Brian Padden is a senior news correspondent in the Voice of America News Center in Washington, D.C. He recently spent four years as the VOA’s Seoul News Bureau Chief, where he primarily covered North Korea’s accelerated nuclear buildup and its diplomatic pivot. He also worked for three years as the Jakarta Bureau Chief for VOA, where he reported on natural disasters, fragile democracies, and Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia.
But for most of his long career with VOA, Brian was based in Washington, D.C., and traveled around the world, often at a moment’s notice, to cover breaking news, such as democracy protests in Hong Kong, conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine, or important events such as elections in Venezuela or the Olympics in China.
Brian was born and raised in Levittown, Pennsylvania, studied radio/TV/film at Temple University, and in 1980 joined the Peace Corps, where he spent three years working on educational television projects in Paraguay.
Pledges to reduce America's epidemic of gun violence and mass shootings helped propel Democrats to victory in Tuesday's Virginia elections, as the party won control of the mid-Atlantic state's General Assembly for the first time in two decades. The apparent success of Democrats' pro-gun control message in Virginia is seen by some as a sign of an emerging national consensus on a thorny topic that has long-divided the nation. VOA's Brian Padden has more.
Recent headlines have highlighted ways in which foreign donations can enter America's political system, but advocacy groups say stopping the flow of foreign money has been hampered by legal loopholes, illicit financial maneuvers and ultimately a lack of political resolve. VOA's Brian Padden reports that Republicans and Democrats both strongly oppose foreign interference in American elections, but both parties have also reportedly received foreign donations.
In international diplomacy, sports can sometimes act to bridge bitter divides between longstanding rivals. A similar unifying force could be at work, at least temporarily, in America's politically polarized capital city. VOA's Brian Padden reports, Democrats and Republicans are coming together to support the Washington Nationals baseball team playing in Major League Baseball's World Series.
Pro-democracy groups scale down demonstrations over weekend, as government officials increasingly categorize protests as a threat to public safety and equate violence committed by activists with domestic terrorism