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Today on PRI'S The World



PRI's The World - with Host Marco Werman  

It's back to the future for today's show.  We were struck by the image of the toppling of a Lenin statue by protestors in Ukraine this weekend.  The former Soviet republic finds itself caught in a tug of war between Russia and the EU.  Today, protestors are facing riot police intent on dismantling their tents and barricades. We'll find out what the statue stood for and why protestors brought it down, and what the prospects are for political change in Ukraine.

It wasn't that long ago that protestors were filling the streets of Moscow. But those demonstrations were short-lived and much smaller. We'll speak with a Russian businesswoman about why the so-called White Ribbon movement in Russia never really got off the ground, and parallels and differences with the opposition movement in Ukraine.

North Korean politics continue to mesmerize outsiders as well -- with a distinctly Stalinist cast. Kim Jong Un had his uncle arrested and stripped of his powers this weekend in an unprecedented public drama that continues to play out. We'll hear from Robert Carlin, a former top State Department intelligence analyst on North Korea. We're also chasing an interview with  Merrill Newman the Korean war vet who was detained while on a personal visit to North Korea. He was released and returned home to California over the weekend.

We'll keep you posted on South Africa's ten days of mourning for Nelson Mandela. Our own coverage of his life and legacy continues today with an exploration of South Africa's groundbreaking constitution recognizing 11 official languages. That's helped keep some languages and cultures vibrant. But not all languages are as prominent as others in the new South Africa.

Plus our weekly World Quiz takes us to one of the biggest thrill rides on the planet! Stay tuned.