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KCRW Berlin: Common Ground

Common Ground was launched in September 2020 as the flagship talk show of KCRW Berlin 104.1 FM. Every week, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson brings together prominent guests from all walks of life to tackle questions on everything from local to transatlantic topics. Look for us every Monday wherever you get your podcasts.

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  • 08.03.2021
    44 MB
    46:41
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    No roof over our heads -- A look at Germany’s growing housing shortage

    Affordable housing in German cities is increasingly hard to find. What went wrong and can it be fixed?Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks with Berlin housing activist Thomas McGath of Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen und Co; Barbara Steenberger, head of the EU Liaison Office of the International Union of Tenants and Konstantin Kholodilin, senior economist at the German Institute for Economic Research.Also featuring commentary by Berlin MP Iris Spranger (SPD).This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 01.03.2021
    35 MB
    37:27
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    Climate Change -- A Reality Check

    Where are we in the fight to curb climate change? And will having Joe Biden as the U.S. president help? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Douglas Hengel, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund who writes about global energy, climate and resource challenges; Tim Gore, head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy Program at The Institute for European Environmental Policy in Brussels, and co-founder of @fridaysforfuture.de Carla Reemtsma.This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 22.02.2021
    2 MB
    01:07
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    ICYMI on Common Ground

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  • 15.02.2021
    40 MB
    41:53
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    Fighting Fake News - Is it censorship or necessary to preserve democracy?

    Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Juliane von Reppert-Bismarck, founder of the news literacy project Lie Detectors in Brussels; Lisa Dittmer, Reporters without Borders’ advocacy officer in Berlin for internet freedom; Damaso Reyes, multimedia journalist and founder of Clarify Media; and Jacob Mchangama, founder of the Copenhagen-based think tank Justitia.This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 08.02.2021
    41 MB
    42:43
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    Rollout Roulette - When will we get our COVID-19 shots?

    The coronavirus vaccination efforts in Germany and the EU are a mess. Why are some countries so much better at getting people inoculated? Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by Die Welt Middle East Correspondent and author Christine Kensche in Tel Aviv; Wall Street Journal Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Yaroslav Trofimov in Dubai and ARD Radio Correspondent Helga Schmidt in Brussels.This show is produced by Dina Elsayed

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  • 01.02.2021
    35 MB
    36:47
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    “Lockdown Leiden” -- Are Germany’s virtual schools during the pandemic failing?

    E-learning isn’t working the way many students, teachers and parents would like. Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson explores the ramifications with psychologist Dr. Ilka Wolter, diversity consultant and parent Annette von Wedel and Berlin teachers Ryan Plocher and Adrianne Oldham.This show is produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 25.01.2021
    31 MB
    32:41
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    Can German automakers survive Tesla?

    The California company's new facility in Brandenburg is set to open this summer, leaving Germany’s auto giants scrambling to retain their dominance in the global luxury car market. Common Ground host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to Jens Hanefeld, who is in charge International and European Policy at Volkswagen, and Bloomberg Correspondent Stefan Nicola about the future of German electric cars.This show is produced by Dina Elsayed

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  • 21.01.2021
    36 MB
    38:15
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    Silencing Donald Trump – Is it justified?

    Unprecedented bans by the U.S.-based tech giants are sparking debate in Germany over who should control social media.Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by German MP (Greens) Renate Künast, Bloomberg Opinion’s Andreas Kluth, digital rights blogger and lawyer Joachim Steinhöfel and Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.This show is produced by Dina Elsayed

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  • 21.01.2021
    1 MB
    01:07
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    Teaser: Coming up on Common Ground...

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  • 21.01.2021
    36 MB
    37:58
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    An American ‘Botschaft’

    On the last episode of Common Ground in 2020, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson talks to a man who has profoundly influenced Berlin and transatlantic relations for many decades: Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, John Kornblum.

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  • 21.01.2021
    23 MB
    24:39
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    Looking back on KCRW Berlin — Part 2

    Tune into the second part of a special, two-part episode in honor of KCRW Berlin's last week on air.

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  • 21.01.2021
    21 MB
    28:07
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    Looking back on KCRW Berlin — Part 1

    On this episode of Common Ground during KCRW Berlin’s last week on air, we share with you the story behind the story.

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  • 04.12.2020
    26 MB
    27:23
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    Germany’s Christmas season without Christmas markets

    On this episode of Common Ground, we discuss whether officials were right to do away with Christmas markets this year.

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:14
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    The Future of the Workplace: Where and how will we work after the pandemic?

    On this episode of Common Ground, we fast forward to a time when the pandemic is over and explore what workplaces of the future will look like.

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:27
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    Is Germany ready for the new, transatlantic realities?

    On this episode of Common Ground, we discuss the repercussions of a Joe Biden presidency and whether he will reverse four years of Donald Trump’s antagonistic foreign policy as many in Germany and the rest of Europe hope.

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:14
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    Becoming German - Should religion count?

    An administrative court in Baden-Württemberg recently upheld an unusual requirement for German citizenship -- Shaking hands with the opposite sex. A Muslim applicant refused to do it and couldn’t become a German as a result. On this episode of Common Ground, we ask, what’s more important in Germany? Religious freedom or secular values?

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:29
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    The upcoming U.S. presidential election and fraying U.S.-German relations (Originally aired on Oct. 5)

    A record number of mail-in ballots already makes this an election like no other in U.S. history. To review what’s at stake, including the peaceful transition of power; the fate of democracy and women’s rights under a new Supreme Court, or the global anxiety over US foreign policy, tune to this episode of Common Ground first broadcast on Oct. 5.

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  • 04.12.2020
    26 MB
    27:49
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    Airbnb and vacation rental portals - A blessing or a curse for Berlin?

    Airbnb and Berlin have a complicated relationship, one that’s largely playing out in court and in the media. So are such vacation rental sites good for the city or do they drive up rents and reduce available housing?

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:14
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    The EU’s Digital Services Act - What does it mean for Big Tech and for YOU?

    The “Digital Services Act” is Brussels' first big overhaul of European internet rules since the introduction of the camera phone two decades ago. Is it the "Magna Carta" protecting people from Big Tech companies, like proponents claim? Or are the proposed rules not transparent enough and too broad?Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by Alexandra Geese, Member of the European Parliament with the German Greens; Travis Todd, co-founder of Berlin’s startup community Silicon Allee; Mackenzie Nelson, researcher and project manager at AlgorithmWatch, and Lina Rusch, a journalist with Der Tagesspiegel who writes about digital politics and artificial intelligence.This show was produced by Dina Elsayed and Monika Müller-Kroll.

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:29
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    Closed borders and quarantines - Are there better ways to travel safely during the pandemic?

    The pandemic has wreaked havoc on people’s travel plans and decimated the tourism industry and airlines. The German government’s guidance on travel is ever-changing and often confusing, making business and leisure travel difficult at best. With a new coronavirus wave erupting in Germany, across Europe and in parts of the US, will we see more border closures and quarantine rules? Or can increased testing help save holidaymakers’ fall and winter plans?

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:29
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    The upcoming U.S. presidential election and fraying U.S.-German relations

    Election day in the U.S. is less than a month away. What are the consequences for Americans and for Germany?

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:21
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    Is it safe to be Jewish in Germany?

    Is it safe to be Jewish in Germany? Should German authorities be doing more to stop anti-Semitism? Our guests debate these issues one year after the deadly Halle attack and possible solutions.Host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by Germany's Federal Commissioner for Jewish life and against anti-Semitism Felix Klein; Sigmount Koenigsberg of the Jewish Community of Berlin; Sharon Kuckuck of Berlin’s Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and Biplab Basu of ReachOut Berlin, who debate these questions one year after the deadly Halle attack and discuss how to reverse the trend.Produced by Dina Elsayed

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  • 04.12.2020
    27 MB
    28:21
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    Cyclists vs. Pedestrians

    Frustration is high in Berlin over the rights of cyclists vs. drivers. But what about the rights of Berlin’s pedestrians vs. cyclists?We explore that fraught relationship and other human-powered, sustainable mobility conflicts in Berlin on the third episode of Common Ground with guests Carolina Mazza of ADFC (German Cyclists Association), Roland Stimpel of FUSS e.V. (Organization for Pedesterian Protection of Germany), Alena Büttner of the German Environment Agency and Dirk von Schneidemesser of Changing Cities e.V.Produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 04.12.2020
    26 MB
    27:21
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    Should Berlin become a tech hub?

    When Google announced plans to open a campus in the Berlin neighborhood of Kreuzberg, local opposition was so loud that it ground the tech giant’s plans to a halt. A similar wave of protests hit Friedrichshain earlier this year against Amazon’s plans to erect a 140 meter-tall office building. Should Berlin embrace its potential as a tech hub? Or will the German capital turn into a European version of San Francisco and Seattle?In this episode, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by Nina Monaghan, the vice-chairwoman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg; Yonatan Miller, co-founder of the Berlin Tech Workers Coalition, and freelance journalist and activist John Malamatinas.This show was produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 04.12.2020
    51 MB
    53:38
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    Who is a REAL Berliner?

    As the German capital rapidly evolves into an international city with immigrants from around the globe, there's a lot of disagreement over who gets to call themselves a Berliner. In the hour-long premiere of “Common Ground”, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and panel explore the issue.John F. Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech was embraced by an overwhelming majority of city residents nearly six decades ago.But these days, there’s a lot of disagreement over who gets to call themselves a Berliner as the German capital rapidly evolves into an international city with immigrants from around the globe.In the hour-long premiere of “Common Ground”, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is joined by a panel made up of Berlin politicians Sawsan Chebli and Christian Gräff, “Der Alte Ami” – DJ Rik de Lisle, and Maxim Gorki Theater Director Shermin Langhoff.This show was recorded live on Sept. 7, 2020 and produced by Dina Elsayed.

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  • 04.12.2020
    3 MB
    03:08
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    Introducing Common Ground

    “Common Ground” joins KCRW Berlin's show roster from September 10, 2020. In this preview, host Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson lets you in on what to expect from the talk show that aims to "forge consensus from controversy," and invites you to be part of the taping of the first, hour-long episode, via Zoom, on September 7, 2020.

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