Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Iran Protests / Former Governor Tom Corbett

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Jan 5, 2018 8:00 PM
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(photo: REUTERS)

On the Monday January 8th, 2018 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

Ten days ago, Iranian citizens in the northern city of Mashhad responded to increasing economic hardships and government corruption by taking to the streets in protest.  The movement quickly expanded to protests in more than 1,200 Iranian cities.  In scenes that were reminiscent of 'Arab Spring' protests for reform that swept through Northern Africa and the Middle East between 2010 and 2012, the size of the crowds quickly grew from the dozens to several thousand.  As of Friday, 21 protestors were killed, nearly 500 arrested.

The Iranian protests were sparked by dramatic increases in price of basic staples, including eggs, poultry and milk.  Unemployment is around 12%.  Youth unemployment hovers around 29%.  The Iranian economy is experiencing an inflationary spike and efforts at social reform in the previous two decades have been deemed unsuccessful.  These are the ingredients that could either cultivate a progressive social reform revolution or encourage extremist or terroristic behavior.

On Monday's Smart Talk, we'll discuss the social and economic dynamics that have brought Iranians into the streets in protest and the path moving forward in Iranian/American relations with Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, professor of international affairs at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

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Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh - professor of international affairs, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

Also, it's been just over three years since Tom Corbett became the first incumbent governor of Pennsylvania to lose a re-election bid. 

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Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett

Corbett spoke with WITF's RadioPA news director Brad Christman in the last week of 2017 about his time as governor, including his thoughts on why he lost his re-election bid, and concerns regarding legalized gambling and the state's tobacco fund as well as other issues confronted during his term.  Smart Talk will air portions of Christman's interview with the former governor on Monday's Smart Talk.

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WITF's RadioPA news director Brad Christman

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