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The Big Q

This is where you can find content created by the Project for Media in the Public Interest (PMPI). 

PMPI is a project that came out of The University of Auckland to provide a space for scholarly discussions about issues in society today. The premise behind it is to provide information to the public without the influence of larger corporations that may have other interests at play. 

95bFM News is part of a content sharing agreement with the site as a means of supporting more space for critical investigations. 

The Big Q: Is there a growing standoff between Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean? September 14, 2020

The Big Q: Is there a growing standoff between Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean? September 14, 2020 The Big Q: Is there a growing standoff between Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean? September 14, 2020, 40.49 MB
Mon 14 Sep 2020

In the Eastern Mediterranean, recent confrontations over the rights to drill natural gas have threatened to reignite conflict between Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. This conflict emerged after Cyprus’s independence in 1960 and was complicated by international interventions by Greece and Turkey on behalf of their ethnic populations on the island. Renewed Turkish interest in the access and exploitation of natural gas reserves and other energy reserves around the island have bought the conflict into a new focus with the potential of further conflict occurring. Doug Becker spoke with Aristotle Tziampiris and Nukhet Sandal about the latest standoff.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: What are the social implications of storms and disasters? September 7, 2020

The Big Q: What are the social implications of storms and disasters? September 7, 2020 The Big Q: What are the social implications of storms and disasters? September 7, 2020, 22.16 MB
Mon 7 Sep 2020

Unprecedented storms and fires are ravaging communities and destroying lives, all the while revealing power dynamics in society, politics and economics. What are these risks and revelations? What needs to be done? Steve Matthewman and Naomi Zack discuss with Maria Armoudian how disasters reveal hidden social arrangements and power dynamics in society.

For more stories like these head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: Can COVID misinformation cost lives? September 3, 2020

The Big Q: Can COVID misinformation cost lives? September 3, 2020 The Big Q: Can COVID misinformation cost lives? September 3, 2020, 23.03 MB
Thu 3 Sep 2020

Misinformation is rampant about COVID-19 and in some cases, it has caused death, blindness, emergency health issues, and widespread stigma, and social ostracization. Holly Seale and Md. Saiful Islam were part of a team that studied the rumors, conspiracies, and falsehoods spreading through social media. What are the costs of these mistruths? Maria Armoudian spoke to Seale and Islam about their research.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: What is behind the political unrest in Belarus? August 31, 2020

The Big Q: What is behind the political unrest in Belarus? August 31, 2020 The Big Q: What is behind the political unrest in Belarus? August 31, 2020, 26.24 MB
Mon 31 Aug 2020

On August 9, 2020, Belarussian voters went to the polls in a presidential election. Long-time president Alexander Lukashenko who has governed the nation since 1994 and who is often called Europe’s last dictator claimed victory. Lukashenko announced he had won the election with a reported eighty-plus percent of the votes. This has been contested by both the Belarussian opposition and by most election observers. Since the election, the nation has been rocked by protests, while the government has violently cracked down on any unrest. What does this all mean for the future of the Lukashenko presidency? Doug Becker examines the history of Belarus and the fallout from the 2020 election with Margarita Balmaceda and Tatsiana Kulakevich.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: How does social media influence political campaigning and communication? August 24, 2020

The Big Q: How does social media influence political campaigning and communication? August 24, 2020 The Big Q: How does social media influence political campaigning and communication? August 24, 2020, 20.06 MB
Mon 24 Aug 2020

Social media has become a key feature in politics and communication and will likely play a significant role in the 2020 US election. The Trump administration has threatened sanctions against social media sites TikTok and WeChat, a move which may have an important effect on the 2020 campaign. Doug Becker speaks to Glenn W. Richardson Jr. and Jennifer Petersen about the role of social media in politics. 

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: What’s so important about the vice presidency of the United States? August 17, 2020

The Big Q: What’s so important about the vice presidency of the United States? August 17, 2020 The Big Q: What’s so important about the vice presidency of the United States? August 17, 2020, 16.45 MB
Mon 17 Aug 2020

The Democrat nominee for US President Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris to run with him on the national ticket as vice president. Harris is the first woman of colour to run on a major national party ticket in the United States. What is the impact of a vice-presidential candidate on the success of the national ticket? What is the role of the vice president electorally and within the governance of the presidency? Doug Becker speaks with Jeremi Suri and Arthur Auerbach.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: A country in crisis: Where is Lebanon heading? August 10, 2020

The Big Q: A country in crisis: Where is Lebanon heading? August 10, 2020 The Big Q: A country in crisis: Where is Lebanon heading? August 10, 2020, 35.65 MB
Mon 10 Aug 2020

Lebanon has experienced warfare, economic hardship, and terrorism throughout its recent history. From the war that raged in the country from 1975 to 1990, when an estimated 120,000 people were killed, to foreign occupation, to instability, Lebanon has had a difficult history. Last week, on August 4th, an explosion devastated Beirut killing over one hundred people and injuring thousands. This incident shocked the nation amidst a horrible economic crisis and a tremendous lack of faith in the competence of the government. Doug Becker speaks with Bassel F. Salloukh and Hannes Baumann about the ongoing political and economic crisis in Lebanon.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: What is it like living through a pandemic if you are under military occupation? August 3, 2020

The Big Q: What is it like living through a pandemic if you are under military occupation? August 3, 2020 The Big Q: What is it like living through a pandemic if you are under military occupation? August 3, 2020, 10.79 MB
Mon 3 Aug 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of people all over the world. The sense of powerlessness and the fear of infection has alienated people regardless of political situations. But in areas of conflict or military and political occupation, populations are even more at risk. One of these areas is the contested provinces of Kashmir and Jammu. Doug Becker speaks to Mona Bhan about what life is like here during a global pandemic.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: A city under siege: What are the legal and political implications of the presence of federal agents in Portland? July 27, 2020

The Big Q: A city under siege: What are the legal and political implications of the presence of federal agents in Portland? July 27, 2020 The Big Q: A city under siege: What are the legal and political implications of the presence of federal agents in Portland? July 27, 2020 , 40.79 MB
Mon 27 Jul 2020

Ever since the killing of George Floyd, the city of Portland has witnessed consistent protests and civic action demanding police reforms. However, recently, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges have begun arresting protesters in the city, while the Department of Homeland Security has deployed unmarked SUV’s to detain protesters. The White House has confirmed its order to send federal authorities to Portland and is threatening to send them to other American cities. Local elected officials, including the Mayor of Portland, have demanded that federal agents leave the city. Doug Becker speaks with Jennifer L. Selin, Nadine Strossen, and David S. Meyer about the legal and political implications of this, as well as the implications for democracy and civil liberties.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org 

The Big Q: What does the future hold for the United States Supreme Court? July 21, 2020

The Big Q: What does the future hold for the United States Supreme Court? July 21, 2020 The Big Q: What does the future hold for the United States Supreme Court? July 21, 2020, 38.85 MB
Tue 21 Jul 2020

Since the 2016 election, the US Supreme Court has become a lightning rod political issue on both sides of the political divide. The Trump Administration has named two new associate justices and many court watchers expect the court to shift to the right politically and judicially. What do the decisions made by the Supreme Court in 2020 mean for the future of American politics? What is the future of the Court? And how does this influence the relationship between the Supreme Court and the other branches of government? Doug Becker speaks with Sanford Levinson, Erwin Chemerinsky, and Alison Dundes Renteln.

For more stories like this head to www.thebigq.org