90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Violent Protests Grip Ukraine, Venezuela

Upheaval in Ukraine. Upheaval in Venezuela. We’ll look at both, and their futures.

Ukrainian protesters throw out and burn papers from prosecutor's headquarters in Lviv, western Ukraine, early Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The violence on Tuesday was the worst in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed Ukraine's capital, Kiev, in a struggle over the identity of a nation divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, and the worst in the country's post-Soviet history. (AP)

Ukrainian protesters throw out and burn papers from prosecutor’s headquarters in Lviv, western Ukraine, early Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The violence on Tuesday was the worst in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, in a struggle over the identity of a nation divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, and the worst in the country’s post-Soviet history. (AP)

More blood and fire in the center of Ukraine’s capital Kiev today. Scores now dead, just in the last three days.  Moscow, lined up fiercely behind a corrupt, authoritarian regime.  Ukranian protestors, begging, fighting for something better.  Looking to the EU.  And Europe and the United States, on the spot now.  Just across the Black Sea from Sochi and the horse-whipping of Pussy Riot, it looks suddenly, vividly, like old Cold War days.  This hour On Point:  we go to Ukraine for the latest and look ahead.  And we will turn in this hour to Venezuela and a hot week of turmoil in Caracas.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Sabra Ayres, Ukraine, Russia and Afghanistan correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. (@babraham)

Steven Pifer, director of the Brookings Center’s Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Institute. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. (@Steven_Pifer)

Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University. Author of “Nationalism, Marxism and Modern Central Europe,”  “The Reconstruction of Nations,” “Sketches From A Secret War,” The Red Prince” and “Bloodlands.”

Irene Caselli, BBC correspondent in Venezuela.  (@irenecaselli)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Ukraine Clashes Raise Stakes in Renewed East-West Contest – “Ukraine, the largest and most strategically important of the former Soviet states after Russia, appears on the verge of the kind of bloody uprising rarely seen in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly 25 years ago. But unlike that time, when Moscow had neither the appetite nor the wherewithal to challenge Western policy, the struggle now has become the most dramatic conflict yet between the U.S. and Europe, on one side, and Mr. Putin’s Kremlin, on the other.”

The Christian Science Monitor: Why Ukraine’s future may hinge on its oligarchs — “Behind the scenes is a handful of the country’s wealthiest businessmen, who control an enormous amount of Ukraine’s economic output through their holdings in metallurgy, chemical production, and mining, and other industries. This clan of oligarchs, with their economic interests and close ties to embattled President Viktor Yanukovych, could be critical to ending the political turmoil.”

BBC: Venezuelans gather for Leopoldo Lopez court hearing – “After briefly disappearing from the public eye, on Sunday Mr Lopez posted a video message calling on his supporters to join him in a mass rally on Tuesday, during which he would hand himself in to the security forces. After giving an impassioned speech standing in front of a statue of Cuban independence hero Jose Marti, Mr Lopez, clutching a white flower, walked up to a line of National Guardsmen and turned himself in.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Jan 26, 2015
Yemeni protesters gather during a demonstration to show their support to Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.  (AP)

Yemen in turmoil, a new king in Saudi Arabia. We’ll look at what’s next for the Arabian Peninsula. Plus: the President’s trip to the Indian subcontinent.

Jan 26, 2015
Frederick Daniel Hardy's "Baby's Birthday" (1867) shows a typical Victorian English family at home.  (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Brush your teeth with soot, stay away from water, wear a steel corset. We’ll talk with the author of “How to be a Victorian.” Strange ways from another age.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

 
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment