were here as part of the Iraq Young Leaders Exchange Program, an opportunity sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and funded by the U.S. Department of State. While in Detroit, the students worked on leadership and communication skills. As part of the curriculum they put together a podcast. Colleen Ezzeddine is the communication faculty member who worked with the students on the storytelling project. “The podcast will give you an insight into Iraq’s young leaders of today and what’s on their minds,” says Ezzeddine. Each episode features one of the students telling a personal story from their life. Ezzeddine says the topics touch on death, medical challenges, what to do after high school and more. “The students mentioned that they wanted Americans to know that, on one hand they’re just like anybody else. And on the other hand they’re people that have gotten the short-end of the stick in certain situations but that they’re very dedicated, as one of them put it, to ‘make Iraq great again.’”
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Two generations of Levins talk state of American politics

The Levin family is one of the most powerful political dynasties in the history of Michigan — and, perhaps, the United States. Former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin is one of the longest-serving members of the Senate. Now, his nephew, Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) is one of the newest members of Congress. Both Levins appeared on “Detroit Today” for separate conversations about the state of politics in America. Carl Levin will be a featured speaker today at an event organized by the Journal of Law in Society and the Levin Center at Wayne Law. The event — “Gerrymandering: The Power of Boundaries” — will convene national experts including Sen. Levin to talk about the practice of partisan drawings of political lines. 
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Professor’s new book looks at education of young black males

A new book takes an interesting look at educational outcomes for young black males. “A Walk in Their Kicks” isn’t just about instruction. It delves into ideas about how to engage young black men in ways that acknowledge the difficulties they encounter and point them toward success. Author Aaron Johnson is a public school educator, the associate superintendent for Farmington Public Schools, as well as a lecturer at Wayne State University. Johnson joined Detroit Today to talk about the book, his research, and his personal stories as an educator and as a student.
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What is Wayne State’s role in building Detroit’s future?

Wayne State University powers a big part of Detroit’s economy, and has always done so. But as the city changes, Wayne State is also crafting its vision for the future - both as an institution of higher learning, and as a critical part of Detroit’s economy and culture. The goal at WSU is to be a very different place by 2040. But how to get there? A master planning process for the university begins today, and the university is inviting students, faculty, staff and community to give input. Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson spoke with WSU professor of urban planning, Robin Boyle, about the event and Wayne State’s role in Detroit.
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What history tells us about power of presidential speeches

What makes a president’s words ring throughout history? What are the best presidential speeches in history? Wayne State University history professor Marc Kruman says the most impactful presidential speeches usually come at inaugural addresses when the leaders tend to be aspirational. Kruman says Trump’s first inaugural address, which referenced “American carnage” and other dark and negative imagery, played to his campaign style. Kruman says Trump is unlikely to change his style and delivery any time soon. “I’d be surprised if he sought to redirect it,” says Kruman.
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Detroit, International Experts React to Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement

Saeed Khan, senior lecturer in Near East and Asia studies at Wayne State University, explains why there is so much tension behind the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Howard Lupovitch, associate professor of history and the director of the Cohn Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University, explains that President Trump’s announcement was part of promises he made during the presidential campaign.   

‘Indivisible,’ returning favorites highlight new WDET lineup

Beginning Monday, Feb. 6, WDET- FM’s (101.9) weekday schedule will change slightly to add more of the programming its audience wants to hear. Indivisible — a new call-in program from WNYC-FM, Minnesota Public Radio and The Economist — will air for the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s administration. Indivisible will temporarily be broadcast live Monday through Thursday at 8 p.m. and will air until mid-April. The mission of the show is to convene a nightly gathering place for everyday Americans to talk, debate and find common ground. The On Point re-air will shift temporarily through April from 9 to 11 p.m. “WDET, a community service of Wayne State University, is committed to building understanding and providing opportunities for Detroit voices to be heard,” said WDET General Manager Michelle Srbinovich. “With the addition of Indivisible, we’re excited to give Detroiters another opportunity to be part of important national conversations.” Based on listener feedback, Srbinovich said, WDET also is bringing back The Late Lunch, a group of popular one-hour programs that previously aired during the midday — This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgement and Reveal. The shows will broadcast weekdays at 2 p.m. The Late Lunch schedule will be as follows: Monday: This American Life Tuesday: Reveal Wednesday: Snap Judgement Thursday: The Moth Radio Hour Friday: Sound Opinions (followed by Radiolab at 3 p.m.) “When we changed our schedule last summer, the most frequent thing we heard was that listeners missed hearing these shows during the day. WDET is listener supported and we take that kind of feedback seriously,” Srbinovich said. "Like WDET, these shows reflect the future sound of public media, so we’re happy to bring them back to the midday.” In addition, CultureShift, which premiered in July 2016, will now become a two-hour show, airing from noon to 2 p.m. “As Detroit’s public radio station, local programming is the heart of what we do. CultureShift is one of our largest investments and it will continue to evolve. That’s the beauty of live radio,” Srbinovich said. "Moving from three hours to two gives us the opportunity to refine the show as we bring in new voices and develop more of the local arts and culture content our audience craves.”