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Author: Dana Lewis

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Dana Lewis is a veteran World Affairs Correspondent. He's been everywhere. From war zones to the streets of London where he is based. And he loves talking to people about whats behind the headlines. Award winning. "A real in the trenches reporter. Great interviewing skills and easy to listen to.
47 Episodes
This month Elon Musk's SpaceX blasted off to the Int. Space Station with NASA.  SpaceX's first commercial manned flight to the ISS.But, believe it or not the Russians beat America by a decade or so, in offering commercial space exploration. And, Washington's Jeffrey Manber talks to Back Story's Dana Lewis on the challenges ahead in space and business.  Manber heads up a company which is one of the main commercial users of The Int. Space Station and says Trump's Admin. started to back out of business in space, what will Biden do?
Joe Biden may be the most experienced incoming U.S. President ever, when it comes to foreign policy.He has travelled The World as President Obama's point man.  He also served for decades on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Unlike President Trump, he has a more traditional view of promoting democracy and human rights.  He know's Russia, and Turkey, and China and will be applauded by our allies in NATO.In this Back Story one of President Obamas key advisors on foreign policy, and someone who has worked and travelled with Biden, Mike Mcfaul talks to Dana Lewis about challenges and how Biden will push America back into the role of International leadership. 
Saeb Erekat was the recognizable Palestinian voice for decades.  He pushed peace through negotiation.  A two State solution with a Palestinian homeland.He believed in Arab States adopting democracy.  He didn't believe the Israeli Palestinian conflict was religious and recognized Israel and it's right to exist side by side with Palestinians.Saeb passed away this week from Covid19.  As a reporter I knew him well, and conducted one of the last interviews with him this summer.   
Survival of Cinema

Survival of Cinema


On This Back Story your local movie theatre is likely to be a casualty of Covid.70 per cent of cinema's in America will fail say owners. Malls too are in crisis.  Because movies drive traffic to retail stores. Dana Lewis talks to Paul Heth of Karo Films, and Rob Arthur from the Big 
In France, several terror attacks sparked over the debate of republishing Satirical Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed.   For most people in France the cartoons have come to symbolize freedom of speech.  The Government has ordered the arrests of dozens of moslem extremists. France has been condemned by several Arab leaders and Turkish President Erdogen has lashed out at Macron. In this Back Story with Dana Lewis we speak to Anne Guidicelli.   She runs International Intelligence Cluster and consults on security issues.   And, an interview with Rokhaya Diallo . She is a prominent anti racist campaigner.  
We have never seen an election like this.  In the middle of the Pandemic U.S. President Trump attacks opponents and claims The U.S. is rounding a corner. He is lashing out at the media and mocking people who wear masks. This, as American is close to 100 thousand new cases of Corona Virus a day!The political conversation is one of the great democracies couldn't be worse. It's divisive. Acidic. And on both sides, not just Trumps twitter account. One of the platforms fighting back against Trump is something called The Lincoln Project which has raised millions and filled social media with anti Trump ads.  And most of them are former Republicans in a crisis of conscience believing Trump has hijacked their party and their values.  Back Story host and creator Dana Lewis talks to one of the founders, Ron Steslow. 
Some might say Lithuania punches well above it's weight on International Affairs. It has taken on Belarus, and Russia and demanded The European Union stand up and speak out on human rights,  It has taken in political refugees and let them speak out from Lithuania. It's a Country of only 3 million but speaks like a super power. What can we learn from Lithuania which now worries about America retreating from The World Stage?On this Back Story , Host Dana Lewis discusses The U.S. and Russia and freedoms with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
The Former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander tells Back Story Host Dana Lewis, there is no point in talking to The Taliban.  The only way to peace are sanctions on Pakistan which directs the violence. While Afghan Ambassador to The UK,  Said Tayeb Jawad, says The Afghan Government has to talk to The Taliban, but the violence has to stop, and The Taliban has to cut ties with Al Qaeda.  So far it has not.  And in the meantime U.S. Forces should remain in Afghanistan so it  doesn't return to what it was in 9-11, a launch pad for terrorism. 
In this edition of Back Story Dana Lewis speaks to Olivia Troye.  Troye was a homeland security official. She went on to work in the Office of the Vice President of the United States as the homeland security and counterterrorism advisor to Vice President Pence, serving as an aide to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Troye tells Dana Lewis, she (Like Anthony Fauci) has been threatened since she quite the White House over the handling of Covid19. And, that Trump put pressure on the task force to downplay and manipulate data to get parents to send children  back to school.With school guidelines Troye say's "we put people at risk and it was politics over science". Listen to this Back Story and subscribe.  
After months of protests by hundreds of thousands demanding free and fair elections, The Interior Ministry of Belarus has now threatened to shoot demonstrators. And the main opposition leader has announced she is calling on factory workers and people from across The Country to strike, and shut down the system. Ex President Lukashenko has only jailed more people and remains defiant. On this Back Story with Dana Lewis, author Edward Lucas predicts a regime change, although it will take time. and former Deputy Foreign Min Andrei Sannikov says The West has got to do more to support the brave people of Belarus. 
The Trump-Biden debate was a disaster.How do we change the formats for future debates to work?  And what is the goal?  Timers, buttons and buzzers to silence arguments? And how should it be hosted?The debates have always been TV shows, but if they are brawls no one will benefit from tuning in. On Back Story Dana Lewis talks to John Donvan, a former White House reporter who now hosts debates across the U.S. and has hosted close to 200 debates.
President Trump has undermined Int. efforts to fight Covid 19.  Clearly a Biden Presidency would be much different on the issue of cooperation on the pandemic.What about Biden's policies on Russia? China? Afghanistan?  Would Joe Biden be so different than President Obama was before Trump?On The Paris Climate Accords certainly Trump has withdrawn from them. Biden would rejoin and recognize global warming emergencies. On this Back Story Host Dana Lewis talks to Joseph Williams, in Washington.  Joe is a reporter for U.S. News and World Report.   And in London, Anar Bata is the Coordinator of The U.S. and America's Program at Chatham House Think Tank.



Nearly 500 former National Security Officials sign a letter, saying President Trump is unfit for office. Trump has told militia's to "stand-by" but failed to denounce them.   He has threatened not to allow a peaceful transition of power in November. Critics claim he is someone who may be one of the largest dangers to American Democracy and the rule of law, ever to have been in The White House. People who normally stay out of politics are speaking out to support Biden, or they say there may not be a democracy in America after November.On Back Story Dana Lewis interviews Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Sec. Gen. of NATO, and former U.S. Brig. General Loree Sutton, two of the many leaders who signed the letter urging voters to get rid of Trump. 
The dispute goes back decades. Azerbaijan and Armenia are fighting over a disputed region called Nagorno-Karabakh and the conflict now threatens to pit Russia against Turkey.America has ceded some of its influence as a super power under the Trump Administration. And the vacuum is sure to be filled with conflict.  France has now accused Turkey of stirring war.  And it's not the only place there is tension between Russia and Turkey including Syria and in Libya.   Could a larger conflict be starting?Host of Back Story, Dana Lewis talks to guests Laurence Broers and Joshua Kucera, both experts on the area we know as The Caucasus. 



Over the next few months, the simmering tensions between China and Taiwan could develop into a full fledged armed conflict.  China, say experts, could invade Taiwan during the American election and subsequent inauguration, as it is stirred by new weapons sales from The Trump Administration and official visits to Taiwan by American Diplomats. Would a Biden Presidency escalate the Taiwan situation?  Is either Trump or Biden prepared to defend Taiwan with American forces? There is no agreement within American Administrations on how best to solve China-Taiwan tensions, but many agree  it is a very dangerous time for Taiwan which pursues independence at it's peril, says China.In this Back Story Dana Lewis talks to Taipei based Asia Correspondent for The Telegraph Newspaper, Nicola Smith.  And, senior adviser for Asia, and Director of the 'China Power Project' at Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Bonnie Glaser.   



Sore knees?  Can't run? Bad hip? Need replacement? Shoulder injuries?  Why doesn't the body reproduce cartilage as it does when you are a teenager? Well guess what, it does.   New research from A Stanford University study shows a breakthrough in stimulating stem cells and actually regrowth of cartilage. Maybe you won't need that knee or hip operation one day in the future. We talk to researchers Dr. Matthew  Murphy currently at The University Manchester, and  Charles Chan Assistant Prof. at Stanford's Palo Alto campus in California. 
Russia's use of Novichok nerve agent was against it's own citizen.  And it was a only by accident it was discovered by a Germany Military lab.   The poisoning of Alexei Navalny is a violation of International law, because Russia is a signatory to the chemical weapons convention. In this Back Story Dana Lewis talks with the U.S. former Deputy Sec. of Defense Andy Weber who says there is no doubt the poisoning had to be approved by the Kremlin and President Putin.And, Russia expert Maria Snegovaya says this is not another chapter in Russia misdeeds, but Putin has become emboldened by his recent change of constitutional laws. He fears no one because his power seems absolute, and he has become more dangerous to The West than ever before. 
In this Back Story with Dana Lewis -  alarming predictions President Trump, lagging in polls behind Democrat Joe Biden won't accept a loss.  This could be a disturbing violent election in a system The World thought was a beacon of freedom and democracy. A raw and frank discussion with Political Scientist and well known Political Commentator Dr. Jason Johnson, on race relations, Covid19 and Trumps America, culminating he say's in November election chaos. And, a prediction of a Biden win, from the ever insightful, first rate political analyst, Michael Shure.
Alexander Lukashenko struggles to cling to power after he lost fraudulent and fake elections.   He's jailed and tortured political opponents. Some have fled the Country. Others take to the streets weekly now in massive demonstrations demanding Lukashenko step down.   While Russia's Putin worries the same could happen in Russia, keeps watch and threatens to intervene to prop up Lukashenko. In this edition of BACK STORY Host Dana Lewis talks to Belarus journalist Hanna Liubakova, of the dangers of covering the demonstrations and what will become of Lukashenko?
Afghanistan Peace?

Afghanistan Peace?


Peace talks with the Taliban are beginning again in September as U.S. President Trump is bent on reducing U.S. Troop numbers in Afghanistan.  There are not many U.S. Soldiers left there.  And Trumps desire to announce something positive during his election campaign is likely to short change the efforts since 2001 of Americans to end terrorism in Afghanistan, and stand up an independent and democratic Afghan Government. In this episode of BACK STORY host and creator Dana Lewis talks with former Lt. General Ben Freakley who commanded The 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan on challenges of peace, and also about reports the Russian's put out bounties on U.S. Soldiers.  And, we talk to Johnny Walsh, Senior Expert with United States Institute of peace and also a former U.S. Diplomat attached to The U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan.  
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