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Activists Demand Release of Manuel Duran, Prominent Latino Journalist in Memphis Jailed by ICE
Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:44:07 -0400
Immigrants rights activists are demanding the release of Manuel Duran, a prominent Latino journalist in Memphis who has been in ICE custody since early April. Duran was detained by immigration officials after he was arrested while covering a protest against immigrant detention outside a county jail. Duran, who was born in El Salvador, is a well-known reporter on Spanish radio stations in Memphis. He also runs the online site Memphis Noticias. Duran issued a statement while detained about the conditions in the LaSalle Detention Center in Jena, Louisiana, where he is being held. He writes, "Through this experience I have learned first hand details about the treatment our immigrants receive before they are deported. How they keep the lights on day and night and you have to sleep with a towel over your eyes. How they make you lie in bed for 45 minutes, in what seems to be at random after roll calling, and you cannot use the phone or the bathroom during that time."

The Untold Story of How Fidel Castro's Love Affair with ABC Journalist Altered U.S.-Cuban Relations
Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:36:44 -0400
A new Politico cover story reveals how an ABC journalist named Lisa Howard conducted a secret liaison with Cuba's Fidel Castro, eventually establishing a secret back channel between Castro's office and the White House. For more, we speak with Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, and who wrote the piece in Politico, "'My Dearest Fidel': An ABC Journalist's Secret Liaison with Fidel Castro."

As Cuba Gains a New President, Raúl Castro Steps Back, Not Down, from Power
Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:27:00 -0400
For the first time since the Cuban revolution toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista, a president who does not have the last name Castro has taken power. Miguel Díaz-Canel was sworn in as president last Thursday. He succeeds Raúl Castro, who served two consecutive 5-year terms in office. Castro is now 86 years old and will remain head of the Communist Party. Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother Raúl in 2008 while his health deteriorated, and died in 2016. Thursday's session was held on the 57th anniversary of Cuba's 1961 defeat of a CIA-backed Cuban exile invasion known as the Bay of Pigs. Díaz-Canel began his term with a promise to defend the socialist revolution led by the Castro brothers. We speak to Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

No End in Sight for US-Backed Yemen War as Airstrike Kills At Least 20, Including Bride, at Wedding
Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:11:51 -0400
At least 20 people died Sunday when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a wedding party in northern Yemen. Most of the dead were reportedly women and children who were gathered in one of the wedding party tents. The bride was among the dead. Medics and residents said more than 46 others—including 30 children—were also injured. The attack on the Yemeni wedding party was one of at least three airstrikes over the weekend that killed Yemeni civilians. A family of five died in an airstrike in the province of Hajjah. And 20 civilians died on Saturday when fighter jets bombed a bus near the city of Taiz. Earlier this month, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Yemen had become the world's worst humanitarian crisis. We speak to Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni doctoral candidate at Harvard University.

Headlines for April 24, 2018
Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Yemen: U.S.-Backed, Saudi-Led Airstrike Kills At Least 20 at Wedding, Toronto Driver Plows into Pedestrians, Killing 10 and Injuring 15, Suspected Gunman in Waffle House Massacre Arraigned on Murder Charges, Senate Committee Recommends Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, 109 Retired Military Leaders Oppose Gina Haspel to Head CIA, Veterans Affairs Nomination in Doubt over Alleged "Improper Conduct", Trumps Welcome French President Macron for Official State Visit, French Parliament Advances Immigration Bill Restricting Asylum Seekers, Greece: Neo-Nazis Attack Peaceful Demonstration of Asylum Seekers, White House Defends Trump Tweet Condemned as Racist Toward Immigrants, Tucson, AZ: Murder Acquittal for Border Agent Who Shot Mexican Teen, Armenia: Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan Resigns Amid Mass Protests, George H. W. Bush Hospitalized One Day After Barbara Bush's Funeral

How Black Students Helped Lead the 1968 Columbia U. Strike Against Militarism & Racism 50 Years Ago
Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:16:23 -0400
Fifty years ago today, on April 23, 1968, hundreds of students at Columbia University in New York started a revolt on campus. They occupied five buildings, including the president's office in Low Library, then students barricaded themselves inside the buildings for days. They were protesting Columbia's ties to military research and plans to build a university gymnasium in a public park in Harlem. The protests began less than three weeks after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The 1968 Columbia uprising led to one of the largest mass arrests in New York City history—more than 700 people arrested on April 30. It also inspired student protests across the country. Today, we spend the hour looking back at this pivotal moment. We are joined by Raymond Brown, former leader of the Student Afro-American Society; Nancy Biberman, a Barnard College student who joined the protests as a member of Students for Democratic Society; Mark Rudd, chair of the Columbia University chapter of SDS during the student strike; Juan González, _Democracy Now!_ co-host who was a Columbia student and strike organizer; and Paul Cronin, editor of the new book "A Time to Stir: Columbia '68." We also feature excerpts from the 1968 documentary "Columbia Revolt" by Third World Newsreel.

Headlines for April 23, 2018
Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
North Korea to Freeze Nuclear Tests Ahead of Trump Summit, French President Macron in U.S. for Three-Day State Visit, Manhunt Underway for Tennessee Shooter Who Killed 4 People of Color, Afghanistan: Suicide Bomb Kills 57, Injures 119 at Voter ID Center, Israeli Snipers Kill 4 More Palestinians at Gaza's Militarized Border, Palestinian Engineer Assassinated in Malaysia; Family Blames Mossad, Syrian Military Bombards Last Opposition-Held Areas Around Damascus, Nicaraguan President Scraps Pension Rollback as Protest Death Toll Hits 26, Peru: Assassinated Forest Defender Olivia Arévalo Lomas Laid to Rest, Armenia: Thousands Protest Power Grab by Leader Serzh Sargsyan, Arizona Teachers Authorize a Strike, Demanding Public Education Funds, Harvard Student Teaching Assistants Vote to Unionize, Climate Denier Jim Bridenstine Narrowly Confirmed as NASA Chief, HSBC Pledges to Roll Back Financing of Fossil Fuel Projects, Women Claim 5 of 6 Goldman Environmental Prizes for 2018, Georgia: Police Arrest 10 Anti-Fascist Protesters as Neo-Nazis Rally, Herman Bell Set to Be Freed on Parole After 45 Years in Prison, Colin Kaepernick Wins Amnesty's Ambassador of Conscience Award

Earth Day 2018: Ending Plastic Pollution in the Oceans, Land & Our Bodies
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:44:34 -0400
This Sunday more than a billion people will celebrate Earth Day. This year's theme: ending plastic pollution by Earth Day 2020. Of the nearly 300 million tons of plastic sold each year, about 90 percent ends up in landfills, in the oceans—and in our bodies. Part of the focus will be microplastics, those small bits of plastic that are seemingly everywhere. We speak to Marcus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres Institute, who has led 20 expeditions around the world to research plastic marine pollution, and Priscilla Villa of the #BreakFreeFromPlastics movement.

Dilma Rousseff: The Rise of Brazil's Far Right Threatens Democratic Gains Since End of Dictatorship
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:27:07 -0400
The imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has shaken up this year's presidential election. Lula is the front-runner but will likely be barred from running if he is not released from prison. Polling second is the far-right former military captain Jair Bolsonaro. We speak to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff about the rise of the far right and the recent assassination of Brazilian human rights activist and Rio City Councilmember Marielle Franco.

Dilma Rousseff: Lula's Imprisonment Is Part of a Coup Corroding Brazil's Democratic Institutions
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:12:28 -0400
Protests are continuing in Brazil over the imprisonment of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Two weeks ago, Lula began serving a 12-year prison sentence for a highly controversial corruption conviction. Lula had been the front-runner in this year's presidential election. His supporters say his jailing is a continuation of a coup that began in 2016, when his close ally, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached as president. Both Lula and Rousseff are members of the left-leaning Workers' Party, which has been credited with lifting tens of millions of Brazilians out of poverty since Lula was first elected in 2003. Last month, Lula spoke on Democracy Now! in one of his final TV interviews before being jailed. Earlier this week, Lula was dealt another setback when Brazil's Fourth Federal Regional Court denied Lula's latest appeal. Meanwhile, hundreds of Lula supporters have set up an encampment outside the prison where Lula is being held in the the southern city of Curitiba. We speak to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Her impeachment in 2016 ended nearly 14 years of rule by the Workers' Party. Rousseff is a former political prisoner who took part in the underground resistance to the U.S.-backed Brazilian dictatorship in the 1960s. She was jailed from 1970 to 1972, during which time she was repeatedly tortured. She was elected president in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Headlines for April 20, 2018
Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Released Comey Memos Show Trump Distracted by Rivalries, Fear, Rudy Giuliani to Join Trump's Legal Team, Nationwide Student Walkout Marks 19th Anniversary of Columbine Massacre, Dick's Sporting Goods to Destroy Assault-Style Rifles It Didn't Sell, Trump Admin Moves to Open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for Oil Drilling, Trump Admin Aims to Expand Sale of Armed Drones Globally, GOP Voter Suppression Architect Kris Kobach Found in Contempt of Court, Cuba: Outgoing President Raúl Castro Gives Final Speech at National Assembly, Nicaragua: Thousands Protest New Pension Plan, 4 Reported Dead, Chile: Massive Student Mobilization Protests Privatization of Education, Detroit Threatens to Shut Off Water at 17,000 Homes for People $150 Behind on Bills, Wells Fargo to Be Hit with $1 Billion Fine over Financial Crimes, Natalie Portman Refuses to Go to Israel to Accept Award over "Recent Events", Reproductive Justice Activist Alejandra Pablos Freed from ICE Detention

Stunning Investigation Confirms Black Mothers and Babies in the U.S. Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:50:27 -0400
Tuesday marked the end of the inaugural Black Maternal Health Week, a campaign founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. The effort was launched to build awareness and activism around the state of black maternal health in the U.S. The United States ranks 32 out of the 35 wealthiest nations in infant mortality. Black infants are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants, a disparity greater than existed in 1850, 15 years before slavery ended. Each year, an estimated 700 to 900 maternal deaths occur in the U.S., which is one of only 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality is worse than it was 25 years ago. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts. These statistics were reported in a powerful new investigation in The New York Times Magazine, "Why America's Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis." Even more shocking is that, according to the report and contrary to widely accepted research, education and income offer little protection. The answer to the disparity in death rates has everything to do with the lived experience of being a black woman in America. We speak to New York Times Magazine contributing writer Linda Villarosa, who directs the journalism program at the City College of New York.

Former Gitmo Prisoner Moazzam Begg Explains How Torture & U.S.-Run Prisons Helped Give Birth to ISIS
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:44:16 -0400
As President Trump continues to refuse to close the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo, we speak to a former prisoner at the camp—Moazzam Begg. He was held in extrajudicial detention by the U.S. government from 2002 to 2005, first in Kandahar, then at Bagram Air Base, for approximately a year before being transferred to Guantánamo.

Rashid Khalidi: Ending the Proxy Wars in Syria Is Key to De-escalating Deadly Conflict
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:39:28 -0400
Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi discusses how the war in Syria has become a proxy war with a number of nations involved, including Russia, Iran, the United States, Israel, Turkey and the Gulf states.

Moazzam Begg on Syria: A No-Fly Zone Is Needed Around Idlib to Prevent "Unprecedented" Massacre
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:27:04 -0400
In Syria, international chemical weapons inspectors are still attempting to enter the town of Douma, where an alleged chemical gas attack killed dozens of people earlier this month. Inspectors with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Damascus on Saturday but have been unable to reach Douma and have accused Syrian and Russian authorities of blocking access to the town. On Friday, the United States, France and Britain carried out airstrikes against two chemical weapons storage facilities and a research center in Syria. In response to the U.S.-led strikes, Russia announced it may supply Syria with a state-of-the-art air defense system—a move likely to anger the United States and Israel. Israel has carried out more than 150 bombing raids in Syria since 2011. Just last week Israel bombed an Iranian air defense system at a Syrian base. We go to London to speak with Moazzam Begg. He is a former Guantánamo detainee. He was held in extrajudicial detention by the U.S. government from 2002 to 2005, first in Kandahar, then at Bagram Air Base for approximately a year before being transferred to Guantánamo. In 2011 and 2012, Begg made several trips to Syria to investigate reports of U.S. and U.K. rendition operations and to interview former prisoners of the Assad regime. Begg works as outreach director at the London-based organization CAGE, which advocates on behalf of victims of the "war on terror."

Rashid Khalidi: The Israeli Security Establishment Is Terrified of a Nonviolent Palestinian Movement
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:11:23 -0400
Palestinian protests against the Israeli occupation are continuing this week as Israel begins to mark the country's 70th anniversary of its founding in 1948. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Israeli forces have killed 33 Palestinian protesters over the past three weeks since the "Great March of Return" protests began to commemorate the mass expulsion of Palestinians during Israel's establishment. Palestinian authorities estimate nearly 4,300 Palestinians have been injured in the peaceful protests—many were shot with live ammunition or rubber-coated steel bullets. Gaza authorities have also accused Israel of deliberately targeting journalists and medics. Since the protests began, one journalist—Yaser Murtaja—was killed, and 66 journalists were injured. In addition, 44 medics have been wounded, and 19 ambulances were reportedly targeted. The protest marches are set to last to until May 15, recognized as the official Israeli Independence Day. Palestinians mark the date as Nakba Day, or "Day of the Catastrophe." For more, we're joined by Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said professor of Arab studies at Columbia University. He's the author of several books, his most recent titled "Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East."

Headlines for April 19, 2018
Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Says He's Prepared to Abandon North Korea Summit If Talks "Fruitless", Trump Won't Say Whether He'll Fire Special Counsel Mueller, Pittsburgh Police Preparing for Riots If Trump Fires Robert Mueller, Senate Votes Against Rule on Predatory Car Loans for People of Color, Senate to Allow Breastfeeding Mothers to Bring Infants to Chamber Floor, Puerto Rico: 1.4 Million Lose Electric Power in Island-Wide Blackout, Syria: U.N. Chemical Weapons Team Comes Under Fire, Delays Inspections, Palestinian Security Forces Arrest West Bank Journalist, Cuba: Miguel Díaz-Canel to Become President as Raúl Castro Steps Down, Kansas: Militia Members Convicted of Plot to Massacre Somali Immigrants, FBI Whistleblower Convicted of Leaking Documents in "Act of Conscience", Georgia: Immigrants Sue For-Profit Prison, Alleging Forced Labor, New York State to Restore Voting Rights to Those with Felonies on Parole, Poland: EU Court Orders a Halt to Logging in Pristine Forest, Canadian PM Trudeau Faced with Pipeline Protest in London

#FreeSiwatu: Pregnant Black Detroit Activist Jailed for Standing Her Ground & Protecting Her Family
Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:38:05 -0400
An environmental activist and young black mother in Detroit may be forced to give birth behind bars, after standing her ground during a frightening encounter. Since she was 15 years old, Siwatu-Salama Ra has fought for environmental justice. She campaigned against the Marathon oil refinery and the Detroit Renewable Power trash incinerator. She represented Detroit at the Paris climate summit. She's also worked to engage kids and educate young mothers about nutrition. Now, at age 26, Siwatu has been sentenced to a mandatory two years in prison, following an incident in which she brandished her unloaded—and legally registered—handgun while defending her mother and 2-year-old daughter. She was sentenced last month to two years in prison even though she is scheduled to give birth in June. We speak to two of her attorneys and Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

America's #1 Weapons Salesman: Trump Promotes U.S. Arms Manufacturers & Weakens Export Rules
Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:22:21 -0400
A new exposé by Reuters reveals how the Trump administration plans to make the U.S. an even larger weapons exporter by loosening restrictions on the sale of equipment ranging from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery. Reuters reveals that the new initiative will provide guidelines that could allow more countries to be granted faster deal approvals, and will call on Cabinet officials to help close deals between foreign governments and U.S. defense contractors. In one example, Reuters reveals President Trump himself urged the emir of Kuwait, in a telephone call, to finalize a $10 billion fighter jet deal with Boeing, the country's second-largest defense contractor. The exposé details the role U.S. Cabinet officials may be asked to play in pushing arms exports abroad as part of the new initiative, which will call for a "whole of government" approach—from the president and his Cabinet to military attachés and diplomats—to help draw in billions of dollars more in arms business overseas. The Trump administration is expected to announce the new rules as early as Thursday. We speak to Mike Stone of Reuters and William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.

Unlimited Worldwide War: ACLU Warns Senate Against Giving Trump Blank Check to Declare War
Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:10:03 -0400
The New York Times is reporting President Trump launched airstrikes against Syria on Friday despite opposition from his own defense secretary, James Mattis, who wanted Trump to first get congressional approval. Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers have described the strikes on Syria as illegal since Trump did not seek congressional input or authorization.This comes as Congress is considering rewriting the war powers granted to the president after the September 11 attacks—what's known as the AUMF, or Authorization for Use of Military Force. On September 14, 2001, the current AUMF passed the Senate 98-0 and 420-1 in the House, with California Democrat Barbara Lee casting the sole dissenting vote. Since then, it's been used by Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries—many of which were entirely unrelated to 9/11. On Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, and Democratic committee member Tim Kaine of Virginia introduced legislation to replace the AUMFs with a new one. Corker and Kaine claim their legislation would strengthen congressional oversight. But critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, warn the proposed legislation would actually expand the authority of President Trump and all future presidents to engage in worldwide war without limitations. For more, we're joined by Faiz Shakir, national political director for the ACLU.

Headlines for April 18, 2018
Wed, 18 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Pompeo Held Clandestine Meeting with Kim Jong-un, Congress Considers Rewriting the Post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Nikki Haley to White House on Russia Sanctions: "I Don't Get Confused", In 5-4 Vote, Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Mandating Deportation for Some Crimes, Cuba: President Raúl Castro Stepping Down from Power, Starbucks to Close More Than 8,000 Stores for 1-Day Anti-Racial Bias Training, NYC Removes Statue of Gynecologist Who Experimented on Enslaved Black Women, Activists Fundraise to Erect Ida B. Wells Monument in Chicago, Graduate Students at Harvard, Northeastern, Columbia Demand Right to Form a Union, Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies at 92

Hip-Hop Artist Kendrick Lamar Makes History by Winning Pulitzer Prize
Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:49:59 -0400
On Monday, rapper Kendrick Lamar became the first non-classical or jazz musician to ever win a Pulitzer Prize for Music. Lamar has topped the charts with music that tackles issues of race, politics, religion and even mental health. The Pulitzer follows the five Grammy Awards won by Lamar in January for "DAMN.," his fourth studio album. His previous album, "To Pimp a Butterfly," also won five Grammys. Lamar recently produced and curated the soundtrack for the "Black Panther" film to critical acclaim. We speak to a high school teacher in New Jersey who uses Lamar's recordings in his classroom.

Deadliest U.S. Prison Riot in 25 Years Shines Light on Inhumane Conditions in Prisons Across Nation
Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:34:21 -0400
At least seven prisoners died and 17 were seriously injured after bloody violence broke out Sunday night at a maximum security prison in South Carolina. It was the deadliest prison riot in the United States in 25 years. A coroner said all of the prisoners were stabbed, slashed or beaten. Six of the seven were African-American. No guards were hurt. In total, at least 20 prisoners have been killed by fellow prisoners in South Carolina since the start of 2017. One investigation found the number killed across the state's prisons had quadrupled from 2015 to 2017. The state's prison agency has also been hit with several lawsuits that outline a "long history of violence" and allege sometimes the violence is "encouraged" by guards. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Heather Ann Thompson, who wrote "Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy."

Trump's Legal Worries Grow as Judge Rejects Effort for President to Review Docs Seized in FBI Raid
Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:10:36 -0400
In a potentially major setback for President Trump, a federal judge has rejected efforts from the president to be given first access to documents seized by the FBI last week during raids on the properties of Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen, who is being investigated for possible bank and wire fraud. Monday's court hearing pitted the president against his own Justice Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McKay urged the judge to reject the president's request. McKay said, "Just because he has a powerful client doesn't mean he should get special treatment." The FBI seized 10 boxes of documents and as many as a dozen electronic devices from Cohen. According to press accounts, the Trump administration now views the probe into Cohen as a more serious threat to the president than special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Meanwhile, on Monday, Cohen's attorneys were forced to reveal Fox News host Sean Hannity was also one of Cohen's other legal clients. Just last week, Hannity slammed the FBI for raiding Cohen's office and home, but he never disclosed his ties to Cohen. We speak to Marcy Wheeler, independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties. She runs the website EmptyWheel.net.

Headlines for April 17, 2018
Tue, 17 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Theresa May & Emmanuel Macron Face Backlash over Military Strikes on Syria, U.S. & U.K. Issue Joint Warning About Risks of Russian Cyberattacks, Judge Rejects Trump's Efforts to Have First Access to Cohen Docs Seized by FBI, Watchdog Rules EPA Broke Law with $43,000 Soundproof Phone Booth, Philadelphia: Protesters Shut Down Starbucks over Racial Discrimination, Trudeau Continues to Back Controversial Kinder Morgan Oil Pipeline, Nina Simone & Sister Rosetta Tharpe Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Beyoncé Rocks Coachella with Historic Performance Celebrating Black Culture, Kendrick Lamar Wins Historic Pulitzer Prize for Music

Saheed Vassell's Parents Call for Police to Release Every Video Leading Up to Their Son's Death
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:47:02 -0400
Police officers responding to a 911 call shot dead an unarmed, mentally troubled African-American man on a street corner in Brooklyn on April 5. At the time of his death, Saheed Vassell was holding a metal pipe that police say they mistook for a gun. The NYPD said four officers—three in plainclothes and one uniformed—fired 10 rounds at Vassell, a Jamaican immigrant. None of the officers who opened fire were wearing body cameras. The Vassell family is now calling for the release of all unedited video from the area leading up to and during the shooting. We are joined by Saheed Vassell's parents, Lorna and Eric Vassell.

Gaza: Palestinians Continue "Great March of Return" Protests for Third Straight Week
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:42:11 -0400
Palestinians gathered at the Israeli-Gaza border for a third Friday in a row as part of the ongoing "Great March of Return" protests. Paramedics say at least 30 Palestinians were injured by Israeli soldiers during Friday's protest. Israeli soldiers have killed at least 34 Palestinians since the wave of protests against Israel's occupation began on March 30. We get response from Ramah Kudaimi, director of grassroots organizing at US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. She is also a member of the Syrian Solidarity Collective and on the National Committee of the War Resisters League. She calls for the U.S. to end its military support for Israel, and argues that Palestinian rights cannot be separated from U.S. actions in the region.

Chelsea Manning on Trump's Mission Accomplished Tweet: "I Believe I Have Heard Those Words Before"
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:26:21 -0400
On Friday, the U.S., U.K. and France launched coordinated military strikes in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria, over a week ago. The attack has not yet been independently investigated. The U.S. has blamed the Assad government for the alleged attack. On Sunday, United Nations chemical weapons investigators began examining the scene of the alleged attack, which came amid a brutal campaign by the Syrian government to retake the rebel-held district of Eastern Ghouta outside the capital Damascus. We get response from perhaps the most famous whistleblower of the Iraq War, Chelsea Manning, who is now a network security specialist and advocate for government transparency and queer and transgender rights. She spent seven years in military prison after leaking a trove of documents about the Iraq and Afghan wars and the State Department to WikiLeaks in 2010 and is now running for the U.S. Senate. We also speak with Ramah Kudaimi, a Syrian-American activist who is a member of the Syrian Solidarity Collective and on the National Committee of the War Resisters League.

Syrian-American Activist: Limited U.S. Airstrikes Send Signal to Assad He Can Continue Mass Killing
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:15:34 -0400
The United States is expected to introduce new sanctions against Russian companies with links to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, following the coordinated U.S., British and French military strikes against two alleged chemical weapons storage facilities and a research center in Syria on Friday night. Trump hailed the military strikes a success and declared in a tweet, "Mission Accomplished!" The military strikes came in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma over a week ago. "The United States has claimed, proclaimed that it wants to see and support the Syrian people's revolution," says our guest Ramah Kudaimi, "but in fact has really intervened in ways that have strengthened the [Syrian] regime." Kudaimi is a Syrian-American activist, a member of the Syrian Solidarity Collective, and is on the National Committee of the War Resisters League.

Headlines for April 16, 2018
Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Russia After Military Strike Against Syria, Nikki Haley Defends Trump's Refugee Ban, Claiming Syrians Don't Want to Come to U.S., James Comey: Trump Is Not Morally Fit to Be President, Michael Cohen Faces New Scrutiny About Trip to Prague & Broidy's Affair Payoff, Afghanistan: 26 Government Officers Killed in String of Attacks, Nationwide Protests in India Denounce Rape & Murder of Muslim Girl, Palestinians Gather at Israeli-Gaza Border in Latest "Great March of Return" Protests, Ecuador Accuses Colombian Rebel Group of Killing 2 Journalists and Driver, Salvadoran Journalist Karla Lisseth Turcios Murdered, Hundreds of Thousands Protest in Barcelona to Demand Freedom for Catalan Leaders, Protests at Philadelphia Starbucks After Viral Video of Cops Arresting 2 Black Men Inside Store, Hundreds of Denver Teachers Join Teachers' Protests Sweeping Nation, South Carolina: At Least 7 Prisoners Dead After Uprising at Lee Correctional Institution, Alabama: Black Teen Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for a Murder Committed by Cop, Lawyer Self-Immolates in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, as Protest Against Climate Change, Tens of Thousands Gather in South Africa for Funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Nearly 4 People Are Evicted Every Minute: New Project Tracks U.S. Eviction Epidemic & Effects
Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:48:02 -0400
A new project called the Eviction Lab examined more than 80 million eviction records going back to 2000 and found that in 2016 alone there were nearly four evictions filed every minute. More than 6,300 Americans are evicted every day. Studies show that eviction can lead to a host of other problems, including poor health, depression, job loss and shattered childhoods. Having an eviction on one's record also makes it far more difficult to find decent housing in the future. Now the Eviction Lab's database is being shared with the public in an interactive website that allows people to better track and understand evictions in their own communities. We speak with Matthew Desmond, who runs the project at Princeton University, where he is a professor of sociology. It grew out of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City."

As Trump Reconsiders TPP Stance, Fair Trade Advocates Say Real Fight Is over NAFTA Renegotiation
Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:34:49 -0400
President Trump campaigned against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling it a "disaster," a "horrible deal" and a "rape of our country." He withdrew from the controversial deal during his first week in office. But on Thursday, he told a group of state lawmakers he wants the U.S. to rejoin the pact. Meanwhile, 11 nations that represent about a seventh of the world's economy signed the TPP earlier this year. We get response from Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. "I do think where the real fight is right now is on NAFTA renegotiation," Wallach says. "And this kind of pandering on the TPP makes that NAFTA fight even more important."

Syrian Researcher: Focus on Alleged Chemical Attack Ignores War's Ongoing Deaths by Airstrikes, Bullets
Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:16:57 -0400
As the United Nations Security Council holds an emergency session over the growing prospect of a war between Russia and the U.S., after President Trump threatened U.S. strikes in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, we get response from Syrian-Canadian writer Yazan al-Saadi. "Let's remind everyone that the U.S. is striking Syria already. You have more than 2,000 soldiers on the ground. There are bases." He adds, "For me, as a Syrian, I see it as an occupation, just like how I see the Russians are an occupation on the country." Regarding the alleged chemical attack in Syria, he says, "This ignores the fact that most deaths are happening through conventional means," such as airstrikes.

Headlines for April 13, 2018
Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Syrian Forces Retake Damascus Suburb of Eastern Ghouta from Rebels, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Warns of Possible War with U.S. over Syria, Russia Claims Douma Chemical Attack Was "Fabricated", Secretary of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Grilled at Senate Confirmation Hearing, In Reversal, Trump Says U.S. Should Join Trans-Pacific Partnership, Former FBI Director Comey: Trump "Unethical, Untethered to Truth", Trump to Pardon Former Cheney Aide Scooter Libby over Perjury Charges, Report: National Enquirer Killed Rumor About Trump's Out-of-Wedlock Child, Senate Approves Former Coal Lobbyist as EPA's Second-in-Command, Palestinian Shot Dead by Israeli Troops Near Gaza Border, 34th in 2 Weeks, Colombian Activist Álvaro Pérez Killed Near Venezuela Border, French Police Raid Protest Encampment at Site of Planned Airport, Trump Administration Drops Chad from Travel Ban List, Former U.S. Ambassador: Trump Plans Deportation of Vietnamese Immigrants, Muslim Activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied Refused Entry to U.S., Columnist Shaun King Detained at Airport and Questioned over Activism, Levels of Toxic Lead Exceed FDA Limit in 30% of Chicago Water Samples, Seattle Seahawks Cancel Tryout for Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Report: Wealthiest 1 Percent Will Hold Two-Thirds of Wealth by 2030

Corey Robin: Striking Teachers Are "Real Resistance" to "Incoherent" Republicans and "Gutted" Dems
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:47:35 -0400
In the continuing teachers' rebellion sweeping the U.S., dozens of Oklahoma teachers have completed a 7-day, 110-mile march from Tulsa to the state capital Oklahoma City. Public schools across Tulsa and Oklahoma City remain closed as thousands of teachers continue their strike for education funding into a ninth day. The strike comes as the Supreme Court is considering Janus v. AFSCME, a case that could deal a massive blow to public unions nationwide—and as President Trump is successfully appointing right-wing judges to federal courts, reshaping the judiciary for decades to come. We continue our conversation with Corey Robin, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Robin calls the conservative movement "weak and incoherent" and the Democratic Party "a gutted machine," and says labor organizing like the teachers' revolt are the "real resistance" in the U.S. today.

Political Scientist Corey Robin: Paul Ryan Is Retiring After Failing to Fulfill Right-Wing Agenda
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:36:46 -0400
In news that has sent shock waves through Capitol Hill, House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced he will not seek re-election this fall. Over 40 House Republicans have announced they will resign or retire, including nine chairmen of committees, leading many to speculate Republicans are fearing a blue wave will bring a Democratic majority to power in November. The most prominent Republican contender for Ryan's seat is Paul Nehlen, a white nationalist and anti-Semite who has called for deporting all Muslims from the United States. For more, we speak with Corey Robin, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump," which The New Yorker called "the book that predicted Trump."

"A Tremendously Dangerous Situation": As Trump Threatens Syria, U.S.-Russian Relations Deteriorate
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:30:10 -0400
Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders has warned the White House against any attack on Syria without a declaration of war from Congress. On Wednesday, Sanders tweeted, "President Trump has no legal authority for broadening the war in Syria. It is Congress, not the president, who determines whether our country goes to war, and Congress must not abdicate that responsibility." We speak to Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council and The Intercept's Zaid Jilani, who co-wrote, with Glenn Greenwald, the piece "With Latest Syria Threats, Trump Continues to Be More Confrontational Toward Russia Than Obama Was."

Will Senate Dems Block Confirmation of Climate-Denying, Torture-Backing State Dept Pick Mike Pompeo?
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:12:24 -0400
Confirmation hearings begin today for Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, tapped by President Trump to become the next secretary of state. Last year the Senate confirmed Pompeo to head the CIA by a vote of 66 to 32, but the vote is expected to be far closer this year. At least one Republican—Rand Paul—has already announced he will vote against Pompeo due to his support for the Iraq invasion and for torture. Pompeo also has a long history of ties to Islamophobic organizations, and the National Iranian American Council has warned that Pompeo's confirmation would threaten the Iran nuclear deal and increase the risk of a U.S. attack on Iran. We discuss Pompeo's nomination with Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, and Zaid Jilani, a staff reporter at The Intercept.

Headlines for April 12, 2018
Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Tweets Syria Assault Could Come "Soon or Not So Soon At All!", Russian Ambassador Warns U.S. over "Sad and Serious Events" in Syria, Sen. Bernie Sanders Warns Trump Against Syria Strike, House Speaker Paul Ryan Will Not Seek Re-Election, FBI Raid on Trump's Lawyer Sought Documents on "Access Hollywood" Tape, Algeria: Plane Crash Kills 257, Including Western Sahara Activists, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Grilled on Privacy by House Panel, Trump Judicial Nominee Won't State Position on School Desegregation, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Won't Resign over Reported Sexual Abuses, Study: Climate Change Is Weakening Gulf Stream Ocean Currents, Chicago Tribune Journalists Seek to Unionize, Former House Speaker John Boehner Joins Medical Marijuana Firm

Amid Privacy Scandal, Is Facebook Profiting off Data from Children & Teens?
Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:52:04 -0400
During Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 5-hour testimony to lawmakers Tuesday about the massive privacy scandal enveloping the platform, lawmakers also questioned him about Facebook's increasing effort to market the platform to children. For more, we speak with Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. The group has launched a campaign to end Facebook Messenger Kids.

ACLU: Facebook Has to Do Much More to Stop Housing & Job Discrimination on Platform
Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:41:28 -0400
As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to lawmakers Tuesday about the massive privacy scandal enveloping the platform, Facebook has also been slapped with a new lawsuit by fair housing groups who accuse Facebook of allowing employers and housing brokers to discriminate in their targeted advertising. The lawsuit says some of Facebook's advertisers do not show job and housing listings to African Americans and women. For more, we speak with Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel for surveillance and privacy at the American Civil Liberties Union.

How Facebook Played "Instrumental" Role in Rise of Burma's Ethnic Cleansing Campaign of Rohingya
Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:27:53 -0400
In Burma, seven soldiers have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for participating in the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in the village of Inn Din in western Rakhine State. The bodies of 10 Rohingya men were discovered in a mass grave there last September. The victims are among thousands of Rohingya who have been killed by the Burmese military's ethnic cleansing campaign against the minority Muslim group. For years, activists have demanded Facebook regulate hate speech against Rohingya on its platform, saying this speech has contributed to the rise in violence against the persecuted community. For more, we speak with Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor of information and library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Her book is titled "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest."

"Facebook Doesn't Sell Your Data. It Sells You": Zeynep Tufekci on How Company's Profit Really Works
Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:11:09 -0400
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced off with lawmakers in a marathon 5-hour hearing Tuesday about how the voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of more than 87 million Facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support President Donald Trump. We speak with Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor of information and library science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a faculty associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Her book is titled "Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest."

Headlines for April 11, 2018
Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:00:00 -0400
"Get Ready Russia": Trump Threatens to Strike Syria After Alleged Chemical Attack, After FBI Raid, Concern Trump Will Fire Rosenstein or Mueller, Zuckerberg Faces Off with Lawmakers About Facebook Privacy Scandal, Trump's Chief Homeland Security Adviser Thomas Bossert Ousted, Israeli Military Censures Soldiers Who Cheered After Shooting Palestinian Man in Gaza, Burma: 7 Soldiers Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Killing Rohingya in Inn Din, Indian Supreme Court Upholds Right to Interfaith Marriage, in Blow to Hindu Nationalists, Oklahoma Teachers Complete 110-Mile March to State Capitol as Strike Continues, Florida's Broward County Votes Not to Arm Teachers, California Sheriff: "Better Financially" for Officers to Kill Suspects, Arizona Supreme Court Ends In-State Tuition for DACA Students, NYC Immigration Lawyers Protest Against ICE Agents at Courthouses, Sex Workers Speak Out Against Shut Down of Backpage.com, Reports: House Speaker Paul Ryan Will Not Seek Re-election, 257 Die in Algerian Military Plane Crash Near Algiers

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