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Washington Week With Gwen Ifill And National Journal

Airs Fridays at 8 p.m. & Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on KPBS TV

Above: WASHINGTON WEEK features Washington's top journalists analyzing the week's top news stories and their effect on the lives of all Americans. Gwen Ifill (pictured) hosts.

Washington Week Podcast

If you miss the program or want to hear it a second time, download the podcast and listen to both the show and the Webcast Extra.

Essential Reads

Essential Reads is your one-stop source for the top stories of the day as reported by your favorite WASHINGTON WEEK panelists. It's a simple way to save time and stay informed about the news you need to know. Check it out every day!

Meet The Panelists

Get to know the panelists who join Gwen around the table each week.

WASHINGTON WEEK, PBS' longest-running public affairs series, features Washington's top journalists analyzing the week's top news stories and their effect on the lives of all Americans. Gwen Ifill hosts.

Among the features of Washington Week On Line, you can see a weekly blog called Gwen's Take with insight and analysis from moderator Gwen Ifill; an expanded On The Radar section with daily updates from our panelists on the stories they're covering; The Vault which features clips from our library of broadcasts spanning 40 years; our Watch the Show and "Webcast EXTRA" video featuring each week's episodes; and a link to stories from our partners at National Journal.

Topics for Aug. 29 (NO encore Aug. 31):

The crisis in Ukraine and the threat of Islamic State militants (ISIL) are just two of the foreign policy challenges President Obama and his national security team are facing this week.

The conflict in Ukraine has intensified as Russian troops have brazenly moved inside Ukrainian territory. NATO released satellite images it says show as many as 1,000 Russian armed forces entering southeastern Ukraine, a claim Russia denies. The escalation comes just days after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met to discuss ways to end the conflict.

Rooting out Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq is proving more challenging for the Obama administration. During a news conference on Thursday, President Obama said the U.S. was considering a range of options to confront and destroy ISIL militants but added that the U.S. did not have a strategy yet.

Alexis Simendinger of RealClearPolitics and Hannah Allam of McClatchy Newspapers will have analysis of the evolving U.S. strategy in dealing with ISIL and the new challenges the Russia-Ukraine standoff has created.

Plans by restaurant giant Burger King to purchase Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons and relocating its corporate headquarters north of the border has added fire to the controversy over a growing trend of U.S. companies relocating abroad. Greg Ip of The Economist will explain why the dysfunctional corporate-tax system in American may be to blame.

Plus, Dan Balz of The Washington Post will take a closer look at the dominant issues for voters leading into the midterm elections from raising the minimum wage to global instability and immigration reform. And be sure to read Gwen’s Take on why voting for the candidate you dislike the least, may not be the best strategy in the voting booth this fall.

And don’t forget you can follow WASHINGTON WEEK on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with daily developments. Past episodes of WASHINGTON WEEK are available for online viewing.

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Washington Week: Missouri Teen Shooting, Upheaval in Iraq, Obama-Hillary Relationship

Above: The investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed Missouri teen, the fast-changing developments in Iraq and the status of the U.S. humanitarian rescue mission, and the reported rift between Hillary Clinton and President Obama over U.S. foreign policy. Joining Gwen: Yochi Dreazen, Foreign Policy Magazine; Carrie Johnson, NPR; Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

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Washington Week: Congress: Action & Inaction; Israel-Gaza, Ukraine And U.S. Diplomacy

Above: Analysis of the politics and pitfalls Congress faced this week trying to address critical domestic issues and the ongoing diplomatic efforts by the U.S. and European nations to find lasting solutions to the Ukraine and Israel-Gaza crises despite global instability.Joining Gwen: Molly Ball, The Atlantic; Robert Costa, Washington Post; Yochi Dreazen, Foreign Policy magazine; Elise Labott, CNN.

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Washington Week: Crises in Ukraine & the Middle East and Immigration Challenge

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Washington Week: Global Flashpoints and U.S. Foreign Policy Dilemma

Above: July 18, 2014: The multiple foreign policy challenges facing the Obama administration including the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. Also, the latest on the investigation into the Malaysian Airlines crash. Joining Gwen Ifill: John Harwood, CNBC and New York Times, Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics; Yochi Dreazen, Foreign Policy; Michael Crowley, TIME

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Washington Week: Immigration Crisis, Middle East Tensions, U.S.-Germany Spying

Above: July 11, 2014: President Obama proposed a $3.7 billion plan to address the surge of illegal immigrants, the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, and Germany's decision to expel a CIA station chief in Berlin in response to more cases of U.S. Joining Gwen Ifill: Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post; Fawn Johnson, National Journal; Mark Mazetti, New York Times; Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

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Washington Week: U.S. considers Iraq options; Benghazi suspect captured; Obama

Above: President Obama said Thursday the U.S. will provide military assets to support Iraqi security forces fighting ISIS insurgents but no combat troops. Plus, how will Obama's record-low approval ratings affect the midterms? And House Republicans elect new leaders.

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Washington Week: Bergdahl Backlash and Mississippi & Iowa Politics

Above: This week: The controversial prisoner swap that freed Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban commanders, and two high-profile GOP Senate primaries, Iowa and Mississippi, where six-term incumbent Thad Cochran is now facing a runoff election with tea party challenger Chris McDaniel. Joining Gwen: Molly Ball, The Atlantic; Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post; David Sanger, The New York Times.

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Washington Week: Obama at a Crossroads

Above: This week: With the recent resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, we take a look at President Obama’s standing 18-months into his 2nd term, including his priorities, his stumbles and the potential obstacles ahead, both politically and internationally. Joining Gwen: Christi Parsons, Tribune Newspapers; Michael Crowley, TIME Magazine; Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico; Peter Baker, The New York Times.

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Washington Week: Pressure on Shinseki, Cyber Spying Tensions, Primary Review

Above: This week: The latest on alleged mismanagement of VA hospitals, the indictment of five Chinese Army officialsover cyber spying, analysis Tuesday’s primary elections and President Lyndon Johnson's call to make America a 'Great Society' fifty years later. Joining Gwen: Jeff Zeleny, ABC News; Pete Williams, NBC News; Susan Davis, USA Today; Karen Tumulty, Washington Post.

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Arlington National Cemetery

Above: Explore the history, mission and daily operations of Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for more than 400,000 Americans. This revered place honors the dead and brings great meaning to the living.

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Washington Week: Va Hospital Probe, Immigration Reform, Midterm Politics

Above: In this episode: Alleged deadly waiting times for medical care at VA hospitals, passing a compromise immigration bill ahead of the midterm elections, the growing number of 2016 presidential hopefuls, and a look at the GOP primary in Nebraska. Joining Gwen: Martha Raddatz, ABC News; John Dickerson, Slate Magazine and CBS News; Molly Ball, The Atlantic; John Harwood, CNBC and The New York Times.