- Verizon Handing over Millions of Phone Records in Broadest Gov't Surveillance to Date
- U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty to Afghan Massacre
- Report: U.S. Sends 125 More Troops to Contain Guantánamo Revolt
- Obama Unveils Susan Rice, Samantha Power for New Foreign Policy Posts
- Turkish Police Continue Protest Crackdown
- U.S., Venezuela Vow Talks; Filmmaker Released from Prison
- 6 Killed in Philadelphia Building Collapse
- Colorado OKs Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants; Gov. Scott Vetoes Florida Bill
- Obama Admin Ordered to Follow Court Order on Emergency Contraception
The new book, "Crow After Roe: How 'Separate But Equal' Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That," tackles the new landscape of restrictions on reproductive healthcare in the United States. On Tuesday, a House panel voted to advance a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide. Similar bans are already in place in states across the country, part of an unprecedented tide of state abortion restrictions enacted in the past few years with the goal of challenging Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court and making abortion inaccessible and unaffordable on the ground. The laws have created a new reality in women’s healthcare: a two-tiered system where poor women, women of color and women in rural areas cannot access basic healthcare services. We’re joined by co-authors Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo, both writers for the reproductive news website RH Reality Check.
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the police can collect DNA samples from people they arrest even before they are convicted of a crime. Supporters of the swabbing method call it "the fingerprinting of the 21st century" that will help nab criminals and break open unsolved cases. But privacy advocates say the ruling is vague because it does not define what constitutes a "serious crime," and could create an incentive for police to make more arrests. The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 ruling will likely fuel an expansion of DNA swabbing nationwide. We host a debate between Michael Risher of the American Civil Liberties Union and Mai Fernandez of the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Pro-government Syrian forces have seized control of the key border town of Qusayr, which had been controlled by rebel fighters for the past year. This comes as the United Nations accuses both sides of the Syrian conflict of reaching "new levels of brutality." Since fighting broke out over two years ago in Syria, more than 80,000 people have been killed, and another 1.6 million Syrian refugees have fled. We’re joined by longtime foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn of The Independent, who recently returned from Syria where he reported on how the conflict is spreading across the Middle East. Cockburn warns that pending global peace talks will have no effect without a ceasefire on the ground. "The best you could really hope for at this stage is a ceasefire, get the level of violence down, and then later you might have talks of sharing power," Cockburn says. "But you are not going to have that at the moment."
- Turkey Protests Continue as Gov't Apologizes for Police Response
- Pro-Assad Forces Retake Qusayr from Syrian Rebels
- 2 Afghans Killed in Protest After More Bodies Found Near U.S. Base
- Hacker Who Alerted Gov't Testifies at Bradley Manning Trial
- Susan Rice to Be Named Obama's National Security Adviser
- Obama Appoints 3 Judges in Challenge to GOP "Obstruction"
- After Cutting Social Programs, Christie Calls Costly Special Election for Vacant NJ Senate Seat
- Military Leaders Reject Independent Oversight of Sexual Assault
- Aurora Suspect Pleads Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity
- Connecticut Approves Labeling of GMO Foods
- Report Finds Major Racial Disparity in Pot Arrests
- Texas Police Officers Fired for Beating Woman Detained for Unpaid Fine
- Egyptian Court Convicts Foreign NGO Workers
- Veteran Activist, Lawyer Chokwe Lumumba Elected Mayor of Jackson, Miss.
- Preacher, Civil Rights Activist Rev. Will Campbell Dies at 88
Describing the United States as an "advanced Third World country," longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader calls for a new mass movement to challenge the power corporations have in Washington. "It is not too extreme to call our system of government now 'American fascism.' It’s the control of government by big business, which Franklin Delano Roosevelt defined in 1938 as fascism," Nader says. "We have the lowest minimum wage in the Western world. We have the greatest amount of consumer debt. We have the highest child poverty, the highest adult poverty, huge underemployment, a crumbling public works — but huge multi-billionaires and hugely profitable corporations. I say to the American people: What’s your breaking point? When are you going to stop making excuses for yourself? When are you going to stop exaggerating these powers when you know you have the power in this country if you organize it?" Nader has just published a new book, "Told You So: The Big Book of Weekly Columns."
The military trial of Army whistleblower Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Maryland, began Monday with the defense and prosecution presenting starkly contrasting accounts. Manning is accused of giving a cache of diplomatic cables and government documents to WikiLeaks in the largest leak of state secrets in U.S. history. The military prosecutor, Captain Joe Morrow, accused Manning of "dumping" hundreds of thousands of documents "into the lap of the enemy," and painted a picture of close ties between Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Manning’s defense lawyer, David Coombs, said Manning wanted to reveal the human cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "He believed [the leaked] information showed how we value human life," Coombs said. "He was troubled by that. He believed that if the American public saw it, they too would be troubled." We’re joined by Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Ratner attended the opening session of Manning’s trial.
- U.N. Panel: Both Sides in Syrian Conflict Hit "New Levels of Brutality"
- British Group Says Syrian Toll Tops 96,000; U.S. Reportedly Withholding Aid from Opposition
- Hundreds of Wounded Residents Stranded in Syrian Town of Qusayr
- Bradley Manning Trial Opens at Fort Meade
- Turkish Union Launches 2-Day Strike; 2nd Person Killed in Protests
- Fort Hood Massacre Suspect to Defend Himself at Military Trial
- U.S. Delays While 65 Other Countries Sign 1st Global Arms Trade Treaty
- U.S. Offers Bounties for Location of Terror Suspects in West Africa
- Supreme Court Rules Police Can Collect DNA from Arrestees
- 140 Arrested in "Moral Mondays" Protest Against Republican Agenda in North Carolina
- Hundreds Protest Fatal Poultry Plant Blaze in China
- Egyptian Activist Gets 6-Month Sentence for Criticizing Morsi
- U.S. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran
- Ailing El Salvador Woman Undergoes C-Section After Weeks of Fighting for Abortion
- Mississippi Man Indicted for Sending Ricin-Laced Letters
- NY Rep. Carolyn McCarthy Reveals She Has Lung Cancer
- NJ Sen. Frank Lautenberg Dies at 89, Longtime Advocate for Environment, Gun Control
More than three years after he was arrested, Army whistleblower Bradley Manning goes on trial today accused of being behind the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Manning faces life in prison for disclosing a trove of U.S. cables and government documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. On Saturday, hundreds of Manning supporters rallied outside the barracks at Fort Meade, Maryland, where the trial will be held. We’re joined by two guests: Firedoglake reporter Kevin Gosztola, who is at Ft. Meade covering the trial, and attorney Chase Madar, author of "The Passion of Bradley Manning."
Turkey is seeing its biggest wave of protests against the ruling government in many years. Tens of thousands of people rallied across the country Sunday for a third consecutive day of mass demonstrations. The unrest erupted last week when thousands of people converged at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, a public space reportedly set for demolition. The protests have grown to include grievances against the government on a range of issues, and protesters have managed to remain despite a heavy police crackdown, including tear gas and rubber bullets. The Turkish government says around 1,000 people have been detained at more than 200 protests nationwide. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the uproar as the work of political opponents and "extremists," vowing to proceed with governments plans to remake Taksim Square. "I cannot tell you how empowering this is," says Turkish scholar and activist Nazan Ustundag. "This is a country known for [police] brutality and for the Turkish people’s unquestioned loyalty to the state. So it’s very exciting all these different sections of people [are] standing [up for] the last public space which wasn’t given to private interests."
- Protests at Ft. Meade Ahead of Bradley Manning Trial
- Guantánamo Prisoners Pen Open Letter to Military Doctors
- 13 Killed in Oklahoma Tornado
- Fires Erupt in California, New Mexico Amid Drought
- Current Drought Could Prove Costlier Than Superstorm Sandy
- British Columbia Rejects Enbridge Tar Sands Oil Pipeline
- Anti-Government Protests Sweep Turkey After Istanbul Unrest
- 120 Estimated Dead After Poultry Plant Fire in China
- Striking Cambodian Workers Enter Nike Factory
- Suicide Attack Kills Afghan Students, U.S. Soldiers
- Hamas Says New PM Could Threaten Unity Deal
- Thousands Stage Rare Protest in Ethiopia
- Anti-Nuclear Protests Hit Tokyo
- U.S. Wheat Banned in Japan, South Korea After Discovery of Monsanto GMO
- U.S. Lawmakers Urge More Cooperation with Russia in Wake of Boston Attack
- Judge Orders Google to Disclose User Info to FBI
- Chicago Hotel Workers End 10-Year Strike
Today marks the fourth anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a 67-year-old abortion provider who was shot point-blank in the forehead as he attended church services in Wichita, Kansas. Tiller’s clinic was one of a handful in the nation that performed abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy. He faced constant threats and incidents of violence and vandalism in the decades leading up to his death. The man who assassinated him, anti-choice extremist Scott Roeder, is serving a life sentence and was recently reprimanded in prison for making intimidating remarks against other abortion providers. The four years since Tiller was murdered have seen a wave of new abortion restrictions. Eight states now ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization. Meanwhile, clinics across the country have been threatened by laws aimed at shutting them down. After working with Tiller for eight years, our guest Julie Burkhart joins us from South Wind Women’s Center, the newly reopened abortion clinic where Tiller worked. She is director and founder of the Trust Women Foundation. "We have had approximately 200 patient visits in just the two short months that we’ve been open. We are just so happy to be back in this community," Burkhart says. On threats made against the clinic and her life she says, "These threats are definitely to be taken seriously, and they are chilling. However, women still need abortion care. ... I don’t think that the rights of women in this part of the country should be curtailed just because we have extremists."
Hundreds of Puerto Ricans rallied this week to call for the United States to release the Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera. Wednesday marked his 32nd year in prison. In 1981, López was convicted on federal charges, including seditious conspiracy — conspiring to oppose U.S. authority over Puerto Rico by force. He was accused of being a member of the FALN, the Armed Forces of National Liberation, which claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings to call attention to the colonial case of Puerto Rico. In 1999 President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of the FALN, but López refused to accept the deal because it did not include two fellow activists who have since been released. In a rare video recording from prison, López said the charges against him were strictly political. Calls are increasing for López to be released from Nobel Peace Laureate South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Eduardo Bhatia, president of the Puerto Rican Senate. To talk more about the case, we speak with Luis Nieves Falcón, a renowned Puerto Rican lawyer, sociologist, and educator. He is the editor of the new book of López’s letters and reflections called, "Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance." We also talk with Matt Meyer, long-time member of the War Resisters League.
Earlier this month, former Black Panther Assata Shakur was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, becoming the first woman ever to make the list. In addition, the state of New Jersey announced it was adding $1 million to the FBI’s $1 million reward for her capture. She was convicted in the May 2, 1973, killing of a New Jersey police officer during a shootout that left one of her fellow activists dead. She was shot twice by police during the incident. In 1979, she managed to escape from jail. Shakur fled to Cuba, where she received political asylum. Shakur has long proclaimed her innocence and accused federal authorities of political persecution. We ask NAACP President Benjamin Jealous about her case. "We have not taken any position on the Shakur case," Jealous says. "But I do think that if we are going to heal as a nation, we must look at the violence, the sort of politically motivated violence on both sides, and figure out how we heal both at once."
In Civil Rights Victory, Virginia Restores Voting Rights for Hundreds of Thousands Nonviolent Felons
In a major victory for voting rights, Virginia’s Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has announced he will automatically restore voting rights for people with nonviolent felony convictions. His decision will eliminate the two-year waiting period and petition process that currently disenfranchises thousands of nonviolent felons who have completed their sentences and satisfied all the conditions of their punishments. According to the Sentencing Project, 350,000 Virginians who have completed their sentences remained disenfranchised in 2010. We speak to Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of NAACP, which has been on the forefront of the campaign to restore voting rights to former felons. The news comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to issue a major ruling that could decide the future of the Voting Rights Act.
- Iraq: More Than 1,200 Killed in Past 2 Months
- Major U.S. Media Outlets Boycott Secret Holder Meetings
- Syrian Opposition Group Rejects Peace Talks; Assad Agrees to Attend
- Pakistani Taliban Vows Revenge After Drone Strike Kills Deputy
- U.S. Authorities Probe More Suspicious Letters Sent to Obama
- Father of Chechen Man Shot Dead by FBI Calls for Agents to Face Trial
- Obama's FBI Pick Scrutinized for Past Approval of Spy Program, Torture
- "Blockupy" Protesters Target European Central Bank
- Cambodian Garment Workers Continue Bid for Wage Increase at Nike Factory
- Seattle Fast Food Workers Join Growing Push for Wage Increase, Union Rights
- Court Allows Coal Company to Slash Benefits, Break Union Agreements
- Chicago Sun-Times Fires Entire Photography Staff
- CNN Shutters Last U.S. TV News Bureau in Iraq
- Report Shows Record Number of Female Breadwinners; Pundit Calls Shift "Anti-Science"
- El Salvador to Allow C-Section for "Beatriz" After Court Denies Life-Saving Abortion
As Republicans move to cut billions of dollars in funding for food stamps, a new report finds one in six Americans live in a household that cannot afford adequate food. In "Nourishing Change: Fulfilling the Right to Food in the United States," the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University’s School of Law reports that of these 50 million people going hungry, nearly 17 million are children. Food insecurity has skyrocketed since the economic downturn, with an additional 14 million people classified as food insecure in 2011 than in 2007. The report comes as Congress is renegotiating the farm bill and proposing serious cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Millions of Americans currently rely on the program to feed themselves and their families. The report’s co-author, Smita Narula of the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU’s School of Law, joins us to discuss her findings and why she is calling on the U.S. government to ensure that all Americans have access to sufficient, nutritious food.
Filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal say plans for their new documentary to air on public television have been quashed after billionaire Republican David Koch complained about the PBS broadcast of another film critical of him, "Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream," by acclaimed filmmaker Alex Gibney. Lessin and Deal were in talks to broadcast their film, "Citizen Koch," on PBS until their agreement with the Independent Television Service fell through. The New Yorker reports the dropping of "Citizen Koch" may have been influenced by Koch’s response to Gibney’s film, which aired on PBS stations, including WNET in New York late last year. "Citizen Koch" tells the story of the landmark Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court that opened the door to unlimited campaign contributions from corporations. It focuses on the role of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity in backing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has pushed to slash union rights while at the same time supporting tax breaks for large corporations. The controversy over Koch’s influence on PBS comes as rallies were held in 12 cities Wednesday to protest the possible sale of the Tribune newspaper chain, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, to Koch Industries, run by David Koch and his brother Charles.
- U.S. Soldier Reaches Plea Deal to Avoid Death Penalty for Afghan Massacre
- U.K. Admits to Holding Dozens Without Charge in Afghanistan
- Both Sides of Syrian Conflict Entrench Positions Ahead of Global Talks
- Ban, U.N. Rights Chief Criticize Arms Shipments to Syria
- Scores Dead in Iraq Bombings
- Report: Former Bush Official James Comey Tapped to Head FBI
- Chechen Shot Dead by FBI in Florida Was Unarmed
- Congressional Delegation in Russia to Probe Boston Lead-Up
- Report: Richest 20% Yield Bulk of Tax Breaks
- Undocumented Youths Arrested Protesting Deportations at Obama Event in Chicago
- NSA Hacking Unit Targets Computers Worldwide
- Monsanto GMO Wheat Discovered at Oregon Farm
- Grounded Shell Rig Left Alaskan Waters to Avoid Taxes
- Miami Police Shove, Choke Black Teen for "Dehumanizing Stares"
- Police: Letters to NYC Mayor Bloomberg May Contain Ricin
- Workers Continue Protests at Cambodian Garment Factory for Better Wages
- El Salvador's Highest Court Rejects Bid for Life-Saving Abortion
- Canadian Abortion Pioneer Henry Morgentaler Dies at 90
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy last year to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sex assault and rape allegations. He fears that Sweden will agree to extradite him to the United States. On Tuesday, Ecuador’s foreign minister accused the British government of trampling on Assange’s rights by refusing to allow him to travel to Ecuador, which granted him political asylum almost a year ago. Joining us from the embassy, Assange addresses what he calls "attacks on all fronts against WikiLeaks," from a monetary embargo involving some of the world’s largest financial firms to a new Hollywood documentary on WikiLeaks, "We Steal Secrets." Assange also discusses a little-known meeting he held in June 2011 with Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We air an excerpt of audio recording from that meeting. Click here to watch our web-only extended interview with Assange.